“. . . Your trees shade strangers who oppress and occupy . . .” (Diab Rabie)

❶ ‘You choose apartheid’, Netanyahu told in Knesset session
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Settler celebration of life of Sarah turns into a torment for Palestinians in Hebron

  • Background:  “Opposed or Intertwined? Religious and Secular Conceptions of National Identity in Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”  Politics, Religion & Ideology.

❷ Israel to seize Palestinian land for settlement expansion
❸ Tension hits peak as Israeli army browbeats Palestinian resistance
❹ POETRY by Diab Rabie
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO 
Nov. 14, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was accused of choosing “apartheid” and permanent military occupation of the Palestinians during a special session of the Knesset yesterday.
___The debate focused on “the Israeli government’s political challenge in light of new opportunities that have been created”, and was initiated by opposition party Meretz.
___Speaking at the session, Joint List leader Ayman Odeh stated that “we are at a crossroad where it is clearer than ever that we have only two options: peace or apartheid”.   MORE . . .
Nov. 12, 2017 ― Hebron activist Badee Dwaik sent us the video below showing a group of settlers celebrating the “feast of Sarah” on Thursday night in Hebron by threatening Palestinians who live in a locked-down portion of the city. Dwaik said some of the settlers carried guns, according to Palestinians who witnessed the action, and chanted “Am Yisrael Chai” — the people of Israel live.
___“Israel is the only state in which there are two armies, namely the organized official army and the army of settlers armed with weapons,” Dwaik said. “Where Jewish settler festivals have become a hell for Palestinian families.”    MORE . . .

Baumgart-Ochse, Claudia.
Politics, Religion & Ideology
, vol. 15, no. 3, Sept. 2014, pp. 401-420.
[. . . .] When Israel’s founding elite institutionalized the role of religion in the new State of Israel by way of consociational governance, they could not foresee that religion would ever become such a powerful force as it is in contemporary Israel. Rather, Ben-Gurion and others acted on a common belief of the time that religion was on the retreat in the wake of the economic and political modernization of societies around the world. Granting religious parties and communities a special status served the short-term goal of integrative state- and nation building, Mamlachtiyut, but was not deemed dangerous as religion was expected to fade into insignificance sooner or later anyway. The consociational arrangement rather helped to keep the domestic peace and turn the state’s energy towards the integration of an enormous influx of immigrants from all over the world. Thus, instead of simply being ‘hijacked’ by religious actors, the Zionist elite of the Yishuv and of the early State deliberately aimed to integrate the diverse religious groups. But the close entanglement of Zionism and Judaism, of secular nationalism and religion, did not only express itself in institutional and political arrangements which allowed for the inclusion of the Orthodox in the statebuilding process.
[. . . .] Contrary to the state’s founders’ expectations, religion did not disappear – it became even more important. The immigration of Jews from Arab countries in the 1950s and 1960s gradually changed the demographic makeup of the young nation. Therefore, in order to live up to the task of integrating the new immigrants into Israeli society, Jewish tradition regained new significance for national identity during that time. The influx of these immigrants created a new category of Jewish identity in Israel: in addition to the distinction between ‘Datiyim’ (Religious) and ‘Chiloniyim’ (Seculars), a third segment of ‘Masortiyim’ (Traditionalists) was added, a Jewish religiosity which was less rigid in observing Jewish commandments and studying the Torah, but more based on communal customs and traditions.
___The rapprochement of Zionism and religion as well as the common theme of Messianism, early indicators for the intertwining of religion and secular nationalism, intensified when Israel won the war in 1967. The State of Israel experienced what some authors have called a ‘second republic’. It moved from the dominance of the secular-socialist concept of the state to one which emphasized the ethno-religious boundaries of membership in the nation. This process was driven by both religion and secular nationalism: Religious actors, the settlers in particular, underwent a process of politicization after the war; and the secular state began to use the religious settlement movement as a tool for its mundane politics in the occupied Palestinian territories.    SOURCE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  TO  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  LAND  FOR  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION     Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 14, 2017 ―  The Israeli military authorities notified Palestinian farmers on Tuesday that they intend to expropriate plots of land near the village of Shofeh, to the southeast of Tulkarm, in order to expand the nearby illegal settlement of Avnei Hefetz.
___The farmers told WAFA that the Israeli military informed the Palestinian liaison office that it intends to expropriate land in the village of Shofeh in order to open roads and build playgrounds and other recreational facilities for the benefit of Avnei Hefetz settlement.   MORE . . .
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
Nov. 14, 2017 ― A number of Iron Dome missile defense batteries were deployed in central Israel on Monday by the Israeli army, amid heightened tensions with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad since the army blew up the group’s resistance tunnel last month.
___The Israeli occupation army confirmed the anti-missile systems had been installed in central Israel. On Sunday Iron Dome batteries were spotted on the outskirts of Occupied Jerusalem allegedly in anticipation of retaliation attacks by the Palestinian resistance.
___The occupation army claimed that the Iron Dome system, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets and, in some cases, mortars, was deployed to counter the threats made by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance group, which has vowed to avenge its members killed in the tunnel blast.   MORE . . .

The nightingale stopped singing and mourned the lost land;
It wandered into spaces where winds held command.
Tired by many nights of flight, it took its rest,
But not at wondrous sites or near a female breast.
It once rejoiced in singing, now it merely cries
All night till morning, and it will not shut its eyes.
Memories with bleeding wounds cried out in disgust:
How could you leave the country and abandon your trust.
Your trees shade strangers who oppress and occupy.
Rise, throw off the veil of shame none can justify.
Can the oppressed despise sharp swords and keep their pride?
Face daily insults silently and step aside?
You will regain your land only by sword and spear;
With their help people will see justice reappear.
Youth came into this world to battle with their hands;
Brook no pollution in this holiest of lands.
I swear by “Your Jerusalem,” maimed Palestine,
That Arab flags will wave above you for all time.

Translated by George Khoury and Edward Morin.
This poem was published in the Arabic language newspaper, Sameer, in New York City one month after the UN resolution in 1947 to divide Palestine.
“Diab Rabie (1922-2010) was the last of a group of five Diaspora poets which included Kahlil Gibran, Michael Naimeh, and Elie Abu-Madi. A newspaperman assigned to New York, he was prevented by the Israelis from reentering his homeland and settled in North Carolina. His poems were published in major Arabic newspapers and magazines around the world throughout his life. His collected poems, Shetharat El-Rabie were edited by George Khoury and published before his death (The Birzeit Society, 2010).” Before there Is Nowhere to Stand. Palestine/Israel Poets Respond to the Struggle. Ed. Joan Dobbie & Grace Beeler. Sandport, Idaho: Lost Horse Press, 2012.)  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . I’m unfamiliar with settlements. Are some of those people good? . . .” (Marwan Makhoul)

❶ European conference on settlement declares Israel ‘apartheid regime’

  • Background: “Spatial Changes in Palestine: From Colonial Project to an Apartheid System.” African & Asian Studies.

❷ Israel encourages settlers to move to Jordan Valley settlements
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Netanyahu is redefining ethnic cleansing not pursuing genuine peace
❹ POETRY by Marwan Makhoul
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine
Nov. 11, 2017 ― Representatives from 24 European countries, including parliamentarians, legal experts, journalists and activists, met in Brussels, have declared Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” in the West Bank.
___In a press release, the recommendations of the first European conference on Israeli settlement activity were named the Brussels Declaration, and included the following:
1. Israel, the occupying power of the Palestinian territories since 1967 continues its policy of confiscating and judaising Palestinian land and building settlements over it. These settlements have turned, with the passage of time, into an incubator for settler’s “terrorist organisations” such as HiiltopYouth, Paying the Price and Revenge.
2. With this premeditated policy of settlement expansion, it is, therefore, inappropriate to talk about dismantling political or security settlements, but rather, see this movement as a structure colonial policy that was able to colonize a large part of the West Bank not less than 60 percent of its size. This policy has, in fact, established an Apartheid regime, which violates the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 . . .        MORE . . .

Al-Rimmawi, Hussein.
African & Asian Studies,
vol. 8, no. 4, Nov. 2009, pp. 375-412.
[. . . .] After the 1967 war, Israel began to strip Palestinian land from its Palestinian owners . . . . settlements penetrated deeply inside the occupied land like spears, with the purpose of dividing the Palestinian land in the West Bank into three main Bantustans, north, and central and south.
___At present, Israel continues to construct its Apartheid Wall which would guarantee that the confiscated land be on the Israeli side of the border . . .  The Wall is planned and implemented in a way which results in residential and territorial discrimination. Palestinian workers may be allowed to work in Israel but will not be allowed to reside in the same place . . . .
___Palestinian cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is being destroyed by Israeli bulldozers. The Apartheid Wall is destroying archeological sites, shrines, monuments and historical buildings. The establishment of this wall is represented by ‘spatial and socio-side’. The Wall also has a significant impact on Palestinian wild life and biodiversity. For example, heavy equipment destroys plant coverage and degrades the soil. Flora and fauna are endangered and some species will disappear.
[. . . .] The whole Zionist plan evolved through different phases which reflected itself on the space through the settlements, the creation of the State of Israel, the evolution of Israel to become an occupying power in Arab lands and the present apartheid system. Through the acquisition of territory and the building of the Annexation Wall, Israel aims at eliminating the possibility of Palestine as a viable political entity. Palestinians cannot fully exercise their human rights, including their freedom of expression, travel from one place to another, and different laws are applied to them than those used for Israeli settlers. At present, they are prisoners inside their own cities, villages, and refugee camps. . .  It seems that Israelis are not capable of transferring the soul of settlement movement into a real and consolidated state.   SOURCE . . .

The Palestinian Information Center 
Nov. 11, 2017 ― The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement on Saturday said that the Israeli government is planning to double the number of Jewish settlers in the Jordan Valley area.
___The Office explained in its weekly report that the Israeli government plans to launch a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging settlers to move to the Jordan Valley, adding that it also has vowed to transfer funds to the settlement councils that host the newcomers. Preference will be given to the settlements that set fewer conditions to host settlers.
___Hebrew media sources have unveiled a plan presented by the Israeli Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, to strengthen the Jewish presence in the Jordan Valley, one-quarter of the West Bank.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
Kamel Hawwash    [ Kamel Hawwash is Professor in the School of Civil Engineering at Birmingham University, and Immediate Past President of the European Society for Engineering Education.]  
Nov. 11, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not known for missing an opportunity to push peace further into the distant future. [. . . .] Netanyahu took to the air to absolve Israel of any fault for the lack of progress towards peace. Israel is in a difficult neighbourhood and therefore its security needs are such that meeting these is almost incompatible with a Palestinian state.
___In an interview . . .  he trotted out the usual talking points. Israel, he said, “stands out as a beacon of democracy, a beacon of self-restraint in a sea of trouble”. As for the Israeli army, “there is no more moral army in the world,” he said. The settlements “are an issue but I don’t think they are the issue”. Instead he believes the issue “is the 100-year-old refusal of the Palestinian leadership to recognise a Jewish state in any boundary”.  Netanyahu took issue with Marr regarding the settlements, saying “the idea that Jews cannot live in Judea [the West Bank] is crazy”. When challenged that it is Palestinian territory, which the UN says is a flagrant violation of international law, he said that it is “disputed territory”.  MORE . . .

I’m unfamiliar with refugee camps.
Is that the ultimate in giving up?
Or are they tents I’ve been told are white
with guy ropes at the corners to hold them up
that hold me up?

I’m unfamiliar with tear gas.
Is it a weapon whose used bears the radiance of defeat?
Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears
when I cry

I’m unfamiliar with settlements.
Are some of those people good?
Sure, completely. Like I walk
on my hands,
and the sand sings?

I’m unfamiliar with my mother too.
Is she the one who suckled me?
Or is she the one bereft, standing in my doorway,
or a window on belonging?

I’m unfamiliar with UNRWA.
Is it a shipment I once chanced upon?
Or did I direct its driver
when he asked the way to Rafah?

I’m unfamiliar with the “cause”.
Is it a fiancée searching in the rubble
for her finger to put the ring on?
Or is half the whole of a fifth?

I’m unfamiliar with the truth.
Am I lacking something?
Or does my blood course within me
but not as my nerves would wish?

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with myself.
Am I the one now in my body?
Or am I that one I wrote about
the day I became my neighbor?
―Translated by Raphael Cohen   

Marwan Makhoul was born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother in 1979 in the village of Boquai’a in the Upper Galilee region of Palestine. He currently lives in the village of Maalot Tarshiha. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Mustaqbal College. His first book of poetry was published in 2007 in both Beirut and Baghdad by Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa by Maktabat Kul Shai’ Publishers. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in The Acre Theatre Festival for his first play. (An interview with Marwan Makhoul )


“. . . silence my argument with chains . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Poland to equip the Palestinian rapid intervention team
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Ireland describes Israeli settlement expansion as provocative

Background: “Apartheid in the Holy Land: Theological Reflections on the Israel And/Or Palestine Situation from a South African Perspective.” Hervormde Teologiese Studies

❷ How Israel engages in ‘water apartheid’
❸ Israeli forces detain 66 Palestinians, majority teenagers, in overnight raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Joint report reveals that 431 Palestinians were arrested in September 2017
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct, 23, 2017 ― The Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA) signed on Monday a cooperation agreement with the Polish representative to Palestine in which the latter will contribute to equipping PICA’s team for rapid intervention [“first responders”].
___PICA director Imad Zuhairi signed the agreement with the Polish representative to Palestine, Aleksandra Bukowska, who welcomed it and considered it the beginning of growing cooperation between Poland and Palestine that would later include various sectors.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 23, 2017 ― Ireland condemned last week Israel’s settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories describing them as provocative.
___“I condemn decisions this week by the Israeli authorities approving the construction of thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” said Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney.
___“This week’s announcements include construction in areas such as Hebron, which are far from the 1967 border, and which could never be included in any possible agreed land swap between the parties. The relentless expansion of settlements, especially in such sensitive areas, break up the land area on which a Palestinian state is to be established.’   MORE . . .
Days of Palestine
Mersiha Gadzo
Oct. 22, 2017 ― World Health Organisation says that an illegal Israeli settler in West Bank consumes three times more water than a legal Palestinian resident.
___Jordan Valley, Occupied West Bank – Water is not scarce in the Jordan Valley, known as the traditional “breadbasket of Palestine” – yet Palestinian farmers struggle to survive, with little water to nourish their crops. They say the amount of water that Israeli authorities allocate to them has been decreasing daily since the Second Intifada.
___Meanwhile, neighbouring settlements consume copious amounts of water. They grow produce, such as bananas, requiring large amounts of water, which is mostly pumped from wells in the occupied West Bank, and they export a rich variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices to Europe and the United States.
___In the village of Ein al-Beida, barbed wire divides a field in two.
___On one side are rows of orange trees covered in lush green leaves, grown by Israeli settlers from a nearby illegal settlement; on the other is barren land allocated for Palestinians, where nothing grows except stiff stalks of yellow grass, long dried out due to  the lack of water.   MORE . . . 

Pillay, Jerry.
“Apartheid in the Holy Land: Theological Reflections on the Israel And/Or Palestine Situation from a South African Perspective.”
Hervormde Teologiese Studies, vol. 72, no. 4, Oct. 2016, pp. 1-9.
[Jerry Pillay, Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.]
The word ‘apartheid’ comes from an Afrikaans word meaning ‘apartness’ or ‘separateness’. . .  it is actually an official policy of racial segregation, involving political, legal and economic discrimination against ‘non-white’ people. It is a policy or practice of separating or segregating groups. This policy separated white and non-white people in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. . . During the 19th century. . . [t]his became the paradigm for the foundation of the Israeli state which exists up to this day with great cost to human rights and lives. The Palestinians continue to fight for their independence in the face of Israel’s continuation to take Palestinian land. Hence, the analogy between Israel and apartheid1 entails a comparison between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and South Africa’s treatment of non-white people during its apartheid era. . .
[. . . .] Justice is a very significant theological theme in the context of the Israel-Palestine situation – as much as it was, and still is, in the South African context.
[. . . .] An investigation into the meaning of justice (tsedeq and tsedaqah) in the Old Testament shows that, in the context of creation, it has wider meaning. Justice for Israel, like all its neighbours in the ancient Near East, manifests itself in the right and harmonious order of creation. In order to understand the peculiar nature of ancient Near Eastern conceptions of justice, it is important to realise that creation does not primarily refer to the origin of the world at the beginning but to a process by which cosmos, order, replaces chaos, not only in nature but in society as well. Creation therefore encompasses two realms, which for us are usually quite distinct: the realm of nature and the realm of society.   MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 23, 2017― Israeli detained at least 66 Palestinians during overnight raids Monday in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
[. . . .] According to United Nations documentation, Israeli forces conducted 121 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 205 Palestinians, including nine children, between September 26 and October 9.
[. . . .] Israeli police forces raided the neighborhood of al-Issawiya overnight and detained 51 Palestinians after searching dozens of homes in the area.
[. . . .] Lawyer of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair Muhammad Mahmoud, who visited detainees at different detention centers, said that he followed up on the cases of 27 of the detainees, who he said were all teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18.   MORE . . .  

Addameer  Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Oct. 8, 2017 ― A joint, monthly report released by Adameer, The Prisoner’s Club, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has revealed that 431 Palestinians were arrested by the occupation forces in the month of September 2017.
___Of these 431, 98 were children, 11 were women, and 3 were journalists.
___133 were arrested from Jerusalem governate, 60 from the Hebron governate, 45 from the Nablus governate, 40 from the Ramallah governate, 38 from Jenin governate, 28 from Bethlehem governate, 15 from Tubas governate, 10 from Salfeet governate, 9 from Tulkaram governate, 7 from Jericho governate, and 6 from Gaza.      MORE . . .

Talk about exile―I defy
silence my argument with chains
and a foolish prison cell
I defy

Turn plague and sadness against me
I remained defying
cut my wrist
with my bloody chest I defy
cut my leg
I mount the wound and walk
and with my violence I defy
with my forehead I defy
and with my teeth
and the teeth of songs―I defy

and kill me―I defy
I kill death
and come to you a defying God

All that I own of my father’s and grandfather’
inheritance is to defy!

All that I understand from the
wind and the secrets of erased villages
and the songs of springs
on dying grass
a concealed sob
the roots of the tree
memorize it for me
a sob: To defy

All the eyes of children living within me
in bloody exile
All that I live of my absent country
in name and deed
a scream bruising me―to defy!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim.

“. . . Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

holy land 1 033
The Settler Colonial project, Jerusalem (Photo Harold Knight, 2008)

❶ Ashrawi: Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank amounts to war crimes

  • “Relations of Ruling in the Colonial Present: An Intersectional View of the Israeli Imaginary.” Canadian Journal of Sociology

❷ Analysis:  Rethinking Our Definition of Apartheid: Not Just a Political Regime
❸ How the EU mocks the victims of Israel’s crimes
❹ POETRY by Yousef El Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 20, 2017   Following announcements that Israel had advanced plans for nearly 3,000 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced the move as a “blatant disregard for the two-state solution.”
___The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee convened on Tuesday and Wednesday, and advanced plans for 2,615 housing units in illegal Israeli settlements.
___“In blatant disregard of the requirements for the two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability, Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism,” Ashrawi said.
___”Israel is deliberately working to enhance its extremist Jewish settler population and to superimpose ‘Greater Israel’ on all of historic Palestine. Undoubtedly, it is bent on annexing the entire city of Jerusalem, systematically wiping out the Palestinian presence and continuity on Palestinian soil, and destroying the territorial and demographic contiguity of the future Palestinian state.”   MORE . . .

Santos, Madalena.
Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 38, no. 4, Oct. 2013, pp. 509-532.
Through the interweaving of Zionist myths of nation, identity, and security, Israel presents itself as the national homeland for all Jewish peoples — a land under constant threat of annihilation by Palestinians who are discursively constructed as demographic and security risks. Yet, the Zionist project of Eretz Israel (our land of Israel) is one of colonization which bases the survival and vitality of the state’s Jewish population on the removal and absence of the racialized Palestinian other. Israel has continued its settler colonial project in Palestine, with its distinct forms of occupation and apartheid, through state discourses and practices of separation, fragmentation, and violence . . .  this article offers a categorical framework that underlines the relationality between race, class, and gender that has been central to the structuring network of Zionist colonization from its initial stages to the colonial present.
___ [. . . .]  Zionism has been preoccupied with the question of ethno-demography and a desire to separate Jews in Palestine from the indigenous Arab population. Since Zionism set Israel out to be the Jewish nation for Jews regardless of where they resided and/or claimed citizenship at the time, there was a perceived need to make Jews the majority of the population . . .  To secure a land base for the Jewish population, the Zionist colonial project that established the state of Israel in May 1948, and which continues in the colonial present, involved the forced expulsion, exile, imprisonment, murder, massacre, and political assassination of Palestinians as well as the destruction of over 500 Palestinian towns and villages. Although implemented and performed by Zionist rule, these practices were facilitated through the laws and governance of Western colonialist forces.  FULL ARTICLE.

Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Haidar Eid, Andy Clarno
Aug. 27, 2017  As Israel intensifies its settler-colonial project, apartheid has become an increasingly important framework for understanding and challenging Israeli rule in historic Palestine. Indeed, Nadia Hijab and Ingrid Jaradat Gassner make a convincing argument that apartheid is the most strategic framework of analysis. And in March 2017, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) released a powerful report documenting Israeli violations of international law and concluding that Israel has established an “apartheid regime” that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.
___Under international law, apartheid is a crime against humanity and states can be held accountable for their actions. However, international law has its limitations. One specific concern involves what is missing from the international legal definition of apartheid. Because the definition focuses solely on the political regime, it does not provide a strong basis for critiquing the economic aspects of apartheid.     MORE . . .
The Electronic Intifada   
Ali Abunimah
Oct. 18, 2017   [. . . .] And why not? Despite the UN Security Council declaring repeatedly – most recently in December – that all of Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law, Israel faces no consequences for its crimes.
___On Wednesday, the European Union put out a statement about Israel’s reinvigorated settlement drive, its forced expulsions of Palestinian Bedouins and its evictions of Palestinian families in Jerusalem.
___The statement does not clearly condemn Israel’s actions. Instead, it says the EU “has requested clarifications from Israeli authorities and conveyed the expectation that they reconsider these decisions, which are detrimental to ongoing efforts towards meaningful peace talks.”
___This is diplomatic speak for: we barely have the courage to even criticize you, let alone to take action.     MORE . . .

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms –
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
–– Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin.

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

“. . . Each river has its own springs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Palestinian  officials  begin  transferring  control  of  Gaza  borders  from  Hamas  to  Fatah
❷ Fatah official: Cairo reconciliation accords a bridge to end the split

  • Background: “Palestinian Unity and Everyday State Formation: Subaltern ‘Ungovernmentality’ Versus Elite Interests.” Third World Quarterly

❸ Israeli  settlers  steal  olive  harvest,  attack  Palestinian  farmers  in  West  Bank
❹ The pedagogy of apartheid
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency  
Oct. 17, 2017   Head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) borders and crossing committee Nathmi Muhanna arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday in order “to carry out the first article of the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo regarding taking over the crossings,” Muhanna told Ma’an.
___Muhanna entered Gaza through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing, and was welcomed by the Palestinian Minister of Public Work Housing Mufid al-Hasayna.
___Upon his arrival in Gaza, Muhanna told Ma’an that a committee to oversee the takeover of Gaza border crossings by the Fatah-led PA was formed upon instructions by President Mahmoud Abbas.
___In the reconciliation agreement signed last week by Hamas and Fatah, it was agreed that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza would be operated by PA presidential guards by November 1.     MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 17, 2017   Fatah Central Committee member Hussein al-Sheikh said the agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo under Egyptian auspices is the bridge that will lead to an end to the division and to achieve reconciliation.
___Sheikh said in an interview on Palestine TV aired on Monday night that the real test for the success in ending the division is found in the full empowerment of the government of national reconciliation, which was not given an opportunity in the past to function in the Gaza Strip as in the West Bank, expressing hope that this time it will succeed in its mission.   MORE . . .

(NOTE: While being two years old, this article presents historical information of value in understanding the current situation.)

Pogodda, Sandra, and Oliver P. Richmond.
“Palestinian Unity and Everyday State Formation: Subaltern ‘Ungovernmentality’ Versus Elite Interests.”
Third World Quarterly 36.5 (2015): 890-907.
The outburst of inter-factional violence between Fatah and Hamas in 2007 came as a shock to a society that sees itself as the victim, not the perpetrator of violence. Between October 2006 and August 2010 more than 470 Palestinians were killed in inter-factional fighting, while torture in Palestinian prisons became pervasive. In addition, inter-factional structural violence perpetuates the repressive and discriminatory conduct of the occupation: campaigns of political arrests, the obstruction of political participation, crackdowns on political rights and civil liberties, and discrimination in public sector employment. Structural violence is thus disruptive of civil society, political life and socioeconomic development in the occupied Palestinian territories. After eight years of bitter rivalry and three failed attempts at creating a unity government, Fatah and Hamas signed another unity agreement on 23 April 2014. Accordingly, a technocratic government under the leadership of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was sworn in in June 2014 and is supposed to rule the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while overseeing new elections in 2015. Given the continuing tensions between the two parties, doubts remain with regard to the durability of the unity government. Elections have again been indefinitely postponed, while Fatah and Hamas are competing over the control of the pledged reconstruction assistance.   SOURCE.

Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 16, 2017   Israeli settlers on Sunday stole olive pickings from dozens of trees belonging to Palestinian farmers from the occupied West Bank districts of Ramallah and Nablus.
___Gassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlements activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli settlers raided Palestinian lands in Ramallah and Nablus under protection of armed Israeli forces, and stole olives from dozens of Palestinian trees.
___Daghlas told Ma’an that Israeli settlers stole the pickings of more than 65 olive trees in the Nablus-area village of al-Sawiyeh and the Ramallah-area village of al-Janiyeh.
___Meanwhile, NGO Rabbis For Human Rights (RHR) released a statement saying that the settlers, from the illegal Zayit Raanan outpost, were arrested by Israeli security forces “following the swift intervention of the head of the field department of Rabbis for Human Rights, Zakaria Sadah, who informed the security forces.”    MORE . . .
Jonathan Ofir
Oct. 15, 2017   Two months ago, Israel’s education ministry introduced a compulsory four-part question in civics matriculation exams. Students are asked to give their opinion on a “controversial public issue”, including for example “allowing different population groups to live in separate neighborhoods”. In the circulation to teachers, it was stated that since teachers “sometimes encounter inflammatory or racist statements against groups or individuals” on the exam, “It’s important to make clear to the students that racist or inflammatory statements in any part of the question will disqualify the entire answer” (which is worth 11 points out of a total of 100).
___But last week, the head of the ministry’s pedagogical secretariat, Moshe Weinstock, overruled the ministry’s civics supervisor and rescinded the rule. An update was sent to teachers, wherein the ban on racist statements was dropped, and the fourth part of the question was eliminated, in which students had to defend their position in light of their own values.   MORE . . . 

Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a baker in Algeria
To sing with a fighter.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a shepherd in Yemen
To sing for resurrection.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a waiter in Havana
To sing the victories of the oppressed.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a young porter in Aswan
To sing for the rocks.
The Nile will never flow into the Volga,
Nor will the Congo or the Jordan flow into the Euphrates.
Each river has its own springs,
Its own course and its own life.
Our land, my friend, is no barren land.
Each land gives birth in due time,
And each fighter will see the dawn.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from Amazon.
About Mahmoud Darwish.  


“. . . Like twenty impossibilities/ We shall remain. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

A Palestinian woman holds the key to her old family house as Palestinians stage a Nakba Day rally. [Photo: Alaa Badarneh/EPA]
❶ ‘We will support you by every possible means:’ David Friedman arrives in Israel

  • Background: “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.”

❷ Israel is still unable to deal with the catastrophe of 1948
❸ Jewish Nation-State Bill: Israel’s Precarious Identity is Palestine’s Nightmare
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
May 16, 2017
US President Donald Trump’s pick for US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman embarked on his first official trip to Israel on Monday, as the ultraright, pro-settler ambassador reportedly told Israeli leaders that he and Trump would support Israel “by every possible means.”
___Friedman’s first stop after landing in Israel was the Western Wall, a holy Jewish site located in occupied East Jerusalem and adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the ambassador “prayed for Donald Trump.”
___On Tuesday, Friedman met with President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and presented his credentials. . .  MORE . . .

Ben-Dor, Oren. “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press), vol. 12, no. 2, Nov. 2013, pp. 181-205.
[. . . .] Thus, the possibilities for genuine political struggles that contest political, social and economic inequalities are heavily managed so as to protect the apartheid premise for the sake of which the state [Israel] was constituted. The injustices in it are not just a de facto durational injustice which are found and persist for some time in any political community and which may be more or less systematic until the narratives that give rise to them are overcome. . . .  In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state, a sense of ‘separateness; of Jews that has to be constantly rejuvenated and reinvented and reinforced by the state. Because the Zionist ideological doctrine of ‘separateness’ led to the raison d’etre of the state, this separateness . . .  is disguised as ‘democratic’ practices. As such this denial is more entrenched in collective unconscious memory and thus more morally repugnant than the explicit apartheid of South Africa [which] was thus already open to reform . . . a political community that [could] be made responsible for its actions. In short. . .  South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel.          ___Moreover and crucially, in Israel it is because of the need to create a state which is based on this apartheid premise that sustains Jewish majority and character that ethnic cleansing took place . . .  such a state should not be recognised and . . .  in the case of Palestine national self-determination must not, under any circumstances, imply a Jewish state.     Full Article.

+972 Blog
Oren Barak
May 16, 2017
Why does the State of Israel, which just celebrated 69 years of independence, struggle to deal with the unpleasant events in its distant past, especially not the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe in the 1948 War?
___Professor Avraham Sela and Professor Alon Kadish, two top scholars of the 1948 War from Hebrew University, recently published a book titled The War of 1948: Representations of Israeli and Palestinian Memories and Narratives. The book looks at a number of realms in which the memory of the war, as well as how it is forgotten, are expressed . . . .
[. . . .] The final chapter, was written by Sela and Professor Neil Kaplan, a Canadian researcher who focuses on the Israeli-Arab conflict, suggests an important insight: memory and historical narratives are the product of a particular political and social reality — not the other way around. The question is, then, what is the political and social reality that influences what is remembered and what is forgotten about the war     MORE . . .

View of the assembly hall of the Knesset, during the opening of the winter session, October 31, 2016. (Photo: New York Jewish Week)

Palestine Chronicle     
Ramzy Baroud
May 17 2017
The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has hurriedly passed a new bill that defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people.” Although the association between Jewishness and Israel goes back to the foundation of the state, the new law also carries clear discriminatory elements that target the country’s Arab communities, numbering nearly two million people.
___The ‘Jewish Nation-State Bill’ is the latest concoction of Israel’s rightwing Zionist Jewish parties, which have dominated Israeli politics for years. With the Israeli ‘Left’ rendered irrelevant, or has itself moved to the right, the right wing elements of Israel are now the supreme rulers of that country.
[. . . . ] Israel’s odd definition of democracy and relentless attempts to reconcile between democracy and racial discrimination, however, is rarely challenged among its American and European allies.
___Palestinians, on the other hand, are bearing the brunt of racism more than ever before, for Israel’s Jewish dream has become their never-ending nightmare.  MORE . . .

It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

Tawfiq Zayyad, poet, scholar, politician (1929-1994)
From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon. 

“. . . the internationally driven ‘statebuilding’ project . . . solely geared towards Israeli needs . . .” (Pogodda and Richmond)

The streets in Al Fara’a Refugee Camp  (Photo: ahote’s_photolog, Flikr, Aug. 29, 2008)

❶ .  Israeli forces kill Palestinian man during predawn raid in al-Faraa
. . . ― (a) Israeli forces fire tear gas in elderly Palestinian woman’s home during night raid

  • Background: “Palestinian Unity and Everyday State Formation: Subaltern ‘Ungovernmentality’ Versus Elite Interests.” Third World Quarterly 

❷ . Ministry of Information: Occupation is the root of all evils
❸ . Israeli forces destroy water pipeline serving Bedouin villages in northern West Bank
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 10, 2017 ― A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces during an overnight raid in the al-Faraa refugee camp  . . . Israeli and Palestinian sources reported, although they widely diverged over the circumstances of the man’s death.
___A member of the politburo of the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), Khalid Mansour, told Ma’an that an Israeli intelligence officer “executed” Muhammad al-Salihi, 32, during a raid in his home.
___Al-Salihi and his mother were surprised when Israeli forces entered and ransacked their homes, Mansour said.
___”Muhammad started to shout at them because he thought they were thieves, and the soldiers immediately showered him with bullets at point-blank range, before the very eyes of his elderly mother,” Mansour recounted.
___According to the PPP official, medical sources at the Turkish hospital in Tubas said al-Salihi had been shot at least six times, including in the upper body.     More . . .

. . .
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 10, 2017 ― Israeli forces injured an elderly Palestinian woman with during an overnight raid in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya, witnesses told Ma’an on Tuesday.
___Israeli soldiers broke into the home of Shafiqa Ahmad Abd al-Qadir Jumaa late on Monday night and fired tear gas inside her house, causing her to suffer from tear gas inhalation.
___The eyewitness sources added that Jumaa also sustained minor bruises during the raid.     More . . .

  • Pogodda, Sandra, and Oliver P. Richmond. “Palestinian Unity and Everyday State Formation: Subaltern ‘Ungovernmentality’ Versus Elite Interests.” Third World Quarterly 36.5 (2015): 890-907.    SOURCE.

Recent political developments give rise to cautious optimism about prospects for Palestinian statehood: In November 2012 an overwhelming majority of countries (138 out of 193) recognised Palestine’s demand for sovereignty by granting it non-member state status in the UN. While this move falls short of bestowing Palestine with the characteristics of genuine statehood, it demonstrates growing international support for Palestinian sovereignty. The unprecedented level of pro-Palestinian protests worldwide in 2014 (condemning Israel’s latest attack on the imprisoned population of Gaza that summer) suggests that international awareness of Israel’s human rights violations in Palestine is growing.
[. . . . ]  In the case of Palestine external intervention through direct, structural and governmental power has systematically prevented the formation of a state. Starting with the British Mandate for Palestine (and its abuse by implementing the Balfour Declaration14) and continuing to Israel’s military occupation and the internationally driven ‘statebuilding’ project, external forms of power have historically undermined local politics in the pursuit of security and geopolitical interests. Israel’s direct, structural and bio-power have fragmented the territorial, social and political unity needed for the formation of a Palestinian state. Internationally financed statebuilding efforts meanwhile remain within the liberal peace and subsequent neoliberal state framework: limited and focused on security and institution building, rather than on an emancipatory social contract and social justice. Even the liberal character of this enterprise is debatable, given that neither democratisation nor trade liberalisation has been pursued, while security measures are solely geared towards Israeli needs. In addition, the internationally sponsored Israeli–Palestinian peace process has tried to establish a governmentality that aimed to make the current ‘matrix of control’ acceptable as a step towards Palestinian sovereignty [. . . .]  

Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 10, 2017 ― The Ministry of Information on Tuesday said that it has followed “with much shock and little surprise” the Israeli orchestrated incitement against the Palestinians following yesterday’s truck incident in occupied Jerusalem.
___“Israel wasted no time in drumming up venomous incitement campaign attempting to connect our people with terror and ISIS for obvious reasons related to political gains,” statement said. “The haste of making committing incitement only indicated to the relentless Israeli racist mentality built on demonizing our people and just cause to whitewash the Israeli occupation that is facing a growing international isolation and condemnation.”
___The Ministry of Information further considered the statements mouthed by the Israeli PM Netanyahu and many of his government echelons as a continuation to turning a blind eye to the criminality of occupation as the root of all evils instead to attempt to distract the world with windmill battles.     More . . .

Al-Ras al-Ahmar village near Tamun town, north of the Jordan Valley. (Photo: KhamakarPress, Nov. 11, 2016)

Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 10, 2017 ― Israeli forces destroyed a pipeline supplying water to four Bedouin communities in the northern Jordan Valley, a Palestinian official said on Tuesday morning.
___Muataz Bisharat, who monitors settlement-related activities in the Jordan Valley, told Ma’an that bulldozers under Israeli military protection destroyed part of an 11-kilometer water pipeline supplying the villages of al-Ras al-Ahmar, al-Hadidiya, Khirbet Makhul, and Khirbet Humsa.
___Bisharat added that the pipeline was funded by international NGO Action Against Hunger  four years ago.   More . . .

And so the Trump/Friedman assault begins

PLEASE NOTE: This blog will resume its coverage of news from Palestine shortly. However, today it is important to begin to make clear the drastic shift in American policy toward Israel that will take place on January 2o. Thank you.

Senators Threaten to Cut Worldwide Embassy Security If U.S. Doesn’t Move Its Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem

___In 1995, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all campaigned on relocating the embassy and executing this law. But once in office, every one of them invoked a waiver in the law that allows them to hold off on the move if they deem it necessary to the national security interests of the United States to do so.       ___Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be seen as a green light to some Israeli government officials, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who seek to make Jerusalem the undivided capital of the state of Israel. That, in turn, would preclude the Palestinians from establishing a state that includes East Jerusalem. Most international observers believe that this would render the two-state solution impossible and thus be damaging to peace.       More . . .
Call to direct action for [American] readers

Act Now

We need you to ACT NOW to push back against illegal Israeli settlements! Congress has spent its first two days in session trying to back away from decades of U.S. policy on illegal settlements.
___Yesterday, the House and the Senate introduced legislation that would object to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 “as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.” H.R. 11 & the yet un-numbered Senate companion bill are unfounded and unwise criticisms of the Obama administration for abstaining from the UNSC resolution which condemned Israel for its settlements in the occupied West Bank.
___Contrary to what these bills (H.R. 11 & S.R. X) say, they do NOT aim to support the peace process. That was made even more clear when Rep. Peter King [R-NY-2] introduced an amendment that would DELETE any reference in the House bill to a two-state solution, which is a shocking abandonment of core U.S. policies. Simply put, these bills are about Congress trying to protect Israel from any criticism of illegal settlements.
More-including form for contacting members of Congress.
(Please forward to your American friends.)

Trump’s Pick for Israel Ambassador Is No Diplomat

David A. Graham
Dec. 16, 2016
David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer, believes Israel can annex and settle in the West Bank, wants to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and called a liberal American Jewish group “worse than kapos.”
___There was a time when Donald Trump’s statements on Israel rattled hardliners who were concerned he would be too friendly to Palestinians. In February, when Joe Scarborough asked him who was to blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Republican candidate replied, “I don’t want to get into it for a different reason, Joe, because if I do win, there has to be a certain amount of surprise, unpredictability. Let me be sort of a neutral guy, let’s see what—I’m going to give it a shot. It would be so great.”     ___Those days are long gone, a fact made clear by President-elect Trump’s decision to appoint David Friedman, an extreme hard-liner on the right, as his ambassador to Israel. Friedman, like many of Trump’s picks for Cabinet jobs, does not have any directly relevant experience, and the two men previously worked together when Friedman, a bankruptcy attorney, represented him in past bankruptcy proceedings.
___But Friedman advised Trump on Israel policy during the campaign and has left behind a long trail of statements indicating his views, including equating liberal Americans Jews to “kapos” who assisted Nazis in ghettos; labeling President Barack Obama an anti-Semite; and suggesting Israel should annex the West Bank.    More . . .



“. . . In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state. . .” (Oren Ben-Dor)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, “We’re both trying to kill the mosquito. . .” New York Times, May 21, 1996. (Photo: JP)

❶ PM Hamdallah: Israel is pushing for an apartheid state
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Czech Republic clarifies position on status of Jerusalem
. . . ❶― (ᴃ) Foreign Ministry seeks UN Security Council action against Israeli settlements

  • Background from: Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press). “. . . responding to different existential stakes, South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel. . .”

❷ Israeli forces kill young Palestinian man, injure another in Shufat refugee camp
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) PPS: “Underage Detainee Assaulted By Soldiers, Strip-Searched”
. . . ❷― (ᴃ) Soldiers Injure Three Palestinians in Nablus

  • Background from Third World Quarterly.  “ . . . ‘The Arabs are not a nation but a mole that grew in the wilderness of the eternal desert. They are nothing but murderers’. . .”

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 5, 2016
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Monday told visiting Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that Israel, by stepping up settlement construction and expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories, is pushing toward a one-state solution and an apartheid system.
___The prime minister expressed his government’s commitment towards a two-state solution of Palestine and Israel. . . .
___Hamdallah also expressed appreciation for Australia’s constant support to the Palestinian education and health sectors.  MORE . . .

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday. Photo: GPO / Amos Ben Gershom via Twitter.

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 5, 2016
The foreign ministry of the Czech Republic Monday clarified its position on the status of Jerusalem.
___It said in a statement delivered to its Palestinian counterpart that “[w]ith reference to some media reports on the status of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs about the following:
___“The State of Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital. The status of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel is not internationally recognized. Based on the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions, the Czech Republic, together with other EU Member States, considers Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, i.e. the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine. Tel Aviv is currently the seat of most foreign missions, including the Embassy of the Czech Republic.”      MORE . . .
Sep. 5, 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Sunday upon the United Nations Security Council to take immediate steps towards forcing Israel, the occupying power, to stop its settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
___The ministry called upon the UNSC to send a delegation to get information about what it described as “Israel’s theft and Judaization of Palestinian land”, including continuing settlement activities.     MORE . . .

  • From Ben-Dor, Oren. “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press) 12.2 (2013): 181-205.    SOURCE.

Why would one want to call Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, an apartheid state? Israel has no laws that explicitly limit the education and possibilities of its non-Jewish Arab citizens nor does it list certain professions they are forbidden to take up as was the case in South Africa.
___Looking at Israel you will see democratic elections and representation, occasional positive attempts at egalitarian investment in the country’s non-Jewish Arab sector, and some joint Jewish/non-Jewish-Arab ventures; and you will find a Supreme Court that prides itself on consistently upholding a Basic Law of Human (as opposed to Jewish) dignity and freedom.
___However, on closer look, apartheid in Israel is as constitutionally inbuilt as it was in South Africa and structurally limits, directly or indirectly, the ambit of possible egalitarian reforms. Central governmental investment turns out to be inherently biased in favour of the country’s Jewish population, and official property law regimes and land policies push towards the ‘Judaisation’ of the land, meaning the transfer to Jewish citizens or institutions of lands expropriated from non-Jewish Arab citizens and/or institutions while discouraging, or even actually forbidding, non-Jewish Arabs from taking up residence in Jewish areas.
[. . . .]
In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state, a sense of ‘separateness’ of Jews that has to be constantly rejuvenated and reinvented and reinforced by the state.
Because the Zionist ideological doctrine of ‘separateness’ led to the raison d’etre of the state, this separateness embodies a pathological denial that surrounds Israel’s apartheid, separateness which is disguised as ‘democratic’ practices. As such this denial is more entrenched in collective unconscious memory and thus more morally repugnant than the explicit apartheid of South Africa . . . . responding to different existential stakes, South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel.

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 5, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a young Palestinian man in the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem in the early hours of Monday morning following a raid in the camp, according to locals and Israeli police
___Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces “showered” a Palestinian car with gunfire, killing Mustafa Nimir and injuring another young man whose identity and health condition remained unknown to witnesses.
___Israeli authorities claimed the driver — who they did not identify as either Nimir or the other person who was injured — attempted to run over Israeli police and border guard officers before they fired at the car.    MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 5, 2016
The Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported, Monday, that a detained Palestinian teen has been subjected to repeated assaults during his abduction, and interrogation, including being strip-searched after the soldiers kidnapped him.
___The teen, Mazen Monther Ramadan, 17 years of age, was kidnapped from his home, in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, on August 22, 2016.
___A PPS lawyer managed to visit the teen in the al-Maskobiyya interrogation center. . . .    MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
September 5, 2016
Palestinian medical sources have reported that Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Monday at dawn, three Palestinians in the Balata refugee camp, and Sebastia town, in the northern West Bank district of Nablus.
___The sources said one Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Riyadh Saheli, was shot with a live round, and suffered a moderate injury, in Balata refugee camp, in Nablus.
___Several army vehicles invaded the camp, and opened fire on Palestinian youths, who hurled stones and empty bottles on the advancing military vehicles.   MORE . . .

  • Peteet, Julie. “Words As Interventions: Naming In The Palestine – Israel Conflict.” Third World Quarterly 26.1 (2005): 153-172.   SOURCE.

The notion of ‘epistemic violence’ refers to the process by which colonial thought shaped colonial subjects as inherently different. Over the course of much of the previous century rhetoric and words were selectively deployed, repeated, insisted upon and entered mainstream language to construct Palestinians discursively as beyond the pale of humanity. The moral lexicon deployed by Israelis and the Western media has cast them as irrational, terrorist demons unsuited for membership in the human community . . . .
___From the first decades of the century, when Zionists first encountered Palestinians . . . words used to describe the Palestinians have displayed both consistency and change. This discursive construction of the violent and primitive Palestinian underpins and legitimises his/her continued displacement, political exclusion and occupation. In a broader context, representations of the colonised often fall into a binary opposition between ‘inherently violent or innately peaceful’. The paradox between an imputed lack of attachment to place and yet the apparent willingness to fight for it was resolved by classifying Palestinian violence as irrational, without just cause. . . . ‘a gang of robbers, murderers, and bandits’, thus obstructing an understanding of manifestations of Palestinian nationalism and their discontent with colonisation.
___Coupled with a violent nature, Palestinians have been classified zoomorphically. Avraham Stern, founder of the Stern Gang or Lehi, precursor to the Likud Party, said: ‘The Arabs are not a nation but a mole that grew in the wilderness of the eternal desert. They are nothing but murderers.’ . . . More recently, Labor Party leader Ehud Barak told a New York Times correspondent, ‘You know, we are still living in a jungle’, which he characterises as ‘the dark and backward old Middle East’. He explained  the difference between the two major political parties in Israel, the Labor and the Likud: “We’re both trying to kill the mosquito. . .But at the same time we’re trying to drain the swamp, while Likud is saying the swamp is ours and we’ll never give it up. . . .”


NOTE: This post was prepared for yesterday, August 30, but because of unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to finish it. However, it is imperative to post the excerpt from the article by Ghazi-Walid Falah as background for the news items of detention and torure.

❶ Palestinian minor tortured in Israeli jail after being shot and detained for rock throwing
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PPS: “Army Kidnaps Twenty-One Palestinians In The West Bank”
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israel Issues 8 Administrative Detention Orders To Palestinian Prisoners

Ghazi-Walid Falah, professor at the University of Akron, Ohio.

❷ “Geography In Ominous Intersection With Interrogation And Torture: Reflections On Detention In Israel.”
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 29, 2016
Two Palestinian minors have been tortured, abused, and medically neglected in Israeli custody, one of which after being shot at point-blank range when Israeli forces detained them for rock throwing earlier this month, a lawyer from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Monday.
­­­___The lawyer, Luay Akka, said that 17-year-old Mumin Tawfiq Hamayel and 16-year-old Abd al-Fatah Mubarek were both being held inside Israel’s Ofer prison.    MORE . . .

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 30, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, overnight and on Tuesday, twenty-one Palestinians, during massive military invasions and searches of homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The PPS said the soldiers invaded several towns in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, violently searched homes and kidnapped nine Palestinians, including children. MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 29, 2016
Israel’s military court at Ofer prison ruled that eight Palestinian prisoners be placed in administrative detention on Monday, the controversial Israeli policy of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that five were sentenced to six months in administrative detention, identified as Ammar Ibrahim Hamour, Huthaifa Subhe Jabareen, Yousef Abd al-Aziz al-Batran, Hazim Ghaleb Nayroukh, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Aida.
___Israeli forces also ordered Muhammad Yousef Awad, Alaa Salim Rujbe, and Yousef Issa Amar to four months in administrative detention.
___Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s administrative detention policy, which allows internment without trial or charges under undisclosed evidence, has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.      MORE . . .

❷ Falah, Ghazi-Walid. “Geography In Ominous Intersection With Interrogation And Torture: Reflections On Detention In Israel.” Third World Quarterly 29.4 (2008): 749-766.  SOURCE.  

NOTE: Professor Falah was detained in 2008 as an academic visitor to Palestine. The reasons for his detention differ from those of a Palestinian citizen, but the methods used by the Israelis to extract information are very much the same even today. See biographical note at end.

My detention was principally political, a form of punishment and intimidation for my writing as a geographer over two decades. But I was not detained and held in isolation because I had committed some crime and there was a court order to keep me separate from other prisoners. There was another aim: to extract by almost any means thought necessary what the Security Police deemed ‘usable information’, especially about my academic contacts with Arab and Iranian geographers (and/or others) in the Middle East. From this viewpoint of intelligence extraction my time behind bars and in a micro-space of extreme coercion was utilised to the utmost to get the maximum ‘information’ from . . .  to break my will to resistance before I could see my lawyer. ‘Detention’ is not a static space of some kind of suspension of time, as a detainee simply ‘waits’ or is abused as a form of punishment: it is a mechanism in highly confined and pressurised hyper-dynamic space to extract intelligence under the impress of limited legal time. While my detention was to intimidate me as an academic, it also was a prime example of space–time mobilised to gather what is the interrogator’s stock in trade: intelligence as it is fantasised by interrogators to exist.
[. . . .]
How did the Israeli interrogators in my case approach the issue of gathering information for some ‘usable’ end? Interrogator Ehud (all names here are aliases) said: ‘We have a puzzle here, and we need answers for each question we are asking you in order to construct the puzzle’. ‘There is nothing that we are not going to get an answer to. If we do not get the answer directly from you we have to get it from other sources, and no matter how long it takes we will.’ Basically he is saying: we will be keeping you a long time until we get the answers we think we want. This was perhaps a technique to make me speak, but the issue of the ‘puzzle’ is consistent with the broader dimension of gathering ‘usable’ information. Another interrogator, Lavi, said: ‘We are interested in the truth and this is why we keep repeating the same questions and many others. It does not matter for us whether you are innocent or guilty. We are interested in knowing the truth.’ He also commented: ‘our interrogation is not like the police. The testimony you give to the police officer and then you go to court and they have to prove your innocence. We are different because our duty is to know the truth in order to protect the security of the ‘‘state’’.’
[. . . .]
The practice of isolating a detainee for a certain time, either by being left alone behind bars or simply isolated from a normal setting in the world outside the prison is coercion at the ultimate micro-scale of the individual body. From the interrogator’s perspective, this practice means that the detainee is not allowed to engage in any contact whatever without the full authority and supervision of the interrogator or another related person in authority. The interrogators act based on state law. One idea behind such spatial isolation is the prevention of ‘contamination’ by contact with others. ‘Usable information’ should be best extracted from a detainee before the interrogation process is ‘contaminated’ by his contact with others who may provide him with advice on how to answer (or not answer) questions or explain certain legal rights. Hence, interrogators seek a court order to prevent any contact between the detainee and his lawyer. In addition, they may request the court to place a gagging order on the case for a certain period of time. Building on a rationale of isolation and an assumption of ‘naiveté’ in a detainee (where s/he is not familiar with the imprisonment procedure), the interrogators seek to extract maximum usable information in a minimum amount of time before the spatial capsule they have created for the detainee is ‘pierced’ or ‘contaminated’. So the quality of usable information in this architectonics becomes a direct function of the degree of spatial isolation.

Ghazi-Walid Falah is a Bedouin Israeli-Canadian geographer, who is a tenured professor at the University of Akron, Ohio. He is an expert on political, social and urban geography of the Middle East and the Arab World, with special emphasis on Israel. Falah is a founder of the journal The Arab World Geographer and is Editor-in-Chief. The AWG has become the major journal published in English for research on the geography of the Arab, Muslim, and Middle-Eastern worlds.
___He was held for over three weeks in an Israeli jail after he was arrested on suspicion of espionage on July 8, 2006, while touring near the Lebanon border. He was denied access to a lawyer for the first 18 days of his detention.
___On July 30, 2006, the Israeli Shin Bet security service and the Israeli police released Dr. Falah without filing charges against him.