“. . . The branches of this land foster me . . .” (Fouzi El Azmar)

[Note from the blogger:  this blog will be published every second day beginning today.]

Selected News of the Day 

EU Slams Israel’s Settlements As “Serious Breach Of International Law”

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Shortly after the Israeli government approved the establishment of a new settlement on the outskirts of Jericho city, the European Union slammed all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, as a serious breach of international law.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙“The European Union reiterates that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law,” said the EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic in a press release.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The EU called on Israel to “end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001 in line with prior obligations”, the statement said.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Destroy Over 100 Olive Trees In Northern West Bank Village

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Israeli soldiers chopped  down on Wednesday scores of Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burqin village, west of the occupied West Bank district of Salfit, according to  Marwan Abdul Rahman, head of Burqin village council.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers chopped more than 100 olive trees in Khirbet Qarqash area located in the northeastern part of the village.  More . . . .

  • Israeli army cuts water supply to Jordan Valley village
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019
    The Israeli army today cut water supply to the village of Bardalla in the northern Jordan Valley after shutting down the water taps supplying the village with its daily water needs, according to member of Bardalla village council Darrar Daraghmeh.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers raided the village and proceeded to shut the pipes supplying the village’s around 2000 population with their daily water needs without giving reason for this action.  More . . . .
  • Israeli Soldiers Bulldoze Palestinian Agricultural Lands Near Qalqilia And Salfit
    IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
    September 18, 2019
    Israeli soldiers bulldozed and uprooted, Wednesday, large areas of Palestinian agricultural lands in Hijja village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and near Salfit in central West Bank.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Mohammad Abu Sheikh, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in Qalqilia governorate, said several army bulldozers started uprooted approximately 145 Dunams of farmlands.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He added that the Israeli violation comes as part of the efforts to expand the Industrial Zone of the illegal Karnei Shomron colony, which was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.    More . . . .
  • In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces round up 22 Palestinians in West Bank
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019  In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces detained early this morning 22 Palestinians in various areas of the occupied West Bank, including three 14-year-old minors, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙It said soldiers raided the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, and detained three 14-year-old minors after raiding their family homes.   
    More . . . .

Commentary

Israelis have made their verdict clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s time is up

The National
Jonathan Cook
September 18, 2019
For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, it is clear that Mr Netanyahu does not command a majority and could well be on his way out. . . . The difficulty is that such a coalition would depend on the support of the 13 Joint List legislators representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority. . . .   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970)

From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.    Available from Google Books.

Support ‘Palestine Writes’, the first Palestinian Literature festival in North America
Mondoweiss
Nada Elia, September 18, 2019  More . . . .

“. . . I was raised under an olive tree . . .” (Fouzi El-Azmar)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 August – 04 September 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
September 5, 2019
Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 1 Civilian killed and 93 others injured, including 33 children, a woman, 2 journalists, and a paramedic.
West Bank: 4 civilians injured, including a child and a human rights defender.
During 85 incursions into the West Bank: 91 civilians, including 8 children and 2 women, arrested
A Palestinian forced to self-demolish his house in the occupied East Jerusalem, while an under-construction mosque, a well and 2 agricultural rooms demolished in eastern Hebron.  Details . . . .

  • NGO: World’s worst tragic figures recorded in Gaza
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 5, 2019
    The blockaded Gaza Strip has marked the highest tragic humanitarian figures in the world, a humanitarian aid NGO said Thursday, Anadolu Agency reported. The Istanbul-based Gaza Aid Association held a conference dedicated to the Gaza Strip, and released its annual report on the humanitarian situation in the enclave.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The situation in the strip is “the worst over the years of siege,” said Abdul Majed al-Aloul, general manager of the association. It recorded tragic humanitarian figures that were “the highest in the world in the fields of unemployment with 52%, poverty 53% and water pollution 95% and the daily power outage rate that reached 75%,” he said.  More . . . .  
  • IOF Closes Main Road To West Bank Village Of Kifl Haris
    Days of Palestine
    September 5, 2019
    The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday morning closed the main entrance to Kifl Haris village, west of Salfit in the West Bank. According to local sources, the IOF closed off the main road to the town with the  swing barrier, which it had been placed last year in the area.  More . . . .   
  • Settlers Storm Madama Village, Attack Citizens
    Days Of Palestine – Nablus
    September 5, 2019
    Dozens of Palestinian citizens suffered from their exposure to tear gas in Madama village, south of Nablus, during clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Chief of the village Ihab al-Qut said that a horde of Jewish settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar in Nablus stormed the southern area of the village and clashed with local youths in the presence of soldiers who fired volleys of tear gas grenades.  More . . . .  
  • Video: Going to school under Israeli occupation
    The Electronic Intifada
    September 5, 2019
    Omar Hajajleh is a local school bus driver in the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja. Al-Walaja lies between the city of Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In 2015, Israel built its separation wall directly through Hajajleh’s land, cutting off his family home from the rest of the village. . .  Hajajleh found himself uniquely positioned to take local children to school as only he has access to the valley leading to it.   More . . . .

OPINION

How much are Palestinians paying for ‘peace’ with Israel?

Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse
By Entsar Abu Jahal
September 6, 2019
As he was delivering another $10 million to the Gaza Strip recently, Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi said Hamas and Israel have no interest in war and prefer peace and calm. He told Reuters that if citizens feel economically comfortable, they will no longer be haunted by the “ghost of war.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Emadi made these statements Aug. 24 after dropping off Qatari funds to Gaza. The money will be distributed to 100,000 poor families, with each receiving $100. This gift was just the most recent; Qatar has provided more than $1 billion in cash and relief projects to the Gaza Strip in recent years. For example, in October 2018, Qatar offered urgent humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip worth $150 million.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ But some Palestinians worry that all this money is a payoff in exchange for peace instead of protests as they seek to return to their homes in what is now Israel.  More . . . .

Why [US] ‘Moderates’ Don’t Have A Clue What To Do About Israel’s Settlements

Days of Palestine
September 6, 2019
Earlier this month, the High Planning Committee (HPC) of the Israeli Civil Administration authorised the construction of 2,304 new settlement units, just days after the approval of another 6,000 units in the occupied West Bank. These alarming developments are nothing if not predictable to those following recent events in the region, and the sordid course of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”. With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledging during Israel’s April General Election campaign to annex settlements; US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman giving an approving nod to such a move; the US defunding of UNRWA and unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; and with Senior US Advisor Jared Kushner declining to speak of a “two state solution”, the stage is almost set for the worst-case scenario. The inexorable march towards annexation is winding down to its last few strides.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In principle, liberals and centrists tend to oppose annexation, as it would sound the death knell for the two-state solution that they’ve always maintained optimistically is just around the corner. However, despite these developments, “moderates” in the US Democratic Party (and even some “progressives”) have rallied around a bipartisan resolution decrying the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement . . .   More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Abe Books.

“. . . Whether my way leads to a jail . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

wafaa-mahdawi
Wafaa Mahdawi, (Photo: Asra Media, from Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY  
| ISRAELI  COURT  REJECTS  APPEAL  TO  RELEASE  NAALWA’S  MOTHER,  BROTHER
The Israeli military court of Salem rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal to release the mother and brother of Ashraf Naalwa on a bail.    ___Ashraf Naalwa was shot and killed by Israeli forces on December 13th, 2 months after carrying out a shooting attack in the Israeli Barkan industrial zone, killing two Israelis.    ___The Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners and Former Prisoner’s said that the appeal was presented by the lawyer representing Naalwa’s mother and brother.    ___The Israeli judge of the Salem military court rejected the release of Wafaa Mihdawi and Amjad Naalwa.    ___Naalwa’s mother and brother were detained during the week after the shooting carried he had carried out, in an attempt by Israel to pressure him to turn himself in.    ___The two are still being held without any real charges.   More . . .
~~ Mother of Palestinian slain by Israeli forces imprisoned for posting on Facebook   More . . .
~~ Palestinian women prisoners escalate struggle against repression    More . . .
| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  LANDS  IN  BATTIR
Israeli settlers razed Palestinian-owned lands in the Battir village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday morning.    ___Local activist, Hassan Breijieh, representative of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee, said that Israeli settlers razed lands northwest of Battir, west of Bethlehem City, to create or open a settlement road.    __Breijieh added that opening the settlement road comes as an attempt by Israeli settlers to build a new settlement outpost on seize Palestinian lands.
More . . .
~~ IOF Goes ahead with Oppression Campaign in West Bank    More . . .
~~ Israeli Knesset votes to expel families of anti-occupation activists     More . . .
| AQSA  TV  [GAZA]  TO  GO  OFF  AIR  OVER  LACK  OF  FUNDS    More . . .
~~ Israeli army creeps into Gaza border    More . . .
~~ Gaza: Hamas delegation leaves for Cairo    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| Beneath the illusion of a temporary occupation lies apartheid
By Fady Khoury
The so-called temporary nature of Israel’s control over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has for too long served as a justification for not extending them full political and civil rights.    ___The Oslo peace process entailed a Palestinian acceptance of “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security,” while in return Israel only recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization as “the representative of the Palestinian people.” Israel has never recognized Palestine or the Palestinians’ right to an independent state in the occupied territories. To this day, Israel has never formally recognized the Palestinian people’s right to independence in any internationally binding document.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“THE  WAY,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS FROM AN ISRAELI PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973. Available from Abe Books.

“. . . An Arab who has refused to sell his soul . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

IMG_3488 reduced
Sunrise over Nazareth (Photo: Harold Knight, November 9, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY   
| NETANYAHU:  EFFORTS  UNDER  FULL  SWING  TO  NORMALIZE  TIES  WITH  ARAB  WORLD    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening said Israeli relations with Arab countries have been increasingly normalized.    [. . . .] “What is happening at the moment is that we are in a process of normalization with the Arab world without progress in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians,” continued Netanyahu.    ___“Today we are going there without the Palestinians being involved and it is much stronger because it does not depend on their caprices. The Arab states are looking for links with the strong. Cultivating strengths gives us diplomatic power.”    More . . .
| ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  FAMILY  HOME  OF  PALESTINIAN  ATTACK  SUSPECT  IN  TULKAREM   Israeli bulldozers demolished the family home of Ashraf Naalwa, a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a shooting attack killing two Israelis in October and who was killed by Israeli forces during the past week, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, on predawn Monday.    ___Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided Naalwa’s family home in the Shweika village of Tulkarem, on predawn Monday, in preparation to demolish the building.   [. . . .] Dozens of Palestinians had gathered around Naalwa’s family home, since late Sunday, in an attempt to prevent the demolition.    More . . .         
~~ OVER  180  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  IN  LAST  FIVE  DAYS,  SAYS  PRISONERS  COMMISSION    The Israeli military detained 183 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the last five days while the number of those detained since the beginning of the month has reached 330, the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoners Commission said on Monday.    More . . .
|  AS  NAZARETH  PREPARES  FOR  CHRISTMAS,  ISRAELIS  SPRAY  PAINT  HATE  GRAFFITI  ON  WALLS    Extremist Jewish Israelis from the terror group “Price Tag” Monday spray-painted racist, offensive and anti-Arab slogans on the wall of a building in the Arab Christian city of Nazareth in northern Israel as the city prepares for Christmas, according to witnesses.    ___The slogans included terms such as “The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel”, and “death to Arabs”.  More . . .
~~  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  ON  WEST  BANK  ROADS,  INJURE  ONE    A Palestinian man was injured on Monday after he was attacked by Israeli settlers while driving near the southern West Bank town of Tuqa, to the east of the city of Bethlehem, Palestinian security sources said.    [. . . .] Israeli settlers have escalated their attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank by either throwing rocks at their cars as they drove on the roads or by attacking their villages while the army either watch or encourage them.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| ITALY’S  SALVINI  SAID  WHAT  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  CAN’T  SAY:  ‘SUPPORT  ISRAEL’
Ramona Wadi
It is no secret that the right wing has appropriated and manipulated the definition of “peace” in today’s poisonous political climate. Peace  is  now  synonymous  with  power, and little is being done to challenge this notion on a political level, to the point that one can speak of collusion between the right wing and the alleged peacebuilders.    ___Consider, for a moment, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s recent statement during a press conference on a visit to Israel: “Whoever wants peace, needs to support Israel.”    __Whatever happened to the right of people living under a brutal military occupation to seek their liberation by all possible means? We are, surely, entitled to a reasonable answer to this question.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering of his people
Who has carried with him the hope of a just peace,
Who has spoken out against death at every corner
Who has called for and has lived a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

From: El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from biblio.com

“. . . An Arab who has protested at the suffering of his people . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

SILWAN-660x330
Destruction of home of Murad Hushema in Wadi Qadum, East Jerusalem. (Photo: Palestine News Network, Dec. 8, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
OCHA:  ‘INCREASE  IN  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS,  VANDALISM  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’
Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 33 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including two structures provided as humanitarian assistance, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory confirmed in its report covering the period from November 20th to December 3rd.    ___OCHA’s biweekly “Protection of Civilians” report said that Israeli settler violence and vandalism in the West Bank have been on the rise since the beginning of 2018, with a weekly average of five attacks resulting in injuries or property damage, compared with an average of three in 2017.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Rain and Israeli tunnels [under homes] cause land cave-in in Silwan
. . . . Related  Israel commits 24 violations against journalists in November
. . . . Related  Settlers, led by the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, charge into Al-Aqsa Mosque
|  IOF  ARREST  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday overnight launched a campaign of raids and arrests in cities all over the occupied West Bank.    ___IOF raided Balata and Askar refugee camps in Nablus, northern West Bank, where they arrested four men, including ex-prisoners. Israeli army patrols also stormed Salem, Asira, Al-Lubban towns in the vicinity of the city.    ___In addition, Israeli settlers, under under the protection of the Israeli army, have stormed the area of ​​Sada Al-Fahs in Hebron [. . . .]    More . . .
. . . . Related  Citizens rally in al-Khalil in solidarity with female prisoners
|  GAZA:  19TH  MARITIME  RALLY  TO  KICK  OFF  MONDAY  
The National Committee for Breaking Gaza Siege has announced the launch of the 19th maritime rally on the coast and in Gaza waters on Monday.    ___A spokesman for the Committee told a news conference on Sunday morning that the rally would be staged under the slogan “Resistance to freedom” to confirm the Palestinian people’s adherence to all forms of resistance.    ___The spokesman called on all citizens in Gaza to participate in the rally in order to send a message to the international community, the US administration and the Israeli occupation state stating that “the Palestinian people’s resistance of the occupation is legitimate.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  Egyptian security delegation to visit Gaza
. . . . Related  Former Israel PM ordered targeting densely populated areas in 2008 Gaza war

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
  A  DECADE  AFTER  HOLY  LAND  CONVICTION [Dallas, Texas],  PALESTINE  ADVOCACY  IN  U.S.  STILL  UNDERMINED
Ten years ago, United States federal prosecutors shut down what was then the biggest Muslim charity in the country, a foundation supporting Palestinians refugees. Authorities seized all of the Holy Land Foundation’s assets and put five of its leaders in prison.    ___ Over the past decade, the case has set into motion a broad and powerful effort to criminalize and sanction Palestine advocacy in the United States. It created a chilling effect that forces many Americans to think twice before supporting Palestinian or Muslim charities to this day.    More . . .
| ON  THE  10TH  ANNIVERSARY
By  Imprisoned  Humanitarian  Activist  Shukri  Abu  Baker  of  The  Holy Land  Foundation (Dallas, Texas, USA)
Sick, is all I’d been feeling on that cold Monday night. Some hours earlier, the ominous air in that courtroom, the timid gestures, the awful anticipation, the dreadful verdicts… all was too much to stomach. I cringed every time the judge’s voice rang “guilty” in my head; his gloating only amplified by the claustrophobic compactness in my prison cell.    More . . .
. . . . And  Who  Is  Not  Special?   [. . . .] This is why it’s wrong to spew insults at others from a place of power just because one can. . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering
of his people
Who has carried with him the hope
of a just peace
Who has spoken out against death
at every corner
Who has called for and has lived
a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

From: El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from biblio.com

“. . . My friend / You cannot ask me to leave . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    TENSIONS  EASE  IN  GAZA,  ALLOWING  MONEY  AND  FUEL  TO  ROLL  IN
For months, Israel has tried to quell Gaza’s border protests through force. Now Israel is taking a different approach, easing a blockade and allowing millions of dollars in aid to flow into Gaza, the impoverished enclave controlled by Hamas, its bitter foe.    ___The aim of the change, in a plan mediated by Egypt and with money supplied by Qatar, is to provide much-needed relief for Gaza, restore calm on the Israeli side of the border and avert another war.    ___The clashes along Gaza’s border have caused misery on both sides: At least 170 Palestinians have been killed, and thousands of acres of Israeli farmland have been torched.    ___But the change in Israel’s approach presents risks for leaders on both sides, pressures that could doom even this limited warming of relations.    More . . .
|    QATARI  CASH  CAN’T  STOP  ISRAELI  BULLETS
One Palestinian was killed during the 33rd consecutive Friday of mass protests along the eastern perimeter of the occupied Gaza Strip.    [. . . .] Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza . . . said his faction was reaching “understandings” with Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to lift the blockade.    [. . . .] Qatari officials brought in $15 million in cash to Gaza in recent days, disbursing it to some 30,000 civil servants hired by Hamas since 2007 whose salaries hadn’t been paid in months. The money will also be used to create 10,000 jobs in Gaza, where unemployment is currently nearly 55 percent – believed to be among the highest rates in the world, if not the highest.    ___The Qatari funding is the first installation of a total of $90 million pledged by the Gulf country for Gaza to be paid over the following six months.    More . . .
|    ISRAEL’S  NEW  DECISION  TO  BAN  DEALING  WITH  LARGE  CASH  A  NEW  CHALLENGE  TO  THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY    In few weeks, the Israeli decision barring dealing with large cash in commercial transactions that exceed 11,000 Israeli shekels ($3000) will get into force, which may have big and immediate repercussions on the Palestinian economy.    [. . . .] The Israeli decision prohibits dealing with cash in commercial transactions. . .  replacing it with electronic means of payment . . .   [. . . .] With the weakness of modern means of payment in Palestine, in light of large daily transactions in Israeli currency, there is fear of large inflow of shekel into the Palestinian market, which already suffers from a large surplus of this currency.    More . . .
|    PALESTINIANS  CONDEMN  HOLLYWOOD  STARS’  FUNDRAISER  FOR  ISRAELI  ARMY
Palestinian people condemned several Hollywood starts who celebrated and raised millions of dollars to fund the Israeli army last week.    ___The Middle East Eye London-based news outlet reported that the gala was organized on November 1st, by Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, adding that Hollywood stars such as  Ashton  Kutcher,  Gerard  Butler  and  Andy  Garcia attended and celebrated the event.    [. . . .] The event was met with condemnation in Palestine and by Palestinians on social media.    ___One of the organizers of  “The Great March of Return,  which takes place every Friday at the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, Ahmad Abu Artema, told Middle East Eye that “The Israeli army will use these funds to buy more bullets and more bombs, only to kill more civilians.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  AT  LEAST  37  PALESTINIANS  AT  EASTERN  GAZA  BORDERS
. . . . Related  PALESTINIAN  SUCCUMBS  TO  WOUNDS  SUSTAINED  IN  GAZA  PROTESTS
. . . . Related  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  IN  KAFR  QADDUM  MARCH

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    JERUSALEM  CHURCHES  ACHIEVE  NEW  VICTORY  AGAINST  ISRAEL  GOVERNMENT  (VIDEO) 
The Council of Jerusalem Churches has achieved a new victory against the Israeli government, with an “unprecedented number of US churches condemn[ing] Israeli attempts to confiscate church lands,” a Council statement – a copy of which was sent to MEMO – said on Friday.     ___The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who heads the Council of Jerusalem Churches has toured the USA and EU countries to lobby against an Israeli law – known as the “Properties Bill” – which was recently advanced in the Knesset to target church property.    More . . .
|    ‘LIVING  STONES’  OF  AL  AHLI  ARAB  HOSPITAL  BUILD  A  MINISTRY  OF  HEALING,  WITNESS  IN  GAZA
By  Mary  Frances  Schjonberg,  Posted  Mar.  27,  2018
(Note: reposted to show the people of the US continue relationship with Gazans despite the actions of the US government)
Healing comes in many forms, and Al Ahli Arab Hospital’s medical ministry . . .  provide[s] the people of the Gaza Strip with an example of the love of Christ in action.    ___That example is set in an area whose Christian population is dwindling. Suhaila Tarazi, the hospital’s director general, estimates there are no more than 900 Christians among Gaza’s 2 million residents. Ten years ago, the number of Christians stood at 3,000 and the total population was around 1.5 million.    ___Tarazi told Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, United States. . . that the remaining Christians are “the living stones” of Gaza, and so too are institutions like Al Ahli Arab Hospital, which is one of more than 30 social service ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Abe Books.

 

“. . . who has always striven, sir, for freedom . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

IMG_3723 - Copy - Copy
In the desert east of Jerusalem: Rev. Naim Ateek of Sabeel (center) leader with Fall Witness Visitors, 2015 (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    JAPAN  FUNDS  NEW  CLASSROOMS,  SOLAR  ENERGY  SYSTEM  PROJECTS  IN  RAMALLAH
The Japanese Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine, Takeshi Okubo, signed grant contracts for three Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) with representatives of Nilin town, al-Tira village, and Franciscan Sisters’ School for a total amount of $234,526, at the Representative Office of Japan, in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on Monday.    ___The Nilin Municipality in the Ramallah district, will use a fund of $85,215 for constructing three new classrooms and a toilet unit in Nilin’s Girl School to provide 100 students from 6th grade to 12th grade with new class rooms and appropriate and healthy educational environment.    ___Meanwhile, the al-Tira village council will use a fund of $88,936 for reconstructing new four classrooms. . . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  INVESTMENT  IN  EDUCATION  –  INVESTMENT  IN  THE  FUTURE
. . . . Related  VIDEO:  AREA  C  “EUROPEAN  UNION  AND  THE  PALESTINIANS”
|    ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  IBRAHIMI  MOSQUE
On Wednesday, a group of Israeli settlers gathers outside the Ibrahimi Mosque and assaulted Palestinian citizens, in protest against the Adan (Muslim call for prayers) via loudspeakers used in the mosque.    ___Palestinian citizen, Yacoub Abu Jihad, said that the settlers beat him and held him for several hours. One of them threatened to kill him sooner or later and held him in a nearby shop for several hours before he was released.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  OLIVE-PICKERS  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  SCORES  OF  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE
. . . . Background  TRANSFORMING  “TRESTIA”  MILITARY  CAMP  INTO  A  NEW [settler] OUTPOST/TUBAS
|   IOF  DETAINS  6  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WB
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained on Wednesday at daybreak six Palestinian people during multiple raids across the occupied West Bank towns and cities.    ___Israeli Walla news site claimed that the detainees are wanted by the IOF on suspicion of involvement in security activities, indicating that they were transferred to police interrogation centers.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  DEPORTS  4  JERUSALEMITES  FROM  SOUR  BAHER,  JABAL  AL-MOKABER

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THE  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT  IS  EXPLOITING  THE  PITTSBURGH  MURDERS  TO  TRY  TO  DEMONIZE  PALESTINE  SOLIDARITY
Yesterday during an interview on MSNBC, Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, placed the blame for the attack on both white supremacists and the “radical left,” which is clearly code for BDS activists.    ___Dermer said: “One of the big forces in college campuses today is anti-Semitism. And those anti-Semites are usually not neo-Nazis, on college campuses. They’re coming from the radical left. We have to stand against anti-Semitism whether it comes from the right or whether it comes from the left.”    ___This is a disgusting lie. But it is part and parcel with the recent push by the Israeli government and its supporters in the West to redefine the meaning of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel.    More . . .
|    ASHRAWI  AFFIRMS  NEED  FOR  URGENT  THIRD-PARTY  INTERVENTION  IN  LIGHT  OF  RECENT  US  STANCES
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi stated that, ‘since the current American administration does not have a real vision for a just and genuine peace and with Israel willfully working to destroy the foundations for a two-state solution, it is imperative that there is an urgent intervention of a third-party like Europe, in particular France.’    ___This came during a meeting with Deputy Diplomatic Counselor at the French Presidency Aurélien Lechevallier at the PLO headquarters in Ramallah, where both parties  discussed the latest political and regional developments and the current crisis as a result of Israel’s serious escalations and egregious violations of international law.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|
    SABEEL  ECUMENICAL  LIBERATION  THEOLOGY  CENTER,  JERUSALEM 
Mission: To strive towards theological liberation through instilling the Christian faith in the daily lives of those who suffer under occupation, violence, injustice, and discrimination.    Wave of Prayer, November 1, 2018;    . . . . Fall Witness Visit, 2018

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering
of his people
Who has carried with him the hope
of a just peace
Who has spoken out against death
at every corner
Who has called for and has lived
a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.
Available from Lynne Rienner Publishers

“You bereaved me from the light . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

IMG_3055 - Copy
Entrance to Ofer Prison, between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015.


SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
   

ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  650  NEW  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  WEST  BANK
The Israeli government decided on Tuesday to build 650 new settlement units, for the benefit of expanding the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El, one of the biggest settlements, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.   ___A Hebrew-language news outlet reported that the Israeli government decided to build the 650 new settlement units along with another 296 units, which had been previously approved for Beit El.   ___The Israeli government reportedly justified the illegal Israeli settlement expansion as a “compensation” to Israeli settlers who were removed from their settlement outposts of Olbana in 2012 and Darinov in 2015.   More. . .
AFTER  SLAYING,  ARABS  BLAME  APATHETIC  POLICE  IN  ISRAEL
Rasha Abou Jalal
Protests continue in the Arab city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye in northern Israel, with citizens accusing Israeli police of neglecting their duty to protect citizens there. Demonstrations began Aug. 11 when one or more unidentified assailants killed local businessman Ahmad Athamneh, 40, and wounded another man.     ___Since Athamneh’s shooting, residents demonstrated for the third time Aug. 17 in front of a mosque to protest the prevalence of crime in their city. The protesters demanded that the Israeli police do their job: Arrest the perpetrators and fight violence in the Arab community.    More. . .
CAMPAIGN    FORCES    ISRAEL’S    ZIM    TO    HALT    SHIPMENTS    TO    TUNISIA        Ali Abunimah 
Palestinians are hailing a campaign that has led Israel’s Zim shipping line to halt its routes to Tunisia.   ___“Zim was forced to indefinitely suspend its services to the Tunisian port of Radès following a popular and trade union boycott campaign in Tunisia and the Arab world,” the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) said on Sunday.   ___The BNC is the steering group for the worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to pressure Israel to end its violations of Palestinian rights.   ___The BNC called this “the first victory of its kind in the Arab world.”   More. . .
PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  STATISTICS,  JULY  2018.
Total number of political prisoners – 5820. Administrative detainees – 446.  Child prisoners – 270.  More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION

SAMIDOUN  SOLIDARITY  STATEMENT  WITH  THE  U.S.  NATIONAL  #PRISONSTRIKE
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with the National Prison Strike launching on 21 August in jails across the United States. This important struggle, involving work stoppages, sit-ins, boycotts and even hunger strikes, is a critical confrontation of racism, capitalism and oppression taking place in the center of the U.S. prison system.   ___The dates of the strike are not accidental; instead, they underline the political legacies that have inspired and continue to push forward the movement. August 21 marks the 47th anniversary of the assassination of imprisoned revolutionary and Black Panther George Jackson.  More. . .

NO  POWER,  NO  SUPPLIES,  NO  WAY  OUT:  A  YEAR  WITHOUT  THE  RIGHT  TO  HEALTH  IN  THE  GAZA  STRIP  (Mar 02, 2018)
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
[. . . .] Instead of advancing, medical care and access in the Gaza Strip is moving backwards, against time. Ten years of Israel’s air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip has played a strong hand in this de-development, bottlenecking the entering stream of both material and human resources into a weak trickle.   ___Current best practice may not even be in reach in the Gaza Strip, where the blockade has seen shelves wiped clean of some pharmaceutical drugs and supply cupboards sit empty. Even during periods of easement, goals often only reach as high as restocking, replacing parts of worn out equipment, or rebuilding bombed buildings.   More. . .

IT TOOK ME THREE DECADES TO DRIVE ONE HOUR FROM GAZA TO JERUSALEM     Abier Almasri
Earlier this year, the Israeli army gave me a permit to leave the 11-by-40 kilometer Gaza Strip for the first time in my life and travel to the United States for work. Last month, I left again – this time, to see the rest of Palestine and Israel. The one-hour trip from the Israel-Gaza crossing to Jerusalem felt like a journey to a distant world.   ___I have always dreamed of smelling Jerusalem’s air and hearing the call to prayer ring from its mosques. When the prospect of traveling there was still a distant dream, I told a colleague, “I just hope to have the chance to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque before I die.”    More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS   

EYEWITNESS  PALESTINE:  JOURNEYS  FOR  JUSTICE  WITH  PALESTINIAN  AND  ISRAELI  PEACE-BUILDERS
UPCOMING DELEGATIONS
   There’s only one way to truly understand the realities of Palestine/Israel – through the eyes of those who live there. Palestinians and Israelis welcome us into their homes, offices, and places of worship to learn from them about their lives. Are you ready for an unforgettable journey for justice?   More. . .

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL  ASMAR

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April 1970)

–From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  KNOW Books, 1973.

“. . . Don’t ask me to empty the sea. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

تنزيل
16-year-old Laith Haitham Abu Naeem, EXECUTED BY Israeli Soldier (Photo, PNN, Feb. 1, 2018)

❶ MOFA: The Silence On the Execution of “Laith Abu Naeem” is Disgraceful
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ramallah bids last farewell to 16-year-old martyr
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Children terrorized as Israeli army ransacks homes, kidnaps civilians

  • Background: “Our Jerusalem — a Reality Check.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israel releases Palestinian lawmaker who has spent nearly 32 years behind bars
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israeli detention of Palestinians up by 5% in 2017, say groups
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MOFA:  THE  SILENCE  ON  THE  EXECUTION  OF  “LAITH  ABU  NAEEM”  IS  DISGRACEFUL
Palestine News Network – PNN  
Jan. 31, 2018 ― The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in a statement strongly condemned the unlawful killing of the 16 years old “Laith Haitham Abu Naeem” in the village of al Mughayer near Ramallah. The crime happened after an Israeli soldier shot the martyr in the head from a close range to deliberately kill him.
___The Ministry assured that this crime reflects the culture of barbaric killing which is popular among the Israeli soldiers who are deployed throughout the Palestinian territory, addnig that it’s also considered a reflection of the political instructions of the political and military levels in the state of Israel that permits and encourages the killing of Palestinians.
___The Ministry warned against the consequences of dealing with the death penalty against the unarmed Palestinians as numbers and statistics, those grotesque crimes became a routine and insignificant that’s not worth paying attention to the amount of tragedy and suffering of the Palestinian families due to the loss of their loved ones.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  RAMALLAH  BIDS  LAST  FAREWELL  TO  16-YEAR-OLD  MARTYR   
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Crowds of Ramallah on Wednesday noon bid the last farewell to its 16-year-old martyr, Laith Abu Naim, who was shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday, during clashes in the city.
___Abu Na’im was buried in his home-village, Al-Mughir, northeast of Ramallah, in midst of large popular and official presence.
___The boy wes shot dead in cold blood by the IOF during clashes in Ramallah on Tuesday. . .   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  CHILDREN  TERRORIZED  AS  ISRAELI  ARMY  RANSACKS  HOMES,  KIDNAPS  CIVILIANS 
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 1, 2018 ― A number of Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Thursday in abduction sweeps rocking West Bank provinces.
___Overnight, special Israeli forces kidnapped three Palestinian young men after they chased down a car near Nablus’s western town of Zawata.
___According to eye-witnesses, a driver accidentally rammed a parked car before undercover Israeli officers showed up in the area and dragged the driver to their jeep at gunpoint.
___Sometime later, the family of Palestinian prisoner Jamal Abu al-Heija said their eldest son, Abdul Salem, also an ex-prisoner, was kidnapped from the targeted car. Another son of al-Heija’s, Emad, was kidnapped just a few hours later from the family’s home in Jenin.    MORE . . .

Klein, Menachem. “OUR  JERUSALEM  —  A  REALITY  CHECK.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22/23, no. 4/1, Jan. 2018, pp. 9-15.
[. . . .] Israel’s overwhelming victory in the 1967 war placed Israeli Jerusalem in a position of superiority. Since then, Israel has been acting to shape Jerusalem as its place alone. In the first years after the war, Israel turned East Jerusalem into a hybrid area which contains components of the State of Israel alongside components of the West Bank. Israel annexed East Jerusalem and, from the point of view of Israeli law, detached it from the West Bank. But in a number of other ways, East Jerusalem remained part of the West Bank — for example, from a social point of view and marital connections, in the educational system and the curriculum, in the organization of the religious establishment and the transportation and communication systems. The policy was to cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank while at the same time not integrating it into Israel.
[. . . .] The building of the Separation Wall cut off tens of thousands of Palestinians from the city, and those areas became ungovernable. They are formally annexed to the State of Israel but, in actuality, they are outside of it. . .  Periodically the Israeli army and police enter the area. These incursions are a matter of routine in the West Bank but occur only infrequently in East Jerusalem. In other words, these Palestinian neighborhoods are today a hybrid area within the West Bank, although they are formally annexed into Israel.
[. . . .] The genetic code of the Palestinian reaction to the Israeli expansionism and political and legal superiority is identical in Jerusalem and in the West Bank: survival in the field, passive resistance to Israeli control and sporadic violence. . .  Violent protests are a sporadic and unorganized phenomenon with similar characteristics in Jerusalem and in the West Bank: stabbing and running over civilians and soldiers, and throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at settlers, soldiers and police at checkpoints.
[. . . .]  It is important to note that the hybridization of Jerusalem is not multicultural and equal but ethnic and hierarchal. The Jewish collective preserves by force its privileges and discriminates against the Palestinian collective, whose number is almost equal to that of the Jews. This is not only the reality of Jerusalem: Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there is a very similar demographic balance. Israel is aware of this and is afraid of its repercussions, but it is trapped in the entanglement that it has created. It refuses to give up on its privileges and is turning to more intensive use of force, yet it frequently underestimates the severity of the problem or denies it.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

ISRAEL  RELEASES  PALESTINIAN  LAWMAKER  WHO  HAS  SPENT  NEARLY  32  YEARS  BEHIND  BARS 
Ma’an News Agency 
Feb. 1, 2018 ―  Israeli forces released Palestinian lawmaker Muhammad Abu Tir after he was held in Israeli prison for six months under administrative detention — Israel’s widely-condemned policy of internment without charge or trial.
___Abu Tir was detained on August 4, 2017 after Israeli forces raided his house in the town of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. He had been released from Israeli prison two months prior to his latest detention in August.
___Abu Tair has spent an estimated total of 32 years behind Israeli bars.
___The Hamas-affiliated lawmaker moved to al-Bireh after being exiled from his home in occupied East Jerusalem in 2010, along with fellow imprisoned parliamentarian Ahmad Attun, Palestinian Legislative Committee (PLC) member Muhammad Tutah, and former PA Minister Khalid Abu Arafeh.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  DETENTION  OF  PALESTINIANS  UP  BY  5%  IN  2017,  SAY  GROUPS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Israeli detention of Palestinians increased by 5% in 2017 compared to the previous year for a total of 6742 Palestinians, three Palestinian rights organizations said on Thursday.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, Addameer and al-Mezan said in a joint report that out of the 6742 Palestinians Israel detained, 1467 were minors, 156 women, 14 lawmakers, and 25 journalists.    MORE . . .

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

“. . . Don’t ask me to abandon my eyes, my love, the memory of my childhood . . .” (Fouzi El-Azmar)

❶ Secret Firm Set Up With Top Israeli Ex-generals to Fight “Delegitimization Campaign”

  • Background:  “The [United States] Israel Lobby.” Journal of Psychohistory.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) EU, Norway to hold meeting for Palestine donors soon
❷ Israeli army sues Palestinian family for damages caused to vehicle that killed its son
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Wounded prisoner and mother appeals for release to receive proper medical treatment
❸ Israeli settlers raze Palestinian lands in Nablus
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Thousands at risk as Gaza hospitals undergo fuel dearth
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Azmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
SECRET  FIRM  SET  UP  WITH  TOP  ISRAELI  EX-GENERALS  TO  FIGHT  “DELEGITIMIZATION  CAMPAIGN”       
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Jan. 11, 2018 ― Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry has set up a public-benefit corporation to engage in what it calls “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the delegitimization campaign” against Israel internationally.
___Haaretz has obtained a list of the shareholders and directors of the company, Kella Shlomo, who include former Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations.
___According to a ministry document, Kella Shlomo people would work via social networks because “the enemy directs most of its awareness and motivating efforts to this area.”   MORE . . .  

Hewitt, William F.
“THE  [UNITED  STATES]  ISRAEL  LOBBY.”
JOURNAL  OF  PSYCHOHISTORY, vol. 36, no. 1, Summer2008, pp. 59-71.
[. . . .] So, isn’t the Israel Lobby doing what other powerful lobbies do? Seeking to find traction and influence Congress and the executive, and the courts for that matter, to pursue their agenda or at least not pursue policies antithetical to their agenda? Sure. But . . . a growing number of activist left-wing American Jews, contend is that the Israel Lobby has bribed and cheated, bullied and browbeaten elected officials and the media into unqualified support for policies that are not only counterproductive to the best interests of the United States, but to those of Israel and, by extension, Jews everywhere.
___It is not important here to go into all the indictments regarding the Israel Lobby’s behavior and the submissive attitude of the American political establishment. Let me just cite, as an indication, the testimony of one Congressional staffer cited by Massing in his magisterial New York Review article from last June, in regard to contributions funneled by AIPAC, “We can count on well over half the House—250 to 300 members—to do reflexively whatever AIPAC wants.”
[. . . .] Let’s now return to Sara Roy’s poignant question: “How Can Children of the Holocaust Do Such Things [as the 2006 murderous invasion of Lebanon]?”
[. . . .]  In James Traub’s profile of ADL leader Abe Foxman from January of 2007, we get an up close and personal glimpse of this hypervigilance. Traub writes: “Foxman escaped the worst of the Holocaust, but it has deeply shaped his sense of the world and is presumably responsible for his feeling that nothing short of supreme and unflinching vigilance will ward off the next cataclysm.”
[. . . .] But the Jewish experience during World War II is not enough.
[. . . .] “Most of all, the Zionist movement was characterized by its focus on a rapid transition from inferiority to overcompensation.” (Jay Y. Gonen, The Psychohistory of Zionism, New York: Mason/Charter, 1975, p. 3).        SOURCE . . .   

.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  EU,  NORWAY  TO  HOLD  MEETING  FOR  PALESTINE  DONORS  SOON 
The Palestinian Information Center  
Jan. 11, 2018 ― The European Union (EU) and Norway have decided to convene an extraordinary session of the international donor group for Palestine at the end of the current month.
___This came in a press release issued by the office of EU’s high representative Federica Mogherini.
___Mogherini agreed with Norway’s foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide to hold the meeting at the ministerial level in Brussels on January 31, 2018, according to her office.   MORE . . .  
❷ ISRAELI  ARMY  SUES  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  FOR  DAMAGES  CAUSED  TO  VEHICLE  THAT  KILLED  ITS  SON 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
By Ihab Rimawi
Jan. 11, 2018 ― In an unprecedented and bizarre move, the Israeli army is suing a Palestinian family for damages caused to a military vehicle that ran into a wall while chasing its son at high speed and then flipped over him and killed him.
___Abdullah Ghneimat, 22, from the village of Kufr Malik, east of Ramallah, was chased by an army jeep in the early morning hour on June 14, 2015 when he was returning home from work. He was surprised to see soldiers in his village and therefore ran away, prompting the soldiers to go after him.
___Ghneimat took cover behind a wall, but the jeep ran into the wall and then turned over and fell on him, killing him.   MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  WOUNDED  PRISONER  AND  MOTHER  APPEALS  FOR  RELEASE  TO  RECEIVE  PROPER  MEDICAL  TREATMENT     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 11, 2018 ― Isra Jaabis, 32, a mother of a baby child and a resident of Jabal al-Mukkaber neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, appealed to the Israeli High Court against her 11-year sentence levied against her in November 2016 after she was charged of attempting to blow up an Israeli army checkpoint outside Jerusalem in October 2015.
___The High Court deliberated her appeal on Thursday and said it will send its decision to Jaabis’ attorney at the end of deliberations.
___Jaabis, who is married to a Palestinian from Jericho, had a gas cylinder in her car when it blew up, apparently accidently, when she was only meters away from the checkpoint to the east of Jerusalem. Her family said at the time that she was moving her stuff from Jericho to a new place in Jerusalem when the cylinder blew up by accident. The army, however, decided otherwise. . .       MORE . . .  
❸  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  IN  NABLUS  
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Jan. 11, 2018 ― A group of Israeli settlers on Thursday morning razed Palestinian land in the villages of Tal and Far’ata, southwest of Nablus, northern West Bank.
___Activist Abdul-Rahman Al-Taweel told PNN that these acts began immediately following the killing of an Israeli settlers in Nablus two days ago.
___The settlers set up tents and bulldozed lands near the villages of Asira, Tel and Farata, in preparation for the establishment of a settlement units in the area.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  THOUSANDS  AT  RISK  AS  GAZA  HOSPITALS  UNDERGO  FUEL  DEARTH   
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 11, 2018 ― Increasing shortages of fuel are creating an impending crisis for Gaza’s hospitals, threatening the closure of essential health services which would leave thousands of patients without access to life-saving health care.
___Health Ministry spokesman, Ashraf al-Qidrah, said the health system’s fuel reserves are insufficient and if a solution is not found, Gaza’s hospitals will be forced to partially or completely close essential services.
___Al-Qidrah also warned of the possibility of delayed or canceled surgeries and inter-prison transfers if no urgent action is taken on the part of the concerned authorities.    MORE . . .   

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.    Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.