“. . . I must be proud of you, wound of the city. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish, 1970)

Three young Palestinian protesters sit on a pavement during clashes in Bethlehem, Oct. 9, 2015. (MaanImages/Killian Redden/File) Number ❶ below.
Three young Palestinian protesters sit on a pavement during clashes in Bethlehem, Oct. 9, 2015. (MaanImages/Killian Redden/File) Number ❶ below.

❶ The anger of Palestine’s ‘lost’ generation
❷ 16-year-old Palestinian shot dead after alleged attack in Jerusalem
❸ People in Israel and around the world support #selfiesforpalestine
A ― In pictures: Closure, siege and checkpoints in the villages and neighborhoods of Jerusalem
❹ Zionism’s ‘Double Ghettoisation’
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Let’s not forget that East Jerusalem Palestinians are stateless
❻ Poetry by Mahmoud Darwish
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(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you for “following.”)
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Killian Redden
Oct. 16, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A few weeks before an Israeli soldier shot him through the stomach, Mutaz Zawahreh discovered a love of the sea.
____On the coast of Brittany, Mutaz and two friends from Duheisha refugee camp, Murad Ouda and Issa al-Saifi . . . spent two months in France as part of an educational program organized by a center in Duheisha.
____But as their visit progressed, the first signs of unrest began to show in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the three grew anxious to return home [. . . . .].
____The three returned, and several days later Ghassan ended his hunger strike when Israel agreed to release him in November. But the brothers never saw each other.
____On Oct. 13, at a demonstration before Israel’s separation wall in northern Bethlehem, Mutaz was shot dead, the 30th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in under two weeks [. . . . .].
____Issa [friend of Mutaz] acknowledged that Palestinians risking their lives to throw stones at Israel’s separation wall were unlikely to cause Israel any material damage [. . . . .].
____The protests are the cry of a Palestinian generation that has felt for too long that no one is listening to them.
More . . . 

Oct. 17, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot dead Saturday morning after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli policeman in the illegal settlement of East Talpiot in occupied East Jerusalem, police said.
____The teen reportedly attempted to stab the officer in the settlement, also known as Armon Hanatziv, according to Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld. . .
____He was identified as Muataz Ahmad Hajis Uweisat.
____The teen was killed less than two hours after FADIL QAWASMI, 18, WAS SHOT AND KILLED BY AN ISRAELI SETTLER IN HEBRON after the teen reportedly attempted to stab him.
____No Israeli injuries were reported in either incident.
More . . .
Related . . . .
Related . . . .

PEOPLE in Israel and across the globe are showing solidarity for Palestine by posting online photos of themselves with the hashtag #selfiesforpalestine
More . . .
October 16, 2015
More . . .

Jeremy Salt
Oct. 17, 2015
In the late medieval period ‘pale’ was the word used by the English to describe their colony in Ireland. They lived within the ‘pale’ (from the Latin ‘palus’), a line of settlement bounded by castles and fortresses. Beyond the pale lived the invaded and therefore dangerous Irish.
____Centuries later Jews had to live within what was called the ‘pale of settlement’ in European Russia. . . .
____With some exceptions Jews were not allowed to live outside the Russian pale of settlement. They could escape if they had the money and left in waves after each pogrom, heading for Europe, for the United States, the dream of many, and for the Zionists among them, for Palestine.
____While superiority has been ascribed historically both to those living within and beyond a pale of settlement, it is only the phrase ‘beyond the pale’ that has come to mean people whose behavior is outrageous, deplorable and intolerable. All of these words are fitting to describe the attitudes and behavior of many Israelis in recent weeks. Torrents of pure hatred have been directed by soldiers, police and civilians against Palestinians [. . . . .].
____Zionism remains a state-building ideology. Compassion is a weakness and there can be no possibility of pity for the Palestinians until they have been comprehensively and absolutely defeated. Like the indigenous people of the United States, only when the Palestinians have been reduced to an atomized ethnic minority will it be safe to admit the ‘mistakes’ of the past and acknowledge the crimes of the forefathers.
More . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
Edo Konrad
Oct. 16, 2015
The stabbing of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba and the killing of two Palestinian demonstrators in demonstrations held in Gaza and the West Bank were just the latest events in the downward spiral of violence across Israel/Palestine.
____Earlier this week, Haaretz published two different op-eds claiming that that very violence is both the result and the harbinger of the “bi-national state” Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly warned against, yet has done very little to avoid [. . . . .].
____The problem with Shavit and Barak’s arguments isn’t that they prefer a two-state solution over a bi-national state, but that they pretend as if the two-state solution were ever actually implemented in the first place.
____There is no better time to hammer home the fact: Palestinians in East Jerusalem are a stateless people. This has been the case since June 7, 1967, when East Jerusalem was captured by the Israeli army.
More . . .
Related . . .

Be that as it may,
I must reject death,
And dry the tears of sentimental songs,
And rid the olive trees
Of all the false branches.
For if I sing the song of joy
Behind the lids of frightened eyes,
It is because the Storm
Has swept the standing trees
Of all the dull sparrows
And false branches.
Be that as it may,
I must be proud of you, wound of the city,
You are a light in our sad nights.
As the streets frown in my face,
You shield me from the shade and looks of hatred.
I will sing the song of joy,
Behind lids of apprehensive eyes,
For in my country, the Storm has blown,
Promising wine and rainbows.

“**Al-Assifa, the Storm, is the military arm of Fatah. Punning is a favorite figure of Arab poets, ancient and modern.”
From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
Interview with Mahmoud Darwish

The village of Al-Tur has several schools including a special needs school as well as AUGUSTA VICTORIA AND AL-MAQASED HOSPITALS. It is noteworthy that 33 thousand people live in the village of Al-Tur. (Photo Silwanic.net)
The village of Al-Tur has several schools including a special needs school as well as AUGUSTA VICTORIA and AL-MAQASED HOSPITALS. It is noteworthy that 33 thousand people live in the village of Al-Tur. (Photo Silwanic.net)

Special post: “When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter. . .” (W. H. Auden)

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senate Minority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) (R) prior to a meeting at the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senate Minority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) (R) prior to a meeting at the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.
(repost of entire article)
James North and Philip Weiss
April 16, 2015

The New York Times has a piece up titled “Iran Assails U.S. Plan for a Vote in Congress,” saying that the Senate’s interference in the Iran negotiations is already having a negative effect, just as the National Iranian American Council warned us that it would.

We faulted the Times yesterday for leaving the Israel angle out of the Congressional deliberations, but today it touches on that question. The last three paragraphs of the story quote an Israeli minister, Yuval Steinitz, saying that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu effected the the bill that was passed unanimously by Senate Foreign Relations on Tuesday, granting Congress time to review the deal, by giving that speech to Congress on March 3:

In Israel, officials welcomed the compromise reached in Washington, with Yuval Steinitz, the minister of intelligence and strategic affairs, describing the congressional move as “an achievement for Israeli policy.”

He credited the March 3 speech in Congress by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “decisive” in developing the bill, which Mr. Steinitz called “a very important element in preventing a bad deal.”

And yet the Times also gives credence to the Senators’ reservations about the deal:

Republicans and some Democrats in Congress, highly suspicious of Iran’s motivations, have expressed worry that provisions of the framework agreement are too lenient toward Iran and would leave it with the capacity to divert nuclear energy enrichment to make bombs, despite Iran’s guarantees that its purposes are peaceful.

Are the senators genuinely that worried about Iran’s motivations? Or do they have their own motivations?

Later on in the same newspaper, we discover that Senator Robert Menendez, a member of Senate Foreign Relations and a force in the congressional pressure on the Iran deal, has raised $431,000 for his defense fund against federal bribery charges– “from an array of political interests, including real estate developers, Cuban-American political donors and pro-Israel activists.”

On the Times list of contributors is “David Steiner, who was president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, a pro-Israel group.”

The New Jersey Record reported last month that pro-Israel activists were coming out in droves for Menendez because he was taking Obama on over Iran:

Several pro-Israel activists said people were motivated by the possibility that anonymously sourced reports of Menendez’s facing criminal charges are linked to the Paramus Democrat’s criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of nuclear talks with Iran and relaxation of restrictions on Cuba.

“The majority of people I’ve spoken with feel he’s getting a bad rap, that the prosecution has political overtones to it,” said Ben Chouake, president of Englewood Cliffs-based NORPAC, a committee that raises money for Democrats and Republicans who support Israel. “On this particular matter, even Republicans will be supporting Bob Menendez.”

Menendez already raised nearly $900,000 for legal costs between April and December last year, and more than $100,000 of that came from ardent Israel supporters.

This raises a real question about the Times’s coverage of the Congressional opposition to the Iran deal. Do these legislators all want political contributions from the Israel lobby?

Rachel Maddow asked a similar question the other night and didn’t answer it.

“It is kind of exciting just in structural terms to see Congress decide to care. But why this and only this? Constitutionally the administration sets foreign policy of the Untied States and negotiates on behalf of our country… It is strange, though, deeply strange that they [Congress] have only discovered this interest in getting involved when it comes to the administration’s efforts to avert a new war.”

Americans are seeing this corruption before their eyes and speculating about its causes. Journalists owe it to their audiences to begin exposing why Congress is so responsive to a foreign power.

“Epitaph on a Tyrant,”  W. H. Auden (1907 – 1973)
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

from HAARETZ – (Israel’s oldest newspaper; online in English and Hebrew; paper circulation–65,000 daily)

American groveling before Israel reaches new low

The brain refuses to believe what the eyes read: Israel will push Congress to pass a bill, Israel will lobby the Congress. Imagine the scandal the reverse headline would ignite.

The top headline of Haaretz in Hebrew on Tuesday should have reverberated in Washington and shocked America. It also should have worried many Israelis. One day it might even be taught in history class in our schools, marking the time that Israel crossed all of the red lines. A headline is only a headline, but in this instance nothing could better reflect the level of distortion that has been reached in relations between the two world powers: the one that has been revealed as being genuine, Israel, and the one that seems to be increasingly bogus and ridiculous, the United States.

If America’s elected representatives had any self-respect and sensitivity to their country’s democracy, they should have taken immediate action to put an end to this farce. It’s bad for America and its democracy and it’s bad for Israel. The farce has reached its nadir. It will end in an explosive break in relations between the countries, and Israel will pay the price for its arrogance.

“Israel to pressure Congress to thwart Iranian nuclear deal” ran the headline in the English-language print edition. Haaretz correspondent Barak Ravid quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official as saying that Israel “will lobby the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that would make it difficult, or even impossible, to approve a comprehensive deal with Iran.”

The brain refuses to believe what the eyes read: Israel will push Congress to pass a bill, Israel will lobby the Congress. It’s enough to imagine the reverse headline — America will push the Knesset to pass a bill — and the scandal it would ignite. But gods may do what cattle may not, and Israel may certainly do what America may not.

The most astonishing thing about the whole story is that the headline passed as if it never were: The distortion has become an accepted norm, the chutzpah correctness, the megalomania proportionality. Even wealthy Jews, first among them Sheldon Adelson, of course, pitched in: They are greasing the palms of congressional representatives with hundreds of millions of dollars, as revealed by The New York Times, so that they will vote against the agreement — and that too slides by in America, to hell with democracy or national interests.

The foreign ministers of all the world powers reached understandings with Iran, in advance of a final agreement. No country objected, save for Israel. Of course it has the right to disagree, to oppose, to fight, to try to persuade or change. But it has no right to undermine sovereign decisions. The United States, which knows a thing or two about undermining governments, should have been the first to recognize that a foreign state was trying to subvert its elected institutions.

Israeli interference in Washington is not new, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has brought it to unimaginable dimensions. Netanyahu? No. Sole responsibility lies with the enablers, U.S. elected officials. President Barack Obama, ostensibly the most powerful and influential man in the world, now looks like someone whose world has crashed around him: Israel opposes the agreement. In embarrassing interviews, he gives groveling a bad name. He promises Israel the sky, if only it will be satisfied. He is somber-faced, insulted by the insinuation that he would dare to criticize Israel. In a press conference after the agreement was reached, Obama breezily named the partner states — China, Russia, Germany, Britain and France — before moving on and then moved on to what was really important, Netanyahu’s position. Obama hasn’t learned a thing: After six years of carrots and sucking up that achieved nothing except for Israel’s persistent, blatant contempt for all his positions and requests, Obama steers the same course, while the only tack to take toward Israel is the opposite tack.

Israel hath roared, who will not fear? To Israeli ears, it might sound like proof of its might. But these fake or power-drunk thugs always come to a bad end: One day someone is bound to rip off their masks — and take revenge.