“. . . Justice screams loudly protecting Western lands but grows silent when it visits us . . .” (Abu Salma)

❶ Israel plans expanding illegal West Bank settlement
. . . . . ― (ᴀ) Official report: Israeli government encourages killing Palestinians
❷ Historical document reveals possible collusion with Israeli occupation pre-Six Day War
❸ How the Palestinian leadership came to accept the Partition Plan

  • Background: “The ‘Al-Aqsa Intifada’ as a Result of Politics of a Transition.” Arab Studies Quarterly.

❹ France [expresses desire] to recognize Palestine as part of European Union
❺ POETRY by Abu Salma
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Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 3, 2017 ― Israeli occupation authorities are planning to set up new large settlement on the western borders of the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.
___According to Quds Press, the Israeli news website 0404 revealed that a special committee was assigned by the Israeli interior ministry six months ago to prepare for this plan.
___The committee offered its recommendation, noting that the committee recommended bringing a number of settlements together to create a large settlement applicable for expansion.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 3, 2017 ― The Palestinian national office for the defense of land and resistance of settlement accused Israeli war minister Avigdor Lieberman with inciting settlers to kill Palestinians. The office also charged the Israeli government of confiscating Palestinian lands.
___In a weekly report on Saturday, the office referred to Lieberman’s remarks in which he praised the Jewish settler who cold-bloodedly murdered martyr Mahmoud Odeh last Thursday near Qusra town to the south of Nablus.     MORE . . .
[Lieberman said, “The use of a weapon for self-defense is a moral value that is defended by every democracy.  My thanks and recognition to the armed escort who saved the hikers from a clear and present danger to their lives.”]
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO  
Dec. 1, 2017 ― A historical letter sent from the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia to the then US President, Lyndon B Johnson, in 1966 reveals the monarch’s possible collusion with the US over Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. Published by Al Motamar net news website, it has been described as “dangerous” by former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has long promised to reveal the contents of the document.
___“King Faisal’s letter to US President Lyndon Johnson said that the Egyptian forces would not withdraw from Yemen unless Israel moved to occupy Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank,” explained Saleh. The Head of the General People’s Congress urged the current Yemeni president and the rest of the Arab countries participating in the Saudi-led coalition, especially Egypt, to withdraw immediately from the alliance fighting in Yemen. “The events in Saudi Arabia, the blockade on Qatar, and the Sudanese President’s visit to Russia are all a part of the changing equations [in the Middle East],” he claimed.   MORE . . .
+972 Magazine Blog 
Jerome M. Segal
Dec. 1, 2017 ― A few days ago, Israel and its supporters worldwide marked the 70th Anniversary of the 1947 Partition Resolution, which was passed by the UN and called for the division of Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish.
___Why did the Palestinians say “no” to partition? The answer is simple. They believed that it was unjust, that all of the land was rightfully theirs, and, more to the point, they believed they did not have to accept it. Everyone knew that war was imminent, and the Palestinian could not imagine that 600,000 Jews could withstand the overwhelming power of the Arab armies.
___But in their celebrations, the commemorators missed a different anniversary. It occurred, largely unnoticed, two weeks earlier: the 29th anniversary of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, proclaimed by the PLO on November 15, 1988.   MORE . . .

[Note: this article provides contemporaneous background for the events Segal explains in his article.]
Schulz, Helena Lindholm.
Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 24, no. 4, Fall2002, p. 21.
[. . . .] Perhaps the most substantial representation of Palestinian national identity is to ‘struggle,’ which serves as the action or the strategy through which to transcend and refute the denial, humiliation and dispossession which have served as core experiences informing Palestinian identity. . . .  Struggle through the resistance and revolution, which followed upon the 1967 war, nurtured a revolutionary political culture, promoting values related to a romanticizing discourse on heroic fights and militarism.
[. . . .] However, in the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the future ‘independent’ state was defined as ‘democratic,’ based on constitutionalism, parliamentarianism and respect for civil rights. Democracy has thus not been absent from the political discourse of the PLO. . . .
[. . . .]  Both the PLO Charter of 1964/1968 and the Declaration of Independence of 1988 circle around the notion of ‘struggle’:
“___And in generation after generation, the Palestinian Arab people gave of itself unsparingly in the valiant battle for liberation and homeland. For what has been the unbroken chain of our people’s rebellions but the heroic embodiment of our will for national independence? And so the people was sustained in the struggle to stay and to prevail.”
[. . . .] The battle between elites led to different conclusions regarding the implementation of democracy as a form of governance. In abstract terms, even Arafat loyalists . . . .  adhered to democracy as the principle of governance in the long run. However, in their view the lack of sovereignty and the continuous negotiations with Israel were of overall importance and the political system had to direct itself towards securing control over land and solving the conflict with Israel. There was a need for the Authority to centralize power in order to deliver effectively in the form of tangible results of the peace process.  SOURCE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 3, 2017 ― Ambassador of Palestine to France  Al-Harfi Sunday said the French government has expressed desire to recognize Palestine, but as part of the European Union.
___He told WAFA in a phone call that France wants to recognize a state of Palestine, but with other European countries taking part, because it will safeguard the peace process.   MORE . . .

My country! Live in safety, an Arab country,
may the jewel of your tradition keep smiling
Though they’ve partitioned your radiant heart
our honor denies partition.
We’ve woven your wedding clothes with red thread
dyed from our own blood.
We’ve raised banners on the Mountain of Fire***
marching toward our inevitable destiny!
History marches behind our footsteps
honor sings around us.

Rise, friend, see how many people
drag their chains of dented steel.
Behold the serpents slithering endlessly among them!
They’ve prohibited oppression among themselves
but for us they legalized all prohibitions!
They proclaim, “Trading with slaves is unlawful”
but isn’t the trading of free people more of a crime?
In the West man’s rights are preserved,
but the man in the East is stoned to death.
Justice screams loudly protecting Western lands
but grows silent when it visits us!
Maybe justice changes colors and shapes!
Live embers scorch our lips
so listen to our hearts speaking,
call on free men in every land
to raise the flag of justice where we stand.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye
***The City of Nablus was called the “Mountain of Fire” because it was the seat of rebellion against the British Mandate and its Zionist policies.

Abu Salma (Abdelkarim Al-Karmi) was born in 1907 in Haifa. He studied law and worked in Haifa until April 1948 when the Israelis occupied the city. He then moved to Akka. Shortly after he moved from Akka to Damascus. Abu Salma kept the keys to his house and office in Haifa hoping to return. Abu Salma was awarded The Lotas International Reward for Literature in 1978 by The Association of Asian and African Writers. He was also given the title “The Olive of Palestine.” Abu Salma died in 1980.
From  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . My country, you are seeds of hope . . .” (Abu Salma)

Church of the Condemnation: Roman Catholic Church on Via Dolorosa. According to tradition, this was the site where Jesus took up his cross after being sentenced. http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/Condemnation.html

❶ Knesset extends ‘racist’ emergency provision on Family Unification Law for 13th year

  • “Israel’s Palestinian Minority In The Two-State Solution: The Missing Dimension”

❷ The Minister of Internal Security agrees to release the detained bodies of Jerusalemite Martyrs and the police will decide where to bury them
❸ Israel to build 258 illegal settlement units in Jerusalem
. . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Key Muslim and Christian Holy Sites Erased From “Old City” Map

  • “Israel: The New South Africa?”

❹ POETRY by Abu Salma
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 13, 2016
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset voted on Monday evening to re-extend Israel’s “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” provision, which prohibits Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip from automatically obtaining legal status in Israel or East Jerusalem through family unions.
___The law was passed 65 in favor, 14 against, according to press release published by the Knesset on Tuesday.        MORE . . . 

At present, there are approximately 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, comprising about 20 percent of Israel’s total population and about 12 percent of Palestinians worldwide.  This Palestinian population has been almost completely ignored by the international community. For decades, [in]international discussion . . . The Palestinian minority in Israel has received little, if any, attention [. . . .]
___A widespread and longstanding disregard for the Palestinian minority in Israel has been reflected in all of the accords, initiatives, conferences and summits aimed at achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace . . . . Not only has the Palestinian minority consistently been ignored; it has always been excluded from participating in the peace process itself. . . .  The reason for this omission lies in the prevailing view of the “Palestinian problem” as one primarily concerning Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and, secondarily, those in the Diaspora.
___This view, however, is too narrow. More than ever before, the “Palestinian problem” goes beyond the demand for statehood by Palestinians in the territories . . . the growing ethno-national conflict within Israel today between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs should be viewed as part of the larger conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
[. . . .]
___Only a . . . solution that also involves improving the status and rights of the Palestinian minority within Israel can really resolve the century-long conflict between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism.

  • Waxman, Dov. “Israel’s Palestinian Minority in the Two-State Solution: The Missing Dimension.” Middle East Policy 18.4 (2011): 68-82.   ARTICLE.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
June 13, 2016
The Minister of Internal Security and public prosecution agreed to release the bodies of Palestinian bodies without setting any deadlines.
___Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud explained that the public prosecution responded today to the appeal he had submitted to the Supreme Court saying that after the Minister of Internal Security and police discussed all the procedures that came with releasing Martyrs’ bodies, they agreed to release the bodies to their families on conditions. . . . Another condition was also added which gives the police the option to choose the Islamic cemetery where the bodies will be buried.      MORE . . .

Al-Issawiya, where new illegal settlements will be built in occupied East Jerusalem, has come under restrictions. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 21, 20150)

The Palestinian Information Center
June 14, 2016
Reports have recently been released by Israeli pro-settlement groups on an Israeli plan to build 258 illegal settlement units in Occupied Jerusalem.
___These groups, one of which is affiliated with the Israeli army, said the planning committee in Occupied Jerusalem will discuss a scheme on Thursday June, 22 to build 258 settlement units on Palestinian lands in the villages of al-Issawiya, al-Tur, and Lefta.
___734 dunums of Palestinian lands have been confiscated by the Israeli occupation authorities to establish the projected Jewish settlement outpost.     MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 13, 2016      MORE . . .

[. . . .] In reality, Palestinian citizens were discriminated against in all areas of public life since the early years of the young state, decades before Netanyahu’s government flooded the Knesset with racist bills.
___The 2010 report from Adalah, the Legal Centre for Arab Minority rights in Israel, identified over 30 laws that discriminate directly or indirectly against Palestinian citizens in terms of citizenship issues, the right to political participation, land and housing rights, educational, cultural and language rights, religious rights, and during detention on security charges . . . .
___If we look at the Law of Return (1950) and the Citizenship Law (1952), both are fundamentally discriminatory and serve to bolster the Jewish nature of the state . . . two laws allow Jews to immigrate freely to Israel from any part of the world and to gain citizenship, but exclude Palestinians who were forced to flee their homes between 1947-52, denying them any internationally recognised legal rights.
___In 2003, the government in Tel Aviv enacted the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, publicly known as the ‘family unification law’. This law denies the right to Israeli residency or citizenship status to Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, even if they are married to citizens of Israel (Jewish or Arab).
___Since 1948, the state of Israel has passed a series of laws that allowed it to systematically confiscate and transfer Palestinian-owned land to the state . . . .  Today, Palestinian citizens, who constitute a fifth of Israel’s population, own only 3-3.5% of the land, compared to 48% under Palestinian ownership in 1948. This massive land confiscation and its transfer to Zionist organisations was executed through two laws from the early 1950s . . .     ARTICLE.



Rub your face in the dust, say: This is my land!
Each particle sings that it is holy,
Free hearts lie buried in it,
How can I not make it my bed?
Stand at the Yarmuk, and look. Do you see,
The procession of history, with hope at its head?
The dust-trails rising from beyond the hill,
On the plains, cavalry ranked in rows?
The songs of victory are heard even now,
The chants of love from every valley rise.
Or do you see the Yarmuk bathed in tears,
Hitting far, far beyond the hosts?
My country, you are seeds of hope,
Watered by the tears of my heart.
What has wounded you?
Speak! The ruses of your sons, or of your foes?
Do not say that this is dead ground,
For it embraces those who were truly alive.
Protect that generation in the womb of your earth,
For free blood still calls, and is heard.



“. . . ravaged by conspiracies of enemies and friends . . .” (Abu Salma)

PalFest Literary Festival participants travel through the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, May 21, 2016. (Photo: Rob Stothard, from Electronic Intifada)

❶ Arab League rejects Israel’s nomination as chair of UN legal committee
❷ Israel Detains 6 Palestinians, Sunday’s Arrests Hit 16
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  TO  ISRAEL,  BEING  “FROM  GAZA”  IS  A  CRIME
❹ POETRY by Abu Salma
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The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 13, 2016
The Arab League has rejected the nomination of Israel as chair of the UN General Assembly Sixth Committee, its general-secretary announced.
___Elaraby made the announcement during a meeting with representatives of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) which nominated Israel for the position.
___According to the UN: “The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly,” Elaraby said it was unreasonable for Israel to head the committee, as it regularly commits illegal acts [. . . .]     MORE . . .  

[UN Security Council Resolution 242]
“1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories of recent conflict;
(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force …”
___While no one could cavil over the meaning of the preamble ‘Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’, there were different interpretations of the withdrawal clause. A majority of Security Council members had wanted insertion of the definite article, the territories, to specify a complete withdrawal. These were nine: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, France, India, Mali, Nigeria and the USSR. Those that refrained from expressing a specific view on the extent of withdrawal were six: Canada, China (Taiwan), Denmark, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. (In the absence of any alternative, the UK would also have supported an explicitly full withdrawal and others of the six might also have done so.)

  • McDOWALL, DAVID. “Clarity or Ambiguity? The Withdrawal Clause of UN Security Council Resolution 242.” International Affairs 90.6 (2014): 1367-1381. SOURCE.

[An American “Neocon”/Israeli Perspective]
[. . . .]  By its countless one-sided resolutions and numerous “investigations” of Israel with predetermined results; by providing a global infrastructure for the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel; and by UNRWA, which sustains the idea of the “right of return,” the UN has served systematically to challenge Israel’s legitimacy and weaken its global position—a damaging and malign role entirely at odds with the UN’s founding purposes.

  • Muravchik, Joshua. “The UN and Israel. A history of discrimination.” World Affairs 176.4 (2013): 35-46.  ARTICLE.

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 13, 2016
Israeli forces Monday detained six Palestinians from the West Bank districts of Hebron and Qalqilia, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).  [. . . .]
___This brings the total number of Palestinians Detained since overnight Sunday from across the West Bank and Jerusalem to 16.      MORE . . .

The Palestinian narrative is that of suffering, reconstructed on the basis of liv- ing memory, oral history, a continued exilic existence, and the more tangible effects such as property deeds, faded photographs, and keys to homes they can no longer return to. These narratives are read backward through the prism of con- temporary hardships, in the occupied territories where residents are subjected daily to house demolitions, sudden arrests, expulsions, and more recently to daily atrocities committed by the Israeli army; and in exile where they are subjected to the whims of their host countries and in some instances denied even their most basic civic and human rights. Through this prism, Zionism or Israel has come to represent absolute evil, and the ultimate victimizer [. . . .]
___The following paradox, then, has to be resolved: the recognition that the refugee problem is at the heart of the conflict while acknowledging that for the stronger party in the conflict it is a nonstarter in any future peace negotiations. Solving the paradox necessitates, apart from strong pressure on the victimizer, engaging with his fears of the past. The most difficult part of Israel’s encounter with history is the Jewish  State’s  need  to  recognize  the  cardinal  role  it  played  in  making   the Palestinians into a community of suffering.

  • Pappe, Ilan. “Historiophobia or the Enslavement of History: The Role of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing In the Contemporary Peace Process.” Arab Studies Quarterly 38.1 (2016): 402-417.    SOURCE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  TO  ISRAEL,  BEING  “FROM  GAZA”  IS  A  CRIME
The Electronic Intifada
Ahmed Masoud
June 6, 2016
I was invited to take part in this year’s PalFest literary festival as a Palestinian writer talking about my novel Vanished and my theater work. I traveled to Palestine as a British citizen with my red passport. Everyone in my group was waved through at the Israeli-controlled Allenby crossing between Jordan and the occupied West Bank. Except me.
___Far worse than not being allowed to enter Palestine was the fact that Israel denied me entry because I am from Gaza.
___Not only did Israeli soldiers deny me entry but they were shocked to see someone like me trying to visit the rest of Palestine.      MORE . . .


Beloved Palestine, how can I sleep
when phantoms torture my eyes?
In your name I greet the wide world,
but caravans of days pass,
ravaged by conspiracies of enemies and friends.
Beloved Palestine, how can I live
away from your plain and hills?
The valleys call me and the shores
cry out, echoing in the ears of time!
Even fountains weep as they trickle, estranged.
Your cities and villages echo the cries.
Will there be a return, my comrades ask,
a return after such long absence?
Yes, we’ll return and kiss the moist ground,
love flowering on our lips.
We’ll return some day, while generations listen
to the echoes of our feet.
We’ll return with raging storms,
holy lightning and fire,
winged hope and songs,
soaring eagles,
the dawn smiling on the deserts.
Some morning we’ll return riding the crest of the tide,
our bloodied banners fluttering
above the glitter of spears.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

Abu Salma (Abdelkarim Al-Karmi) was born in 1907 in Haifa. He studied law and worked in Haifa until April 1948 when the Israelis occupied the city. He then moved to Akka. Shortly he moved from Akka to Damascus. Abu Salma kept the keys to his house and office in Haifa hoping to return. Abu Salma died in 1980.
From  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . started a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing, totally transforming the character, history and culture of the city. . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

David Hearst
Friday, February 13, 2015
. . . ASHRAWI: “One of the fatal flaws of the Declaration of Principles (DOP or Oslo Accord) is that they left the Jerusalemites at the mercy of Israel and then the international community allowed Israel to treat the Jerusalemites as residents of the city and totally control their lives, their lands, and their resources. From day one, Israel treated Jerusalem as if it were annexed de facto, even before they annexed it illegally, and started a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing, totally transforming the character, history and culture of the city. Siege and division is a microcosm of what Israel did to the West Bank, where you besiege it, control entrances and exits, and then fragment it internally. They planted settlements and settlers inside Jerusalem, then surrounded it with three rings, a triple siege: the settlements which it started early, the military checkpoints and the apartheid wall. . .” (More. . .)

L.A. Times Arts & Entertainment Television Show Tracker

Meredith Blake
Friday, March 6, 2015
The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, A Group that Objects to American Support for Israel, Is Criticizing USA Network over its new event series “Dig,” which premiered Thursday. USA declined to comment.

The archaeological excavations and underground tunnels in East Jerusalem depicted in the series have also been controversial because critics say the projects, which residents have blamed for damage to Palestinian homes and schools, are a way to expand Jewish settlements in predominantly Palestinian areas. “Dig” was the first large-scale television production to be filmed in the Israeli capital, according to the Times of Israel(More. . . )

Palestine News Network

Sunday, March 1, 2015
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, in participation with Arab Women Union, under patronage of the Palestinian ministry of tourism on Saturday February 28th celebrated the opening of Bethlehem Museum to preserve about 3000 exquisite art crafts of the Palestinian heritage and culture.Musuem2
The opening ceremony started at the Jacir Palace Hotel, then continued to the museum building where the official opening took place. The Museum tells personal stories and shares them with million of tourists and pilgrims visiting the Holy Land annually. (More. . . )

Al-Araby al-Jadeed English
Ben White
Thursday March 5, 2015
During the last couple of weeks, Westminster lobby group Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) has been pushing its new publication on Gaza, the key message of which is that the reconstruction of the fenced-in enclave should be contingent on its demilitarization.

My intention here is not to set out the clear, legal and moral, arguments against LFI’s ‘disarmament for development’ approach – indeed, leading NGOs have already done so. Rather, I would like to make a different point with regards to Israel advocacy in Western capitals.  (More. . .)

The Electronic Intifada
Patrick O. Strickland
Thursday March 5, 2015
Jordanian campaigners are demanding that an agreement on importing gas from Israel be scrapped. At least 26 organizations, including trade unions and political parties, have joined the Jordanian Campaign to Stop the Zionist Gas Deal.

The state-owned National Jordanian Electric Power Company (NEPCO) has signed a $15 billion agreement to buy 300 million cubic feet of natural gas from Israeli-controlled parts of the Mediterranean Sea over a 15 year period. The gas will be extracted from the Leviathan gas field situated in the eastern Mediterranean. The extraction project is being led by the US giant Noble Energy.

The Israeli government stands to make $8.4 billion from the deal because of clauses relating to taxes and royalties, according to a report published by the campaigners. (More. . .)

“The More I Love You,” by Abu Salma

The more I fight for you, the more I love you!
What land except this land of musk and amber?
What horizon but this one defines my world?
The branch of my life turns greener when I uphold you
And my wing, O Palestine, spreads wide over the peaks.

Has the lemon tree been nurtured by our tears?
No more do birds flutter among the high pines,
Or stars gaze vigilantly over Mt. Carmel.
The little orchards weep for us, gardens grow desolate,
the vines are forever saddened.

Whenever your name waves above me, my words grow more poetic.
Planting desire for you on every stoop.
Is it possible these words could be torches
lighting each desert and place of exile?
O Palestine! Nothing more beautiful, more precious, more pure!.
The more I fight for you, the more I love you.
—translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

Abu Salma was born in 1907 in Haifa. He studied law and worked in Haifa until April 1948 when the Israelis occupied the city. He then moved to Akka. Shortly he left Akka to Damascus. Abu Salma kept the keys to his house and office in Haifa hoping to return. He was a friend of Ibrahim Tukan. Their love of poetry and Palestine built their friendship. Abu Salma wrote about his love and yearning for Palestine. He was awarded The Lotas International Reward for Literature in 1978 by The Association of Asian and African Writers. He was also given the title “The Olive of Palestine.” Abu Salma died in 1980.