“. . . our days of sacrifice have arrived; they shine, radiant. . .” (‘Abd Al-Raheem Mahmoud)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [JERUSALEM]
Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes in the Anata village in northeastern the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, on Tuesday evening.    ___Local witnesses told Ma’an that a large number of Israeli forces stormed the village escorting staff members from the Jerusalem Municipality and several bulldozers, and surrounded the neighborhood in which the two homes are located. [. . . .] . . .both of the demolished homes were built long before the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.  [. . . .] More . . .
IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  BEGIN  DEMOLITION  CAMPAIGN  IN  AL-WALAJA  [between  Jerusalem and Bethlehem]    More . . .
ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  189  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [Bethlehem]   More . . .

ISRAELI  HIGH  COURT  RULES  TO  DEMOLISH  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  COMMUNITY        The Israeli High Court gave on Wednesday the green light to the Israeli military to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem, paving the way for removing it, displacing its 180 residents and replacing it by a Jewish settlement.    ___According to Walid Assaf, head of the anti-wall, anti-settlement commission in the Palestinian Authority, the court gave the army one week to remove the village and said that its residents will not be allowed to return to it and live there again.   More . . .

US  AMBASSADOR:  JERUSALEM  MADE  ISRAEL’S  CAPITAL  ‘UNDER  GOD’S  DIRECTION’  3,000  YEARS  AGO
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has praised President Donald Trump’s administration for putting US-Israeli relations on “more solid [ground] than ever before”, reported the Jerusalem Post.   ___Speaking at a pre-Rosh Hashanah reception in his Herzliya residence, Friedman singled out for praise the US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.   ___“Now, the United States did not make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. That was done by King David some 3,000 years ago under God’s direction,” Friedman declared.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  IDEOLOGY  LEADS  TO  DESTRUCTION:  HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
Home demolitions that target the Arab population of East Jerusalem is an issue that deserves attention and further exposure, as it is often overlooked in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and ignored by the international community. While several key organizations within Israel are working hard to expose the unjust policies behind many of the demolitions of Arab homes, there is very little that civil society is actually able to achieve. In fact, driven by an ideological motive, the Israeli authorities have developed strategies to preserve the Jewish population’s demographic and geographic advantage over the Palestinians, thus protecting the interests and stability of the Jewish state. There is much to consider when analyzing this topic: the motivations and mechanisms used by the Israeli authorities to carry out home demolitions, the effects of such policies on the Palestinian population and the international community’s response.
Dimova, Nicoletta. “When Ideology Leads to Destruction: Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 15, no. 3, Sept. 2008, pp. 92-98.  (NOTE: this article is not yet available online but may be accessed through any EBSCO database.)

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  PRESENTS  THE  JERUSALEM  CONFERENCE,  HOUSTON,  TX    Featuring Rev. Jim Winkler, President of National Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon of Churches for Middle East Peace, Sojourners’ Founder and President Jim Wallis, and Bright Stars of Bethlehem President, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.  As part of the Room for Hope festival, The Jerusalem Conference is a one-day conference on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 that brings together scholars, ecumenical theologians, and peace-doers around the topic    Register . . .

PLAYGROUNDS  FOR  PALESTINE  ANNUAL  GALA          SATURDAY,  SEPTEMBER  22,  2018  |  5PM  –  9PM  | Bodek  Lounge  |  Houston  Hall  |  University  of  Pennsylvania  |  PHILADELPHIA      Tickets  .  .  .

“CALL  OF  THE  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
The slain motherland called for our struggle
and my heart leapt with joy.
I raced the winds, but did not boast.
Isn’t it my simple duty to redeem my country?
I carried my soul in my hands asking
any who feared death: do you hesitate
before the enemy?
Would you sit still when your country begs for your help?
Would you back away from facing the enemy?
If so, then go hide in your mother’s bedroom!
May your hesitation humiliate you!
The motherland needs mighty defenders
who meet aggression
but never complain;
true lions on the battlefield.

People of my country, our days of sacrifice have arrived;
they shine, radiant, across the hills of this holy land.
Redeemed by our young men too proud
to endure oppression,
what can we do but fight bravely
when the fire’s kindled?
March on, to the field! Pour fire
on the heads of the enemy everywhere.
Nothing’s humbler that a people who shun the fight
when their country calls for it.

Neighbors, brethren, arise from your sleep!
How can you sleep through this oppression?
Never stop even if the sky should grow dark.
Never retreat even if the sandstorms flare up behind you!
Don’t give up even if the world should face you
with weapons from every direction
unite, unite everywhere!
If Palestine should be lost while you still live,
I’ll say: our people have
abandoned the path.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye. From 
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  1992. 

 

“. . . It’s not Kellyanne who invented alternative facts. We’ve been victims of alternative facts all our lives . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

❶ Premier says time is now for EU recognition of Palestine

  • Background: “The Israel Lobby and the “Peace Process” from a Palestinian Perspective.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

❷ Israel conducts several airstrikes across Gaza Strip
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Army detains 16 Palestinians in West Bank, bringing total to 320 in one week
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Undercover Israeli forces injure 2 Palestinians, detain 5, in Ramallah clashes
❸ MADA: 26 violations of media freedoms in Palestine during November
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) IOF to raze Palestinian home in Bethlehem
❹ POETRY by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PREMIER  SAYS  TIME  IS  NOW  FOR  EU  RECOGNITION  OF  PALESTINE          Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told on Thursday European Union (EU) Representative in Jerusalem Ralph Tarraf that the time is now for EU recognition of the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, pointing out that such a step would strengthen the two-state solution.
___Hamdallah urged the European Union to support the leadership’s efforts to bring the political process back to its proper track based on United Nations resolutions, particularly after the US administration chose to side with Israel by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and working to move its embassy to Jerusalem thus becoming an ally of Israel rather than an impartial mediator.    MORE . . .

Ashrawi, Hanan.
“THE  ISRAEL  LOBBY  AND  THE  “PEACE  PROCESS”  FROM  A  PALESTINIAN  PERSPECTIVE.”
WASHINGTON  REPORT  ON  MIDDLE  EAST  AFFAIRS , vol. 36, no. 3, May 2017, pp. 34-64.
[. . . .]  I’m asked to talk about the Israel lobby and the peace process. . . .  They play a major role in shaping and influencing U.S. policy, particularly the peace process.  Since its inception, there’s a sense of ownership, that the peace process is owned by the Israeli lobby in many ways, because they’re looking out for the interests of Israel all the time.
___There are various components of the lobby.  As you all know, they’re not monolithic.  They all have their impact here and there.  But the most significant impact is for the lobby groups, the special interest groups that are closest to the Israeli government in particular.  And that tends to be the more hard-line extremist groups. . . .  The most influential, of course, is AIPAC and its Washington Institute for Near East Policy—as you know, a think tank that has probably had the most direct say in terms of the peace process itself—and other organizations–the Heritage Foundation and so on.
[. . . .] Now we have people in the White House who are not only lobbyists and advocates, but who are active supporters of settlements.  So it’s not enough to have settlers in the Israeli coalition government.  Now you have settlers in the White House. This is incredible.  So they don’t need to lobby.  They are decision makers. . . .  It’s interchangeable.  Either they are influencing policy or they are making policy.  That’s why American policy was so distorted, because they played a significant role in framing and defining the discourse and perceptions, but went beyond that to manipulating the verbal public space, anything related to the peace process.  And they generated a narrative based on myths, and provided alternative facts.  It’s not Kellyanne [Conway] who invented alternative facts.  We’ve been victims of alternative facts all our lives, alternative realities.  [. . . .] SOURCE . . .

ISRAEL  CONDUCTS  SEVERAL  AIRSTRIKES  ACROSS  GAZA  STRIP    
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Israeli air forces conducted airstrikes targeting several sites in the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday around dawn, according to local sources.
___Locals told Ma’an that the airstrikes targeted at least five sites across the coastal enclave.
___Airstrikes hit sites in northwestern and southern Gaza City, as well as near the Deir al-Balah beach in the central Gaza Strip.
___Another site in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, while forces targeted another in western Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ARMY  DETAINS  16  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK,  BRINGING  TOTAL  TO  320  IN  ONE  WEEK
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      Dec. 14, 2017 ― The Israeli army detained 16 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of Palestinians detained since the outbreak of the recent wave of protests to 320, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Thursday.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  UNDERCOVER  ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  2  PALESTINIANS,  DETAIN  5,  IN  RAMALLAH  CLASHES 
Ma’an News Agency    
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Israeli special forces disguised as Palestinian protesters arrested five Palestinian youths, including a young woman and two injured young men, during clashes near the illegal Beit El settlement in the central West Bank district of Ramallah.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that a group of undercover Israeli forces, known as ‘mustaaribeen’ in Arabi, infiltrated crowds of protesters and journalists when they took out their guns and “attacked the youths,” assaulting, shooting and injuring two of them before detaining five.   MORE . . .  
❸ MADA:  26  VIOLATIONS  OF  MEDIA  FREEDOMS  IN  PALESTINE  DURING  NOVEMBER  

Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 14, 2017 ― November 2017, witnessed a number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, almost identical to those recorded in the previous few months, in September and October, a total of 26 and 28 violations against media freedoms were monitored by MADA, 26 attacks last November. The Israeli occupation carried out 16 attacks, while Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip committed a total of 10 violations.
___The Israeli occupation has committed a total of 16 attacks against media freedoms during last November, some of which fall under serious violations. The most prominent of these is the decision by an Israeli military court to imprison the broadcasters of  the “Sanabel” radio from the city of Hebron: Muntasir Abdel-Karim Nassar, Nidal Amro were sentenced to 22 months in prison and a fine of 5,000 NIS and Mr. Omran was sentenced to 16 months.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  IOF  TO  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  HOME  IN  BETHLEHEM
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) handed a home-demolition order to a Palestinian family in al-Walajeh town west of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.
___Local sources said that IOF troops raided Ain al-Juwaizah area north of the town and handed Khaled Abu Kheyara a notice that stipulates the demolition of his home which is built on an area of about 120 square meters. He was given a 15-day period to appeal the order.   MORE . . .

“THE  MARTYR,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)

I shall carry my soul on the palm of my hand,
tossing it into the cavern of death!
Either a life to gladden the hearts of friends
or a death to torture the hearts of foes!
An honorable man’ spirit has two aims:
to die fighting, or to achieve victory.
Otherwise, what is life? I want no life
if we’re not respected in our land;
if our response is not feared,
if our words are not heard
echoing in the world.

By your life, I see my own death,
but I hasten my footsteps.
No greater wish than to die defending stolen rights
and my country,
My ears love the clashing of swords,
my soul is proud of martyrs’ blood.
Behold the martyr’s body
sprawled on sands, attacked by vultures,
his blood tinting the earth crimson,
haunting northern breezes with its scent.
His radiant brow covered with dust
only seems more luminous.
The smile on his lips
mocks this earthly life,
and his dreams of eternity,
shape blissful visions.

I swear this is how men should die
for how can I tolerate the harm of my enemy’s malice,
how can I endure his aggression?
Would fear stop me if it is easy to sacrifice my life?
Am I humble? I simply can endure no scorn!
With my own heart I’ll fight the enemy;
my heart of steel, my ravenous flames,
I’ll stalk my land with the blade of this sword
so my people know I’m their defender.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“The Temple Mount is under Israeli sovereignty, period . . .” (Avi Dichter, Likud member of Israeli Knessett)

❶ Video: Israel attacks Jerusalem worshippers
❷ Netanyahu orders searching all worshipers entering al- Aqsa
❸ In alleged first, Jewish BDS activists prevented from boarding flight to Israel

  • Background: “No Space for Apartheid: Toward an Academic Boycott of Israel among Geographers.” Geographical Review

❹ POETRY by Al-Raheem Mahmoud (1913-1948)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ VIDEO:  ISRAEL  ATTACKS  JERUSALEM  WORSHIPPERS   
The Electronic Intifada
Maureen Clare Murphy
July 26, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces attacked Palestinian worshippers at the Lions Gate entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem on Tuesday night.
___The Palestinian Quds news outlet reported that Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters, wounding dozens, and prevented ambulances from reaching the area.
___Palestinian worshippers had continued to keep vigil outside the mosque compound on Tuesday. The Waqf religious trust that administers the site had called for continuation of a boycott as it evaluated the situation after Israel removed metal detectors the night before.
[. . . . ]  Meanwhile Avi Dichter, a senior Israeli lawmaker from Netanyahu’s Likud party who formerly headed the country’s secret police, told Israeli television that the government had decided “to turn the Temple Mount into a sterile area – with all that this entails,” employing the term Israel uses for the mosque compound.
___“The Temple Mount is under Israeli sovereignty, period,” he said.     MORE . . .
❷ NETANYAHU  ORDERS  SEARCHING  ALL  WORSHIPERS  ENTERING  AL- AQSA
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
July 26, 2017.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the police to search worshipers entering the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, a day after the removal of the electronic gates and replace it by smart cameras system, which will be completed within six months.
___According to the Walla website, the decision was taken following a telephone call between Netanyahu and Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, they agreed to search worshipers entering the Aqsa Mosque individually and through hand-held metal checks, because of  the security sensitivity of the location, according to the Israeli appeals.
___According to a poll made by Hebrew channel 2, 77% of the Israelis believes that the removal of the electronic gate is a retreat by the Israeli government, 17% does not think that it is a retreat, while just 6% has no idea.       MORE . . .
❸ IN  ALLEGED  FIRST,  JEWISH  BDS  ACTIVISTS  PREVENTED  FROM  BOARDING  FLIGHT  TO  ISRAEL  
Ma’an News Agency
July 25, 2017.  The Israeli government and its international supporters continued to crack down on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as five members of an American interfaith delegation to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory were prevented from boarding their flight from Washington D.C. to Tel Aviv on Monday.
___US-based organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) released a report saying five members of the delegation were denied entry to Israel, allegedly due to their activism with the BDS movement, which targets companies that act in compliance with Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
[. . . .] JVP identified the five members that were denied entry on the flight as JVP Deputy Director Rabbi Alissa Wise, Alana Krivo-Kaufman and Noah Habeeb, both members of JVP, Rick Ufford Chase of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and Shakeel Syed, a national board member with American Muslims for Palestine.     MORE . . .

Ross, Robert B. “NO  SPACE  FOR  APARTHEID:  TOWARD  AN  ACADEMIC  BOYCOTT  OF  ISRAEL  AMONG  GEOGRAPHERS.”
Geographical Review,
vol. 106, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 276-282.
[. . . .]  Against this backdrop of inequality, bloodshed, and institutionalized racism, Palestinian civil society has called upon the international community to engage in boycotts, divestment, and sanctions in order to put political and economic pressure on Israel until Palestinians have their full slate of human rights.
[. . . .] Israeli universities have been deeply embedded in the Israeli state’s efforts to attack, invade, ethnically cleanse, and occupy Palestine And as Lisa Taraki writes, “[g]enerally, there have never been any protests by professional and academic associations of physicists, physicians, geographers, mathematicians, political scientists, architects, and others in Israel regarding the moral and professional implications of collaboration with the [Israeli] army.”
___Palestinian academics and intellectuals have therefore called upon the international community to boycott Israeli academic institutions as a key part of the broader BDS movement.
[. . . .] Collaboration and connections between academic institutions and militaries are not, of course, unique to Israel. Many universities in the United States, for example, receive research funding from the Pentagon . . .   The GI Bill enables former American soldiers to attend college free of charge. The prevalence of ties between universities and the military, in America and elsewhere, has led some opponents of the academic boycott of Israel to reply, “why are you not calling for a boycott of American universities? After all, the United States engages in gross human rights abuses too.” The difference is quite simple: the people oppressed by American policies are not calling for an academic boycott of American universities. But Palestinian civil society is calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. To boycott Israeli academic institutions is thus to respond to a call from Palestinian civil society. It is a principled act of solidarity.      SOURCE . . .

(The poem is a salute to Prince Saud Ibn ‘Abd al’Aziz when he visited the poet’s town, ‘Anabta, on August 14, 1935.)

“THE  AQSA  MOSQUE,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
Honorable Prince! Before you stands a poet
whose heart harbors bitter complaint.
Have you come to visit the Aqsa mosque
or to bid it farewell before its loss?
This land, this holy land, is being sold to all intruders
and stabbed by its own people!
And tomorrow looms over us, nearer and nearer!
Nothing shall remain for us but our streaming tears,
our deep regrets.

Oh, Prince, shout, shout! Your voice
might shake people awake!
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: are they all agreed to struggle
as one body and mind?
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: can a covenant with God
be offered to someone, then lost?
Forgive the complaint, but a grieving heart needs to complain
to the Prince, even if it makes him weep.
(This poem gained great fame later on because of its prophetic words about the imminent loss of Palestine.)

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

“. . . the pretense of maintaining Israel’s Jewish and democratic character . . .” (Orly Noy)

1-home demo
Israeli forces demolished a home in the Qalandiya refugee camp in the West Bank, November 16, 2015 (Photo: Majdi Mohammed, STR)

❶ UN ‘gravely concerned’ over imminent home demolitions in Palestinian refugee camp

  • From: Law & Social Inquiry

❷ Israeli forces assault worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, around 10 Muslims worshipers were wounded

  • From: Israel Studies Review

❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  ROOTS  OF  ISRAEL’S  MOST  RACIST  LAW
❹ POETRY by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ UN  ‘GRAVELY  CONCERNED’  OVER  IMMINENT  HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  CAMP
Ma’an News Agency
June 26, 2016
The United Nations warned against imminent punitive home demolitions targeting Palestinian families in Qalandiya refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank, putting at least six Palestinian refugees at risk of being left homeless.
___UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, said in a statement on Saturday that it was “gravely concerned” about the Israeli High Court of Justice’s recent rejection of the families’ appeal to save their homes [. . . .]
___The families were notified on June 14 that they had five days to evacuate, after Israeli authorities ruled their homes would be destroyed as punishment for stab attacks carried out by two young members of the families on December 23 at the Jaffa Gate of East Jerusalem’s Old City.
___The two 21-year-old Palestinians, Issa Assaf and Anan Abu Habsa, were shot dead by Israeli police on the scene.      MORE . . .

From: Law & Social Inquiry
Although initially triggered by an individualized act of human agency, the punishment for certain illegal behaviors is usually inflicted upon the product of the illegal labor rather than on the human initiator of this labor. . . .  Why is the house, rather than any other subject or object, the focal center for such legal attention? The infliction of illegality on the house, rather than on any other product of illegal action, is not incidental, and, accordingly, the law is preoccupied with the documentation and regulation of the house.    ___The extensive literature that exists on this subject mostly focuses on the anthropomorphic nature of the house, presenting it as an extension of the self and as an essential ground for personhood (Fenster 2004; Sibley 1996; Radin 1982). However, the struggle over the house/home in the Israeli/Palestinian context is not only over the individual house but also over its collective meaning. . . .
[. . . .]
___Israel demolishes Palestinian houses not only “because they must be made to be afraid,” but also because “they must, to a certain extent, take part in it” (58). Living in constant fear that the next demolition may be inflicted on their home, the distinction between observers and observed is blurred in this instance to the point where “the spectator does not feel at home anywhere, because the spectacle is everywhere.”

  • Braverman, Irus. “Powers Of Illegality: House Demolitions And Resistance In East Jerusalem.” Law & Social Inquiry 32.2 (2007): 333-372.  SOURCE.

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  ASSAULT  WORSHIPERS  AT  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE,  AROUND  10  MUSLIMS  WORSHIPERS  WERE  WOUNDED 
Days of Palestine
June 26, 2016
A large number of Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and assaulted Muslim worshippers, injuring around ten of them
___“In the very early morning, we were surprised with the ISRAELI FORCES STORMING THE YARDS OF THE MOSQUE WITH A BIG NUMBER OF SETTLERS and foreign tourists,” Omar Kaswani, chief guard of Al-Aqsa Mosque said.
___“We wanted to neutralise the settlers, but the Israeli soldiers, who were protecting them, interfered violently and attacked the worshipers indiscriminately,” he added.    MORE . .

From: Israel Studies Review
. . a law prescribes that any court that convicts an individual for committing various terrorism-related and other security-based offenses will be authorized to revoke citizenship, in addition to the “ordinary” penalties, including life imprisonment. Despite the obvious fact that there are many heinous crimes that can be committed against society, this law applies only to security-oriented crimes. The singling out of these offenses negatively impacts the notion of equality before the law. . . . This choice of offenses is not neutral, but is motivated by the desire to exclude those few Arab citizens of Israel convicted of security-based offenses and to strip them of their citizenship rights, possibly even leading to their deportation.
[. . . . ]
. . . the Israeli legislature has demonstrated a strikingly different approach with regard to other, “patriotic” offenses. The . . . law, which was enacted by the Knesset in February 2010, adopted an ultra-compassionate approach with regard to offenses committed by Israeli right-wing extremists . . . who committed criminal offenses as part of the resistance to the disengagement [from Gaza] plan . . . This legislation violates the principles of rule of law and equality before the law. It prefers some social groups over others, allowing them to commit crimes—including assault in severe circumstances and assault on a police officer—without facing any consequences. The message conveyed by this law is a dangerous one: violence can be forgiven, overlooked, or even considered normative—if it supports the “right” cause.

  • Kremnitzer, Mordechai, and Shiri Krebs. “From Illiberal Legislation To Intolerant Democracy.” Israel Studies Review 26.1 (2011): 4-11.  SOURCE.
1-settlers
Israeli police accompany Jews past the Dome of the Rock mosque during a visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque on April 25, 2016. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli / AFP)

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  ROOTS  OF  ISRAEL’S  MOST  RACIST  LAW
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
June 24, 2016
[. . . .]
Herein lies the failure with which the Zionist Left refuses to contend: the pretense of maintaining Israel’s Jewish and democratic character is at its core a demographic struggle. In order for the Jewish state to be able to allow itself to be democratic — at least when it comes to individual rights (as opposed to national rights) — vis-à-vis its Arab citizens, it needs a significant demographic advantage. Only then will it be able to tell itself stories about democracy when it comes to a national minority without endangering the Jewish character it is so intent on maintaining. This is precisely why since its founding the state has refrained from establishing a new Arab city, despite population growth and a housing crisis in Arab society. This is why the state needs the Jewish National Fund to continue and “Judaize” land. This is why the state needs legislation that unabashedly restricts the growth of the minority.      MORE . . .

“THE  AQSA  MOSQUE,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
(A salute to Prince Saud Ibn ‘Abd al’Aziz when he visited the poet’s town,
‘Anabta, on August 14, 1935.)

Honorable Prince! Before you stands a poet
whose heart harbors bitter complaint.
Have you come to visit the Aqsa mosque
or to bid it farewell before its loss?
This land, this holy land, is being sold to all intruders
and stabbed by its own people!
And tomorrow looms over us, nearer and nearer!
Nothing shall remain for us but our streaming tears,
our deep regrets.

Oh, Prince, shout, shout! Your voice
might shake people awake!
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: are they all agreed to struggle
as one body and mind?
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: can a covenant with God
be offered to someone, then lost?
Forgive the complaint, but a grieving heart needs to complain
to the Prince, even if it makes him weep.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye
(This poem gained great fame later on because of its prophetic words about the imminent loss of Palestine.)

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

“. . . tomorrow looms over us, nearer and nearer . . .” (‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud)

1-1-IMG_2865 - Copy
“Have you come to visit the Aqsa mosque or to bid it farewell . . . .” ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud (Photo: H.Knight, Nov. 13, 2015)

❶ Cabinet Condemns Execution of Pregnant Mother, Brother at Qalandia Checkpoint
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli forces kill Palestinian woman and brother, armed with knives: police
❷ CHAOS  CONTINUES  AT  AL-AQSA,  5 Israelis evacuated
❸ Israeli Soldiers Injure Palestinian Teen after SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  HISTORICAL  SITE
❹ Hamas bloc wins over student vote in Birzeit University elections
❺ Opinion/Analysis: DID  THE  ARABS  BETRAY  PALESTINE?
❻ POETRY by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ CABINET  CONDEMNS  EXECUTION  OF  PREGNANT  MOTHER,  BROTHER  AT  QALANDIA  CHECKPOINT
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 28, 2016
The Palestinian cabinet Thursday condemned the international silence towards the execution of the Taha siblings, and the reaction towards Israel’s violations, including arrests, raids and harassment.
___The government’s spokesperson Yousef Mahmoud said in a press release that the execution of siblings Maram and Ibrahim Taha at Qalandia military checkpoint Wednesday is just another crime to be added to a long Israeli record.      MORE . . .  
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  WOMAN  AND  BROTHER,  ARMED  WITH  KNIVES:  POLICE
Reuters
Jeffrey Heller
April 27, 2016
Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian woman and her teenage brother on Wednesday, saying they were armed with knives and tried to carry out an attack at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.
___Police said the woman, holding a knife, and a man walked rapidly towards police and other Israeli security guards in a vehicles-only lane at the Qalandia checkpoint outside Jerusalem.      MORE . . .

❷ CHAOS  CONTINUES  AT  AL-AQSA,  5  ISRAELIS  EVACUATED
Ma’an News Agency
April 27, 2016
Chaos continued at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem Wednesday when five Israelis were evacuated for violating visitation rules as hundreds toured the area for Passover.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that a group of over a hundred right-wing Israelis entered the mosque compound via Dung Gate, four of whom performed religious rituals in violation of longstanding agreements regarding worship at the site.      MORE . . .

❸ ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  INJURE  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  AFTER  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  HISTORICAL  SITE  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 28, 2016
Israeli soldiers Thursday shot a Palestinian teen during confrontations that erupted with Palestinians youth near Joseph tomb east of Nablus, said security sources.
___The teen, identified as Ahmad Masoud, 17, from Balata refugee camp was hit with a live bullet in the hip area after confrontations erupted when Israeli settlers broke into the area.      MORE . . .    

Elia ME Hamas student election Bizreit
Birzeit University Election results announced by Dr. Ahmad Al-Ahmad, chairman of student affairs at Birzeit University (Photo: Middle East Eye/Elia Ghorbiah)

❹ HAMAS  BLOC  WINS  OVER  STUDENT  VOTE  IN  BIRZEIT UNIVERSITY  ELECTIONS
Ma’an News Agency
April 28, 2016
___A student bloc of the Hamas movement on Wednesday came out on top in the closely-followed elections at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
___Following debates between factions vying for the student vote, the pro-Hamas al-Wafaa Islamic bloc claimed victory after gaining 25 seats, with the Yasser Arafat bloc of the Fatah movement trailing behind with 21 seats.
___The bloc representing Leftist movement Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine for its part came out with five seats.     MORE . . .   

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  DID  THE  ARABS  BETRAY  PALESTINE?
Palestine Chronicle
Ramzy Baroud
Apr 27 2016
At the age of 21 [1993], I crossed Gaza into Egypt to pursue a degree in political science. The timing could have not been worse [. . . .]
___It was then [after the 1967 War] that some Arab countries’ relations with Palestine began changing. Israel’s victory and the US-West’s unremitting support convinced some Arab governments to downgrade their expectations, and expected the Palestinians to do so, as well.
___So, did the Arabs betray Palestine? The question is heard often, and it is often followed with the affirmative, ‘yes, they did’ [. . . .]
___I beg to differ.      MORE . . .

“THE  AQSA  MOSQUE,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
(A salute to Prince Saud Ibn ‘Abd al’Aziz when he visited the poet’s town, ‘Anabta, on August 14, 1935.)

Honorable Prince! Before you stands a poet
whose heart harbors bitter complaint.
Have you come to visit the Aqsa mosque
or to bid it farewell before its loss?
This land, this holy land, is being sold to all intruders
and stabbed by its own people!
And tomorrow looms over us, nearer and nearer!
Nothing shall remain for us but our streaming tears,
our deep regrets.

Oh, Prince, shout, shout! Your voice
might shake people awake!
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: are they all agreed to struggle
as one body and mind?
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: can a covenant with God
be offered to someone, then lost?
Forgive the complaint, but a grieving heart needs to complain
to the Prince, even if it makes him weep.

(This poem gained great fame later on because of its prophetic words about imminent loss of Palestine.)

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.
About Prince Saud Ibn ‘Abd al’Aziz
BDS FINAL LOGO_v5WEB_URL_side

“. . . if our words are not heard echoing in the world . . .” (‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud)

dead boy
Muhammad Nabil Halabiya, 17 from Abu Dis, died Saturday night when a pipe bomb exploded prematurely. His unarmed grandfather was killed by Israeli soldiers in 2002. (MaanImages)

❶ Hundreds mourn teen killed in pipe bomb accident
❷ In the Jewish state, equality for Arabs is impossible by definition
❸ Sliman Mansour and the art of steadfastness
❹ ‘This is a totally political arrest, they will not thwart human rights!’ Guy Butavia tells the courthouse
❺ Opinion/Analysis: HOUSE  DEMOLITIONS  BACKFIRE  ON  THE  OCCUPATION
❻ Poetry by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud (1948)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
HUNDREDS  MOURN  TEEN  KILLED  IN  PIPE  BOMB  ACCIDENT
Jan. 24, 2016
Hundreds of mourners joined on Sunday the funeral procession of Muhammad Nabil Halabiya, 17 and from the occupied East Jerusalem town of Abu Dis, who was killed Saturday night by a pipe bomb that exploded prematurely. . . .
___Muhammad had been holding the bomb near an Israeli military site in the area when it exploded in his hands. . . .
___ Muhammad left behind a mother and two brothers Ahmad, 15, and Mahmoud 13. Muhammad’s father Nabil died in 2002 only 40 days after his grandfather, Darwish was killed by Israeli soldiers.    More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
IN  THE  JEWISH  STATE,  EQUALITY  FOR  ARABS  IS  IMPOSSIBLE  BY  DEFINITION
Umar al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz)
Jan. 24, 2016
This week the Israeli army radio, Galei Tzahal, conducted a survey . . . of Israeli Jews regarding full equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel. The results of the survey . . . revealed that the Jewish public in this country is almost equally divided on this issue. 45 percent oppose full equal rights for the state’s Arab citizens, 43 percent are in favor. . . .
___ . . . in a militaristic society like Israel, it is not surprising that an army radio station intervenes in the civil realm without question, reflecting the clear overlap between (Jewish) civil society and the military in Israel . . . only asked Jews, and are thus acting on the idea that Jews in this country have the sole authority to determine whether and how equal the Arab can be. . . .    More . . .

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Sliman Mansour. The Camel of Heavy Burdens, 1980. (Photo: The Palestine Poster Project, 2009)

THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
SLIMAN  MANSOUR  AND  THE  ART  OF  STEADFASTNESS
Linda Paganelli
Jan. 22, 2016
The history of modern Palestine can be traced through the work of its artists.
___After the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, what has become known as the Nakba, the theme of refugees — “hopeless, helpless and without homes” — dominated.
___But, as veteran artist Sliman Mansour explains, after the emergence of the armed struggle in the 1960s, “Palestinian art became proud.”    More . . .
Related . . .
MONDOWEISS
“THIS  IS  A  TOTALLY  POLITICAL  ARREST,  THEY  WILL  NOT  THWART  HUMAN  RIGHTS!”  GUY  BUTAVIA  TELLS  THE  COURTHOUSE
Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins
Jan. 23, 2016
This Activestills video records Guy Butavia greeted by supporters while being led through the halls outside the Jerusalem Magistate’s Court. Butavia is one of three activists, along with Ezra Nawi and Nasser Nawajah, who are being held in custody, their identities previously placed under a sweeping gag order in a “witch hunt” after a sting operation aired on Israel’s primetime show Uvda, set up by undercover activists from a rightwing group Ad-Kan. While investigators are scurrying around trying to drum up bogus trumped up murder charges against them, everyone already knows no murder has ever taken place!   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
HOUSE  DEMOLITIONS  BACKFIRE  ON  THE  OCCUPATION
Dr Hani Al-Masri
(Director General of Masarat, the Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies)
http://masarat.ps/en/content/home
Jan. 21, 2016
The wave of the intifada that has been ongoing for four consecutive months has not yet turned into a comprehensive popular intifada with a united leadership and specific goals for many reasons mentioned by me and others. The most important of these reasons is that the leadership did not adopt the intifada and remained content with its hesitant support . . . .
___. . . some actions that gave the intifada more popularity and we cannot diminish their importance, such as the popular gatherings . . . calling for the return of the martyrs’ bodies as well as forming human chains around their homes. This hindered and postponed the execution of demolition orders on several occasions.    More . . .

(This poem was written before 1948. The line “the martyr’s body sprawled on sands” are especially poignant in light of the way in which Muhammad Nabil Halabiya’s grandfather died, which he must have known.)

“THE  MARTYR,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)

I shall carry my soul on the palm of my hand,
tossing it into the cavern of death!
Either a life to gladden the hearts of friends
or a death to torture the hearts of foes!
An honorable man’ spirit has two aims:
to die fighting, or to achieve victory.
Otherwise, what is life? I want no life
if we’re not respected in our land;
if our response is not feared,
if our words are not heard
echoing in the world.

By your life, I see my own death,
but I hasten my footsteps.
No greater wish than to die defending stolen rights
and my country,
My ears love the clashing of swords,
my soul is proud of martyrs’ blood.
Behold the martyr’s body
sprawled on sands, attacked by vultures,
his blood tinting the earth crimson,
haunting northern breezes with its scent.
His radiant brow covered with dust
only seems more luminous.
The smile on his lips
mocks this earthly life,
and his dreams of eternity,
shape blissful visions.

I swear this is how men should die
for how can I tolerate the harm of my enemy’s malice,
how can I endure his aggression?
Would fear stop me if it is easy to sacrifice my life?
Am I humble? I simply can endure no scorn!
With my own heart I’ll fight the enemy;
my heart of steel, my ravenous flames,
I’ll stalk my land with the blade of this sword
so my people know I’m their defender.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

1-holy land 1 046
Israeli Home Demolition, Jerusalem, June 2008. (Photo: Harold Knight)