“. . . Can a people be born on the guillotine? . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ISRAEL  TO  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  FOR  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION      The Israeli Civil Administration announced an expansion plan of the illegal Israeli settlement of Tina Omarim in the town of Dahriyeh, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.    ___A Palestinian research center, Land Research Center, released a report on Monday showing that the Israeli Civil Administration have published a detailed plan that would change the classification of the Palestinian-owned land from agricultural into urban, in order to justify expanding the illegal Israeli settlement.   ___The report said that the plan would lead to the seizure of 260 dunums (64 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in the al-Thahriyeh town.   More . . .

IMF  DRAWS  BLEAK  PICTURE  OF  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY,  SUGGESTS  WAYS  OUT   The International Monetary Fund (IMF) drew a bleak picture of the Palestinian economy as longstanding constraints continue to act as a brake to growth and suggested ways out from this impediment.   ___It said in a report on the West Bank and Gaza economy that will be submitted to the next ad hoc liaison committee meeting that several factors have contributed to worsening economic situation in the Palestinian territories.   ___The IMF cited the worsening situation in Gaza aggravated by a long Israeli blockade, division, violence and other factors have deemed the outlook “increasingly untenable.”    More . . .

EXCESSIVE  FORCE  REASON  FOR  DEATH  OF  DETAINEE,  SAYS  RIGHTS  GROUP    The Ramallah-based Addameer  human  rights  organization  said on Tuesday that excessive use of force by Israeli soldiers during the arrest of a Palestinian youth was the cause for his death.   ___Mohammad Zaghloul Rimawi, 24, died hours after he was detained by Israeli soldiers during an early morning raid at his home in Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah.   ___Addameer said . . . an Israeli army force raided the village at around 4 in the morning on Tuesday. . .  The soldiers assaulted Mohammad’s mother then forced all the family (the father, mother and three of their children) into a corner of the house while they took Mohammad to another room in the middle of the house where he was severely beaten . . .  After that the soldiers dragged him and took him to an unknown location. Two hours later, the family was informed by the Palestinian District Office that its son has died.   More . . .
Related . . .  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCES  ARRESTS  ADDAMEER’S  LEGAL  UNIT  COORDINATOR  AYMAN  NASSER
Related . . .  IOF  LAUNCHES  LARGE-SCALE  ARREST  CAMPAIGN  IN  WEST  BANK
Related . . .  ISRAELI  POLICE  ASSAULT  PALESTINIANS  AT  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  AS  JEWISH  FANATICS  INTENSIFY  PROVOCATIONS

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

TRUMP’S  DECISION  TO  CLOSE  THE  PLO  EMBASSY  SAYS  MORE  ABOUT  THE  FUTURE  OF  THE  US  THAN  THE  FUTURE  OF  PALESTINE
Trump’s decision to revoke the presence of the PLO Embassy in Washington says a lot more about the future of the US order than about the future of Palestine.   ___US willingness to parley with the PLO was based on the PLO’s participation in a bi-partisan charade: the peace process. . .  The peace process was the name given to the game of geopolitical management the US used to maintain its relationships with client states in Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. . . The US secured arms markets, purchases of its treasuries, sowing of anti-Shia sectarianism, and socio-political containment . . .  of the largest Arab working class, the Egyptians, in exchange for supporting local elites.  [. . . .] Trump  has  ripped  the  veils  off  US  government  strategy. This portends little for Palestine, since the Democratic Party – Lobby or no Lobby – will disintegrate into a thousand fragments before it will push for even a whisper of justice for Palestinians. There is no hope there. However, larger shifts in turn speak to a larger question: where does Palestine and the struggles to which Palestine is increasingly linked fit into a long-term strategy for those of us who wish for a relatively more equal and just world – a world with room for many worlds?   More . . .
DECODING  THE  PIPES/TRUMP/KUSHNER  ‘DEAL  OF  THE  CENTURY”
Richard Falk
You didn’t have to be a ‘never Trump’ loyalist to have qualms about proposing to bring peace to Palestinians and Jews by creating conditions that would produce ‘The Deal of the Century.’ And let’s be fair, if the game of nations is now played according to the rules of Madison Avenue, the phrase was a winner despite being a loser if evaluated from a problem-solving perspective. Even in the present degraded political atmosphere, to bet on an advertising slogan as a substitute for healing ideas may be a good formula for ensuring a large audience for a reality TV episode, but it is a cruel evasion when it comes to addressing the daily ordeal of the Palestinian people consigned to the victimization associated with living under the Israeli apartheid state.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

RESEARCHING  THE  AMERICAN-ISRAELI  ALLIANCE  (RAIA)   RAIA is a research initiative launched in 2017 dedicated to exposing the connections between American and Israeli state violence. Our work is grounded in the conviction that the ongoing dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people undermines the possibility of a viable homeland for both Palestinians and Israelis.  Website . . .   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  ARE  ENTITLED  TO  LOVE  AUTUMN,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We are entitled to love the end of this autumn and ask:
Is there room for another autumn in the field to rest our bodies like coal?
An autumn lowering its leaves like gold. I wish we were fig leaves
…I wish we were an abandoned plant
To witness the change of seasons. I wish we didn’t say goodbye
…to the south of the eye so as to ask what
Our fathers had asked when they flew on the tip of the spear. Poetry
…and God’s name will be merciful to us.
We are entitled to dry the nights of lovely women, and talk
…about what
Shortens the night for two strangers waiting for the north to reach the
…compass.
An autumn. Indeed we are entitled to smell the scent of this autumn,
…to ask the night for a dream.
Does a dream fall sick like the dreamers? An autumn, an autumn.
Can a people be born on the guillotine?
We are entitled to die the way we want to die. Let the land hide in an
…ear of wheat.

– – – From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  Bilingual  Anthology  of  Arabic  Poetry.
Trans. by Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 1984 & 2005.

Today’s information, with anniversary citations from the first post on this site

A Palestinian Bedouin near his dwelling that was demolished by Israeli bulldozers near the Jewish settlement of Karmel, near the West Bank city of Hebron (Photo: Reuters /Mussa Qawasma). From this blog’s first post, Feb. 10, 2015.
A Palestinian Bedouin near his dwelling that was demolished by Israeli bulldozers near the Jewish settlement of Karmel, near the West Bank city of Hebron (Photo: Reuters /Mussa Qawasma). From this blog’s first post, Feb. 10, 2015.

The first post on this blog. See explanation at the end of this posting.

❶ Israel to Demolish Houses of Three Slain Palestinians
❷ Israel Demolishes Home, Destroys Structures near Bethlehem
❸ Netanyahu calls criticisms of Israeli army ‘outrageous’ in wake of Hebron killing
❹ U.S. states, academies crackdown on BDS
. . . . . ❹―(ᴀ) UNHRC blacklists Israeli firms working in settlements
❺ [Israeli] Opinion/Analysis: UPDATED: FACT SHEET – SAMPLES OF RECENT INFLAMMATORY COMMENTS AND INCITEMENT BY ISRAELI OFFICIALS AND LEADERS
❻ Poetry by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  HOUSES  OF  THREE  SLAIN  PALESTINIANS
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 28, 2016
Israeli forces on Monday made preparations for the punitive demolition of the family houses of three Palestinians suspected of carrying out a fatal attack outside Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City in early February, families said.
___Israeli forces stormed and took measurements of the family houses of Ahmad Zakarneh, Muhammad Kamil and Najeh Abu al-Rub during a predawn raid into the Jenin town of Qabatiya as a prelude for punitive demolition.      MORE . . .

ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  HOME,  DESTROYS  STRUCTURES  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 28, 2016
Israeli authorities Monday demolished and destroyed a home, a farm, electric wires, a water network, trees, and razed a tract of land at the northern entrance to Bethlehem, in southern West Bank, according to local sources.
___Khader Jarashi, owner of the demolished structures, told WAFA that some 50 Israeli military vehicles accompanied by bulldozers broke into the northern entrance of Bethlehem, before they demolished his own house, in addition to a poultry farm, a playground, electric wires and a water network.      MORE . . .

Last Thursday, two Palestinians were shot by Israeli soldiers. While one of the Palestinians died instantly, the other person was injured and 'neutralized', only to be later shot in the head. (Still from viral video, published by MEMO)
Last Thursday, two Palestinians were shot by Israeli soldiers. While one of the Palestinians died instantly, the other person was injured and ‘neutralized’, only to be later shot in the head. (Still from viral video, published by MEMO)

NETANYAHU  CALLS  CRITICISMS  OF  ISRAELI  ARMY  ‘OUTRAGEOUS’  IN  WAKE  OF  HEBRON  KILLING
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 27, 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted on Sunday to the shooting of a wounded Palestinian at point-blank range in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron earlier this week, stating that any questioning of the Israeli army’s moral integrity was “outrageous and unacceptable.”
___. . .  Netanyahu commented in the wake of the killing of Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, on Thursday, which sparked widespread outrage after footage by Israeli rights group B’Tselem showed an Israeli soldier shooting al-Sharif in the head while the young Palestinian was lying wounded on the ground. . . .
___“. . . .  The soldiers of the IDF, our children, maintain high ethical values while courageously fighting against bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational conditions,” Netanyahu said.      MORE . . .
RELATED . . . ISRAELI  SETTLERS  THREATEN  PALESTINIAN  WHO  FILMED  HEBRON  ‘EXECUTION’

U.S. STATES,  ACADEMIES  CRACKDOWN  ON  BDS
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER
March 28, 2016
On March 18th the Illinois Investment Policy Board blacklisted 11 companies from doing business with the state for allegedly boycotting Israel.
___. . . .  Now, Illinois is the first state to actually form a list of companies barred from working with the state’s government due to their alleged boycott of Israel. . . .
___Palestine Legal has identified 21 states in the United States with legislation to punish or suppress the BDS movement.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❹ ―(ᴀ) UNHRC  BLACKLISTS  ISRAELI  FIRMS  WORKING  IN  SETTLEMENTS
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
March 26, 2016
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has voted on Thursday to establish a database of Israeli companies working in settlements in order to blacklist them.
___According to news reports, this measure was one of four Palestinian Authority (PA) proposals approved by the council.
___Efforts to establish the database was fiercely opposed by Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom.     MORE . . .

[Israeli] Opinion/Analysis:  UPDATED:  FACT  SHEET –  SAMPLES  OF  RECENT  INFLAMMATORY  COMMENTS  AND  INCITEMENT  BY  ISRAELI  OFFICIALS  AND  LEADERS
DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE & INFORMATION. PLO
MARCH 28, 2016
. . . .  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (December 2015) : “There is a difference between Arab terror and Jewish terror.”     MORE . . . 

(Note: this was the poem in the first post in this blog.)

    “I BELONG THERE,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

I didn’t apologize to the well when I passed the well,
I borrowed from the ancient pine tree a cloud
and squeezed it like an orange, then waited for a gazelle
white and legendary. And I ordered my heart to be patient:
Be neutral as if you were not of me! Right here
the kind shepherds stood on air and evolved
their flutes, then persuaded the mountain quail toward
the snare. And right here I saddled a horse for flying toward
my planets, then flew. And right here the priestess
told me: Beware of the asphalt road and the cars
and walk upon your exhalation. Right here
I slackened my shadow and waited, I picked the tiniest
rock and stayed up late. I broke the myth and I broke.
And I circled the well until I flew from myself
to what isn’t of it. A deep voice shouted at me:
This grave isn’t your grave. So I apologized.
I read verses from the wise holy book, and said
to the unknown one in the well: Salaam upon you the day
you were killed in the land of peace, and the day you rise
from the darkness of the well alive!

From UNFORTUNATELY,  IT  WAS  PARADISE by Mahmoud Darwish. Trans. by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché. Berkeley, CA: UC Press, 2003. Available from Amazon. 
One of the best biographical sketches of MAHMOUD DARWISH available.   
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
I missed the ANNIVERSARY of the first post on this blog. I DID NOT REALIZE IT HAD BEEN A YEAR―13 MONTHS NOW. I was startled to see that post included a report on RABBIS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS and its open letter to Benyamin Netanyahu asking for cessation of Palestinian home demolitions, startled because nothing―nothing―seems to have changed in that year. My link was to the article in the RUSSIAN TIMES, which I no longer use, giving in to negative feedback I received. It was, however, a reprint of the INDEPENDENT article here:

HUNDREDS OF RABBIS FROM AROUND THE WORLD CALL ON ISRAEL TO HALT DEMOLITION OF PALESTINIAN HOMES; RABBIS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS HAS SUBMITTED AN OPEN LETTER TO BENJAMIN NETANYAHU
INDEPENDENT.CO.UK.
Lizzie Dearden
Feb. 7, 2015
More than 400 rabbis from Israel, Britain and around the world have called on Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes.
___Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) has submitted an open letter to the Israeli Prime Minister claiming his stance is not in line with “international law and Jewish tradition”.
MORE . . .