“. . . lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits . . .” (Walid Khazindar)

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Homes seen from main street in Shufat. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| EU  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  SHUAFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP
The  EUROPEAN  UNION  on Saturday evening condemned Israel’s demolition of around 20 structures in Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, as well as the continued Israeli settlement expansion in the city.    ___The demolitions were part of the Israeli municipality’s new policy of extending the reach of municipal enforcement to refugee camps in Jerusalem.    ___“The policy of settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JORDANIAN  initiative launched to highlight Gaza siege
. . . . Related  Al-Malki meets  JAPANESE  counterpart at the Mediterranean Dialogues
. . . . Related  Palestine and  TURKEY  sign agreement on women’s empowerment
.  .  .  .  .  Istanbul summit  seeks to empower family in age of self
. . . . Related RUSSIA  offers to mediate between Palestinians and Israel
|   COMMISSION  SOUNDS  ALARM  OVER  ISRAEL’S  JUDAIZATION  SCHEMES  AROUND  AQSA 
The Commission of Scholars and Preachers in Occupied Jerusalem has warned of the repercussions of Israel’s violations and Judaization schemes beneath and around holy al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The commission said in a statement that Israel’s so-called “biblical gardens”, “Holy Basin”, and “Biblical Paths” have dangerous upshots on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The statement warned of an Israeli scheme of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians living in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, in Silwan, south of al-Aqsa Mosque, as part of the so-called “Biblical gardens” project.    More . . .

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Homes just outside wall of Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  JERUSALEM  GOVERNOR  FOR  2ND  TIME
Israeli forces detained the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, on Sunday morning, after raiding his home in the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.    ___Local sources confirmed that following Ghaith’s detention, Israeli forces transferred him to an interrogation center in Jerusalem City.    ___It is noteworthy that this is Ghaith’s  second detention  in less than a month.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Minors among 9  detained by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israeli forces surround, attack high school in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers uproot dozens of olive trees in West Bank village
. . . . Related  IOF causes damages to shops near Nablus

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
‘I  THOUGHT  I  KNEW  ABOUT  PALESTINE,  UNTIL  I  SAW  THE  OCCUPATION  FIRST  HAND’ 
Film director Toomas Järvet discusses  Rough  Stage  ahead of its screening at the London Palestine Film Festival on 27 November.    [. . . .] As far as director Järvet is concerned, the essence of the film is very simple; how to stay true to what you believe in and what you want to achieve no matter what the obstacles are in life. “The ideas and problems the film talks about are very common and universal,” he insists.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
THE  JERUSALEM  FUND  –  PALESTINE  DIABETES  INSTITUTE  APPEAL
[. . . .] Now that the US administration has withheld financial support to the Palestinian Authority, to Jerusalem hospitals, and to UNRWA, it has made an already tough situation much worse. The vulnerable diabetic patients may be facing more complications. Your donation at this time will ensure that the PDI will continue to provide valuable services to these patients.    ___Life in the West Bank and Gaza is challenging at every turn, and things have reached a crisis point. With the new developments, it is certain to get worse. Your contribution targeted to the PDI program will make a difference in the lives of these patients. Please contribute generously to the extent that you can, as your donation will help Palestinians stay healthier and productive.   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HOUSES,”  BY  WALID  KHAZINDAR

The cloud of migrations in his eyes,
and in the leather briefcase the book, the pencil, the family photograph
The rust of benches on his hands, the rust of bannisters and doorknobs,
the rust of handshakes on his hands.
The briefcase propped against the wall—
will he take out his souvenirs first, or will he
Like a magician take out a country:
a house,
a street,
a capital.
He closed his eye, lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits.
He will not make friends with another vase,
he will not confess to a bed that will blow up in the next war,
he will not make tea or sing,
He will pace back and forth for a long time between the porch and the kitchen
and he will listen hard for a sound coming from the garden gate.
But there is only the crunching of leaves under feet
passing
then
going on;
there is nothing but the hum of talk in the houses next door.

–Translated by Lena Jayyusi and W.S. Merwin

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

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

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

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

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

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

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

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

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

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

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

“. . . people to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

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Shops along main street of Shufat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
 TRUMP’S  PEACE  DEAL  ‘WASTE  OF  TIME,’  ISRAELI  MINISTER  SAYS
Israeli-Palestinian peace plan being prepared by US President Donald Trump is “a waste of time,” extremist Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Wednesday.    ___Speaking before hundreds of ambassadors and attaches at the Jerusalem Post Diplomats’ Conference in Jerusalem, Shaked added that the differences between Israelis and Palestinians are too great.    ___”I want peace like everyone else,” she said, “but I do not believe an agreement can be reached. I would tell Trump: ‘Do not waste your time.'”   ___Shaked also spoke about the demand made by her party, the Jewish Home, to appoint party leader Naftali Bennett as defence minister – an ultimatum that threatened the stability of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel  refuses  to  sign  international  migration  pact (“Israel has to follow a special migration policy specified by its circumstances as a small state which aims to maintain its Jewish nationality.”)
. . . . Related  Ashrawi  of  PLO  urges  Slovenia  to  recognize  state  of  Palestine
|    ISRAELI  DEMOLITION  CAMPAIGN  IN  SHUFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  COMMENCES
Israeli bulldozers demolished dozens of Palestinian-owned shops in the Shufat refugee camp, in occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.   ___Israeli forces along with the Israeli Civil Administration staff stormed the Shufat refugee camp earlier and delivered demolition notices to more than 20 Palestinian shops, with only 12 hours to evacuate the premises before the demolitions commence.    ___Thaer Fasfous, spokesperson of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, said that hundreds of Israeli forces and Israeli Civil Administration staff members were deployed across the area, while bulldozers began to demolish the shops.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  Soldiers  Abduct  Two  Palestinians  In  HEBRON
. . . . Related  Army  Abducts  A  Legislator  In  RAMALLAH
. . . . Related  Israeli  Soldiers  Demolish  A  Residential  Shed,  Retaining  Walls,  Near  NABLUS
. . . . Related  Soldiers  Detonate  Doors  Of  Homes  And  Stores,  Before  Invading  Them,  Near  TULKAREM

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Home demolition by Israelis in Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|    KRAHENBUHL  APPLAUDS  INTERNATIONAL  EFFORT  FOR  KEEPING  UNRWA  AFLOAT    Addressing the delegates at the Advisory Commission of host governments and leading donors of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, applauded the resolve and creativity with which the agency and the international community addressed its “greatest financial predicament ever.”    ___Krahenbuhl thanked the many partners who “rose to the occasion” to help, collectively, to reduce the staggering shortfall of $446 million at the start of this year and said, “Today, I am very pleased to announce that, overall since January, donors contributed or pledged an additional $425 million, bringing our shortfall down to $21 million.”     More . . .
. . . . Related  Erekat: ‘Israel should be condemned at UN, not Hamas’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
   HOW  ISRAEL  WEAPONISES  ANTI-SEMITISM  TO  BLOCK  MIDDLE  EAST  PEACE
By Ray Hanania
One of Israel’s most powerful weapons against the voices of Palestinian rights has been the exploitation of Jewish history — the Holocaust included — to justify its own atrocities against non-Jews. The Holocaust is undeniably one of the worst human tragedies in human history, an evil horror in which Nazis sought to cleanse the world of Jews and their religion.    ___The hatred that fuelled Nazi atrocities before and during World War Two were undoubtedly driven by anti-Semitism. Since then, though, anti-Semitism has been weaponised by Israel, not just to confront the Holocaust deniers, the neo-Nazis and the hate filled anti-Semites, but also to undermine the righteous movement of justice to restore the inalienable rights of Christians and Muslims in Palestine.    ___Any criticism of Israel is now being denounced as “anti-Semitism”.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“ANY  REFUGEES  IN  THE  WORLD,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror trove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?

are Palestinians any different from any other refugees?
is it not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?

why are they being asked to settle
for money?
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicians tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?

between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only
honorable
demographic.

time for peace
now.

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.

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Shufat neighbors explaining home demolition to members of Sabeel, Jerusalem, delegation (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

“. . . settlers sucking the breath from your lungs . . .” (Susan Abulhawa)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAEL,  GAZA  CLOSE  TO  CEASEFIRE:  ISRAELI  SOURCE
Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are close to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, a report said Saturday, citing a high-level Israeli source.    ___According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, an unnamed senior political figure leaked that a deal was in the making between Israel and the Gazan administration to allow Qatar to provide the enclave with funds to pay its civil servants as well as fuel.    ___The source added that the Israeli side would audit the funds to ensure they were not being used for “terror activities”.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAEL-HAMAS  GAZA  DEAL  REPORTEDLY  INCLUDES  PARTIAL  LIFTING  OF  SIEGE,  END  OF  VIOLENCE  BY  YEAR’S  END
|   TEENAGE  GAZAN  DIES  OF  INJURIES  SUSTAINED  IN  2014  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE
A Palestinian 14-year-old boy died, on Saturday morning, of wounds he had sustained in an Israeli airstrike that targeted his family home in the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014.    ___The al-Wafaa Hospital for Rehabilitation and Specialized Surgery announced that Muhammad al-Rifi, 14, died of his injuries on Saturday morning.    ___The hospital pointed out that al-Rifi had sustained a critical injury in his cervical vertebrae, which left Muhammad Quadriplegic and on ventilators for four years.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  MILITARY  INTENSIFIES  CRACKDOWN  ON  TULKARM
Israeli forces on Saturday evening raided many homes and terrorized their residents in the city of Tulkarm, northern West Bank, in a step seen as a collective punishment measure against the city’s population, according to witnesses.    [. . . .] For almost a month, the city has been a target of almost daily raids and searches by the Israeli army under the pretext of pursuing Ashraf Na’alweh, 23, the main suspect in killing two Israeli settlers in the illegal Israel settlement of Barkan on October 7.    More . . .
|    RESEARCHER:  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  THREATENED  WITH  COLLAPSE
Fakhri Abu Diab, a Palestinian expert in Jerusalem affairs, on Thursday said that al-Aqsa Mosque and all of its facilities and walls are on the verge of collapse.    ___Abu Diab said that the Israeli authorities have prevented the restoration of al-Aqsa Mosque’s eastern wall after damage and change in the colors of its stones appeared lately.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THIS  IS  JUST  THE  BEGINNING’:  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  JERUSALEM  FEAR  MUNICIPALITY  TAKEOVER  OF  UNRWA
It was a typical Tuesday morning in the Shufat Refugee Camp in occupied East Jerusalem. . .    The camp’s residents were surprised to find 15 sanitation workers from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, escorted by Israeli border police and garbage trucks, picking up trash in the streets. Among them was Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.    [. . . . ] The cleanup, largely regarded by locals as a power play by Barkat, was publicized by the right-wing Mayor as the first step in his plans to “end the refugee lie” and shut down UNRWA operations in Jerusalem — plans which he announced earlier this month.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 
(Susan Abulhawa is deported from Israel for second time in three years.   More . . .)

“WALA,”  BY  SUSAN  ABULHAWA     

It’s 3 am
In the cattle cage
The line is long
A jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Clutched in your callused laborer’s hand
Your wife prepared your breakfast and lunch
She was up before you
And together you prayed a predawn salat
She kissed your face and said
Allah ma’ak ya habibi
Allah be with you, my love
You kiss the faces of your sleeping babies
You haven’t seen them awake in months
And you wonder
Has Walid’s voice begun to crack yet?
Have Wijdad’s hips begun to flare?
How big was Suraya’s smile when she came home
with her report card?
It’s 4 am
In the cattle cage
Still, you wait
The line before you is so long
And behind you now, it is longer
Few speak
You’re packed so damn tight
That you hold one another upright
You see your own fatigue
Reflected in the weariness etched on
The faces all around you
You look away
Pine for a smoke
But who the hell can afford that?
You stare at the graffiti beyond the
Iron bars holding you in
Written just for you
Written
By zionist settlers sucking the breath from your lungs
You understand the meaning
Of their English words
“Die Sand Niggers”
Sometimes
You pine for that, too.
It’s 5 am
In the cattle cage
The soldiers arrive
The line loosens
You take one step forward
Propelled by the weight of bodies
Behind you
Your jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Is crushed.
It never survives
It’s 7 am
In the cattle cage
Now is your turn
You produce your papers
Unfold and refold
Eyes down
Heart dow
Your shoes are down on their luck
But
You’re out of the line
Fifteen men before you were pulled aside
And you tried not to look
Not to hear the one begging
Don’t hit me
It’s 7:30 am
On the cattle busYou ride
The country they stole from you
Seeds outside your window
And you imagine
The man you would have been
The man you should have been
Out there
Riding the family steed
The thoroughbred mares your grandfather
Raised and nurtured and love
In a Palestine
Un-raped
Un-stolen
It’s 8 am
You get off the cattle bus
Your crushed jibneh sandwich
With cucumberIn a plastic bag
In one hand
Your eyes down
Heart down
You put your toolbox down to knock
On the zionist settler’s back door
Where the help goes
But
The zionist settler boss-man yells
Wala
Mish hon el yom!
Not there today
Boy!
And all you can do is thank Allah that your
Wife and your babies are not
There to hear them call you

From  MY  VOICE  SOUGHT  THE  WIND.   Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . Soldiers stalk a pharmacy: big guns, little pills . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY. . .

ISRAEL  ORDERS  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  RESIDENTS  TO  EVACUATE  BEFORE  OCTOBER
The Israeli Civil Administration ordered on Sunday the Bedouin residents of Khan al-Ahmar village, east of Jerusalem, to demolish their homes and to evacuate the area before the start of October.  ___According to local sources, staff members of the Israeli Civil Administration under the protection of Israeli forces stormed Khan al-Ahmar and handed evacuation notices to the residents, ordering them to demolish their homes and evacuate the village within the given timeframe.   ___Sources said that Israeli forces threatened the residents in case of non-implementation of the notices, the Israeli army would demolish the village.   More .
Related . . .  ISRAEL  NOTIFIES  TO  DEMOLISH  7  HOMES  NEAR  JERICHO

34  [U.S.]  SENATE  DEMOCRATS  URGE  TRUMP  TO  RESTORE  AID  TO  THE  PALESTINIANS     Lawmakers warn president’s ‘strategy of forcing PA to negotiating table by withholding humanitarian assistance from women and children is misguided and destined to backfire.’
Two-thirds of Democrats in the Senate and a third of the entire body signed a letter to US President Donald Trump urging him to reinstate assistance to the Palestinians. . .   ___“Eliminating funds for programs that provide clean water, food, education, and medical services for Palestinians will exacerbate poverty, fuel extremism, further reduce the chance of a future peace agreement and threaten Israel’s security,” said the letter sent Friday [. . . .] The letter was initiated by Sens. Chris Van Hollen, Diane Feinstein and Chris Coons.  JEWISH  SIGNATORIES  include Feinstein, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Brian Schatz.   More . . .

IOF  PREVENT  MINISTER  OF  EDUCATION  FROM  PASSING  THROUGH  CHECKPOINT
Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday morning prevented Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Sabri Saidam from entering Beit Iksa checkpoint to inspect the educational process in the town.   ___The Ministry of Education said in a press statement that the minister and his delegation . . . considering that this prohibition comes as part of a deliberate campaign against Minister Siddam and the educational leadership.    More .

COMMENTARY  AND  OPINION. . . .

THE  HOLOCAUST,  VENGEANCE  AND  THE  PALESTINIANS
Philip Weiss
For Jews 50 and older, there is only one collective memory. It was given to me when I was little, when my mother told me about the Jews hiding . . .   It did not matter that the actual memory was not my mother’s or mine. This had happened to us, the Jews. She’d been a girl when the news had broken in the U.S. The memory was fresh, and ours to carry.   [. . . .] I went to Warsaw. Actually seeing the scene of the boots and the scant memorials to its existence was disturbing; and when I got home I began reading Warsaw memoirs. [. . . .] One surprise of these memoirs was a simple one that probably should have been obvious. The remnant of Jews who survived the ghetto liquidation in 1942 and who undertook the noble doomed uprising in 1943 had an overriding motivation: They wanted revenge.   More . . .

HOW  THE  SPANISH  COURTS  BECAME  A  BATTLEGROUND  FOR  ISRAEL’S  ANTI-BDS  EFFORTS
On 4 September, a Spanish district court annulled a resolution to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The resolution had been put forward by the municipal council of Ayamonte, a small town situated on the border with Portugal, and advocated for a ban on any association with Israeli companies or organisations.    [. . . .]   So why the about-turn? One thread tying the above three cases together is ACOM, or Acción y Comunicación sobre Oriente Medio (Action and Communication on the Middle East). ACOM describes itself as a “non-denominational and independent organization that aims to reinforce the political relationship between Spain and Israel by working with governments, political parties, the media and civil society.” . . .  ACOM has been on the front line of Israel’s efforts to quash support for BDS, embroiling the Spanish courts in a tug of war in the process.   [. . . .] links with right-wing NGOs and the Israeli political elite have placed ACOM at the forefront of Israel’s anti-BDS war.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

FRIENDS  OF  SABEEL  NORTH  AMERICA    Prophetic  Action:  Christians  Convening  for  Palestine – September 27, 2018 to September 28, 2018
FOSNA
is a nonprofit, tax-exempt Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolent advocacy and education. Sabeel is an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians, who seek a just peace as defined by international law and existing United Nations resolutions. “Join us for Prophetic Action: Christians Convening for Palestine. . . in concert with this year’s US Campaign for Palestinian Rights conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prophetic Action will be one of the largest ecumenical gatherings of Christian leaders and activists for Palestinian rights.”  Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE

“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.
The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

—From Naomi Shihab Nye,  THE  RED  SUITCASE.  BOA Editions, Ltd. (1994).

 

 

“. . . I am all that remains of our earth . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

❶ Israeli forces suppress protests marking Balfour Declaration centenary

  • Background: “The Framing of the Question of Palestine by the Early Palestinian Press: Zionist Settler-Colonialism and the Newspaper Filastin, 1912-1922.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Ashrawi condemns Israeli plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem
❸ More Illegal Israeli Settlements
❹ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  SUPPRESS  PROTESTS  MARKING  BALFOUR  DECLARATION  CENTENARY
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 1, 2017 ― Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Bethlehem city on Wednesday following a march commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 document which supported establishing a Jewish state on what would become British Mandate Palestine, and paved the what for the to the establishment of Israel.
___Palestinian protesters marched from the southern to northern ends of the city, until they reached Israel’s separation wall. Protesters set up an effigy of Arthur Balfour, the author of the declaration, beating and throwing shoes at the figure while burning a copy of the declaration.
___Members of various Palestinian political factions had called for the march in protest of the 100 year anniversary of the declaration, and of recent comments by British Prime Minister Theresa May celebrating the centenary of the declaration.
___Israeli forces quickly suppressed the protest, using live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas, injuring one with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the foot, while several others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation.  MORE . . .

Pappe, Ilan.
“THE FRAMING OF THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE BY THE EARLY PALESTINIAN PRESS: ZIONIST SETTLER-COLONIALISM AND THE NEWSPAPER FILASTIN, 1912-1922.”
Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies
, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 59-81.
[. . . .]  Settler colonialism depicts the Zionist movement as a project that had all the characteristics of a colonialist enterprise, initiated by people coming from Europe and settling in the rest of the world, but who developed their own, and new, national identity within the colony or the colonised area (as happened in Australia, the USA and elsewhere).
[. . . .] The settler-colonialism paradigm focuses on those who colonised, invaded and settled. The victims are the same whether they are the genocided indigenous population of the Americas or the colonised natives of South Africa and Palestine. As their fate proves they were not fighting only against classical colonial exploitation but against their physical or conceptual elimination as a nation in their own right. . . .  Palestine, if indeed one accepts even in part the applicability of the paradigm to this case study, offered a very articulate, documented and written response to ‘their’ settler colonialism. This local view is described in this article not as regular feature of national discourse or even liberation . . .   but as an existential angst, warranted by the very nature of settler colonialism. It was angst voiced in a very definitive period, just before and during the First World War and has impacted on the Palestinian very existence ever since, and in particular when the angst proved to be validated by the events of the 1948 war in Palestine.
[. . . .] In similar vein, Yusuf Diya Pasha al-Khalidi wrote [in 1891] to the Chief Rabbi of France appealing to him to halt Jewish colonisation, predicting it would lead to a violent conflict: ‘There were still uninhabited countries where one could settle millions of poor Jews. . . But in the name of God let Palestine be left in peace.’
[. . . .] Zionism became a central issue when Britain occupied Palestine and established a League of Nations’ Mandate there. Early suspicions of the pro-Zionist bias of the new rulers arose when the Zionist committee of delegates (Va’ad Hazirim) was invited by Britain in April 1918 to survey the country and examine the, still secret then, pledge by the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, to create a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. The committee transformed the Jews in Palestine from religious millet into a political movement with a representative body, claiming the right to own Palestine.   SOURCE.

ASHRAWI  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  PLAN  TO  ETHNICALLY  CLEANSE  PALESTINIANS  FROM  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 31, 2017 ― PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi Tuesday condemned what she described as “the dangerous plan” proposed by Israel’s Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin aimed at ethnic cleansing Palestinians from Jerusalem by splitting off the Palestinian neighborhoods situated next to the Apartheid Wall from the so-called Jerusalem Municipality, placing them under a new Israeli jurisdiction.
___Elkin’s plan specifically targets Shufat refugee camp, Kufr Aqab, al-Walaja, and a small part of al-Sawahreh. The measure is expected to affect between 100,000 to 150,000 Palestinians living in these neighborhoods.
___“Should this be adopted, such a deplorable plan would forcibly displace thousands of indigenous Palestinian Jerusalemites and transform their status to ‘non-existence,’ depriving them of the most basic rights and services, including shelter, healthcare and education. It is beyond a doubt that Israel is deliberately working to erase the Palestinian presence from our occupied capital and to distort the demographic, cultural, religious, and political character of the city,” said Ashrawi.   MORE . . .
MORE  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Palestine at the UN    
Oct. 18, 2017 ― Israel’s constant provocative declarations and advancement of plans to construct and expand Israeli settlements throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, in direct and grave contravention of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and in blatant defiance of the international community, continue to heighten tensions and to undermine any efforts to salvage the two-State solution on the 1967 lines and the prospects for peace.
___In this connection, yesterday, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office issued a press release announcing its plans to construct 3,736 more settlement units throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
[. . . .] It is clear that with each announcement of further Israeli settlement construction the Government of Israel reveals its true and unlawful intentions, which is to annex and colonize more and more Palestinian land and to persist with its half-century foreign occupation. The global consensus continues to be in support of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines as the only viable solution and foundation for a just and comprehensive peace. . . .  Israel’s provocative and inciteful rhetoric, decisions and actions are totally to the contrary of this global consensus and constitute grave breaches of international law . . .    MORE . . .

“TO  A  CLOUD,”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN

I am the land,
I am the land . . . do not deny me rain,
I am all that remains of it,
If you plant my brow with trees
And turn my poetry into vineyards
And wheat
And roses
That you may know me.
So let the rain pour down.

I, cloud of my life, am the hills of Galilee,
I am the bosom of Haifa
And the forehead of Jaffa.
So do not whisper: it is impossible.
Can you not hear my child’s approaching footsteps
At the threshold of your soul?
Can you not see the veins of my brow
Striving to kiss your lips?

Waiting for you, my poetry turned to earth,
Has become fields,
Has turned into wheat
And trees.
I am all that remains of our earth,
I am all that remains of what you love,
So pour . . . pour with bounty.
Pour down the rain.

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 Rashid Hussein

“. . . The windows of the sky closed, And the city held its breath . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

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Demolished home in Shuafat neighborhood, East Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

❶ Israeli authorities demolish Palestinian-owned building in Issawiya

  • Background: “Whose Place? Emplaced Narratives and the Politics of Belonging in East Jerusalem’s Contested Neighbourhood of Silwan.” Space & Polity.

❷ EU Condemns Israel’s Illegal Settlement Plans
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) “The [Italian] Foreign Ministry expresses concern for the recent advancement in the plan to build new housing units in East Jerusalem.”
❸ PHOTO ESSAY: How Israel’s wall keeps Palestinian farmers off their land
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  BUILDING  IN  ISSAWIYA 
Ma’an News Agency 
July 11, 2017.   Israeli forces demolished a four-story, under-construction building in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Tuesday morning, despite its Palestinian landowner having a schedule meeting with Israeli authorities to postpone the demolition.
___Owner of the building Hanan Mahmoud told Ma’an that she and her family were caught by surprise when four bulldozers escorted by armed Israeli forces stormed the area at around 4 a.m. and began razing the building to the ground.
___Construction of the four-floor building — comprised of six apartments, with the ground floor planned to be used as shops — started about a year ago.   MORE . . .

[Blogger’s note: This article is complex but quite accessible to the lay person. It is a thorough and fascinating study of the conflicting claims to “ownership” of Jerusalem.]

Mannergren Selimovic, Johanna and Lisa Strömbom. “WHOSE  PLACE?  EMPLACED  NARRATIVES  AND  THE  POLITICS  OF  BELONGING  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM’S  CONTESTED  NEIGHBOURHOOD  OF  SILWAN.”  Space & Polity, vol. 19, no. 2, Aug. 2015, pp. 191-205.
[. . . .] . . .  a close reading of the neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem. This dense, urban area is a highly tangible place where several spatial and narrative practices collide in many regards epitomizing the larger Israeli–Palestinian conflict. . . interrelatedness of narratives and material structure . . . places as physical sites are embedded in and based on collective memories and metanarratives of societies. The neighbourhood of Silwan has been partly appropriated by an archaeological excavation site, which is managed and controlled by the Jewish settler organization Elad and sanctioned by the Israeli state. Elad’s stated aim is to increase the Jewish connections to Jerusalem . . .  The organization uses the archaeological findings to support a coherent historical narrative that underpins the Israeli autochthonous [“Originating where found; found where it originates”] claim of “having been here first”. In addition to the excavation site and its concomitant tourist centre, this narrative is materialized through about 40 Jewish microsettlements in Silwan . . .  Palestinian inhabitants strongly protest the development of the archaeological site and the Jewish settlements, as it has brought demolitions of homes and of shared urban spaces. They challenge the autochthonous claims of Elad through the Palestinian nationalist narrative of authentic belonging, centred around the principle of “Sumud”, which refers to the political project of “steadfastness” or “clinging to one’s land”. In opposition to these two claims of belonging, a counternarrative . . .  visualizes a fluid and fragmented past and attempts to fill the place of Silwan/City of David with an alternative material and symbolic meaning of inclusion. This counternarrative is articulated by critical archaeologists as well as parts of Israeli civil society that challenge Elad’s claims to the place in particular, and the Israeli heritage “industry” in general.   SOURCE . . .

❷ EU  CONDEMNS  ISRAEL’S  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  PLANS   
The Palestine Chronicle  
July 7, 2017.    The European Union (EU) condemned Israel’s plans to advance some 1,500 new illegal settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem in a statement released Friday, which said the plans “undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace.”
___The spokesperson for the EU reiterated that Israel’s settlement policy was illegal under international law, adding that the move would “undermine” the two-state solution and the “prospect for lasting peace.”
___Israeli NGO Peace Now reported on Monday that Israeli authorities were planning to discuss the advancement of nearly 1,800 housing units for illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) “THE  [ITALIAN]  FOREIGN  MINISTRY  EXPRESSES  CONCERN  FOR  THE  RECENT  ADVANCEMENT  IN  THE  PLAN  TO  BUILD  NEW  HOUSING  UNITS  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
July 11, 2017.   MORE . . .

IMG_3397
Construction of Apartheid Wall extension through farmland at Cremisan – note the diminutive workman standing to the right of the wall. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

❸ PHOTO  ESSAY:  HOW  ISRAEL’S  WALL  KEEPS  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  OFF  THEIR  LAND
+972 Magazine/Activestills.org   
Ahmad Al-Bazz and Haidi Motola
July 11, 2017.   Approximately 100 Palestinian farmers protested on Sunday morning in front of an Israeli military gate in the northern West Bank, calling on the army to ease restrictions on their daily journey through the gate, which separates them from their land.
___Joined by some 10 anti-occupation Israeli activists and several international human rights observers, the farmers refused to cross through Military Gate 623, part of Israel’s separation barrier, instead calling on the army to renew expired entry permits for their family members, to issue permits for their workers, and to open the gate earlier than 7 a.m. on a daily basis, due to the recent heatwave.     MORE . . .

“MY SAD CITY,” BY FADWA TUQAN
(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gaging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri
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.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

“. . . City of sorrows, a huge tear/trembling on your eyelid . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

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Israeli flags flying from buildings taken over from Palestinians in the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)

❶ Battle for Jerusalem taking a serious turn, says analyst
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Jerusalem Divided by Walls of Fear, Hatred, Experts Tell International Conference on Palestine Question
❷ PA calls on UN to intervene against latest Israeli plans to ‘Judaize’ East Jerusalem
Background: Cabinet Approves Building Cable Car To Western Wall
❸ Israel approves plan to teach Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools
❹ March of the Zealots: a report from ‘Jerusalem Day’
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) Triumphalist light show in Jerusalem weaponizes the city walls to celebrate 50th anniversary of Jewish conquest
❺ POETRY by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BATTLE  FOR  JERUSALEM  TAKING  A  SERIOUS  TURN,  SAYS  ANALYST  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA       
May 30, 2017
The battle for control over East Jerusalem is taking a serious turn with Israeli plans to completely change its demographic character and culture, director of the Arab Studies Society’s Mapping Department Khalil Tafakji said on Tuesday.
___Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Tafakji said Israel is forcing Palestinian schools to switch to the Israeli curriculum, wants to displace its Palestinians residents and plans to implement several projects in an effort to turn the city into a Jewish one.
___. . . Israel wants to secede two densely populated East Jerusalem neighborhoods – Shufat refugee camp and Kufr Aqab . . . in order to change the demographic character of the occupied city.
___Israel also plans to build a cable car that goes over the old city of Jerusalem that is expected to change its historic and cultural character.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  JERUSALEM  DIVIDED  BY  WALLS  OF  FEAR,  HATRED,  EXPERTS  TELL  INTERNATIONAL  CONFERENCE  ON  PALESTINE  QUESTION: Addressing Occupation’s Legal, Psychological Aspects
United Nations  General Assembly Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People: International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem   
May 3, 2016
The International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem, which opened in Dakar, Senegal, this morning, held its first plenary session in the afternoon, examining life in East Jerusalem under Israeli occupation.
___Daniel Seidemann, Lawyer and Founder of the Israeli non-governmental organization Terrestrial Jerusalem, said the city today was divided by walls of fear and hatred.  It was seeing a popular uprising unprecedented since 1967, due in large part to the “horrendous and savage” murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014.  The incident had conveyed the message that “in the eyes of official Israel, Israeli blood is blood, and its red; Palestinian blood is water”, he said, adding that Palestinian youth felt themselves adrift, while Israeli society was in a state of clinical denial about the occupation.          MORE. . . .
❷ PA  CALLS  ON  UN  TO  INTERVENE  AGAINST  LATEST  ISRAELI  PLANS  TO  ‘JUDAIZE’  EAST  JERUSALEM   
Ma’an News Agency 
May 29, 2017
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the United Nation Security Council on Monday to uphold its responsibilities vis-a-vis international law and protect occupied East Jerusalem from the latest Israeli attempts to “Judaize” the city.
___The statement came a day after the Israeli security cabinet held a controversial meeting in tunnels located underneath the Old City of East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in 1967 in a move which was never recognized by the international community.
___During the meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu notably unveiled a 200 million-shekel ($56 million) plan to build a 1,400-meter long cable car linking western Jerusalem to the Western Wall in the Old City by 2021, Israeli news outlet Ynet reported on Monday.
___Such a project, which Netanyahu said would fall under the purview of the Israeli Tourism Ministry, would in effect limit tourists’ exposure to Palestinian-majority areas of East Jerusalem, and further use the industry as what critics have called a “tool” to enforce the perception of Jerusalem as a Jewish city.     MORE . . .
BACKGROUND: Cabinet Approves Building Cable Car To Western Wall. Times of Israel, May 28, 2017

IMG_2991
Village of Lifta, Jerusalem. Depopulated in 1948, with Israeli developments on every side (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❸ ISRAEL  APPROVES  PLAN  TO  TEACH  ISRAELI  CURRICULUM  IN  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOLS 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      
May 29, 2017
Israeli cabinet approved Sunday a plan to expand  teaching Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools in east Jerusalem for the next five years.
___The plan stated to increase the classes of first grade that will be taught the Israeli curriculum and increase the number of those eligible for the Israeli Bagrut certificate parallel to the Palestinian Tawjihi certificate.       MORE . . .
❹ MARCH  OF  THE  ZEALOTS:  A  REPORT  FROM  ‘JERUSALEM  DAY’   
Mondoweiss
David Kattenburg
May 27, 2017
Ecstatic Zionists celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem, this past Wednesday, were greeted by equally passionate Jewish-American and Israeli protesters intent on blocking the zealots’ march through the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s old city, into the heart of the Arab quarter.
___The annual March of the Flags — commemorating the unification of east and west Jerusalem in the wake of the June 1967 war — is customarily accompanied by tribal chanting and acts of hooliganism, as young Israelis parade through the old city’s narrow alleyways chanting rousing slogans such as “Death to Arabs.” Israeli police ensure in advance that Palestinian shops are shuttered tight — a process referred to as ‘sterilization’. Hard to imagine a sensible shopkeeper doing otherwise.     MORE. . . .
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) TRIUMPHALIST  LIGHT  SHOW  IN  JERUSALEM  WEAPONIZES  THE  CITY  WALLS  TO  CELEBRATE  50TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  JEWISH  CONQUEST
Mondoweiss
Philip Weiss
May 26, 2017
Back in the States, I wondered whether the commemorations of the Six Day War in Israel would be marked by reflection and even expressions of misgivings, after 50 years of occupation, but when I got out here I saw how mistaken I was. They’re triumphalist!
___Below is a video I took of part of the light show/concert celebrating the conquest of Jerusalem on May 21, near Jaffa Gate outside the Old City. This segment was a dramatization of the history of Jerusalem, and about 30 seconds in, it announces “1967” on the wall, and then– well see for yourself! It seemed to me like they were weaponizing the Old City walls. A lot of smoke and guns and destruction, and rumbling tumbling stones. As for the music, well it’s like that old saying, justice is to military justice as music is to military music.  MORE. . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

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

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

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

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Naim Ateek, Palestinian Christian theologian, leading a group through Arab East Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)

“. . . an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza . . .” (Aeyal Gross)

PALESTINIAN-GAZA-ISRAEL-CONFLICT
Flames engulf the fuel tanks of Gaza’s only power plant, hit by Israeli shelling, on July 29, 2014. (Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

❶ . Health Ministry: Gaza’s fuel shortage puts hospitals at serious risk

  • Background: “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal of International Law

❷ . Army blocks two roads near Hebron school, movement curtailed
❸ . Arresting 4 Jerusalemite children from Silwan
. . . ❸ ― (a) The Martyrdom of a Palestinian young man at Shu’fat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . HEALTH  MINISTRY:  GAZA’S  FUEL  SHORTAGE  PUTS  HOSPITALS  AT  SERIOUS  RISK      
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 26, 2016
The spokesperson of Gaza’s health ministry said in a statement on Friday that the health ministry would face a difficult situation if fuel is not provided to hospitals in the few upcoming hours.
___Ashraf al-Qadra called upon all competent authorities to quickly intervene and provide fuel for Gaza’s hospitals, noting that the fuel crisis in Gaza is expected to have severe effects on the besieged enclave’s hospitals.
___The plead came two days after health services in a children’s hospital were suspended due to a lack of fuel to its generators.         More . . .     Related . . .

Gross, Aeyal, and Tamar Feldman. “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal Of International Law 33.2 (2015): 379-441.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .] . . . the movement of goods and people into and out of the Gaza Strip was restricted to a so-called humanitarian minimum. . .  Although framed at first as “sanctions,” the policy was subsequently referred to as “economic warfare.” In essence, it was designed, according to Israel, to press the residents of the Gaza Strip to pressure Hamas . . .
___ . . .  Since its occupation of Gaza following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel has controlled the land crossings as well as Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. . . all border crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip have been shut except for the Erez Crossing . . .  and the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which is the sole passageway for consumer goods.
[. . . .]  ___In a September 2007 decision, the Israeli Security Cabinet stated, “The sanctions will be enacted following a legal examination, while taking into account both the humanitarian aspects relevant to the Gaza Strip and the desire to avoid a humanitarian crisis.” Hence, the closure policy was aimed at causing damage to the Gaza economy and bringing the population to the verge of a humanitarian crisis . . .  The underlying principles of this policy were challenged early on, in October 2007, in a petition brought before the Israel Supreme Court . . . which focused on the restrictions on the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip, the petitioners argued that the deliberate worsening of the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to a state of minimal existence for the sole purpose of putting pressure on Hamas constitutes collective punishment which is strictly prohibited under international law . . .  In its response, the state claimed that its closure policy is a legitimate form of “economic warfare,” and it presented a set of calculations it had used to establish the minimum humanitarian fuel needs in the Gaza Strip, including industrial diesel for the power plant. Yet this minimum was knowingly calculated based on figures below the average, but above the minimum need for electricity in the Gaza Strip and, therefore, reflected an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza.
___The Supreme Court ruled that Israel’s positive obligations towards the Gaza Strip are based on three factors: (1) its control over the land crossings and borders; (2) Gaza’s almost complete dependency on Israel to supply its electricity, which had developed over the course of the prolonged occupation; and (3) the ongoing state of belligerence in Gaza . . .  the Court authorized the electricity and fuel restrictions . . . In so doing, it gave its stamp of approval to the closure policy in its entirety and de facto accepted the “humanitarian-minimum standard” as a legitimate benchmark   [. . . .]  

❷ . ARMY  BLOCKS  TWO  ROADS  NEAR  HEBRON  SCHOOL,  MOVEMENT  CURTAILED 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 26, 2016
The Israeli army Saturday blocked with cement cubes two roads in the vicinity of Tareq Ben Ziad school near the Ibrahimi mosque in the center of Hebron, south of the West Bank, according Rashad Muhtaseb, a local factory owner.
[. . . .]  The army put up cement cubes to close roads in the area, where several shops and factories are located, hampering as a result movement of people, mainly students.     ___Thousands of Israeli settlers are planning to converge on the Ibrahimi mosque and the old city of Hebron in the coming days to mark a Jewish event.      More . . .             Related . . . SETTLERS  TORCH  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  HOME  IN  HEBRON       Palestine News Network – PNN      Nov. 22, 2016

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Children walking past soldiers on their way to school, May 7, 2016 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

❸ . ARRESTING  4  JERUSALEMITE  CHILDREN  FROM  SILWAN      
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
Nov. 24, 2016
The occupation forces arrested on Thursday four Jerusalemite children from the village of Silwan.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center’s lawyer, Saleh Mheisen, explained that the Israeli forces arrested three children while heading home after school on charges of throwing stones. . . .
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the police released the three children after interrogating them for several hours on condition of house-arrest for 5 days and an unpaid bail of 5 thousand NIS for each.
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the forces also arrested 13-year old Jamal Mohammad Qaraeen and interrogated him for several hours on charges of throwing stones . . . .     More . . .
. . . ― (A) THE  MARTYRDOM  OF  a  PALESTINIAN  YOUNG  MAN  AT  SHU’FAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  JERUSALEM
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan 
November 25, 2016
A young man passed away after being shot at Shu’fat Refugee Camp checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
___ Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said that the Martyr is 14-year old Mohammad Nabil Salam.
___Thaer Fasfoos, spokesman of Fateh movement in the Refugee Camp, said that the young men descended from a bus right before the checkpoint for unknown reasons before being shot by the occupation forces which led to his immediate Martyrdom.     More . . .

 

“. . . the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run . . .” (Robert O. Smith)

shoafat-refugee-camp
Israeli policemen stand guard during clashes that erupted after a house demolition in the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shuafat. Sep. 5, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

❶ The gruesome murder of five Arab boys refuses to disappear — 55 years on

  • Background: “Civilization, Savagism, And The Presence Of Burning Children.” Cross  Currents

❷ Palestinian Jerusalemite children sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison
❸ Minor injured, detained during clashes near Ramallah
❹ Conference: The Challenge of Jubilee
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
THE  GRUESOME  MURDER  OF  FIVE  ARAB  BOYS  REFUSES  TO  DISAPPEAR — 55  YEARS  ON 
+972 Blog
Makbula Nassar
Nov. 5, 2016
Beaten, tortured, and shot to death: this is the story of five Arab boys who met a gruesome fate at the hands of Israel’s security forces in September 1961. Ben Gurion’s government refused to tell the truth of what really happened.   More . . . 
Makbula Nasser, active in political and feminist affairs, is a journalist and blogger for Local Call, where this article was first published in Hebrew. Read it here.    

  • Smith, Robert O. “Civilization, Savagism, And The Presence Of Burning Children.” Cross  Currents  66.2 (2016): 204-214.     Full article    

In the early morning hours of July 31, 2015, a Palestinian home was firebombed in the West Bank village of Duma. Flames killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabshe and severely injured his parents and 4-year-old brother. Two homes attacked that night in Duma were spray-painted with the Hebrew words “Revenge” and “Long live the king messiah,” alongside a Star of David.
[. . . .]  . . .  Israeli discourse in the days immediately following these attacks protected the unity of Israeli society by asserting distinctions between the civilized and the savage. In effect, this short-lived period of national introspection helped Israelis confirm the essential righteousness of their national project. Analysis of English language Israeli news media informed by the framework provided by Roy Harvey Pearce in Savagism and Civilization (1953) shows how this episode reproduces, in miniature, how white American society engaged with its own indigenous populations. This approach deepens recognition of the United States and the State of Israel do not just share parallels, but are somehow, in the words of Steven Salaita, “confederated” settler-colonial societies.
[. . . .]  Five days after the attacks, Israeli novelist and commentator David Grossman indicted Israeli right-wing politics for nurturing a climate of extremism. Grossman suggested “the consciousness of an occupying people” includes the idea that “there are two kinds of people, and the fact that one is apparently subordinate to another means that it is naturally also inferior to the other,” that “the occupied is less of a human being than the occupier.” Thus, “the person who burned down the Dawabsheh family home knew . . . only that they were Palestinians.” This, Grossman says, “was adequate reason in his eyes . . . to kill them . . . their mere existence justified their murder and their removal from this world.” This is the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run. For Grossman, the danger is that Israelis too could become savages.

PALESTINIAN  JERUSALEMITE  CHILDREN  SENTENCED  TO  11  YEARS  IN  ISRAELI  PRISON  
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network      
November 8, 2016
Two more Palestinian children were hit with lengthy sentences by an Israeli court on Monday, 7 November. The two Jerusalemite boys, Munther Abu Mayalah, 15, and Mohammed Taha, 16, were each sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison; each was also fined 50,000 NIS (approximately $13,000 USD).
__The two boys are Palestinian refugees from the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem. Monther and Mohammed were accused of “attempted murder” for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli settler youth at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on 30 January 2016. The 17-year-old in question was allegedly “lightly wounded.” They were also convicted of “possession of a knife.”
[. . . .] Palestinian children accused of “security” offenses are subject to sentencing equal to an adult for any offense carrying a potential sentence of greater than five years’ imprisonment. Such allegations include common pretexts for imprisoning Palestinian children, such as stone-throwing or affiliation with a prohibited organization.   More . . .

MINOR  INJURED,  DETAINED  DURING  CLASHES  NEAR  RAMALLAH
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 10, 2016  A Palestinian minor was shot and injured Thursday when Israeli soldiers opened fire at protesters near Atara checkpoint, north of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___It said 15-year-old at Anas Mahmoud Zaid, from nearby Jalazoun refugee camp, was shot in the thigh during clashes between Israeli soldiers and school students near the checkpoint.       More . . .     

CONFERENCE:  THE  CHALLENGE  OF  JUBILEE 
Sabeel Cornerstone Newsletter    
Naim Ateek
Nov. 10, 2016
The last fifty years have brought untold suffering upon our Palestinian people.  Our only crime was to say ‘no’ to the occupation of our country and to resist it as an aberration and which is illegal under international law. Since 1967, the Israeli government has been oppressing the Palestinians and denying them their human and political rights.
___In 2017, Palestinians will be marking 50 years since the loss of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.  It is a fitting time to lift up the biblical concept of Jubilee when all those who were deeply in debt to others, enslaved by others, had their land forfeited to the stronger others, and were driven out from their agricultural lands by the militarily powerful others – to all those, in a Jubilee year, God expects and demands justice to be done.  Their rightful ownership must be restored.  God is a God of truth and justice; and justice and righteousness must be done in the land.
10th Sabeel International Conference, March 7-13, 2017