“The messengers of peace here weep for the bitterness and the malice . . . .” Samih Al-Qasim

NEWS OF THE DAY

Netanyahu trial to begin on 17 March, says Israeli court – Prime minister expected to attend initial hearing, where indictment will be read

The Guardian
Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem
Feb 18 2020
Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to appear at a court hearing on 17 March for the start of a corruption trial against him, the Israeli judiciary has announced.
– – – – The first day of the case is scheduled just two weeks after a national election on 2 March in which the prime minister is fighting to remain in power, despite the damning charges levelled against him.
– – – – After a three-year police investigation, the country’s attorney general indicted the 70-year-old leader in November in all three of the major cases against him.   More . . . .

Newspapers review: Plan to build new settlement near Jerusalem focus of dailies

WAFA
Feb 20 2020
The Israeli plan to build thousands of new colonial settlement units on the former Qalandia airport near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab dominated the front page headlines in the dailies.
– – – – The dailies reported that Israeli occupation authorities have prepared a master plan to build 9,000 new colonial settler units on the former Qalandia airport to the north of Jerusalem.
– – – – Al-Quds quoted observers saying in this regard that this project is second largest settlement construction project following the Maale Adumim settlement, which would undermine the prospects for the creation of the Palestinian state.
– – – – Al-Ayyam added in this regard that this huge settlement project is intended to consolidate the separation of Jerusalem from the West Bank.    More . . . .

In an attempt to prevent education in Area C of the West Bank, soldiers seize a classroom

WAFA
Feb 19 2020 – In their efforts to prevent education in the Palestinian areas classified as C, Israeli forces today seized a caravan used as a school classroom in the village of Susiya, in Masafer Yatta cluster to the south of the occupied southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to a local source.
– – – – Fouad al-Amoor, an activist, said that Israeli soldiers seized the classroom caravan under the pretext of construction without permit.
– – – -Israel never gives Palestinians permits to build in Area C of the occupied West Bank, which is under full Israeli military rule and make over 60 percent of the area of the West Bank.    More . . . .

  • Israeli forces detain seven Palestinians, ransack houses in West Bank raids
    WAFA
    Feb 19 2020
    Israeli forces Wednesday overnight detained seven Palestinians and ransacked a
    number of houses and stores across the West Bank, said the Palestine Prisoners’
    Society (PPS).    More . . . .
  • Israel Shuts Down Bakery Shop, Detains Owner In Jerusalem

    Days of Palestine
    Feb 19 2020
    On Wednesday, the Israeli occupation police shut down a bakery shop and detained the owner in the Old City of Jerusalem. Local sources confirmed that Israeli occupation police shut down a bakery shop in Bab Hutta neighborhood, citing the distribution of ka’ek, a crusty bread with sesame seeds, to Muslim worshipers on last Friday free of charge as a pretext.    More . . . .

In Wake of Trump Peace Plan, EU Countries Pushing for Recognition of State of Palestine

Israel is attempting to squash the initiative, claiming that EU opposition to the Trump Mideast plan would only encourage Palestinian rejectionism
‘Whether they accept it or not, it’s going to happen’ — Netanyahu lays out Palestinian submission to Trump plan
Mondoweiss
Philip Weiss
Feb 18, 2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told American Jews that he and the Trump administration are moving ahead with plans to remap the West Bank to give Israel sovereignty over large portions of occupied territory, and Palestinians are going to have to live with that plan “whether they accept it or not.”
– – – – Netanyahu’s discussion of Palestinian submission to the “radical” and “historic” terms of the Trump “peace plan” including annexation of all “Jewish communities” and military control of the West Bank sounded very much like surrender.
– – – – He spoke in Jerusalem two days ago to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a rightwing Israel lobby organization.    More . . . .

POEM FOR THE DAY

“PSALM  OF  ISAIAH’S  GRANDCHILDREN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
We are Isaiah’s grandchildren
calling out to him now,
calling out to his kind face,
our dreams trembling, behind crimson tears!
We are Isaiah’s grandchildren―
and we call to him now―crying in anger:
Isaiah who has slept for ages!
How has this village become a whore?
Its silver has been debased.
They’ve treated it with disdain,
mixing the wine of its people with water.
Why don’t you tell them of the widows’ claims?
O Isaiah of the struggle―
Hallelujah!
The messengers of peace here weep
for the bitterness and the malice,
after the pretenders to right,
the enemies of culture,
severed the heads of the peaceful!
O sad Isaiah!
Rise up now, and cry through a village
that’s falling upon the slope of peril:
“May God show you the error of your ways!
Why, after seventy years, have you resorted to trade
with merchants from every kingdom?
Rise now and cry out through Tel Aviv:
“A thousand woes on those
who do not seek the Lord. And go to Egypt
bearing the wooden boards
of the Orient’s cross!”
O beloved Isaiah!
That revelation comes from Tayma,
From the lands of the Arabs: People!
Bring out the water to the refugees,
provide the long-hungry with bread,
bandage the wounds of those who have fled,
escaping the edge of the sword.
O brave Isaiah!
Rise up now so that
Palestine’s children will be able to play
without fearing the vipers’ fangs,
so two lambs might feel safe
in the lions’ jungle.
Hallelujah!
Then justice will reign among the nations
without the annihilation of right,
without silencing any tongue.
O Isaiah of the struggle!
The swords will be turned into plowshares
and the people’s spears be molded
into scythes, and then―
no nation will raise a sword to fight!
Little people know not war,
nor what bloodshed is.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God of glory!
Our fight has been long,
and we were slaughtered and slaughtered in turn,
and have shed our blood for ages.
God of glory!
We were tried for long, and rested. . .
Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah!

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

“. . .Do you sanction what’s being done In your names?. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

Selected News of the Day

Al-Malki: All countries can make a further contribution to peace

WAFA
September 20, 2019
Riyad Al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, said [in New York] that each country in the United Nations can make a further contribution to peace by supporting the Palestinian inalienable rights, including to self-determination.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Addressing the Security Council at its session on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, al-Malki said the world countries may contribute to peace not recognizing the illegal actions undertaken by Israel, by not rendering aid or assistance to illegal settlement activities, and by distinguishing between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙  He said, “Impunity is the greatest obstacle to peace as it allows the occupying power to reap benefits from its occupation instead of facing consequences, incentivizing illegal actions instead of ensuring compliance with the law. A state that feels it is above the law will be tempted to continue acting as an outlaw state.”   More . . . .

  • UN: Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and vandalism of property on the rise
    WAFA
    September 21, 2019
    Israeli settlers carried out eight attacks in the first two weeks of September that resulted in two Palestinian injuries and damage to property, amid preparations for the olive harvest season, bringing the total settler-related incidents so far this year to 233, including 52 that resulted in injuries to Palestinians, according to the latest report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory. In 2018, total settler-related incidents amounted to 280.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙  The report said in three separate incidents, settlers believed to be from Yitzhar settlement and its surrounding outposts raided the nearby villages of Madama, ‘Einabus and ‘Asira al Qibliya . . . .
    According to the report, so far this year, over 4,870 olive trees have been vandalized by settlers . . . .
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In addition to settler vandalism of Palestinian property, the Israeli authorities demolished a total of 23 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued permits, displacing 29 people, said OCHA in its report, bringing the total of demolished homes so far this year to 393, out of which 244 were in Area C and 148 in occupied Jerusalem and total of displace people 487, of whom 219 were in Jerusalem.  More . . . .
  • Settlers attack farmers near Ramallah, injure one
    WAFA
    September 20, 2019
    At least one farmer was injured today as Israeli settlers attacked several Palestinian farmers working in a farm near the village of Beitin, northeast of Ramallah in the West Bank, local sources said.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Abu Samra, a local activist, told WAFA that about 25 Jewish settlers protected by an Israeli army force broke into the farm, physically assaulted some of the farmers and injured one of them in the head.  More . . . .

Israeli Court Approves Use Of Palestinian Bodies As Bargaining Chips

Days of Palestine
September 20, 2019
A Palestinian family in the Jerusalem-area village of al-Eizariya has been unable to bury their 14-year-old son, who was killed by Israeli police last month . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israel is holding the remains of more than a dozen Palestinians recently killed during alleged and actual attacks on occupation forces and civilians.  ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This month, following a petition by several families whose relatives’ remains are being held by Israel, the country’s highest court rubber-stamped its approval of the policy. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The court ruled that Israel’s military has “the legal right to hold on to the bodies of slain terrorists  as leverage in future negotiations with Palestinians,” The Times of Israel reported. More . . . .

  • Palestinians preparing for their day in court against Israel
    Al Monitor – Palestine Pulse
    Ahmad Abu Amer
    September 20, 2019
    The Palestinian leadership moved on several fronts this month to implement its threats to redefine and limit relations with Israel. The PLO took steps toward taking Israel to court on a number of commerce- and labor-related issues and amending the Paris Economic Protocol, the agreement governing the economic relationship between the Palestinians and Israelis. The Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israel of violating the provisions of their arrangement.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In March, Palestinian President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had made the decision to resort to international arbitration against Israel. A source at the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Finance who requested anonymity told Al-Monitor that at the weekly ministerial meeting on Sept. 2, the government had asked Finance Minister Shukri Bishara to prepare cases to submit to the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The following day, Bishara announced that the leadership would ask the court to rule on 11 commercial and financial issues involving Israel and inquire separately into amending the Paris agreement. The file is expected to be officially presented to the court at the end of September.   More . . . .

Commentary

The end of the Netanyahu era doesn’t mean the end of the occupation

+972 Magazine
Haggai Matar |
September 18, 2019
As election results started pouring in Tuesday night, one could hear a sigh of relief – and even some cries of joy – among Israelis who identify with the center-left . . . . The Netanyahu era is coming to an end . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The occupation, however, is not going anywhere. Israeli military control over the day-to-day lives of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, the siege on Gaza, and the structural discrimination against hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in East Jerusalem are all here to stay. None of these three aforementioned groups were allowed to vote for the government that decides their fate.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

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 & Noble.

“. . . The branches of this land foster me . . .” (Fouzi El Azmar)

[Note from the blogger:  this blog will be published every second day beginning today.]

Selected News of the Day 

EU Slams Israel’s Settlements As “Serious Breach Of International Law”

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Shortly after the Israeli government approved the establishment of a new settlement on the outskirts of Jericho city, the European Union slammed all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, as a serious breach of international law.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙“The European Union reiterates that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law,” said the EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic in a press release.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The EU called on Israel to “end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001 in line with prior obligations”, the statement said.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Destroy Over 100 Olive Trees In Northern West Bank Village

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Israeli soldiers chopped  down on Wednesday scores of Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burqin village, west of the occupied West Bank district of Salfit, according to  Marwan Abdul Rahman, head of Burqin village council.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers chopped more than 100 olive trees in Khirbet Qarqash area located in the northeastern part of the village.  More . . . .

  • Israeli army cuts water supply to Jordan Valley village
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019
    The Israeli army today cut water supply to the village of Bardalla in the northern Jordan Valley after shutting down the water taps supplying the village with its daily water needs, according to member of Bardalla village council Darrar Daraghmeh.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers raided the village and proceeded to shut the pipes supplying the village’s around 2000 population with their daily water needs without giving reason for this action.  More . . . .
  • Israeli Soldiers Bulldoze Palestinian Agricultural Lands Near Qalqilia And Salfit
    IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
    September 18, 2019
    Israeli soldiers bulldozed and uprooted, Wednesday, large areas of Palestinian agricultural lands in Hijja village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and near Salfit in central West Bank.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Mohammad Abu Sheikh, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in Qalqilia governorate, said several army bulldozers started uprooted approximately 145 Dunams of farmlands.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He added that the Israeli violation comes as part of the efforts to expand the Industrial Zone of the illegal Karnei Shomron colony, which was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.    More . . . .
  • In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces round up 22 Palestinians in West Bank
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019  In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces detained early this morning 22 Palestinians in various areas of the occupied West Bank, including three 14-year-old minors, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙It said soldiers raided the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, and detained three 14-year-old minors after raiding their family homes.   
    More . . . .

Commentary

Israelis have made their verdict clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s time is up

The National
Jonathan Cook
September 18, 2019
For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, it is clear that Mr Netanyahu does not command a majority and could well be on his way out. . . . The difficulty is that such a coalition would depend on the support of the 13 Joint List legislators representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority. . . .   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970)

From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.    Available from Google Books.

Support ‘Palestine Writes’, the first Palestinian Literature festival in North America
Mondoweiss
Nada Elia, September 18, 2019  More . . . .

“. . . all that pain can be breached. . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli snipers kill two Gaza boys

The Electronic Intifada
Maureen Clare Murphy
September 6, 2019
Israeli occupation forces shot and killed two Palestinian children during Great March of Return protests, Gaza’s health ministry stated on Friday.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The ministry named one of those slain as Ali Sami Ali al-Ashqar, 17. He was reportedly shot in the head east of Jabaliya, northern Gaza. The second killed child was identified as Khalid Abu Bakr al-Rabai, 14, shot in the chest east of Gaza City. Sixty-six others were injured during Friday’s protests, 38 of them by live fire.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nearly 50 children are among the 210 Palestinians who have been killed during the protests since their launch in early 2018. Nineteen Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza so far this year, most of them during Great March of Return protests.  More . . . .

IOF launches fresh attack on Gaza Strip

Palestine News Network
September 7, 2019
The Israeli military has launched fresh attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, after Israeli troops killed two Palestinian teenagers during anti-occupation protests near the fence separating the coastal sliver from the occupied territories.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Palestinian media reported that an Israeli tank shelled an outpost purportedly belonging to the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement north of Beit Hanoun and a regime drone struck a Hamas observation post near Beit Lahia early on Saturday. More . . . .

Female university student kidnapped by IOF in Bireh city

The Palestinian Information Center
September 7, 2019
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday morning kidnapped a Palestinian female student from her home in al-Bireh city in the central West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to local sources, Samah Jaradat, a student at Birzeit University, was kidnaped after Israeli soldiers broke into and ransacked her home in the city.  More . . . . 

Netanyahu Corruption Case: State Witness Reveals New Details

Palestine Chronicle
September 6, 2019
A state witness in the corruption case against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed scathing details to investigators on Thursday.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Netanyahu is standing for his fifth term in upcoming 17 September elections. Shortly after the elections, he faces an October pre-trial hearing on the corruption allegations that have dogged him for months.  More . . . .

BACKGROUND

Shaping the Future, Skills and Competencies for Palestinian Youth: Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

This Week in Palestine
By: Michael Klode and Wissam Deeb
September, 2019
In the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, youth represent about one-third of the population. It is this young generation that constitutes the basis for developing the Palestinian society and economy amid rising unemployment and an unstable political situation. Every August is the time of year when the injaz (tawjihi) results are out, and the new cohort of young Palestinians prepares the next steps in their path through life. Even though the ratio of unemployed academic graduates is extremely high, most young people and their families dream of a future as medical doctors, engineers, or lawyers.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“BREATHING,” BY RAMZY BAROUD 

That distance
all that distance
can be bridged
by a touch

that pain
all that pain
can be breached
knowing you meant
every word even when
you ceased to talk

tomorrow
all tomorrows
can only happen if
I know you are breathing
just breathing
and I am yet to die

I heard nothing for so long
I wondered
are you really you
will you ever come back?

Sitting still I thought
maybe you never existed
poetry was just a cruel joke

and the music
all the music
shed crocodile tears
persistently

Words that were
or are yet to be
belong to a language
any language

I am destined
to dream shadows
on grey walls

From I REMEMBER MY NAME, ed. Vacy Vlanza. Novum Publishing, 2016.

“. . . After being killed I washed by the river . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Health Ministry: Two Palestinians killed in Israeli shelling on Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain 17 Palestinians, assault others in West Bank raids
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Student injured during Tulkarm university protests over Trump’s announcement
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Clashes with soldiers reported in some West Bank locations

  • Background: “Trumpian Ethics and the Rule of Law.” Creighton Law Review.

❷ Tens of thousands of Israelis hit the streets, and it has nothing to do with Trump
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Opinion/Analysis: Will the Jerusalem Freedom Intifada break out?
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Trump protests evoke memories of the Second Intifada
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ HEALTH  MINISTRY:  TWO  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  IN  ISRAELI  SHELLING  ON  GAZA 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 12, 2017 ― Two Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes on northern Gaza on Tuesday afternoon.
___The Palestinian ministry of Health announced that two youths were killed after an Israeli scouting plane in Beit Lahia town, northern Gaza strip.
___The ministry said that the two bodies of martyrs were moved to the Indonesian Hospital in the strip, while another youth is still suffering injuries.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  17  PALESTINIANS,  ASSAULT  OTHERS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 12, 2017 ― Israeli forces Monday night and early Tuesday detained at least 17 Palestinians and assaulted several others mostly in multiple raids across the West Bank, said security and local sources.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  STUDENT  INJURED  DURING  TULKARM  UNIVERSITY  PROTESTS  OVER  TRUMP’S  ANNOUNCEMENT 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 12, 2017 ― At least one Palestinian was injured on Tuesday during renewing clashes between Israeli forces and students at the campus of Palestine Technical University in Tulkarm, northwest of the West Bank, according to local sources.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴄ)  CLASHES  WITH  SOLDIERS  REPORTED  IN  SOME  WEST  BANK  LOCATIONS     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 12, 2017 ― Palestinians clashed on  Tuesday with Israeli soldiers in at least two locations in the occupied West Bank, according to reports.   MORE . . .

MCKAY, JOHN.
“TRUMPIAN  ETHICS  AND  THE  RULE  OF  LAW.”
CREIGHTON LAW REVIEW, vol. 50, no. 4, Sept. 2017, pp. 781-799.
[Begin page 788] Anyone working for human rights in troubled places of the world will question whether their work contributes to peace. Working in the Middle East alone neither answers the question of how such a conflict ends between Israel and Palestine, nor answers how Israel might live in peace with its neighbors. Like many Americans who work for Palestinian rights and statehood, I came to this region supporting and believing in the State of Israel, and I left supporting the State of Israel. However, when I became deeply aware of the political situation and, in particular, of the policy of the occupying Israeli forces toward the Palestinians, my reaction was shock and dismay. As a law professor, lawyer, and human being, I condemn the violence that has been inflicted on both sides of this conflict. Scores of Palestinians have lost their freedom and many have lost their lives, as have Israeli soldiers and innocent civilians in both Israel and in Palestine. I cannot imagine, from the Palestinian side, how knife attacks against elderly couples in Tel Aviv or elsewhere in Israel, or against children, can ever be justified. Clearly the only path to a Palestinian state is the path of nonviolence, including the nonviolent refusal to cooperate in the Occupation. The peaceful paths of Gandhi and Martin Luther King are the only ones possible in this place. But for the Israeli side, the violence and slavery of nearly fifty years of occupation of the Palestinians, Israeli settlement-building, and the killing and imprisonment of Palestinian youth must end.
___The biggest obstacle to peace in the region is the unfettered building of settlements by Israel in occupied Palestinian lands. Almost everywhere you travel in the West Bank, when you look up to the hills, you will see an Israeli settlement, illegal in every way under international law. And they are building all the time. When asked whether I have hope for peace in the Holy Land, my answer has to be “No.” I do not have hope about how this problem can be resolved.  FULL ESSAY. . .

❷  TENS  OF  THOUSANDS  OF  ISRAELIS  HIT  THE  STREETS,  AND  IT  HAS  NOTHING  TO  DO  WITH  TRUMP 
+972 Magazine
Dec. 11, 2017 ―   Anti-corruption protests against Netanyahu are growing, and have already notched a win or two. And while the occupation couldn’t be further from the agenda, the movement could serve as a new rallying point for resistance to the authoritarian right.  MORE . . .
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  WILL  THE  JERUSALEM  FREEDOM  INTIFADA  BREAK  OUT?  
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 12, 2017 ― The Palestinian people took to the streets in all the governorates of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the occupied city of Jerusalem, expressing their anger and rejection of the announcement by US President Donald Trump in which he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___“The uprising of the freedom of Jerusalem”, coincided with the anniversary of the first Intifada or “the Intifada of Stones”, which began on 8 December 1987, and documented the struggle of the Palestinian people and was considered a milestone in the history of the Palestinian cause after attempts to obliterate it and at a time the violations and measures against the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation forces had increased.
___In an atmosphere similar to the one experienced prior to the first intifada, thousands of youths took to the checkpoints and contact points with the Israeli occupation forces in a number of locations, during which youths threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli occupation forces.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  TRUMP  PROTESTS  EVOKE  MEMORIES  OF  THE  SECOND  INTIFADA  
+972 Magazine
Zizo Abul Hawa
Dec. 12, 2017 ―   I was nearly 13 when the Second Intifada started. We were in school when Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount [Sep. 28, 2000]. School ended early when the rioting began. The children were told to return home; parents came to pick up their kids. My school was in the center of East Jerusalem, very close to the Old City.
[. . . .] We turned on the news and I thought to myself that surely this is a one-off event — tomorrow, it will all be over. No one could possibly want more of this, despite what I heard all around me: “tomorrow will be even worse, it’s Friday.”
[. . . .] Each day, it was the same, a kind of ritual: wake up, clean the blood and bullets from the streets, then riots and fires would start again. Tear gas and burning eyes. . . .
[. . . .] We didn’t return to school until January of 2001. We stayed home for more than three months. When we returned, it wasn’t the same. More than half of the class was gone, schoolchildren, 12- and 13-year-olds like me: some because their families had fled the area, or because they were wounded and in the hospital, or because they were arrested and in jail, or because they were buried deep in the earth. They say children always pay the highest price in war.     MORE . . .

“A  SPECIAL  INVITATION,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
My corpse hovered over a sea of silence.
My house was a cloud of dust,
the streets were a wild extinguishing dream
and the night was like the face of a friend divided
between silence and earning one’s keep.
The trees opposed their own colors
and the wind opposed riding a song,
a bird in the air was a period
then a comma in conversation.
The sky was arid.
After being killed I washed by the river
and the green along its banks
and when the mourners were late
I rushed to a wave in my mind and plucked a song.
I sang it for two whole nights until it waned
and broke like a mast.
When they were late
I turned onto every path to darkness,
like the soul breaking over the rims of flowers and wooden cups
and said: They will catch up with me on the way.
The road was lonesome and the moon ripped apart my body
although this was not the Age of War.
= = =
My funeral proceeds on its own
moved by the power of darkness to the grave site.
I heard him ask:  “Where are they?”
I recognized him by his clothes, his fear, his blue face,
and the blood on the collar of his shirt,
by the bullets embedded in his flesh.
I recognized him, I did.
But the mourners were late.
So I said:  “Invite my killer. . .”

Ibrahim Nasrallah   
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble.