“. . . The metallic eagles swept down . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli forces, June 5, 1967 (Photo: No Right To Leave: The Struggle to Free Soviet Jewry)

❶ Knesset calls for permanent annexation on 50th anniversary of the occupation

  • Background: Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Tracking the trends of the Palestinian cause since 1967: Looking forward
❸ Palestinian presidency: Israel ‘destroying any chance of resuming peace process’
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ KNESSET  CALLS  FOR  PERMANENT  ANNEXATION  ON  50TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  OCCUPATION   
Ma’an News Agency
June 7, 2017     A number of far-right Israeli parliamentarians called for the permanent annexation of the occupied Palestinian territory during a Knesset plenary session on Tuesday to mark the 50-year anniversary of the Six-Day War.
[. . . .] Since 1967, Israel has stood accused of committing major violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including excessive and deadly use of violence; forced displacement; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; unjustified restrictions on movement; and the expansion of illegal settlements.
___“Fifty years on, and there are those who say the (1967) victory only complicated things for us; that the ‘occupation’ corrupts our society,” Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said . . . .   MORE. . .

Klug, Tony. A “NEVER-ENDING  OCCUPATION:  THE  END  OF  HOPE?” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 88-95.    [. . . .]  Adding to the despair is the anxiety that, in these times, the likely alternative to an indefinite occupation would appear to be annexation of all or part of the West Bank, an action that would not only be completely illegal under international law but would be politically explosive. It was for these reasons that the Israeli defense minister and war hero, General Moshe Dayan, reportedly retracted a proposal shortly after the 1967 war to extend Israeli law to the Occupied Territories.
[. . . .]  Israel’s immediate challenge on inheriting the West Bank was to quell any insurgency and restore order. Secondly, it had designs on chunks of the territory, including but not limited to East Jerusalem, which it promptly annexed along with an extensive hinterland.
[. . . .]___Many years later, following extensive changes on the ground, the pragmatic view among both Palestinians and Israelis is no longer wedded to two states alongside each other. Ominously, there is a common growing illusion that a deal based on reciprocal recognition is no longer necessary. Indeed, there are indications that both sides are reverting to the ingrained attitudes of an earlier era when each summarily rejected the national imperative of the other.
[. . . .] 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. Sheltering behind a fictional peace process, after 20 years of hollow talks, is no longer a credible option even for the most resolute devotees of direct negotiations.    MORE . . .   

❷ TRACKING  THE  TRENDS  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  SINCE  1967:  LOOKING  FORWARD   
Ma’an News Agency
Nadia Hijab, Mouin Rabbani
June 7, 2017 (Part 1, Looking Back, June 5, 2017)    In some respects the situation today has come full circle since 1967. The broadly unified Palestinian national movement that predominated from the 1960s to the 1990s has disintegrated, perhaps terminally so. It is today split between Fatah and Hamas, with the latter, along with Islamic Jihad, as yet excluded from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), while splits within Fatah and the PLO are rife [. . . .]
___As for Israel, 1967 transformed it from a regional state into a regional power. It is eager to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states, using Iran as the bogeyman to nurture that relationship. In turn, it wants to use that alliance to impose a deal on the Palestinians that would effectively perpetuate Israeli domination, achieving a final peace treaty whereby it would keep security control throughout the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), maintain its settlements, and continue to colonize. MORE. . .  

IDF leadership enters Jerusalem, 1967
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin, Gen. Rehavam Zeevi, And Gen. Narkis in the old city of Jerusalem, June 7 1967 (Photo by Ilan Bruner, GPO)

❸ PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENCY:  ISRAEL  ‘DESTROYING  ANY  CHANCE  OF  RESUMING  PEACE  PROCESS’  
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
June 8, 2017        Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh accusing the Israeli government on Wednesday of “destroying any chance of resuming the peace process,” after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to “protect the settlement enterprise” on Tuesday.
___”No one will be uprooted from their home, I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise,” Netanyahu reportedly said, reassuring his extremist settler support base that the settlements would continue in “all parts of Judea and Samaria (West Bank)” and that Israel had continued to build “both inside and outside the settlements.”
___Netanyahu’s remarks were made in a speech given during a ceremony on Tuesday held to commemorate the 50th year of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.
___These statements “prove to the international community once again that Israel still lays obstacles and destroys any chance of resuming the peace process,” Abu Rudeineh said, adding that Netanyahu’s remarks directly challenged US President Donald Trump’s efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.        MORE . . .

“PSALMS  OF  THE  PALESTINIANS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
From here
From this purgatory
Of sorrow
In the Holy Land
The orphaned birds beseech
Mankind
From here
From Jeneen
From Old Jerusalem
Alleluia

Once
A Gaza tune of yearning
Played
Once
The sad refrain
Kindled tragedy
In refugee tents
Once
In Jerusalem
The little ones chanted
We shall return
We shall return
Alleluia

The birds nest on our roof
The sparrow flies
In the horizon
And in exile
Under the hot sun
In the wind
Hearts―eyes
Implored:
God of glory
Return us
Our trial
Has gone on too long!
Alleluia―Alleluia

And then it happened
The metallic eagles swept down
They did not bring the sons of Zion
To Zion
Not the remaining crowds
They did not bring
Pious psalms
To the wailing wall
God of Glory!
What did they bring?
Do not ask me
For in my voice a pagan flame
Burns
And listen O God of Glory
Listen to the outcry of a dispossessed people
We have been tested long enough
We have carried the weight of centuries
Long enough
―Why aren’t you convinced?
Our days of trial have been too long
So
Return us―Return us
Alleluia―Alleluia―Alleluia.

About Sami Al-Qasim
From 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

“. . . Polished by our children’s blood And by the shame of ruins . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Samia Khoury, at lunch in East Jerusalem, November 5, 2015 (Photo: Harold Knight)

❶ 50 years of occupation will not kill hope for a free Palestine
❷ 50 years of occupation: still refugees. Stand with Palestine refugees
❸ Israeli settlers take over Palestinian lands in Salfit, erect illegal outpost

  • BACKGROUND from Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ 50  YEARS  OF  OCCUPATION  WILL  NOT  KILL  HOPE  FOR  A  FREE  PALESTINE    
openDemocracy
Samia Khoury
June 5, 2017
On its 40th day, the mass hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners was suspended after an agreement was reached to allow two visits per month.
___The strike was hailed as a small victory and highlights the dire conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. The demands throughout the strike have been within the minimum rights of political prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
[. . . .] I am just wondering what was it that moved Israel to respond to their demands, especially that the international community did not take any action.
[. . . .] In the meantime the Palestinians are commemorating fifty years of a brutal military occupation. With the Oslo agreement in 1993 we were all made to believe that the occupation will soon be over and that peace was around the corner. But after more than twenty years of futile negotiations we realised that this is not a normal occupation that was going to end by a UN resolution. It is in reality a settler colonial regime with an ongoing process of dispossession.
[. . . .] After 50 years, it is not easy to maintain hope and not to despair especially when we watch new realities on the ground . . .   But when I visit Rawdat El-Zuhur, the school which I served for many years and look at the bright shining eyes of the children, or when I hear my young grandson practicing his trumpet in the late afternoon I am determined that we cannot lose hope for the sake of those children.   MORE . . .
❷ 50  YEARS  OF  OCCUPATION:  STILL  REFUGEES.  STAND  WITH  PALESTINE  REFUGEES  
UNRWA USA
Received as email on June 5, 2017
This week marks a devastating anniversary for Palestinians: 50 years of the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
___In 1967, UNRWA had already been providing services to Palestine refugees displaced by the Nakba for 17 years. The Naksa — the new wave of displacement caused by the June 1967 war and subsequent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza — warranted the establishment of 10 new refugee camps, and UNRWA expanding its services to newly displaced Palestinians in need. Refugees still live in these camps today.
___Thank you for being one of the tens of thousands of concerned and compassionate supporters in the United States who stand with Palestine refugees. Please support our mission through your generous giving.       RESPOND . . .

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Israeli forces preventing Palestinians from performing Friday prayers on May 5, 2017, in Deir Istiya near an agricultural road that was closed by Israeli forces last year, preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❸ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  TAKE  OVER  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  IN  SALFIT,  ERECT  ILLEGAL  OUTPOST        
Ma’an News Agency      
June 7, 2017
A group of settlers from Israel’s illegal Nufim settlement erected an outpost on Tuesday on Palestinian lands in the Khirbet Shihada area in the eastern outskirts of the village of Deir Istiya in the occupied West Bank district of Salfit.
___Local activist Nathmi Salman told Ma’an that the settlers erected 13 tents and a number of wooden caravans on Palestinian land owned by residents of Deir Istiya.
___Salman added that a road equipped with electricity and lights was previously built to connect Nufim to the Palestinian lands where the outpost was then constructed.
___Palestinian farmers in Deir Istiya said that they were also threatened from going near the area by an armed Israeli settler.    MORE . . .  

Handel, Ariel. “Gated/Gating Community: The Settlement Complex in the West Bank.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 39, no. 4, Oct. 2014, pp. 504-517.
The claim that the settlements in the West Bank are gated communities might seem trivial. . .  From 1996 onward, Palestinians have been prohibited from entering settlement premises for any purpose other than work, and workers have been subjected to tight surveillance. Since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, security procedures have been further tightened and the fences significantly reinforced.
[. . . .] the settlement layout in the West Bank is not just an aggregate of 124 ‘legal’ gated communities and a similar number of ‘illegal outposts’, but rather a single, contiguous gated community gating, in turn, Palestinian ‘islands’ within it.
[. . . .] In this way, gated communities completely alter the physical space. They split the city into two layers, one connected and the other fragmented; one in movement and the other frozen. The highways that traverse the city to connect the gated communities to each other are extremely hazardous and exact a heavy toll of victims. Thus, even though an official prohibition against crossing them does not necessarily exist, these roads have created highly efficient demarcation lines.
[. . . .]  The settlements have been dispersed over the area by calculated design. . .   based on the settlers’ plans and backed by the state’s apparatuses and its military power . . . .
[. . . .]  The complex of gated communities, based as it is on the network of roads that connect small settlements, has the effect of blocking Palestinian movement and creating a ‘gating from within’ in which the minority gates the majority by help of state regulations and power . . . .  in a situation of perceived danger, movement itself becomes a problem, [and the politics] of mobility turns into a zero-sum game. Thus . . . under a real or perceived threat of crime, terror or other elements of ‘social danger’, [have enhanced] the connectivity of the people of means, while at the same time bolstering their corridors’ exclusionarity . . .  thereby reducing the rest of the population’s public space and freedom of movement.

“ON  THE  FIFTH  OF  JUNE,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
On the fifth,
Of June last
We returned to death its diplomatic bags
On the fifth
Of June last
We stripped the western winds
Of its ornamentation
Polished by our children’s blood
And by the shame of ruins
On the fifth
Of June last
The dead ascended to the United Nations
To partake in the emergency meeting
On the fifth
Of June last
We viewed the whole face of the globe
On the fifth
Of June last
The Arab oil wells continued flowing
In the midst of Arab lands
Towards the soil of western winds
On the fifth
Of June last

I do not weep!
I do not smile!

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
unwra

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

al-faraa
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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  MAN  DURING  PREDAWN  RAID  IN  AL-FARAA 
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 . . .

. . .
― (a) ISRAELI  FORCES  FIRE  TEAR  GAS  IN  ELDERLY  PALESTINIAN  WOMAN’S  HOME  DURING  NIGHT  RAID
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 [. . . .]  

❷ . MINISTRY  OF  INFORMATION:  OCCUPATION  IS  THE  ROOT  OF  ALL  EVILS  
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
Al-Ras al-Ahmar village near Tamun town, north of the Jordan Valley. (Photo: KhamakarPress, Nov. 11, 2016)

❸ . ISRAELI  FORCES  DESTROY  WATER  PIPELINE  SERVING  BEDOUIN  VILLAGES  IN  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK   
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 . . .

“. . . There’s enough room for both of us in the field . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Ziziphus spina-christi, the Christ's Thorn Jujube, an evergreen tree. It grows in Palestine in valleys up to an elevation of 500m. By some traditions, it was the tree from which Jesus' Crown of Thorns was made.  See poem below. (Photo: From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.)
Ziziphus spina-christi, the Christ’s Thorn Jujube, an evergreen tree. It grows in Palestine in valleys up to an elevation of 500m. By some traditions, it was the tree from which Jesus’ Crown of Thorns was made. See poem below. (Photo: From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.)

❶ 1 Palestinian killed, 1 injured after alleged attack in Beit Shemesh
❷ East Jerusalem is becoming a giant prison
❸ Israeli mistaken for Palestinian ‘attacker’ shot dead in Jerusalem
❹ Despite global disgust, Netanyahu doubles down on claim that Hitler got idea of Final Solution from a Palestinian
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Chaos in Jerusalem is a Warning of Things to Come
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
1  PALESTINIAN  KILLED,  1  INJURED  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACK  IN  BEIT  SHEMESH
Oct. 22, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — One Palestinian was killed and one critically injured by Israeli police in Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, on Thursday after an alleged stabbing attack, Israeli media and police said.
____An Israeli police spokesperson told Ma’an that two Palestinians attempted to board a children’s bus in the city but were blocked from entering, before stabbing an Israeli man in his twenties. Israeli police arrived on scene and shot the suspected attackers.
____The two men, along with the Israeli, were transferred to Hadassah hospital in Ein Karem.
____Israeli media reported that one of the suspected attackers was dead upon arrival to the hospital, the other left in critical condition. The Israeli man sustained moderate injuries in his upper body.
More . . .

Israeli police and stop and check Palestinians going out of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, October 15, 2015, Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)
Israeli police and stop and check Palestinians going out of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, October 15, 2015, Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

+972 MAGAZINE
EAST  JERUSALEM  IS  BECOMING  A  GIANT  PRISON
Yudith Oppenheimer
Oct. 21, 201
Let’s talk about life for a moment, about how we can live in this city. Let us set aside for now the differences of opinion on sovereignty and eternity and talk about this moment, in which we can still steer matters to their semi-sane course, and can still safeguard with the fragile, imperfect, problematic reality that we had here until a few days ago. It is difficult to believe, but we may yet miss this reality as a yearned-for island of near-normalcy that we have lost for some time.
____Let us make no mistake. Even if in a week, two weeks, a month, a year, the concrete barriers are removed that are now blocking the entrances and exits of the Palestinian neighborhoods . . . we will no longer be able to erase the stinging memory of the concrete barriers that we set up between us and them. The ones that have turned their home in the heart of the city into a series of shunned and isolated ghettos.
____These walls have already built unseen fences of hatred and will continue to exist in our midst as a malignant poison.
More . . .
Related . . . JERUSALEM  BECOMING  MINI-POLICE  STATE  AND  GHOST  CAPITAL
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  MISTAKEN  FOR  PALESTINIAN  ‘ATTACKER’  SHOT  DEAD  IN  JERUSALEM
Oct. 22, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Jewish man in central Jerusalem overnight Wednesday after mistaking him for a “Palestinian attacker,” Israeli police and media said.
____Israeli media said the man was shot after he attempted to grab a weapon from Israeli security forces after an argument. The man was identified as a Jewish-Israeli from his identity card.
____Other reports said a private security guard shot the man after an altercation as he was getting off a bus in the center of Jerusalem.
More . . .
MONDOWEISS
DESPITE  GLOBAL  DISGUST,  NETANYAHU  DOUBLES  DOWN  ON  CLAIM  THAT  HITLER  GOT  IDEA  OF  FINAL  SOLUTION  FROM  A  PALESTINIAN
News sites around the world today are talking about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion in a speech yesterday that Hitler didn’t want to kill the Jews, just expel them, till he was convinced to exterminate them by the Palestinian leader, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The criticism is so universal, and angry, that the remarks look to be a landmark in Netanyahu’s cynicism. . .
____Yet, in the face of the criticism Netanyahu is doubling down on his contention that Palestinians incited the holocaust. Here is what he said today before leaving to Berlin [. . . . .].
____Meanwhile, Germany says it has no idea what Netanyahu is talking about.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
CHAOS  IN  JERUSALEM  IS  A  WARNING  OF  THINGS  TO  COME
Oct. 21, 2015
Among Palestinians and Israelis, the recent upsurge in violence has been variously described as the children’s, lone-wolf, Jerusalem and smartphone intifadas. Each describes a distinguishing feature of this round of clashes.
____The steady erosion of Fatah and Hamas’ authority during the post-Oslo years, as the Palestinian factions proved incapable of protecting their people from the structural violence of the occupation, has driven Palestine’s politically orphaned children to the streets, armed with stones.
____The growing hopelessness and sense of abandonment have led a few so-called “lone wolves” to vent their fury on Israelis with improvised weapons such as knives, screwdrivers and cars. These attacks have attracted the most publicity, becoming the equivalent of the second intifada’s suicide bomber. But they serve chiefly as a barometer of Palestinian despair.
More . . . 

“CONVERSATION  BETWEEN  AN  EAR  OF  CORN  AND  A  JERUSALEM  ROSE  THORN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
(Scene: a Field on the Eastern Shore of the Mediterranean)

EAR OF CORN: Don’t kill me before my time is up.
JERUSALEM ROSE THORN: To kill for nothing is my only profession

EC: But your lovely flower
Is honey . . .
JRT: My unchecked desire
Is a road . . . its end is your death

EC: Live and die as you wish
With your sad flowers
And the gloom of your cursed desire
Live and die . . . but spare me
JRT: It’s our fate . . . I die so you may live
Or you die so I may live

EC: There’s enough room for both of us in the field
JRT: It’s our fate neighbor
It’s our fate
(Enter Fire and Fear jumps up)

EC & JRT: Don’t kill us fire
We are young and pretty and we grew up together
Don’t kill us
Don’t ki . . .
(Ashes, EC & JRT on the horizon)

From by Adonis, Mahmud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY.  London: Saqi Books, 2008.
Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim

Israeli police and stop and check Palestinians going out of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on October 15, 2015, Jerusalem, Israel. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)
Israeli police and stop and check Palestinians going out of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on October 15, 2015, Jerusalem, Israel. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

“. . . We have reached the peak of our tragedy. . . “ (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor press conference in Geneva. October 16,2015 (Euro-Med photo) See ❹ below.
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor press conference in Geneva. October 16,2015 (Euro-Med photo) See ❹ below.

❶ Settlers forcibly evict Palestinian families from Silwan homes
❷ Elderly Palestinian woman dies after delay at Jerusalem checkpoint
❸ Army Kidnaps Twelve Palestinians, Including 4 Children, In Jerusalem
❹ ‘Caught on Camera:’ eight extrajudicial killings of Palestinians
Opinion/Analysis: PALESTINIANS NEED HOPE, NOT CALM
❻ Poetry by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you for “following.”)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
SETTLERS  FORCIBLY  EVICT  PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  FROM  SILWAN  HOMES
Oct. 19, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — At least nine Palestinians were left homeless on Monday after settlers escorted by Israeli security personnel forcibly evicted them from their homes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
____The Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center said a large group of Israeli border police and officers escorted staff from the far-right Israeli Ateret Cohanim organization to the Batn al-Hawa area of the neighborhood.
____Israeli forces then surrounded two Palestinian houses belonging to the Abu Nab family before ransacking the property and evicting the families.
More . . . 
Related . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ELDERLY  PALESTINIAN  WOMAN  DIES  AFTER  DELAY  AT  JERUSALEM  CHECKPOINT
Oct. 19, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An elderly Palestinian woman died late Sunday after being delayed from reaching a hospital by an Israeli checkpoint recently set-up in the al-Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
____Huda Muhammad Darwish, 65, and her family were delayed from reaching the hospital after she suffered breathing difficulties following clashes in which tear gas was fired in the neighborhood, a local committee said.
____Her family tried to rush her to hospital, but Israeli troops ignored that there was a sick person in the car and delayed them at the checkpoint.
____Huda was pronounced dead at the hospital, although the cause of death is unclear.
More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ARMY  KIDNAPS  TWELVE  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  IN  JERUSALEM
Oct. 19, 2015
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), in occupied Jerusalem, has reported that dozens of soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening and Monday at dawn, various towns and neighborhoods in the city, and kidnapped twelve Palestinians, including four children between the ages of 11 and 14.
More . . .
MONDOWEISS
‘CAUGHT  ON  CAMERA:’  EIGHT  EXTRAJUDICIAL  KILLINGS  OF  PALESTINIANS
Annie Robbins
Oct. 18, 2015
A new report summarizing Israel’s Arbitrary Killings and its System of Structural Violence was released by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor at a press conference in Geneva on Friday. The release included the following video, “Caught on Camera: Israel’s extrajudicial killings,” illustrating the killings of Palestinian civilians involved in political protests during the last two weeks.
____The report follows Euro-Med Monitor‘s October 10th Call on International Community to halt Israel’s extrajudicial executions.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
PALESTINIANS  NEED  HOPE,  NOT  CALM
John V. Whitbeck
Oct. 18, 2015
Since the current upsurge of violence in Israel and occupied Palestine began, numerous foreign leaders, as well as the UN Security Council, have cited the urgent need to restore “calm”. It is not calm, a euphemism for Palestinian submission that is urgently needed but, rather, genuine and credible hope for freedom and some measure of justice.
____The Israeli government will not provide hope, and the Palestinian Authority cannot provide it.
More . . .

“ON  THE  TRUNK  OF  AN  OLIVE  TREE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

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.
About Tafiq Zayyad. 

The settlement organization, Ateerat Cohanim, seized two houses in the area of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday morning. (Photo: Silwan, Jerusalem SILWANIC)
The settlement organization, Ateerat Cohanim, seized two houses in the area of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday morning. (Photo: Silwan, Jerusalem SILWANIC)

“. . . I confronted my oppressors, carrying my blood in my palms . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Mohammed Alawna, 21, Jenin, announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces
Mohammed Alawna, 21, Jenin, announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES WOUND 8 AT FUNERAL OF 53-YEAR-OLD KILLED THURSDAY
July 23, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces injured eight Palestinians in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar Thursday as clashes erupted after the funeral of Falah Abu Maria, who was shot dead in his home at dawn during an Israeli arrest raid, witnesses said.
____Spokesman for a popular committee in the Hebron-area town, Mohammad Ayyad Awad, said that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at funeral attendees.
____The mourners received light to medium injuries, and three were transferred to hospitals in Hebron for treatment, he said.
(More. . .)
(Background) ISRAELI FORCES KILL 53-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN NEAR HEBRON, INJURE SONS. July 23, 2015.
(More. . .) PALESTINIAN FACTIONS DECRY STRING OF KILLINGS BY ISRAELI FORCES
(More. . .) MARTYR ABU MARIA, SUMMED UP THE SUFFERING OF HIS PEOPLE

❷ From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL ARRESTS 20 PALESTINIANS IN WEST BANK, JERUSALEM
July 24, 2015
HEBRON, July 23, 2015 (WAFA) – At least 20 Palestinians were arrested on Thursday by the Israeli army during predawn and night raids across the West Bank districts and in Jerusalem, according to local and security sources.
____In Hebron district, Israeli forces stormed the town of Dahiriya at night and arrested three Palestinians, identified as Khalil Jabarin, 30, Mujahed Jabarin, 45, and Ayesh Awaysah, 42.
____Israeli soldiers also raided the village of al-Majd, west of Hebron, and arrested Majed Amr, a local Palestinian, and his two sons, Amjad and Ashraf.
(More. . .)

❸ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK (PNN)
YOUTH DIES OF WOUNDS AFTER SHOT BY ISRAELI SOLDIERS
July 22, 2015
Mohammed Alawna, 21, this morning was announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during clashes in Burqin village near Jenin.
____According to security sources, Mohammed was shot in the chest. He was rushed to the Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital for treatment, underwent surgery, and was later announced dead of his wounds.
(More. . .)

Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Falah Abu Maria, 53, who was shot dead by Israeli forces
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Falah Abu Maria, 53, who was shot dead by Israeli forces

❹ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ADVANCES 1,065 SETTLEMENT HOUSING UNITS
July 24, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s Civil Administration advanced plans for the development of 1,065 housing units in eight different settlements throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a settlement watchdog announced Thursday.
____The civil administration — Israel’s governing body for the occupied West Bank — approved 15 plans for various planning stages in the settlements at hand, Peace Now said.
____Approved plans included legalizing 228 already existing housing units that have been completed in settlements, as well as 541 new housing units yet to be constructed.
(More. . .)

❺ From +972 MAGAZINE
COURT DENIES EQUAL RIGHTS TO PALESTINIAN WORKERS IN ISRAELI INDUSTRIAL ZONE
Haggai Matar
July 23, 2015
Israel’s National Labor Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian workers from the Nitzanei Shalom Industrial Zone this past Sunday, ruling that they will continue to be subject to the Jordanian labor laws of 1967, rather than Israeli laws.
____The three appellants — Abdel Hamid Yahiye, Ahmed Shayib and Mujhad Harsha — sued their former employers in Tel Aviv’s Regional Labor Court in 2010 after they were fired for demanding retroactive payment from their employer.
(More. . .)

❻ Opinion
From JADALIYYA (ARAB STUDIES INSTITUTE)
PLANNING UNDER OCCUPATION: ELASTIC GEOGRAPHIES AND ‘AREA C’
Lamya Hussain
July 16, 2015
In recent years there has been growing concern about Israel’s planning regime and its operations across the West Bank. In particular, organizations have expressed their apprehension towards the growing number of demolitions, eviction orders, and restrictions in Area C. According to the 1995 Oslo Accords, Area C of the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) amounts to an estimated sixty-two percent of the West Bank. It is rich in land and water, and critical to the sustainable long-term development of a future viable Palestinian state. Israeli restrictions on planning and development in Area C have created systemic poverty and instability across local Palestinian communities, undermining developmental possibilities. Additionally, Israel has tightened its military control of Area C of late, and increased restrictions on the delivery of international aid and humanitarian assistance. This process has produced new threats for an already vulnerable population, and brings into question both the legitimacy and responsibility of Israel as an occupying power.
(More. . .)

“I CLASP YOUR HANDS,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but mu share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

From THE PALSESTINIAN 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.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994 in a dreadful car crash while on his way to meet Yasser Arafat in Jericho after the Oslo agreements. He participated in Palestinian political life in occupied Palestine, was elected mayor of Nazareth, and served as a member of the Israeli Knesset.
(More. . .)

A view of the Beit El settlement with Ramallah in the background. Photo by Michael Omer-Man.
A view of the Beit El settlement with Ramallah in the background. Photo by Michael Omer-Man.

“. . . In the middle of a siege it’s still possible to dream. . .” (Sami Faraj)

Many Palestinian families still have the keys to their homes after the Nakba.(Charlie Hoyle)
Many Palestinian families still have the keys to their homes after the Nakba.(Charlie Hoyle)

❶ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
EREKAT ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF 1967 OCCUPATION: ISRAEL CONTINUES TO DENY PALESTINIAN RIGHTS
June 5, 2015
Over 12 million Palestinians living in the occupied State of Palestine and worldwide are commemorating 67 years of the ongoing Nakba and 48 years of Israel military occupation since 1967.
____“The Israeli government, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, is determined to undermine the Palestinian right to live in dignity, and is obstructing our right to self-determination,” said Dr. Saeb Erekat, Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee. . .
____ The 5th of June marks the 48th anniversary of the six-day war and the Palestinian Naksa, in which Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, The Egyptian Sinai and the Syrian Golan heights.
(More. . .)

❷ From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY (WAFA)
ISRAELI FORCES DEMOLISH OVER 30 RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES IN JORDAN VALLEY
June 4, 2015
Israeli forces early Thursday demolished over thirty residential structures and livestock barns in the northern Jordan Valley localities, according to a municipal source.
____Escorting bulldozers, Israeli forces broke into and cordoned the area off and prevented locals from approaching the structures slated for demolition.
____According to Head of al-Malih Village Council, ‘Aref Daraghma, forces proceeded afterwards to level and demolish residential structures, livestock barns and tanks belonging to four families without any prior notice purportedly for being built without license. . .
____Mayor of Tubas and the Northern Jordan Valley Ahmad As‘ad slammed the demolition as a ‘racist Israeli occupation practice’.
____“These practices unveil the true face of the Israeli democracy. Carried out a day after Israeli general elections, they indicate that the Israeli government is led by settlers, seeking to fulfill their plans and expel indigenous Palestinian communities from the Jordan Valley in order to expand settlements and Judaize the land,” remarked As‘ad. . . .
(More. . .)

❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
IN SHADOW OF SETTLEMENT, SUSIYA VILLAGERS VOW TO FIGHT DISPLACEMENT
Charlie Hoyle
June 4, 2015
KHIRBET SUSIYA (Ma’an) — “Seven times they have demolished it,” Susiya resident Nasser Nawaja says. “But the villagers have built it again every time.”
____One of the 300 or so Palestinians living in the herding and shepherding community in the south Hebron hills, Nawaja is part of the latest generation of Palestinians who have inherited a decades-old struggle against forced displacement by Israel.
____”People are very sad. Every night they pray to God that their homes will not be demolished, the situation is not normal,” he told Ma’an . . .
(More. . .)
(Background)
(More background)Haifa neighborhood before 1948

Haifa neighborhood before 1948

❹ From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
STATUS OF PALESTINE IN 2015
June 4, 2015
Some of this information is from a summary issued by the Negotiations Affairs Department (an independent group advising Palestinian negotiators):
– It has been 67 years since the occupation of 78% of Palestine in 1948.
– It has been 48 years since the occupation of the other 22% of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza) that started 1967.
– Today there are 12.5 million Palestinians. 7.2 million of us are refugees/displaced people (six million from the ethnic cleansing of 1948-1950, 843,737 from 1967 Naksa, and 345,217 internal displacement within the green line, 57,669 internally displaced in 1967 areas).
– UNRWA has 5.4 million registered refugees and has established and operates in 59 official refugee camps (17 unofficial camps). . .
– When the Balfour declaration was issued in 1917, there were some 850,000 Palestinians – only 7 percent of us were Jewish-Palestinians (and most Jews were also opposed to Zionism).
– Roughly 6.5 million Palestinians still live in Palestine, though they are restricted to use 8.7% of the land (Qumsiyeh calculation) and have no sovereignty even in those remaining areas.
(MORE. . .)

❺ From +972 MAGAZINE ONLINE
HOW THE IDF’S HI-TECH REVOLUTION CHEAPENS PALESTINIAN LIVES
Natasha Roth
June 3, 2015
The IDF is developing new technology that will eventually cut down on the need for soldiers to go to the front lines. What does this mean for the Palestinians whose lives will hang on the decision of a machine?
The Israeli army is optimistic that there will be no need for soldiers to be stationed on Israel’s borders in the future. Not because there will be peace, and not because there will be no need to maintain militarized borders. Rather it is because they are working towards unmanned, weaponized patrol vehicles that will do the job instead.
____A blog post on the topic published on the IDF’s English-language website, which was was shared on the IDF’s official Facebook page, was accompanied by the comment: “In 10 years there won’t be any soldiers guarding Israel’s borders. . .
(More. . .)

“A WOMAN,” BY SAMIH FARAJ

Take one step towards the old house
And another down the stairs to the home
Where a woman sits in the early evening light:
Light, the radiance of a dove, shining;
Or light like the light from a shrine.
No one knows where she has come from –
Through which quarter or distant land she passed.
What shadow the light cast when she’d gone.
No one knows the flood she passed through –
The risks she took, the daily deluge.
No one can measure the vast sea she crossed,
The hazards she held in her small hands.
An ordinary woman: one step at a time, one step
On the land lacking, on the barren soil; one step
On the time passing; one step on the clock ticking.
Except for something in her now rising, hot, scolding,
Even her dreams are besieged, it seems; yet
In the middle of a siege it’s still possible to dream.
A dream of the old house, and her first step.
—Translated by Jackie Kay

Samih Faraj is a teacher in Deheishe Refugee Camp and a lecturer at Hebron and Bethlehem Universities. He has been editor-in-chief of several journals, including VOICE OF THE NATION.
About education in Deheishe Refugee Camp.
Poem from A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
About the book

Beit Hanina  Palestinian neighborhood, East Jerusalem, today
Beit Hanina Palestinian neighborhood, East Jerusalem, today

A dedicated post.

caucus-obama-netanyahu-blog480

This remarkable event deserves a post of its own.

President Obama may have sealed his “legacy” as the first President to speak the truth to power.

I am more worried about what I described earlier, which is an Israeli politics that’s motivated only by fear. And that then leads to a loss of those core values that, when I was young and I was admiring Israel from afar, were what were the essence of this nation. There are things that you can lose that don’t just involve rockets.

FOCUS ON GAZA “. . . A chronic, dizzying nausea permeates the air . . .” (Asma Shaker)

This posting draws together articles from reliable sources readily available on the internet. All are concerning the Israeli bombardment of Gaza last  year. (Note: this posting begins the series of “Featured Poet” in which a poem by a Palestinian poet will be included in each post.)

FROM
haaretz
THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT ISRAEL’S ACTIONS IN GAZA

Getting the head of the UN panel fired won’t change the outcome of its probe into possible war crimes committed in Gaza — unless his replacement is either a racist or a liar.

By Gideon Levy | Feb. 5, 2015
What a huge diplomatic achievement: Israel has succeeded in getting the Canadian law professor William Schabas to resign from his post as head of a UN inquiry panel into potential war crimes in Gaza. (Article printed in full at end of this post)
________________________________________________
FROM
Washington-Post-Logo
WAR PUNISHES GAZA
February 12, 2015
Half a year after devastating hostilities, life in the region seems worse than ever. Thousands remain displaced, internal violence is increasing – and Hamas is preparing for battle. (Illustrated article here.)
________________________________________________

EYEWITNESS TO GAZA, CONVERSATION WITH  MAURINE AND BOB TOBIN
In December 2014 Robert and Maurine Tobin traveled to Gaza to witness and report on the horrible bombing of Gaza by the Israeli Military in July of that year. They were devastated by what they saw: houses, apartment buildings, schools, factories, the zoo and children’s playgrounds were all destroyed. 250,000 people are now homeless and 10,895 are wounded and 2,191 were killed. Maurine says, what is common knowledge in Israel and that is “Gaza is used as a testing ground for the Israeli Military hardware”. (Their conversation here.)
maurine and bob

__________________________________________________

FROM
wrmeaorgbannerlogo7

Special Report
CEASE-FIRE FOLLOWS CEASE-FIRE BUT GAZA REMAINS A PRISON
By Rachelle Marshall
October 2014

Israel began the process of dismantling Gaza’s economy almost as soon as it captured the strip of territory from Egypt in 1967. Most of Gaza’s inhabitants were refugees from Palestine who had been forced off their land in 1948 when Israel became a state. Once in Gaza they built up a thriving fishing industry and an international market for their fruits and vegetables, but after 1967 Israel’s export restrictions and diversion of Gaza’s water to settlers did so much damage to the economy that by 2006 Gaza’s annual per capita gross domestic product was down to $600, a fraction of what it had been before the occupation. (Full article here.)
_________________________________
FROM
nsnewlogo_2014
LIFE AMONG THE RUINS: TEN DAYS INSIDE THE GAZA STRIP
By Donald Macintrye.
13 August 2014
The grossly asymmetrical casualties inflicted on the Palestinians have obscured another important question: how far have they even been worth it from Israel’s point of view? (Full article here.)
________________________________
FEATURED POET

AN IMAGINARY RAID
by Asma Shaker

Everything shakes – the floor, the door, even the plastic on the windows. A chronic, dizzying nausea permeates the air during every raid.
A formation of F16 planes flies over: right there – just above us. It marks a dead-straight line of smoke, tearing up the whiteness of the clouds.
‘It’s a pretend raid,’ says my father, as we tremble like we’re sitting on little earthquakes.
‘They’re just messing about. I reckon they’re just little planes training…don’t be scared.”
Then a different type of bombardment: successive tremors, air pressure and noise making everything convulse…the sound of explosion after explosion, it can’t be…it definitely can’t just be the wind.

Asma Shaker was born in Libya in 1987. She returned to Gaza with her family in the late 1990s. She studies journalism at the Islamic University of Gaza, and has worked as a literary correspondent for several publications, both Palestinian and pan-Arab. She currently works as a writer on visual arts for Aljazeera’s documentary site. Her stories have been published in regional and pan-Arab newspapers and magazines.
_________________________________
(Complete article from above.)

THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT ISRAEL’S ACTIONS IN GAZA
Getting the head of the UN panel fired won’t change the outcome of its probe into possible war crimes committed in Gaza — unless his replacement is either a racist or a liar.
By Gideon Levy | Feb. 5, 2015

What a huge diplomatic achievement: Israel has succeeded in getting the Canadian law professor William Schabas to resign from his post as head of a UN inquiry panel into potential war crimes in Gaza.

Through persistent surveillance, Israel’s intelligence and propaganda branches revealed that Schabas had once received a $1,300 fee from the PLO. Conclusion: he sold his soul to the devil. The ref sucks. Q.E.D.

One needs a great deal of chutzpah and arrogance to dig anew into the pasts of Israel’s critics in an effort to assassinate their character, as in the case of Richard Goldstone, merely because they dared to criticize the state. As far as Israel is concerned, the fate of anyone who criticizes the country is sealed. He’s an anti-Semite, anti-Israeli, greedy or driven by ulterior motives.

In Israel’s eyes there’s no such thing as conscientious individuals who are genuinely and truly shocked by its acts, even without being paid $1,300 from the PLO. As far as Israel is concerned, there are no justice-seeking people of law, or simply decent ordinary people, who were aghast at what it did in the Gaza Strip last summer. If they were shaken – they’re either anti-Semites, or receive money from the PLO. There’s no other possibility.

But the truth is just the opposite. Those who weren’t shocked deserve to be condemned, have their character assassinated and their past scrutinized. They either live in blindness, denial and repression, or their moral standards are fundamentally distorted and flawed.

It was impossible not to be appalled by what the Israel Defense Forces did in Gaza last summer — unless you’re a propagandist, a liar or a racist. In any case, it’s impossible to support Israel in view of what it is doing to the Palestinians. Nor is there a way to be an international law expert and sympathize with what Israel is doing. Schabas’ sin is that he doesn’t. He should be proud of it.

Only an inquiry panel for the Anti-Defamation League, the Micronesian government or Habayit Hayehudi party would not have castigated the IDF’s rampage in the Gaza Strip, which was more brutal and savage than any of its previous rampages. A B’Tselem report released last week (“Black Flag: the legal and moral implications of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014”) recounted what had so rapidly been forgotten: war crimes.

B’Tselem investigated 70 cases of bombarding residential buildings, in which 606 people were killed in their homes or near them, over 70 percent of them children, women and elderly people. The mind boggles. The most moral army in its most immoral spectacle yet, with the missiles aimed at buildings’ rooftops and all its “warnings.”

The victims’ blood is crying out. But not in Israel. Here the propaganda and media have done their job. In the election campaign there’s no mention of the most important event in the outgoing government’s term. Even the opposition dares not mention it. The Zionist Camp knows it would have done the same (“in the war on terror there’s no coalition and opposition,” Isaac Herzog said last week).

Even the fate of 20,000 people who still remain homeless, about half a year after the bombardment, in Gaza’s winter, is of no concern to anyone here. They’re Palestinians. Besides, they fired Qassam rockets and hid in residential buildings and only Hamas is to blame. And all the buildings that were bombed – they were Hamas outposts and situation rooms, and all the people killed were terrorists or children of terrorists.

Soon the report of the panel without Schabas will be released. It won’t be “balanced,” as Israeli propaganda is demanding, because the situation is far from being balanced. The five Israeli citizens and 67 soldiers who were killed will likely be mentioned in it, as will the thousands of rockets fired at Israelis. But even with the panel’s new, “balanced” head, the report will mention that in the summer of 2014 Israel committed atrocities beyond all proportion in the Gaza Strip. There’s just no other fair way to describe it.