“. . . We wait for the promise of July And the joyous dance . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

IMG_3102 - Copy - CopyFrom the  WALL  MUSEUM  in Bethlehem.
(Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
PALESTINIANS  GEARING  UP  FOR  ANTI-OCCUPATION  PROTESTS  AT  GAZA  BORDER 
The Higher National Commission of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege has called on the Palestinian masses to take part in the large-scale protests set to be staged on Friday along Gaza’s borderlands.    ___The Higher Commission said in a statement that the peaceful protests make part of Palestinians’ struggle to liberate their land, lift the siege on Gaza, and thwart the US-drafted deal of the century.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel returns fishing boats, tools to Gaza
. . . . Related  Gaza hospitals overwhelmed by wounded in Israeli violence: Report
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22 – 28 November 2018)
CHRISTMAS  2018  PREPARATIONS  WELL  UNDERWAY  IN  BETHLEHEM:  “A  FEAST  OF  PEACE,  HOPE  AND  JUSTICE”
Preparations for Christmas 2018 are well underway according to the Press Conference held at the Bethlehem Peace Center today. With the world’s spotlight beaming down this December on the city – the birthplace of Jesus Christ – the municipality of Bethlehem announced that the theme of this Christmas is ‘Being and Existence’.    ___The mayor of Bethlehem, Anton Salman, explained that this Christmas is a time to show the world that the Palestinian people “are rooted in this land, just as the trees are”. The Palestinian people “are one community, regardless of different religions”, the mayor said, squelching any notion that the occupation had spread of the oppression of Palestinian Christians by its Muslim majority.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Bethlehem Prepares to Celebrate Christmas 2018
| ASHRAWI  URGES  EBU  NOT  TO  BROADCAST  EUROVISION  IN  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, called upon the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to respect the Palestinian people’s rights by not broadcasting any Eurovision Song Contest events in Israel’s illegal settlements.    ___Ashrawi said, in a statement, that giving Israel the privilege of hosting the 2019 Eurovision amounts to rewarding it for and helping it to conceal its decades-old military occupation and grave violations of Palestinian national and human rights.    [. . . . ] Last week, three Manchester, UK-based pro-Palestine groups called on European artists and performers to Boycott Eurovision 2019 hosted by Israel, while over 140 artists, including musicians, writers, actors, directors, novelists and poets had signed a letter calling for the event’s boycott.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Japan funds project to enhance water quality in West Bank town
. . . . Related  Palestinian Forum in Britain Organizes Largest Palestinian Festival in London
. . . . Related  Alray International Media Watch from Alray Palestinian Media Agency (Nov. 29, 2018)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ZIONISM:  CYCLES  OF  TRAUMA  AND  AGGRESSION  IN  THE  SERVICE  OF  SETTLER  COLONIALISM
By Yoav Litvin
The origins of Zionism are profoundly misunderstood by many. This is not coincidental and can be seen largely as the result of propaganda, which opportunistically and erroneously asserts that Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism.    ___In fact, Zionism gained traction among some Jews only in the late 19th  century in response to antisemitism and romantic European nationalist movements. Zionists syncretized many white supremacist, antisemitic, messianic and fascistic racialized dogmas and were thus overwhelmingly unpopular among most Jews, who viewed the ideals of the enlightenment–emancipation, equality and integration – as their target.    [. . . .] In response to antisemitism, Zionists embraced their fear and contempt of their abusers to produce defensive aggression, reinventing identity in a reactionary attempt to ensure survival and restore  pride. The reward of violence–power-quickly enticed Zionist leaders to morph what began as a defensive strategy into an offensive one that culminated with a settler colonialist vision of a homeland in Palestine at the expense of its Indigenous population, the existing Palestinian people.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli journalist lectures against ‘Zionist racism’ in Prague

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring,
in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

–From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.  Available from Palestine Online Store.
(“Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s Baghdad Home Destroyed; 
The End of an Era?”)

“. . . made of two threads from the sacks of relief flour . . .” (Khaled Abdallah)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| OCHA:  ‘ISRAELI  FORCES,  SETTLERS’  RAIDS  INTO  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOLS  INCREASED’ 
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory confirmed, that since the beginning of 2018 there has been a significant increase in incidents involving the entry of Israeli forces and settlers into Palestinian schools.    ___In OCHA’s biweekly Protection of Civilians Report covering the period from 6th to 19th of November, it said that in the West Bank, 63 Palestinian children and nine adults were injured by Israeli forces during four separate raids into schools, one of which also involved Israeli settlers.   More . . .
. . . . Background  [. . . .] ISRAEL signed the Geneva Conventions on 6 July 1951, and the Additional Protocol III (relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem, 2005) on 22 November 2007. Moreover, it became SIGNATORY  TO  THE  CONVENTION  FOR  THE  RIGHTS  OF  THE  CHILD  (CRC) on 3 October 1991, and signed the Optional Protocol to the CRC on 18 July 2005. All 8 fundamental ILO conventions have been ratified by Israel.
. . . . Related  Over 700 road obstacles control Palestinian movement within the West Bank: OCHA
| WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (14  –  21  NOVEMBER  2018) 

  • Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) (14 – 21 November 2018)
  • Israeli Forces Killed a Fisherman in the Northern Gaza Strip
  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip
  • 113 civilians, including 25 children, 3 women, 3 journalists, and 6 paramedics were wounded. More . . .

. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians In Hebron
. . . . Related  Four Protesters Injured at Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Injure Fourteen Palestinians In Gaza
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers vandalize mosque, spray racist slogans in Beit Iksa
| HAMAS  PUBLISHES  IMAGES  OF  ‘ISRAELIS  INVOLVED  IN  GAZA  COVERT  UNIT’  
The armed wing of the Hamas group has published photos of what it says are members of an Israeli covert operations unit that infiltrated the Gaza Strip on November 11.    ___The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades posted pictures of eight alleged members of the Israeli force, including two women, on its official website, as well as pictures of two vehicles used by the force during the botched operation.    ___In a statement, the group called on Palestinians to communicate to them any information they might have regarding the persons but provided no further details on the identities of those pictured.    ___Israel’s army censor issued a statement shortly afterwards calling on the public and news media not to distribute the photos or information relating to them.  “Hamas is attempting to understand and analyse the incident. . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  How  Hamas’  rocket  barrage  affects  Israeli  defense  policy
. . . . Related  Is  Russia  full-on  supporting  Hamas?
. . . . Related  Unease  and  apprehension  lie  over  Gaza  following  Israeli  truce

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
GAZA  (YASSER  ARAFAT)  INTERNATIONAL  AIRPORT:  20  YEARS  LATER  
By Zakaria al-Madhoun
On this day, 20 years ago, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat inaugurated Gaza International Airport in Rafah, the most southern point in the Gaza Strip.     ___That day was not like any other day, recalled Mohammad el-Baz, who covered the event live for Palestine TV. “Inaugurating the airport was not a normal development for the Palestinian people and leadership represented by Yasser Arafat.”    ___Gaza International Airport, also called Yasser Arafat Airport, had one runway 3080 meters long and 60 meters wide. Construction on the airport started in January 1996 when Arafat laid the foundation stone for the airport.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“MINT,”  BY  KHALED  ABDALLAH
I walk barefoot into my mother’s talk,
the dusty square, the garden chair, the dancer’s kerchief, the wind,
eyes from windows opposite, a moon dangled between two palm
fronds and another moon at the window.
The dancer has a bird’s fluttering heart that no chest can contain.
A jug sprinkles water to settle the dust.
The flute’s lip is wet with its player’s saliva. Like children’s saliva
on the throat of a balloon. This time your heart’s demons will keep it
like the color of your first school uniform. But if the accordion went mad
the women who believe in luck will say this boy is jinxed.
They would prepare a necklace for him made of two threads from the sacks
of relief flour and the bones of extinct animals and yellow
fangs. I return barefoot to mother’s talk. “Another moon at the window”
“Build some corners in your heart, my love, and hide your mint
plants among them.”

—Translated by Khaled Mattawa
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

 

 

“. . . I have recognized my griefs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . . 

AL-ARAQIB  REFUSES  TO  SURRENDER  AFTER  133RD  DEMOLITION
Israeli military bulldozers demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for the 133rd time, on Thursday.   ___Despite continuous demolitions of the village by the Israeli authorities, residents insist on rebuilding their homes each time they are demolished to the ground.   ___Al-Araqib was demolished for the 132nd time on August 16th; Israeli forces had detained Sheikh of the village, Sayyah al-Turi, and his son Aziz, alongside another resident identified as Salim Abu Ashraf under the pretext of obstructing the work of Israeli authorities and attempting to prevent the demolition.   More . . .

ILLITERACY  RATE  IN  PALESTINE  AMONG  THE  LOWEST  IN  THE  WORLD  –  [UNESCO]  STATISTICS  BUREAU
Marking International Literacy Day, which coincides on September 8 of every year, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published on Thursday on illiteracy rate in Palestine that it is one of the lowest in the world and stood at 3.3% in 2017 among persons 15 years of age and above compared to 24.8% in the Arab states and 13.8% in the world in 2016 for the same age group.   ___It said that the illiteracy rate in 2017 was 3.3% (7,898 illiterate) in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip refugee camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is currently facing a severe financial crisis after the United States has stopped all of its contributions to the humanitarian agency that may affect its educational program for tens of thousands of Palestinian refugee students, compared to 3.1% (67,324 illiterate) in urban areas and 4.8% (20,228 illiterate) in rural localities.   More . . .

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ABDUCT  SEVEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK 
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, seven Palestinians in several parts of the occupied West Bank.   ___The Bethlehem office PPS said the soldiers abducted three Palestinians, identified as Ziad Naim al-Masri, Zeid Ahmad Sheikh and Bassel Mizhir, in Deheishe refugee camp and Marah Rabah village, and shot a young man.   ___During the invasion into Marah Rabah, the soldiers searched the home of Ahmad Sheikh Qassem, who is held by Israel, and summoned his wife for interrogation.    More . . .
ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FISHING  BOATS  IN  GAZA  More . . .
VIDEO:  AWAD  RAJABI  ..  TORTURE  INSIDE  ROOM  4   More . . .
IOF  CLOSES  WATER  LINES  FEEDING  SCHOOL  IN  NABLUS      More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ISRAEL’S  LACK  OF  REMORSE
Mohamed Mohamed   
In an interview with a right-wing Israeli newspaper, Elor Azaria, said he had “no remorse whatsoever” for killing an incapacitated Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 2016.   ___After an alleged stabbing attack against Israeli occupying soldiers, the young Palestinian man, Abd al Fattah Al-Sharif, had already been shot and was seriously wounded. He was lying motionless on the ground, surrounded by many Israeli soldiers. In the video of the murder documented by the Human Rights Defenders in Hebron and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem (warning: many viewers may find this video and the others below, to be disturbing), two other soldiers were closer to the wounded man, and it is clear they did not see him as a threat anymore.   ___Out of nowhere, Azaria cocks his weapon, aims at Al-Sharif, and fires one round into his head. . .    More . . .
Background . . . ELOR  AZARIA  .  .  .  SET  FREE  AFTER  NINE  MONTHS

PLO:  ‘DEMOLITION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  BLATANT  ETHNIC  CLEANSING’    Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said that the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, is “blatant ethnic cleansing.”   ___The Israeli High Court had rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal against the demolition of the village and ruled for its evacuation and for demolition to take place within the next seven days.   ___Ashrawi said in a statement “the inhumane and immoral decision by Israel’s High Court of Justice to green light the destruction of the village of Khan al-Ahmar located near occupied Jerusalem reveals Israel’s intent to erase and eradicate the Palestinian presence and continuity on the land.”  ___She added that “this is blatant ethnic cleansing and constitutes a cause for serious alarm.”   More . . .

ISRAEL  TO  SELL  FREEDOM  FLOTILLA  BOATS  TO  SUPPORT  SETTLERS
Israel plans to sell four boats seized while sailing towards the besieged Gaza Strip and distribute the funds among two settlers families.   ___Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported yesterday that the move came in response to the Israeli Central Court’s decision following a request filed by the families.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . . 

Dandanat Dance & Music Festival
Presented by DAR AL-KALIMA University College of Arts & Culture, Bethlehem
With ‎‎‎Dar Annadwa Icb, ‎Diyar Consortium مجموعة ديار‎‎, Studieförbundet Bilda, Beit Jala Municipality, Al-Jisser‎ and Beit Jala International Festival for Peace 2018‎.

“TO  THE  READER,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Black tulips in my heart,
flames on my lips:
from which forest did you come to me,
all you crosses of anger?
I have recognized my griefs
and embraced wandering and hunger.
Anger lives in my hands,
anger lives in my mouth
and in the blood of my arteries swims anger.

O reader,
don’t expect whispers from me,
or words of ecstasy;
this is my suffering!
A foolish blow in the sand
and another in the clouds.
Anger is all I am –
anger, the tinder
of fire.

– – From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988

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“. . . because love and peace are holy and are coming to town . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ ICC to open full-blown investigation in settlements, 2014 Gaza war

  • Background:  Palestine in The Hague: justice, geopolitics, and the International Criminal Court.” Global Governance.

❷ Abbas instructs Washington delegate to intensify work in US
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Erekat: No negotiations until Jerusalem decision is dropped
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Minister Abu Shahla meets UNRWA operations chief in Gaza
❸ Israel detains 19 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli navy detains five Gaza fishermen, seizes their boats
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ICC  TO  OPEN  FULL-BLOWN  INVESTIGATION  IN  SETTLEMENTS,  2014  GAZA  WAR
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 9, 2018 ―  The International Criminal Court in The Hague is planning on investigating Israeli leaders over Israeli settlement expansion in Jerusalem and West Bank, as well as the 2014 aggression on Gaza titled ‘Operation Protective Edge.’
___According to a report by Channel 10 Monday evening, the Israeli National Security Council warned Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the international court is planning on opening an investigation later this year into the 2014 war with Hamas, as well settlements in the West Bank.
___Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, have opened cursory examinations in both matters . . .    MORE . . .    ..

Note: Article gives detailed background information about the ICC’s decision.

Bosco, David.
“PALESTINE  IN  THE  HAGUE:  JUSTICE,  GEOPOLITICS,  AND  THE  INTERNATIONAL  CRIMINAL  COURT.”
GLOBAL GOVERNANCE, vol. 22, no. 1, Jan-Mar2016, pp. 155-171. On 1 April 2015, Palestine joined the international criminal court. The 123rd ICC member state, Palestine immediately became its most controversial. Israel’s Foreign Ministry described its accession as a “political, hypocritical, and cynical maneuver.” The United States expressed regret about the court’s involvement, calling any ICC scrutiny of Israel a “tragic irony.” For their part, Palestinian officials insisted that they seek “justice, not vengeance,” and major human rights groups hailed the move as a step toward potential accountability for all parties.
[. . . .] Palestine did not appear on the court’s docket until early 2009. The catalyst was Israel’s 2008−2009 campaign in the Gaza Strip, dubbed Operation Cast Lead. Designed to reduce Hamas’s ability to launch rockets and artillery at Israel, the action resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, including many civilians. Palestinian officials and some outside observers argued that Israeli forces had committed war crimes. In January 2009, Palestine’s justice minister flew to The Hague and sought an ICC investigation.
[. . . .] The conflict in Gaza that lasted most of July and August 2014 will be a priority for the prosecutor. By providing retroactive jurisdiction, Palestine has allowed the court to consider all events on Palestinian territory after the outbreak of major fighting . . . . The prosecutor will likely focus on several categories of possible crimes by Palestinians and Israelis.
[. . . .] For all the attention paid to the fighting in Gaza, the most dangerous issue for Israeli officials lies elsewhere. Israel’s policy of supporting settlements in the occupied West Bank could place senior Israeli officials in greater legal jeopardy than its conduct in Gaza. Israel’s settlements in territory occupied during the 1967 war have been widely described as illegal, including by the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice. A commission of inquiry appointed by the UN Human Rights Council described settlements as potential war crimes.
[. . . .] Yet international courts have not directly addressed the issue of criminal responsibility for these policies. The Rome Statute lists as a war crime “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The ICC’s preliminary examination will likely be the first international judicial inquiry into whether the Israeli promotion of settlements in the Occupied Territories meets this definition [. . . .]  SOURCE . . . 

❷ ABBAS  INSTRUCTS  WASHINGTON  DELEGATE  TO  INTENSIFY  WORK  IN  US
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Jan. 9, 2018 ― President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday gave clear instructions to the Palestinian diplomatic delegation to Washington to intensify work in the United State to influence public opinion and increase awareness of the Palestinian cause, chief Palestinian delegate Hussam Zomlot said on Monday.
___He said in a statement, after meeting heads of Palestinian and Arab organizations in Washington, that Abbas stressed the importance of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) general delegation to the US in intensifying efforts with all representatives of the American people and influence public opinion by collaborating with the Palestinian community, the Arab, Islamic and Christian institutions, solidarity groups and civil society organizations in the US.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  EREKAT:  NO  NEGOTIATIONS  UNTIL  JERUSALEM  DECISION  IS  DROPPED
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the PLO  Executive Committee, Dr. Saeb Erekat, said that the continued American attempts to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations  are unacceptable to the Palestinian leadership, unless the decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is dropped.
___“The Palestinian leadership will not accept any offers for negotiations unless the American decision on Jerusalem is dropped,” Erakat told the official Voice of Palestine radio station on Tuesday.
___Erekat said that US President, Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel dictated removing Jerusalem from any negotiations.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  MINISTER  ABU  SHAHLA  MEETS  UNRWA  OPERATIONS  CHIEF  IN  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 8, 2018 ― Palestinian labor minister Ma’moun Abu Shahla on Monday met with director of UNRWA operations  Matthias Schmale at the headquarters of the ministry in the Gaza Strip and discussed with him the US decision to freeze funding for the agency.
___Abu Shahla discussed the impacts of the US decision on the UNRWA’s operations and the need for taking serious action by the UN against such US threat.     MORE . . . 
❸ ISRAEL  DETAINS  19  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  A  14-YEAR-OLD  BOY           Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Israeli forces detained on Tuesday 19 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, during wide-scale raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
[. . . .] According to a statistic by Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, the total number of Palestinian political prisoners is 6154, with 453 of them held in administrative detention without charge, 311 minors and 59 women.   MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  NAVY  DETAINS  FIVE  GAZA  FISHERMEN,  SEIZES  THEIR  BOATS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Israeli navy detained on Tuesday five Gaza fishermen and confiscated two fishing boats in al-Sudaniya area, northwest of the Gaza Strip, WAFA correspondent said.
___He said that the Israeli navy opened fire at the fishermen and their boats as they were sailing four nautical miles in the sea of al-Sudaniya area . . .    MORE . . . 

“IN  JERUSALEM,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.

From Darwish, Mahmoud. The Butterfly’s Burden. Trans. Fady Joudah. Copper Canyon Press, 2008. Available.
About Mahmoud Darwish.

“. . . Prison did not turn him into a desert . . .” (Ahmed Dahbour)

❶ PSCC: Smear campaign targeting popular struggle activists

  • Background: “Conceptualising and Theorising Antisemitism and Racism: The Structural Context of Israel-Palestine.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Israeli forces suppress Friday rallies over Jerusalem recognition
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain former Palestinian prisoner during raid on Hebron-area town
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces open fire at fishermen, detain 2 in northern Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) Israeli forces detain four Palestinians from West Bank
❸ Israeli interrogation tactics lead to false confessions, Israeli court says
❹ POETRY by Ahmed  Dahbour
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PSCC:  SMEAR  CAMPAIGN  TARGETING  POPULAR  STRUGGLE  ACTIVISTS        Palestine News Network – PNN   
Dec. 29, 2017 ― The Israeli occupation has been escalating its systematic intimidation of Palestinians since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on the 6th of December 2017, The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said in  a statement.
___Since Trump’s statement, 15 Palestinians were killed, including disabled Gaza activist Ibrahim Abu Thoria. Moreover, Israeli Forces continue to escalate their wave of arrests.
___As of Wednesday morning, the coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, Munther Amira, 48, has been arrested by the Israeli occupation forces while participating in a demonstration at the northern entrance of Bethlehem city.
___Munther is currently facing charges of incitement and he is still under investigation. However, Munther is not the the only case. In the last few days, more than 8 activists have been arrested from Aida Refugee camp, and another 6 from the village of Bilin.   MORE . . .  

Shaw, Martin.
“CONCEPTUALISING  AND  THEORISING  ANTISEMITISM  AND  RACISM:  THE  STRUCTURAL  CONTEXT  OF  ISRAEL-PALESTINE.”
JOURNAL OF HOLY LAND & PALESTINE STUDIES, vol. 14, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 149-164.
[. . . .] From its beginnings, Zionism shared common European assumptions about the inferiority of non-European peoples, and often portrayed Palestinian Arabs in classically racist terms . . .  the project of colonisation set up a structural conflict, in which . . .  racism was fostered. After 1948, this was reinforced by the process of dispossessing Palestinians, and the continuing conflict which this set up. While Palestinians inside Israel became citizens, they were manifestly second-class, since they were not members of the ‘Jewish nation’ to whom the state belonged. Palestinians outside Israel were perceived as more dangerous for Israel, with their responses to dispossession seen as a source of violent threats. In this context, the potential for racism could be said to have become structural for Israeli Jews . . .
___On the Palestinian side, too, a structural potential for racist characterisations of Jews was created. Israel had expelled or oppressed all Palestinians, in different ways, in the name of ‘the Jewish nation’. Nearly all Jews whom most Palestinians encountered were involved in and benefited from relations of oppression and exploitation towards them. The Jewish state encouraged a homogenous view of ‘Jews’ and ‘Israel’: it is not surprising that some Palestinians also identified the two, extending hostility from the state to Jews as such, even if many Palestinians and organised currents in Palestinian life have always recognised a distinction. This ‘subaltern’ anti-Jewish sentiment may be called ‘antisemitism’, and sometimes borrowed anti-Jewish stereotypes from classical repertoires, but its causes were the structural situation in which Palestinians found themselves.
[. . . .] . . . new manifestations of antisemitism in Europe are misunderstood if they are presented as separate not just from Israel’s violence in 2014, but from the wider pattern of racism which that violence stimulated. Yet no official or academic study of this antisemitism has simultaneously problematised the anti-Palestinian racism which has been produced in Israel, despite the fact that this has been on a much larger scale and has had much more serious consequences than the expressions of antisemitism in Europe. [. . . .] Even the most sophisticated academic attempts to assimilate antisemitism to the larger field of racism have raised only one side of the significance of Israel for racism, namely the ‘new antisemitism’ involved in some opposition to Israel. They have neglected the larger complex of racism of which contemporary antisemitism is a part . . .  an adequate conceptualisation of antisemitism as racism will lead us to examine the general field of racism in and surrounding the structural context of Israel- Palestine. Such an examination should explore the relationship between antisemitism in Europe . . .  and the more extensive and deepening anti-Palestinian racism in Israel-Palestine . . .  SOURCE . . . 

ISRAELI  FORCES  SUPPRESS  FRIDAY  RALLIES  OVER  JERUSALEM  RECOGNITION 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces Friday afternoon violently suppressed Palestinian rallies that continued to rock the occupied territories for the fourth consecutive Friday in protest of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Israeli forces cracked down on several rallies in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, injuring three Palestinians.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  FORMER  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  DURING  RAID  ON  HEBRON-AREA  TOWN  
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained a former Palestinian prisoner and fired tear gas at locals during a raid early Friday morning into the Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the town early Friday morning and searched several homes in the town. . .   Soldiers allegedly ransacked homes and broke the glass of doors and windows during the raid.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  FISHERMEN,  DETAIN  2  IN  NORTHERN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 28, 2017 ― Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning.
___Locals said that Israeli naval ships chased down fishing boats off the coast of northern Gaza and opened fire at them. No injuries were reported.
___Israeli naval forces detained two fishermen . . .   the boats of the fishermen were confiscated.
___The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the so-called ‘buffer zone’, as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.   MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴄ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces Friday detained four Palestinians in multiple predawn raids across the West Bank, said security sources and an activist . . . Faqqua village, northeast of Jenin . . .  Fandaqumiya village, northwest of Jenin . . . Qalqiliya city . . .  Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron.    MORE . . . 
❸ ISRAELI  INTERROGATION  TACTICS  LEAD  TO  FALSE  CONFESSIONS,  ISRAELI  COURT  SAYS  
Days of Palestine
Dec. 29, 2017 ―  An Israel judge ripped into the Shin Bet, an Israeli intelligence service, for its interrogation tactics, saying they could lead people to confess crimes they did not commit.
___The panel of Be’er Sheva District Court judges has issued the opinion blasting the security service as part of a ruling explaining their acquittal last month of Khalil Nimri, a Palestinian accused of terrorism.
___Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that the court found that Nimri, who had been charged with planning an attack on Eilat hotel, had confessed under interrogation to acts that it was doubtful that he committed.
___”The Shin Bet needs to take a good look at itself so that interrogation techniques, which do indeed sometimes uncover dangerous acts of terrorism, aren’t also liable to induce innocent people to admit to acts that they did not commit,” the judges wrote.    MORE . . .

“THE  PRISON,”  BY  AHMAD  DAHBUR 
(To Abu Faris. . . who has been there)

Prison teaches that the heart is a desert,
That light is a desert.
It curses the fire and the land of the commandos.
Prison teaches that water is a chameleon,
That the landscape is a snake,
That echo is treacherous, and the wind an enemy.
Prison teaches that the guide’s sight grows dim,
And that the homeland departs.
Prison is a black kingdom in the sand;
Prison is a sword guarding the eyelids;
Prison . . . not the homeland!
So how, my beloved homeland, will the beloved ones survive?

Here we are, no complaints and no regrets,
We never say: an aimless wandering!
Blood gushes forth from the depths of our love.
Prison assaults but does not hit the mark;
Our wounds hit back,
Reaching out like water . . . like the wilderness,
Promising the light with a new light.
From deep within us, signaling twice!
Our cub child,
And the fire of salvation.
We see it, yes we do.
We are not dreaming,
We almost step into his joyous landscape
We almost do.
This is the moment of travail in our difficult labor,
We hug the newborn―
He who springs from our very ecstasy,
Whose kicks we feel in our guts,
Who teaches the hungry what he knows
And declares in words well understood:
Revolution, revolution . . . till life.

The inmate has not lost his features in the sand,
Prison did not turn him into a desert.
From his hunger, water and vegetation sprang.
When silence wounds him,
He can break it with a sigh,
But he endures.
His testimony:
Near death, there were exhaustion and fatigue,
His executioner pressing him to promise
A word . . . a groan, or to divulge his secret,
But all in vain.
His countenance was radiating in the sand
Like an oasis,
For prison had not turned him into a desert.

About Ahmad Dahbur. And here.
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY.  Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store. 

“. . . buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

6f7de8c92380ec76f78bf24ae11d1854❶ Balfour and Britain’s broken promise
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ugly Truths Behind Balfour and Beersheba
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestine FM responds to Theresa May’s pride in Balfour Declaration

  • Background: “National Narratives and the Oslo Peace Process: How Peacebuilding Paradigms Address Conflicts over History.” Nations & Nationalism.

❷ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fishermen, raze lands in Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Video: Israeli settlers attack Palestinians harvesting olives near Nablus
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BALFOUR  AND  BRITAIN’S  BROKEN  PROMISE 
Mondoweiss     
Tim Llewellyn
Oct. 26, 2017 ― If the British Conservative Government of Teresa May represented the views of the people of Britain rather than the preferences of the state of Israel on the disastrous outcome for the Palestinian Arabs of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, she would not be planning to celebrate this 100th anniversary with Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister.
[. . . .] As it is, her November 2 tete a tete with Mr. Netanyahu, Lord Rothschild and Lord Balfour, a descendant of Arthur J. Balfour who had no direct descendants, and a subsequent November 9, rally organized by Christian Zionists at the cavernous Albert Hall, in London’s Hyde Park, which Britain’s leader and Zionist and Israeli notables will also attend, are being pre-empted and countered by a host of events throughout the British Isles. These are not only highly critical of Britain’s disastrous legacy in its former Mandated Territory, but urge it to recognize Palestine as a state and work practically to grant the Palestinian Arabs their freedom and self-determination.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) UGLY  TRUTHS  BEHIND  BALFOUR  AND  BEERSHEBA
The Palestinian Information Center
Oct. 27, 2017 ― Within a month two events will be celebrated that have a left a deep imprint on the ‘western’ consciousness. The most significant is the Balfour Declaration, a piece of paper whose destructive consequences the people of the Middle East have had to live with every day since it was signed on November 2, 1917.
[. . . .] [Lord Balfour, Foreign Secretary of England] regarded the rights and aspirations of the ‘Arabs’ as inconsequential compared to those of the Jews. More than 90 per cent of the population of Palestine in 1917, the Palestinian Arabs, Muslim and Christian, were described in his declaration as ‘existing non-Jewish communities.’
[. . . .] The Palestine Balfour wanted to turn into a Jewish ‘national home’ had a Palestinian population of about 600,000 and a Jewish population, composed mostly of recently arrived European settlers, of eight to ten per cent of that number.
[. . . .] On October 31, two days before Balfour issued his pernicious declaration, Australian cavalrymen had broken through Ottoman defences at Beersheba (Bir Saba’) . . . The centenary will be celebrated this year by visiting contingents of Australians and New Zealanders.   MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ)  PALESTINE  FM  RESPONDS  TO  THERESA  MAY’S  PRIDE  IN  BALFOUR  DECLARATION
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Oct. 26, 2017 ― Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Riyad al-Malki on Thursday said that The Palestinian side is following with great caution and deep concern the statements of British Prime Minister Teresa Mae, in which she declared her country’s pride in the establishment of the Israeli occupying state, and its insistence on commemorating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.
___Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday that the British official’s position reflected the British government’s persistence and indifference to the crime committed 100 years ago, and reflects a challenge by Britain to Palestine and the international community.     MORE . . .

Khoury, Nadim.
“NATIONAL NARRATIVES AND THE OSLO PEACE PROCESS: HOW PEACEBUILDING PARADIGMS ADDRESS CONFLICTS OVER HISTORY.”
Nations & Nationalism,
vol. 22, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 465-483.
(Nadim Khoury―Department of Philosophy, University of Tromsø―The Arctic University of Norway)
This article focuses on the effects of the Oslo Peace Process on the Israeli and Palestinian national narratives. It is widely acknowledged that history represents a barrier to long-term peace between Israelis and Palestinians. . . .  Given the danger these national narratives pose, one would expect that the architects of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process would have paid close attention to them. If they are part of the problem, then they should be part of the solution. Scholars argue, however, that the agreements that make up the Israeli–Palestinian peace process have largely ignored the matter. And indeed, there was no mention of narratives in the 1993 Declaration of Principles.
[. . . .] The Palestinian master narrative is structured as the opposite of the Zionist one. Rather than ethnic and religious continuity, however, it is a story of continuous presence on the land. Palestinians are and have always been the inhabitants of historical Palestine. The Palestinian narrative strongly emphasizes the period starting with the Arab conquest, but it encompasses many other historical layers that include the Canaanites, the Philistines, and even the Israelites. British imperialism and Zionism disrupted this continuity, first in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, and then in 1948 with the creation of the state of Israel. The latter is commemorated as the Nakba . . . [which] operates as a founding moment in the Palestinian national story, followed by the Naksa, ‘the setback’ of the 1967 war that caused more displacement and the loss of all of historical Palestine . . .
___While both [Palestinian and Israeli] narratives appear as opposite mirror images, the conflict over narratives that divide Israelis and Palestinians are not symmetrical and should not be examined as such. History, as the saying goes, is written by the victor, and since 1948, Israel has been the victor. As a result, it established its narrative at the expense of the Palestinian narrative, by, for example, physically destroying, repopulating, and renaming many Palestinian towns or outlawing Palestinian commemorative practices. This asymmetry is reinforced by the fact that, for decades, the Palestinians lacked the proper institutions (state, museums, and archives) to promote their narrative. This situation changed when Palestinians were given an official right to narrate their story with the Oslo Peace Process. As this article will show, however, this did not address the asymmetry between the two parties.    SOURCE.

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  ON  PALESTINIAN  FISHERMEN,  RAZE  LANDS  IN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 27, 2017 ― Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fisherman off the coast of northern Gaza on Friday, while several Israeli bulldozers entered into the southern part of the coastal enclave and razed lands in the area.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers entered the “buffer zone” inside the Gaza border fence with Israel, and leveled lands in eastern Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip.
___Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. No injuries were reported.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) VIDEO:  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  HARVESTING  OLIVES  NEAR  NABLUS
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 26, 2017 ―  Israeli settlers reportedly attacked Palestinians who were harvesting olives in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, injuring three Palestinians, including one woman.
___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Itamar settlement assaulted Palestinians picking olives in the Ras Hazem area in Deir al-Hatab village.
___Daghlas added that Israeli settlers threw rocks and sharp objects and physically assaulted the Palestinians as they were working on their land.   MORE . . .

“THE  WANDERING  REED,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Of what benefit is it, if man were to gain the whole world
But lose the green almond in his father’s orchard?
Of what benefit is it, if man
Were to drink coffee in Paris
But none in his mother’s house?
Of what benefit is it, if man were to tour the whole world
But lose the flowers on the hills of his native land?
He gains nothing but deadly silence
Within the hearts of the living.

You look through the mirror of lands not your own
And see your exiled face;
You recognize your face
Despite the deadly dust of travel
From Jaffa, to Lydda, to Haifa,
Through the Mediterranean to exile;
You recognize your face
And try to deny that face!
Your worship your own face
Even though exile has obliterated its features;
The hangman of the twentieth century assumes the countenance
Of the eternal face!
You close your eyes
To worship your face in the darkness of this century.
You deny . . . you worship,
You deny . . . you worship,
And the God of truth cries to your face:
“He who denies his face
Is renounced by all the birds of paradise in this universe,
And those whom silence has turned mute
Will never be heard by the roses of the field
He who kills the nightingale of his dreams
Will be buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living.”
You open your eyes
And see the face of your country in the mirror of exile.

The deadly silence in the hearts of the living
Strips away the skin of your face
It cuts and dries your flesh.
Then hangs what remains on poles
Under the forgotten sun of the West.

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
Remembering Fouzi El-Asmar.

“. . . an equitable distribution of goods and resources according to pre-agreed criteria of rights. . . .” (Leila Farsakh)

gaza-fish
Israel Navy attacks Gaza Fishermen, Dec. 3, 2011 (Photo by @rosa_schiano)

❶ . Israeli forces open fire at Gaza fisherman, detain two, confiscate boats
❷ . . Under BDS Pressure, G4S Ends Most Illegal Business with Israel
. . . ❷― (a) Poll shows growing support among Americans for sanctions against Israel

  • Background: “Economic Prospects For A One-State Solution In Palestine-Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal

❸ . Opinion/Analysis:  Economic collapse in East Jerusalem: strategies for recovery             ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  GAZA  FISHERMAN,  DETAIN  TWO,  CONFISCATE  BOATS  
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 4, 2016
Israeli forces on Sunday at dawn opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the Gaza Strip, according to witnesses.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces opened fire at the fishing boats while at sea in both the northern and southern Gaza Strip.
___No injuries were reported.
___Shortly after the fisherman were shot at, Israeli naval forces detained two fishermen and confiscated their boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. . .    More . . .

g4s_3
Subvertising campaign at King’s Cross, London (Photo: Global Exchange, international human rights organization)

❷ . UNDER  BDS  PRESSURE,  G4S  ENDS  MOST  ILLEGAL  BUSINESS  WITH  ISRAEL       International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC   
Dec. 3, 2016
The world’s largest security company,  G4S,  announced today that it is selling most of its Israeli business after an effective campaign against the company, waged by the Palestinian-led, global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, caused it “reputational damage.”
___. . .  Rafeef Ziadah, speaking for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), said:   “We have succeeded to push one of the world’s largest corporations into selling its key business in Israel. Our globally coordinated campaign has had a real impact. We will continue campaigning until G4S ends all involvement in violations of Palestinian human rights.”     More . . .  
. . . ❷― (A) POLL  SHOWS  GROWING  SUPPORT  AMONG  AMERICANS  FOR  SANCTIONS  AGAINST  ISRAEL   
Times of Israel
Dec. 2, 2016
The number of Americans supporting sanctions against Israel over its settlement policy grew by 9 percent over the past year and now stands at 46%, according to a new poll released by the Brookings Institution on Friday.
___According to twin surveys conducted by the think tank’s Shibley Telhami before and after the November 8 presidential elections, support for punitive measures against Israel has increased among members of both major parties: 60% of Democrats and 31% of Republicans back economic sanctions and more serious action, compared to 49% and 26% in November 2015.   More . . .

  • Farsakh, Leila. “Economic Prospects For A One-State Solution In Palestine-Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press) 12.2 (2013): 119-140.    SOURCE.

[. . . .]  Although the concept of economic justice can be nebulous, it is generally understood to mean an equitable distribution of goods and resources according to pre-agreed criteria of rights. However, to talk about the notion of economic justice in the Israeli-Palestinian context is particularly difficult, given that we do not have clear criteria on which to base our discussion of economic rights for two peoples fighting over the same piece of land: are we talking about nations or about citizens, about resources confiscated or owned, about consumer or producers, workers or owners? It is all the more challenging given the difficulty of defining the boundaries and content of each of the Palestinian and Israeli economies. The two-state solution . . . is problematic as it violates national boundaries and obfuscates how facts on the ground have eroded [Palestinian] economic and political validity.
[. . . .] The question of economic separation or integration is . . .  intrinsically tied to the nature of the political, sic territorial, solution proposed to the conflict.
[. . . .] Shimon Perez argued that the Oslo peace process ushered a ‘New Middle East’ that would allow the free flow of capital and labour and thereby cause standards of living to rise and violence to fall. However 20 years of the peace process did not bring economic viability or justice to both parties. It rather enabled Israel to grow economically more prosperous and independent of the Palestinians while rendering the latter poorer and aid dependent.
___The contrast between Israeli and Palestinian economic performance under the Oslo peace process could not be more revealing.

❸ .  Opinion/Analysis:  ECONOMIC  COLLAPSE  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM:  STRATEGIES  FOR  RECOVERY 
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
by Nur Arafeh
Nov. 30, 2016
Overview     In an unusual move, and after years of neglect, American and European delegations and development agencies have recently been visiting East Jerusalem and showing an increased interest in “doing something” about its deteriorating socioeconomic conditions. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is, after a prolonged silence, working on updating the Strategic Multi-Sector Development Plan for East Jerusalem 2011-2013.     ___There are fears that the election of Donald Trump might put a damper on these welcome and long overdue initiatives. It is also problematic that these delegations focus on economic development when the reality is that real economic development is not possible without progress on the political front to free the Occupied Palestinian Territory and fulfill Palestinian rights in the context of a just and comprehensive peace.     ___This brief by Al-Shabaka Policy Fellow Nur Arafeh focuses on Israel’s deliberately engineered economic collapse of East Jerusalem, which renders the city essentially unlivable for Palestinians so as to ensure Jewish control over it.      More . . .  

 

“. . . These policies fall under what is referred to as ‘cleaning the area of its inhabitants’ . . .” (Khalil Tofakji)

outpost
The new illegal outpost being constructed in the northern Jordan Valley on privately owned Palestinian land, Nov. 4, 2016. (Photo: Amira Hass, Haaretz)

❶ Colonizers Build New Illegal Settlement in Jordan Valley

  • Background:    “Settlements And Ethnic Cleansing In The Jordan Valley.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces close several checkpoints, village entrances across Ramallah district
❸ Gaza: Fishing Zone Expansion Postponed for 3rd Time
. . . ❸― (a) Witnesses: Israeli forces attempt to drown Gaza fishing boat with wastewater
. . . ❸― (b) Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
COLONIZERS  BUILD  NEW  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC      
Nov. 6, 2016
Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, on Sunday, said that Israeli settlers have a new community gathering near an Israeli military station in the northern part of the valley, five kilometers away from two other settlements.
___According to the newspaper, PNN reports, the settlers arrived in the area two months ago, built a “tabernacle” and left. A few days ago, they went back to the area, leveled the land and began to build, as seen by local eyewitnesses.
___Israeli authorities say that the building is illegal and does not have permits, and that construction will be halted, equipment possibly confiscated.      More . . .

  • Tofakji, Khalil. “Settlements And Ethnic Cleansing In The Jordan Valley.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 81-87.     Source.  

In recent years, the Israeli government has intensified its settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, an area viewed by the Palestinians, from an economic and natural resources perspective, as the future of the Palestinian state. Israel has demonstrated its priorities through continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the area, with significant political implications for future borders . . . .  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated this point when he declared that the area along the borders with Jordan would remain under Israeli control.
[. . . .]   The Israeli officials’ statements were followed by settlement construction activity, in parallel with the publication of a strategic report by the Israeli NGO Council for Peace and Security, an NGO established by, and composed of, retired Israeli security officials. The report addressed Israeli security needs, and the government’s claim that they require the state to retain control over the Jordan Valley territory, and . . . In this context, Miri Regev, then a Likud member of the Knesset and currently minister of culture and sport, submitted a draft proposal of a law to annex the Jordan Valley territory and to apply Israeli law on it, which was then signed by 18 Knesset members from both coalition and opposition parties.
[. . . .]  ___ In a January 3, 2013 article, Haaretz revealed that over 5064 dunums of land in the Jordan Valley, private property belonging to Palestinians, had been placed under Israeli control and that in recent years, through Israeli military policies, the percentage of the Palestinian lands utilized by settlers had increased by 110%. In 2013, 2,380 dunums of Palestinian lands were transferred to settlers in order to control water resources and facilitate the planting of palm trees and other crops.
[. . . .]   The ethnic cleansing policy took a clear turn in 2004, with the implementation of a project that was announced on January 9, 2004. “The settlers’ project” is aimed at dividing the West Bank into six areas and isolating them from each other. Israel used this project to isolate the Jordan Valley by forbidding non-residents from residing in the area without a permit and removing the Bedouins through deportation or home demolishment. These policies fall under what is referred to as “cleaning the area of its inhabitants” in order to avoid any security or political burdens on Israel in the future.

ISRAELI  FORCES  CLOSE  SEVERAL  CHECKPOINTS,  VILLAGE  ENTRANCES  ACROSS  RAMALLAH  DISTRICT
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 7, 2016     Israeli forces closed several checkpoints across the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah Monday morning, resulting in serious traffic jams and mobility impediments on morning commuters attempting to enter Ramallah city.
___Local sources and taxi drivers told Ma’an that Israeli forces closed the northern Attara checkpoint ― a major entryway to Ramallah ― preventing rush hour traffic coming from the northern West Bank from entering the administrative center of the occupied territory. ___Vehicles attempting to enter Ramallah from the area were turned around, while vehicles attempting to exit Ramallah through the checkpoint were subject to “strict inspection” before being allowed to exit.    More . . .

Qalandiya, West Bank, 25.2.2016
Palestinian laborers with work permits and commuting East Jerusalem residents, including high school students, wait to cross the Qalandiya checkpoint separating the parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah from Jerusalem in the early hours of February 25, 2016. (Activestills.org)

GAZA:  FISHING  ZONE  EXPANSION  POSTPONED  FOR  3RD  TIME  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC   
November 6, 2016
Israeli authorities postponed for the third time a planned temporary expansion of the besieged Gaza Strip’s fishing zone of Sunday, claiming that Palestinian officials had not fulfilled their commitments.
___An Israeli official said on Sunday that the temporary expansion of the northern Gaza Strip’s fishing zone would take place once Palestinian authorities in Gaza “carry out their commitments”, which include placing a ship to observe the agree to monitor any violations.
___The head of Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Yoav Mordechai, said on his official Facebook page that the expansion had been postponed until Sunday, but that “your representatives did not implement what was agreed on.”      More . . .
. . . ❸― (A) WITNESSES:  ISRAELI  FORCES  ATTEMPT  TO  DROWN  GAZA  FISHING  BOAT  WITH  WASTEWATER
Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 7, 2016
Israeli naval forces attempted to drown a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the central Gaza Strip on Monday, according to witnesses.
___Local fishermen told Ma’an that Israeli naval boats pumped wastewaters towards Mohammad Adel Abu Rayala’s fishing boat “in an attempt to drown him.”     More . . .
. . . ❸― (B) ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FISHERMEN  OFF  GAZA  COAST   
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 6, 2016
Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, according to witnesses.
___Local fishermen told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire on them while they were out at sea, off the coast of the northern town of Beit Lahiya, forcing them to sail back to shore.      More. . .

“. . . these measures were in breach of the Fourth Convention . . .” (Tony Klug)

detention
Administrative detention dates back to the pre-1948 British Mandate, when suspects were held without charge for up to six months. (File photo: Al Arabiya News, Jun. 06, 2012)

❶ Israeli forces detain younger brother of slain Palestinian policeman

  • Background. “A Never-Ending Occupation: The End Of Hope?” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces detain 6 fishermen off Gaza coast, confiscate 2 boats
❸ Releasing a child after detaining and assaulting him…extending the arrest of another
. . . ❸― (a) Teenager detained in Hebron for alleged knife possession
❹ Israeli forces detain 14 Palestinians in West Bank raids
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN YOUNGER BROTHER OF SLAIN PALESTINIAN POLICEMAN 
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 1, 2016
Israeli forces raided the Jenin-area town of Qabatiya in the northern occupied West Bank before dawn on Tuesday, where they detained the brother of the slain Palestinian police officer who committed a shooting attack that injured three Israelis on Monday.
___Ali Zakarna, spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Jenin, told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops stormed Qabatiya and ransacked the home of the Turkman family.
___After inspecting the house and questioning all family members, Israeli troops detained Muhannad Turkman, 22, whose brother Muhammad, 25, injured three Israeli soldiers after he opened fire on them at the Beit El checkpoint near the entrance of Ramallah on Monday afternoon.
___Zakarna added that dozens of young Palestinian men clashed with Israeli forces during the raid, and that forces “showered the town with tear gas and stun grenades.”  More . . . 

  • Klug, Tony. “A Never-Ending Occupation: The End Of Hope?.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 88-95.   Full article.

Occupations are meant to be temporary affairs, whereby the occupying power is effectively a custodian of the occupied territory until its final disposition is determined. When the occupation of the West Bank commenced in June 1967, almost no one seriously imagined it would still be extant half a century later. . . .
___With the recent breakdown of even the semblance of a peace process, the question today is whether the occupation will ever end, or if the future will be one of “permanent occupation” . . . .
[. . . .]  One of the principal provisions of the Fourth Convention, which regulates occupations, is that the penal laws of the occupied territory should remain in force. . . . However, a permitted exception to this provision on security grounds — provided the measures introduced did not abrogate the Convention’s other provisions gave rise to a parallel legal system in the West Bank.
[. . . .]    In August 1968, the Israeli military court in Nablus ruled that two legal systems operated in the territory, and that Israeli military law — concerned with defense and security — was not to be guided by Jordanian law, the jurisdiction of which was confined to civilian matters. In practice, military law was often to take precedence by designating the alleged offense a security matter.
[. . . .]    While Israel thus did not accept the applicability of the Fourth  Convention, its . . .   it has disregarded the provisions . . . that prohibit altering the legal status of an occupied territory’s inhabitants — to justify treating them differently from Israeli citizens.
[. . . .]  Israel’s immediate challenge on inheriting the West Bank was to quell any insurgency and restore order. . . .      Israeli military law took its authority from the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, which did not pretend to follow the system of common law or apply the rules of natural justice. These regulations . . . .  permitted administrative detention, under which a suspect deemed to be a threat to public safety or order could, in effect, through successive extensions, be detained indefinitely following a perfunctory hearing before a military court.
___Other than preventive detention, these measures were in breach of the Fourth Convention. But Israel’s principal justification was, simply, that they were effective in quelling the mounting unrest that followed the inception of occupation.
[. . . .]  Sooner or later, Israel will have to face its moment of truth: Is it or is it not an occupation? If it maintains that its rule in the West Bank is not an occupation, Israel denies itself the only solid defense it has against the intensifying charge of apartheid. If it accepts it is an occupation, then it is way beyond time to bring it to an end. [. . . .] 

ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  6  FISHERMEN  OFF  GAZA  COAST,  CONFISCATE  2  BOATS 
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 1, 2016
Israeli naval forces detained six Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, according to locals.
___Nizar Ayyash, head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces stopped two fishing boats off the coast near the northern town of Beit Lahiya, confiscated the boats, and detained the crews that were onboard.
[. . . . ]  It remained unclear for exactly what reason the boats were confiscated, and why the fishermen were detained.
___Most recently, Israeli authorities postponed on Monday a decision to expand the fishing zone off the northern Gaza coast from the current six nautical mile limit, to nine nautical miles for the duration of the month of November.        More . . . 

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Israeli undercover police arrest a 10-year old Palestinian child on October 24, 2014. (Photo: Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu/Anadolu Agency)

RELEASING A CHILD AFTER DETAINING AND ASSAULTING HIM…EXTENDING THE ARREST OF ANOTHER      
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan

Oct. 30, 2016
The occupation police released on Sunday night 10-year old Adnan Jamal Amro and extended the arrest of 13-year old Mustafa Firas Abbasi until Monday on charges of throwing stones. Clashes also broke out in the village of Esawyeh after occupation forces raided the village and were deployed in its streets.    ___Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the forces arrested Adnan Amro and Mustafa Abbasi from Silwan on suspicious of throwing stones.       More . . .
. . . ❸― (A)  TEENAGER  DETAINED  IN  HEBRON  FOR  ALLEGED  KNIFE  POSSESSION    Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 1, 2016
Israeli forces Tuesday detained a Palestinian teenager at a checkpoint near Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque for alleged knife possession, according to witnesses.
___They said soldiers manning a checkpoint outside the mosque stopped the teenager, identified as Badwan Abu Mayyala, 17, and arrested after they allegedly found a knife in her possession.
___The army claimed Abu Mayyala was planning to attack soldiers.      More . . .    

ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  14  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Nov. 1, 2016
Israeli forces Tuesday detained 14 Palestinians, including a minor and an elderly, during overnight raids across the West Bank, said Palestine Prisoner’s society.      ___Israeli forces detained five Palestinians after storming and ransacking their homes across the southern West Bank district of Hebron.
___Among the detainees were a 14-year-old minor, handcuffed after being summoned to Etzion detention and interrogation center, and a 70-year-old elderly, who reportedly suffers from diabetes and heart problems.        More . . .   

 

“… They are . . . the twenty revolutions that will eternalize this cell…” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Israeli Checkpoint. (Photo: Native News, Tumblr, 21 May 2015)

❶ Massive Israeli Settlement Plan to be implemented
❷ Israel Issues Administrative Detention Orders against 34 Palestinians
.. ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli Navy Detains Three Fishermen off Gaza
.. ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli Forces Detain 16 Palestinians from West Bank
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  WHAT  ISRAEL  CALLS  PROGRESS,  PALESTINIANS  SEE  AS  OPPRESSION
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MASSIVE  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  PLAN  TO  BE  IMPLEMENTED
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 7, 2016
Israel is reportedly planning to build over 15,000 new settlement units on the site of an unused airport between the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
___According to Press TV/Al Ray, the units are scheduled to be constructed on the site of Atarot airport, located in northern al-Quds [. . . .]
___A member of the Israeli Knesset, Nachman Shai, warned on Sunday that the expansion would draw a fresh wave of international condemnation.
___Israel’s planning committee chair Meir Turgeman, however, said he didn’t “see a problem, from a political standpoint.”       MORE…

Note: The article from which this paragraph comes is a detailed description of Israel as the last colonial power in the world by the author’s understanding of that idea.

In colonies of contested settlement in Africa and Asia, many settlers went to live in the colonized lands, but they remained a minority rejected by the natives.
___Metropoles [settlers] often assisted their settlers in various ways, particularly in colonies of contested settlement. The colonial state provided them with subsidies, loans, grants, housing, low taxes, transport, and land; it also employed them and developed their infrastructures. Settlers lived in relatively nice quarters, owned businesses, and held high paying jobs. Natives lived in wretched conditions and had few sociopolitical rights. The two societies were segregated and faced a dual system of law, one applying to settlers and the other to natives. Natives required permission from the state to engage in various daily affairs. The colonial state defended settlers, fought their wars against natives, and seized lands and resources from natives and transferred them to settlers. Having lost the main source of their livelihood, many natives had to work for the colonizers in menial and low paying jobs, and at times they were forced to do so. The land seizures were often effected behind a pseudolegal facade, declaring the state as the owner of unclaimed lands, but settlers also took the law into their own hands, seizing native lands and properties.  [. . . .]
___The Israeli case exhibits almost all of these features.

  • Reuveny, Rafael. “The Last Colonialist: Israel in the Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review 12.3 (2008): 325-374.   Full article.

❷ ISRAEL  ISSUES  ADMINISTRATIVE  DETENTION  ORDERS  AGAINST  34  PALESTINIANS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 8, 2016
Israeli authorities have issued administrative detention orders to 34 Palestinian detainees, placing them in jail without a charge or trial, Wednesday reported the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS).
___11 of the detainees received administrative detention orders for the first time, while the remaining 23 others received renewed administrative orders, the organization added.
___Administrative detention is the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence for up to six-month periods, indefinitely renewable by Israeli military courts.      MORE… 

Through motions for equal citizenship and access to its associated rights Arab citizens are repeatedly asking for recognition from the state . . . thus posing an existential threat to the state . . .  the state of Israel establishes bureaucracies of admission and expulsion in an attempt to maintain its Judaized dominance and sovereign power, and in doing so, reinforces its borders upon and against the Palestinian community. Although there are significant differences between the political, military, and legal measures employed by Israel against Palestinians within its formally recognized borders and those in . . .  the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the fundamental sovereign performance remains similar . . . human rights organizations reported trends of arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as inhumane treatment of Arab citizens in custody, reflective of the exact measures faced by those in the OPT, thus highlighting the military, political, legal, and conceptual parallels between the Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian citizens and those formally under occupation in the Palestinian territories.
___Perhaps most reflective of the paradox lived by Palestinians with Israeli citizenship is Salter’s contention of a citizen that is “always already and never fully inscribed as part of the population.” As Israeli citizens they are uprooted as non-Jews, both in the conceptual and political sense, and simultaneously defined as a threatening other to the state.

  • MOLAVI, SHOURIDEH C. “Stateless Citizenship and the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel.” Refuge 26.2 (2009): 19-28.

.. ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  NAVY  DETAINS  THREE  FISHERMEN  OFF  GAZA
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 8, 2016
Israeli navy on Wednesday detained three Palestinian fishermen while they were sailing offshore Gaza, according to local sources.
___WAFA correspondent said that several Israeli naval boats attacked with gunfire a number of fishing boats while sailing offshore the coast of Gaza, before they detained three of them. They were taken to Ashdod seaport in southern Israel.      MORE… 
.. ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  16  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 8, 2016
Israeli forces Wednesday detained 16 Palestinians, including at least a minor, mostly during overnight raids into a number of West Bank districts, said Palestine Prisoner’s Society and security sources.
___Five Palestinians were detained from Ramallah and al-Bireh districts, three others from Jenin district, another from Qalqilia, two others from Jerusalem, two others from Bethlehem and three others from Hebron.      MORE . . .  

gaza fishermen
Israeli naval forces detain two Palestinian fishermen off the Gazan coast for allegedly heading beyond the designated nine-nautical-mile fishing zone. (Photo: Truth Human Rights Research Center NGO/ April 9, 2016)

❸  Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  ISRAEL  CALLS  PROGRESS,  PALESTINIANS  SEE  AS  OPPRESSION
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Melhem
The Israeli army will make improvements at military checkpoints in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai announced May 26. But not everyone sees that as good news.
___On his Facebook page, titled “The Coordinator,” Mordechai posted in Arabic, “It has been decided to renew and improve checkpoints in the West Bank, [to] increase the number of Palestinian workers allowed to pass through to their workplaces in Israel, improve waiting conditions and adopt advanced technology at all checkpoints” [. . . .]
___But what Israel calls improvements are viewed by Palestinians as an entrenchment of the occupation.
___Fatah official spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi told Al-Monitor, “The real improvements Israel could provide for us [would be] for [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government to recognize Palestinian rights and remove every last soldier, camp and settlement from the West Bank.”       MORE . . .  

“TWENTY  COMRADES,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMA

Beloved, you ask me
Of life in this prison, this cell
what of the chains
chafing my wrists
what of my food and drink
and the comrades of my cell?

Beloved, let me tell you:
Our clouds are indeed heavy
But our being here
is a smile of spring,
The shock of thunder
in autumn, after drought.
We are not defeated
Like our jailers.

Life in this prison, this cell
is a palm tree impregnated
at the dawn.
My chains are the round
echo of a muezzin,
Their clank is the ringing
of my people’s bells.

Beloved, you ask me
of the meaning of my food
Here beloved
we grow like the wild flowers.

And what of
my comrades
in this cell? You ask
They are the twenty candles
lighting the darkness of this cell
The twenty songs
shaking the walls of this cell
The twenty revolutions
that will eternalize this cell
And we, beloved
we shall not be stopped.  (June, 1970)

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