“. . . . The Land of Israel will be returned to the people of Israel. In its entirety. Forever.” (Menachem Begin)

❶ PA welcomes UN resolution rejecting US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PLO official: UN vote demonstrates isolation of US

  • Background: “‘A Simple Historical Truth’: Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip in Menachem Begin’s Ideology.” Israel Affairs

❷ President on Christmas: US recognition of Jerusalem added insult to millions of people
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
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Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 22, 2017 ― The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday rejecting US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his plans to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
___A total of 128 countries voted in favor of the resolution, with nine countries — including the US and Israel — voting against, and 35 countries voting to abstain, including Canada, Australia and Mexico.
___The vote came after a series of threats by Trump and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, who said that Washington would remember which countries “disrespected” America by voting against it.
___Leading up to the vote, President Trump had promised to “take names” and possibly cut donor funding to those countries who voted against it.   MORE . . .  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 22, 2017 ― The UN vote in favor of a draft resolution rejecting US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital demonstrates the isolation of the US, said Thursday the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
___Member of the PLO Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi stated: “We are extremely encouraged and empowered by the overwhelming vote in favor of a UNGA resolution rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
[. . . .] “Despite American efforts to safeguard Israeli violations and war crimes, the majority maintained their principled position while a minimal number succumbed by abstaining or voting against the resolution,” she remarked.
___“This further demonstrates the isolation of the U.S. in its blind support of Israeli lawlessness and impunity. It is therefore called on to rescind its irresponsible and dangerous decision and refrain from joining Israel in its criminal behavior,” she concluded.   MORE . . . 

Naor, Arye.
ISRAEL  AFFAIRS, vol. 21, no. 3, July 2015, pp. 462-481.
The orientation of Menachem Begin with regard to the political future of areas in the western part of the Land of Israel that were not in the possession of Israel before the Six Day War (1967) . . .   point to one political conclusion, namely, that the State of Israel should not permit foreign sovereignty over areas of the historical homeland of the Jewish people.
[. . . .] On 8 June 1967, the day after the conquest of the Old City of Jerusalem . . .    he made the following pronouncement:
“On this day, we stand before the Western Wall, remnant of our resplendent Temple in a redeemed Jerusalem, in a city which is compact together [Psalms 122, 3], and we bear a prayer emitted from our hearts that the holy temple will be built quickly in our days. And we shall go to Hebron, which is Kiryat Arba, and we shall prostrate ourselves before the graves of the Patriarchs, and we shall go by the way of Efrata, coming to Bethlehem in Judea, and pray at the tomb of the matriarch Rachel, and we shall recall the words of the prophet:
‘A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; She refuseth  to be comforted for her children, Because they are not. Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, And thine eyes from tears; For thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; And they shall come back from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for thy  future, saith the Lord; And thy children shall return to their own border’ (Jeremiah 31, 15–17).”

There is no doubt that he regarded the territorial gains of the IDF as justified in international law, as well as historically justified through its biblical foundations. Thus, the vision of the prophet Jeremiah, which he selected for his prayer – ‘And thy children shall return to their own border’ – was on the verge of being realized and consolidated into a permanent reality.
[. . . .] If the partitions of the country were illegal, the implication is that the reunification is not an act of illegal annexation; rather, it is the realization of the right of the Jewish people over an inheritance from its forefathers. Time and again Begin referred back to Simon the Hasmonean’s reply to the messenger of King Antiochos VII from Side, who demanded that Simon withdraw from several places that he had conquered in the Judean periphery:   “We have neither taken other men’s land, nor have we possession of that which appertaineth to others, but of the inheritance of our fathers; howbeit, it was had in possession of our enemies wrongfully for a certain time. But we, having the opportunity, hold fast the inheritance of our fathers” [I  Maccabees, 15: 33–34].   SOURCE . . . 

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 22, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas Friday stated on a Christmas message that the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has added “insult to millions of people worldwide and also to the city of Bethlehem”.
___Abbas added that the US President Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem “has encouraged the illegal disconnection between the holy cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, both separated for the first time in over 2000 years of Christianity.”     Following are excerpts from the text of the Christmas message: 
“This time every year, the souls of billions of people turn to Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the messenger of love, peace and justice. Over 2000 years ago, the message of Jesus was delivered from a humble manger in Bethlehem. We are proud that this precious tradition is an integral part of Palestine and that Palestinians all over the world feel pride and inspiration for coming from a land of divine messages, prophets and saints.
___[. . . .] Bethlehem is currently surrounded by 18 illegal colonial-settlements that are under ongoing expansion on Palestinian land. The Annexation Wall, a wall of shame and apartheid, has been built from the heart of the city and extends towards the Cremisan Valley, affecting the livelihoods of hundreds of Palestinian families, mainly Christians. Bethlehem, the birthplace of hope, continues to be affected by the Israeli plans to create the “Greater Jerusalem” on the sufferings of Palestinians.
___Regretfully, the U.S. has decided, against its obligations under International Law, to reward such policies by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This has been an insult to millions of people worldwide, and also to the city of Bethlehem. Washington’s decision has encouraged the illegal disconnection between the holy cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, both separated for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity.”  COMPLETE TEXT . . .    ..

So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.