“Prison is a moral position that must be made daily . . . .” Khalida Jarrar

NEWS  OF  THE  DAY

Israeli settlers storm northern Jordan Valley villages

WAFA
Feb 21 2020
Thousands of Israeli settlers today stormed the northern Jordan Valley villages of al-Burj and Umm al-Qaba.
– – – – Aref Daraghmeh, a local activist, confirmed that Israeli forces escorted a convoy of buses packed with some 4,000 settlers into the two villages, where they stayed for over four hours. This came after Israel sealed off the main checkpoint of Tayaseer, east of Tubas city, in a prelude to the settlers’ encroachment into the villages.
– – – – The Jordan Valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank. Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.    More . . . .

Archbishop Hanna: “We Urge All Churches Globally To Reject Deal Of The Century”

IMEMC News
Feb 20 2020
Archbishop of Sebastia Diocese Of the Greek Orthodox Church in occupied Jerusalem, Attallah Hanna, welcomed a delegation of the World Council of Churches at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the adjacent cathedral, and urged them, along with all churches, to denounce the so-called “Deal of the Century” and the ongoing historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people in their occupied homeland.
– – – – Archbishop Hanna called on the World Council of Churches to take clear Christian standards, based on the holy bible, humanity, morality, and dignity, to stand firm against this so-called deal, and not to surrender to pressure from the Zionist lobby which is acting against basic the principles of justice and freedom.
– – – – “What is the benefit of having a World Council of Churches if it becomes a political organization serving certain interests against the other, and if it continues to be hesitant about taking obvious stances against occupation, oppression, and injustice targeting the Palestinian people,” Archbishop Hanna said.    More . . . .

Bereaved Mother of Palestinian Prisoner Denied Visit to her Other Son in Israeli Prison

The Palestine Chronicle
Feb 20 2020
The mother of a Palestinian prisoner in Israel was denied today the right to visit her son in prison, reported WAFA correspondent.
– – – – Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint northwest of Ramallah stopped Amneh Abu Diak, from Silat al-Daher village, near Jenin, and told her that she could not proceed with the visit.
– – – – Her other son, Sami, DIED FROM CANCER last November in an Israeli jail due to medical negligence. From the prison, his last message was:  “I want to be in my last days and hours beside my mother and my loved ones, and I want to die in her arms.”    More . . . .

BACKGROUND / OPINION

Palestinian Prisoner Khalida Jarrar in her own Words: The Age of Freedom Will Come

The Palestine Chronicle
Feb 19 2020
Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian feminist, a lawyer, educator and an elected parliamentarian. Over the years, she came to symbolize Palestinian popular resistance in the occupied West Bank, enraging the Israeli occupation authorities that arrested her repeatedly. . . .
– – – – After her release from prison in February 2019, she was rearrested in October, and is currently held under a precarious Israeli law known as ‘administrative detention’. This law is inconsistent with international law and the most basic requirements of fair trial in democratic countries, as prisoners are incarcerated for prolonged periods, without charge or due process.
– – – – Between her release and re-arrest, Jarrar contributed a Foreword. . . . Below are excerpts of Jarrar’s Foreword. . . .Prison is not just a place made of high walls, barbed wire and small, suffocating cells with heavy iron doors. . . .  No, prison is more than all of this. It is also stories of real people, daily suffering and struggles against the prison guards and administration. Prison is a moral position that must be made daily, and can never be put behind you.    More . . . .

POEM  OF  THE  DAY

“TAKE  ME  TO  AL-QASTAL,”  BY  SAMI  AL-JUNDI

There, in the cradle of yearning
Where the birds circle in cheerless skies
in the pine forests,
There rest the souls of the ancients
Did you ask the Swallow, my friend,
About Al-Qastal?

From a hill looking over Deir Yassin
Where love was first born
Thousands of years ago
Before the birth of Christ
Before the budding of jasmine
By the cradle of the goldfinch
Be sure to ask about Al-Qastal.

A deep valley
A mystifying magic and a nectar of secrets
A flock of pigeons and a nightingale
And the remains of a forgotten village and a cross
Ruins of a Babylonian minaret
There, where the moon is near
And our first concern is
Love and Al-Qastal.

Take me to Al-Qastal
Take me to the beautiful grave
Take me to my last home
And load me up with the tragedies of the Arabs
And all the fragrance of the ancestors
My home is the prettiest
My grave is the largest
My path is to Al-Qastal.
—Translated by Amal Eqeiq

About Sami Al-Jundi, author of THE HOUR OF SUNLIGHT: ONE PALESTINIAN’S JOURNEY FROM PRISONER TO PEACEMAKER.
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“Here we shall stay.  A wall upon your breast . . .” Tawfiq Zayyad

NEWS

PM calls on ICC to expedite investigation of Israeli war crimes

WAFA
February 15, 2020
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called today upon the International Criminal Court to expedite its litigation procedures, especially after the ICC’s chief prosecutor announced in December its desire to launch a full investigation into Israeli war crimes in occupied Palestine.
– – – During a meeting with ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the sideline of the Munich Security Conference 2020, Shtayyeh said he rejects all attempts to politicize the work of the ICC . . .   More . . .

Israeli Authorities displace families in Jerusalem and West Bank after razing their homes

Days of Palestine
February 15, 2020
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Thursday forced a Palestinian citizen to demolish his own house in Jerusalem and demolished another one in the West Bank.
– – – According to local sources, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem forced Iyad Shuwaiki to demolish his own home in al-Thuri neighborhood, south of the Aqsa Mosque, and displaced his family in order to build a school in its place.  More . . .

Israeli Authorities Builds Settler-only Road from Nablus to Jordan Valley

The Palestine Chronicle
February 14, 2020
Israeli occupation authorities have started the build of a new road that would link the illegal Jewish settlements of Eli and Shilo  – in the north of the occupied West Bank – with the Jordan Valley.
– – – Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlements file in the northern West Bank, told Wafa news agency yesterday that the settler-only road is about eight kilometers long.
– – – The road would cross fertile agricultural lands in the Palestinian villages of Duma, Telfit, Qaryut, and Al-Mughair, south of Nablus, all the way to the village of Fasayil in the central Jordan Valley.  More . . .

BACKGROUND INFORMATION/ ACTION NOTICES

How the U.S. made Palestine the exception to the rules of peacemaking
Israel has only ever offered Palestinians two things over the past century — submission or devastation — and the Americans have always backed them.

+972 Magazine
By Amjad Iraqi
February 10, 2020
Palestinians knew well before U.S. President Donald Trump announced the “Deal of the Century” that his proposed “peace plan” would be a farce. Yet even the most cynical observers could not have predicted how bone-chilling the event would be. The racism of Trump’s remarks, the grin on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face, and the applause of the dignitaries in the room, may go down as one of the most harrowing political moments in Palestinian memory . . . . It was therefore a jarring experience to read Khaled Elgindy’s book Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump (Brookings Institution Press, 2019) as the “Deal of the Century” was being unveiled. Published in 2019, Elgindy’s book chronicles how the United States not only enabled this historical path, but actively designed its trajectory. Beginning with the Balfour Declaration and ending with Trump’s ascension, the book traces America’s century-long alignment with the Zionist movement and the State of Israel, which came at the direct expense of the Palestinian people.    More . . .

 Poem of the Day

“THE  IMPOSSIBLE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD

It is much easier for you
To pass an elephant through a needle’s eye,
Or catch fried fish in a galaxy,
Plough the sea,
Force a crocodile to speak
Than to destroy by persecution
The shimmering glow of a belief,
Or check our march,
One single step.

As if we were a thousand prodigies
Spreading everywhere
In Lidda, in Ramallah, in the Galilee. . .
Here we shall stay,
A wall upon your breast,
And in your throat we shall stay,
A piece of glass, a cactus thorn,
And in your eyes,
A blazing fire.

Here we shall stay,
A wall upon your breast,
Cleaning dishes in taverns,
Filling cups for the masters,
Sweeping sooty kitchens
To snatch a bite from your blue fangs
For our children.

Here we shall stay.
A wall upon your breast,
Facing starvation,
Struggling with rags, defying,
Singing our songs,
Swarming the angry streets with our demonstrations,
Filling the dungeons with pride,
Rearing vengeance in new generations.
Like a thousand prodigies,
We roam along
In Lidda, in Ramallah, in the Galilee.

Here we shall stay,
Go then and jump into the lake.
We will guard even the shadow of our fig and olive trees,
And ferment our cause as yeast does dough.
Here we shall stay with steel-cold nerves,
And red hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And lull starvation with dust,
But we shall not depart.
Here we shall spill our dearest blood,
Here we have a past,
A present,
A future.
Stay we will, like a thousand prodigies,
In Lidda, Ramallah, the Galilee.
Strike deep in the earth
Our living roots.

From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.  Available from Google Books.

“. . . Sabra – sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Selected News of the Day

OIC: Israeli Government Fully Responsible for Consequences of Colonial Policies

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
September 16, 2019
The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held fully responsible the Israeli government for the consequences of its colonial policies in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This came during the 16th extraordinary meeting of the OIC council of foreign ministers held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the “Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to annex territories in the Occupied West Bank.” ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The council proclaimed absolute rejection and vehemently condemned the Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to “apply Israeli sovereignty on all of the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea and settlements in the occupied West Bank”, describing it as a dangerous escalation, a further serious encroachment on the historical and legal rights of the Palestinian people, a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, the principles of international law and the relevant UN resolutions . . .   More . . . .

Palestinian FM discusses Israeli plans on Jordan Valley with Jordanian, Turkish counterparts

WAFA
September 16, 2019
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki met in Jeddah with his Jordanian and Turkish counterparts and discussed coordinating efforts to confront the declaration by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on annexing the occupied Jordan Valley and Israeli violations in Jerusalem and its Islamic holy places.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Malki told Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi that annexing the Jordan Valley will destroy any chance of having a just and comprehensive peace in the region and will be a threat to world peace and security. Safadi stressed Jordan’s strong position against Netanyahu’s plans, which it considers a blatant violation of international law and undermines the right of peoples in this region to live in peace.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The Malki-Safadi meeting took place on the side of a meeting for foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) member states, who also strongly condemned Israeli plans to annex any part of the occupied Palestinian territory.  More . . . .

Blackout expected in parts of West Bank as Israel’s electricity company starts power cut

WAFA
September 16, 2019
Several hours of blackout are expected to disrupt life in parts of the West Bank next Monday and Tuesday as the Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) intends to cut power supply to the Palestinian-owned Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), today said JDECO chairman of board and CEO Hisham Omari.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He said his company has received the third warning from the IEC informing it that it will start rationing or cutting electricity supply to some of the company’s concession areas . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Omari considered the IEC decision, supported by the Israeli government, as “collective punishment against the Palestinian people,” warning that if IEC goes on with its threat, it will have serious repercussions, particularly on hospitals, education, water supply, communications and many other vital areas.  More . . . .

Remembering the Sabra and Shatila massacre (Sep 16, 1982 – Sep 18, 1982)

For the Palestinians, the tragedy of Sabra and Shatila remains as a powerful reminder of their apparently endless cycle of displacement.
The Middle East Monitor
September 16, 2019
Thirty-seven years ago this week, one of the bloodiest chapters in Palestinian history unfolded in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Surrounded by Israeli forces from all sides, thousands of refugees, bereft of leadership and protection from the international community, were slaughtered during a two day killing spree in the Shatila refugee camp and the adjacent Sabra neighbourhood of Beirut by the Christian Phalangist militia, Israel’s paramilitary ally in Lebanon.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli forces, who had invaded Lebanon three months earlier, advanced into Beirut and surrounded the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila. A tenuous ceasefire agreement had already been brokered by the US. . .  UN Security Council Resolution 520 dated 17 September was passed unanimously and condemned “the recent Israeli incursions into Beirut in violation of the cease-fire agreements and of Security Council resolutions.” Israel ignored this resolution too.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Virtually sealed off from the outside world by Israeli tanks, hundreds of Phalangist fighters — a Christian militia group inspired by European fascists — were instructed by Israeli forces to clear out PLO members from the area. What unfolded over the following day and half horrified the world.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In the 38 hours that the Israelis allowed the Phalange militia to enter the refugee camp unhindered, the Palestinians bunkered in their makeshift shelters suffered unspeakable horrors. Israel’s proxy militiamen raped, tortured, mutilated and killed more than 3,000 Palestinian and Lebanese residents of Sabra and Shatila.  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

SABRA AND SHATILA BY MAHMOUD DARWISH
Sabra – a sleeping girl
The men left
War slept for two short nights,
Beirut obeyed and became the capital…
A long night
Observing the dreams in Sabra,
Sabra is sleeping.
Sabra – the remains of a dead body
She bid farewell to her horsemen and time
And surrendered to sleep out of tiredness.. and the Arabs who threw her behind them.
Sabra – and what the soldiers Departing from Galilee forgot
She doesn’t buy and sell anything but her silence
To buy flowers to put on her braided hair.
Sabra – sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war:
Why do you go?
And leave your wives in the middle of a hard night?
Why do you go?
And hang your night
Over the camp and the national anthem?
Sabra – covering her naked breasts with a farewell song
Counts her palms and gets it wrong
While she can’t find the arm:
How many times will you travel?
And for how long?
And for what dream?
If you return one day
for which exile shall you return,
which exile brought you back?
Sabra – tearing open her chest:
How many times
does the flower bloom?
How many times
will the revolution travel?
Sabra – afraid of the night. Puts it on her knees
covers it with her eyes’ mascara. Cries to distract it:
They left without saying
anything about their return
Withered and tended
from the rose’s flame!
Returned without returning
to the beginning of their journey
Age is like children
running away from a kiss.
No, I do not have an exile
To say: I have a home
God, oh time ..!
Sabra – sleeps. And the fascist’s knife wakes up
Sabra calls who she calls
All of this night is for me, and night is salt
the fascist cuts her breasts – the night reduced –
he then dances around his knife and licks it.
Singing an ode to a victory of the cedars,
And erases
Quietly .. Her flesh from her bones
and spreads her organs over the table
and the fascist continues dancing and laughs for the tilted eyes
and goes crazy for joy, Sabra is no longer a body:
He rides her as his instincts suggest, and his will manifests.
And steals a ring from her flesh and blood and goes back to his mirror
And be – Sea
And be – Land
And be – Clouds
And be – Blood
And be – Night
And be – Killing
And be – Saturday
and she be – Sabra.
Sabra – the intersection of two streets on a body
Sabra, the descent of a Spirit down a Stone
And Sabra – is no one
Sabra – is the identity of our time, forever.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Translated by Saad El Kurdi

Posted on the Blog Kadaitcha September 19, 2012 By Jinjirrie
You can listen to Mahmoud Darwish read this poem on tumbler.com.

“. . . Her name is and always Palestine . . .” (Bisan Abu Khaled)

Selected News of the Day

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK concerned over Israel’s possible annexation of occupied lands

WAFA
September 13, 2019
In a joint statement today, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom said they were deeply concerned about Israel’s announcement of possible annexation of areas in the West Bank, particularly the Jordan Valley and the northern portion of the Dead Sea.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “This would, if implemented, constitute a serious breach of international law. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom will continue to call on all parties to refrain from contravention of international law,” the statement said.  More . . . .

Pakistan rejects Israel’s plan to annex parts of West Bank

WAFA
September 13, 2019
Pakistan has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he will immediately annex the Jordan Valley region in the occupied West Bank if he was re-elected next week.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “We reject any such move, which would be illegal and a dangerous escalation,” Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “While reaffirming our solidarity with the Palestinians, Pakistan reiterates its support for a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” he added.  More . . . .

Netanyahu, Putin to Meet as Russia Condemns Annexation Pledge (VIDEO)

Palestine Chronicle
September 12, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian coastal city of Sochi for talks on Thursday after Moscow condemned the Israeli leader’s pledge to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Russia’s foreign ministry warned on Wednesday it was concerned over the Israeli leader’s plan, saying its implementation could lead to a “sharp escalation of tensions in the region [and] undermine hopes for the establishment of long-awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors”. More . . . .

Palestinians in Jordan Valley: ‘Our lands are already annexed’

Aljazeera
Arwa Ibrahim
September 12, 2019
In between sprawling arid lands of the Jordan Valley, which stretches north of the Dead Sea and west of the occupied West Bank’s borders with Jordan, lies the small Palestinian village of Ras Ain al-Auja.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ If Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes through with his plan, announced on Tuesday, to annex the Jordan Valley and areas north of the Dead Sea, the village of about 350 residents and its fertile farmlands would become part of Israel.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Observers have dismissed Netanyahu’s plan as a campaign stunt ahead of next week’s general election. But the residents of Ras Ain al-Auja say Netanyahu’s words are threatening as his plan would formalise Israeli control over the area.  More . . . .

Commentary

Palestinian Refugee Students Must Not be Incidental to Humanitarian Endeavors

Palestine Chronicle
Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor
September 11, 2019
Despite financial setbacks caused by political agendas and misconduct allegations, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) ensured that its schools opened on time for the new academic year. Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl described education as central to UNRWA’s mandate, yet the agency is not past attaching importance to symbolism and, despite its work, normalize the violence inherent in Israel’s settler-colonial project.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The opening of the new school year in Silwan, for example, publicized due to renovation works carried out during the summer recess, was lauded by Krähenbühl. “This return to school is also a symbol of preserving normalcy and a safe learning environment,” he remarked.  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“WHAT PUSHKIN’S POEMS NEVER SAID,”  BY  BISAN ABU KHALED

Something that will startle Lenin ―
oh, love, confront your destiny ― don’t kill yourself.
Time will not slow down for lovers to tarry
after the first kiss
and the last time they met.

Passing minutes would slit the throats of the women
had they not already drowned themselves in nostalgia.

Shall no one bear witness or know
that the maps of our planet have lied
about the face of our star
which always used to show her name.

Her name is and always Palestine
My song. . . .
my homeland . . . .
my face full of sorrow.
― Translated by Magi Gibson

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.
About the book, with short discussion of Bisan Abu Khaled

“. . . they’ve grown, grown more than the years of a normal life . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ UN official deeply concerned by Israeli demolition of classrooms
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian PM slams Israel for demolition of Bedouin classrooms in E1

  • Background:  “‘In Your Face’ Democracy: Education for Belonging and Its Challenges in Israel.” British Educational Research Journal.
    “Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way . . . constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education.”

❷ Video: Palestinians protest UNRWA cuts and US policies
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Ministry stages protest against US decision to cut aid to UNRWA
❸ IOF prevents Palestinian farmers from entering their lands
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴃ) Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian water pipeline in Jordan Valley
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
UN  OFFICIAL  DEEPLY  CONCERNED  BY  ISRAELI  DEMOLITION  OF  CLASSROOMS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 5, 2018 ― United Nations acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Roberto Valent, said on Sunday that he was deeply concerned by Israel’s destruction of donor-funded classrooms in the Palestinian community of Abu Nuwar, east of Jerusalem.
___”I am deeply concerned by the Israeli authorities’ demolition this morning of two donor-funded classrooms (3rd and 4th grade), serving 26 Palestinian school children in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar, located in Area C on the outskirts of Jerusalem,” Valent said in a statement. “The demolition was carried out on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.”
___The UN official added: “Abu Nuwar is one of the most vulnerable communities in need of humanitarian assistance in the occupied West Bank. The conditions it faces also represent those of many Palestinian communities, where a combination of Israeli policies and practices –including demolitions and restricted access to basic services, such as education – have created a coercive environment that violates the human rights of residents and generates a risk of forcible transfer.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  PM  SLAMS  ISRAEL  FOR  DEMOLITION  OF  BEDOUIN  CLASSROOMS  IN  E1
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli forces demolished two classrooms in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Sunday, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.
___The school in Abu Nuwwar was built and funded by the European Union in 2017 in order to provide the opportunity for a more accessible education to students in the village, who previously had to travel several kilometers by foot to the nearest school.
___More than 25 students were affected by the demolition of the two classrooms.
___The entire school serves more than 60 students in Abu Nuwwar which is home to 600 Palestinians.
___Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah released a statement on Monday condemning the demolition, saying “besides the fact that such a demolition contravenes international humanitarian law, this latest attack is directed against Palestinian schoolchildren, and is simply immoral.”   MORE . . .

Agbaria, Ayman K., et al.
‘IN  YOUR  FACE’  DEMOCRACY:  EDUCATION  FOR  BELONGING  AND  ITS  CHALLENGES  IN  ISRAEL.”
BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 41, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 143-175.
[. . . .] As an ethnocratic regime, Israel excludes its Palestinian citizens and treats them as merely an aggregate of individuals entitled to selective individual liberal rights, but deprived of collective rights of self-definition or collective claims over the nature and distribution of public goods in Israel. Controlling the Arab education system that serves this minority is part and parcel of these hierarchical strategies . . .  Despite the fact that Arab schools teach in Arabic [there is an] absence of recognition of the Palestinian collective identity. This lack of recognition is particularly salient in the school curricula and textbooks which were voided of any substantial engagement with Palestinian history and culture. All in all, Arab education was designed by the state to ‘instil feelings of self-disparagement and inferiority in Arab youth; to de-nationalize them, and particularly to de-Palestinize them; and to teach them to glorify the history, culture and achievements of the Jewish majority’ (Mar’i, S. K.).
[. . . .] a common feature of the Israeli education system, as argued by Yossi Yonah, is its commitment to function as a main carrier of the Zionist historiography, while disregarding the Palestinian narrative . . .  misrepresentat[ing] the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of Israel as a deeply divided society. These attempts . . .  serve the desirable character of the state as a Jewish state, thus ignoring the need for cultural recognition of the non-Jewish student population.
[. . . .] Yet, dialogical as it is, the capacity of “Identity and Belonging” [the Palestinian curriculum] for confrontation, not only compliance and appropriation, remains high, as it directly challenges the laws and regulations of the Ministry of Education and its official knowledge. Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way, at such a scale, and within the most natural sites of influence—the schools themselves—constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education. . .  In this way, “Identity and Belonging” is a citizenship act that challenges the extent . . . content . . . and depth . . .  of Israeli citizenship by presenting a counter-narrative permeated with political, moral and socio-political claims. Ultimately, these claims constitute the Palestinian minority in Israel as an independent political actor in both the Palestinian and Israeli arenas. Therefore, this initiative presents a symbolic challenge, which exposes the fragility of the double marginality of the Palestinians in Israel by reconstructing an integrative meaning of being part of both Israel and the Palestinian people.     SOURCE . . .

VIDEO:  PALESTINIANS  PROTEST  UNRWA  CUTS  AND  US  POLICIES
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Refugee Youth Movement on Monday held a protest outside the main UNRWA office in Bethlehem against the cuts of the agency’s services after the Trump administration had cut its funding.
___The participants raised banners protesting the UNRWA cuts and recent US resolutions impacting the rights of Palestinian refugees.
___Protesters included students and teachers, and called for improving the education services and halting decisions to lay off teachers, improve classes, and activate the operating system to reduce unemployment among refugee youth, as well as improving the quality of health services.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  MINISTRY  STAGES  PROTEST  AGAINST  US  DECISION  TO  CUT  AID  TO  UNRWA 
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education on Monday held a protest against the recent US decisions against UNRWA and its educational institutions.
___Undersecretary of the Ministry, Ziad Thabet, participated in the protest which was held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Gaza in conjunction with a similar protest in Ramallah in the West Bank.
___The protesters raised banners expressing support for UNRWA and calling on the world’s countries to intervene and help the Agency.
___Ziad Thabet affirmed that this protest came in rejection of the US decision to cut aid to UNRWA forcing the UN Agency to reduce its services to the Palestinian refugees.    MORE . . .
❸  IOF  PREVENTS  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  FROM  ENTERING  THEIR  LANDS
The Palestinian Information Center 
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) prevented on Monday a group of Palestinian farmers from entering their olive groves located behind the Apartheid Wall.
___The farmers, from Salfit, were stopped by Israelis forces on their way to work in their farm lands, located on the Israeli side of the separation wall, which runs through the farmers’ lands.
___Palestinians living in the areas where Israel’s separation wall cut off their lands, are required to obtain entry permits, and cannot enter their lands for any purpose other than work or residence.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  BULLDOZER  DESTROYS  PALESTINIAN  WATER  PIPELINE  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Ma’an News Agency  
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli bulldozers destroyed water lines supplying tens of acres of land in the northern Jordan Valley on Monday morning.
___Local activist Aref Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed a water pipeline belonging to a Palestinian identified as Bassem Faqha.
___The line feeds some 150 dunams (37 acres) of land planted with watermelons.
___The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
___Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.   MORE . . .

“SONG  OF  BECOMING,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN
They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.
Available from Columbia University Press.
Fadwa Tuqan

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

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

❶ Colonizers Build New Illegal Settlement in Jordan Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“. . . a fierce struggle of liberation in the name of free men everywhere . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish, 1970)

Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley. (Agence France‑Presse/Photo)
Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley. (Agence France‑Presse/Photo)

❶ Palestinian shot dead in Hebron after alleged stabbing attempt
❷ Israeli forces deliver demolition orders in Jordan Valley
❸ Palestinian Shot Dead By Israeli Army Fire In Hebron
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Jerusalem in Context
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Recasting the rules: An intellectual intifada in the offing
❻ Poetry by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  SHOT  DEAD  IN  HEBRON  AFTER  ALLEGED  STABBING  ATTEMPT
Oct. 20, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in Beit Awwa west of Hebron, Palestinian sources said.
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health identified the Palestinian as 24-year-old Udaay Hashim al-Masalma, and said that doctors in Hebron’s public hospital confirmed a bullet to the head was the cause of death.
____An Israeli army spokesperson alleged that Masalma was shot after he attempted to stab an Israeli soldier during a “violent riot” in Beit Awwa.
____She said the soldier “responded with live fire,” and that the Palestinian was evacuated for medical treatment by the Palestinian Red Crescent.
____She added that the Israeli soldier was lightly injured, and as far as she was aware, had not been evacuated for medical treatment.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DELIVER  DEMOLITION  ORDERS  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Oct. 20, 2015
TUBAS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Tuesday delivered demolition orders to two Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley, notifying them that their tin shacks and tents would be destroyed in less than a month.
____Local sources said the structures belonged to the families of Lutfi Muhammad Bani Audah and Muhammad Ali Bisharat and would be destroyed on Nov. 8.
____The families said that the structures slated for demolition were built several years ago and that they have official deeds to prove their ownership of the land.
More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
HEALTH  MINISTRY:  “46  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  10  CHILDREN,  KILLED  SINCE  OCTOBER 1”
The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported, Monday, that the number of Palestinians, killed by Israeli fire since the beginning of this month, has arrived to 45, including 10 children, in addition to a political prisoner who died of medical neglect.
____The Ministry said the youngest slain Palestinian was 16 months of age, and that eight of the children were killed in the West Bank, and two in the Gaza Strip.
____It stated that 31 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, and 14 in the Gaza Strip, including a mother and her infant, in addition to a young man in the Houra area, in the Negev.
____As for wounded Palestinians, the Ministry said 1850 were shot with live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets; some suffered burns and others were beaten and assaulted by soldiers and settlers, while more than 3500 suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
JERUSALEM,  IN  CONTEXT
Noam Sheizaf
Oct. 19, 2015
Jeffrey Goldberg wrote a powerful piece in The Atlantic last week claiming to scrutinize Palestinian violence . . . . Goldberg starts by discussing Palestinian “paranoia” over Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and ends with a broader, more common claim: that the Palestinian refusal to recognize Jewish ties to the land of Israel is the primary source of the conflict’s intractability, replete with its frequent rounds of violence.
____There are many holes in this theory, and I’d like to point some of them out.  [. . . . .].
____. . . The belief that Palestinians are invaders or mere guests in this land and that their own ties to the Temple Mount are a political hoax is widely held in Israel’s right wing.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
RECASTING  THE  RULES:  AN  INTELLECTUAL  INTIFADA  IN  THE  OFFING
Ramzy Baroud
Oct. 19, 2015
My first stop, after living for 22 years in a refugee camp in Gaza, was the city of Seattle. . . . There, for the first time, I stood before an audience outside Palestine, to speak about Palestine [. . . . .].
____Here, I learned, too, of the limits imposed on the Palestinian right to speak, of what I could or should not say. Platforms for an impartial Palestinian discourse were extremely narrow to begin with, and when any was available, Palestinians hardly took center stage [. . . . .].
____However, after spending almost two decades living in the US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and travelling across the globe to speak about human rights – starting with Palestinian rights, history and struggle – I began to grasp the seriousness of an unmistakable trend: where the Palestinian narrative is marginalized and fundamentally misunderstood [. . . . .].
____So it was not uncommon to see an entire two-day conference on Palestine divided into several sessions and many workshops without a single Palestinian on the podium . . . . the frame of mind that neglected or avoided the Palestinian narrative has not been defeated completely.
Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist, author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story.
More . . . 

“I  DECLARE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH  (1970)
As long as a hand-span of my land remains
As long as I have an olive tree―
A lemon tree―
A well―and a cactus plant
As long as I have but a single memory
A tiny library
A grandfather’s picture―and a wall
As long as Arabic words are uttered
And folk songs are sung
In my land
Scribes of poetry
Tales of Antar Al-Abse
Epics of the war against Persia and Rome
As long as I possess my eyes
Lips and hands
My own-self!
I shall declare in the face of my foe!―
A fierce struggle of liberation
In the name of free men everywhere
Workers―students―and poets―
I shall declare―
And let the cowards―ENEMIES OF THE SUN
Be satiated of the bread of shame
As long as I have myself
As long as myself remain
My words will remain―
Bread and arms―
In the hands of freedom fighters!

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

Right-wing ‘Temple activist’ Yehuda Glick holding a book depicting the Jewish Temple while standing in front of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, May 21, 2009. Glick survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian man in 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Right-wing ‘Temple activist’ Yehuda Glick holding a book depicting the Jewish Temple while standing in front of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, May 21, 2009. Glick survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian man in 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)