And so the Trump/Friedman assault begins

PLEASE NOTE: This blog will resume its coverage of news from Palestine shortly. However, today it is important to begin to make clear the drastic shift in American policy toward Israel that will take place on January 2o. Thank you.

Senators Threaten to Cut Worldwide Embassy Security If U.S. Doesn’t Move Its Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem

___In 1995, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all campaigned on relocating the embassy and executing this law. But once in office, every one of them invoked a waiver in the law that allows them to hold off on the move if they deem it necessary to the national security interests of the United States to do so.       ___Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be seen as a green light to some Israeli government officials, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who seek to make Jerusalem the undivided capital of the state of Israel. That, in turn, would preclude the Palestinians from establishing a state that includes East Jerusalem. Most international observers believe that this would render the two-state solution impossible and thus be damaging to peace.       More . . .
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Call to direct action for [American] readers

Act Now

PUSH BACK AGAINST ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS – ACT NOW TO STOP HOUSE/SENATE RESOLUTIONS
We need you to ACT NOW to push back against illegal Israeli settlements! Congress has spent its first two days in session trying to back away from decades of U.S. policy on illegal settlements.
___Yesterday, the House and the Senate introduced legislation that would object to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 “as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.” H.R. 11 & the yet un-numbered Senate companion bill are unfounded and unwise criticisms of the Obama administration for abstaining from the UNSC resolution which condemned Israel for its settlements in the occupied West Bank.
___Contrary to what these bills (H.R. 11 & S.R. X) say, they do NOT aim to support the peace process. That was made even more clear when Rep. Peter King [R-NY-2] introduced an amendment that would DELETE any reference in the House bill to a two-state solution, which is a shocking abandonment of core U.S. policies. Simply put, these bills are about Congress trying to protect Israel from any criticism of illegal settlements.
More-including form for contacting members of Congress.
(Please forward to your American friends.)
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Trump’s Pick for Israel Ambassador Is No Diplomat

THE ATLANTIC
David A. Graham
Dec. 16, 2016
David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer, believes Israel can annex and settle in the West Bank, wants to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and called a liberal American Jewish group “worse than kapos.”
___There was a time when Donald Trump’s statements on Israel rattled hardliners who were concerned he would be too friendly to Palestinians. In February, when Joe Scarborough asked him who was to blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Republican candidate replied, “I don’t want to get into it for a different reason, Joe, because if I do win, there has to be a certain amount of surprise, unpredictability. Let me be sort of a neutral guy, let’s see what—I’m going to give it a shot. It would be so great.”     ___Those days are long gone, a fact made clear by President-elect Trump’s decision to appoint David Friedman, an extreme hard-liner on the right, as his ambassador to Israel. Friedman, like many of Trump’s picks for Cabinet jobs, does not have any directly relevant experience, and the two men previously worked together when Friedman, a bankruptcy attorney, represented him in past bankruptcy proceedings.
___But Friedman advised Trump on Israel policy during the campaign and has left behind a long trail of statements indicating his views, including equating liberal Americans Jews to “kapos” who assisted Nazis in ghettos; labeling President Barack Obama an anti-Semite; and suggesting Israel should annex the West Bank.    More . . .

 

 

“. . . Any hope of peace in the future will just vanish . . .” (Saeb Erekat, Palestinian negotiator)

kerry-erekat
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat shake hands, Jan. 4, 2014, in Ramallah. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

❶ . PLO will revoke Israel recognition if US moves embassy, top official warns

  • Background: “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law

❷ . ‘Israel replaces one land theft with another,’ NGO says
❸ .  Father of slain Palestinian teen objects to plea deal with Israeli officer
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . PLO  WILL  REVOKE  ISRAEL  RECOGNITION  IF  US  MOVES  EMBASSY,  TOP  OFFICIAL  WARNS   
The Times of Israel
Dec. 20, 2016 – If the incoming Trump administration moves the US embassy to Jerusalem, the PLO will revoke its recognition of Israel, the prospect of a two-state solution will be over, and any hope of Israeli-Palestinian peace in the future will vanish, the top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned on Monday.
___Speaking on a conference call organized by the Wilson Center . . .   Erekat reeled off a list of what he said would be the consequences of President-elect Donald Trump honoring his campaign pledge and relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
[. . . .]  Erekat noted that he held meetings last week in Washington with State Department officials, but failed to secure meetings he had sought with incoming Trump administration officials. “I don’t know any of them,” he said of Trump’s personnel.     More . . .

(Note: The following article is a detailed and documented history of the U.S. policy on the status of Jerusalem over the years. The sections quoted here present only a small part of the writing about the continually evolving realities “on the ground” of the status of Jerusalem.) 

  • Halabi, Sam F. “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law 26.2 (2014): 223-270.  (Sam F. Halabi is Associate Professor, University of Tulsa College of Law. J.D. Harvard, M.Phil. Oxford, B.A. Kansas State University.) FULL ARTICLE.

[. . . .] In 1967, Israel conquered all of Jerusalem and the West Bank, politically reunifying the city and obtaining control over the Temple Mount which it left under the stewardship of the Islamic waqf. It offered Israeli citizenship to Arabs living in Jerusalem in 1967, most of whom rejected the offer. They became so-called Jerusalem residents, neither citizens of Israel nor civilians subject to the same rules of occupation which applied to other Palestinian residents living in the West Bank.
___In 1980, Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem and the areas within the redrawn municipal boundary which included settlements built over the 1967 “Green Line.” The U.N. Security Council declared the “Jerusalem Law” null and void and a violation of international law. In 1993, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to settle the final status of Jerusalem and other matters by negotiation. U.S. Executive Branch policy from 1948 forward never recognized Israeli or Jordanian sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem. In 1949, when Israel announced its intention to convene its parliament’s first meeting in the part of Jerusalem it controlled, the United States refused to send a representative to attend, noting that the U.S. Government “cannot support any arrangement which would purport to authorize the establishment of Israeli . . . sovereignty over parts of the Jerusalem area.” The United States similarly opposed the Jordanian effort to declare East Jerusalem its “second” capital (after Amman) in 1950. The State Department established a formal diplomatic presence in Tel Aviv for relations with Israel and separate consular offices in Jerusalem. Arab and Jewish U.S. citizens born within Jerusalem’s 1948 municipal borders are designated as having been born in “Jerusalem” consistent with this non-recognition.
___Congress, however, became more active on the issue after the 1980 Jerusalem Law, both directly and indirectly seeking to have the city’s status as Israel’s capital formalized. Several U.S. Presidents, including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and William Clinton, have stated that Jerusalem should remain united and its final status should be determined by negotiation, implying that Israelis and Palestinians might both establish recognized capitals there and further implying that U.S. policy disfavors separation of the type experienced between 1948 and 1967 [. . . .]

❷ . ‘ISRAEL  REPLACES  ONE  LAND  THEFT  WITH  ANOTHER,’  NGO  SAYS
Days of Palestine
Dec. 19, 2016 – Israeli settlers of the illegal settlement of Amona in occupied West Bank agreed to move to another private Palestinian land, an Israeli NGO said.
___The Israeli Jewish settlers of Amona, which the Israeli High Court decided it be evacuated by December 25, agreed to a deal offered by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
___According to the new deal, adopted by the Israeli occupation government, the illegal Jewish settlers are going to move to another private Palestinian land on a hilltop nearby Amona.    
[. . . .]
Israeli rights group Peace Now said that the latest Israeli government compromise would see the relocation of 40 settler families to nearby land privately owned by Palestinians.
___“The Israeli government is replacing one land theft by another,” Peace Now said in a statement.      More . . .  

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Israeli flags flying over confiscated Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)


❸ .  FATHER  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  OBJECTS  TO  PLEA  DEAL  WITH  ISRAELI  OFFICER  

Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 20, 2016 – The father of a 17-year-old Palestinian who was shot dead . . .  in 2014 said he strongly objected to the plea deal being prepared for the Israeli border police officer who killed his son.
___Siyam Nuwarah told Ma’an Monday evening that he sent a letter to the Israeli Attorney General saying that his family was “extremely saddened” about the recently published reports regarding the Attorney General’s intent to sign a plea deal, in which the officer would receive a reduced sentence.
[. . . .]  Nadim Siyam Nuwarah was shot and killed with live ammunition in the chest during a protest rally marking the 66th anniversary of the Nakba on May 15, 2014. The incident was captured on video.     More . . .

 

“. . . their dignity sets them free . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

jewish terrorists
Screenshot of a video showing extremist Israeli Jewish wedding-goers celebrating killings of the Dawabsha family. (Jerusalem: Channel 10)

❶ 24 shot, injured by Israeli forces in clashes after funeral in Abu Dis
❷ Analysis: Terrorism as defined by Israel
❸ Israeli police detain 5 after Israeli wedding incited murder
❹ Analysis: Palestinians and Israelis will pay a heavy price for unchecked Jewish settler terror
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Arab group in Israel paves new future for town’s next generation
❻ Poetry by Samah Sabawi
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MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
24  SHOT,  INJURED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  IN  CLASHES  AFTER  FUNERAL  IN  ABU  DIS
Dec. 30, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Clashes broke out late Tuesday in Abu Dis following a funeral held for a Palestinian killed earlier this month, whose body was held by Israeli authorities for 26 days.
___Locals told Ma’an that 24 Palestinians were shot and injured by rubber-coated steel bullets while 19 others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation when clashes erupted between locals and Israeli military forces.  More . . .
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
TERRORISM  AS  DEFINED  BY  ISRAEL
Dr Fayez Abu Shamaleh
Dec. 30, 2015
The burning to death of the Dawabsheh family in July created a conflict between the Israeli Shin Bet internal security agency and the Jewish settlers who sympathised with those who carried out the deadly arson attack. While the Shin Bet knows how dangerous the extremist Jewish groups are and the consequences of their heinous acts that reflect on the existence of the state itself, the rabbis and settler leaders continue to attack the agency. . . .
___ “See, the murder in Duma was just a means,” said [Education Minister Naftali] Bennett. “They want to bring down the house on our heads. That is their goal. It is antithetical to the substance of religious Zionism. They want to dismantle the State of Israel. They are terrorists . . . .  More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  POLICE  DETAIN  5  AFTER  ISRAELI  WEDDING  INCITED  MURDER
Dec. 30, 2015
[Blogger’s note: why would Israel prosecute when it refuses to prosecute Ali Dawabsha’s murderers?]
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police have arrested five Israelis involved in a Jerusalem wedding ceremony that incited violence towards Palestinians [in video footage that went viral], Israeli media reported Tuesday.
___The groom of the wedding . . . was arrested in addition to an Israeli soldier and two minors, Israeli daily Haaretz said.
___Israeli police also arrested renowned extremist settler Daniel Pinner from the illegal settlement of Tapuah, who was among a number of others seen dancing with a gun in video footage of the wedding . . . .
___At one point during the ceremony, a masked Israeli youth . . . stabs a photo of Ali Dawabsha, an 18-month-old Palestinian burned alive in an arson attack carried out by Jewish extremists over the summer. More . . .

abu dis funeral
Clashes broke out late Tuesday in Abu Dis following a funeral held for a Palestinian killed earlier this month. (Ma’an News Photo)

Analysis
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
PALESTINIANS  AND  ISRAELIS  WILL  PAY  A  HEAVY  PRICE  FOR  UNCHECKED  JEWISH  SETTLER  TERROR
Professor Kamel Hawwash
Dec. 29, 2015
The recent Israeli wedding video in which revellers danced with knives and guns, and stabbed pictures of Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh, who was burnt to death by Jewish settlers, should trouble Israel’s supporters and society. . . .
___ However, there has been a worrying rise in settler violence, coordinated under the label of “price tag” attacks which target Palestinians on both sides of the Green (1949 Armistice) Line. They have included attacks on mosques and churches . . . .
___As settlers develop a terror infrastructure, safe in the knowledge that the state basically condones it, those Israelis who want to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict could soon face settler violence for advocating any evacuation of settlements under a peace agreement. . . . More . . . 
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
ARAB  GROUP  IN  ISRAEL  PAVES  NEW  FUTURE  FOR  TOWN’S  NEXT  GENERATION
Amjad Iraqi
Dec. 27, 2015
Three weeks ago, the building of the municipality of Tira, a Palestinian Arab town in the Muthalath (“Triangle”) area of Israel, was bustling with over two hundred people gathering in its auditorium.
___Five speakers took the stage and delivered captivating talks on five different topics, all of which were nothing short of inspiring. Fadi Matar, the 24-year-old founder of the organization behind the event, described the process of making it happen in a community not used to such initiatives. . . .
___The “Tira Talks” were organized by the Academiyu al-Tira (“the students/educated of Tira”), a local collective of Arab university and college students from the town. More . . .

“DEFYING  THE  UNIVERSE,”  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI
Dedicated to her husband Monir

Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall
Do they need the army’s permission
For their prayers to reach the sky
For their love to cross the ocean
And touch your thirsty heart
Are your loved ones trapped

Do you yearn to be in your family home
And when you call, do they always say
“we are fine, alhamdollelah”
Does it surprise you that they are whole
While you… are broken
Must they always worry about you
Urge you to have faith in your exile
Must they always pity you
For not breathing the air
Of your ancestors’ land
Must they always comfort you
Even when the bombs are falling
Do you ever wonder who is walled in
Is it you…or is it them
And when it finally dawns upon you
That their dignity sets them free
Do you feel ashamed of your liberty

About Samah Sabawi.
From: Valentine, Douglas. “Poetry, Palestine and the Language of Resistance Counter Punch.” Counter Punch. counterpunch.org. September 20, 2013. Web.