“. . . Rise, throw off the veil of shame none can justify . . .” (Diab Rabie)

(Note: Today’s posting responds to the Israeli court ruling in “Context” and presents background on the history and progress of removal of Palestinians from Jerusalem.)
w-mugrabi-051713-1425653865Palestinians Mourn Neighborhood Razed by Israel in Shadow of Western Wall
after 1967 Six-Day War.  Forward . . .

. . . . Context  Israeli  court  approves  eviction  of  100  Palestinian  families  from  Silwan
. . . . Context  Experts:  Occupation  seeks  to  establish  a  50km  settlement  belt  in  Jerusalem

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  JEWISH  SETTLEMENTS  IN  THE  ISRAELI  OCCUPIED  STATE  OF  PALESTINE  UNDERMINING  AUTHENTIC  RESOLUTION  OF  THE  ISRAELI  PALESTINIAN  CONFLICT  
By Jad Isaac (general director of the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem)
A tour of the West Bank or a look at its geopolitical map reveals the extent of Israel’s colonization strategy and how the settlements regime is undermining the two-state solution. The ongoing fragmentation of Palestinian land and communities . . . house demolitions and the confiscation of private property, are making the two-state solution far-fetched, if not impossible.   ___When the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) engaged the peace process with Israel with the signing of the first Oslo Accord on Sept. 13, 1993, the Palestinian people assumed that a Palestinian state would emerge within five years’ time on the land occupied by Israel on June 5, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.      More . . .
. . . . Related Israeli  Settlements—  Interactive  Map  (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
. . . . Related Israel’s  settlements:  50  years  of  land  theft  explained
|  NAKBA  MEMORICIDE:  GENOCIDE  STUDIES  AND  THE  ZIONIST/ISRAELI  GENOCIDE  OF  PALESTINE  – Journal  of  Holy  Land  and  Palestine  Studies
By Rashed, Haifa;  Short, Damien; Docker, John
ABSTRACT: This essay furthers the debate on the Palestinian case as it relates to Genocide Studies, questioning the lack of substantive discussion of this case to date in traditional Genocide Studies fora. It reemphasises the importance of the settler-colonial dimension to Zionist settlement in Palestine, which, it argues, has so far not been explored sufficiently. The paper suggests that the ‘Nakba’ of 1948, which was based on appropriation of the land of Palestine without its people, comprising massacres, physical destruction of villages, appropriation of land, property and culture, can be seen as an ongoing process and not merely a historical event.    More . . .
|  NEO-ZIONISM  AND  PALESTINE:  THE  UNVEILING  OF  SETTLER-COLONIAL  PRACTICES  IN  MAINSTREAM  ZIONISM  – Journal  of  Holy  Land  and  Palestine  Studies
By  Amal Jamal  (Department of Political Science Tel Aviv University)
ABSTRACT: This article examines the rise and key characteristics of Neo-Zionist political thought in Israel and its relationship with mainstream Zionist thought. It argues that despite the radical and repulsive discourses of Neo-Zionism and the critique expressed by liberal Zionists towards it, the former has always been embodied in classical Zionism. The justifications provided by Neo-Zionists are based on principles propagated by central leaders of mainstream Zionism. Utilising new perspectives in Settler-Colonial Studies, the article demonstrates how both strands encapsulate the Zionist continuum and continuous expansionist drive for new settlements in Palestine based on ‘Biblical right’ of Jews over the land of Palestine. Both advocate supremacist, exclusivist, and volkish rights for Jews with disastrous consequences for the indigenous people of Palestine. The convictions and practices of the Neo-Zionists in the post 1967 period help unveil the camouflaged motivations, justifications and practices of mainstream expansionist Zionism.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel’s  Treatment  of  the  Arabs  in  the  Occupied  Territories (1976/77)
| PLO  ASHRAWI  CONDEMNS  ISRAEL’S  DEMOLITION  OF  SHOPS  IN  SHU’FAT
Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hanan Ashrawi, condemned on Thursday the demolition by Israeli authorities of at least twenty Palestinian-owned shops and structures in the Shu’fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem.   ___“Israel’s strategy of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem has become an official policy,” Ashrawi said in a press release.    ___She continued, “With its deliberate intent of illegally eradicating the Palestinian identity, presence, narrative and history from the occupied city and replacing the indigenous population with extremist Jewish settlers, Israel has escalated its efforts to carry out the demolitions of Palestinian homes, businesses and structures throughout occupied Jerusalem.”   More . . .
|    (History)  MAMLUK  BUILDINGS  BEARING  THE  NAMES  OF  FAMILIES  OF  JERUSALEM
The Old City of Jerusalem is characterized by its distinctive architecture since the Ayyubid period, during which dozens of unique buildings were built, including the so-called “Al-Hawsh”, a Mamluk residential complex with several families residing in.    ___The researcher in the history of Jerusalem, Robin Abu Shamsieh, told the Palestinian Information Center that Al-Hawshs in Jerusalem were characterized by a distinctive architectural style, called palaces, and a number of them still exist until today, carrying the names of the families of Jerusalem such as Shihabi, Danf, and Al-Hilou. They were also characterized by arches, domes and long corridors.   More . . .
. . . . Related  A  familiar  invasion:  Settlers  take  another  mountain  top,  soldiers  follow,  and  Palestinians  demonstrate  for  their  rights

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“SWEARING  BY  YOUR  JERUSALEM,”  BY  DIAB  RABIE
The nightingale stopped singing and mourned the lost land;
It wandered into spaces where winds held command.
Tired by many nights of flight, it took its rest,
But not at wondrous sites or near a female breast.
It once rejoiced in singing, now it merely cries
All night till morning, and it will not shut its eyes.
Memories with bleeding wounds cried out in disgust:
How could you leave the country and abandon your trust.
Your trees shade strangers who oppress and occupy.
Rise, throw off the veil of shame none can justify.
Can the oppressed despise sharp swords and keep their pride?
Face daily insults silently and step aside?
You will regain your land only by sword and spear;
With their help people will see justice reappear.
Youth came into this world to battle with their hands;
Brook no pollution in this holiest of lands.
I swear by “Your Jerusalem,” maimed Palestine,
That Arab flags will wave above you for all time.

Translated by George Khoury and Edward Morin. This poem was published in the Arabic language newspaper, Sameer, in New York City one month after the UN resolution in 1947 to divide Palestine.

Diab Rabie (1922-2010), born in Palestine, was a newspaperman assigned to New York. He was prevented by the Israelis from reentering his homeland and settled in North Carolina. His poems were published in major Arabic newspapers and magazines around the world throughout his life. His collected poems, Shetharat El-Rabie were edited by George Khoury and published before his death (The Birzeit Society, 2010).
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND.  PALESTINE/ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. Joan Dobbie & Grace Beeler. Sandport, Idaho: Lost Horse Press, 2012.)  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . an impossible burden weighs down on eyelids and chest . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

mohammed
Mohammad Ghadir Palestinian player of Maccabi Haifa runs with the ball during the UEFA Championship game in Munich, Germany. (Photo: Getty Images, Nov. 25, 2009)

❶ Israel’s Supreme Court orders demolition of settler outpost in Bethlehem by March

  • Background:  “After 50 Years: Save Israel, Stop the Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.    “. . . the occupation became a fundamental catalyst of far-reaching impacts on Israeli society. The state of Israel becomes more Jewish and less democratic . . .”

❷ Prime Minister Hamdallah: U.S. Appeals Court’s Decision is Just
❸ The metamorphosis of a Jewish supremacist
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL’S  SUPREME  COURT  ORDERS  DEMOLITION  OF  SETTLER  OUTPOST  IN  BETHLEHEM  BY  MARCH
Ma’an News Agency  
Sept. 2, 2016
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that an illegal Israeli settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem be demolished by March 2018, sparking condemnation from right-wing Israeli parliament members who blamed the decision on left-wing groups aiming to “exploit the judicial system” for the benefit of a minority.
___The court ordered the removal of 17 homes, comprising of some 40 Israeli families, in the Israeli settler outpost of Derech HaAvot established in 2001 near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc after ruling that the outpost was built on privately held Palestinian land, according to a statement released by Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___ The Jerusalem Post reported that the outpost was established with 300,000 shekels ($79,562) from the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing. Soon after its establishment, the outpost was challenged in the courts by Palestinians from the town al-Khader who claimed they owned the land.     MORE . . .  

  • Schnell, Izhak, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “After 50 Years: Save Israel, Stop The Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 72-80.   FULL ARTICLE.

(NOTE: Izhak Schnell is professor in the Department of Geography and Human Environment at Tel Aviv University. Daniel Bar-Tal is Professor Emeritus at the School of Education at Tel Aviv University. He was co-editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal (2001-05) and president of the International Society of Political Psychology.) 

[Three] mechanisms stabilizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and avoiding the adoption of peace policies. . . The third mechanism relates to the institutionalization of a bureaucratic inertia that maintains and feeds the occupation regardless of declared policies. This mechanism acts at a governmental level when, for example, a senior clerk in the Ministry of Justice announces a regulation that the government does not have to prove ownership of lands in cases of land disputes. Instead, the Palestinians who claim ownership have to prove their ownership of the land in question, and, as a result, this regulation means that many Palestinians lost their lands due to the settlement process. . . . The military was also forced to serve the settlers’ interests by guarding unauthorized settlements that were ordered to evacuate based on the law and Supreme Court decisions. Finally, the settlers’ council represents a population of an estimated 500,000 settlers who have relatives and ideological support among the religious sections, allowing the movement to become a powerful lobby in Israeli politics.  The fact that they are more motivated and better organized than other political lobbies in Israel makes them even more powerful.
___ . . . the occupation became a fundamental catalyst of far-reaching impacts on Israeli society. The state of Israel becomes more Jewish and less democratic in the delicate balance between these two aspects. Jewishness is defined in a combination of religious and nationalist terms, promoting a particularistic identity that turns its back on the Hebrew identity that emphasized universal and humanistic values. By defining the OPT as the core of the Jewish state and identity, the new Israel antagonizes the Palestinians, the Arab world and, indirectly, Western societies, which in turn, strengthen particularistic aspects of Israel’s identity bringing new life to slogans such as “People who live unto themselves.”

❷ PRIME  MINISTER  HAMDALLAH:  U.S.  APPEALS  COURT’S  DECISION  IS  JUST
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 1, 2016
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah commended Thursday the decision by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to dismiss a $655 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), finding that U.S. courts should not have exercised jurisdiction, according to a statement issued by Hamdallah’s office.
___A number of American families had filed a multimillion dollar law suit in a New York federal court in 2004 against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO holding them responsible for the death of family members in attacks by Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel between the years 2000 and 2002.    MORE . . .

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
A Permanent home in the illegal outpost of Derech Ha’avot. (Photo: Peace Now, Jan. 13, 2013)

❸ THE  METAMORPHOSIS  OF  A  JEWISH  SUPREMACIST
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
Aug. 31, 2016
David Mizrahi was once a prominent member of La Familia, a notorious Jewish supremacist chapter of the Beitar Jerusalem fan club.
___Three years ago, he famously refused to shake hands with Arab footballer Mohammed Ghadir. But on Sunday, he published the following on Facebook:
[. . . .] ___”And today, three years on, I’m coming full circle. I’m going to meet with Mohammed Ghadir, shake his hand talk to him. I’m the happiest man alive.
___I’ve recently started speaking against racism and for love and tolerance. Many eyebrows were raised. I was harassed along the way, and many are still annoyed with me.”     MORE . . .   

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

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

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

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

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

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

1-Herzl_retouched

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

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

❷ HISTORICAL NOTE: 

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

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

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

❸ A  DEFINITION  OF  “LEGAL”  OCCUPATION: 

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

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

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

Dheisheh1
Dheisheh Refugee Camp is a Palestinian refugee camp located just south of Bethlehem. (Photo: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, April 26, 2012)

❹ THE  CONSEQUENCE  OF  OCCUPATION  FOR  THE  PALESTINIANS: 

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

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

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

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

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

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

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

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

“. . . my son doesn’t walk this path with me. . .” (Mohammed Lafi)

Nov. 1, 2014. Israeli soldiers escort a group of Palestinian school children as they walk through the Israeli settlement of Havat Ma'on in West Bank. The students’ journey takes them through a legal and political maze as they pass between a legal and an illegal Israeli settlement on their way to school. (Max Becherer/Max Becherer/Polaris Images For The Washington Post)
Nov. 1, 2014. Israeli soldiers escort a group of Palestinian school children as they walk through the Israeli settlement of Havat Ma’on in West Bank. The students’ journey takes them through a legal and political maze as they pass between a legal and an illegal Israeli settlement on their way to school. (Max Becherer/Max Becherer/Polaris Images For The Washington Post)

from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
SCHOOL STUDENTS USE SEWAGE CHANNELS TO REACH SCHOOL
March 24, 2015
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian students are being forced to cross through sewage channels to reach a high school in western Ramallah district after a settlement road cut off the only other means of access, residents told Ma’an.
Up to 200 students from the villages of al-Tira and Beit Ur al-Fuqa now reach the school using a four kilometer route that runs along the separation wall, where armed settlers, as well as Israeli soldiers, almost daily interrupt their commute.
The route passes through sewage channels and regularly takes students up to 40 minutes to reach their school,
(More. . .)

◊◊◊◊◊
from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
DCI-PALESTINE: 30 CHILDREN SHOT BY ISRAELI FORCES IN 2015
by IMEMC News & Agencies
March 24, 2015
Israeli forces shot and injured at least 30 children across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, according to Defense for Children International- Palestine (DCIP).
DCIP reported that, while Israeli military regulation permits the use of live ammunition when a direct mortal threat exists, the organization found no evidence that any of the children injured in 2015 posed such a threat to Israeli forces or settlers.
“The pace at which we are documenting injuries from live ammunition in 2015 shows no sign of slowing down,” DCIP advocacy officer Olivia Watson told Ma’an News Agency.
(More. . . )

Feb. 14, 2015. Nasser Murad Safi, 15, was shot by Israeli soldiers with live ammunition breaking his leg.
Feb. 14, 2015. Nasser Murad Safi, 15, was shot by Israeli soldiers with live ammunition breaking his leg.

from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
TEL AVIV U: 850 SCHOLARSHIPS FOR GAZA ATTACK SERVICE
by Alternative Information Center
March 25, 2015
Tel Aviv University (TAU) recently awarded scholarships to 850 students who took part in Israel’s military attack on the Gaza Strip last summer.
The “President’s Scholarship for Service in Operation Protective Edge”, up to NIS 2,000 per student, was awarded as tuition credit to the winners.
Already during the attack. . . University President Joseph Klafter announced that such scholarships would be made available. . .
(More. . . )

◊◊◊◊◊
from HAARETZ
OBAMA SAYS ‘REAL POLICY DIFFERENCE’ BETWEEN ISRAEL, U.S.
U.S. president says Netanyahu has ‘different approach,’ and that his administration still believes two-state solution is ‘best way to preserve Israel’s security.’
Barak Ravid
March 24, 2015
The crisis between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that broke out anew after the Israeli election, worsens from day to day. At a press conference on Tuesday Obama said that there is “real policy difference” between himself and Netanyahu when it comes to the need to establish a Palestinian state. This dispute, Obama added, will have ramifications for U.S. policy
(More. . . )

◊◊◊◊◊
From HUFFINGTON POST
ISRAEL CANNOT REFORM ITSELF AND NEEDS SOME TOUGH LOVE
Bob Herbst
March 24, 2015
There is a silver lining in the black cloud of the recent Israeli election. The pretense at the base of Israel’s pious public pronouncements about its desire for peace with the Palestinians has been stripped away. Netanyahu revealed himself as unalterably opposed to the end of the occupation of the West Bank, to the creation of a viable state for the Palestinians, and thus to a lasting peace and just end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Despite all the talk we have heard for the last decade and more about Israel’s lacking a Palestinian partner for peace, it turns out to be the Palestinians who don’t have an Israeli partner really willing to make peace. And Netanyahu’s rant in the closing days of the campaign about the Arabs flocking to the polls “in droves” to vote betrayed an ugly racism truly disgusting to behold in the political leader of the Jewish state who purports to represent Jewry worldwide.
(More. . . )
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-herbst/israel-cannot-reform-itself-and-needs-some-tough-love_b_6918806.html

◊◊◊◊◊
MY OTHER SELF AND I, BY MOHAMMED LAFI
my son doesn’t walk this path with me
nor my father or brother or a friend
but I sense his presence as I walk
and I sense his absence as I walk
and whenever past misfortunes camp at the door
I sense his presence more
Calling out in whispers and shouts
Whenever our steps seem lost on the edge of the war:
Stop! Mohammed!
If your innocent conscience is violated even once
It will turn to fire

On the path I am not a son for him nor a father
A brother or a friend yet he remains with me
that last faithful survivor from the family of the wolf
watching guard over me at night
following me through the day
and he howls when I step off
of the grass that leads the way:
Stop! Mohammed!
open your ears and listen hard O Mohammed!
the virginity of your conscience once sullied
will burn
and the ashes on your path will never be reborn
—translated by Jim Ferguson
Mohammed Lafi is a Lecturer in English and Translation at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza, and he works as a freelance translator for local and international organizations.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.