“. . . the stones of your streets grow sad, the towers of mosques downcast . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

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Al Ahli Arab Hospital has been ministering in Gaza City since 1882. The institution was founded by the Church of England’s Church Mission Society. (Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .  
|   ISRAEL  TO  EVICT  700  PALESTINIANS  FROM  SILWAN
The Israeli Supreme Court yesterday rejected a petition submitted by 104 Palestinians against claims by a right-wing Israeli organization paving the way for 700 Palestinians to be forced from their homes, Haaretz reported.    ___The 700 Palestinians, who make up 70 families, have been going through a legal battle to protect their right to remain in their homes since 2002. Last June, lawyers for the occupation admitted that the process by which settlers organization Ateret Cohanim received rights to the land was flawed. In spite of this, the judge ruled in favor of the settlers’ rights to siege the area.    ___Ateret Cohanim aims to take over Palestinian properties in occupied East Jerusalem and transfer then to Israeli settlers. The ownership claims were based on arguments of the properties’ situation before the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Palestinian house deeds were transferred to the Benvenisti Trust by Israel’s Justice Ministry in 2002 claiming it purchased the land in the late 1800s to settle Jews arriving in Palestine from Yemen.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Experts:  Occupation  seeks  to  establish  a  50km  settlement  belt  in  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Palestinian family left homeless after demolition in LOD CITY
. . . . Related  Israel demolishes Palestinian family home in NEGEV
. . . . Related  Israeli forces demolish Palestinian carwash in HEBRON
  CABINET  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DECISION  TO  EXPEL  PALESTINIANS  FROM  THEIR  HOMES  IN  JERUSALEM     The Palestinian cabinet condemned on Thursday the Israeli decision to evacuate 28 dunums of Palestinian land in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, home to more than 500 Palestinians, despite all documents proving the Palestinian ownership of these lands.    ___It said in a statement issued at the conclusion of the weekly cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that the government also condemned the Israeli Supreme Court’s approval of the demolition of the  TAHADI  FIVE  SCHOOL  IN  BEI T TA’MUR  VILLAGE, near BETHLEHEM, the demolition of shops in SHUFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  JERUSALEM  and the forced break-in into dozens of houses and shops in DEIR  AL-GHUSOUN  TOWN,  NORTH  OF  TULKARM  in the north of the West Bank.    ___“The Cabinet emphasized that all such decisions are clear attempts to undermine the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the role of the Palestinian Government,” said the statement.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  HOW  CAN  GAZA’S  CONTAMINATED  WATER  CATASTROPHE  BE  SOLVED?
By Sandy Tolan
[. . . .] if the Gaza Strip truly becomes “uninhabitable” by 2020, as the UN and humanitarian groups warn, it will be largely because of the utter collapse of the system for delivering safe drinking water and properly disposing of disease-causing sewage.    ___Because of Gaza’s water and sewage catastrophe, medical experts are now seeing sharp increases in waterborne and foodborne diseases . . .  [. . . .] And doctors in Gaza’s hospitals now report increased cases of paediatric cancer.    ___For years these torments seemed sealed off from the outside world by layers of fences, locked gates, patrolling Israeli drones and warplanes, and international disdain and indifference.    ___Now, finally, from Washington to European capitals, and even to the Israeli security infrastructure in Tel Aviv, alarm bells are going off, warning that something must be done to prevent the water catastrophe in Gaza. . .    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|  AHLI  ARAB  HOSPITAL  IN  GAZA  CITY
In the midst of a steady stream of news and photos from Gaza over the past ten days – bombed buildings, burning buses, terrified children, fragile cease-fire agreements – there was one story that didn’t get widely reported.    ___On November 9, the 25 year-old hot water system at Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City suddenly collapsed. This urgent situation caused an immediate shut down of the water supply to the entire facility.    ___The  result?  No  drinking  water,  no  pressurized  water  for  sterilization  of  medical  equipment  and  surgical  instruments,  no  laundry  services.  No  water,  period.  All  scheduled  surgeries  were  cancelled, and staff continued to treat patients under dire circumstances . . .    Your generosity gets Ahli Hospital through an emergency   Donate . . . 

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI
Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

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

“. . . Under Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, Israel, as the Occupying Power, must ‘restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety’ . . .” (Marya Farah)

holy-land-1-046
Home demolition in East Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, June, 2008)

❶ . Israeli authorities demolish 3 Palestinian structures in Jerusalem-area neighborhood
❷ . Eviction Orders Delivered to 8 Facilities in the Negev

  • Background:  “Planning In Area C: Discrimination in Law and Practice.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❸ . Israeli settlers, forces raze land east of Nablus

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ISRAELI AUTHORITIES DEMOLISH 3 PALESTINIAN STRUCTURES IN JERUSALEM-AREA NEIGHBORHOOD   
Ma’an News Agency     
Dec. 6, 2016
Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinian structures in the neighborhood of Silwan in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, according to the owners.
___Alaa Shweiki told Ma’an that bulldozers arrived on his property early Tuesday morning under armed military protection. The bulldozers then demolished a structure roofed with steel tubes and tin sheets that Shweiki used as a horse stable. He highlighted that the same structures had already been demolished in November.
___Shweiki added that Israeli forces confiscated one of his horses, and that bulldozers leveled some of his land and tore down fences and dry-stone walls.
___In the Karm al-Sheikh area of Silwan, Israeli forces demolished two houses under construction whose owners had previously demolished them on Saturday in compliance with an Israeli court order.     More . . . 

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Israeli Settlers Raze Palestinian Lands South of Nablus, April 4, 2016 (Photo: IMEMC)

❷ . EVICTION  ORDERS  DELIVERED  TO  8  FACILITIES  IN  THE  NEGEV     
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
December 5, 2016
Israeli authorities, on Sunday, gave eviction notices to eight Palestinian-owned facilities in the Umm al-Hiran village, in the Negev Desert.
___Head of the popular committee in the village, Raed Abu Qei’an, affirmed that Israel Land Administration crews stormed the village on Sunday, escorted by Israeli police forces, and delivered the evacuation orders, Pal Info reported, according to the PNN.     The evacuation orders were delivered against four houses and four sheds in the village, he added.
[. . . .] Israeli authorities seek to demolish the village and to forcibly displace its residents, and for the sole purpose of establishing a new Jewish settlement named “Hiran” over its ruins, in a flagrant violation of international laws and principles.      More . . .  

  • Farah, Marya. “Planning In Area C: Discrimination In Law And Practice.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 39-48.  ARTICLE.

In the first week of March 2016 alone, 64 Palestinians were left homeless by Israeli demolitions in the West Bank. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the month of February 2016 saw the highest number of demolitions in the West Bank since it began documenting them in 2009, with 235 homes and structures destroyed, dismantled or confiscated. This resulted in the displacement of 331 individuals, including 174 children in February.
___Communities targeted for demolition are often some of the most vulnerable, thus creating even more dire living conditions for individuals. In contrast to the visibly dismal and harsh human rights situation is the very sterile, methodical legal system, which “necessitates” the demolitions. At the same time, demolitions, and the coercive environment they create as a whole, cannot be divorced from Israel’s settlement enterprise. Both are part of a broader policy, and are performed under the pretense of legitimate authority.
___Under Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, Israel, as the Occupying Power, must “restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety” in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). In carrying out this duty, a planning regime should serve the interests of the protected Palestinian population, but instead, the planning regime itself, as part of a larger dual set of laws and practices, obstructs the most basic rights of Palestinians.
[. . . .] Methods used for confiscating Palestinian land by the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) include: requisition for military purposes, public needs (such as roads or nature reserves), and declarations of absentee land and state land.      [. . . .] In total, the Civil Administration, a body within the Israeli Ministry of Defense, is responsible for implementing Israeli government policy in the West Bank, and has authority over zoning, construction, and infrastructure matters in Area C. Within this structure, the Central Planning Bureau is responsible for the High Planning Council, and for all planning in Area C, including Palestinian communities and Israeli settlements. . .   This inevitably creates a situation where one body is examining matters for two conflicting interests: one that is in line with government policy, and the other that is in line with international law.   [. . . .]

❸ . ISRAELI  SETTLERS,  FORCES  RAZE  LAND  EAST  OF  NABLUS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Dec. 6, 2016
Israeli settlers backed by soldiers razed Tuesday large areas of Palestinian-owned land east of Nablus in north of the West Bank, according to a local official.
___Gassan Daghlas, in charge of the settlements file in the Palestinian Authority, told WAFA that settlers and soldiers razed 40 dunums of agricultural land owned by Ahmad Nasser in the village of Jaloud. No reason was given for this act.     More . . .   

“. . . Will you become . . . an ordinary country? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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A demolished house in an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev, December 2010 (photo: Times of Israel)

❶ Bethlehem: Settlers Raze Lands in Al-Khader
❷ 1,000 civilian structures demolished by Israeli authorities in Negev
❸ Israeli police to ban burial of Jerusalemite martyrs in their areas
❹ Opinion/Analysis: AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
❺ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BETHLEHEM:  SETTLERS  RAZE  LANDS  IN  AL-KHADER
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 8, 2016
Israeli settlers, Wednesday, razed Palestinian-owned lands in the village of al-Khader, to the south of occupied Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Hasan Burajeya, of the Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, told WAFA that a group of illegal Israeli settlers, accompanied by a military escort, proceeded to raze about 15 dunams of land near al-Khader. The razed land belongs to local Palestinians from the village.
___Burajeya asserted that the razing of said lands comes as part of Israeli plan to construct a yeshiva (Jewish school) at the site.      MORE . . .  

LATE THIS past June [2012], a group of Israeli settlers in the West Bank defaced and burned a mosque in the small West Bank village of Jabaa. Graffiti sprayed by the vandals warned of a “war” over the planned evacuation, ordered by the Israeli Supreme Court, of a handful of houses illegally built on private Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Beit El. The torching of the mosque was the fourth such attack in 18 months and part of a wider trend of routine violence committed by radical settlers against innocent Palestinians, Israeli security personnel, and mainstream settler leaders — all aimed at intimidating perceived enemies of the settlement project.
___This violence has not always plagued the settler community. Although many paint all Israeli settlers as extremists, conflating them with the often-justified criticism of Israeli government policy in the West Bank, the vast majority of them oppose attacks against Palestinian civilians or the Israeli state. In the past, Israeli authorities and the settler leadership often worked together to prevent such assaults and keep radicalism at bay. Yet in recent years, the settler movement has experienced a profound breakdown in discipline, with extremists now beyond the reach of either Israeli law enforcement or the discipline of settler leaders.

  • Byman, Daniel, and Natan Sachs. “The Rise Of Settler Terrorism.” Foreign Affairs 91.5 (2012): 73-86.      Complete Article.     

❷ 1,000  CIVILIAN  STRUCTURES  DEMOLISHED  BY  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  IN  NEGEV
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli authorities demolished 1,041 Bedouin structures in Negev between 2013 and 2015, with a further 1,711 structures being destroyed by their owners after receiving demolition orders. According to a new report by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), in 2015 alone, nearly 1,000 structures were demolished in Negev — 365 by the Israeli authorities, and 617 by the homeowners themselves.
___The waves of demolitions have displaced thousands of Bedouins over the past three years, according to Michal Rotem, the author of the report.      MORE . . . 

The Negev/Naqab region in southern Israel is a socially segregated landscape rent by clashes between Bedouin and Jewish residents and government bodies over access to land for farming and homes and over the status of Bedouin villages. Though Bedouin residents once migrated within the region and bordering grazing areas, they have been struggling for the past half-century to gain a firm and recognised place within the Israeli state. Approximately half of the Negev’s 180,000 Bedouin Arab residents live in villages and family clusters that the government deems illegal. The other half live in government-planned townships, which hold legal legitimacy as residences.
[. . . .]
However . . . formal citizenship does not guarantee the equal distribution of political rights and economic resources. Rather, ‘differentiated citizenship’ means that social goods are distributed unequally along racial or class-based social divisions. Such is the case for a Jewish–Arab differentiation in Israel. Whereas Israel’s Basic Laws promise equal rights to all citizens . . .  rights are systematically denied to non-Jews (e.g., land purchases and the benefits accruing to military service).
___How does this differentiation happen? Of critical importance for the case of land rights, socially privileged citizens have more influence in defining legitimate and illegitimate land uses. An examination of the media campaigns, protests, court cases and Knesset debates involved in Negev struggles against eviction reveals  the  importance  of  leveraging  cultural  recognition.  Residents in both these cases lived dispersed, agro-pastoral lifestyles that were initially prohibited by the Israeli government. Jewish residents were able to gain legal recognition for their land-use practices, while Bedouin residents were not.

  • McKee, Emily. “Demolitions And Amendments: Coping With Cultural Recognition And Its Denial In Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples 19.1 (2015): 95-119.  Available.

❸ ISRAELI  POLICE  TO  BAN  BURIAL  OF  JERUSALEMITE  MARTYRS  IN  THEIR  AREAS
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli occupation police on Wednesday decided not to allow funerals and burials for Palestinian martyrs from east Jerusalem in their neighborhoods or town and to choose the Muslim cemeteries they would be buried in.
___Yedioth Ahronoth website said this decision was taken following the funeral of martyr Alaa Abu Jamal several weeks when about 200 persons gathered at the Jabel Mukaber cemetery and chanted incitement slogans against Israel and support for the deceased, whom it described as a “terrorist”.
___After reporting what happened at that funeral, minister of public security Gilad Erdan ordered a freeze on returning the bodies of “terrorists” to their families until the incident could be investigated and new conditions could be imposed to ensure funerals would not contain incitement.       MORE . . .

1-tel aviv
Reporter’s notebook: Scenes from the Tel Aviv terror attack – Arab-Israeli Conflict – (Photo: Jerusalem Post)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
972 Magazine
Mairav Zonszein
June 9, 2016
I was out last night in Tel Aviv at a poetry book launch for a good friend when the news flashed on my phone that there was a shooting in the Sarona Market . . . .
___Life does go on here despite the violence. That’s just the reality. But when I read the statement by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai that Israelis cannot let such terror “disrupt our lives” and that we should “return to business as usual” tomorrow, I become enraged. Why shouldn’t this disrupt our lives? [. . . .]
___The word “disruption” here also dismisses the fact that the lives of so many Palestinians are “disrupted” all the time. The entire city of Yatta, where the two murderers are from — a population of about 65,000 people in the occupied West Bank — is now under military lockdown. This is collective punishment, a mass “disruption.”
MORE . . .  

“IF ONLY,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

My homeland, an earring dangling

from the ear of the earth;

my homeland . . . a woman

whose thighs are opened by the western wind;

my homeland, the oars of the boat;

my homeland, the absent son:

Will you one day rouse what is in me?

Will you become . . . an ordinary country?

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

 

“. . . Life will flow, surely it will flow into all our villages anew. . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

Dianne Feinstein meets with Palestinians from Susiya. (Photo from Dianne Feinstein’s Twitter feed.)
United States Senator Dianne Feinstein meets with Palestinians from Susiya. (Photo from Dianne Feinstein’s Twitter feed.)

❶ Palestinians bring US attention to plight of threatened village
❷ Israel notifies Salfit farmers of plans to remove 140 olive trees
❸ West Bank wall threatens Palestine’s flora, fauna
❹ Photo exhibit challenges Zionism’s most popular myth
❺ Analysis: New Report Documents How Israel Keeps Palestinians off Third of West Bank Land
❻ Poetry by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIANS  BRING  US  ATTENTION  TO  PLIGHT  OF  THREATENED  VILLAGE
Sept. 29, 2015
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Six Palestinians came to Washington to secure support against Israeli plans to raze their tiny West Bank village of Susiya, and at the last minute FOUND ASSISTANCE FROM US SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN.
____The hamlet, which has been torn down before and mainly consists of tents and makeshift structures for homes, is among a number of communities threatened with demolition by the Israeli army and has become a symbol of the occupation of the West Bank.
____For Susiya’s proponents, any gesture or public recognition, regardless of how small, by an elected member of the US Congress is a boost they can use as leverage in pressuring Israel’s authorities.
____The US State Department warned this summer that demolition of the village would be “harmful and provocative.” Since then the army has been deliberating the issue, and a deadline has been set for Oct. 13.
More . . .

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  NOTIFIES  SALFIT  FARMERS  OF  PLANS  TO  REMOVE  140  OLIVE  TREES
Sept. 28, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Monday delivered notices to Palestinian farmers informing them of plans to remove 140 olive trees from the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan in Salfit district in the occupied West Bank, the farmers told Ma’an.
____They said that the trees are located in the al-Safar area of the town, which Israeli officials consider a nature reserve.
More . . .

AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WEST  BANK  WALL  THREATENS  PALESTINE’S  FLORA,  FAUNA
Ahmad Melhem
Sept. 27, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — The West Bank barrier project has been condemned by many for its crushing effects on the Palestinian people. Now steps are underway to document its devastation of nature and wildlife as well. The Palestinian Environment Quality Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture plan to prepare and present to the United Nations a comprehensive study on the direct consequences of the wall and its long-term hazardous effects on the environment.
More . . .

A Palestinian walks with his horse past a section of the controversial Israeli barrier, in Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank, near Jerusalem, Nov. 21, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
A Palestinian walks with his horse past a section of the controversial Israeli barrier, in Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank, near Jerusalem, Nov. 21, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

+972 BLOG
PHOTO  EXHIBIT  CHALLENGES  ZIONISM’S  MOST  POPULAR  MYTH
Tom Pessah
Sept. 27, 2015
Using haunting aerial photographs of the Negev Desert, American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges the notion that the desert was an unpopulated land before Zionism made it bloom.
More . . .

❺ Analysis:
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
NEW  REPORT  DOCUMENTS  HOW  ISRAEL  KEEPS  PALESTINIANS  OFF  THIRD  OF  WEST  BANK  LAND
Sept. 29 2015
Around a third of the entire West Bank is closed to Palestinians as Israeli military zones, according to a new report.
___“Walled Garden – Declaration of Closed Areas in the West Bank” is published by Israeli non-profit NGO Kerem Navot, and authored by long-time activist and settlements monitor Dror Etkes.
___The report, now available here on Middle East Monitor, reveals the ways in which the Israeli authorities have designated more than 1.7 million dunams as closed military zones.
(Link to full report included.)
More . . .

“THE  MOUTH  OF  THE  WELL,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA

[During the massacre of Deir Yassin, the enemy flung the bodies of its victim in the village well.]

Mouth of the well,
Where the hands of playful young maidens
Met in friendship, pouring
Spring water into the jugs,
Amidst merriment and song.
Was it suddenly to become an opening to nothingness,
That opening of a grave, stuffed with young maidens
And bleeding pregnant women,
Their blood mixed with gunpowder?
Did the clusters of grapes around it shrivel up and dry?
Was the wheat scorched, and did the oilskins
Spill their contents on the scattered stones,
And was Jesus crucified there once more?
The mouth of the well will be our second Golgotha.
From its bloodied opening will pour forth
Black lava, smoldering and sizzling,
Mixed with the flesh of young women and pregnant women.
To destroy
Those who sowed death
And fed the eagles of our land.
Then, from its sacred and abundant fertility,
Life will flow, surely it will flow
Into all our villages anew.

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

Israeli regime committed war crimes in Deir Yassin by ethnic cleansing of a whole population. The massacre of the Palestinian small town of Deir Yassin in 9th of April, 1948. The “democracy” on which the State of Israel is built.
Israeli regime committed war crimes in Deir Yassin by ethnic cleansing of a whole population. The massacre of the Palestinian small town of Deir Yassin in 9th of April, 1948. The “democracy” on which the State of Israel is built.