“. . .strangers with their rifles’ muzzles . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli Occupation Forces bunker and watchtower in Central Hebron. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
|  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  HOME  IN  JERUSALEM  –  143  DEMOLISHED  IN  2018  
Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned house in Qalandiya north of occupied East Jerusalem in the central West Bank, on Wednesday morning.    ___Owner Hamzeh al-Mughrabi told Ma’an that Israeli police forces escorted municipality staff into Qalandiya, where they surrounded the house, emptied and evacuated residents before starting the demolition.    ___Al-Mughrabi added that the Shweiki family of 6 members, including a man with disability, live in the 100-square meter house.    More . . .
~~ Jerusalem  mayor  plans  to  reduce  the  sound  of  mosque  loudspeakers     More . . .
|   WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (20–26  DECEMBER  2018)
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.     ___4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and a person with mobility impairment were killed.   142 civilians, including 30 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and a paramedic, were wounded; the injury of 2 of them was reported serious.    ___A child was killed and 5 civilians were wounded, including a Journalist, in the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted 66 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited incursions into the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
~~  Scores  of  Palestinians  injured  by  Israeli  bullet  fire     More . . .
~~  Civilians  kidnapped,  homes  ransacked  by  Israeli  army    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  AND  THE  UNITED  STATES  FORMALLY  QUIT  UNESCO
More than a year after announcing their withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Israel and the United States’ decision officially went into effect at the last second of December 31, 2018.   ___UNESCO was the first UN body to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011, which led the Obama administration to stop paying its annual contributions. In 2017, the UN heritage agency passed a resolution designating the Tomb of Patriarchs in  Hebron  as  a  Palestinian  World  Heritage  Site. The decision was opposed by the Jewish community because of the holy cave’s significance in Judaism.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
NOT  WELCOME  IN  HEBRON:  ITS  ORIGINAL  RESIDENTS  AND  BREAKING  THE  SILENCE
Jonathan Cook
Ido Even-Paz switched on his body camera as his tour group decamped from the bus in Hebron. The former Israeli soldier wanted to document any trouble we might encounter in this, the largest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank.    ___It was not Hebron’s Palestinian residents who concerned him, however. He was worried about fellow Israelis—Jewish religious extremists and the soldiers there to guard them—who have seized control of much of the city center [. . . .]  ___For more than 15 years, Israel has forbidden entry for Palestinians to what was once Hebron’s main throroughfare and central shopping area along Shuhada Street. Now it has been rebranded in Hebrew as King David Street, and declared what the army terms a “sterilized area.” The closure severs the main transport routes for Palestinians between north and south Hebron.    ___Most of the Palestinian inhabitants have been driven from the city center by endless harassment and attacks by settlers, bolstered by arrests and night raids conducted by the army, says Even-Paz.    More . . .
~~  Gaza  march  leader  to  conscientious  objectors:  ‘Turn  your  words  into  weapons’    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“STORY  OF  A  CITY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
There was a blue city
that dreamt of foreigners wandering
Around and spending their money
day after day.

But it became a black city
despising strangers
with their rifles’ muzzles
making the rounds of its cafés.

From: Al-Qasim, Samih.  SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . one of the Chosen selected her heart for his anointed lead . . .” (Reja-e Busailah*)

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Palestinian farmer from Qaryut village inspects destroyed olive trees. (Photo by AFP, Published Fri Aug 17, 2018 by PressTV)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  ISRAEL  RAZES  LANDS,  UPROOTS  OLIVE  TREES  IN  AL-KHADER  VILLAGE
Israeli military bulldozers razed Palestinian agricultural lands and uprooted olive trees in the al-Khader village, south of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday.    ___Locals said that Israeli bulldozers razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of agricultural lands, located between two illegal Israeli settlements of Elazar and Neve Daniel, both built on lands of the al-Khader village, and uprooted olive trees.    ___Sources confirmed that the razed and leveled lands belonged to Muhammad Moussa.    ___Locals added that razing of Palestinian lands and uprooting of trees is part of an Israeli plan to expand nearby illegal settlements.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  demolish  housing  structures  in  Jordan  Valley
. . . . Related  PA  cabinet  to  form  investigation  committee  into  Jerusalem  properties  issue
. . . . Related   Salfit:  Israel  to  confiscate  8  dunums  of  land  for  military  purposes
|  WHO:  14  GAZANS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  IN  TWO  WEEKS
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a special situation report, on Wednesday, in which the latest figures showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___According to the WHO report, from March 30th, the start of “The Great March of Return” protests along the Gaza borders with Israel, until the 6th of October, 205 Palestinians were killed.    ___Out of the total killed, 190 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the mass protests, while 15 others were killed during various Israeli attacks.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Gaza’s  unemployment  doubled  since  start  of  Israeli  blockade  –  labor
|  UNESCO  ADOPTS  BY  CONSENSUS  DECISIONS  ON  PALESTINE
. . . . (UNESCO) adopted on Wednesday by consensus two resolutions on Occupied Palestine in the framework of its 205th plenary meeting.     [. . . .] One resolution stated that, ”The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. . .  all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel . . .  are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”    [. . . .] It also deplored “the ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| WHAT  THE  CLOSURE  OF  THE  PLO  OFFICE  IN  WASHINGTON  REALLY  MEANS
Dorgham Abusalim
There have been attempts to shutter the PLO presence in the U.S. ever since it opened a Washington, DC-based Information Office in 1978. But it wasn’t until 1987 that such attempts began to gain steam when Congress adopted the Anti-Terrorism Act, in which it proclaimed the PLO a terrorist organization—this law is in effect to this day . . .  In all the commentary on the closure of the PLO office in Washington, little has been said about what it actually means . . .       [. . . .] Thirty-six years later, the closure of the PLO office in Washington . . .  echoes [Edward] Said’s sobering analysis: “To  reduce  Palestinian  existence  as  much  as  possible.”  Indeed, the closure of the PLO office is yet another reminder of the long assault by Israel and the U.S., its chief ally, on those elements that constitute the Palestinian narrative: institutions, culture, history, law, and language, to name a few.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

| KINDER  USA  PRESENTS  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA  (Dallas,  Texas,  October  21;  Anaheim,  California,  October  26)  For over thirsty years, Dr. Mads Gilbert has worked in conflict zones including volunteering in hospitals under siege in West Beirut, Lebanon during the 80s and Gaza for the last two decades. His perspective as a doctor and activist in such a conflicted time and area makes him the ideal person for our upcoming speaking events.  Tickets and Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“IN  THE  SHADOW  OF  THE  HOLY  HEIGHTS”  BY  REJA-E  BUSAILAH 

  •                 for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis
    at the age of 25, near Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them

*  Reja-e Busailah has been blind since infancy. At age 7, he and his family were forced marched by Zionist forces from their home in Lydda into exile. He was educated in Cairo and earned a PhD in English from New York University. He is the author of a collection of poetry, “We Are Human,” (1985). He taught at Indiana University for 30 years and is now retired. He recently published his memoir “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.”

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

“. . . In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Art-8bisCanaanite teacher from a school at the archaeological site Tell Balata
near Nablus asks for his salary in a letter dated to around 1400 BC
(Photo, This Week In Palestine, October 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  EMBRACING  THE  RIGHT  TO  EDUCATION:  A  STORY  OF  HOPE,  DETERMINATION,  AND  SUCCESS
It all started 25 years ago when Mr. Heikki Kokkala, a senior education specialist from Finland, and the late Mr. Khalil Mahshi, then director general of external relations at the Ministry of Education in Palestine, met at a UNESCO conference on education.   . . .  work had already started on developing the first-ever unified national curriculum which would replace the Jordanian and Egyptian curricula used in the West Bank and Gaza, respectively.    [. . . .] the Finnish government was looking for ways to support the newly established Palestinian Authority and decided to direct its support to the education sector.   ___Thus, Mr. Kokkala and Mr. Mahshi, with their many colleagues, began to design the first cooperation project between Finland and Palestine.   More . . .
|  SPREAD  THE  WORD:  PALESTINE  HAS  ONE  OF  THE  WORLD’S  HIGHEST  LITERACY  RATES
Palestine ranks among countries with the world’s highest literacy rates, with only 3.3 percent of Palestinians aged 15 and over in the West Bank and Gaza Strip unable to read, according to a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report released on [September 6, 2018].    ___The report . . .  shows that the illiteracy rate in Palestine has fallen by 10 percent over the past decade. This leaves Palestine with one of the lowest rates of illiteracy in the world . . .     [. . . .] The figures come despite the difficulties faced by thousands of Palestinian students to reach their schools in the West Bank, including having to cross Israeli military checkpoints or the separation wall that disconnects their hometowns from where they attend school.   More . . .

Dar al-Kalima 2017 graduation. Photo by Ben Gray / ELCJHL
Dar al-Kalima 2017 graduation. (Photo by Ben Gray / ELCJHL)

|  ISRAEL  TO  REMOVE  UNRWA  TO  ‘END  LIE  OF  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  PROBLEM’
Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, announced on Thursday that he plans to remove the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees from occupied East Jerusalem, which he accused of “operating illegally and promoting incitement against Israel.”  ___Following the announcement on Thursday, the Jerusalem Municipality confirmed that UN schools, which serve about 1,800 students enrolled, would be closed .   ___[. . . .] He claimed that these schools, clinics and sports centers were “illegal” and “operate without an Israeli license.”  . . . the decision . . . was triggered after the United States administration decided to end all funding to UNRWA.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ANCIENT  SCHOOLS  IN  PALESTINE
Early forms of writing emerged gradually from pictorial representations of nature and human activities, [. . .  including] early alphabets (such as the Proto-Canaanite script, Phoenician consonantal alphabet and Greek alphabet that also indicated vowels). The invention of writing necessitated the obvious need to learn it, and human history consequently witnessed the advent of a new profession: teaching. Palestine and Mesopotamia were among the early showplaces of this emerging skill . . .   ___Early sources include . . . a Canaanite teacher from a school at the archeological site Tell Balata near Nablus asks for his salary in a letter dated to around 1400 BC . . .     More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

|  JERUSALEM:  WHAT  MAKES  FOR  PEACE?  Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Conference in Houston
, Texas, on October 11.    Part of the week-long Room for Hope festival.
|  DAR  AL-KALIMA  UNIVERSITY.  BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  GROWS  HOPE  AND  HELPS  BUILD  A  FUTURE  FOR  COLLEGE  STUDENTS  IN  PALESTINE. 
In a country with limited natural resources, Palestine’s human resources are its most valuable capital. Dar Al-Kalima University, through a comprehensive system of human resource development that reflects Palestine’s emerging needs, equips its students with vital skills for the 21st century job market. Bright Stars of Bethlehem envisions that most of the country’s future artists, musicians, actors, journalists, IT professionals, film-makers and the leaders of tomorrow are alumni of the University.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  ROSES  AND  THE  DICTIONARY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

Be that as it may,
I must . . .
The poet must have a new toast
And new anthems.
Traversing a tunnel of incense
And pepper and ancient summer,
I carry the key to legends and ruined monuments of slaves.
I see history an old man
Tossing dice and gathering the stars.

Be that as it may,
I must refuse death
Even though my legends die.
In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry.
Did you realize before today, my love,
That a letter in the dictionary is dull?
How do they live, all these words?
How do they grow? How do they spread?
We still water them with the tears of memories
And metaphors and sugar.

Be that as it may,
I must reject roses that spring
From a dictionary or a diwan.
Roses grow on the arms of a peasant, on the fists of a laborer,
Roses grow over the wounds of a warrior,
And on the face of a rock.

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.

“. . . I have recognized my griefs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . . 

AL-ARAQIB  REFUSES  TO  SURRENDER  AFTER  133RD  DEMOLITION
Israeli military bulldozers demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for the 133rd time, on Thursday.   ___Despite continuous demolitions of the village by the Israeli authorities, residents insist on rebuilding their homes each time they are demolished to the ground.   ___Al-Araqib was demolished for the 132nd time on August 16th; Israeli forces had detained Sheikh of the village, Sayyah al-Turi, and his son Aziz, alongside another resident identified as Salim Abu Ashraf under the pretext of obstructing the work of Israeli authorities and attempting to prevent the demolition.   More . . .

ILLITERACY  RATE  IN  PALESTINE  AMONG  THE  LOWEST  IN  THE  WORLD  –  [UNESCO]  STATISTICS  BUREAU
Marking International Literacy Day, which coincides on September 8 of every year, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published on Thursday on illiteracy rate in Palestine that it is one of the lowest in the world and stood at 3.3% in 2017 among persons 15 years of age and above compared to 24.8% in the Arab states and 13.8% in the world in 2016 for the same age group.   ___It said that the illiteracy rate in 2017 was 3.3% (7,898 illiterate) in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip refugee camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is currently facing a severe financial crisis after the United States has stopped all of its contributions to the humanitarian agency that may affect its educational program for tens of thousands of Palestinian refugee students, compared to 3.1% (67,324 illiterate) in urban areas and 4.8% (20,228 illiterate) in rural localities.   More . . .

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ABDUCT  SEVEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK 
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, seven Palestinians in several parts of the occupied West Bank.   ___The Bethlehem office PPS said the soldiers abducted three Palestinians, identified as Ziad Naim al-Masri, Zeid Ahmad Sheikh and Bassel Mizhir, in Deheishe refugee camp and Marah Rabah village, and shot a young man.   ___During the invasion into Marah Rabah, the soldiers searched the home of Ahmad Sheikh Qassem, who is held by Israel, and summoned his wife for interrogation.    More . . .
ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FISHING  BOATS  IN  GAZA  More . . .
VIDEO:  AWAD  RAJABI  ..  TORTURE  INSIDE  ROOM  4   More . . .
IOF  CLOSES  WATER  LINES  FEEDING  SCHOOL  IN  NABLUS      More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ISRAEL’S  LACK  OF  REMORSE
Mohamed Mohamed   
In an interview with a right-wing Israeli newspaper, Elor Azaria, said he had “no remorse whatsoever” for killing an incapacitated Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 2016.   ___After an alleged stabbing attack against Israeli occupying soldiers, the young Palestinian man, Abd al Fattah Al-Sharif, had already been shot and was seriously wounded. He was lying motionless on the ground, surrounded by many Israeli soldiers. In the video of the murder documented by the Human Rights Defenders in Hebron and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem (warning: many viewers may find this video and the others below, to be disturbing), two other soldiers were closer to the wounded man, and it is clear they did not see him as a threat anymore.   ___Out of nowhere, Azaria cocks his weapon, aims at Al-Sharif, and fires one round into his head. . .    More . . .
Background . . . ELOR  AZARIA  .  .  .  SET  FREE  AFTER  NINE  MONTHS

PLO:  ‘DEMOLITION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  BLATANT  ETHNIC  CLEANSING’    Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said that the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, is “blatant ethnic cleansing.”   ___The Israeli High Court had rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal against the demolition of the village and ruled for its evacuation and for demolition to take place within the next seven days.   ___Ashrawi said in a statement “the inhumane and immoral decision by Israel’s High Court of Justice to green light the destruction of the village of Khan al-Ahmar located near occupied Jerusalem reveals Israel’s intent to erase and eradicate the Palestinian presence and continuity on the land.”  ___She added that “this is blatant ethnic cleansing and constitutes a cause for serious alarm.”   More . . .

ISRAEL  TO  SELL  FREEDOM  FLOTILLA  BOATS  TO  SUPPORT  SETTLERS
Israel plans to sell four boats seized while sailing towards the besieged Gaza Strip and distribute the funds among two settlers families.   ___Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported yesterday that the move came in response to the Israeli Central Court’s decision following a request filed by the families.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . . 

Dandanat Dance & Music Festival
Presented by DAR AL-KALIMA University College of Arts & Culture, Bethlehem
With ‎‎‎Dar Annadwa Icb, ‎Diyar Consortium مجموعة ديار‎‎, Studieförbundet Bilda, Beit Jala Municipality, Al-Jisser‎ and Beit Jala International Festival for Peace 2018‎.

“TO  THE  READER,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Black tulips in my heart,
flames on my lips:
from which forest did you come to me,
all you crosses of anger?
I have recognized my griefs
and embraced wandering and hunger.
Anger lives in my hands,
anger lives in my mouth
and in the blood of my arteries swims anger.

O reader,
don’t expect whispers from me,
or words of ecstasy;
this is my suffering!
A foolish blow in the sand
and another in the clouds.
Anger is all I am –
anger, the tinder
of fire.

– – From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988

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“. . . the [Israeli Police Investigations Division] continues to grant legitimacy to deadly police violence against Arab citizens of Israel . . .” (Adalah)

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Palestinians carrying a wounded person during the Friday clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Gaza borders. One person died . . . (WAFA Images, Dec. 30, 2017) NOTE THE LARGE NUMBER OF DEADLY WEAPONS IN PALESTINIAN HANDS.

❶ Probe into killing of math teacher closed, no officer was found responsible
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during clashes at Gaza border
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Red Crescent: 200 Palestinian wounded [Friday] by IOF in West Bank and Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ)  QB puts up huge placard of Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron in Gaza

  • Background: “The ‘Never Again’ State of Israel: The Emergence of the Holocaust as a Core Feature of Israeli Identity and Its Four Incongruent Voices.” Journal of Social Issues.  

❷ Israel withdraws from UNESCO
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) On Independence Day, UNESCO okays resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem (May 2, 2017)
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PROBE  INTO  KILLING  OF  MATH  TEACHER  CLOSED,  NO  OFFICER  WAS  FOUND  RESPONSIBLE  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA       
Dec. 30, 2017 ― The Israeli Police Investigations Division (PID) decided to close its probe into the January police killing of Ya’akub Abu-Al-Qi’an and to not hold any officers responsible for his death, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said on Thursday.
___Abu Al-Qi’an, a 50-year-old math teacher from Atir-Umm al-Hiran in the Naqab, Israel’s southern desert region, was killed on 18 January after Israeli police opened fire on his vehicle as he was driving through the Bedouin village during state preparations for a large-scale home demolition.
___That same day, Adalah filed a request demanding the PID open an investigation into the killing.
___“The closure of this investigation means the PID continues to grant legitimacy to deadly police violence against Arab citizens of Israel,” said Adalah in a statement responding to the PID’s decision to close the investigation without bringing any officers to justice.    MORE . . .
SEE ALSO : Israeli Knesset to vote on ‘death penalty’ for Palestinians (Dec. 27, 2017) 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  DIES  OF  WOUNDS  SUSTAINED  DURING  CLASHES  AT  GAZA  BORDER  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 30, 2017 ― A Palestinian identified as Jamal Mohammed Musleh, 21, from Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, died early Saturday of wounds sustained during clashes with Israeli soldiers the day before at the Gaza border with Israel, according to the Ministry of Health.
___It said Musleh was shot in the stomach by a live bullet and was reported in critical condition since his arrival at hospital in Deir al-Balah until he was pronounced dead hours later.
___The ministry said at least 45 people were shot by live bullets during the Friday confrontations at the Gaza borders, including four who remain in critical condition.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴃ)  RED  CRESCENT:  200  PALESTINIAN  WOUNDED  [FRIDAY]  BY  IOF  IN  WEST  BANK  AND  GAZA
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 30, 2017 ― More than 200 Palestinians were injured today Friday in clashes with Israeli occupation army  in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after marching for the fourth consecutive week, denouncing US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognition  Jerusalem as Israel capital .
___According Palestinian Red Crescent more that 130 palestinian were injured in clashes with IOF in the west bank, four of them with live bullets, 45 wounded metal bullets, and 77 inhalation of tear gas.     MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴄ)    QB  PUTS  UP  HUGE  PLACARD  OF  ISRAELI  SOLDIER  SHAUL  AARON  IN  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 30, 2017 ― Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has erected a huge poster of Israeli captive soldier Shaul Aaron at al-Saraya junction in Gaza.
___Aaron appears in the poster wearing a brown prison uniform, with remarks in Arabic and Hebrew saying, “As long as our heroes do not see freedom and daylight, this prisoner will never see freedom.”   MORE . . .        CONTEXT . . .  

Klar, Yechiel, et al.
“THE  ‘NEVER  AGAIN’  STATE  OF  ISRAEL:  THE  EMERGENCE  OF  THE  HOLOCAUST  AS  A  CORE  FEATURE  OF  ISRAELI  IDENTITY  AND  ITS  FOUR  INCONGRUENT  VOICES.”
JOURNAL  OF  SOCIAL  ISSUES, vol. 69, no. 1, Mar. 2013, pp. 125-143.
[. . . .] . . . despite this common background and misfortune, there was an unbridgeable divide between the veteran Israelis and the survivors. The Holocaust clearly “belonged” to the survivors and was alien to those who lived in Israel when it transpired. The survivors were . . .  were expected to go on with life, rehabilitate themselves, adopt the Israeli identity and become new Israelis. The Holocaust in those days was perceived as something that had happened to the passive and cowardly Jews of the Diaspora who had gone “like sheep to the slaughter.” It was seen as antithetical to the identity of the “new Israeli,” who was active, free, and daring.
[. . . .] Political scientists Liebman and Don-Yihya were among the first to observe the centrality of the Holocaust as the primary political myth of Israeli society, the symbol of Israel’s present condition and the one which provides Israel with legitimacy and the right to its land. Its memory is omnipresent, cutting across differences in age, education and even country of origin. This observation appears even more compelling today. The Holocaust is a predominant issue in all areas of Israeli social and cultural life . . .
[. . . .] How was Holocaust transformed from a Diaspora reality into an Israeli event? And how was it transformed from an event that was irrelevant and even contradictory to the new Israeli identity to one of the major components of the Israel heritage and identity? In the following we first discuss the internalization of the Holocaust, starting with the Eichmann trial, and continue with the impact of the survivors and their offspring on Israeli society.
[. . . .] Israelis (those who did not experience the Holocaust personally) very slowly and reluctantly acknowledged the Holocaust as . . .  the ultimate realization of the tragic Jewish destiny in the Diaspora, the destiny they had sought to break away from. The social and historical processes by which the Holocaust was gradually turned into a core feature in the Israeli identity are complex and multilayered . . .   Time was involved in several processes, such as the growing impact of the survivors on Holocaust awareness, and the role of second and third generations who were born in Israel yet unashamed in their Holocaust heritage. Israel’s difficult geopolitical situation and the recurring wars also had enormous effects on the continued impact of the Holocaust on Israeli collective identity. One dominant voice of the Holocaust is to “Never be a victim again,” which many Israelis learned to identify as a source of resilience and inventiveness. And there are also the other Holocaust voices urging group members to become better human beings and, even more difficult, to refrain from victimizing other groups. These different voices are often incongruent and disharmonic.     SOURCE . . .   ..

❷ ISRAEL  WITHDRAWS  FROM  UNESCO      
Al Jazeera English 
Dec. 30, 2018 ― Israel has filed notice to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) alongside the United States
___Israel has blasted UNESCO in recent years over the organisation’s criticism of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and its decision to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011.
___UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said on Friday that she deeply regretted Israel’s decision to withdraw.
___”A member of UNESCO since 1949, Israel has a rightful place inside the United Nations agency that is dedicated to education, culture and science,” Azoulay said.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ON  INDEPENDENCE  DAY,  UNESCO  OKAYS  RESOLUTION  DENYING  ISRAELI  CLAIMS  TO  JERUSALEM  (MAY  2,  2017)    
The Times of Israel 
May 2, 2017 ― The United Nation’s cultural body on Tuesday passed the latest in a series of resolutions that denies Israeli claims to Jerusalem, in a move both forcefully condemned by Israel and touted as a diplomatic feat due to the growing number of countries that opposed it.     MORE . . .  

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil.

Samih al-Qasim 
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.

“. . . 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. . .)

 

“. . . You who fear death, I fear it not; Take me to my home . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

poster
Poster of four young men from occupied Palestinian village, Sa’ir, killed by Israeli Occupation Force on one day in January, 2016. (Photo: Adam Horowitz)

❶ The Martyrs are not for Bargaining

  • Background: “Lack of Security for Palestinians.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Palestinian ‘attacks’ Israeli officer after refusing stop-and-frisk search in Jerusalem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Lawyers boycott Israeli court over ‘humiliating’ search procedures
❸ UNESCO declares Hebron Old City as Palestinian heritage site
❹ Poetry by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ THE  MARTYRS  ARE  NOT  FOR  BARGAINING
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Group 194)    
Mohammad Al-Sahli
July 6, 2017.   “The American envoy wants to know the positions of the Palestinian and Israeli sides, toward the key issues of the negotiations.”
___With these sentences, the American Administration paved the way for the visit of Jason Greenblatt last week, where he met President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
[. . . .] . . . Greenblatt proposed on the PA leadership the importance of “developing” the role of the security services and raising the level of security coordination with Israel to reach a level of full cooperation.
[. . . .]  But the most dangerous of the American-Israeli attempts is the seek for doing a comprehensive “brainwashing” for the Palestinians, so that, they forget their sons heroic sacrifices in their long battles against the occupation. This was clear in Greenblatt’s request, to remove the names of the martyrs from the streets of Palestinian cities and towns, and to press to stop the salaries of families of martyrs and prisoners . . . MORE . . .

Elrahim, Amira Abd. “LACK OF SECURITY FOR PALESTINIANS.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 28-35.
[. . . .] Israelis have a government and weapons. They are protected by an army that stands behind them. Recently the Israeli government set up metal detectors at the entrances of the Old City of Jerusalem so that Palestinians aren’t allowed to go through with any metal objects, while Israeli settlers pass through with their guns!! The Israelis are asked to keep their weapons with them at all times!!! Could you think for yourself what do Palestinians have, who is there to protect them or care about their lost livelihoods. They are paralyzed and fed up with injustice, racism, the denial of rights practiced by the Israeli government and the ignorance of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians are the only people on this earth who are asked to guarantee the security of their occupier, while Israel is the only country that calls for defense from its victims.
[. . . .]  Muhannad Halabi was bom in a wealthy family in al-Bireh, Ramallah [Died Oct. 3, 2015].   He was an active student who wanted to be a lawyer. . .  [On his Facebook page] He also had another photo of the Palestinian map covered in a kefiyye. Next to it he wrote: “The only wish which I have is to be buried in Palestine when I die, so that you could write on my grave he is no longer a refugee.” He also expressed his anger about happenings in al-Haram al-Sharif and about the Muslim women and elders who are provoked and humiliated each day. So he said: “What is happening to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and what is happening to the women there, to our mothers and sisters, I do not think our people should be subjugated to humiliation. The people will rise; no, they have actually risen.”   FULL ARTICLE . . . 

❷ PALESTINIAN  ‘ATTACKS’  ISRAELI  OFFICER  AFTER  REFUSING  STOP-AND-FRISK  SEARCH  IN  JERUSALEM  
Ma’an News Agency  
July 6, 2017.   A Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem allegedly “attacked” an Israeli police officer near Damascus Gate on Thursday after refusing to allow Israeli forces to search him.
___Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that Israeli forces stationed at Damascus Gate in the Old City had stopped a Palestinian and demanded to carry out a stop-and-frisk search.
___However, the Palestinian rejected to the search and “attacked” the Israeli border officer, causing the officer to sustain injuries that necessitated a trip to the hospital, according to al-Samri.
[. . . .] Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem have long expressed frustration over Israel’s frequent stop-and-frisk searches routinely carried out on Palestinian passersby, with Israeli forces especially targeting Palestinian teenagers and young men.   MORE . . .
.

IMG_2845
Palestinian young man being stopped and searched by Israeli soldiers at Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)


. . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) LAWYERS  BOYCOTT  ISRAELI  COURT  OVER  ‘HUMILIATING’  SEARCH  PROCEDURES   
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
July 6, 2017.   Lawyers representing Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel refused to appear in the Salem court in northern Israel on Monday, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said.
___The committee said that the lawyers were protesting the “humiliating” search procedures undertaken against them by the Israel Prison Service (IPS)   MORE . . .
❸ UNESCO  DECLARES  HEBRON  OLD  CITY  AS  PALESTINIAN  HERITAGE  SITE 
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
July 7, 2017.   UNESCO has voted to recognise Hebron’s Old City and the Ibrahimi Mosque as Palestinian heritage sites despite diplomatic pressures by the US and Israel to recruit the support of enough member states to vote against the move.
___In a secret ballot, 12 countries voted in favour of the move whilst three voted against it and six abstained.
___The resolution was brought forward by Jordan and included two main clauses: the first states that Hebron’s Old City and the Ibrahimi Mosque are Palestinian heritage sites and should be registered as such in UNESCO’s World Heritage List; and the second asserts that the two sites are to be recognised as being in danger which would force UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to convene to discuss their case.   MORE . . .

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil.

Samih al-Qasim 
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.

 

“. . . because love and peace are holy and are coming to town. . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

“. . .  Elad . . .  seeks to increase Jewish settlement in the Silwan area by purchasing existing homes on behalf of Jewish families. . .  [with funds] from fundraising efforts . . .  possibly also from the donations of wealthy Russian Jewish oligarchs who support the settlement movement in East Jerusalem . . .  archaeologist Israel Finkelstein sees a serious problem here. ‘The official state institutions abandoned the management of the City of David site to a [private] foundation with clear political inclinations,’ he says.”

IMG_2834
The Golden Gate, Eastern Wall, constructed during the Umayyad period atop the ancient footings, with Muslim cemetery at its base. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

❶ UNESCO Adopts Resolution Reaffirming Israel’s Lack of Sovereignty over Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)   UNESCO Resolution ‘Sad, Unnecessary, and Pathetic,’ According to Israeli Foreign Ministry
❷ Israel puts its occupation on display in East Jerusalem

Background: “No Saints in Jerusalem.” Archaeology.

❸ Israeli forces reportedly beat, pepper-spray Palestinians in Silwan raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Arrests in Al-Sowaneh and Esawyehn
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ UNESCO  ADOPTS  RESOLUTION  REAFFIRMING  ISRAEL’S  LACK  OF  SOVEREIGNTY  OVER  JERUSALEM        
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
July 6, 2017.   The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted, on Tuesday, a resolution which confirms Israel’s lack of sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem.
___The organization condemned, in a meeting in Krakov, southern Poland, the excavations carried out by the Israeli Antiquities Department, in Jerusalem.
___According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, the Arab Group of Arab States submitted the wording of the resolution . . .   MORE . . .  
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)   UNESCO  RESOLUTION  ‘SAD,  UNNECESSARY,  AND  PATHETIC,’  ACCORDING  TO  ISRAELI  FOREIGN  MINISTRY      
Palestine Chronicle
Jul 5 2017.   The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution on Tuesday reaffirming the international body’s non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty in occupied East Jerusalem. . . [. . . .] The Israeli Foreign Ministry slammed the resolution as “sad, unnecessary, and pathetic.”
___“This is another absurd and irrelevant UNESCO decision, which serves only the enemies of history and truth,” the ministry said in a statement. It went on to reiterate the Israeli claim that Jerusalem was “the eternal capital of the Jewish people” and of Israel – a claim not recognized by the international community. . .   MORE . . .  RELATED:  “Israel fears endangered World Heritage status could thwart Hebron takeover.”
❷ ISRAEL  PUTS  ITS  OCCUPATION  ON  DISPLAY  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM 
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
July 6, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces projected images from its Judaisation project in East Jerusalem on the walls of Damascus Gate yesterday.
___Part of its annual “Festival of Lights”, the display showed pictures which depicted specific historical periods or which were linked to religious beliefs.
___This year’s event was used as part of the municipality’s efforts to Judaise the city and eradicate its Islamic history replacing it with the Zionist narrative.
___According to Adnan Al- Husayni, minister of Jerusalem affairs, the Umayyad palaces that are targeted by the festival include mostly Islamic Umayyad monuments . . .    MORE . . .

Milstein, Mati. “NO  SAINTS  IN  JERUSALEM.” Archaeology, vol. 63, no. 5, Sep/Oct2010, pp. 18-66.
How religion, politics, and archaeology clash on–and under–the streets of Jerusalem 
In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, some of the 50,000 Palestinian residents can hear digging under their homes. Silwan is partially situated atop the popular tourist attraction known to Israelis as the City of David, the oldest part of historic Jerusalem, directly south of the Temple Mount. During the biblical and Roman periods, the Temple Mount was home to the First and Second Jewish temples (which are believed to have stood between 832 and 422 B.C. and 516 B.C. and A.D. 70, respectively), and was the center of Jewish ritual and spiritual life for millennia. Following the Muslim conquest of the city in A.D. 638, the Umayyad rulers erected the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, two structures that are focal points for Palestinian and Muslim religious identity. There are few, if any, more valued and contested places on earth.
[. . . .]  Excavations and explorations across Israel and the West Bank, many of them located a stone’s throw from key Jewish and Islamic holy sites, lie at the heart of the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians. And artifacts recovered from Jerusalem’s soil are being used as ammunition in the escalating–and often violent–conflict.  Each nation forges its identity from common mythology, religion, and a sense of shared history. Especially in the Holy Land, where people’s historical identity affects every aspect of their lives, there is an eagerness to back up these histories with physical evidence.
[. . . .]  According to Hamdan Taha, archaeological and cultural heritage expert at the Palestinian Authority’s Tourism Ministry, “The sort of archaeology being carried out in Jerusalem, specifically in East Jerusalem and the Silwan area, is motivated by hidden agendas and has nothing to do with scientific objectives. It is done secretly, without taking into consideration international standards, and casts great doubts on the objectives of these excavations.”    [. .  . .]  ___Mahdi Abdul Hadi, chairman of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, agrees. “People are totally ignorant about where they are from, what they are doing, about their identity.” But he warns that empty slogans, rhetoric, and religion, rather than real education, are filling this gap. “Nobody will look at archaeology in good faith today. Everything is exploited now, because the hatred is deepening,” he says . . . .     SOURCE . . .

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  REPORTEDLY  BEAT,  PEPPER-SPRAY  PALESTINIANS  IN  SILWAN  RAIDS 
Ma’an News Agency 
July 6, 2017.   Israeli forces assaulted Palestinian residents during a raid in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Wednesday evening, as two Palestinians were detained.
___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center reported that six Palestinians sustained bruises and suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation during a raid targeting the home of one Muhammad al-Abbasi in the area of Ein al-Luza, during which residents said they were assaulted by Israeli police officers.
___The center added that no reason was given for the raid in the al-Abbasi home, during which Israeli pushed and pepper-sprayed women, children, and elderly Palestinians, pointing their weapons at youth.
[. . . .] Clashes erupted in the neighborhood following the home raid, during which Israeli forces reportedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades in an haphazard fashion, before detaining Muhammad Ibrahim Ruweidi, 20, and Muhammad Imad Taha, 19.   MORE . . . 

IMG_2971
Jerusalem: North side of the Tower of David, inside the old city, near Jaffa Gate, built by the Crusaders. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ARRESTS  IN  AL-SOWANEH  AND  ESAWYEHN    
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan 
July 4, 2017.   The occupation forces arrested seven young Jerusalemite men on Tuesday early morning after raiding their homes in the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh in Jerusalem.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the occupation forces along with intelligence personnel raided the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh and stormed into several houses and arrested 7 young men . . . .
___Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud explained that the arrests were made under the pretext of “participating in the funeral of Ali Abu Gharbieh who was drowned in Tiberius Lake last Friday; the body was found last Sunday.   MORE . . .   BACKGROUND . . .

“IN  JERUSALEM,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH  (1941 – 2008)
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.
About Mahmoud Darwish
Published by the Academy of American Poets.

 

 

“. . . what can I call this rug of soil? is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

IMG_3240
Blockaded street in Hebron, preventing Palestinians from entering area controlled by Israeli illegal settlers, with Israeli soldiers guarding above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)

❶ Hebron is the next Israeli-Palestinian fight at UNESCO

Background: “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies

❷ Palestinian fires at Israeli soldiers during Jenin raid to remove memorial
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers change name of Damascus Gate-area street to ‘honor Israeli soldiers’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Europeans for Jerusalem warns of Israel’s practices in holy city
❸ Knesset begins deliberations on bill to cut funds to PA over ‘martyrs’ social program
❹ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ HEBRON  IS  THE  NEXT  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  FIGHT  AT  UNESCO   
+972 Blog
Yonathan Mizrachi
June 29, 2017.   In recent years, every time UNESCO convenes to discuss world heritage sites, Israel-Palestine is in the limelight.  Usually, tensions center around the Old City of Jerusalem, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger in 1982. Recently, however, the Israeli Foreign Ministry began a campaign against the Palestinian nomination of the city of Hebron as a World Heritage Site. Though Hebron is not Jerusalem, Israel’s claims to the place sound pretty much the same: a national and religious connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs which is based on the city’s status as a sacred site from Biblical times. Names such as Abraham and King David — who made Hebron his first capital for seven years before conquering Jerusalem — are proclaimed in connection to the city with requisite pathos.
___The discussion about recognizing Hebron as a World Heritage Site will take place during the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland from July 2 to 12. The Palestinians propose recognizing the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron as a World Heritage Site because of the city’s rich 6,000 year-old history. Like the Israelis, the Palestinians also revere the tombs of the Matriarchs and the Patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. They note that the present structure of the Cave of the Patriarchs dates to the time of Herod — a tradition accepted by all sides, but that is yet to be verified by archeologists.   MORE . . .              POSTED HERE    Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City    June 26, 2017

Masalha, Nur. “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 3-57.
Cartography and toponymy – the term derives from the Greek words topos (‘place’) and onoma (‘name’) – were central to European empire building in the nineteenth century. Place names (including human settlements such as villages, towns, cities, streets and countries and natural places such as mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, springs, and wadis) are meant ‘to provide clues as to the historical and cultural heritage of places and regions’. Yet in reality place names are not just spatial references; they are rooted in power relations and struggles over land and resources and the identities of the people that inhabit these places.
[. . . .] Since the rise of the Zionist settler movement in the late nineteenth century, and especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the struggle over toponymic memory and the renaming of sites has developed as an integral part of the political conflict in Palestine. The indigenous Palestinians have insisted on their own comprehensive set of Arabic place names through which they see their own social memory and deep-rootedness in the land of Palestine. On the other hand, since the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba and the creation of the Israeli state, a large number of Palestinian Arabic place names have been Judaised, Hebrewised. Indeed since 1948 the Israeli army and Israeli state have sought to rename systematically Palestinian Arabic place names, claiming priority in chronology and using modern archaeology, map-making, and place names as their proofs of Jewish roots in ‘the land of Israel’. In Israel the significance of place names lies in their potential to legitimize ‘historical claims’ asserted by the Zionist settler-colonial movement.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ PALESTINIAN  FIRES  AT  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  DURING  JENIN  RAID  TO  REMOVE  MEMORIAL       
Ma’an News Agency       
June 30, 2017.  An armed Palestinian opened fire on Israeli forces carrying out a raid in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Friday, causing no injuries.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian shot towards Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in Jenin, before dropping his weapon and fleeing.
___No Israelis were injured in the incident, the spokesperson said, adding that the army recovered the weapon on the scene.
___The spokesperson added that the soldiers were targeted as they were undertaking an operation to remove a memorial stone commemorating Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal.   MORE . . .

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Five fully armed Israeli soldiers detaining and searching a lone Palestinian young man, outside Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  SETTLERS  CHANGE  NAME  OF  DAMASCUS  GATE-AREA  STREET  TO  ‘HONOR  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS’ 
Ma’an News Agency      
June 23, 2017.  A group of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli police and border police forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area Sultan Suleiman Street in occupied East Jerusalem to Heroines Street, “in commemoration of killed Israeli soldiers.”     ___Hebrew-language media sites reported on Friday that a group of Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area street, in commemoration of two Israeli soldiers who were killed in shooting and stabbing attacks near Damascus Gate — including 23-year old Hadas Malka, an Israeli police officer who, along with three Palestinian assailants, was killed last week at the gate’s entrance.
___Israeli settlers, police and border guards lit candles at the site before putting a sign reading “Heroines Street” in Hebrew, Arabic and English over the original street sign, which read Sultan Suleiman Street.  MORE. . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) EUROPEANS  FOR  JERUSALEM  WARNS  OF  ISRAEL’S  PRACTICES  IN  HOLY  CITY    
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
June 21, 2017.   Europeans for Jerusalem foundation has warned against Israel’s persistence in its serious practices in Occupied Jerusalem in general and at the Aqsa Mosque in particular.
___In a statement, Europeans for Jerusalem described the exposure of the holy city in general and the Aqsa Mosque in particular to direct targeting, break-ins, desecration and assaults on worshipers under police protection as “a threat to regional stability.”
___The foundation voiced deep concern about acts of desecration and sabotage which Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque are being exposed to . . .    MORE . . .    FOUNDATION . . . 
❸ KNESSET  BEGINS  DELIBERATIONS  ON  BILL  TO  CUT  FUNDS  TO  PA  OVER  ‘MARTYRS’  SOCIAL  PROGRAM 
Ma’an News Agency    
June 29, 2017.   Israel’s parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee began discussing on Wednesday a bill aimed at slashing tax transfers to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) over its controversial “martyrs” compensation program, which provides financial support to Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, their families, and for relatives of those who have been killed by Israeli forces — whether during attacks against Israelis or in situations void of wrongdoing.
___The bill, which would see the Israeli government cut an estimated 1 billion shekels ($280 million) in tax transfers to the PA each year, was approved for a preliminary reading in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, earlier this month.
___Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in taxes yearly on behalf of the PA, according to a 2015 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), representing three quarters of the PA’s revenue.
___Israel has regularly withheld transferring taxes to apply pressure on the Palestinian government, despite rights groups saying such punitive measures amount to “collective punishment.”   MORE . . .

“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?
――Translated by Tom Pow

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . the Gaza Strip has historically been used by the Israeli occupation as a laboratory . . .” (Said Shehadeh)

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Palestinian paramedics lift the body of a man from the Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood, Gaza. (Photo: EPA/MOHAMMED SABER)

❶ Pushing Gaza to suicide: The politics of humiliation

Background: “The 2014 War on Gaza: Engineering Trauma and Mass Torture to Break Palestinian Resilience.”

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli jets target resistance sites across Gaza Strip
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Al-Hayya calls on Arabs not to mix between resistance and terrorism
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Haneyya reaches out to Arab League Secretary General, Tunisia’s Sibsi
❷ Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City
❸ POETRY by Basem El-Nabres
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PUSHING  GAZA  TO  SUICIDE:  THE  POLITICS  OF  HUMILIATION  
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO  
Ramzy Baroud
June 25, 2017.   Mohammed Abed is a 28-year-old taxi driver from the village of Qarara, near the town of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. He has no teeth.     ___Lack of medical care and proper dentistry work cost him all of his teeth, which rotted and decayed at a very young age. Yet, his dire financial needs prevented him from acquiring dentures. His community eventually pitched in, collecting the few hundred dollars needed for Mohammed to finally being able to eat.
[. . . .]  An Israeli military siege on Gaza has extended for over 10 years, and the situation continues to deteriorate.
___A Red Cross report last May warned of another ‘looming crisis’ in the public health sector, due to the lack of electricity.
___The energy crisis has extended from electricity supplies to even cooking gas. Last February Israel cut cooking gas supplies to the Strip to a half.
[. . . .]  With no access to the West Bank due to the Israeli siege, and with severe restrictions on movement via the Rafah-Egypt border, Gaza is living through its darkest days. Literally. Starting June 11, Israel began reducing the electricity supply to the impoverished Strip, as per the request of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.
___The results are devastating. Gaza households now receive 2 to 3 hours of electricity per day, and not even at fixed hours.   MORE . . .

Shehadeh, Said. “THE  2014  WAR  ON  GAZA:  ENGINEERING  TRAUMA  AND  MASS  TORTURE  TO  BREAK  PALESTINIAN  RESILIENCE.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, vol. 12, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 278-294.
[. . . .] In his insightful analysis, Darryl Li suggests understanding the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as “representing two different phases of a common process of segregation, confinement, and surveillance produced by the Zionist project”. He argues that the Gaza Strip has historically been used by the Israeli occupation as a laboratory, in which colonial policies of confinement, management and control of the Palestinian population are tested and refined, to be later replicated in the West Bank. The overarching principle of the Israeli colonial policies against the Palestinians, as Li puts it, is “continuously experimenting in search of an optimal balance between maximum control over the territory and minimum responsibility for its non-Jewish population”. Following the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2006, and the suffocating siege that followed, this policy appears to have been highly successful. In effect, 25 percent of the global Palestinian population currently lives under Israeli control, while confined to 1.4 percent of the territory of (Mandatory) Palestine (Li, 2006).
___The Gaza Strip enclosure was initially described as the world’s largest prison, but this metaphor no longer applies. As Li writes, Israel now treats the Strip more like a zoo. For running a prison is about constraining or repressing freedom; in a zoo, the question is rather how to keep those held inside alive, with an eye to how outsiders might see them. The question of freedom is never raised.
___Similarly, Jeff Halper describes the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as that of “warehousing,” which he claims is “worse than apartheid.” He adds, “It does not even pretend to find a political framework for ‘separate development,’ it simply jails the oppressed and robs them of all their collective and individual rights. It is the ultimate form of oppression before actual genocide”.     SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  JETS  TARGET  RESISTANCE  SITES  ACROSS  GAZA  STRIP
The Palestinian Information Center
June 27, 2017.   Israeli fighter jets have carried out multiple airstrikes overnight on a number of resistance sites throughout the Gaza Strip.    ___According to the PIC field reporter, several of the early Tuesday raids targeted Bader site belonging to the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas Movement, located to the west of the Strip.     ___No injuries were reported during the air raid; however, material damage was caused to the neighboring houses.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) AL-HAYYA  CALLS  ON  ARABS  NOT  TO  MIX  BETWEEN  RESISTANCE  AND  TERRORISM    
The Palestinian Information Center    
June 27, 2017.   Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), has called on the “Arab brothers” to end their differences and not to confuse Palestinian resistance with terrorism.
___Al-Hayya said during the Eid prayer at Al-Saraya Square in Gaza on Sunday, “We hope that all differences between Arab brothers will end, on the basis of brotherhood and contrary to what the Zionist enemy wants,” stressing the need to unite to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque.
___Al-Hayya denounced Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization, noting that “the Palestinian resistance is neither terrorism nor violence, but a legitimate right to resist the occupation, which all peoples have done before.”     MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) HANEYYA  REACHES  OUT  TO  ARAB  LEAGUE  SECRETARY   GENERAL,  TUNISIA’S  SIBSI 
The Palestinian Information Center      
June 27, 2017.   Political bureau chairman of Hamas Ismail Haneyya on Monday evening extended his warmest wishes to the Secretary General of the Arab League and the Tunisian President on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
___Reaching out to the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmad Abu al-Ghait, and the Tunisian President, al-Baji Kaed al-Sibsi, Haneyya congratulated his addressees on the advent of Eid and briefed them on the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territories and Jerusalem.
___Speaking to Abu al-Ghait, Haneyya stressed Hamas’s commitment to boost fraternity ties with Egypt and the other Arab states.   MORE . . .    

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MUSLIMS ATTEND Friday prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque, which Jews call the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron. (Photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA / REUTERS)

❷ ISRAEL  REFUSES  ENTRY  TO  UNESCO  GROUP  EXPECTED  TO  VISIT  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY
Ma’an News Agency  
June 26, 2017.   Israeli authorities have refused to grant entry visas for a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) investigative team scheduled to conduct a field visit to the Old City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron in advance of an upcoming vote next month to consider the area an endangered world heritage site, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
___While Palestinian authorities had planned to introduce the site for consideration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 2018, they decided to fast track the site’s application owing to routine Israeli violence in the Old City, which Palestinians have claimed threatens the integrity of the site, and instead propose the area as an endangered site.
___A Palestinian delegation to UNESCO had reportedly expressed the “alarming details about the Israeli violations in Al-Khalil/ Hebron, including the continuous acts of vandalism, property damage, and other attacks,” in a letter to the World Heritage Center.  MORE . . .

Excerpt  from  “HOUSE,”  BY  BASEM  EL-NABRES

Oh, father . . .   they went into the clouds, and I remained to
remember them. Neither women nor fortune smile to let me
forget, to take me out of the house of memories. Nothing.
Their things, within a breath’s reach. I almost feel them with
my hand, with my fingertips. I almost fill myself with them,
but am empty myself. Here they were. Here they lived. Here
the last died, leaving half a breakfast egg, leaving a rumpled
bed, leaving the door ajar and the air muted. I can almost
touch them, one by one, those who died a century ago in this
ancient house, those who died a year ago. Ah, how hard it is to
live, in good faith, in the house of memories.

Those who write after two o’clock each night, those who walk
among people occupied with an idea of being killed in Gaza
suddenly, those for whom an hour of music is enough to make
their tears fall, enough to let them know they are shadows
walking on a land unsafe for them or the waste collectors.
—Translated by John Peate
About Basem El-Nabres.  
From BANIPAL: MAGAZINE  OF  MODERN  ARAB  LITERATURE  45.  Winter 2012.