“. . every window and door: a color…resisting the conquerors . . ” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

Gush-Etzion
Jerusalem Post: The Gush Etzion Charade. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
ISRAELI  SUPREME  COURT  RULES  SETTLEMENT  OWNERSHIP  OF  A  500-DUNUM  LAND  IN  WEST  BANK
The Israeli Supreme Court issued a ruling on the ownership of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) of more than 500 dunums of Palestinian land in the Gush Etzion settlement area, south of Bethlehem, Israel Hayom newspaper reported.    ___The newspaper said the judges of the Israeli Supreme Court rejected this week an appeal filed by Palestinians against a previous decision by the Central Court in Jerusalem stating that the ownership of the land by the JNF.    ___The new ruling enables settlers to start work on confiscated land and build hundreds of settlement units there.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Netanyahu: “No Settlement Will be Evacuated” in His Time
. . . . Related  Catholic Lands to be Seized in Jordan Valley  
. . . . Related  Israeli bulldozers demolish house in Jerusalem  |
| SAUDI  ARABIA  TO  CONTRIBUTE  $50  MILLION  TO  UNRWA
Saudi Arabia announced, on Wednesday, it will contribute $50 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).    ___During a press conference, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Rabiah, the Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), told the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, about the contribution.     __UNRWA has faced a financial crisis this past year after the United States announced in mid-January the reduction of financial support . . .   More. . .
. . . . Related  Trump: ‘US troops will remain in Middle East for Israel’
. . . . Related  South African academic conference cancels participation of Israelis
| IOF  BESIEGE  SCHOOL  IN  BETHLEHEM  TO  ARREST  A  STUDENT
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Wednesday besieged Minya Secondary School, east of Bethlehem, in an attempt to break into the school and arrest a student.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli undercover units nab youth after beating him and his father
. . . . Related  Israeli forces detain 20 Palestinians, including minor

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
WHEN  YARA  MET  FADI:  GAZANS  HELP  COUPLE  PICK  UP  THE  PIECES  AFTER  ISRAELI  STRIKE  
By  Ali Adam
“We thought our love was hopeless, but we continued nonetheless,” Fadi al-Ghazali told Al-Monitor, standing in his heavily damaged apartment in the Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza City. As he and his mother went about clearing the rubble in their apartment from the Nov. 12 Israeli airstrike, on the wall hung a wedding gown, an object that has dominated social media as the symbol of the touching love story of Fadi and Yara, a young woman from Syria.    [. . . .] In late September, the Egyptian Embassy finally contacted Yara to tell her that she had been granted permission to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing. After three years of trying, Yara finally arrived in Gaza, on Nov. 8. As Fadi describes it, they can’t remember what their first conversations were about, because when they first met in person, they both “blacked out” from extreme joy and excitement.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“RESISTANCE,”  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH

I plant my poetry
in the streets,
in every quarter
and every alley,
a poem…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my fingers
in the streets,
in every hole,
in every flower pot:
a finger…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my blood
in the streets,
on every sidewalk,
on every roadsign:
a drop of blood…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my dreams
in the streets,
in the heads of passers-by:
an infant dream…resisting the conquerors!
I plant the names of my loved ones
in the streets,
on every tree, on every wall:
the name of a martyr resisting the conquerors!
I plant the colors of the flag
in the streets,
on every house,
and every window and door:
a color…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my children’s luggage
in the streets
at every roadblock,
at every checkpoint:
a suitcase…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my hands
in the streets,
on every corner:
a firm hand resisting the conquerors!

From: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Middle East Affairs
Special Programs, 
Commemorating the Intifada’s Tenth Year, April 10, 1998
Prof. Naseer Aruri

“. . . towards what remained of the heart . . .” (Majid abu Ghoush)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STEAL  PALESTINIAN  OLIVE  HARVEST  IN  NABLUS
Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and olive harvesters in the Burin village, in southern Nablus City of the northern occupied West Bank, on Saturday.   ____Wafa News Agency reported that a group of Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian farmers while they were olive-picking in their lands in an attempt to force them to leave.    [. . . .] During the past week, Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian farmer while harvesting his olive trees in the Deir al-Hattab village in Nablus, and other farmers in Burin; settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees and stole harvest in the Tell village.  ____For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income. . .   More . . .
|   130  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS
At least 130 Palestinians were injured with live Israeli ammunition, tear-gas suffocation and in airstrikes during protests along the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip under “The Great March of Return,” on Friday.    ____The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 130 Palestinians were injured during protests, including two critical injuries; one of whom is a 70-year-old woman.    ____The ministry added that a Palestinian journalist was among those injured.    ____A Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces heavily and randomly opened fire at protesters as several of them were able to cut through the Israeli security fence at the borders of the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  injured,  arrested  in  Khan  al-Ahmar  protests
. . . . Related  Arrests  reported  as  clashes  erupt  in  West  Bank
. . . . Related  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  off  Gaza  shore
|
  JERUSALEM’S  CHURCH  LEADERS  ACCUSE  ISRAEL  OF  RENEGING  ON  PREVIOUS  TAXATION  AGREEMENT
Leaders of the largest three churches in Jerusalem have accused Israel of reneging on a previous agreement reached between them regarding taxing church property.   ____The French news agency, AFP, said on Friday that leaders of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches as well as a senior Latin Church official sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to block a draft legislation a ministerial committee is going to discuss on Sunday that aims at expropriating their property.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Jerusalem:  Christian  cemetery  vandalized,  graves  destroyed

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   ISRAEL’S  DEFIANCE  OF  HISTORY,  MORALITY  AND  LAW
Jeremy Salt
No state established on land seized by force from the people living on that land can claim moral legitimacy and a ‘right’ to exist.    ____A purported ‘right’ to exist is not central to the existence of states anyway, let alone colonial settler states established amidst the wreckage of the genuine rights of another people.   [. . . .] Israel understands this as well as anyone. It makes a lot of noise about its right to exist and its legitimacy but this is bluster. It knows why it exists and why it believes it will continue to exist. It has a strong military. It has nuclear weapons. It can destroy anyone who threatens to destroy it. These are the constituent elements of its existence, not morality and the ‘rights’ of which it endlessly talks.    More  . . .
. . . . Related   The  Apartheid  State  of  Israel  and  the  Palestinian  Resistance
. . . . Related   B’Tselem: World can no longer stand idly by regarding Israeli crimes

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“RETURNING,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH

the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson

MAJID ABU GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
From 
A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . an impossible burden weighs down . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

EmadShteiwi-e1537738542948
Shot with a live round in the head, east of Gaza city, Emad Daoud Eshteiwi, 21. Sept. 24, 2018. (Photo: IMEMCNews.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

REPORT:  SETTLEMENT  ACTIVITIES  ESCALATED,  PARTICULARLY  IN  JERUSALEM  AND  JORDAN  VALLEY 
In his weekly report on Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank, the National Office for the Defending Land and Resisting Settlements (NBPRS) reported, that  Israel’s settlement activities cover all the West Bank governorates encouraged by the US, and the absence of the international accountability. The Netanyahu government continues its grave violations of international law that amount to war crimes through demolishing and displacing the Palestinians, and at the same time legitimizing settlement outposts and confiscating Palestinian land the last of which a plan no 3/515, which aims to expand the settlement of Tina by building 135 new settlement units on 260 dunums of the lands of the Dahiriya town.    More . . .

ISRAEL  IMPOSES  8  DAY  CLOSURE  ON  WEST  BANK,  GAZA
The Israeli authorities declared an 8-day closure on the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip starting late Sunday until next Monday, the first of October, for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.    ___The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that the closure will be lifted off the West Bank on Monday, September 24th night but would be imposed again on Thursday night until October 1st.    ___Crossings with the Gaza Strip would remain closed until October 1st.    ___This is the third closure imposed on the West Bank and Gaza in the month of September. . .     More . . .

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KILL  A  PALESTINIAN  IN  GAZA
The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that Israeli soldiers killed, on Sunday evening, a young Palestinian man, and injured at least 20 others, including one medic, along the eastern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said the soldiers shot Emad Daoud Eshteiwi, 21, with a live round in the head, east of Gaza city, and moderately injured a medic in the leg.    ___He added that the soldiers also shot twenty Palestinians with live rounds . . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ABBAS  ARRIVES  IN  NEW  YORK  FOR  GENERAL  ASSEMBLY  MEETING
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived Sunday to New York, in the United States, to participate in the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, amidst calls from pro-Israel lobbying organizations that the U.S. should deny Abbas entry into the US.    ___President Abbas will be delivering a speech this coming Thursday, and also intends to hold many meetings with world leaders and international delegations participating in the General Assembly sessions.    ___He is accompanied by the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amro, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki . . .    More . . .
Related . . .    Premier  to  tell  AHLC  meeting  ending  Israeli  occupation  answer  to  economic  growth
Related . . .    Italian  motorcycle  rally  in  solidarity  with  Palestinians
Related . . .    Japan  funds  project  for  additional  classrooms  in  Salfit  village
Related . . .    Jordan  takes  steps  to  support  Jerusalem’s  Palestinians

EXPLOITING  GAZA  TOPS  THE  UN’S  HUMANITARIAN  AGENDA 
What would prompt the UN to assert, without reservations or calculated statements, that Gaza has collapsed in terms of humanitarian necessities? So far, the international organization has relied on projecting extended time frames; the result being that Gaza was forced into a currently irreversible situation while the UN saves face, or believes it does, by stepping in at its designated intervals.    ___On Monday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory announced through a press release that it was releasing $1 million “to prevent the collapse of life-saving services in the Gaza Strip”.    [. . . .] The funding crisis exacerbates the humanitarian situation because the political intent is to maintain the continuation of violating human rights. In its previous warning of the impending collapse in services, there is no mention of Israel.    More . . .
Related . . .   LACK  OF  MEDICATIONS  THREATENS  LIVES  OF  425  KIDNEY  PATIENTS  [GAZA]

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS . . . 

THE  PALESTINIAN  ASSOCIATION  FOR  EMPOWERMENT  AND  LOCAL  DEVELOPMENT-REFORM     REFORM strives for a society where everyone has the capacity to participate effectively, individual and collective rights are respected, and pluralism is ensured in an independent Palestinian state.   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush is prolific poet and novelist, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From 
A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).

“. . . I plant the names of my loved ones in the streets . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .   

PALESTINIAN  SUCCUMBS  TO  WOUNDS  SUSTAINED  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS      A 19-year-old Palestinian succumbed to his wounds, on Friday morning, that he had sustained several weeks ago during  “The Great March of Return”  protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Medical sources identified the Palestinian as Amjad Fayez Hamduna, 19, and confirmed that he had succumbed to his wounds.    ___Hamduna was wounded by Israeli forces’ live fire during protests on July 14th in northern Gaza.   More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE INJURES 2 PALESTINIANS IN GAZA
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  FIVE  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  RAMALLAH

PALESTINIANS  PREVENT  ISRAELI  SETTLERS’  RAID  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR   
A group of Palestinians prevented a group of Israeli settlers from raiding the Khan al-Ahmar village east of occupied Jerusalem City, on Friday morning.    ___Locals said that Israeli settlers attempted to raid the Bedouin village, threatened with demolition that is expected to take place in less than a week, to provoke residents and activists carrying out a sit-in at the village.    ___Palestinian youths prevented Israeli settlers from raiding the village and forced them to leave back to the nearby main street.   [. . . . ] Earlier this week, the Israeli High Court had rejected an appeal against the demolition of the village . . .    More . . .

ISRAEL  ORDERS  FIVE  JERUSALEMITES  TO  STAY  AWAY  FROM  JERUSALEM
An Israeli court ordered five Palestinian youth from occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday to stay away from the city and its holy Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for one month, as a precondition for their release from Israeli custody.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

THE  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION:  DECLINE  OR  DEATH?  [MINISTER]  OF  THE  RIGHT-WING  LIKUD  PARTY  SAID,  “THE  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION  IS  DEAD”.
This is the latest of a slew of Israeli statements related surrounding the revival of the so-called Confederacy solution with Jordan.     ___This statement also refers somehow to the development of this solution, as it comes over a decade after another announcement was made, i.e. the “decline of the two-state solution”, which was reiterated after the Palestinian division in 2007 . . .   More . . .

SHUBLAQ:  ELECTRICITY  CRISIS  IN  GAZA  LEADS  TO  WATER,  SEWAGE  CRISES  (VIDEO)      General Director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) Munther Shublaq warned yesterday of a near water and sewage crises in Gaza due to the continuous electricity crisis, Safa news agency reported.   ___In a press release, Shublaq said that the situation in Gaza deteriorated as the fuel offered by OCHA, which is needed to run the water and sewage plants, is running out.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

KINDERUSA – DALLAS:  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA.
A  FUND  RAISING  EVENT

Dr. Mads Gilbert, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Tromso, Norway, gives his first hand account of the horrors that took place during 51 day war in Gaza. Dr. Gilbert has authored two books about the last two wars in Gaza. Both will be available for purchase at the close of the program.
Sunday, October 21, 2018, 3:00 – 6:00 PM
Angelika Film Center, Plano, TX, USA
Admission: $45  Register . . .

“RESISTANCE,”  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
I plant my poetry
in the streets,
in every quarter
and every alley,
a poem…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my fingers
in the streets,
in every hole,
in every flower pot:
a finger…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my blood
in the streets,
on every sidewalk,
on every roadsign:
a drop of blood…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my dreams
in the streets,
in the heads of passers-by:
an infant dream…resisting the conquerors!
I plant the names of my loved ones
in the streets,
on every tree, on every wall:
the name of a martyr resisting the conquerors!
I plant the colors of the flag
in the streets,
on every house,
and every window and door:
a color…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my children’s luggage
in the streets
at every roadblock,
at every checkpoint:
a suitcase…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my hands
in the streets,
on every corner:
a firm hand resisting the conquerors!

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine. Abu Ghoush reading one of his own poems.
From: University of Massachusetts DartmouthMiddle East Affairs
Special Programs, 
Commemorating the Intifada’s Tenth Year, April 10, 1998
Prof. Naseer Aruri

“. . . I plant my dreams in the streets . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Erekat : we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Arab league approaches US over PLO’s Washington office closure
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Dr. Ashrawi: U.S. is disqualifying itself as a peace broker in the region

  • Background: “The Concept of Palestine: The Conception of Palestine from the Late Bronze Age to the Modern Period.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Israel to demolish residential structures near Hebron
❸ Dozens of Jewish settlers defile Aqsa Mosque
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush

Special notice: Museum of the Palestinian People  (Please make a contribution. Thanks to a generous donor, any gift you make will be matched up to $25,000 by the end of November. This amount will count toward our 2018 budget of $168,000.)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EREKAT  :  WE  WILL  PUT  ON  HOLD  ALL  OUR  COMMUNICATIONS  WITH  THIS  AMERICAN  ADMINISTRATION       
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Saeb Erekat , secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, said that if the American administrations close PLO offices in Washington, D.C., we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration.”
___Erekat added that “the US State Department notified us with an official letter that they cannot certify the continuance opening of the PLO office in Washington D.C. due to the fact that we are pursuing and encouraging the ICC (International Criminal Court).”
___“This is very unfortunate and unacceptable. This is the pressure being exerted on this administration from the Netanyahu government.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ARAB  LEAGUE  APPROACHES  US  OVER  PLO’S  WASHINGTON  OFFICE  CLOSURE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ―The Arab League Sunday announced that its Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has approached the US administration after the latter announced it will close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington.
___The league said in a press statement that Aboul Gheit and Minister of foreign affairs Riyad al-Malki met and discussed the latest developments on the ground and possible means to resume the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
___Al-Malki briefed Aboul Gheit on the official position of the Palestinian Authority regarding the closure of the PLO’s Washington office, saying it will harm the peace process and the role of the US as peace broker.
___Aboul Gheit’s spokesman said the league is working to maintain official communication channels between the Palestinian Authority and the US administration. . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) DR.  ASHRAWI:  U.S.  IS  DISQUALIFYING  ITSELF  AS  A  PEACE  BROKER  IN  THE  REGION    
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Nov. 19, 2017 ― In response to media inquiries concerning the U.S. administration’s refusal to extend the waiver of statutory restrictions on the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States in Washington D.C., PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned such a move and said:
___“Instead of holding Israel liable for its persistent violations of international law and conventions, the U.S. administration and Congress are threatening to punish the Palestinian people because of statements made by President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations and other leaders pertaining to ICC accountability for Israel and for its war crimes in Palestine.   MORE . . .

Masalha, Nur. “THE  CONCEPT  OF  PALESTINE:  THE  CONCEPTION  OF  PALESTINE  FROM  THE  LATE  BRONZE  AGE  TO  THE  MODERN  PERIOD.”
Journal  of  Holy  Land  &  Palestine  Studies
, vol. 15, no. 2, Nov. 2016, pp. 143-202.
The celebrated English historian Edward Gibbon, writing in 1776, noted that ‘Phoenicia and Palestine will forever live in the [collective] memory of mankind’. . . Palestine is the collective watan (homeland) of the Palestinian people —the indigenous people of historic Palestine. The Palestinian people have a multi-religious and multicultural ancient heritage and a multi-layered identity deeply rooted in ancient history. Palestinians often speak of Biladuna Filastin: ‘Our Country, Palestine’ (colloquially: Bladna Falastin). The country of Palestine as a distinct political geography-with its own distinct and diverse traditions and a mélange of styles —is deeply rooted in the indigenous psyche and consciousness; the toponym (place-name) of Palestine is deeply rooted in the ancient past from the Late Bronze Age onwards. . . . For a millennium and a half of Classical Antiquity and Byzantine Christianity as well as under Islam in the Middle Ages the term Palestine also acquired official administrative status.
[. . . .] For over 1200 years the name Palestine was used most commonly, consistently and continuously throughout Classical Antiquity, from the highlight of classical Athenian civilisation . . . [until] the occupation of Palestine by the Muslim armies in 637 AD.
___To substitute the vague and semi-mythical term Cana’an for the real historical and official toponym Palaestina for a spectacular classical period lasting over one millennium would be tantamount to the elimination of the actual history of this important region . . . [and] eliminate the possibility of any real historical knowledge of one of the most important periods in the ancient history of the region, namely: early Christianity and Byzantine greater Palaestina. Greek-speaking Byzantine Christianity in Palestine began in the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (306—337 AD) and lasted until the beginning of Islamic rule in Palestine in 637 AD.
[. . . .] Furthermore, when referring to the ancient history of this region modern European scholarship (and even early Zionist scholarly societies such as the ‘Jewish Palestine Exploration Society’, founded in 1914) universally and unanimously talk about ‘Palestine’, even when referring to Jewish history. [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  RESIDENTIAL  STRUCTURES  NEAR  HEBRON 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Israeli authorities notified Palestinians about a decision to demolish residential structures and animal barns in Masafer Yatta area, to the south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
___Rateb Jabour, who monitors settlement activities in the area, said Israeli forces handed a written notice to locals informing them about their intention to demolish a number of residential structures and a barn used for raising livestock in Kherbet Shaab al-Butum, a village in Masafer Yatta area. The barn was built with funding from the European Union.   MORE . . .
DOZENS  OF  JEWISH  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE  
The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Dozens of Jewish settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning under Israeli security protection provided by special police forces.     ___The PIC reporter said that 86 settlers entered the holy Islamic site via the Maghareba Gate in six separate groups and roamed its plazas.     ___He added that 35 Israeli students toured the Aqsa Mosque compound along with guides, who explained to the students the history of the alleged Jewish Temple.     MORE . . .

“RESISTANCE,”  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
I plant my poetry
in the streets,
in every quarter
and every alley,
a poem…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my fingers
in the streets,
in every hole,
in every flower pot:
a finger…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my blood
in the streets,
on every sidewalk,
on every roadsign:
a drop of blood…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my dreams
in the streets,
in the heads of passers-by:
an infant dream…resisting the conquerors!
I plant the names of my loved ones
in the streets,
on every tree, on every wall:
the name of a martyr resisting the conquerors!
I plant the colors of the flag
in the streets,
on every house,
and every window and door:
a color…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my children’s luggage
in the streets
at every roadblock,
at every checkpoint:
a suitcase…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my hands
in the streets,
on every corner:
a firm hand resisting the conquerors!

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine. Abu Ghoush reading one of his own poems.  See also. 
From: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Middle East Affairs
Special Programs,
Commemorating the Intifada’s Tenth Year, April 10, 1998
Prof. Naseer Aruri

“. . . an impossible burden weighs down on eyelids and chest . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Major initiative launched to support human rights in Palestine
❷ Israeli Violations’ Activities in the oPt

  • Background: “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies

❸ Analysis: Pessoptimistic reflections from besieged Gaza
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MAJOR  INITIATIVE  LAUNCHED  TO  SUPPORT  HUMAN  RIGHTS  IN  PALESTINE   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 21, 2017 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, together with the European Union (EU) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), launched on Thursday a project which aims at making the rights contained in the human rights treaties acceded by the State of Palestine in 2014 a reality for all Palestinians, according to a joint statement by the three groups.
___The commitments under these treaties complement and enhance the Government’s political obligations within the National Policy Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
___The project will provide capacity building to assist the Palestinian government in promoting and protecting all human rights for all Palestinians. The project will also work with the Independent Commission for Human Rights and selected civil society organizations to strengthen their ability to promote accountable governance through national dialogue and advocacy. It will empower Palestinians as rights-holders to better understand and claim their rights.     MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI  VIOLATIONS’  ACTIVITIES  IN  THE  OPT 
POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories 
Oct. 17, 2017   (NOTE: these daily reports become available as they are translated.)
The daily report highlights the violations behind Israeli home demolitions and demolition threats in the occupied Palestinian territory, the confiscation and razing of lands, the uprooting and destruction of fruit trees, the expansion of settlements and erection of outposts, the brutality of the Israeli Occupation Army, the Israeli settlers violence against  Palestinian  civilians  and  properties, the erection of checkpoints, the construction of the Israeli segregation wall and the issuance of military orders for the various Israeli purposes.    MORE . . .

Masalha, Nur.
“SETTLER-COLONIALISM,  MEMORICIDE  AND  INDIGENOUS  TOPONYMIC  MEMORY:  THE  APPROPRIATION  OF  PALESTINIAN  PLACE  NAMES  BY  THE  ISRAELI  STATE.”
Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 3-57.
[. . . .] Since the rise of the Zionist settler movement in the late nineteenth century, and especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the struggle over toponymic memory and the renaming of sites has developed as an integral part of the political conflict in Palestine. The indigenous Palestinians have insisted on their own comprehensive set of Arabic place names through which they see their own social memory and deep-rootedness in the land of Palestine. On the other hand, since the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba and the creation of the Israeli state . . .  the Israeli army and Israeli state have sought to rename systematically Palestinian Arabic place names, claiming priority in chronology and using modern archaeology, map-making, and place names as their proofs of Jewish roots in ‘the land of Israel’. In Israel the significance of place names lies in their potential to legitimize ‘historical claims’ asserted by the Zionist settler-colonial movement.
[. . . .] The social and cultural importance of toponymic memory and geographical rendering of sites and terms in historical writing is evident in many histories from antiquity, medieval and modern Palestine. One classical example of listing place-nations of ancient Palestine in ‘Histories’ (or The History, 1987) of Herodotus, written from the 450s to the 420s BC. Herodotus is believed to have visited Palestine in the fifth decade of the fifth century B.C. The ‘Father of History’ refers to ‘Palaistine’, Syria, or simply ‘Palaistine’ five times, an area comprising the region between Phoenicia and Egypt. . . .  Although Herodotus’s Histories is now considered a founding work of history in Western literature, and serve as a key record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various powers that were known in Greece, Western Asia and North Africa, when it comes to Palestine and toponymic memory Western Christian writing relies not on Herodotus’ Histories but on the myth-narratives of the Bible. Interestingly however the Greek toponym for Palestine and Ascalan were preserved in indigenous Palestinian Arab tradition and by medieval Arab historians and travellers . . . .    SOURCE.   (Available through libraries with EBSCO databases.)

❸ ANALYSIS:  PESSOPTIMISTIC  REFLECTIONS  FROM  BESIEGED  GAZA     Mondoweiss
Haidar Eid
Oct. 20, 2017    One cannot understand the deadly, medieval siege imposed on Gaza apart from Israel’s settler-colonialism in Palestine. The horror inflicted on Gaza is, in fact, rooted in the political fragmentation caused by Apartheid Israel, reinforced by the Oslo authority, and sparked by factional struggles over access to power in a Bantustan turned into a concentration camp.
___The rationale behind this genocidal blockade imposed by Apartheid Israel, and supported by a complicit ME Quartet is that we, 2 million Gazans, are expected to recognize Israel’s right to exist on our ethnically cleansed villages from where we were expelled in 1948 and renounce our resistance as a form of violence. This is how this Crime of Collective Punishment is justified! The international community is basically telling us that we must collaborate with the occupiers in order to be accepted, that we must normalize apartheid and settler colonialism. If we don’t do that, we are doomed then and must pay a heavy price with the lives of our children.  MORE . . .   .

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
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 and Noble.

“. . . towards what remained of the heart . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Worshippers clash with Israeli police outside Al-Aqsa Mosque following noon prayer
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Military wings in Gaza warn Israel Al-Aqsa policies will ‘explode in the region’

  • Background: “Between Religion and Nationalism in the Palestinian Diaspora.” Nations & Nationalism

❷ Activist imprisoned for defending Palestinian children
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli parliament advances law to keep fight against BDS secret from public
❸ Israeli forces shoot young Palestinian in East Jerusalem, raid hospital where he is treated
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
WORSHIPERS  CLASH  WITH  ISRAELI  POLICE  OUTSIDE  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  FOLLOWING  NOON  PRAYER 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
July 19, 2017.   Dozens of Palestinian worshipers Wednesday clashed with Israeli police outside Al-Aqsa Mosque following the noon prayer, according to witnesses.
___They said police attacked the worshipers at the end of the prayer held outside Lions’ Gate where people have been holding prayers five times a day, as required by Islam.
___Police used clubs and tear gas to disperse the worshipers. A number of people suffered from gas inhalation and beating and were treated on location. Police arrested two Palestinians.
___Worshipers have been holding the prayers outside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound since Sunday after Israel erected metal detectors at the gates to the compound and demanded that people had to go through them first before entering the compound. Muslim leaders have rejected this new measure and vowed to fight it. They also called on people not to enter Al-Aqsa going through the metal detectors.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) MILITARY  WINGS  IN  GAZA  WARN  ISRAEL  AL-AQSA  POLICIES  WILL  ‘EXPLODE  IN  THE  REGION’   
Ma’an News Agency  
July 18, 2017.   Military wings of various political factions in the besieged Gaza Strip warned Israel against continuing its restrictive policies at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem during a press conference on Tuesday, saying that Israel’s “offensive” on Al-Aqsa represents a “spark that will explode in the region.”
___“We will have our strong and supreme word if Zionist plans against Al-Aqsa continue,” the groups warned in the press conference. “We will not allow our enemy to invade our Al-Aqsa, our holy sites, and our people in Jerusalem.”
___The military wings then saluted the people of Jerusalem and called upon all Palestinians to support Al-Aqsa.   MORE . . .

Vicente Pèrez, Michael. “BETWEEN  RELIGION  AND  NATIONALISM  IN  THE  PALESTINIAN  DIASPORA.”
Nations & Nationalism,
vol. 20, no. 4, Oct. 2014, pp. 801-820.
[. . . .] Since its founding, Hamas has proved to be a flexible and dynamic organization.  At times reformist, at others militant, its essential character as a sociopolitical movement has been difficult to define in any certain terms. Perhaps the movement’s shifting positions on the question of religion and nationalism. While some scholars have prioritized Hamas’s religious dimensions and thus located it within broader trends of what has been called ‘political Islam’ or ‘Islamism’, I believe there are several factors that suggest the organization’s religious hue is insufficient for fully negating its nationalist character. First, while Hamas employs a discourse saturated with religious references to the Quran, hadith and the concept of jihad, the target audience of this discourse is nonetheless confined to the Palestinian people. Put simply, Hamas is not speaking to the Muslim umma; rather, it is speaking particularly to Palestinian Muslims and more generally to the Palestinian nation. It wants to put Muslim Palestinians at the forefront of the national movement. Palestinian Muslims thus represent a vanguard of the nation who, in virtue of their invented religious tradition and identification, have a critical role to play in the liberation of Palestine from Israel. In pragmatic terms, Hamas has also confined its efforts to the geography of the national context.
[. . . .] Hamas’s reformist and military approach to the struggle against Israel has also been defined within the limits of the Palestinian territories. It does not work for a transnational reformation of the Muslim world in preparation for a global jihad against Israel and its allies. Rather, it works through a diverse network of charitable institutions in Palestine to support all Palestinians while promoting an Islamic reformation within Palestinian society. . . .   Hamas locates the Islamic reformation of Palestinian society within a greater program of national liberation. Thus turning Palestinian Muslims toward a more pious (Islamic) lifestyle is inextricably linked to the struggle against Israeli occupation and the Palestinian nationalist cause. . . .  In this sense, religious reformation is understood as an essential step toward succeeding in the national struggle where secular organizations have failed. Finally, even the very distinction between what is definitively Islamic and what is definitively national about Hamas remains unclear. An analysis of Hamas’s discourse suggests that it is appropriating religious concepts in Islam for nationalist purposes.
[. . . .]  To the extent that religious ideology can be distinguished from nationalism in Hamas’s discourse and practice, it is clear that neither is sufficient for trumping the other [ . . . .]    SOURCE . . .

❷ ACTIVIST  IMPRISONED  FOR  DEFENDING  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  
Palestine News Network – PNN 
July 19, 2017.   The Ofer military court has sentenced the activist of the Popular Resistance Movement and human rights defender Ahmad Odeh to six months in prison with a fee of NIS 6,000 due to accusations of throwing rocks. He was arrested at the northern entrance to Bethlehem during his attempt to defend a group of children who were barbaric beaten by Israeli special units.
___Munther Amira, head of the High Coordination Committee for the Resistance against the Wall and Settlements in the West Bank, said that the ruling was unjust and unfair to a Popular Resistance activist who is also considered a human rights defender. Amira said that it is part of the occupation campaign to put popular resistance activists who have been able to expose the practices of the occupation for trial.
___“It is barbarism against our people on more than one level” Amira stated.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  PARLIAMENT  ADVANCES  LAW  TO  KEEP  FIGHT  AGAINST  BDS  SECRET  FROM  PUBLIC  
Ma’an News Agency     
July 18, 2017.
An Israeli bill aimed at exempting Israel’s attempts at combating the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and efforts to “delegitimize Israel” from Israel’s Freedom of Information Law, which allows Israeli citizens to obtain information from the government, passed its first reading in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Monday.     ___According to a statement released by the Knesset, 25 Members of the Knesset (MKs) supported the bill, while 12 MKs voted against it and one abstained from the vote.     ___Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan from the right-wing Likud party, who is in charge of combating the boycott movement, said that the “boycott organizations are spread out geographically and act in different areas. The organizations built a network of activity and act in coordination with the Palestinian Authority,” he said.   MORE . . .
❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT  YOUNG  PALESTINIAN  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM,  RAID  HOSPITAL  WHERE  HE  IS  TREATED   
Ma’an News Agency
July 18, 2017.   Israeli forces shot and injured a young Palestinian man on Monday evening in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a local watchdog organization reported, before raiding the hospital where the wounded Palestinian was being treated.
___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli troops stormed the area of Ein al-Luza and fired stun grenades and live fire haphazardly, while young residents threw Molotov cocktails and fireworks in response.
___One Palestinian was seriously injured during the raid, according to the information center, and taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery.
___The center added that Israeli police raided the al-Makassed Hospital east of the Old City of Jerusalem, seeking to detain the injured Palestinian.    MORE . .

“RETURNING,”  BY  AMJID  ABU  GHOUSH

the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson

MAJID ABU GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY  (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

“. . . an impossible burden weighs down on eyelids and chest . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

mohammed
Mohammad Ghadir Palestinian player of Maccabi Haifa runs with the ball during the UEFA Championship game in Munich, Germany. (Photo: Getty Images, Nov. 25, 2009)

❶ Israel’s Supreme Court orders demolition of settler outpost in Bethlehem by March

  • Background:  “After 50 Years: Save Israel, Stop the Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.    “. . . the occupation became a fundamental catalyst of far-reaching impacts on Israeli society. The state of Israel becomes more Jewish and less democratic . . .”

❷ Prime Minister Hamdallah: U.S. Appeals Court’s Decision is Just
❸ The metamorphosis of a Jewish supremacist
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL’S  SUPREME  COURT  ORDERS  DEMOLITION  OF  SETTLER  OUTPOST  IN  BETHLEHEM  BY  MARCH
Ma’an News Agency  
Sept. 2, 2016
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that an illegal Israeli settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem be demolished by March 2018, sparking condemnation from right-wing Israeli parliament members who blamed the decision on left-wing groups aiming to “exploit the judicial system” for the benefit of a minority.
___The court ordered the removal of 17 homes, comprising of some 40 Israeli families, in the Israeli settler outpost of Derech HaAvot established in 2001 near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc after ruling that the outpost was built on privately held Palestinian land, according to a statement released by Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___ The Jerusalem Post reported that the outpost was established with 300,000 shekels ($79,562) from the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing. Soon after its establishment, the outpost was challenged in the courts by Palestinians from the town al-Khader who claimed they owned the land.     MORE . . .  

  • Schnell, Izhak, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “After 50 Years: Save Israel, Stop The Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 72-80.   FULL ARTICLE.

(NOTE: Izhak Schnell is professor in the Department of Geography and Human Environment at Tel Aviv University. Daniel Bar-Tal is Professor Emeritus at the School of Education at Tel Aviv University. He was co-editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal (2001-05) and president of the International Society of Political Psychology.) 

[Three] mechanisms stabilizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and avoiding the adoption of peace policies. . . The third mechanism relates to the institutionalization of a bureaucratic inertia that maintains and feeds the occupation regardless of declared policies. This mechanism acts at a governmental level when, for example, a senior clerk in the Ministry of Justice announces a regulation that the government does not have to prove ownership of lands in cases of land disputes. Instead, the Palestinians who claim ownership have to prove their ownership of the land in question, and, as a result, this regulation means that many Palestinians lost their lands due to the settlement process. . . . The military was also forced to serve the settlers’ interests by guarding unauthorized settlements that were ordered to evacuate based on the law and Supreme Court decisions. Finally, the settlers’ council represents a population of an estimated 500,000 settlers who have relatives and ideological support among the religious sections, allowing the movement to become a powerful lobby in Israeli politics.  The fact that they are more motivated and better organized than other political lobbies in Israel makes them even more powerful.
___ . . . the occupation became a fundamental catalyst of far-reaching impacts on Israeli society. The state of Israel becomes more Jewish and less democratic in the delicate balance between these two aspects. Jewishness is defined in a combination of religious and nationalist terms, promoting a particularistic identity that turns its back on the Hebrew identity that emphasized universal and humanistic values. By defining the OPT as the core of the Jewish state and identity, the new Israel antagonizes the Palestinians, the Arab world and, indirectly, Western societies, which in turn, strengthen particularistic aspects of Israel’s identity bringing new life to slogans such as “People who live unto themselves.”

❷ PRIME  MINISTER  HAMDALLAH:  U.S.  APPEALS  COURT’S  DECISION  IS  JUST
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 1, 2016
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah commended Thursday the decision by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to dismiss a $655 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), finding that U.S. courts should not have exercised jurisdiction, according to a statement issued by Hamdallah’s office.
___A number of American families had filed a multimillion dollar law suit in a New York federal court in 2004 against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO holding them responsible for the death of family members in attacks by Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel between the years 2000 and 2002.    MORE . . .

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
A Permanent home in the illegal outpost of Derech Ha’avot. (Photo: Peace Now, Jan. 13, 2013)

❸ THE  METAMORPHOSIS  OF  A  JEWISH  SUPREMACIST
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
Aug. 31, 2016
David Mizrahi was once a prominent member of La Familia, a notorious Jewish supremacist chapter of the Beitar Jerusalem fan club.
___Three years ago, he famously refused to shake hands with Arab footballer Mohammed Ghadir. But on Sunday, he published the following on Facebook:
[. . . .] ___”And today, three years on, I’m coming full circle. I’m going to meet with Mohammed Ghadir, shake his hand talk to him. I’m the happiest man alive.
___I’ve recently started speaking against racism and for love and tolerance. Many eyebrows were raised. I was harassed along the way, and many are still annoyed with me.”     MORE . . .   

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
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 Amazon.com. 

ON THE OCCUPATION – Special Edition “. . . The invaders smile . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

1-Herzl_retouched

Founder of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl (1860–1904) was also author of the pamphlet “The Jewish State” (Photo: ZETEO, 11.05.2015)

TEL  AVIV  MAYOR  SAYS  THE  OCCUPATION  IS  A  CAUSE  OF  PALESTINIAN  TERROR
+972 Magazine
Edo Konrad
June 9, 2016
Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai shocked many Israelis Thursday morning when he cited Israel’s occupation as one factor that leads Palestinians to turn to terrorism. Speaking on Army Radio about Wednesday’s deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv and reported celebrations of it in the West Bank and Gaza, Huldai argued that Israelis should focus instead on the fact that Israel is “perhaps the only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights . . . . There is no courage to do what needs to be done in order to reach a [peace] agreement.”
___“There is no way to hold people in a situation of occupation and think that they will reach the conclusion that everything is okay and they will continue to live like that,” Huldai added.      MORE . . . 

❷ HISTORICAL NOTE: 

The vision of Zionism’s founder, Theodor Herzl, became institutionalised in the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the body that today coordinates with the Government of Israel and largely oversees the continuing land acquisition process (n88). By the close of 1937, the JNF-linked Jewish Agency had established the Population Transfer Committee, and in 1940, director of the JNF Lands Department Yosef Weitz wrote:
___“It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both peoples.… If the Arabs leave it, the country will become wide and spacious for us … There is no room for compromises … There is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries, to transfer all of them, save perhaps for Bethlehem, Nazareth and old Jerusalem. Not one village must be left, not one [bedouin] tribe … For this goal funds will be found … And only after this transfer will the country be able to absorb millions of our brothers and the Jewish problem will cease to exist. There is no other solution” (n89).

(n88) For discussion of the legal relationship of the Jewish National Fund to the Israeli government, see Kenneth Lewan and Uri Davis, The Jewish National Fund, London: Kegan Paul, 1989.
(n89) Yosef Weitz, Yomani Ve’igrotai Labanim [My Diary and Letters to the Children] Vol I, entry for 20 December 1940, p181; as quoted in Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987, p 27.

  • Schechla, Joseph. “Ideological Roots of Population Transfer.” Third World Quarterly 14.2 (1993): 239-275.   ONLINE.   

❸ A  DEFINITION  OF  “LEGAL”  OCCUPATION: 

We argue that the legality of the phenomenon of occupation, as it relates to the function of managing the situation, is to be measured in relation to three fundamental legal principles:
(a)          Sovereignty and title in an occupied territory are not vested in the occupying power. The roots of this principle emanate from the principle of the inalienability of sovereignty through actual or threatened use of force. Under contemporary international law, and in view of the principle of self-determination, sovereignty is vested in the population under occupation.
(b)          The occupying power is entrusted with the management of public order and civil life in the territory under control. In view of the principle of self-determination, the people under occupation are the beneficiaries of this trust. The dispossession and subjugation of these people violate this trust.
(c)           Occupation is temporary. It may be neither permanent nor indefinite.
___The violation of any one of these principles, therefore, unlike the violation of a specific norm that reflects them, renders an occupation illegal per se. This is the nature of the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

  • Ben-Naftali, Orna, Aeyal M. Gross, and Keren Michaeli. “Illegal Occupation: Framing the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Berkeley Journal of International Law 23.3 (2005): 551-614.  ONLINE.

Oma Ben-Naftali is a senior lecturer at the Law School, The College of Management, Academic Studies in Tel-Aviv; Aeyal Gross is a senior lecturer at Tel-Aviv University Law Faculty; and Keren Michaeli is a senior research fellow at the Law School, The College of Management, Academic Studies in Tel-Aviv.

Dheisheh1
Dheisheh Refugee Camp is a Palestinian refugee camp located just south of Bethlehem. (Photo: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, April 26, 2012)

❹ THE  CONSEQUENCE  OF  OCCUPATION  FOR  THE  PALESTINIANS: 

As a diaspora of over nine million people, Palestinians are everywhere: second-class citizens of Israel, stateless residents of fragmented and walled-in Bantustans in the occupied West Bank, refugees residing inside and outside of camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; and immigrants, students, professionals and nationalised citizens in virtually every country in the world. . . In the framework of international law, however, Palestinians are virtually nowhere. As stateless persons they occupy a liminal and interstitial space in the international legal and political order, an order that . . .  remains founded upon and grounded in the interests of sovereign nation-states rather than in the claims of sub or transnational actors, whether individuals or groups.
[. . . .]
___The defining event of the 1990s for Palestinians was the signing of the Oslo Accords . . .  Oslo, however, was not founded on international law or treaties but, rather, constituted a negotiated agreement between unequal partners. It was an agreement that side-stepped [international agreements emphasising Israel’s duty to uphold International Humanitarian Law] and to abide by all of international treaties it has signed.

  • King-Irani, Laurie. “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly 27.5 (2006): 923-936.  SOURCE.

Laurie King-Irani is Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Anthropology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
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 Amazon.com. 

“. . . an impossible burden weighs down . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

scouts march
The Orthodox Scouts’ group from Gaza was given a permit by Israel this year allowing them to join 13 other Palestinian scouts groups in Ramallah (Photo: Middle East Eye/Silvia Boarini)

❶ Israel Orders Halt on Jordan Valley Pipeline Construction
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Newspaper Review: Israel to Build a New Settlement in West Bank
❷ Mainstream media frames Israeli attacks on Gaza civilians as ‘retaliatory’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Media promote Israeli distortions as civilians dodge airstrikes in Gaza
❸ Albarghouthi: “Israel Should be Brought to Account not to Repeat Crimes in the Future”
❹ Palestinian Scouts march in celebration of Orthodox Easter
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  LAWLESS  STATE  OF  ISRAEL
❻ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  ORDERS  HALT  ON  JORDAN  VALLEY  PIPELINE  CONSTRUCTION
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 8, 2016
Israeli authorities on Sunday ordered a halt on the construction of a fresh-water pipeline in the village of Ibzeq, to the east of Tubas in the Jordan Valley.
___Muataz Besharat, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the area, told WAFA that staff from the so-called Israeli Civil Administration . . .  handed a notification to stop the pipeline project. . . .
___He added that the village lacks any other source of fresh water, and that locals are frequently compelled to buy water at high costs.     MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) NEWSPAPER  REVIEW:  ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  A  NEW  SETTLEMENT  IN  WEST  BANK
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 8, 2016
The three major dailies focused on the Israeli authorities’ declared plan to build a new settlement to the south of Nablus to accommodate 40 Jewish families.
___They said the Israeli ‘Defense’ Ministry, together with the settlement movement Amana, is planning a new settlement near Shiloh in the northern West Bank. The new construction is intended for the 40 families now living in the outpost of Amona, which is set to be evacuated by the end of the year.      MORE . . .

❷ MAINSTREAM MEDIA FRAMES ISRAELI ATTACKS ON GAZA CIVILIANS AS ‘RETALIATORY’
Mondoweiss
Dan Cohen
May 6, 2016
After 21 months of a one-way ceasefire, Israel is once again escalating attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip.
___Yesterday, Israeli shelling killed Zaina Attia al-Amour, a 54-year-old grandmother [. . . .]
___Outside of Gaza, media outlets have finally broken a de facto vow of silence on Israeli attacks on the besieged enclave, however, they have been framed as retaliatory.
___The Associated Press wire story was picked up by numerous mainstream media outlets. Here’s the headline: ISRAEL  RETALIATES  TO  GAZA  FIRE  WITH  STRIKES  ON  HAMAS  TARGETS.       MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) MEDIA  PROMOTE  ISRAELI  DISTORTIONS  AS  CIVILIANS  DODGE  AIRSTRIKES  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada 
Rania Khalek
May 7, 2016
In recent days, has Israel launched a series of aggressive military actions in the besieged Gaza Strip, killing a Palestinian woman and injuring several other people, including three children.
___And like clockwork, mainstream Western media swooped in to throw the narrative in Israel’s favor, brushing aside Israel’s relentless violations of the Gaza ceasefire and its killings of dozens of civilians in the besieged territory.      MORE . . . .

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Mourners attend funeral of Zaina Attia al-Amour, a 54-year-old Palestinian woman killed by Israeli shelling on Thursday (Photo: Middle East Eye/Mohammed Asad)

❸ ALBARGHOUTHI:  “ISRAEL  SHOULD  BE  BROUGHT  TO  ACCOUNT  NOT  TO  REPEAT  CRIMES  IN  THE  FUTURE”
Palestine Chronicle
May 7 2016
Mustafa Albarghouthi, the Secretary General of the Palestinian Initiative said on Friday that Israel “would never dare to repeat its attacks on the Gaza Strip if it was prosecuted for the savage war crimes it committed during its offensive in summer 2014,” as reported by QudsNet.
___In a press statement, Albarghouti stated that “the latest Israeli artillery shelling and air strikes targeted civilians.” He added that “they were intended to escalate the situation in order to find justifications for carrying out new war crimes against the residents of the Gaza Strip.”      MORE . . .   

❹ PALESTINIAN   SCOUTS   MARCH   IN   CELEBRATION   OF   ORTHODOX   EASTER
Middle East Eye
Silvia Boarini
May 3, 2016
RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank – Beating drums, loud bagpipes and shrill trumpets filled the air in Ramallah on Saturday, when 14 lively Kashaf (Scouts) marching bands paraded in front of an audience of thousands of Christian and Muslim Palestinians. Spectators began lining the streets during the hottest hours of the day in order to attend the traditional Sabt al-Nour parade marking Orthodox Easter; and for the first time in years, out of 14 Scout groups, one was from Gaza.      MORE . . .  

Opinion/Analysis: THE  LAWLESS  STATE  OF  ISRAEL
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Asa Winstanley
May 8, 2016
Israel tries to present itself in front of the world as “the only democracy in the middle east”. In more explicitly racist and colonial terms, it sometimes claims to be a “villa” of civilisation in the “jungle” of the middle east, as war criminal Ehud Barak once put it.
___But for the Palestinian people, and anyone who has spent any amount of time visiting or living among them to witness the truth, such claims ring hollow.
___For the Palestinians, Israel is a democracy for its Jewish citizens alone.      MORE . . .

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

MAJID ABU GHOUSH (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).
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