“. . .hate is not love and love is freedom . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

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Sunrise, The Great March of Return. (Photo: Palestinian Information Center, December 7, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
  ON  37TH    FRIDAY  OF  GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN  AND  BREAKING  SIEGE,  ISRAELI  FORCES  WOUND  72  CIVILIANS,  INCLUDING  11  CHILDREN,  1  WOMAN  AND  2  PARAMEDICS
On Friday evening, 07 December 2018, Israeli forces wounded 72 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children, 1 woman and 2 paramedics in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the sixth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 7 months ago.    ___According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the fifth week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, the demonstrators abstained from burning tires while the attempts to cross the border fence and throw stones and incendiary balloons were completely absent.     More . . .
. . . . Related   Palestinian Forced to Demolish his Home in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related   Child injured in settler attack on Palestinian family
. . . . Related   Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 November – 05 December 2018)
. . . . Related   41 violations committed against Palestinian content on social media
| PALESTINE  SIGNS  10  COOPERATION  AGREEMENTS  WITH  FRANCE;  PREMIER  APPRECIATES  FRENCH  SUPPORT
Palestine and France signed 10 cooperation agreements on Friday during a visit for Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Paris and his meeting with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe.    ___Hamdallah thanked France during a joint press conference with Philippe for its support for Palestine on all levels and its support for the two-state solution.    ___”As I expressed in our discussions with Prime Minister Philippe today, we are grateful for the French positions which demonstrate strong commitments to deepen and develop our partnership and cooperation and I would like to emphasize that this is also our commitment,” said Hamdallah.    More . . .
. . . . Related  FM Malki: France agreed in principle to cooperate in opening of the Paris Economic Protocol
. . . . Related  One year on: The political and human impact of Trump’s Jerusalem decision
DECEMBER  9  MARKS  31ST  ANNIVERSARY  FOR  OUTBREAK  OF  FIRST  UPRISING  –  THE  STONES  INTIFADA
On DECEMBER 8, 1987
, an Israeli settler identified as Herzel Boukiza rammed his vehicle into Palestinian workers returning home through Erez/Beit Hanoun checkpoint between Israel and Gaza. Four workers from Jabalya and Maghazi in Gaza were killed.    ___The next day, and following the funerals of the four, angry Palestinians took to the streets in Jabalya to protest the premeditated attack. The protests then quickly spread to the rest of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank where thousands of Palestinians took to the streets and engaged the heavily armed Israeli soldiers with stones in what has become to be known as the stones uprising or Intifada.   [. . . .] a total of 1550 Palestinians were killed, over 70,000 injured more than half of them suffered permanent disabilities, between 100,000 to 200,000 were detained. . .      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL  DISPLACES,  LOCKS  UP  AND  KILLS  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
By Mohammad Balawi
What does it take to make someone wield a screwdriver and attack a fully armed, well-trained, well-protected soldier, knowing that if he got injured no ambulance would take him to hospital, and if he is lucky he will spend the best years of his life behind bars?    [. . . .] Consider a 16-year-old who has lived all his life under occupation. . . Given how he has grown up, would it make sense for him to attack a fully grown man armed to his teeth with a screwdriver or a kitchen knife, or throw a stone at his tormentors?    ___Israeli occupiers have a peculiar way of explaining this situation. These teens, according to them, are no more than terrorists . . .  lured by money, instigated by terror organisations and encouraged by the leniency of Israeli democracy and the judiciary system, even though Israeli authorities demolish the attacker’s family home and in many cases leave him on the ground bleeding to death.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .   

“MY  NAME  IS  HERMAN  WALLACE,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD

I am a black Palestinian,
South African,
Vietnamese . . .
My name is Mohammed,
Fatima,
Wallace,
Mandela,
Durra,
King . . .
Resistance is my creed.
Prophets found their sanctuary when
they were shot on my soil.
By Israeli bullets
In the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
And just when you think I am defeated,
My fist will rise from the charred earth,
In a painting by Naji Ali,
Through the thick walls of Louisiana State Penitentiary
In the streets of Hanoi,
Amid the rubble of a Gaza mosque.
Even on my dying bed.
I speak many tongues,
And have many names.
But my face is always my face.
On my forehead stitched the memory of pain.
I smile still.
And teach my son never to hate
Because hate is not love
And love is freedom.
I am a Palestinian.
My name is Herman Wallace
And I will always die free.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . a saddening symptom of the demise of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] . . .” (Ali Qleibo)

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Bethlehem Christmas Tree lighting (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 2, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| JERUSALEM  ANNOUNCED  PERMANENT  CAPITAL  OF  ISLAMIC  CULTURE
The Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, at the conclusion of its emergency session in the Bahraini capital, Manama, on Thursday, announced Jerusalem a permanent capital of the Islamic culture.    ___The conference adopted a document on a draft program of action on enhancing Islamic and international support for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Jerusalem.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hordes of Israeli settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Father Hanna warns of conspiracy targeting J’lem real estate
. . . . Related  New cameras set up by Israeli occupation around Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Israel prevented Muslim call for prayer [Hebron] 47 times in November
|  THOUSANDS  CELEBRATE  CHRISTMAS  TREE  LIGHTING  IN  BETHLEHEM
Only meters away from where baby Jesus is said to be born, thousands of people made their way to Manger Square and gathered around the gigantic Christmas tree, to welcome in the holiest month of the Christian year – December.   ___Locals and foreigners, wrapped up in their coats and beanies, listened to speeches from the likes of the Mayor of Bethlehem, and the Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, with others including top officials from the Catholic church, such as Father Francesco Patton.    More . . .
NEW  SETTLEMENTS  PLANNED  IN  THE  HEART  OF  THE  WEST  BANK
The Israeli government on Sunday approved a map of “national priority” areas, including a number of settlements in the heart of the occupied West Bank.    ___The map aims to promote Israeli migration to the towns on the map, as well as to grant larger budgets for building. The National Law will increase budgets to “strengthen the Jewish character of Israel.”    ___The settlements referred to are: Magron, Shvut Rahal and Kerem Re’em, usually referred to as “isolated settlements” because they are built outside major settlement blocs in the West Bank.  More . . .
. . . . Related  IOA resumes settlement expansion activities west of Salfit
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers spray paint ‘Death to Arabs’ in Palestinian village

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
JERUSALEM,  TWENTY  YEARS  LATER
By Ali Qleibo
More than twenty years after the Oslo Agreement, it has become evident that the slogan “Gaza and Jericho First” was a euphemism, preparing the ground for the Israeli takeover of our city. The Israeli Judaization of Jerusalem has escalated to an unprecedented level. In the systematic takeover of Jerusalem, most institutional Palestinian offices in Jerusalem have been driven out. The checkpoints and the arbitrary inclusion, or exclusion, of major Arab “suburbs” have created a great demographic change, leading to the total isolation of Jerusalem and of Jerusalemites. Through Israeli-manipulated bureaucratic procedures and unsurpassable barriers, families are broken apart. And as one walks the streets of the Old City, the blatant scarcity of rural peddlers in their colorful embroidered garments and of people in general is a saddening symptom of the demise of Al-Quds.    More . . .
. . . .  Related  Al-Quds: The Indigenous Jerusalem: Palestinian Tourism Organizations during the Past 20 Years, By Raed Saadeh
.  .  .  .  .  Also by Raed Saadeh
|  INTERNATIONAL  MEDIA  WATCH  FROM  ALRAY  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AGENCY (Dec. 2, 2018)

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TRAVEL  LIKE  OTHER  PEOPLE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if travelling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us
for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a metre of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the
prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopee’s beak or sing to while away the
distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on the
stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of
this travel.

From: Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY. Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books. 2008.

 

“. . . imagine eleven thousand people in one square kilometer . . .” (Rabbi Rachel Barenblat)

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Bethlehem by night (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
PALESTINIANS  CHEER  AS  TOURISTS  THRONG  BETHLEHEM
Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, is experiencing a record flow of tourists. Israel says October figures were record-breaking.    ___The holy city is located in the occupied West Bank and the ongoing political tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have a direct effect on the tourism industry.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Where to Go? A House Worth Seeing
. . . . Related  A Day in Nablus
. . . . Related  How the tourism industry underpins illegal Israeli settlements
|  UNGA  ADOPTS  FIVE  RESOLUTIONS  IN  FAVOR  OF  PALESTINE
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favor of five resolutions regarding Palestine and a sixth resolution on the Golan Heights, on Friday evening.    __One of the most important resolutions adopted called upon member states not to recognize any measures taken by Israel in Jerusalem and to maintain the current status-quo in the holy city.    __Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that “by voting in favor of the five resolutions, the international community affirms its support of our national cause, despite the efforts made by the US administration in international forums to resist this.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  PM Hamdallah: The UN Should Recognize Palestine as A Full- Member State and Endorse President Abbas Peace Initiative
. . . . Related  Palestine  thwarts  efforts  by  US  to  question  its  membership  in  OPCW
. . . . Related  Hamas  politicos  make  rounds  internationally  to  gain  backing
|  ISRAEL  KILLS  345  PALESTINIANS  SINCE  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  ANNOUNCEMENT
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have killed 345 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital in October 2017, the Jerusalem Centre for Studies of Palestinian and Israeli Affairs revealed.    ___The body said 71 children and nine women were among the Palestinians killed, seven died in detention, 43 were killed in airstrikes and one – engineer Fadi Al-Batsh- was assassinated by the Israeli Mossad in Malaysia.    More . . .
. . . .  Related  28  Palestinians  injured  in  Gaza  border  protest

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| THIS  IS  HOW  TO  FIGHT  ISRAEL’S  JEWISH  NATION-STATE  LAW
By Said Zeedani
The Jewish Nation-State Law, a new law with the force of a constitutional amendment, enshrined Israel as the exclusive nation-state of the Jewish people, demoted the official status of the Arabic language, and gave the right of self-determination in Israel to Jews alone. Palestinian political leaders, Israeli opposition politicians, and dovish Jewish-American groups all lambasted the passage of the law earlier this year, with some saying the law amounted to apartheid and promoting Jewish supremacy.    [. . . .] a serious struggle . . . will need to take place both locally and internationally; it should be waged by civil society, in the legal system, and legislatively. There are many Israeli Jews, as well as many proponents of democracy and human rights worldwide, who are potential partners in such a struggle.    ___But the struggle must also acknowledge that Israel’s regime of racial superiority and discrimination, created in and sustained since 1948, will not end with the abolishment of the Jewish Nation-State Law.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“FIRST  VISIT  TO  THE  CAMP  D’HAISHA,  BETHLEHEM,”
BY  RABBI  RACHEL  BARENBLAT

There are no canvas tents.
The buildings don’t look
so bad, standard issue
developing-world
cement block structures

until I try to imagine
eleven thousand people
in one square kilometer
,
one in every minyan
an angry alumnus

of the Israeli jails.
What do I know
about settlers or rock-throwers,
one state, two state
impossibilities?

But our grandparents
didn’t escape the ghettos
of Europe’s worst era
only to create new ones
for somebody else.

When we depart
I’m saddened, troubled
but perfectly able
to order a cold beer
and make conversation.

The sorrow and the fury
dormant overnight
explode the next day.
Even Shabbat can’t soothe
my lacerated heart.

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.
Rachel Barenblat was ordained a rabbi in January 2011 through the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the author of 4 chapbooks of poetry. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Texas Observer. She lives in western Massachusetts.

“. . .Call it home for all the living. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

489791CSettlers break into homes in Hebron. Note the wire mesh over the street
installed to catch garbage that illegal Israeli settlers throw at Palestinians.
(Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 29, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    PCC  DECIDES  TO  SUSPEND  RECOGNITION  OF  ISRAEL 
The Palestinian Central Council (PCC) decided on Monday, a day after meeting in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, to end all commitments in agreements the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has signed with Israel, suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine, end security coordination and end the Paris Economic Protocols.    ___The PCC said in a statement “In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements, the PCC, in confirmation of its previous decision and considering that the transitional phase no longer exists. . .     More . . .

The  wording  from  the  Final  Statement:
. . . . In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements and the ensuing obligations, the Palestinian Central Council reaffirms its previous decision considering the transitional phase no longer exists, decides to end the obligations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority towards its agreements with the occupation authority (Israel), mainly suspending recognition of the State of Israel until its recognition of the State of Palestine on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, the cessation of security coordination in all its forms, and economic disengagement on the grounds that the transitional phase, including the Paris Protocols, no longer exist, and on the basis for identifying practical pillars and steps to continue the process of transition from the stage of Authority to the embodiment of the independence of a sovereign an independent state. . . Complete . . .

|    PALESTINIAN  KILLED,  DOZENS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA’S  14TH  NAVAL  MARCH  (VIDEOS)
A 27-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Monday, during the 14th naval march at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___A Ma’an reporter confirmed that Muhammad Abed Abu Ubada, 27, was killed by Israeli forces during the 14th naval march, which set off from the Gaza seaport, in protest against the 12-year Israeli siege.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JEWISH  SETTLERS  BLOCK  TRUCKS  FROM  ENTERING  GAZA
     IOF  UPROOT  200  OLIVE  TREES,  RAZE  LANDS  NEAR  HEBRON 

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday uprooted 200 olive trees, and uprooted 13 dunums of agricultural land in the town of Beit Ula, west of Hebron.    ___Head of the Farmers Services Department at the Hebron Agricultural Department Hashim Badarin said that the occupation forces stormed the Khirbet Kharouf area west of the town of Beit Ula, uprooted 200 olive trees planted ten years ago, and destroyed the fence and chains surrounding the targeted land.    ___The farmer and landowner Hijazi al-Tarshan said that the occupation forces are pursuing a policy of uprooting of trees and trying to prevent farmers from working in their lands in this area near the wall of racist expansion in preparation for the seizure.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  HEBRON
|    PMA  BUSINESS  CYCLE  INDEX  SHOWS  DECLINE  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  AND  SLIGHT  IMPROVEMENT  IN  GAZA  STRIP
The PMA has released the results of its extended Business Cycle Index (extended PMABCI) for October 2018. The results revealed that the overall index fell during October due to the decline in the West Bank’s index, despite the slight improvement in Gaza Strip’s index. As such, the overall extended PMABCI dropped from -3.2 points in September to around -5.9 points in this October. However, it remained slightly higher than the index of October 2017 (-7.6 points).    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| 
   THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY  IS  A  RESISTING  ECONOMY
By Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah
The State of Palestine constantly confronts critical economic and social obstacles due to the policies the Israeli occupation limitlessly imposes on the Palestinian people and their land.  Speaking unconditionally, these policies target all factors of production including land, resources, and labor. Nonetheless, this noble nation has always strived to live and coexist. The creative Palestinian citizen fulfilled significant achievements and left fingerprints on all disciplines and sectors.  In this context, I will present, with numbers and statistics, a series of changes in the economic reality in Palestine.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|    BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  –  DAR  AL-KALIMA  UNIVERSITY2019 Leadership Program in the Holy Land.  March 25-April 8, 2019.
This program offers new and creative ways to understand and respond to the context of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It raises the possibility of different strategies for resisting the power of empire and supporting those who both struggle against it and suffer its daily injustices and violence. This is an in-depth program during which new insights, experiences and strategies will be explored.  Information and Registration.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

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 B&N.

“. . . an impossible burden weighs down . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

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Shot with a live round in the head, east of Gaza city, Emad Daoud Eshteiwi, 21. Sept. 24, 2018. (Photo: IMEMCNews.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

REPORT:  SETTLEMENT  ACTIVITIES  ESCALATED,  PARTICULARLY  IN  JERUSALEM  AND  JORDAN  VALLEY 
In his weekly report on Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank, the National Office for the Defending Land and Resisting Settlements (NBPRS) reported, that  Israel’s settlement activities cover all the West Bank governorates encouraged by the US, and the absence of the international accountability. The Netanyahu government continues its grave violations of international law that amount to war crimes through demolishing and displacing the Palestinians, and at the same time legitimizing settlement outposts and confiscating Palestinian land the last of which a plan no 3/515, which aims to expand the settlement of Tina by building 135 new settlement units on 260 dunums of the lands of the Dahiriya town.    More . . .

ISRAEL  IMPOSES  8  DAY  CLOSURE  ON  WEST  BANK,  GAZA
The Israeli authorities declared an 8-day closure on the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip starting late Sunday until next Monday, the first of October, for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.    ___The Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that the closure will be lifted off the West Bank on Monday, September 24th night but would be imposed again on Thursday night until October 1st.    ___Crossings with the Gaza Strip would remain closed until October 1st.    ___This is the third closure imposed on the West Bank and Gaza in the month of September. . .     More . . .

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KILL  A  PALESTINIAN  IN  GAZA
The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that Israeli soldiers killed, on Sunday evening, a young Palestinian man, and injured at least 20 others, including one medic, along the eastern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said the soldiers shot Emad Daoud Eshteiwi, 21, with a live round in the head, east of Gaza city, and moderately injured a medic in the leg.    ___He added that the soldiers also shot twenty Palestinians with live rounds . . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ABBAS  ARRIVES  IN  NEW  YORK  FOR  GENERAL  ASSEMBLY  MEETING
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived Sunday to New York, in the United States, to participate in the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, amidst calls from pro-Israel lobbying organizations that the U.S. should deny Abbas entry into the US.    ___President Abbas will be delivering a speech this coming Thursday, and also intends to hold many meetings with world leaders and international delegations participating in the General Assembly sessions.    ___He is accompanied by the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amro, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki . . .    More . . .
Related . . .    Premier  to  tell  AHLC  meeting  ending  Israeli  occupation  answer  to  economic  growth
Related . . .    Italian  motorcycle  rally  in  solidarity  with  Palestinians
Related . . .    Japan  funds  project  for  additional  classrooms  in  Salfit  village
Related . . .    Jordan  takes  steps  to  support  Jerusalem’s  Palestinians

EXPLOITING  GAZA  TOPS  THE  UN’S  HUMANITARIAN  AGENDA 
What would prompt the UN to assert, without reservations or calculated statements, that Gaza has collapsed in terms of humanitarian necessities? So far, the international organization has relied on projecting extended time frames; the result being that Gaza was forced into a currently irreversible situation while the UN saves face, or believes it does, by stepping in at its designated intervals.    ___On Monday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory announced through a press release that it was releasing $1 million “to prevent the collapse of life-saving services in the Gaza Strip”.    [. . . .] The funding crisis exacerbates the humanitarian situation because the political intent is to maintain the continuation of violating human rights. In its previous warning of the impending collapse in services, there is no mention of Israel.    More . . .
Related . . .   LACK  OF  MEDICATIONS  THREATENS  LIVES  OF  425  KIDNEY  PATIENTS  [GAZA]

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS . . . 

THE  PALESTINIAN  ASSOCIATION  FOR  EMPOWERMENT  AND  LOCAL  DEVELOPMENT-REFORM     REFORM strives for a society where everyone has the capacity to participate effectively, individual and collective rights are respected, and pluralism is ensured in an independent Palestinian state.   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
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 is prolific poet and novelist, 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).

“. . . they’ve grown, grown more than the years of a normal life . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ UN official deeply concerned by Israeli demolition of classrooms
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian PM slams Israel for demolition of Bedouin classrooms in E1

  • Background:  “‘In Your Face’ Democracy: Education for Belonging and Its Challenges in Israel.” British Educational Research Journal.
    “Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way . . . constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education.”

❷ Video: Palestinians protest UNRWA cuts and US policies
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Ministry stages protest against US decision to cut aid to UNRWA
❸ IOF prevents Palestinian farmers from entering their lands
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴃ) Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian water pipeline in Jordan Valley
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
UN  OFFICIAL  DEEPLY  CONCERNED  BY  ISRAELI  DEMOLITION  OF  CLASSROOMS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 5, 2018 ― United Nations acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Roberto Valent, said on Sunday that he was deeply concerned by Israel’s destruction of donor-funded classrooms in the Palestinian community of Abu Nuwar, east of Jerusalem.
___”I am deeply concerned by the Israeli authorities’ demolition this morning of two donor-funded classrooms (3rd and 4th grade), serving 26 Palestinian school children in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar, located in Area C on the outskirts of Jerusalem,” Valent said in a statement. “The demolition was carried out on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.”
___The UN official added: “Abu Nuwar is one of the most vulnerable communities in need of humanitarian assistance in the occupied West Bank. The conditions it faces also represent those of many Palestinian communities, where a combination of Israeli policies and practices –including demolitions and restricted access to basic services, such as education – have created a coercive environment that violates the human rights of residents and generates a risk of forcible transfer.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  PM  SLAMS  ISRAEL  FOR  DEMOLITION  OF  BEDOUIN  CLASSROOMS  IN  E1
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli forces demolished two classrooms in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Sunday, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.
___The school in Abu Nuwwar was built and funded by the European Union in 2017 in order to provide the opportunity for a more accessible education to students in the village, who previously had to travel several kilometers by foot to the nearest school.
___More than 25 students were affected by the demolition of the two classrooms.
___The entire school serves more than 60 students in Abu Nuwwar which is home to 600 Palestinians.
___Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah released a statement on Monday condemning the demolition, saying “besides the fact that such a demolition contravenes international humanitarian law, this latest attack is directed against Palestinian schoolchildren, and is simply immoral.”   MORE . . .

Agbaria, Ayman K., et al.
‘IN  YOUR  FACE’  DEMOCRACY:  EDUCATION  FOR  BELONGING  AND  ITS  CHALLENGES  IN  ISRAEL.”
BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 41, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 143-175.
[. . . .] As an ethnocratic regime, Israel excludes its Palestinian citizens and treats them as merely an aggregate of individuals entitled to selective individual liberal rights, but deprived of collective rights of self-definition or collective claims over the nature and distribution of public goods in Israel. Controlling the Arab education system that serves this minority is part and parcel of these hierarchical strategies . . .  Despite the fact that Arab schools teach in Arabic [there is an] absence of recognition of the Palestinian collective identity. This lack of recognition is particularly salient in the school curricula and textbooks which were voided of any substantial engagement with Palestinian history and culture. All in all, Arab education was designed by the state to ‘instil feelings of self-disparagement and inferiority in Arab youth; to de-nationalize them, and particularly to de-Palestinize them; and to teach them to glorify the history, culture and achievements of the Jewish majority’ (Mar’i, S. K.).
[. . . .] a common feature of the Israeli education system, as argued by Yossi Yonah, is its commitment to function as a main carrier of the Zionist historiography, while disregarding the Palestinian narrative . . .  misrepresentat[ing] the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of Israel as a deeply divided society. These attempts . . .  serve the desirable character of the state as a Jewish state, thus ignoring the need for cultural recognition of the non-Jewish student population.
[. . . .] Yet, dialogical as it is, the capacity of “Identity and Belonging” [the Palestinian curriculum] for confrontation, not only compliance and appropriation, remains high, as it directly challenges the laws and regulations of the Ministry of Education and its official knowledge. Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way, at such a scale, and within the most natural sites of influence—the schools themselves—constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education. . .  In this way, “Identity and Belonging” is a citizenship act that challenges the extent . . . content . . . and depth . . .  of Israeli citizenship by presenting a counter-narrative permeated with political, moral and socio-political claims. Ultimately, these claims constitute the Palestinian minority in Israel as an independent political actor in both the Palestinian and Israeli arenas. Therefore, this initiative presents a symbolic challenge, which exposes the fragility of the double marginality of the Palestinians in Israel by reconstructing an integrative meaning of being part of both Israel and the Palestinian people.     SOURCE . . .

VIDEO:  PALESTINIANS  PROTEST  UNRWA  CUTS  AND  US  POLICIES
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Refugee Youth Movement on Monday held a protest outside the main UNRWA office in Bethlehem against the cuts of the agency’s services after the Trump administration had cut its funding.
___The participants raised banners protesting the UNRWA cuts and recent US resolutions impacting the rights of Palestinian refugees.
___Protesters included students and teachers, and called for improving the education services and halting decisions to lay off teachers, improve classes, and activate the operating system to reduce unemployment among refugee youth, as well as improving the quality of health services.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  MINISTRY  STAGES  PROTEST  AGAINST  US  DECISION  TO  CUT  AID  TO  UNRWA 
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education on Monday held a protest against the recent US decisions against UNRWA and its educational institutions.
___Undersecretary of the Ministry, Ziad Thabet, participated in the protest which was held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Gaza in conjunction with a similar protest in Ramallah in the West Bank.
___The protesters raised banners expressing support for UNRWA and calling on the world’s countries to intervene and help the Agency.
___Ziad Thabet affirmed that this protest came in rejection of the US decision to cut aid to UNRWA forcing the UN Agency to reduce its services to the Palestinian refugees.    MORE . . .
❸  IOF  PREVENTS  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  FROM  ENTERING  THEIR  LANDS
The Palestinian Information Center 
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) prevented on Monday a group of Palestinian farmers from entering their olive groves located behind the Apartheid Wall.
___The farmers, from Salfit, were stopped by Israelis forces on their way to work in their farm lands, located on the Israeli side of the separation wall, which runs through the farmers’ lands.
___Palestinians living in the areas where Israel’s separation wall cut off their lands, are required to obtain entry permits, and cannot enter their lands for any purpose other than work or residence.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  BULLDOZER  DESTROYS  PALESTINIAN  WATER  PIPELINE  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Ma’an News Agency  
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli bulldozers destroyed water lines supplying tens of acres of land in the northern Jordan Valley on Monday morning.
___Local activist Aref Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed a water pipeline belonging to a Palestinian identified as Bassem Faqha.
___The line feeds some 150 dunams (37 acres) of land planted with watermelons.
___The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
___Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.   MORE . . .

“SONG  OF  BECOMING,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN
They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.
Available from Columbia University Press.
Fadwa Tuqan

“. . . in old age you have been crowned with humiliation . . .” (Tawfiq Sayigh)

❶ [Palestinian] Presidential spokesman: White House statements incorrect and rejected
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Rajoub: The President’s [ABBAS] speech at the Islamic Summit establishes for a national strategy

  • Background: “Israel or Occupation?.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israeli navy opens fire at Gaza fishermen
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers break into Solomon’s Pools site in Bethlehem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ)  Israel raids Birzeit University at dawn
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Did Trump’s Jerusalem decision revive support for Palestine?
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Sayigh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PRESIDENTIAL  SPOKESMAN:  WHITE  HOUSE  STATEMENTS  INCORRECT  AND  REJECTED
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina Thursday said the Palestinian leadership rejects and deems incorrect the latest White House statement saying President Mahmoud Abbas’ rhetoric prevents peace.
___He said, “These statements are entirely wrong, since President Abbas always reiterates that he is committed to a just peace on the basis of international legitimacy, Security Council resolutions and world’s recognition of the State of Palestine as an observer in the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, based on the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.”
___Abu Rudeina added that this was confirmed by the Arab peace initiative, and on these bases the Palestinian leadership has been involved in the Oslo accords based on the two-state solution, including resolutions 242 and 338. The previous US administrations have engaged in negotiations based on these rules.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  RAJOUB:  THE  PRESIDENT’S  [ABBAS]  SPEECH  AT  THE  ISLAMIC  SUMMIT  ESTABLISHES  FOR  A  NATIONAL  STRATEGY
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 15, 2017 ― Fatah Central Committee’s secretary general Jibril Rajoub, described the speech by President Mahmoud Abbas at the Islamic summit as bold and establishes for a national strategy, pointing out that the president’s decision to form a committee to formulate a steadfast resistance strategy in Jerusalem aims at people, land, holy places, dignity of citizens and their ability to remain steadfast and resist.
___Rajoub stressed that all Palestinians must realize the strategy to build full national partnerships that keep Palestine on the agenda of the world, pointing out that the president’s speech at the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation reflects the greatness of the Palestinian people and expresses their ambitions and aspirations.  MORE . . .

(NOTE: Apparently Mr. Bahour was mistaken.)

Bahour, Sam.
“ISRAEL  OR  OCCUPATION?.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 15-17.
[. . . .] Today’s Palestinian leadership is waging an uphill battle to achieve some form of appropriate reconciliation of the historical injustices done to Palestine and its people. Palestinians went to Madrid, Oslo and Camp David and put on the table the greatest concession ever voluntarily made by an indigenous people: to relinquish 78% of their ancestral homeland so the Jews of the world could fulfill their own dream of a homeland. In return . . . Palestinians received instead [ ] a package of Israeli aggression like never before: collective punishment, imprisonment, political assassinations, uprooting of trees, burning of schools, maiming of children, economic blockades, tanks, helicopter gunships, F-16s and much more. Today’s highly sophisticated military occupation . . .   suffocates and humiliates each and every Palestinian, day in and day out, in hopes that each individual and family will ultimately decide to leave voluntarily or turn to violence.
[. . . .]  It took the Palestinians, as victims of a prolonged 20th century colonization project, 45 years to absorb the fact that they had become objects in a history that was not theirs — and thus, to accept Israel’s political existence. If today or tomorrow all hope is lost, if Israel finally yields fully to its illegal settlers and Jewish extremists and remains bent on the obliteration of Palestinian national identity, no one ought to be surprised if it takes Palestinians perhaps 45 hours to reinstate a political platform anchored by their legitimate collective memory – call it “One State” or what you will. If 21st-century diplomacy and politics fail to serve justice and restore Palestinian dignity, however fractured by all that has occurred, the Palestinian collective memory can be expected to make its presence felt again, to provide at least the comfort of justice as a vision, as an oral tradition. Israel knows this, and none of its leaders dare to unilaterally rip up the Oslo peace agreements, not even hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. THE  PUBLIC  AND  DIPLOMATIC  LEADERSHIP  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES  KNOWS  THIS  EVEN BETTER  AND  DOES  NOT  DARE  TO  DISREGARD  THESE  AGREEMENTS,  NO  MATTER  HOW SHATTERED  THE  STATUS  OF  THEIR  IMPLEMENTATION,  AND  NO  MATTER  HOW  UNSCHOOLED THE  CURRENT  U.S.  ADMINISTRATION  MAY  BE  ON  THE  ISSUES.      SOURCE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  FIRE  AT  GAZA  FISHERMEN 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 15, 2017 ― Israeli naval boats Friday opened fire at fishermen’s boats while sailing in the Gaza waters; offshore Beit Lahia town to the north of the Gaza Strip, said sources.
___Fishermen were forced to return back to shore for fear of being detained, injured, or killed. No injuries were reported among the fishermen.
___Israeli navy and troops routinely open fire on fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone and farmlands along the border, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal that was reached in August 2014.
___The current six-nautical-mile fishing zone falls drastically short of the twenty nautical miles allocated to Palestinian fishermen in the 1993 Oslo Accords.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  SOLOMON’S  POOLS  SITE  IN  BETHLEHEM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 15, 2017 ― Israeli settlers Friday broke into Solomon’s Pools archaeological site, south of Bethlehem, and performed religious rituals there, said security sources.
___At least 40 settlers broke into the site under tight protection by Israeli forces, and carried out talmudic rituals there.
___Earlier in February, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stressed in a cabinet meeting that was held at the site in defiance to repeated attempts by Israeli settlers to take over it that the pools, ancient water reservoirs located south of Bethlehem, are an Islamic waqf (trust) and considered as an archaeological reserve since 1929.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)    ISRAEL  RAIDS  BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY  AT  DAWN  
Days of Palestine
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Israeli occupation forces raided on Thursday at dawn Birzeit University in occupied West Bank, ransacked campuses and student union offices.
___A statement released by the university said: “A large number of heavily armed Israeli forces stormed Birzeit’s campus at dawn, raiding the headquarters of the student council in Sheikh Rashid bin Said al-Maktoum Building, Kamal Nasir Hall and the Faculty of Science.”
___The statement added: “The Israeli occupation forces ransacked the campuses and the different offices they raided and damaged much of the furniture.”   MORE . . .
❸ Opinion/Analysis: DID  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  DECISION  REVIVE  SUPPORT  FOR  PALESTINE?
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse) 
Daoud Kuttab
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Without knowing or planning it, the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has resulted in renewed interest in Palestine and brought back to the top of the agenda the question of Jerusalem.
___George Irani, a social science professor at the American University of Kuwait, told Al-Monitor that Trump’s decision helped bring the world to Palestine’s side. “With his foolish decision, Trump has rallied the global community with Palestinians.”
[. . . .] Botrus Mansour, a Palestinian lawyer and citizen of Israel, told Al-Monitor that through his declaration, Trump “did put the Palestinian issue in the news again”. . .  However, Mansour, who is the director of the Nazareth Baptist School, questioned whether Palestinians can use this to their advantage. “The question is whether Palestinians will be able to leverage this opportunity, which I doubt, in light of the current political balance of power in the region.”
___Dozens of protests took place in Jordan when Deputy Prime Minister Mamdouh al-Abadi said Dec. 7 that people should go out in the streets to demonstrate, and the Jordanian parliament took the unusual step of revisiting agreements with Israel that had been untouchable before.     [. . . .] The unexpected nature of this “gift” from Washington has been reflected in many ways. Local, regional and international demonstrations have taken place, and emergency meetings of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have been held.  MORE . . .

“A  NATIONAL  HYMN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  SAYIGH
Is it true that you were young,
And that your wavy hips
Caused seduction among young men?
And that fashion magazines
Devoted their numbers to your dresses?
I do not believe.
Is it true that you turned your husband into a leader and he led
And built you hanging gardens,
O my country?

Is it true that he who sang you with burning love
Sang you with high esteem,
Is it true that you led the horses,
That your sons rode to them in distant pastures
And that they did not open their mouths to nibble
But opened them to emit a neigh like hymns of the minarets?
I do not believe
I do not believe, O my country.

Not because you have become old:
For there is dignity in gray hair
And wrinkles have an effect unequaled by soft skin.
Not because you have become secluded:
If only when limelights receded from you
You sponsored institutions,
Opened orphanages or collected donations.
No, my country:
For then I would have loved you
And sung for a beauty that gradually changes but does not die,
And I would have visited you
And would have done so in awe.

But in old age you have been crowned with humiliation
And you brushed off the memory of your husband and of youth
As if they were dust on your soiled body.
You have castrated your sons
And I saw them droop their heads for your memory;
You wallowed with this and that person of immoral character
(How would I believe what is said about your past
O my country
I who saw your house and its dim lights?)
If lovers turn away from you
You have been prostituting your daughters
O my country
O my country.

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 Tawfiq Sayigh

“. . . It’s not Kellyanne who invented alternative facts. We’ve been victims of alternative facts all our lives . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

❶ Premier says time is now for EU recognition of Palestine

  • Background: “The Israel Lobby and the “Peace Process” from a Palestinian Perspective.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

❷ Israel conducts several airstrikes across Gaza Strip
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Army detains 16 Palestinians in West Bank, bringing total to 320 in one week
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Undercover Israeli forces injure 2 Palestinians, detain 5, in Ramallah clashes
❸ MADA: 26 violations of media freedoms in Palestine during November
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) IOF to raze Palestinian home in Bethlehem
❹ POETRY by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PREMIER  SAYS  TIME  IS  NOW  FOR  EU  RECOGNITION  OF  PALESTINE          Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told on Thursday European Union (EU) Representative in Jerusalem Ralph Tarraf that the time is now for EU recognition of the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, pointing out that such a step would strengthen the two-state solution.
___Hamdallah urged the European Union to support the leadership’s efforts to bring the political process back to its proper track based on United Nations resolutions, particularly after the US administration chose to side with Israel by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and working to move its embassy to Jerusalem thus becoming an ally of Israel rather than an impartial mediator.    MORE . . .

Ashrawi, Hanan.
“THE  ISRAEL  LOBBY  AND  THE  “PEACE  PROCESS”  FROM  A  PALESTINIAN  PERSPECTIVE.”
WASHINGTON  REPORT  ON  MIDDLE  EAST  AFFAIRS , vol. 36, no. 3, May 2017, pp. 34-64.
[. . . .]  I’m asked to talk about the Israel lobby and the peace process. . . .  They play a major role in shaping and influencing U.S. policy, particularly the peace process.  Since its inception, there’s a sense of ownership, that the peace process is owned by the Israeli lobby in many ways, because they’re looking out for the interests of Israel all the time.
___There are various components of the lobby.  As you all know, they’re not monolithic.  They all have their impact here and there.  But the most significant impact is for the lobby groups, the special interest groups that are closest to the Israeli government in particular.  And that tends to be the more hard-line extremist groups. . . .  The most influential, of course, is AIPAC and its Washington Institute for Near East Policy—as you know, a think tank that has probably had the most direct say in terms of the peace process itself—and other organizations–the Heritage Foundation and so on.
[. . . .] Now we have people in the White House who are not only lobbyists and advocates, but who are active supporters of settlements.  So it’s not enough to have settlers in the Israeli coalition government.  Now you have settlers in the White House. This is incredible.  So they don’t need to lobby.  They are decision makers. . . .  It’s interchangeable.  Either they are influencing policy or they are making policy.  That’s why American policy was so distorted, because they played a significant role in framing and defining the discourse and perceptions, but went beyond that to manipulating the verbal public space, anything related to the peace process.  And they generated a narrative based on myths, and provided alternative facts.  It’s not Kellyanne [Conway] who invented alternative facts.  We’ve been victims of alternative facts all our lives, alternative realities.  [. . . .] SOURCE . . .

ISRAEL  CONDUCTS  SEVERAL  AIRSTRIKES  ACROSS  GAZA  STRIP    
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Israeli air forces conducted airstrikes targeting several sites in the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday around dawn, according to local sources.
___Locals told Ma’an that the airstrikes targeted at least five sites across the coastal enclave.
___Airstrikes hit sites in northwestern and southern Gaza City, as well as near the Deir al-Balah beach in the central Gaza Strip.
___Another site in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, while forces targeted another in western Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ARMY  DETAINS  16  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK,  BRINGING  TOTAL  TO  320  IN  ONE  WEEK
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      Dec. 14, 2017 ― The Israeli army detained 16 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of Palestinians detained since the outbreak of the recent wave of protests to 320, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Thursday.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  UNDERCOVER  ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  2  PALESTINIANS,  DETAIN  5,  IN  RAMALLAH  CLASHES 
Ma’an News Agency    
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Israeli special forces disguised as Palestinian protesters arrested five Palestinian youths, including a young woman and two injured young men, during clashes near the illegal Beit El settlement in the central West Bank district of Ramallah.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that a group of undercover Israeli forces, known as ‘mustaaribeen’ in Arabi, infiltrated crowds of protesters and journalists when they took out their guns and “attacked the youths,” assaulting, shooting and injuring two of them before detaining five.   MORE . . .  
❸ MADA:  26  VIOLATIONS  OF  MEDIA  FREEDOMS  IN  PALESTINE  DURING  NOVEMBER  

Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 14, 2017 ― November 2017, witnessed a number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, almost identical to those recorded in the previous few months, in September and October, a total of 26 and 28 violations against media freedoms were monitored by MADA, 26 attacks last November. The Israeli occupation carried out 16 attacks, while Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip committed a total of 10 violations.
___The Israeli occupation has committed a total of 16 attacks against media freedoms during last November, some of which fall under serious violations. The most prominent of these is the decision by an Israeli military court to imprison the broadcasters of  the “Sanabel” radio from the city of Hebron: Muntasir Abdel-Karim Nassar, Nidal Amro were sentenced to 22 months in prison and a fine of 5,000 NIS and Mr. Omran was sentenced to 16 months.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  IOF  TO  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  HOME  IN  BETHLEHEM
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) handed a home-demolition order to a Palestinian family in al-Walajeh town west of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.
___Local sources said that IOF troops raided Ain al-Juwaizah area north of the town and handed Khaled Abu Kheyara a notice that stipulates the demolition of his home which is built on an area of about 120 square meters. He was given a 15-day period to appeal the order.   MORE . . .

“THE  MARTYR,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)

I shall carry my soul on the palm of my hand,
tossing it into the cavern of death!
Either a life to gladden the hearts of friends
or a death to torture the hearts of foes!
An honorable man’ spirit has two aims:
to die fighting, or to achieve victory.
Otherwise, what is life? I want no life
if we’re not respected in our land;
if our response is not feared,
if our words are not heard
echoing in the world.

By your life, I see my own death,
but I hasten my footsteps.
No greater wish than to die defending stolen rights
and my country,
My ears love the clashing of swords,
my soul is proud of martyrs’ blood.
Behold the martyr’s body
sprawled on sands, attacked by vultures,
his blood tinting the earth crimson,
haunting northern breezes with its scent.
His radiant brow covered with dust
only seems more luminous.
The smile on his lips
mocks this earthly life,
and his dreams of eternity,
shape blissful visions.

I swear this is how men should die
for how can I tolerate the harm of my enemy’s malice,
how can I endure his aggression?
Would fear stop me if it is easy to sacrifice my life?
Am I humble? I simply can endure no scorn!
With my own heart I’ll fight the enemy;
my heart of steel, my ravenous flames,
I’ll stalk my land with the blade of this sword
so my people know I’m their defender.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . Whole governments relaxed in your jaw line . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

❶ Palestine, China sign agreement on free trade

  • Background: “Perils of Parity: Palestine’s Permanent Transition.” Cornell International Law Journal

❷ Saudi Arabia pledges full support to Palestinian people
❸ Israeli settlers shot dead a Palestinian farmer in Nablus
❹ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINE,  CHINA  SIGN  AGREEMENT  ON  FREE  TRADE 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Nov. 30, 2017 ― Palestine and China signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding on free trade between the two countries, during a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s office in Ramallah.
___Minister of National Economy, Abeer Odeh, and deputy Chinese Minister of Commerce, Wang Shouwen, signed the memorandum of understanding on free trade in the presence of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and China’s ambassador to Palestine, Chen Xingzhong.   MORE . . .   ..

Miller, Zinaida.
“Perils of Parity: Palestine’s Permanent Transition.”
Cornell International Law Journal,
vol. 47, no. 2, Spring2014, pp. 331-415.
[. . . .] The sense that international organizations and actors could and should involve themselves in conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction opened space for multilateral mediation as well as for direct international involvement in the structure and implementation of the Oslo regime. From the outset of the Accords, it was clear that only extraordinary financial and institutional support from foreign donors and international organizations could sustain the peace process: by October 1993, donors had already pledged billions in aid. By 2003, the World Bank remarked that donor disbursement to the West Bank and Gaza remains the highest sustained rate of per capita disbursements to an aid recipient in the world since the Second World War.” At the beginning of the Oslo process, funds were intended to bolster the peace process by building confidence that it would improve Palestinians’ lives by providing a “peace dividend,” supporting Palestinian economic development as a method for achieving autonomy and, eventually, independence. Neither peace nor independence materialized, however, and two decades later, international support aimed simply to maintain the status quo and prevent the collapse of the Authority rather than contribute to progressive change.
[. . . .] Events on the ground constantly affect the permutations of international assistance. Failed talks, concerns over corruption, Israeli settlement building, and Palestinian violence have all affected the provision of aid and the relationships between internationals and local elites. International contributions to the governance regime are partially contingent upon politics and immediate events, but they are simultaneously shaped by the experiences and expertise of those delivering aid. Over the decades of integral international assistance, ideas about the necessity of institutions, the links between development and peace, and the provision of international assistance in humanitarian catastrophes influenced donors and aid organizations. In addition, these ideas affect the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority—who today serve as co-governors of territory and population—and the parameters of Palestinian resistance.    FULL ARTICLE.

SAUDI  ARABIA  PLEDGES  FULL  SUPPORT  TO  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Nov. 30, 2017 ― Manal Radwan, Saudi Arabia’s delegate at the United Nations, pledged on Thursday during a United Nations General Assembly meeting on the situation in the Near East and on the “question of Palestine” that her country will continue to support the Palestinian people in their cause for self-determination and statehood.
___Radwan reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s support “for the Palestinian people in their historic struggle for the realization of their inalienable rights, foremost of which is the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian State on all the Palestinian land occupied since 1967.”
___She condemned Israel, the occupying power, for its violations against the Palestinians people, including the killing of innocent civilians, illegal settlement construction and expansion, the theft of Palestinian land and the demolition of thousands of homes since the Palestinian exodus (Nakba) in 1948.  MORE . . .
ISRAELI SETTLERS SHOT DEAD A PALESTINIAN FARMER IN NABLUS   
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Nov. 30, 2017 ― A Palestinian farmer was shot dead by Israeli settlers while he was working in his land near the village of Qusra, south of Nablus in the West Bank.
___Israeli settlers reportedly opened fire at Mahmoud Zaal Odeh, in his forties, injuring him seriously. He was announced dead a few minutes later.
___This is not the first time a Palestinian is killed by illegal Israeli settlers. On May 18, an Israeli settler shot and killed a 23-year-old Palestinian during a protest in Huwwata, to the south of Nablus.
___In 2016 alone, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 107 settler attacks on Palestinians. . .    MORE . . .   ..

“HELLO, PALESTINE,” BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE
In the hours after you died,
all the pain went out of your face.
Whole governments relaxed
in your jaw line.
How long had you been away
from the place you loved best?
Every minute was too much.
Each year’s bundle of horror stories:
more trees chapped,
homes demolished,
people gone crazy.
You’d turn your face
away from the screen.
At the end you spoke
to your own blood
filtering through a machine:
We’ll get there again, friend.
When you died, your long frustration
zipped its case closed.
Everyone in a body is chosen
for trouble and bliss.
At least nothing got amputated, I said,
and the nurses looked quizzical.
Well, if only you had seen his country.

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.

“. . . fill prisons with dignity . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ Israeli forces order Jordan Valley farmers off their land
. . . . . ―❶ (ᴀ) Hamdallah: Israeli plans to forcibly transfer Bedouins in E1 ‘cross a red line’

  • Background: “Dignity Takings and Dispossession in Israel.” Law & Social Inquiry 

❷ Jordan’s King: Just solution of the Palestinian cause brings regional stability
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  The national Bureau: a new Nakbah may take place if Israel forces Bedouin communities to leave their lands
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  ORDER  JORDAN  VALLEY  FARMERS  OFF  THEIR  LAND       
Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces on Wednesday morning reportedly forced Palestinian farmers off lands they were working on in the Jordan Valley area of the Tubas district in the northern occupied West Bank, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned WAFA news agency.
___WAFA reported that Israeli forces ordered a group of Palestinian farmers near the village of Sakout to stop working and leave the lands immediately.
___While it remained unclear why the farmers were suddenly ordered off their land, the Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ―❶ (ᴀ) HAMDALLAH:  ISRAELI  PLANS  TO  FORCIBLY  TRANSFER  BEDOUINS  IN  E1  ‘CROSS  A  RED  LINE’
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 28, 2017 ― Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah released a statement on Monday expressing the government’s solidarity with the hundreds of Palestinian Bedouins in the community of Jabal al-Baba at risk of forcible displacement by the Israeli government.
___Earlier this month, Israeli forces distributed evacuation notices to all 300 Palestinian residents of the village in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, saying the residents had eight days to move to a “relocation site” designated for them by Israeli authorities.
___The village is populated by some 55 Bedouin families who have inhabited the area for 65 years — after being forced out of their original lands in 1948 when Israel was created — and face constant threat of being expelled from their homes.
___“As the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, let me say clearly: we stand with our Palestinian citizens in Jabal al Baba, as well as with all of the other Palestinian communities across the West Bank that Israel seeks to displace in order to build illegal settlements in their place,” Hamdallah said.    MORE . . .     ..

Kedar, Alexandre (Sandy).
“DIGNITY  TAKINGS  AND  DISPOSSESSION  IN  ISRAEL.”
LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, vol. 41, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 866-887.
[. . . .] Dignity takings occur when the state confiscates more than property; such takings simultaneously deny the dispossessed their dignity. Dignity presumes that human beings are of equal value, and entails a respect for each person’s autonomy. As such, dignity takings deny these core values. . . .
___Dignity taking entails five major elements: (1) “A state directly or indirectly” takes property. (2) “Destroys or confiscates property.” Such dignity takings are often effectuated through brutal and unilateral state force. . .  Atuahene emphasizes the function of property as personhood. Accordingly, when persons are displaced from their homes and properties, they suffer great emotional harm. . . . (3) “From owners or occupiers”. (4) “Whom it deems to be sub persons.” This includes dehumanization, “the failure to recognize an individual or group’s humanness”. It can also occur via infantilization, which is the “restriction of an individual or group’s autonomy based on the failure to recognize and respect their full capacity to reason” or treating them as if they were minors. (5) “Without paying just compensation or without a legitimate public purpose”. Atuahene clarifies that “just compensation” is not sufficient. If the landholder cannot reject the compensation offered and remain on the property, and the taking was not the result of a “legitimate public purpose” but part of a “larger strategy to dehumanize or infantilize” a specific group . . . this qualifies as a dignity taking.
[. . . .] To conclude, the concept of dignity takings, with some qualifications, adaptations, and transformations, can serve as an effective tool in analyzing the dispossession of Palestinians land in and by Israel. The concept highlights not only the material loss and harm done by these takings, but simultaneously the ways in which they inflicted devastating blows to the dignity and humanity of the dispossessed. Finally, the recognition that a certain taking or type of taking such as the Land Acquisition Law and Negev Bedouin cases constitute dignity taking should guide us in devising restitution processes that would restore not only the pecuniary value of the land, but also the taken dignity. Such restoration should recognize both past wrongs and present interests and impediments, while striving to design a healing future.   SOURCE . . .

❷ JORDAN’S  KING:  JUST  SOLUTION  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  BRINGS  REGIONAL  STABILITY 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 29, 2017 ― King of Jordan Abdullah II said on Tuesday evening that reaching a just and permanent solution of the Palestinian cause will lead to achieving security and stability in the entire region.
___King Abdullah, during a meeting in Washington with U.S. senators, called for reviving peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis based on a two-state solution and the resolutions of international community, leading to the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and living side by side with Israel.   MORE . . .   ..
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS:   THE  NATIONAL  BUREAU:  A  NEW  NAKBAH  MAY  TAKE  PLACE  IF  ISRAEL  FORCES  BEDOUIN  COMMUNITIES  TO  LEAVE  THEIR  LANDS    Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 29, 2017 ― The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements released the weekly report on settlements named Israel’s plans Ethnic Cleansing The Bedouin Communities Surrounding Jerusalem in which they wrote:
___“The deadline given by the occupation authorities to the citizens of the Jabal Al-Baba in the Eizariya town, Jerusalem, to leave their land, properties and homes ended last week.  Thus, a new Nakbah (catastrophe) may take place should they succeed in implementing the plan, which means besieging the city of Jerusalem as a whole, and completely isolating it from its Palestinian surroundings.
___The Judaization, racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing policy that carried out by the occupation government against the Palestinian citizens in the East Jerusalem i.e. the Bedouin communities in Jabal-Baba, Arab-Jahalin and Abu-Nawar community to evacuate them requires the world countries. . . to intervene. . . ”  MORE . . .

“HERE  WE  SHALL  STAY,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain
like a wall upon your chest,
and in your throat
like a shard of glass,
a cactus thorn,
and in your eyes
a sandstorm.

We shall remain
a wall upon your chest,
clean dishes in your restaurants,
serve drinks in your bars,
sweep the floors of your kitchens
to snatch a bite for our children
from your blue fangs.

Here we shall stay,
sing our songs,
take to the angry streets,
fill prisons with dignity.
In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain,
guard the shade of the fig
and olive trees,
ferment rebellion in our children
as yeast in the dough.

—translated by Sharif Elmusa and Charles Doria
From poemhunter.com
Tawfiq Zyyad (7 May 1929 – 5 July 1994) was a Palestinian politician well known for his “poetry of protest”. Born in the Galilee, Zyyad studied literature in USSR. He was elected mayor of Nazareth, a victory that “surprised and alarmed” Israelis. Elected to the Knesset 1973, Zyyad was active in pressuring the Israeli government to change its policies towards Palestinians both in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. A report he co-authored. . .  (More . . .)