“. . . people to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

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Shops along main street of Shufat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
 TRUMP’S  PEACE  DEAL  ‘WASTE  OF  TIME,’  ISRAELI  MINISTER  SAYS
Israeli-Palestinian peace plan being prepared by US President Donald Trump is “a waste of time,” extremist Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Wednesday.    ___Speaking before hundreds of ambassadors and attaches at the Jerusalem Post Diplomats’ Conference in Jerusalem, Shaked added that the differences between Israelis and Palestinians are too great.    ___”I want peace like everyone else,” she said, “but I do not believe an agreement can be reached. I would tell Trump: ‘Do not waste your time.'”   ___Shaked also spoke about the demand made by her party, the Jewish Home, to appoint party leader Naftali Bennett as defence minister – an ultimatum that threatened the stability of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel  refuses  to  sign  international  migration  pact (“Israel has to follow a special migration policy specified by its circumstances as a small state which aims to maintain its Jewish nationality.”)
. . . . Related  Ashrawi  of  PLO  urges  Slovenia  to  recognize  state  of  Palestine
|    ISRAELI  DEMOLITION  CAMPAIGN  IN  SHUFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  COMMENCES
Israeli bulldozers demolished dozens of Palestinian-owned shops in the Shufat refugee camp, in occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.   ___Israeli forces along with the Israeli Civil Administration staff stormed the Shufat refugee camp earlier and delivered demolition notices to more than 20 Palestinian shops, with only 12 hours to evacuate the premises before the demolitions commence.    ___Thaer Fasfous, spokesperson of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, said that hundreds of Israeli forces and Israeli Civil Administration staff members were deployed across the area, while bulldozers began to demolish the shops.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  Soldiers  Abduct  Two  Palestinians  In  HEBRON
. . . . Related  Army  Abducts  A  Legislator  In  RAMALLAH
. . . . Related  Israeli  Soldiers  Demolish  A  Residential  Shed,  Retaining  Walls,  Near  NABLUS
. . . . Related  Soldiers  Detonate  Doors  Of  Homes  And  Stores,  Before  Invading  Them,  Near  TULKAREM

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Home demolition by Israelis in Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|    KRAHENBUHL  APPLAUDS  INTERNATIONAL  EFFORT  FOR  KEEPING  UNRWA  AFLOAT    Addressing the delegates at the Advisory Commission of host governments and leading donors of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, applauded the resolve and creativity with which the agency and the international community addressed its “greatest financial predicament ever.”    ___Krahenbuhl thanked the many partners who “rose to the occasion” to help, collectively, to reduce the staggering shortfall of $446 million at the start of this year and said, “Today, I am very pleased to announce that, overall since January, donors contributed or pledged an additional $425 million, bringing our shortfall down to $21 million.”     More . . .
. . . . Related  Erekat: ‘Israel should be condemned at UN, not Hamas’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
   HOW  ISRAEL  WEAPONISES  ANTI-SEMITISM  TO  BLOCK  MIDDLE  EAST  PEACE
By Ray Hanania
One of Israel’s most powerful weapons against the voices of Palestinian rights has been the exploitation of Jewish history — the Holocaust included — to justify its own atrocities against non-Jews. The Holocaust is undeniably one of the worst human tragedies in human history, an evil horror in which Nazis sought to cleanse the world of Jews and their religion.    ___The hatred that fuelled Nazi atrocities before and during World War Two were undoubtedly driven by anti-Semitism. Since then, though, anti-Semitism has been weaponised by Israel, not just to confront the Holocaust deniers, the neo-Nazis and the hate filled anti-Semites, but also to undermine the righteous movement of justice to restore the inalienable rights of Christians and Muslims in Palestine.    ___Any criticism of Israel is now being denounced as “anti-Semitism”.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“ANY  REFUGEES  IN  THE  WORLD,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror trove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?

are Palestinians any different from any other refugees?
is it not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?

why are they being asked to settle
for money?
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicians tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?

between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only
honorable
demographic.

time for peace
now.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

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Shufat neighbors explaining home demolition to members of Sabeel, Jerusalem, delegation (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

“. . . Do you remember your panic― at the reign of death . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israelis escorted through Al Aqsa Mosque courtyard, Jerusalem, by IOF soldiers (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
   DEFENSE  MINISTER  AVIGDOR  LIBERMAN  RESIGNS  OVER  HAMAS  CEASEFIRE
Claiming that the government has capitulated to terrorism, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced his resignation on Wednesday, one day after Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.    ___“I have tried to remain a faithful member of the cabinet and to make heard another view, even at a great electoral and political price,” Liberman said at a news briefing immediately following the faction meeting. However, Tuesday’s ceasefire with Hamas “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism,” he added. “This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.”    More . . .
|    PLO:  30  YEARS  AFTER  DECLARATION  OF  INDEPENDENCE,  OCCUPATION  STILL  LINGERING
Thirty years after the historic declaration of Palestine’s independence, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is still lingering, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Thursday marking Palestine’s Declaration of Independence Day.    ___The Palestinian National Council issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988 in Algiers, declaring an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.    [. . . .] PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on this occasion. . .   “Thirty years later, following this historic and painful compromise, the longest occupation in modern history still continues and holds an entire people captive, willfully stealing their land, resources, freedom, and rights with full impunity. . .     More . . .
. . . . Related  A  FAMILIAR  INVASION:  SETTLERS  TAKE  ANOTHER  MOUNTAIN  TOP,  SOLDIERS  FOLLOW,  AND  PALESTINIANS  DEMONSTRATE  FOR  THEIR  RIGHTS
|    ISRAEL  BANS  JERUSALEMITES  ENTRY  AS  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA     Israeli authorities banned six Jerusalemites, on Thursday, from entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, for one consecutive month. . .   [. . . .]  two days prior to the ban, the six Jerusalemites were detained by Israeli forces during predawn raids of their homes in East Jerusalem.     ___Meanwhile, about 35 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate and “provocatively” toured the compound, according to local sources.     More . . .
. . . . Related  GAZA  IN  PHOTOS:  CEASEFIRE,  MOURNING  AND  PROTESTS  OF  THE  DESTRUCTION  OF  A  TELEVISION  STATION

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ISRAEL’S  NEXT  ELECTIONS  WILL  BE  ABOUT  WHO  IS  MORE  VIOLENT  TO  PALESTINIANS 
Israel appears to be going to early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is resigning from his post, and that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, will leave the ruling coalition over what he called Netanyahu’s “surrender to terrorism.” The surprise resignation came just a day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the most violent flare-up the Gaza border has seen since the 2014 war.    ___Immediately following his announcement, the right-wing Jewish Home party . . .  released a statement that it too would leave the coalition unless party leader Naftali Bennett replaces Liberman as defense minister. It is unlikely Netanyahu will agree to such conditions, which means that his coalition will probably fall apart, ushering in early elections in the spring of 2019, instead of their original date in November 2019.    ___Liberman’s move makes perfect sense, if one considers that his party, which holds only five of 120 seats in the Knesset, might not make it past the election threshold, as several polls have indicated . . .  Liberman also used his podium to attack Netanyahu for backing down on the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, allowing Qatari cash and fuel into Gaza, and the latest cease-fire.    More . . .
. . . . Related POLL:  64%  OF  ISRAELIS  SEEK  TO  ESCALATE  AGGRESSIONS  ON  GAZA
. . . . Related  WHAT  NETANYAHU’S  IDEA  OF  PEACE  LOOKS  LIKE
. . . . Related   IN  BREACH  OF  HUMAN  RIGHTS,  NETANYAHU  SUPPORTS  THE  DEATH  PENALTY  FOR  PALESTINIANS

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble

“. . . our eyes full of dust That never clears in our ceaseless wandering . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

❶ OCHA says reduction in humanitarian aid to UN refugee agency worrying
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Fatah: U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) American Arab group condemns US cut in aid to UN agency
❷ After Jenin raid, Israeli army leaves behind devastation, both physical and psychological

  • Opinion:  “In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence.” The Palestine Chronicle.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli court indefinitely extends detention of Ahed Tamimi and her mother
❸ Israeli army considering taking control of Palestinian areas in Jerusalem
❹ PLO calls on EU to take effective political steps to salvage peace
❺ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  OCHA  SAYS  REDUCTION  IN  HUMANITARIAN  AID  TO  UN  REFUGEE  AGENCY  WORRYING
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The significant reduction in funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in recent years, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the oPt said on Wednesday.
___The United States announced this week that it has cut $65 million of its $125 million January installment to UNRWA . . .
___“I am deeply concerned about the significant reduction in funding for UNRWA, which is critical to the provision of humanitarian assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory. Some 2.5 million Palestinians in this area, or about half of the population, need humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million Palestine refugees, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the oPt,” Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Roberto Valent, said in a statement.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴀ) FATAH:  U.S.  ACTION  WILL  RESTRICT  THE  WORK  OF  UNRWA     Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  [. . . .] It is important to note that the U.S. contribution to UNRWA represents neither support nor assistance to the Palestinian National Authority . . .  It is to an agency of the United . . . .
___A statement by the Palestine National Liberation movement (Fatah) in a press release said that this U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA and threaten severe deprivation putting Palestinian refugees at even more serious risk.
[. . . .]  “We believe that the methods of extortion and pressure of the U.S. Administration on the United Nations, especially with regard to programs that do not suit Israel and rightwing extremists, are unacceptable to the international community and UN member states.”   MORE . . . 
 .  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴃ)  AMERICAN  ARAB  GROUP  CONDEMNS  US  CUT  IN  AID  TO  UN  AGENCY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemned on Wednesday the US cut of $65 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides education and healthcare to millions of Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
___“This abrupt cut in funding has created an existential crisis for UNRWA,” said ADC in a statement.
___At stake is the education of more than 525,000 students, primary health care for millions, and the provision of emergency relief, including food assistance to one million refugees in Gaza.    MORE . . . 
❷ AFTER  JENIN  RAID,  ISRAELI  ARMY  LEAVES  BEHIND  DEVASTATION,  BOTH  PHYSICAL  AND  PSYCHOLOGICAL 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
By Mohammad Najim
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  At about 11:00 pm (Jerusalem time) on a cold Wednesday night, Palestinian residents of Wad Burqin neighborhood in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, were awakened at the sound of gunfire. It was soon clear that a large Israeli military force has surrounded a number of Jarrar family buildings and opened heavy gunfire at the houses to force a member identified as Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, 26, to come out.     [. . . .] Army units used loudspeakers to call on the family to leave their house, and soon after Ahmad Nasr’s mother, her younger son, Mohammad, and her daughter were out in the cold the army asked them to remove their coats.
[. . . .]  She said the soldiers then asked her daughter to get back to the house and to open all of the windows and doors before their bulldozers approached the house and started to demolish it together with the house of her elder son, Sohaib . . . .   the residents were shocked to find out that three buildings for the Jarrar family had been demolished and a fourth was badly damaged.
___The Palestinian Ministry of . . . . identified the dead person as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, a cousin of Ahmad Nasr Jarrar.     MORE . . . 

OPINION:    IN  WORDS  AND  DEEDS:  THE  GENESIS  OF  ISRAELI  VIOLENCE 
The Palestine Chronicle
By Ramzy Baroud
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.
___Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.
[. . . .] Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed [Tamini] and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.
[. . . .] This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.
___Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett . . . are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.
___This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’
[. . . .] Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years [. . . .] Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.
[. . . .]  Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.
[. . . .] So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.     MORE . . .    ..

.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  COURT  INDEFINITELY  EXTENDS  DETENTION  OF  AHED  TAMIMI  AND  HER  MOTHER  
Ma’an News Agency   
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  An Israeli military court on Wednesday ordered 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed al-Tamimi to remain in custody indefinitely, until she faces trial for a number of charges relating to a video of her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier.
___The teenager was arrested on December 19, days after the video of her confrontation with the soldiers — who were raiding her hometown of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank, and had shot her 14-year-old cousin in the face moments before the video was filmed — went viral on social media.
[. . . .]  During the hearing, the judge reportedly said that they could not grant the teenager bail because she was “too dangerous.”
___The court also ruled to indefinitely extend the detention of Ahed’s mother, Nariman, who was detained a day after her daughter. Nariman is being charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the video.     MORE . . .  
❸ ISRAELI  ARMY  CONSIDERING  TAKING  CONTROL  OF  PALESTINIAN  AREAS  IN  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Israeli military forces are considering taking control over Shu’fat refugee camp and Kafr Aqab areas, according to information obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz.
___Whilst the proposed  plan is still unknown, army officials said the decision has been motivated by an increase in unrest and violence in East Jerusalem.     ___The two areas are currently under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality but are physically cut off from the city [by] the separation wall.     MORE . . .  
❹ PLO  CALLS  ON  EU  TO  TAKE  EFFECTIVE  POLITICAL  STEPS  TO  SALVAGE  PEACE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat Thursday called on the European Union to take effective political steps to save peace in the region.
___This came during a meeting with representatives of the EU countries at the PLO’s headquarters in Ramallah . . . .
___He called on the EU to protect the principles and the human rights’ system that it has built over the years, by translating and embodying its firm position on the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of a recognized State of Palestine.
___Erekat reiterated the PLO’s position that the United States’ has lost eligibility to play the role of peace broker after its illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel . .  MORE . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring, in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

About  Jabra Ibrahim Jabra      Related
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.

“. . . Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ US freezes $125 million grant to UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Bennett slams reported Israeli call on US not to cut aid to Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) What would happen if Trump cuts UNRWA funding?

BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget (2017)

❷ Tzachi Hanegbi: Two-state solution is not dead
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Peace Now: Israel to approve more than 1,329 illegal settlement units
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians protest visit of Greek Orthodox patriarch accused of selling land to Israel
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ US  FREEZES  $125  MILLION  GRANT  TO  UNRWA
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The United States has frozen $125 million of its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
___Quoting three US officials, Reuters news agency reported that the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, informed the United Nations that it had frozen a $125 million grant that was due to be paid on 1st January.
___According to the three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, Trump’s administration is considering cutting $180 million from its aid payments to the UNRWA in an effort to pressure the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations with Israel.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  BENNETT  SLAMS  REPORTED  ISRAELI  CALL  ON  US  NOT  TO  CUT  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS:  Israeli officials call on US and all world countries to cut all aid to Palestinians.  
Days of Palestine
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Israeli Education Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, slammed reports on Friday reported Israeli call on US not to cut UN support for Palestinian refugees.
___Earlier this week, Donald Trump warned that his country would cut aid for Palestinians who he believes receive millions of US dollars without respecting America.
___According to Israeli Hadashot TV, though, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Foreign Minister, is opposed to any cut in such aid.
___ “UNRWA,” claims, Bennett, “is a terror-supporting organisation. Its very existence perpetuates the dire situation of Gaza’s population, who suffer under the rule of Hamas.” He insisted that the US decision to cut aid is the right choice.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  WHAT  WOULD  HAPPEN  IF  TRUMP  CUTS  UNRWA  FUNDING?
The Palestinian Information Center 
By Yara Hawari
Jan. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Information Center On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, delivered a rather ambiguous threat in response to a question on the maintenance of the US level of funding to the UN Palestinian refugee programme. She replied: “The president has said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding or stop funding until the Palestinians are agreeing (sic) to come back to the negotiating table.”
___President Trump himself tweeted the following threat to UNRWA: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
[. . . .] However, a total US funding cut would mean a serious reduction in services and the complete halt of many of the education and health programmes.
___In other words, schools and health clinics would close leaving hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees across the region without schooling, health care, jobs, making their situation even more dire.   MORE . . .  

  • BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget 
    The Jerusalem Post     
    By Michael Wilner
    Nov. 17, 2017 ― On Thursday Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation.
    ___Congress has resolved a budgeting dispute with the Trump administration by sourcing hundreds of millions of dollars in missile defense aid for Israel from its base budget– and not from a fund typically reserved for US wartime operations, as was initially proposed.
    ___The White House made clear over the summer that it was not opposed to adding hundreds of millions of dollars above its own budget for missile defense to Israel, but rather the vehicle for its delivery– an unprecedented use of dollars typically saved for US military readiness. Earlier this month, Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation, including $588 million over President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.     MORE . . . 

❷   TZACHI  HANEGBI:  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION  IS  NOT  DEAD
Al Jazeera English 
by Ali Younes
Jan. 6, 2018 ― An Israeli minister has said US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital does not signal the end of the two-state solution, with Israel willing to grant Palestinians their own independent state but with limited sovereignty.
___Tzachi Hanegbi, minister of regional cooperation, said Trump’s controversial decision on December 6 should not hinder Palestinian claims to have occupied East Jerusalem as their capital.
___”We claim that Jerusalem is our capital and should not be divided, but that’s only a claim, not a diktat,” Hanegbi, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Al Jazeera at his office in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
___Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  PEACE  NOW:  ISRAEL  TO  APPROVE  MORE  THAN  1,329  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  UNITS
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee is expected to approve the promotion of at least 1,329 housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___In a statement released on Friday, Peace Now said that the committee published its agenda, and is expected to approve the new settlement units next Wednesday, January 10.
___According to the group, two-thirds of the 1,329 units (883 housing units) “will be located in isolated settlements that Israel would probably have to evacuate under any two-state agreement.”      MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIANS  PROTEST  VISIT  OF  GREEK  ORTHODOX  PATRIARCH  ACCUSED  OF  SELLING  LAND  TO  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency  
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Palestinian Christians from around the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel came out in harsh opposition on Saturday to a visit by Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
___Theophilos III, along with several other religious and political figures, were visiting Bethlehem as part of celebrations for Greek Orthodox Christmas Eve.
___Despite an intense presence of Palestinian security forces who attempted to open roads near Bethlehem’s Manger Square for the patriarch’s car, angry citizens swarmed around his procession, holding signs, Palestinian flags, and chanting slogans against Theophilus III.   MORE . . .  

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Available from Amazon
About Samih Al-Qasim. Obituary, August 20, 2014.

“. . . concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

They relate noble narratives about Israeli nationalist victory, valor, and self-defense. They ground such moments of supposed “liberation” in a grand teleology in which the end is the redemption of the Jewish people in their land . . .  Jewish settlers today carve violent inroads . . .  in their quest to resurrect the City of King David. (Thomas Abowd)

IMG_3198
Gush Etzion settlement towering over the Palestinian Nassar Family Farm near Bethlehem. The Nassars have owned the farm for 100 years. It is an educational center, the Tent of Nations (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ Israel: State of denial

Background: Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Wasfi Kabaha’s Arrest Silencing ‘voice of resistance’ in the West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) NGO coalition slams Israel over Judaization of Jerusalem curricula
❸ Lieberman: Our government is the best for settlement enterprise
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) West Bank witnesses unprecedented expansion in settlement building
❹ Whose “Ethnic Cleansing?” Israel’s Appropriation of the Palestinian Narrative
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL:  STATE  OF  DENIAL
+972 Blog
June 10, 2017          Military occupation is a rare phenomenon in today’s world. A half-century-long occupation, like Israel’s control of Palestinian territories captured in 1967, is even rarer. Grappling seriously with its dynamics and consequences is made even more difficult by the fact that in the past half century, Israel has constructed not only settlements but also a three-story denial palace. Israel is now an official residence of occupation denialism. The most compelling demonstration of the grotesque nature of this denial palace is that each of its floors is located in a different imaginary time zone.   MORE . . .

  • The following is from the same article as yesterday’s post. This passage presents Abowd’s second major argument.

Abowd, Thomas.”RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ‘ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE’.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
THE  WEAPONIZATION  OF  MYTH:  Efforts to appropriate Palestinian land and resources for exclusive Jewish use continue. But consistent with other colonial states, these practices have interacted dialectically with concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history. A range of mythical assertions, often deploying essentialist notions of peoples and places, have been projected to justify acts of dispossession. In the case of Israel, the Bible and the supposed celestial designs for lands and peoples it supposedly prescribes have been integral to Israeli conquest. These ideological ploys resemble what I refer to as the “weaponization of myth” and, as Barthes (1957) writes, it is myth that “evaporates history”. For Israel, the task of evaporating Palestinian pasts in Palestine has been a hefty one but a necessary one.   SOURCE . . .   

 ❷ WASFI  KABAHA’S  ARREST  SILENCING  ‘VOICE OF RESISTANCE’  IN  THE  WEST  BANK 
The Palestinian Information Center    
June 14, 2017   Wasfi Kabaha was talking to his friends and followers on social media when the Israeli occupation forces knocked at his house by the dawn of Monday, 12 June 2017 to inform him of his arrest, while his followers on Facebook were still busy discussing the issues raised by him. After a while, some commented that Kabaha was arrested a while ago, as part of an ongoing Israeli attempt to silence the voice of resistance in the West Bank.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) NGO  COALITION  SLAMS  ISRAEL  OVER  JUDAIZATION  OF  JERUSALEM  CURRICULA
The Palestinian Information Center 
May 31, 2017   The Jerusalemite Non-Governmental Coalition condemned Israel’s approval of a five-year plan to Judaize academic curricula at Palestinian schools across Occupied Jerusalem.
___Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin submitted a plan to force schools in Occupied Jerusalem to teach an Israeli curriculum as opposed to the Palestinian school curriculum.
___The aim is to improve the quality of life and the environment for Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and to strengthen the integration of east Jerusalem residents into Israeli society and economy, thus boosting the economic and social resilience of the city, claimed Bennett.   MORE . . .
❸ LIEBERMAN:  OUR  GOVERNMENT  IS  THE  BEST  FOR  SETTLEMENT  ENTERPRISE
Palestine News Network – PNN   
June 11, 2017   The right wing Israeli Minister of Army, Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday announced that 3,651 settlement units in the West Bank were approved last week, adding that the number of units slated for construction is at its highest since 1992.     ___Lieberman added  says number of settler homes approved for construction within the the first half 2017 are at their highest since 1992.     [. . . .] “There isn’t and there hasn’t been a better government to take care of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samara and to develop it,” he said.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) WEST  BANK  WITNESSES  UNPRECEDENTED  EXPANSION  IN  SETTLEMENT  BUILDING    
Palestine Information Center      
June 17, 2017   The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement said on Saturday that the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has witnessed since the beginning of 2017 an unprecedented settlement building . . .
___The Office explained in its weekly report that Lieberman stated that the number of permits issued for the settlement construction in the West Bank during the first half of 2017 is the highest since 1992.   MORE . . .
❹ WHOSE  “ETHNIC CLEANSING?”  ISRAEL’S  APPROPRIATION  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  NARRATIVE 
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Dina Matar
March 26, 2017   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently claimed in a video posted on his Facebook page that the Palestinian demand to dismantle illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) constitutes an act of “ethnic cleansing” against Israeli Jewish settlers. The term . . .  has also been used by many scholars as well as in public discourse to refer to Zionist practices against the Palestinian population in the lead-up to and during the Nakba of 1948. These practices include the destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of approximately 730,000 Palestinians from their homes.   MORE . . .

‘IDENTITY   CARD,”   BY   MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Record!
I am an Arab
And my identity card is number fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth is coming after a summer
Will you be angry?

Record!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks.
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Record!
I am an Arab
without a name – without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots –
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew
My father –
descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather –
was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
And my house –
is like a watchman’s hut
made of branches and cane
This is my status
Does it satisfy you?
I have a name but no title!

Record!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards
of my ancestors
And the land
which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left us with those rocks
So will the State take them
as it has been said?

Therefore!
Record on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware –
Beware –
Of my hunger
And my anger
–– Trans. Naseer Aururi
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 Kurt Gippert Bookseller.
About Mahmoud Darwish
RELATED . . .

“. . . the cement has diverted/ The ancient springs . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

EU HEADS
Visit of EU Heads of Cooperation, May 25, 2017 (Photo: EU and Palestinians‏ @EUpalestinians, Twitter)

[Israeli Education Minister Naftali] Bennett vows to press Netanyahu for more West Bank construction
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A Palestinian’s first-class seat next to Naftali Bennett
❷ Rights group demands Israel cancel tenders opened in illegal West Bank settlements
❸ Netanyahu: Temple Mount will forever remain under Israel’s control
❹ EU Heads of Cooperation visit Area C projects in Jordan Valley
❺ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
[ISRAELI EDUCATION MINISTER NAFTALI] BENNETT  VOWS  TO  PRESS  NETANYAHU  FOR  MORE  WEST  BANK  CONSTRUCTION    
The Times of Israel
Stuart Winer
May 24, 2017
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday that he would urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to approve more construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank so that Israel can consolidate its hold on the land.
___Bennett, the leader of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, told Army Radio that Israel should take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Trump administration, which, he claimed, recognized the Jewish claim to the West Bank. . . .
[. . . .] Noting that during his visit Trump did not mention the two-state solution, which has been the accepted formula of previous US administrations, Bennett asserted that “[Trump] also understood that achieving peace won’t necessarily be achieved by establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of [Israel].”      MORE . . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  A  PALESTINIAN’S  FIRST-CLASS  SEAT  NEXT  TO  NAFTALI  BENNETT   
+972 Blog  
Jamil Dakwar
May 25, 2017
Jamil Dakwar is a human rights lawyer and adjunct lecturer at John Jay College, New York.
A free airline upgrade left him sitting next to one of the Israeli government’s most right-wing nationalists — who went on to make some revealing comments about Trump, the peace process and his colleagues in the Knesset.
. . . .  [Dakwar’s comment] For far too long, Palestinian rights have been sacrificed in the name of maintaining Jewish supremacy in access to Israeli political power, land, natural resources, and economic prosperity. As long as Palestinians are denied justice and equality, and until their basic human rights are part of the equation, there will be little chance of reaching any “ultimate deal.” The best that Trump and Netanyahu can hope for is a short-term security and business deal to preserve the status quo, including the role of the Palestinian Authority as security sub-contractor.    MORE. . . .
❷ RIGHTS  GROUP  DEMANDS  ISRAEL  CANCEL  TENDERS  OPENED  IN  ILLEGAL  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS 
Ma’an News Agency     
May 26, 2017
Israeli authorities have been offering land tenders inside Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, in the occupied West Bank, according to Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
___According to Adalah, during 2016 and 2017 the Israel Land Authority (ILA) opened tenders offering “state lands” for available plots in at least seven West Bank settlements. . . .
___Adalah sent a letter to senior Israeli officials on Tuesday, demanding that the open tenders be canceled, as “the Israeli agency responsible for issuing these tenders has no legal authority in the 1967 Occupied Territories”. . . .        MORE . . .

settlement
Houses are seen atop a hill in the Israeli settlement of Givat Ze’ev, Feb. 8, 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

❸ NETANYAHU:  TEMPLE  MOUNT  WILL  FOREVER  REMAIN  UNDER  ISRAEL’S  CONTROL
The Times of Israel 
Marissa Newman
May 24, 2017
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog went head-to-head in the Knesset on Wednesday over Jerusalem, with the premier saying Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state and its capital in any borders is the root of the conflict, and pledging that the city, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty. . . .
___During a plenum session marking the passage of 50 years since the Six Day War and the reunification of the city’s western and eastern halves, Netanyahu pointed to the US president’s visit to the Western Wall as having “destroyed UNESCO’s propaganda and lies,” referring to a series of resolutions by the UN cultural body that ignored Jewish ties to the city and Israeli sovereignty.        MORE . . .
❹ EU  HEADS  OF  COOPERATION  VISIT  AREA  C  PROJECTS  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 26, 2017
European Union (EU) Heads of Cooperation in Jerusalem and Ramallah visited Thursday different localities and projects in Area C in the Jordan Valley, the Office of the EU Representative said in a press release.
___The Norwegian Head of Cooperation also joined the visit. The group was briefed on various humanitarian and developmental projects funded by the EU and its Member States supporting the Palestinian communities in the area.
___According to the press release, the EU Heads of Cooperation were briefed . . .  on the challenges facing the Jordan Valley area.
___The briefing focused on the obstacles that are blocking a sustainable social and economic development of the Palestinian communities in the area.       MORE. . . .  

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

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.

“. . . inside fear lies an unsustainable fire that eventually leads to hell. . .” (Samah Salaime)

neve-shalom
Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom. (Photo from community website)

❶ As firefighters try to control wildfires, Israeli troops abduct 23 Palestinians for ‘arson’

  • Background: “Forest fires across Palestine (aka ‘Israel’).”  Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights Newsletter.

. . . ❶ ― (a) Army Abducts Eight Palestinians In The West Bank
. . . ❶ ― (b) Israeli Army Abducts Five Palestinians Near Jenin
❷ . No fires or inciting politicians can destroy our shared society
❸ . Deported from Palestine: Why Israel fears journalists
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  AS  FIREFIGHTERS  TRY  TO  CONTROL  WILDFIRES,  ISRAELI  TROOPS  ABDUCT  23  PALESTINIANS  FOR  ‘ARSON’
IMEMC News
Celine Hagbard
Nov. 27, 2016
Despite a total lack of evidence of any human cause of the wildfires that have burned in Israel for nearly a week, Israeli troops have detained 23 Palestinians. This follows a statement Thursday by Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who claimed “only someone who this land does not belong to would be capable of setting fire to it”.
___By this statement, he pointed blame at Palestinians, who have continuously lived on the land and had connection to it for thousands of years prior to the displacement of hundreds of thousands when Israel was created on their land in 1948.       More . . .

  • FOREST FIRES ACROSS PALESTINE (AKA “ISRAEL”).  Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights Newsletter, Fri, Nov 25, 2016.       Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research.

Over 200 forest fires are raging in Palestine (now renamed the Jewish State of Israel including its occupied Palestinian territories). Many countries are helping put out the fires including four teams of Palestinian firefighters (no body helped Gaza when it was being fire-bombed by white phosphorous). But the fascist racist government of “Israel” blamed the Palestinians for the fires! Even some decent Israelis pointed out that fires are raging across Western Asia (aka the “Middle East”). Here is a map
%d7%9e%d7%a4%d7%aa-%d7%a9%d7%a8%d7%99%d7%a4%d7%95%d7%aa-%d7%91%d7%9e%d7%96%d7%a8%d7%97-%d7%94%d7%aa%d7%99%d7%9b%d7%95%d7%9f-%d7%9e%d7%95%d7%9b%d7%9f-500x333put out by one Israeli website of location of fires across the region including in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.
___Perhaps coincidentally or otherwise, right after war criminal Netanyahu blamed Palestinians, new fires erupted near Palestinian communities. If you really want to know who is to blame for the damage, it is clearly Zionism as I wrote in many articles and books before. In 1901 at the World Zionist Congress and despite objections of conscientious Jews, a Jewish National Fund (Keren Keyemet Li’Israel, or KKL) was establish to further “Jewish colonization” (the term they used) of Palestine. One of the tasks was to raise money and they used the gimmick of collecting money for trees. Indeed they did plant trees but it was unfortunately the highly flammable European pine tree. After 1948-1949 when some 500 Palestinian villages and towns were depopulated, their lands (cultivated with figs, almonds, olives and other trees) were razed to the ground and again resinous and inflammable pine trees were planted. The same happened after 1967 when more Palestinian villages were demolished and their village lands planted with the same European pines, one of those villages s the biblical Imwas (see photos before and after here).

. . . ❶ ― (B)  ARMY  ABDUCTS  EIGHT  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK   
IMEMC News   
Nov. 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight and at dawn Sunday, at least eight Palestinians, including former political prisoners, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.      More . . .
. . . ❶ ― (C)  ISRAELI  ARMY  ABDUCTS  FIVE  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  JENIN     
IMEMC News     
Nov. 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday evening, five Palestinians, including a child, from Barta’a town, isolated behind the Annexation Wall, southwest of Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.       More . . .  
❷ . NO  FIRES  OR  INCITING  POLITICIANS  CAN  DESTROY  OUR  SHARED  SOCIETY      
+972 Magazine 
Samah Salaime
Nov. 26, 2016
The wildfire that struck Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam left our Jewish-Arab village more resilient than ever before. We invite Israel’s politicians to learn from us on how to heal our society’s wounds.        More . . .  
. DEPORTED  FROM  PALESTINE:  WHY  ISRAEL  FEARS  JOURNALISTS      
Al Jazeera   
Eoin Wilson reflects on Israel’s policy of deporting foreign witnesses to the Israeli occupation.
Nov. 27, 2016
As Israel tightens its grip on Palestinians and their international supporters, a growing number of activists, researchers and journalists have been denied access by the Israeli authorities. Among them is Eoin Wilson, an Irish-Scottish freelance journalist, earlier this month refused entry and banned for 10 years.
It is early November 2016, and we are at the Allenby crossing, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This crossing, also known as the King Hussein Bridge, is the only crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, and is controlled entirely by Israel. Palestinian baggage handlers pass by in orange high-vis vests. Like Palestinians who work on the construction of settlements and the Wall, they seem like prisoners employed by the prison.
[. . . .]  After several more hours of waiting, we are finally handed a letter confirming our denial of entry, and told that we are banned for 10 years. Among the reasons cited for my denial were “public order considerations”. When independent journalism is considered a threat to a society’s “public order”, profound questions must be asked about the values and principles of that society.        More . . .

“. . . Kings and rebels drank to her health . . .” (Mu’in Bseiso)

1-dawaween-performance
The Dawaween ensemble performs at the Mishal Cultural Centre in Gaza City. (Photo: Shadi Alqarra)

❶ Israeli airstrike kills 10-year-old Palestinian, injures 1
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Hours After Her Brother Was Killed In Israeli Bombardment; Child Dies Of Her Wounds In Gaza
❷ Keeping traditional music alive in Gaza
❸ Israeli police detain 250 Palestinians working illegally in Israel
❹ Israel’s education minister wants to reduce Jewish history to pogroms
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE CASE FOR CULTURAL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
❻ Poetry by Mu’in Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE  KILLS  10-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN,  INJURES  1
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
12 Mar. 2016
A ten-year-old Palestinian was killed and his sister seriously injured in an Israeli airstrike launched early Saturday in the northern Gaza Strip after rockets were fired from the besieged enclave.
___Spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra confirmed the death of Yasin Suleiman Abu Khusah,10, and told Ma’an his six-year-old sister Israa had sustained serious head injuries during the strike.
___A Ma’an reporter based in Gaza said the children were in their house at the time of the strike .    MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) HOURS  AFTER  HER  BROTHER  WAS  KILLED  IN  ISRAELI  BOMBARDMENT;  CHILD  DIES  OF  HER  WOUNDS  IN  GAZA
IMEMC NEWS
12 Mar. 2016
The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported, Saturday, that a child, six years of age, who was seriously injured after the Israeli Air Force fired a missile into their home in northern Gaza, killing her brother, died of her serious wounds.      MORE . . .
KEEPING  TRADITIONAL  MUSIC  ALIVE  IN  GAZA
THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
Rami Almeghari
8 Mar. 2016
They come from different backgrounds and have vastly different musical experience. But the 13 members of Dawaween, a newly formed band set for only its fourth concert in Gaza on 10 March, are united around one aim: the preservation and popularization of traditional Palestinian music.
___“Our music is pretty lively,” said Abdelraouf al-Bilbeisi, the band’s 30-year-old oud player, who spent the previous nine years performing with a wedding band around the Gaza Strip. “It deserves to be played on stage.”      MORE . . .
ISRAELI  POLICE  DETAIN  250  PALESTINIANS  WORKING  ILLEGALLY  IN  ISRAEL
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
11 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 250 Palestinian workers without work permits inside Israel by the end of the day Thursday, Israeli police said. . . .
___Israeli forces pledged to continue the search campaign for Palestinians working illegally in Israel “in order to maintain public safety in the country,” al-Samri said.  MORE . . .

workers
Palestinians reportedly working illegally in Israel detained by Israeli police on March 10, 2016. (Photo Credit: Israeli police spokesperson)

ISRAEL’S  EDUCATION  MINISTER  WANTS  TO  REDUCE  JEWISH  HISTORY  TO  POGROMS
+972 BLOG
Gil Gertel
12 Mar. 2016
A new committee is tasked with exposing Israeli students to Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish history. The problem? There is more than one narrative.      MORE . . . 
❺ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  THE  CASE  FOR  CULTURAL  BOYCOTT  OF  ISRAEL 
THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER 
Ben White
17 Feb. 2016
The case for a boycott of Israel is straightforward, based on: the reality of Israel’s policies of colonialism and apartheid; the Palestinians’ appeal for solidarity, including the 2005 call for a global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign; and the effectiveness of BDS as a tactic.
___But what about a cultural boycott? This is a problem for some people who agree with the above argument – yet it is also based on a similar, logical argument.      MORE . . .

(Note: as is often the case in Palestinian poetry, the flower is the metaphor for Palestine over the centuries.)

“ALEXANDER  AND  THE  SUN  FLOWER,”  BY  MUEEN  BESSISSOU  (Mu’in  Bseiso)  
The auction began,
And she was carried on a litter to Alexander’s tent.
They brought her the milk of a deer and a lioness.
And so she washed.
She was perfumed with incense;
And when they blew the horn,
A bed was fetched.
And Alexander entered.
Joys of Alexander!
He slept with her
Until the cock crowed,
Then discarded her,
To be bestowed on a king
Who abandoned her after two nights.
She was carried on a camel
And bestowed on a prince.
The incense garden burned down.
Then she was bestowed on a minister,
And down to the fifty-first man in his entourage.
And when the sea gazelle was stabbed,
And the moon became an eye of glass,
Her navel became a wine pot.
Kings and rebels drank to her health,
She learned how to lie with them.
Rainbow! Stay this winter from our skies.
Your red and blue and green
Stain our face, like mud and glue.

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 Amazon.
About Mu’in Bseiso (1926 – January 23, 1984)
BDS FINAL LOGO_v5WEB_URL_side

“. . . truth needs no eloquence . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

al-Qiq
Hunger striking Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq at Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel, February 8, 2016. On the 83rd day without food, Al-Qiq is suffering from serious vertigo, has lost most of his sight and hearing, and can barely speak. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

❶ Palestinian hunger-striker refuses ‘compromise’ offered by Israeli court
❷ Israeli minister calls to annex West Bank
❸ Palestinians’ access to water in 2015
❹ Israeli forces uproot 100 olive trees in Wadi Qana
. . . . . ❹―(ᴀ) Israel to Demolish Jerusalem Homes to Construct Settlement Park
❺ Opinion/Analysis: A LETTER TO OUR READERS: ON CENSORSHIP [+972 MAGAZINE]
❻ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  HUNGER-STRIKER  REFUSES  ‘COMPROMISE’  OFFERED  BY  ISRAELI  COURT
Feb. 16, 2016
Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, on his 83rd day of hunger strike Monday, refused an Israeli court decision for his transfer to an East Jerusalem hospital, maintaining he would not end his strike until released and brought to a Palestinian hospital in the occupied West Bank . . . .
___Al-Qiq is one of at least 650 Palestinians being held by Israel under administrative detention, a practice that the UN and Amnesty International have repeatedly argued Israel uses as excessively.
___Last month, al-Qiq wrote in a letter: “They [Palestinian journalists] are now experiencing forceful and abusive detention because they have been the voice of human conscience . . . .     More . . .
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAELI  MINISTER  CALLS  TO  ANNEX  WEST  BANK
Feb. 16, 2016
Israeli Education Minister and head of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett on Sunday called to annex Area C of the occupied West Bank, and giving the Palestinians “autonomy on steroids” in Areas A and B, Israeli YnetNews reported.
___”We have already separated from the Palestinians, they are governing themselves,” he said. “My plan is to actually give the Palestinians a sort of autonomy on steroids in Areas A and B, while in Area C, we gradually start applying our sovereignty.”   More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
PALESTINIANS’  ACCESS  TO  WATER  IN  2015
Feb. 14, 2016
Thirsting for Justice finds that Palestinians’ access to water was worse in 2015 than in 1995 due to Israel’s discriminatory water regime.     More . . .

bulldozer2dop
Israeli forces, on Monday, demolished 20 Palestinian dwellings in Ein al-Rushrash, a locality to the southeast of Douma village, south of Nablus. (Photo: Days of Palestine)

See . . . 

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  UPROOT  100  OLIVE  TREES  IN  WADI  QANA
Feb. 16, 2016
Israeli forces uprooted 100 olive trees in the Wadi Qana area west of the village of Deir Istiya in Salfit district on Tuesday amid ongoing efforts to push Palestinians out of the area, locals said.
___Farmers from Deir Istiya told Ma’an the forces arrived in Wadi Qana and uprooted the trees without prior notice.
___Soldiers then forced locals from the area in order to allow Israeli settlers to arrive there.    More . . .
. . . . .―(ᴀ) ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  JERUSALEM  HOMES  TO  CONSTRUCT  SETTLEMENT  PARK
The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Tuesday issued eviction orders to Palestinians living near the town of Ezariya, east of Jerusalem, to establish a national park to serve illegal Israeli settlers.   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
A LETTER  TO  OUR  READERS:  ON  CENSORSHIP
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Feb. 15, 2016
From military censorship to the government deciding who is and isn’t a journalist, Israeli authorities use various tools to interfere with the press. An important disclosure to our readers.
___When +972 Magazine was formed . . . its founders decided that the site would not have an editorial line or political agenda save for three common denominators to which everyone was willing to commit: human rights, opposing the occupation, and freedom of information.
___Late last month, a Facebook account belonging to Chief IDF Censor Col. Ariella Ben Avraham sent a message to +972 Magazine and dozens of new media news sites, blogs and Facebook accounts detailing “the obligation to submit to the censor [for prior review] items relating to security.”   More . . .

TWO  POEMS  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

PRISON

Man said:
blessed are the birds in their cages
for they, at least,
know the limits
of their prisons.

SILENCE

Silence said:
truth needs no eloquence,
After the death of the horseman,
the homeward-bound horse
says everything
without saying anything.

From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon.