“. . . Do you sanction what’s being done In your names . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Jerusalem: Israel planning park to connect two settlements

  • Background: “UN Security Council Resolution 2334: An Important Lease on Life for the Two-State Solution.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) IOF closes off al-Khalil thoroughfares with checkpoints
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Qareqea: Israel’s intent to seize our tax money “financial piracy”
❷ Dozens of Palestinians were wounded during clashes with IOF on Friday of anger
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Trump’s Palestine deal is a real estate transaction
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
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Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 8, 2018 ― The Hebrew daily, Haaretz newspaper on Thursday has unveiled an Israeli plan to build a park in the Mount of Olives overlooking Old Jerusalem, which will link two settlement outposts to the Jewish side of  Jerusalem.
___According to Haaretz, the park will be located on the western slopes of the Mount of Olives, and will link the settlement neighborhoods of “Beit Orot” and “Beit Hohchen.”     MORE . . . 

PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 78-84.   Dr. Alon Liel served from 2000 to 2001 as the director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
[. . . .] At a time when support for a two-state solution was rapidly disappearing, the international community provided emergency aid in the form of Resolution 2334 [Dec. 23, 2016]. The resolution demands that Israel cease illegal settlement activity, focus on the two-state solution . . .   The UNSC resolution makes a clear distinction between the area of the sovereign State of Israel and the area of the territories occupied in 1967. . .   This distinction between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) touches upon the holy of holies of the current Israeli government; senior ministers call the occupied West Bank “the heart of the land,” and the settlers are the political elite in Israel today.
[. . . .] Beyond touching the sensitive settlements nerve, the reason for the Israeli anger is very clear. Most of the Knesset members of the ruling coalition . . .  do not support the two-state solution. . . .
[. . . .] Precisely because of the tremendous anger that it raised, UNSC Resolution 2334 also became an important life-saver for the Israeli opposition that supports the two-state solution. This opposition . . .  is practically not felt in the political/parliamentary discourse in Israel.
[. . . .] Now President Trump is preparing, at least according to his declarations, to “broker a deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, the most important statement he made in connection with the conflict has already caused real damage. In the joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu, he said: “I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like.” With this possibly unplanned off-the-cuff remark, the president shook up the one foundation for agreement that has accompanied the peace process for the last 20 years (1994-2014). [. . . .] This is where we are today. Within Israel and Palestine, the two-state idea is disappearing from the horizon; the world via Resolution 2334 is trying to revive and breathe new life into the peace camp on both sides; and President Trump is trying to undermine the UN itself and destroy the lifesaver. . . .  Resolution 2334, therefore, is much more than just a resolution about the fate of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The resolution has become a symbol of the global struggle between facts and “alternative facts,” between sanity and magic tricks, between international diplomatic continuity and the dangerous breaking of rules.    FULL ARTICLE . . . 

The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 9, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday evening set up a series of military checkpoints at the main entrances to Halhul town, north of al-Khalil province, in the southern West Bank.
___Reporting from al-Khalil, a PIC news correspondent said the IOF cracked down on Palestinians at a military checkpoint pitched in al-Hawawer area, north of Halhul. Palestinian civilians have been made to endure exhaustive inspection.     MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 9, 2018 ― The Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs has strongly denounced Israel’s intent to enact a new law confiscating Palestinian tax revenues to prevent the Palestinian Authority from using them to support families of prisoners, martyrs and wounded citizens.
___In a press release on Thursday, head of the commission Issa Qaraqea accused the Israeli government of practicing financial extortion and pressure on the Palestinian people through its racist legislation. . . .     MORE . . .  
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 9, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinians were wounded today Friday during clashes with IOF on Friday of anger in which began in several areas and Palestinian cities after Friday none prayers.
___The confrontations took place in several Palestinian cities, including Ramallah and its villages, Bethlehem northern entrance, Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron, Qalqilya and Nablus in addition to Gaza Strip borders.     MORE . . . 
Al Jazeera English
By Bill Law
Feb. 9, 2018 ― As President Donald Trump continues to bluster and tweet his way through a chaotic presidency, the Middle East is simmering dangerously close to a boiling point. Wars in Yemen and Syria are still burning hard . . .   Once again, all but forgotten are the Palestinians.
[. . . .] Trump threatens to cut off US aid because the Palestinians refused to meet his Vice President Mike Pence after the president had provocatively named Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. . . .
[. . . .] The peace proposal that Trump likes best – and that his son-in-law and special Middle East adviser Jared Kushner is reportedly pursuing together with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – looks remarkably like a real estate transaction. Unsurprising, given that the 36-year-old Kushner has no previous experience in diplomacy, but an awful lot of it in wheeling and dealing in the high-stakes world of New York property ventures.      MORE . . .  

Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

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

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

❶ Israeli forces suppress protests marking Balfour Declaration centenary

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.  
About Rashid Hussein