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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

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

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

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

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

“Like puppets orchestrated by a cue. . . ” (Samia Khoury)

Samia Khoury
Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury puts the Netanyahu/Boehner circus into proper perspective.
(About Samia Khoury)

In his speech to the American Congress today, the prime minister of Israel , Benjamin Netanyahu,  said: “ Alliance between the USA and Israel should be above Politics.”

Really Mr. Netanyahu!!!! It is all about politics. When the prime minister chose to address the American Congress two weeks before the Israeli elections, and when his main focus in the speech was Iran , and the negotiations going on between it and the USA , he is indeed making a political statement. The mere fact that the invitation to Mr. Netanyahu to address the congress was not coordinated with President Obama is again a political statement. It is ironic that the Prime Minister whose country could not have been established or could have survived without the support of the USA and its presidents, including Mr. Obama, finds it fit to barge into this  controversial scene and split the congress and the administration. (Entire post)
Fadwa Tuqan
Fadwa Tuqan
“The Deluge and the Tree,” by Fadwa Tuqan
When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge
of dark evil
onto the good green land
‘they’ gloated. The Western skies
reverberated with joyous accounts:
“The Tree has fallen!
The great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree
Had the Tree really fallen?
Never! Not with our red streams flowing forever,
not while the wine of our thorn limbs
fed the thirsty roots,
Arab roots alive
tunneling deep, deep, into the land!
When the Tree rises up, the branches
shall flourish green and fresh in the sun
the laughter of the Tree shall leaf
beneath the sun
and birds shall return
Undoubtedly, the birds shall return.
The birds shall return.
(About Fadwa Tuqan)

“. . . a boy sets out to inherit the ocean . . .” (Bei Dao)

(A blog linking to information about PALESTINE not available in mainstream media.
“Online Resources” above lists helpful sites. Works by Palestinian poets close all posts.)


A new, GOP-centered Jewish alliance powered by Sheldon Adelson is gradually taking its place.
By Peter Beinart,  February 11, 2015

Who are Benjamin Netanyahu’s American victims? Not Barack Obama. Despite Bibi’s best efforts, he’s still in office, and

Casino Billionaire, Patron-at-large
Casino Billionaire, Patron-at-large

retains the affections of most American Jews. Not the left-wing activists who oppose a Jewish state within any borders: Bibi’s settlement mania has been a bonanza for them. “We’ve got to give credit to. . .
. . . Bibi’s longtime patron, Sheldon Adelson. If the old American Jewish establishment tries to combine support for Israeli policy with domestic tolerance, the new American Jewish establishment is nakedly Islamophobic. Adelson, for instance, is on record as saying that “the Muslims…want to kill all Jews.” The ZOA sponsors talks by anti-Muslim bigot Pamela Geller.
(Full article)

February 19, 2015
Today, the U.S-Israel bilateral relationship stands at a crossroads.
Increasingly the national interests of the two countries – and in particular its current leaders — are diverging. While the latest crisis is focused on the nuclear talks with Iran, on no issue does this divide have greater long-term implications for U.S. interests in the region than the creation of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. For the United States, this is an imperative; for the current Israeli government it is not.
(Full story)

new yorkerLetter from Jerusalem
By David Remnick, November 17, 2014
Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, the new President of Israel, is ardently opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. He is instead a proponent of Greater Israel, one Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. He professes to be mystified that anyone should object to the continued construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank: “It can’t be ‘occupied territory’ if the land is your own.”
. . . since Rivlin was elected President, in June, he has become Israel’s most unlikely moralist. Rivlin. . . has emerged as the most prominent critic of racist rhetoric, jingoism, fundamentalism, and sectarian violence, the highest-ranking advocate among Jewish Israelis for the civil rights of the Palestinians both in Israel and in the occupied territories. Last month, he told an academic conference in Jerusalem, “It is time to honestly admit that Israel is sick, and it is our duty to treat this illness.” (Full story)

Patrick Strickland, Thursday 02/19/2015
Israel’s hardline right-wing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman plans to introduce a bill into the country’s parliament, the Knesset, which would implement the death penalty for Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli lockup. (Full story)

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (2015).
By Rachelle Marshall
For nearly 70 years, Palestinians under Israeli occupation have endured expulsion from their homes, theft of their land, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, humiliation and devastating bombing attacks with remarkable forbearance. Since taking office in 2005 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has tested that forbearance to the limit. But as recent events suggest, their patience may be exhausted.

With an Israeli government openly opposed to an independent Palestinian state, the massacre of 2,200 Gazans in Operation Protective Edge, the burning to death by Israelis of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, and thousands more Jewish settlers scheduled to move into Arab East Jerusalem, angry Palestinians took action using the only means they had—stone throwing and knife attacks. Netanyahu’s response was a pledge to “use an iron fist” against the mostly teenage protesters.

Between July and early November, 800 young Palestinians were arrested, scores of them under 18. Police didn’t hesitate to shoot children. Among the victims were Fatima Panjabi, 11, and her 4-year-old cousin Ahmad. Another child, Saleh Mahmoud, 11, was blinded in one eye when he was shot in the face. Bahaa Mousa Bader, 13, Orwah Abdel Hammad, 14, and 15-year-old Mohamed Sinokrot were killed by police bullets. The slain children were among the 53 Palestinians. . .
(Full story)

By Christa Case Bryant, December 10, 2014
Jerusalem — “If anyone asks about the Palestinian Gandhi, he is dead.”
That’s how one Palestinian on Twitter summed up the events of Wednesday, in which Ziad Abu

Ziad Abu Ein, the late Palestinian Ghandi
Ziad Abu Ein, the late Palestinian Ghandi

Ein, a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official and a fiery leader of protests against Israeli settlement activity, died shortly after a clash with Israeli soldiers at a West Bank demonstration. (Full story)

“RAMALLAH,” by Bei Dao, 1949

in Ramallah
the ancients play chess in the starry sky
the endgame flickers
a bird locked in a clock
jumps out to tell the time

in Ramallah
the sun climbs over the wall like an old man
and goes through the market
throwing mirror light on
a rusted copper plate”=

in Ramallah
gods drink water from earthen jars
a bow asks a string for directions
a boy sets out to inherit the ocean
from the edge of the sky

in Ramallah
seeds sown along the high noon
death blossoms outside my window
resisting, the tree takes on a hurricane’s
violent original shape

On August 2, 1949, Zhao Zhenkai was born in Beijing. His pseudonym Bei Dao literally means “North Island,” and was suggested by a friend as a reference to the poet’s provenance from Northern China as well as his typical solitude. . . At the request of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, he traveled to Palestine as part of a delegation for the International Parliament of Writers.

“. . . Don’t waste the tickets. . . ” Samīħ al-Qāsim – سميح القاسم


Tuesday, 17 February 2015
PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, met with the newly appointed Head of Mission of the Netherlands Representative Office, Peter Mollema, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah and welcomed him to Palestine.
In the meeting, Dr. Ashrawi expressed her hope that the Dutch government would continue to play a positive role in the region and to adopt serious and concrete political initiatives to bring Israel to compliance with international law, to end the military occupation, and to establish the independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. She also called on the Dutch government to recognize Palestine without preconditions in the immediate future. (Full story.)

Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan Ashrawi

Monday, 16 February 2015
Israeli occupation authorities on Monday handed threats to uproot about 2000 trees and splings in Haaris village northwest Salfit, West Bank, claiming that the land was “state property.”
Researcher Khaled Ma’ali told PNN that occupation handed the threats to the LandLord Amin Daoud, telling him that the land was confiscated. The case has been transferred to the Beit El settlement court for judgement, pointing that the landlord had papers proving property of land. (Full story.)


palestine news networkSunday, 15 February 2015
Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed that more than 20,000 Palestine homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities.
Ziad Hamouri, the center’s head, stated that the reason why these homes will be demolished is that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality in the occupied city of Jerusalem. Although, applications for such licences from Palestinians are rarely approved. (Full story.)

“Travel Tickets,” Samih al-Qasim

On the day you kill me
You’ll find in my pocket
Travel tickets
To peace,
To the fields and the rain,
To people’s conscience.
Don’t waste the tickets.

Samīħ al-Qāsim  سميح القاسم‎; (born 1939) is a Palestinian Druze whose Arabic poetry is well known throughout the Arab World. His poetry is influenced by two primary periods of his life: Before and after the Six-Day War. Al-Qasim has published several volumes and collections of poetry.