“Here we shall stay, sing our songs. . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Selected News of the Day

Israeli forces seal off main roads west of Ramallah following suspected attack

WAFA
August 23, 2019
Israeli forces today sealed off main roads leading to the western Ramallah district in the West Bank following a suspected attack that resulted in the killing of a settler, confirmed local sources.
· · · · Forces deployed heavily and blocked major roads leading to a cluster of Palestinian villages west of Ramallah, particularly the Wadi al-Dilb Road and Ein Ayyoub junction. They also blocked the roads leading to Kafr Ni’ma and Ras Karkar villages, where they ransacked several homes and stores.
· · · · Soldiers set up roadblocks at the northern entrance to Ramallah city and at Ein Siniya junction, north of Ramallah, inspecting Palestinian vehicles and inspecting the IDs of passengers. They also raided Beituniya and Ein Arik towns, west of Ramallah.
· · · · The closure is conducted as part of a manhunt for a Palestinian suspected of killing an Israeli settler and wounding two others in an attack at Ein Bunin natural spring near the illegal Israeli settlement of Dolev, near Ras Karkar village.  More . . . .

  • Al-Shoroq: The activist farmers resisting Israeli annexation in Beit Ummar. IMEMC News & Agencies. August 21, 2019. More . . . .
  • Jewish Settlers Rule the Roost in Israel, but at What Cost? The Palestine Chronicle. August 22, 2019. More . . . .   

Displacement In Gaza And Israel’s Demographic Obsession

Days of Palestine
August 22, 2019
The statements made by a senior Israeli political source, which is likely to be Prime Minister Netanyahu himself, published in Israeli media, including Haaretz on 20 August regarding Israel taking practical steps to displace Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, reminds us of what Israel calls the demographic threat. This involves ensuring a Jewish majority in the country, which has been a concern since the establishment of the Zionist colonial settlement project. Why displace Gazans? Why now? Is there a real possibility for its implementation?
· · · · Israel has used all forms of displacement, including ethnic cleansing, in order to reduce the number of Palestinians in Palestine as much as possible and achieve Zionism’s top goal, i.e. imposing a Jewish majority in Palestine, where its indigenous people have been living for many many years. This method on its own did not achieve the desired results, so Israel attracted tens of thousands of Arab and non-Arab Jews in order to successfully establish the state of Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948. However, the demographic danger continued to pose a threat to Israel after occupying and controlling the Palestinians in 1967.   More . . . .   

  • Living in fear of the bulldozers. Electronic Intifada, August 22, 2019. More . . . .

Israeli Police Kidnaps Seven Jerusalemites From Bab Al-Rahma

Two young girls and three children among the detainees
Days of Palestine
Aug 22 2019
The Israeli occupation police on Thursday afternoon kidnaped seven Palestinian citizens, including two young girls and three children, from the Bab al-Rahma prayer area of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
· · · According to eyewitnesses, police forces stormed the Bab al-Rahma area and rounded up Aqsa guard Bader al-Rajbi along with three children, two girls and one young man. More . . . .

Anti-Semitism’ vs. ‘Islamophobia’: How language creates hierarchies of discrimination and whitewashes bigotry

Mondoweiss
Timo Al-Farooq
August 22, 2019
From the ivory towers of academic knowledge production to the lowlands of cracker-barrel Stammtisch-culture, tactical language is omnipresent in everyday political discourse. . . . language manipulation is a key modus operandi for the powers that be in stifling critical thought and thus consolidating their grip on potentially subversive populaces.
· · · One such example of strategic linguistic flexibility, taken straight from our fiction-turned-fact and prophesy-fulfilled Orwellian times: someone who hates Jews is known as an “anti-Semite”, but someone who hates Muslims is merely an “Islamophobe”, a person afraid of Islam? . . . .
· · · · So my question is: why is an anti-Semite not called a “Semitophobe?” And an Islamophobe not an “anti-Muslim?” And what is that even supposed to mean, “afraid of Islam?” As if the heterogeneous beliefs of 1.8 billion people were a Freddy Krueger-like serial killer coming to murder you in your sleep. More . . . .

 Poem of the Day

“HERE WE SHALL STAY” by Tafiq 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.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND. ED. Joan Dobbie & Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press. 2002.

“. . . My endurance is as limitless as the horizon . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

bethlehem_Copy_of_IMGL9302 - Copy
BETHLEHEM: Palestinian family takes photo in front of the Christmas tree. (Photo: Institute for Middle East Understanding, Dec. 20, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
|  AFTER  KILLING  DISABLED  YOUTH,  ISRAELI  FIGHTER  JET  STRIKES  GAZA
An Israeli warplane carried out an airstrike in the Gaza Strip following, causing horror among women and children, Palestinian security sources said.    ___In a statement, the Israeli military spokesman recognised the attack and claimed it targeted a Palestinian resistance post in the southern Gaza Strip.    ___Palestinian medical sources reported no injuries, but reiterated that airstrike caused repulsive horror among tens of children and women living in the vicinity of the targeted place.    More . . .
|  BIBLICAL  CITY  OF  BETHLEHEM  BOASTS  LARGEST  CHRISTMAS  IN  YEARS
Pilgrims from around the world flocked to Bethlehem on Monday for what was believed to be the biblical West Bank city’s largest Christmas celebrations in years.    ___Hundreds of locals and foreign visitors milled in Manger Square as bagpipe-playing Palestinian Scouts paraded past a giant Christmas tree. Crowds flooded the Church of the Nativity, venerated as the traditional site of Jesus’s birth, and waited to descend into the ancient grotto.    ___Palestinian Tourism Minister Rula Maaya said all Bethlehem hotels were fully booked, and the city was preparing to host an “astounding” 10,000 tourists overnight.     More . . .
|  GDP  ‘UP’  IN  WEST  BANK,  ‘DOWN’  IN  GAZA  DURING  1ST  THREE  QUARTERS  OF  2018
The gross domestic product increased by 2.3% in the West Bank and decreased by 7.9% in Gaza Strip  during the first three quarters of the year 2018 compared to the same quarters of the year 2017, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).    ___PCBS said a sharp decrease in GDP at constant prices in the Gaza Strip during the first three quarters of the year 2018 led to slowing down in the growth of the Palestinian economy compared to the parallel quarters of the year 2017.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| ISRAEL’S  ARREST  OF  MOTHERS  SHOWS  ITS  CONTEMPT  FOR  PALESTINIAN  WOMEN   
Dr. Mohammad Makram Balawi
On 16 December 2018, an Israeli court . . .  sentenced Suzan Abu Ghannaam – the mother of 20-year-old Palestinian martyr Muhammad Abu Ghannaam – to eleven months in prison on account of “incitement” in a Facebook post. Her son had been killed while protesting against the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities on Muslim worshippers . . . .   On the same day Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed that Facebook had banned him from posting for 24 hours. In a series of tweets, Yair had called for the expulsion of Palestinians and Muslims from the region . . .   Unlike mother-of-four Suzan Abu Ghannam, Yair Netanyahu was not jailed for two months, summoned to court and sentenced to 11 months in prison. Instead, he brags about his actions . . .   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS
| KinderUSA  A  NEW  YEAR  FOR  GAZA
As 2018 comes to an end, we are sad to report that living conditions in Gaza continue to get worse, taking an unfathomable toll on the population.  Unemployment is over 55%, with youth unemployment at 75%, while most who do get paid receive only half their wages.  Many families live on $1 a day, at best. Over 95% of the water supply is now undrinkable due to the persistent lack of electricity limited to about 4 hours per day. The land, sea, and air blockade is now in its 12th year, sealing Gaza off from the rest of the world.    ___Children in Gaza are caged in a toxic slum from birth to death . . .    More . . .   DONATE . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“THE  FIRE  OF  THE  MAGI,  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I take my time!
I take my time!
I draw the first thread of light
From the deep darkness of night;
I tend the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of loved ones
With a kerchief of jasmine.
I plant the most verdant oases
Amidst the scorched sands,
And shape a life for the outlaws
From fragrance, plenty, and justice.
If someday, on the road, my foot should stumble,
My roots will uphold and support me.

I take my time
For I am unlike the match
That flickers once, then dies.
I am more like the fire of the magi, burning bright
From my cradle to my grave.
And from my forebears to my offspring.
My endurance is as limitless as the horizon,
And the skill of the ant I’ve mastered.

I take my time,
For it is the function of history
To follow our dictates.
We have prepared for the downfall of the giants of the earth,
We will pay them back in kind;
We will give them enough rope, not that they may live longer,
But that they might have enough to hang themselves.

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.

“. . . Let the oppressor review his account . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    ISRAEL  APPROVES  20,000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  MAALE  ADUMIM
The Israeli government has approved the construction of more than 20,000 new housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.    ___Hebrew-language news outlets reported that the approval of the new housing units came after a long period of fear and political confrontation.     ___Sources mentioned the existence of a comprehensive development agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Maale Adumim Municipality to build thousands of housing units in the illegal settlement over the coming years.    More . . .
|    WORLD  BANK  INCREASES  ALLOCATIONS  TO  PALESTINE  TO  $90  MILLION
The World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza, Marina Wes, announced on Saturday that the World Bank has increased this year’s allocation to Palestine to $90 million, up from the previous $55 million.    ___Wes said a new assistance strategy for Palestine has been presented to the World Bank’s board of executive directors that focus on job creation and private sector development.    ___“In December 2017, we at the World Bank presented a new assistance strategy for the West Bank and Gaza at two of our board’s executive directors, and this new assistance strategy has a very strong focus on job creation and private sector development.”    More . . .
|    YOUNG  MAN  SHOT  AT  GAZA  PROTEST  SUCCUMBS  TO  INJURY
Another Palestinian young man has died of a serious injury he sustained during his participation in a March of Return rally staged east of central Gaza last Friday.    ___According to the health ministry, 37-year-old Yehya Hasnat died after he succumbed to a head injury caused by Israeli gunfire.    ___His death has raised the number of Gazans who were killed recently by the Israeli occupation forces during Friday’s protests on the Gaza border to seven.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  Airstrikes  Damage  Buildings,  Including  Hospital  in  Gaza
. . . . Related  IOF  Open  Fire  On  Gaza  Farmers
. . . . Related  Palestinians  Kidnapped  By  Israel  Army  In  Predawn  Sweep
. . . . Related  IOF  attacks  Palestinian  citizens  in  Azzun  town

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   UN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  EXPERT  URGES  ACTION  TO  STOP  ISRAEL’S  ANNEXATION  IN  WEST  BANK
A UN human rights expert said it was high time the international community takes firm action to stop Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank through settlement expansion and legislative initiatives. . .    ___“During five decades of the occupation, Israel has steadily entrenched its sovereign footprint throughout the West Bank,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory said. Michael Lynk, in a report to the UN General Assembly, highlighted settlement construction and expansion. . .    ____“The Israeli Knesset has adopted a number of laws in the past year that have become a flashing green light for more formal annexation steps,” he said. . .     ___“The  strict  prohibition  against  annexation  in  international  law  applies not only to a formal declaration, but also to those acts of territorial appropriation by Israel that have been a cumulative part of its efforts to stake a future claim of formal sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territory.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon

“. . . Our roots are entrenched / Deep in the earth . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

IMG_3349 - CopySt. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Beit Jala in Bethlehem Governate.
Priest greets parishioner after service.
Photo: Harold Knight, Sun. Nov. 8, 2015.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   MYTHS  AND  FANTASIES  ABOUT  THE  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  AND  THE  UNITED  NATIONS     Andrew Whitley, former senior UNRWA official      The decision of the Trump Administration to halt all funding for UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for 5.4 million Palestinian refugees, and its attempts to redefine who qualifies as a “refugee” in this context, marks another egregious example of Washington’s disregard for international norms and humanitarian law in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    ___The ultimate fate of those refugees who fled their homes or were forcibly expelled in the war that led to the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 – and of their descendants, now into third and fourth generations – has long been one of the most contentious issues in the conflict.    ___The “right to return” is seen by Palestinians and their supporters worldwide as a matter of natural and historic justice. After all, this is exactly the same right as all other refugees – for whom UNRWA’s sister agency, UNHCR, is their guardian – enjoy.    More . . .
|   MAYOR  OF  BETHLEHEM:  NETANYAHU’S  STATEMENT  ON  BETHLEHEM  AND  PALESTINIAN  CHRISTIANS  IS  ANOTHER  ISRAELI  ATTEMPT  AT  DISTORTING  REALITY  OF  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION     Mayor of Bethlehem, advocate Anton Salman said in response to Sunday’s statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians, that such statement ‘is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948’.    ___“If Mr. Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem area, he would return the 22,000 dunums of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousand of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry,” said the mayor in a statement issued by the Bethlehem municipality.    More . . .
. . . . Related  New  Israeli  Laws  Enhance  Creeping  Annexation  Policy
|   ISRAEL  CONTINUES  AIRSTRIKES  OVER  GAZA    An Israeli warplane carried out an airstrike, on Tuesday, targeting a group of Palestinians east of Beit Hanoun in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___A Ma’an reporter said that an Israeli warplane fired one missile towards a group of Palestinian youths in northern Gaza; no injuries were reported.    ___The Israeli army said that a warplane targeted a group of Palestinians who were launching incendiary kites into southern Israel.    ___Meanwhile, locals reported that Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into south of Gaza City, razed and leveled lands.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  Navy,  Soldiers,  Injure  19  Palestinians  In  Northern  Gaza

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   WATCH:  ISRAELIS  AND  PALESTINIANS  MEET  FACE  TO  FACE  AT  GAZA  FENCE
For a few short minutes last week, a group of Israeli activists managed to have a face-to-face conversation with Palestinian activists in Gaza, albeit through a militarized fence.    ___On Wednesday of last week, for the first time since the Great Return March began in March, a small group of Israeli activists approached the fence to speak with Palestinian demonstrators, standing just meters from them on the other side.    ___The Palestinians who approached the fence had been taking part in a cultural event near the village of Khuza’a in one of the nearby tent encampments, which was established as part of the Great Return March.    ___The rare meeting lasted only a few minutes, until Israeli soldiers arrived and ordered the Israelis to leave the area.    More . . .
|   PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  IN  ISRAEL  FOR  33  YEARS  WARNED  OF  PUNISHMENT  IF  HE  PUBLISHES  BOOK     A Palestinian prisoner who served 33 years out of a 39-year prison sentence in Israeli jails for resisting the Israeli occupation was warned by the prison administration of severe punishment if he publishes a book he wrote in prison, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said on Tuesday.    ___It said Walid Dakka, a Palestinian from inside Israel, who previously was severely punished after publishing a book in Arabic called “The story of the secret of oil”, was told that he would be put in isolation if he goes ahead and publishes another book.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD  – 1970
It is a thousand times easier
For you to pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with you oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

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.

“Israel works hard to remove us from our land.”   (Resident of al-Zarnouq Village)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .    

BEDOUIN  FAMILY  LEFT  HOMELESS  AS  ISRAEL  CONTINUES  NEGEV  DEMOLITIONS
Israeli bulldozers escorted by heavily armed Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home, on Thursday, in the unrecognized village of Al-Zarnouq in the Negev area of southern Israel.   ___. . . large numbers of Israeli forces raided the AL-ZARNOUQ village and began to demolish the house under the pretext that it was built without an Israeli building permit.    ___Sources confirmed that Israeli forces demolished a 130-square-meter home, belonging to Akef Abu Quwaider. . . .   ___Residents of the village told Ma’an that the “Israeli authorities refuse to grant us permits to build our homes and to live our lives. Israel works hard to remove us from our land.”   More . . .
ISRAELIS  BULLDOZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  TO  EXPAND  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT
Israeli bulldozers continue to level Palestinian lands in SHOFEH village, southeast of Tulkarem, paving the way for illegal settlement expansion.    ___Local sources said Israeli settlers continue to bulldoze Palestinian lands in Shofeh, in the northern Occupied West Bank, in an attempt to expand the illegal settlement outpost of Avnei Hefetz.    More . . .
NEW  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  OUTPOST  IN  NABLUS
A new illegal Israeli settlement outpost was set up, on Thursday, on Palestinian-owned lands belonging to the residents of the QARYUT village, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.    ___A Palestinian official who monitors settlement activist in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, said that the residents of Qaryut were shocked to find out on Thursday morning that Israeli settlers set up a new settlement outpost on their lands.   ___Daghlas said that Israeli settlers set up five caravans, which were stocked up with water and other supplies, in addition to construction material in preparation to set up more caravans.   More . . .
EREKAT:  NO  ONE  CAN  REMOVE  JERUSALEM,  REFUGEES  AND  SETTLEMENTS  FROM  THE  NEGOTIATIONS  TABLE
No one can remove the files of Jerusalem, refugees and settlements from any future negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, said Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on Thursday.    ___He was referring to statements by US President Donald that after he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and not recognizing the right of five million Palestinian refugees for return to their homes they were force out from after Israel was created in 1948 on their land, these issues are now off the negotiations table. . . .   ___“There will be no peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, without resolving the refugees’ issue . . . ”  More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

‘ANTI-SEMITISM  AWARENESS  ACT’  THREATENS  FREE  SPEECH  [IN  THE  US]
Sheldon Richman     
In May the benign-sounding Anti-Semitism Awareness Act appeared before the U.S Congress “to provide for consideration a definition of anti-Semitism for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or activities.”    [. . . .] While the act is directed at education, the resulting law would reach beyond that realm because it would officially stigmatize as anti-Semitic any speech and activity, public and private, said to fall within the definition. Since this would at least chill the open marketplace of ideas, advocates of free speech should be concerned about the content of the definition and its revealing support material. We must not assume that merely because the definition is said to brand something anti-Semitic that it is actually anti-Semitic.   More . . .

SATELLITE  IMAGERY  AND  THE  PALESTINE-ISRAEL  EXCEPTION
Zena Agha
In the United States and beyond, the rules that apply to the rest of the world have long applied differently to Palestine-Israel. In the US, this exceptionalism often manifests as censorship of Palestinian perspectives and operates on many different levels: On university campuses, Palestine has become the exception to free speech, and in local government, Israel marks the exception to the right to boycott. Remarkably, this exceptionalism even extends to the quality of aerial photography and satellite imagery of Palestine-Israel.   ___Bipartisan legislation passed by the US House of Representatives in 1997 limits the quality of aerial photography of Palestine-Israel available to the public through platforms such as Google Earth and Bing Maps. The Kyl-Bingaman Amendment (KBA) to the US National Defense Authorization Act restricts the availability of high-resolution satellite imagery by preventing satellite operators and retailers in the US from selling or disseminating images of Palestine-Israel at a resolution higher than that available on the non-US market. The result: limited access to clear aerial photography of Palestine-Israel.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

US  CAMPAIGN  FOR  PALESTINIAN  RIGHTS  (USCPR)
We are excited to announce our national conference is taking place in the Twin Cities, MN on September 28-30, 2018.   ___TOGETHER WE RISE will be a space for people to connect with and learn from others working in support of Palestinian rights across the country, and renew our commitment to the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.  [. . . .] The program includes sessions such as Resilience Across Movements, Updates from Palestine, Intersectional Feminism and Gender Justice, Palestine in US Politics, and Global Struggles for Collective Liberation. Confirmed speakers include journalists Mariam Barghouti and Marc Lamont Hill, human rights lawyers Noura Erakat and Hassan Jabareen, and Indigenous rights activists Waziyatawin and Coya White Hat-Artichoker. Dozens of workshops will teach us about the militarization of the US/Mexico border, how to harness constituent power to make change in Congress, hold a direct action. . . .    More . . .

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD  – 1970

It is a thousand times easier
For you to pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with you oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

From THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY.  Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982

 

“. . . For it is the function of history To follow our dictates . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ PCHR: New attempts by Israel to legitimize killing of Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel’s attorney general says new laws will consider West Bank

  • Background: “International Law and the Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Palestinians kidnapped, homes ransacked in predawn sweep by IOF
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Detainees narrate how they were tortured during interrogation in Israeli centers
❸ Gov’t to supply Gaza with electricity following bank guarantee
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Gaza: Health Sector may collapse due to shortage of medicines
❹ Hanan Ashrawi to Trump: ‘We will not be blackmailed’
❺ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PCHR:  NEW  ATTEMPTS  BY  ISRAEL  TO  LEGITIMIZE  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIANS 
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Israeli Knesset is set to vote on Wednesday to amend the Penal Code in order to legalize the use of death penalty against those involved in murders while carrying out “terrorist operations”.
___The bill was presented before the Knesset on 30 October 2017 by three Israeli extremist parliamentarians: Robert Eltov, Oded Forer and Yuli Leminovsky.
___The bill stipulates that “the Minister of Defense orders the commander of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the division to give orders to: 1- the Military Court in the division to have the power to sentence death penalty without requiring the consensus of the Military Court, but only the ordinary majority; 2- No other court in the division has the right to commute a final death sentence issued by the military court in the division.”    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAEL’S  ATTORNEY  GENERAL  SAYS  NEW  LAWS  WILL  CONSIDER  WEST  BANK
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Israel’s Attorney General on Monday issued a decision stating that all new laws from now on will include the West Bank settlements.
[. . . .] Bennett stressed that they will no longer approve the passage of any law unless it is applied to the West Bank settlers.
___For her turn, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked hailed the decision and said that the Israelis living in the West Bank are not “second class citizens” and that she will work to develop new measures to make sure that the new legislations will be applied to them too.   MORE . . . 

Weiss, Peter.
“INTERNATIONAL  LAW  AND  THE  OCCUPIED  TERRITORIES.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL JOURNAL OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS & CULTURE, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 96-101.
[. . . .] There is virtually unanimous international agreement that Israel’s presence in the West Bank constitutes an occupation within the meaning of Section III of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilian persons in times of war. The United States, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all upheld the agreement. A number of important consequences flow from this fact:
* The settlements are illegal because, under Article 49, “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”;
* Under Article 3, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” are prohibited, as well as violence to life and person, in particular murder and torture”;
* Under Article 5, persons suspected of activity hostile to the occupying power shall be treated with humanity;
* Under Article 13, the provisions of the convention are to be applied “without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion or political opinion”;
* Under Article 16, the wounded, sick, infirm and expectant mothers “shall be the object of particular protection and respect”;
* Under Article 31, No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from their parties”;
* Article 32 prohibits the commission of murder, torture and corporal punishment against protected persons, as well as “any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents”;
* Under Article 33, “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or terrorism are prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”
[. . . .] It requires no evidentiary brief to demonstrate that these and similar provisions are, by the current occupying power, more honored in the breach than in the observance.
[. . . .] There are, of course, many principles of international law beyond those derived from the law of war. To take only one example: The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, to which Israel is a party, contains provisions dealing with, inter alia, the rights of self-determination, the right to work, an adequate standard of living and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Similar legal obligations flow from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, while not a treaty, is widely regarded as another source of basic rights applicable in occupied territories, as well as in the territory of the occupier.     SOURCE . . . 

PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED,  HOMES  RANSACKED  IN  PREDAWN  SWEEP  BY  IOF
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Wednesday in abduction sweeps launched across the West Bank and Jerusalem.
___Clashes burst out in Jenin’s southern town of Qabatiya shortly after the IOF stormed the area and ransacked civilian homes.
___The occupation forces showered residential neighborhoods with spates of bullet fire and teargas grenades, resulting in injuries.    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  DETAINEES  NARRATE  HOW  THEY  WERE  TORTURED  DURING  INTERROGATION  IN  ISRAELI  CENTERS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Omar Zuhour, from Beit Kahil village near Hebron, WAS ONLY 14 YEARS OLD when he was detained by Israeli soldiers who hit him on the head and knees with their bullet case, kicked him all over his body . . .
___This testimony from Zuhour was given to the Prisoners’ Commission and was distributed on Wednesday in a statement on the torture of Palestinians in Israeli detention and interrogation centers.  MORE . . . 
❸ GOV’T  TO  SUPPLY  GAZA  WITH  ELECTRICITY  FOLLOWING  BANK  GUARANTEE
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― After receiving a bank guarantee from the electricity distribution company in the Gaza Strip, the Ramallah-based consensus government decided to supply the besieged enclave with its power needs.
___An informed source told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) on Tuesday that the government took such decision after the distribution company provided it with a bank guarantee worth 10 million dollars.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  GAZA:  HEALTH  SECTOR  MAY  COLLAPSE  DUE  TO  SHORTAGE  OF  MEDICINES 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said it’s deeply concerned over the severe lack of medicines and medical consumables in the Gaza Strip Hospitals, warning that conditions of the Gaza Strip patients would deteriorate due to the shortage of medicine and periodic medications, which are not available in the Gaza healthcare facilities.
___PCHR called upon the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to guarantee the free and secure flow of all consignments of medicines and needed medical supplies for the health facilities in the Gaza Strip.    MORE . . .  
❹ HANAN  ASHRAWI  TO  TRUMP:  ‘WE  WILL  NOT  BE  BLACKMAILED’   
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 3, 2018 ― A senior Palestinian official has responded with defiance to Donald Trump’s threat via Twitter to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority.
___Hanan Ashrawi’s rebuke followed the US president’s tweet admitting that the Middle East peace process was in difficulty and warning Palestinians that they could lose US aid worth more than $300m a year.
___”We will not be blackmailed,” Ashrawi said in a statement on Wednesday.
___”President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!” MORE . . . 

“THE  FIRE  OF  THE  MAGI,  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I take my time!
I take my time!
I draw the first thread of light
From the deep darkness of night;
I tend the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of loved ones
With a kerchief of jasmine.
I plant the most verdant oases
Amidst the scorched sands,
And shape a life for the outlaws
From fragrance, plenty, and justice.
If someday, on the road, my foot should stumble,
My roots will uphold and support me.

I take my time
For I am unlike the match
That flickers once, then dies.
I am more like the fire of the magi, burning bright
From my cradle to my grave.
And from my forebears to my offspring.
My endurance is as limitless as the horizon,
And the skill of the ant I’ve mastered.

I take my time,
For it is the function of history
To follow our dictates.
We have prepared for the downfall of the giants of the earth,
We will pay them back in kind;
We will give them enough rope, not that they may live longer,
But that they might have enough to hang themselves.

About Tawfiq Zayyad.
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.

“. . . 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 . . .)

 

“. . . And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ Israel advances more than 2,000 settlement housing units in one week

  • “Apartheid, SETTLER COLONIALISM and the Palestinian State 50 Years On.” The Palestine-Israel Journal.

❷ Israeli forces demolish structures in Masafer Yatta
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Germany says settlement construction a path to one state devoid of Palestinian rights
❸ Analysis: The real reasons Trump is quitting UNESCO
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  ADVANCES  MORE  THAN  2,000  SETTLEMENT  HOUSING  UNITS  IN  ONE  WEEK. 
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 18, 2017   The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee convened on Tuesday and Thursday, and advanced plans for 2,615 housing units in illegal Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank, according to settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___Peace Now released a statement on Thursday detailing the committee’s decisions, saying that over the course of two days of meetings, the civil administration promoted 2,615 housing units, bringing the total number of units promoted through plans this week to 2,646, after 31 construction permits were approved for settlers in Hebron on October 16th.
___Of the 2,615 housing units promoted, 1,508 were approved for depositing, while 1,323 were approved for validation.   MORE . . . 

Salem, Walid.
“APARTHEID,  SETTLER  COLONIALISM  AND  THE  PALESTINIAN  STATE  50  YEARS  ON.”
The Palestine-Israel Journal Vol.22 No.2 & 3, 2017.
[. . . .] The Israeli researcher Ariel Handel described these processes as creating a “geography of catastrophe”, while the Palestinian scholar Sari Hanafi gives it the name “spacio-cide”. The latter of these descriptions reflects the elimination of both the space and the people who populate it. This is exemplified in the external dispossession of refugees and the internal dispossession of the occupants of Area C and East Jerusalem, both of which will be considered.
___A further problem is that these dispossessions of the Palestinians are followed by the establishment of military camps and, in most cases, Israeli settlements. In the literature of political science and international relations, this combined process of displacement and replacement is called “Settler Colonialism.”  In the Israeli-Palestinian case, this process is also planned and supported by the Israeli governments, while being protected by the Israeli occupying Army. What complicated such a situation even more is the denial of such a process at both the official and public levels of the State of Israel [. . . .]   SOURCE.

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES  IN  MASAFER  YATTA   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 19, 2017   Israeli forces demolished on Thursday several residential structures and tents in Khirbet Halaweh, in Masafer Yatta area to the south of Hebron in the West Bank, according Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Commission.
___He told WAFA that staff from the Israeli so-called Civil Administration, an arm of the military government, accompanied by soldiers raided the Bedouin village and demolished structures and tents used to shelter the residents.
___Israeli authorities have demolished dozens of residential structures and animal barns in the area, citing construction without a permit as a pretext.
___Many of the structures were donated by the European Union (EU). . . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) GERMANY  SAYS  SETTLEMENT  CONSTRUCTION  A  PATH  TO  ONE  STATE  DEVOID  OF  PALESTINIAN  RIGHTS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Oct. 19, 2017  Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territory is going to lead to a one-state solution where Palestinians will be deprived of political rights, a statement by the German Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
___The statement was issued following reports that Israel has stepped up plans to build almost 3000 new housing units in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
___“The Federal Government takes this opportunity to reaffirm that it will recognize only such changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, which all the parties have agreed on through negotiations,” said a spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry.
___“Settlement construction, illegal under international law, is not the only obstacle to a two-state solution, but each new housing unit consolidates a one-state reality in which the Palestinians are denied the full exercise of their political rights.”   MORE . . .
❸ ANALYSIS:  THE  REAL  REASONS  TRUMP  IS  QUITTING  UNESCO
Mondoweiss   
Jonathan Cook
Oct. 17, 2017   At first glance, the decision last week by the Trump administration, followed immediately by Israel, to quit the United Nation’s cultural agency seems strange. Why penalise a body that promotes clean water, literacy, heritage preservation and women’s rights?
___Washington’s claim that the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is biased against Israel obscures the real crimes the agency has committed in US eyes.
___The first is that in 2011 UNESCO became the first UN agency to accept Palestine as a member. That set the Palestinians on the path to upgrading their status at the General Assembly a year later.
___It should be recalled that in 1993, as Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo accords on the White House lawn, the watching world assumed the aim was to create a Palestinian state.
___But it seems most US politicians never received that memo. Under pressure from Israel’s powerful lobbyists, the US Congress hurriedly passed legislation to pre-empt the peace process. One such law compels the United States to cancel funding to any UN body that admits the Palestinians. . . .
___The agency’s second crime relates to its role selecting world heritage sites. That power has proved more than an irritant to Israel and the US.   MORE . . .

“I  CLASP  YOUR  HANDS,” BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but my share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

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.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994, in a dreadful car crash while on his way to meet Yasser Arafat in Jericho after the Oslo agreements. He participated in Palestinian political life in occupied Palestine, was elected mayor of Nazareth, and served as a member of the Israeli Knesset.     (More. . .)

 

“. . . For the tragedy I live Is but my share in your larger tragedy . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ Israeli bill aimed at preventing Jerusalem’s division passes reading in Knesset

  • Background: “A National or Religious Conflict? The Dispute over the Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PM Hamdallah to European diplomats: Stop Israel now
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) President Abbas discusses Israeli measures with Turkish counterpart
❷ Israeli soldiers shoot, kill Palestinian after alleged stabbing attempt, sparking clashes
❸ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  BILL  AIMED  AT  PREVENTING  JERUSALEM’S  DIVISION  PASSES  READING  IN  KNESSET
Ma’an News Agency 
July 19, 2017.   A bill aimed at preventing any future divisions of Jerusalem, by requiring a two-third majority in Israel’s parliament in order to do so, passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset on Wednesday.
___The bill, titled “Basic Law: Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel,” passed with 58 Members of Knesset (MKs) voting in favor, 48 voting against it, and one MK abstaining from the vote, according to a statement released by the Knesset.
___The bill aims to mend Israel’s Basic Law on Jerusalem to necessitate the approval of 80 of the 120 Knesset members to make any changes to the law, instead of the regular majority vote.
___According to the statement, the proposal explains that the bill has a “security purpose.”
___“Since the IDF’s withdrawal from Lebanon [in 2000] and the disengagement from the Gaza Strip [in 2005] proved that wherever Israel withdraws from, terrorist factors enter, threatening the security of citizens of Israel,” the bill reportedly states, insinuating that if Israel withdrew from occupied East Jerusalem, it would be taken over by “terrorist” factions.   MORE . . .   

Ma’oz, Moshe. “A  NATIONAL  OR  RELIGIOUS  CONFLICT?  THE  DISPUTE  OVER  THE  TEMPLE  MOUNT/AL-HARAM  AL-SHARIF  IN  JERUSALEM.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 20/21, no. 4/1, Dec. 2015, pp. 25-32.
Arabs and Jews, the children of Abraham, are becoming increasingly engaged in a religious war. The major focus of this conflict is the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif and East Jerusalem/al-Quds Al-Sharif. Amalgamated with nationalist and political components of the Arab-Israeli dispute, this religious war also derives from two opposed processes: growing Islamic Judeophobia in the Arab and Muslim world, on one hand; and accelerated Jewish Islamophobia in Israel and the Diaspora, on the other.
[. . . .] Moderate Israeli and Palestinian personalities — religious and secular — have been warning for years that the Jewish-Muslim conflict over the Temple Mount could trigger a worldwide religious war.
[. . . .] Despite these warnings, top Israeli and Palestinian leaders continue to perpetuate this phenomenon to score political gains. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, must politically ride his people’s anger and frustration regarding alleged Jewish intentions to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other right-wing Israeli leaders continue to use the Jewish sanctity of the Temple Mount to gamer public support.
___Netanyahu has also done very little to change the desire of Jewish citizens to rebuild the third Temple (approx. 40%), control and pray on the Temple Mount (approx. 65%), and keep a united Jerusalem under eternal Israeli sovereignty (80%). In fact, on Jerusalem Day, May 2014, Netanyahu proclaimed that “Jerusalem was unified 47 years ago. It will never be redivided: We will never divide our heart — the heart of the Nation. Jerusalem is also Mount Zion and Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount), the Western Wall — Israel’s eternal.” [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PM  HAMDALLAH  TO  EUROPEAN  DIPLOMATS:  STOP  ISRAEL  NOW
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
July 20, 2017.   Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Thursday urged the European Union to take immediate action to pressure Israel to stop its violations against Palestinian rights and holy places.
___Hamdallah discussed during a meeting at  his Ramallah office with EU diplomats the recent developments in Jerusalem, particularly Israel’s measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the heightened settlement activities in and around Jerusalem.
___He warned of deterioration in the security situation if Israel persists in efforts to change the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PRESIDENT  ABBAS  DISCUSSES  ISRAELI  MEASURES  WITH  TURKISH  COUNTERPART    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
July 20, 2017.   President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday discussed over phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the recent Israeli measures around flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___Abbas and Erdoğan reportedly discussed the Israeli installation of metal detectors at the gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque, assaults against Muslim worshippers and the attempt to change the long-standing status quo at the mosque.
___Abbas called upon Erdoğan to help de-escalate tensions through asking the US administration to oblige Israel to retract its serious measures and also through his contacts with Israel.   MORE . . . 
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SHOOT,  KILL  PALESTINIAN  AFTER  ALLEGED  STABBING  ATTEMPT,  SPARKING  CLASHES
Ma’an News Agency
July 20, 2017.  Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian in the southern occupied West Bank village of Tuqu on Thursday afternoon, sparking clashes in which at least one Palestinian was injured.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to stab Israeli soldiers at an Israeli military checkpoint near Tuqu, adding that “responding to the immediate threat,” soldiers shot and killed the man. They added that no Israelis were injured in the case.
___A Ma’an reporter present at the scene said that Israeli soldiers fired four shots towards the Palestinian near Tuqu’s school, while eyewitnesses said that an Israeli military vehicle then run over the man.   MORE . . .

“I  CLASP  YOUR  HANDS,” BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but my share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

From THE PALSESTINIAN 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.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994, in a dreadful car crash while on his way to meet Yasser Arafat in Jericho after the Oslo agreements. He participated in Palestinian political life in occupied Palestine, was elected mayor of Nazareth, and served as a member of the Israeli Knesset.     (More. . .)

“. . . fill the streets With demonstrations And the jails with pride . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

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Israeli soldiers seal off the West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashal on June 17 (Photo: Daily Mail, Getty Images, June 18, 2017)

❶ B’Tselem: Israeli army continues to disrupt life for residents of Deir Abu Mashaal
❷ Israeli forces deliver stop-work notice in Hebron-area village
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Kufr Qaddoum marks six years for its Intifada against the Israeli occupation
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) IOF bulldozes lands in Daher al-Maleh village

Background:   Slater, Jerome. “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Policy.

❸ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ B’TSELEM: ISRAELI ARMY CONTINUES TO DISRUPT LIFE FOR RESIDENTS OF DEIR ABU MASHAAL
Ma’an News Agency 
July 1, 2017.   Israeli authorities have continued to implement restrictive policies on Palestinians in Deir Abu Mashaal in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, after three residents of the town were shot dead last month after allegedly carrying out a deadly attack near Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem, which killed an Israeli police officer, B’Tselem reported on Thursday.     ___After it was revealed that the three alleged assailants — Baraa Ibrahim Saleh, 18, Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush, 18, and Usama Ahmad Ata, 19 — were from the village of Deir Abu Mashaal, the town was subsequently placed under lockdown, and was subjected to multiple military raids.
___Based on field research conducted in the village, B’Tselem reported that, on the night of the attack, Israeli forces installed an iron gate at the entrance of the village and erected large rocks and piles of dirt on three dirt roads used by villagers, and refused to allow any Palestinian from leaving or entering the area, putting the village under a complete siege.
___Locals removed some of the obstacles in order to drive out of the village, as many residents are dependent on work in Ramallah city.  MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI FORCES DELIVER STOP-WORK NOTICE IN HEBRON-AREA VILLAGE     Ma’an News Agency 
July 1, 2017.   Israeli forces delivered a stop-work notice to a Palestinian home in the Khillet Ibrahim area of western Idhna village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron for lacking nearly impossible-to-obtain Israeli-issued building permits.      ___The house, which belongs to Jamal Muhammad Abu Zalta, measures 150 square meters in area, Mayor of Idhna Muammar al-Tmeizi told Ma’an.
___Five Palestinians reside in the home, according to al-Tmeizi.
___Al-Tmeizi also pointed out that two-thirds of the village’s area has been declared Area C — the more than 60 percent of the occupied Palestinian territory under full Israeli military control as a result of the Oslo Accords.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) KUFR QADDOUM MARKS SIX YEARS FOR ITS INTIFADA AGAINST THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 19, 2017.   Six years ago today, the Palestinian residents of Qufr Qaddoum, a peaceful village near Qalqilya in the north of the West Bank, decided to rise against the Israeli military’s closure of a vital and historical village road and demand its reopening.
___In six years of uprising, the village witnessed 500 marches, usually carried out on Fridays following the prayer. During these protests, an elderly man was shot dead by the army during confrontations and 85 wounded with live bullets, including six children, some of them lost an eye or speech ability, 170 people detained, homes destroyed, fields torched, farms wrecked, military checkpoints, collective punishment and more than $70,000 in fines imposed on the helpless Palestinian civilians.
___But all this did not deter or tire the residents, who are determined to continue with their weekly activity until they get the vital road reopened.   MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) IOF BULLDOZES LANDS IN DAHER AL-MALEH VILLAGE  
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
July 1, 2017.   The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) bulldozed on Friday agricultural lands in Daher al-Maleh village which is isolated behind the apartheid wall to the north of Yabad town in Jenin province for the purpose of constructing a road and a new section of the apartheid wall.
___Head of Daher al-Maleh village council Omar al-Khatib said that the IOF bulldozers razed about 20 dunums of land planted with olives and tobacco in preparation for the construction of a road linking between Shaked settlement and the settlements of Tal Menashe and Hananit, according to Wafa news agency.   MORE . . .

Slater, Jerome. “TERRORISM AND THE ISRAELI -PALESTINIAN CONFLICT.” Middle East Policy, vol. 22, no. 3, Fall2015, pp. 79-99.     [. . . .] . . . the political path to a settlement is all but dead, leaving only nonviolent resistance as an alternative to terrorism. In fact, at various periods the Palestinians have tried nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience and political protest, especially in the first and largely unarmed intifada in the late 1980s, and in the last few years to prevent the further expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. All of these efforts have been suppressed or violently crushed by Israeli forces. As Meron Benvenisti, the former deputy mayor of Jerusalem . . . has written: “. . . The Israelis have managed to persuade the Palestinians that they have no inhibitions when it comes to using force, even gunfire, against unarmed protesters, and they make no distinction between violent and nonviolent demonstrations.”
[. . . .]  The more important point today is this: even if it is arguable whether the Palestinians gained more than they lost by their earlier periods of terrorism, it no longer is. In the last 10 years, it has become clear that Palestinian terrorism is a disaster for both peoples. It has reinforced the Israeli “Never Again” mindset that results in an entirely preposterous analogy, cynical or genuine, comparing Palestinian resistance to the Holocaust.
[. . . .] In 2008, an allegedly “new” Israeli military doctrine was announced by Gadi Eizenkot, a leading Israeli general. This so-called “Dahiya doctrine,” named after a 2006 Israeli attack with 2,000-pound bombs on the residential Beirut suburb of Dahiya, made explicit and, in effect, official what until then had been obvious though unacknowledged: “What happened in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on….We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction….This is not a recommendation….It has been approved.” Today Eizenkot is the IDF chief of staff.
[. . . .] It is necessary to separate the issue of whether it was legitimate for the Jewish people to have a state of their own from the issue of where it could have been established. The argument is strong that, in light of centuries of murderous European anti-Semitism, in general, and the Holocaust, in particular, the establishment of a Jewish state was justifiable. . .  For that reason, the argument has been made . . .  that the moral wrongs of Zionist and Israeli terrorism and ethnic cleansing during the 1947- 49 period were at least mitigated by the need to establish a viable state with a large Jewish majority . . .   no such mitigation is available for Israeli terrorism since the end of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War . . . Not only have the continuing Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians and their institutions been unjust, so have their essential purposes: to maintain the occupation and prevent the Palestinians from reaching their just goal of an independent state. . . Aggressor states have no “right of self-defense” when it is their criminality that has provoked violent resistance  . . .
[. . . .] For several reasons, Israeli terrorism has been morally worse than that of the Palestinians. First, at least since the 1980s, most — though not all — Palestinian terrorism has been largely driven by the just cause of national liberation in part of Palestine . . .
[. . . .] . . . a second reason Israeli terrorism has been worse than that of the Palestinians is that its scale and extent have been far greater and more destructive. Numbers matter . . .
[. . . .] Third, Palestinian terrorism comes much closer to meeting the just-war criterion of last resort, or the absence of alternatives. In their legitimate quest for independence and political sovereignty — not to mention dignity — the Palestinians have tried armed resistance against the Israeli occupying forces, negotiations and diplomacy, and nonviolent political action. None have worked.
[. . . .]  A final reason that Israeli terrorism is worse than Palestinian terrorism is that Israel is a democracy (however flawed) . . .  than do the Palestinians in Gaza, who live under the autocratic rule of Hamas.
[. . . .]  As I have argued, while there is a reasonable case that Palestinian terrorism in the 1970-2000 period did bring international recognition . . . Palestinian terrorism has backfired. The Palestinians have no other means of attaining their just cause other than through nonviolent resistance, international diplomacy and moral appeals to convince the United States to end its de facto support of the Israeli occupation.  FULL ARTICLE . . .

“WE SHALL REMAIN” (1970), BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

Tawfiq Zayyad, poet, scholar, politician (1929-1994)
From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon