“. . . the stones of your streets grow sad . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

Selected News of the Day

Foreign Ministry summons Australian diplomat over remarks in favor of Israel

WAFA
September 23, 2019
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry today summoned an Australian diplomat over the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s remarks in favor of Israel.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Amal Jadou, stated that the Acting Director of the Australian Representative Office, Warren Hooy, was summoned following Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Malki’s instructions over Morrison’s remarks in favor of Israel.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Jado met with Hooy to express Palestinian “dissatisfaction and resentment” of Morrison’s remarks in which he underscored a shift by his government to take “an even stronger stand against the biased and unfair targeting of Israel in the UN General Assembly.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Morrison, who is currently on a visit to the US, made his remarks during his opening speech.  More . . . .

Arab MKs recommend Gantz for Israel prime minister

Middle East Monitor
September 23, 2019
In a rare move, the Arab dominated Joint List yesterday recommended head of the Blue White Benny Gantz to become Israel’s new prime minister, local media reported.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Commenting on the recommendation, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman said: “The Joint List are enemies.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Meanwhile, head of the Likud and incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the move and said that the thing which he had warned of has just happened.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Reports said that the Joint List’s bid was inline with their election promise of “bringing an end to Netanyahu and his government, who spread hate” against Arab citizens of Israel.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Injure Many Palestinians On Azzun Town

Days of Palestine
September 22, 2019
Scores of Palestinian citizens on Saturday night suffered injuries after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Azzun town in Qalqilya and attacked local residents.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Local sources said that a large number of Israeli soldiers raided the town, imposed a curfew in the central district, forced storeowners to close their businesses and fired a barrage of tear gas canisters at citizens to make them go home.   More . . . .

  • Soldiers Invade Sebastia Town Near Nablus
    IMEMC News
    September 23, 2019
    Several Israeli army jeeps invaded, Monday, the archeological area in Sebastia Palestinian town, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Azem, the head of Sebastia Town Council, said dozens of soldiers invaded the area and fired a barrage of gas bombs at the Palestinians to force them away.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He added that many Palestinians protested the invasion, and hurled stones at the soldiers who fired live rounds and more gas bombs.   More . . . .
  • 16 Palestinians Injured By IOF In Jerusalem
    Days Of Palestine
    September 22, 2019
    At least 16 Palestinian citizens suffered injuries on Saturday evening when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) assaulted local residents in al-Eizariya town, east of Jerusalem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Red Crescent said its ambulance crew provided medical assistance to 16 citizens in Eizariya after they suffered different injuries.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to local sources, Israeli police forces stormed Eizariya town and directly fired volleys of tear gas canisters at Palestinian homes, which provoked clashed with local youths.  More . . . .

Commentary

Israel’s Anti-Liberal Legislative Trends: A Guide for the Perplexed

Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture
By Frances Raday
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ [Frances Raday is professor of law, Elias chair, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem]
Israeli legislation has over the last decade been increasingly geared to entrench the ethnic-religious and nationalist ideology of Binyamin Netanyahu and his coalition government. This legislative trend is evident in some laws which have already been passed by a majority in the Knesset and is accentuated in the numerous legislative initiatives proposed by members of the Knesset belonging to parties in the governing coalition. The government’s drafting of its legislative initiatives has frequently exhibited the trademarks of an authoritarian hegemony with disregard for human rights implications. The persistent vigilance and activism of Israeli civil society, however, along with interventions of the Supreme Court and the media, both local and international, have frequently succeeded in nixing or toning down the early legislative drafts.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nevertheless, the final versions of these laws that do pass are blatantly anti-liberal, undermine democracy and, in some cases, constitute violations of international humanitarian or human rights law. The trend has four interconnected facets: validation of illegal settler colonization of the West Bank; deference to Jewish religion or ethnicity at the cost of unequal treatment of national minorities and of women; limiting freedom of expression through measures restricting NGOs; and restrictions on expression of ethical pluralism in education and the arts.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.

City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
——Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available Barnes and Noble.

“. . . You plundered the land from me . . .” (Fouzi El Azmar)

❶ EU to hold further talks on deployment of mission at Rafah crossing
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ARIJ Daily Report

  • Background: “Review Power of Israel’s High Court of Justice with Regard to the Settlement Legalization Law.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israel demolishes Palestinian Bedouin village for 121st time
❸ IOF moves checkpoint to expropriate Palestinian lands
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El Azmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ EU  TO  HOLD  FURTHER  TALKS  ON  DEPLOYMENT  OF  MISSION  AT  RAFAH  CROSSING  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
BRUSSELS, Nov. 16, 2017 ― The European Union (EU) said on Wednesday that it will be holding further talks with the various parties on the deployment of its mission at Rafah crossing with Egypt.
___An EU spokesperson said that in continuing its support for Palestinian reconciliation, the EU is deploying a high level mission this week “to discuss with key interlocutors on the ground the political and security conditions and the expectations of the relevant parties in view of a possible redeployment of the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) at Rafah, including possible EU financial assistance.”
___Following the agreement signed by Fatah and Hamas in Cairo on 12 October and in the run-up to a meeting of all Palestinian factions in Cairo on 21 November, “the European Union is continuing its support to current efforts to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under one single and legitimate Palestinian Authority,” said the spokesperson. MORE . . .   ..
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ARIJ  DAILY  REPORT
Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem 
Nov. 13, 2017 ― Throughout the years of occupation of the Palestinian territory, Israel has engaged in excessive and disproportionate violations of every existing humanitarian code and routinely employed its efforts to undermine any real action towards a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians. These violations are considered unlawful and breach of human rights and civilized laws including the right to Self-Determination, the right to freedom of movement, the right to work, the right to medical treatment, the right to education, the right to an adequate standard of living and access to holy places.
___(THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN PRODUCED WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of ARIJ & LRC and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.)    MORE . . .

Raday, Frances. “REVIEW  POWER  OF  ISRAEL’S  HIGH  COURT  OF  JUSTICE  WITH  REGARD  TO  THE  SETTLEMENT  LEGALIZATION  LAW.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 64-69.  (Frances Raday is a professor emerita in Labor Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.)
The Settlement Legalization Law, passed by the Knesset on Feb. 6, 2017 by a vote of 60 to 52, constitutes an ominous moment in our history. Although in the context of international humanitarian law, it may be merely another step in a continuum of Israel’s illegal settlement policy, it is nevertheless a highly significant step. It shifts the nature of the violation . . .   to the confiscation of property of protected persons, which cannot be justified under military necessity. It indicates that the Jewish population’s long-term claims to the territory are to be preferred to those of the Palestinians, solely on grounds of nationality . . .
___This goes a considerable way towards undermining the claim that the Israeli occupation does not constitute apartheid under the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which defines apartheid as “inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”
___In the context of Israeli constitutional law, the Settlement Legalization Law is a move to de jure dispossession of individual Palestinian property in violation of the Israeli High Court’s injunctions. Since its decisions in 1978 and 1979 . . .   the Court has held that settlements, whether on private or public land, cannot be considered permanent, nor can the land be permanently confiscated, only temporarily requisitioned. Settlements on private land are illegal. . . .     SOURCE . . .   …

❷ ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  FOR  121ST  TIME   Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 16, 2017 ― Israeli  authorities on Thursday morning demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for the 121st time, leaving all the families in the village homeless, according to locals.
___Residents of the al-Araqib have rebuilt the village 120 times after each demolition, the latest of which was October 25th.
___An Israeli court ruled in August that six residents of al-Araqib must pay 262,000 shekels (more than $72,000) for previous demolition costs, in addition to 100,000 shekels ($27,693) to cover the costs of the state’s lawyer. It was only the latest payment in which the village has had to compensate Israel for its routine demolitions in the village.  [. . . .] Right groups say that the demolition of unrecognized Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.   MORE . . .
❸ IOF  MOVES  CHECKPOINT  TO  EXPROPRIATE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS   
Alray-Palestinian MediaAgency
Nov. 16, 2017 ― Israeli occupation authorities announced Wednesday moving the military checkpoint of Ain Ya’al that located on the road that connected the occupied Jerusalem and Jelo settlement, enabling Israeli authorities to expropriate Palestinian lands.  According to Haaretz paper, the Israeli District Planning and Building Committee informed the Palestinian residence of Wallageh village that they will move the checkpoint, noting that the area of Ain al-Hennyah will move to Israeli administration.
__Wallageh village is located under the Israeli administration but it is totally isolated by the Israeli separation wall, which also separate the village from its farms.     [. . . .] Israeli occupation authorities announced the residence of Wallageh village that the checkpoint will be moved 2.5 kilometers into the Palestinian lands, which means that Palestinian who do not hold the blue ID will not be able to reach their farms in Ain al-Hennyah.   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. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
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About Fouzi El Asmar