“. . . The gates of my heart Are wide open to misery . . .” (Abdul Karim Sabawi)

Nasser_Sept_28Israeli forces killed Nasser Musbeh with live ammunition on September 28, 2018.
(Photo: From Defense for Children Palestine, Courtesy of Musbeh family)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  QATARI  FUNDED  FUEL  PUMPED  TO  ONLY  POWER  PLANT  IN  GAZA
Fuel trucks funded by the Qatari government on Tuesday morning began entering the Gaza strip through Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, southeast of the Strip.    ___Six fuel trucks funded by Qatar are scheduled to enter the strip today, pumping fuel for the only power plant in the Gaza Strip.    [. . . .] The agreement came within the framework of the donor conference held recently in New York and with Israeli approval,  under which Qatar was allowed to finance part of the Gaza Strip’s electricity by providing the necessary fuel, which is expected to double the electricity hours, ie eight hours.   More . . .
| NETANYAHU  SAYS  ARMY  PREPPING  FOR  POSSIBLE  MILITARY  CAMPAIGN  AGAINST  GAZA 
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly informed his cabinet that the army is preparing for a possible military campaign against the blockaded Gaza Strip in case the situation was not improved, according to Israeli media.    ___“If the reality of civil distress in Gaza is diminished, that is desirable, but that is not certain to happen, and so we are preparing militarily — that is not an empty statement,” Netanyahu said.    More . . .
|  12  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  WOMEN,  KIDNAPPED  IN  W.  BANK  IOF  CAMPAIGNS
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning kidnapped 12 West Bankers, including relatives of Ashraf Abu Sheikha, who recently carried out a deadly shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone near the illegal settlement of Ariel.    ___Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the IOF stormed at dawn Shuweika suburb in Tulkarem and raided homes belonging to Abu Sheikha’s family.    ___Israeli soldiers maltreated and rounded up the mother of Abu Sheikha and his two sisters, and said they would remain in detention until Abu Sheikha turned himself in, according to the sources.   More . . .
. . . .Related  Israeli  Forces  Detain  Palestinian  Family  In  Aida  Camp
. . . .Related  Israeli forces detain Palestinian siblings in East Jerusalem
. . . .Related  Israel  Court  Sentences  Anti-Occupation  Protester  To  7  Years  In  Jail

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THAT  SINGLE  LINE  OF  BLOOD:  NASSER  MUSBEH  AND  MUHAMMAD  AL-DURRAH 
By Ramzy Baroud
As the frail body of 12-year-old Nasser Musbeh fell to the ground [in Gaza] on Friday, September 28, history was repeating itself in a most tragic way.  [. . . .] Almost 18-years to the day separates Nasser’s recent murder and the Israeli army killing of Muhammad Al-Durrah, also 12, on September 30, 2000. Between these dates, hundreds of Palestinian children have perished [in Gaza] in similar ways.    ___. . . 954 Palestinian children were killed between the Second Intifada in 2000 and Israel’s war on Gaza, the so-called Operation Cast Lead in 2008. In the latter war alone, 345 child were reportedly killed, in addition to another 367 child fatalities reported in Israel’s latest war, ‘Protective Edge’ of 2014.    ___But Muhammad and Nasser . . .  have more in common than simply being the ill-fated victims of trigger-happy Israeli soldiers.    __In that single line of blood that links Nasser Musbeh and Muhammad al-Durrah, there is a narrative so compelling, yet often neglected. The two 12-year-old boys . . . whose families were driven from villages that were destroyed in 1948 to make room for today’s Israel.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“WRITTEN  ON  THE  FIRST  MORNING  WHEN  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI
WOKE  UP  TO  FIND  HIMSELF A  REFUGEE  IN  EXILE,”
BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI

When you were parched
We quenched your thirst with our blood
Now…
We carry your burden
Disgraced we cry in shame when asked
Where do you come from?
Dishonored we die
If only the stray bullets
From the occupier’s guns
Were merciful
And pierced through our legs
If only they tore through our knees
If only we sunk into your fields
Deep to our necks
If only we got stuck
And became the salt of your earth
The nutrients in your fertile soil
If only we didn’t leave
The gates of my heart
Are wide open to misery
Don’t ask me where this wind is blowing
Don’t ask me about a house
Or windows
Or trees
The Bulldozers were here
And the houses in our village
Fell like a row of decayed teeth
They haven’t colonized Mars yet
And the moon is barren
Uninhabitable
So carry your children
Your memories
And follow me
We can live in the books of history
They’ll write about us,
“The wicked Bedouins
Landed in Baghdad
The wicked Bedouins landed in Yafa
They landed in Grenada
Then moved on
They packed their belongings
And rode their camels
Leaving no trace on the red clay
All their artifacts
Faded
With the passing of the years.”
What does it really mean to this world?
What does it really mean?
To be Arabs
Native Americans
Or Dinosaurs
(Refugee Camp, Jordan 1968)

Abdul Karim Sabawi was born in 1942 in the Toffah District in Gaza city. He has been a refugee in Australia most of his life.   –From BLOOD  FOR  FREEDOM:  POETRY  FROM  PALESTINE,  BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI.   Editor: Biblioteca de las Grandes Naciones. Library of the Great Nations. Oiartzun, Basque Country: August, 2014. PDF online.
The poet reads.

“ . . . They abandoned my cause and my dream At the cemetery gates . . .” (Dareen Tatour)

2017_12-22-Ahed-Tamimi21766869_845269138965989_6970575238447373100_n-002
Ahed Al-Tamimi during a demonstration, Dec. 21, 2017 (Photo: 2 Suns Shamsaan/Facebook; from Middle East Monitor) “. . . irrefutable proof that Palestinian women and children do not need to be saved from Arab patriarchy . . . but from the Israeli military . . .” (Nada Elia)

❶ Opinion/Analysis: The face of Palestinian women’s defiance is a 16-year-old girl

  • Background: “Transnational Feminist Solidarity in Times of Crisis.” International Feminist Journal of Politics

❷ US ambassador to Israel demands halt of using the word ‘Occupation’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Arab Parliament called on to block Israel’s bid for Security Council seat
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Guatemalans not happy with decision to move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
❸ Israeli Knesset to vote on ‘death penalty’ for Palestinians
❹ Pictures- Arrests…demolition…and confiscating goods in the village of Silwan
❺ POETRY by Dareen Tatour
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  FACE  OF  PALESTINIAN  WOMEN’S  DEFIANCE  IS  A  16-YEAR-OLD  GIRL
The Palestinian Information Center 
By Nada Elia
Dec. 26, 2017 ―   Ahed Tamimi has been protecting her ancestral land since she was a tender nine years old.
___Photos of the 16-year-old in pigtails, sometimes in a Minnie Mouse T-shirt, mostly with a keffiyeh around her shoulders, started circulating a few years ago, as she and the rest of her family held weekly protests against their dispossession.
[. . . .] Gender matters. What is unusual about Ahed and her family is the visibility, by Western standards, of the “empowerment” of Palestinian women. This is not to suggest that a veiled woman is not empowered – rather Ahed’s iconic status holds up a mirror to Western myopia, which frequently fails to see beyond a headscarf.
___If Ahed wore a hijab, and let’s be honest, if she were not an attractive, blue-eyed, blonde young girl, she would not have become the favourite of millions of Western liberals who cannot quite reconcile themselves to the full validity of a hijabi woman’s struggle.
___The young Ahed Tamimi, as well as her mother, Nariman, and her cousin Nour, are the irrefutable proof that Palestinian women and children do not need to be saved from Arab patriarchy, or Islamic fundamentalism, but from the Israeli military, as it carries out their dispossession, displacement and violation of their human rights.  MORE . . . 

Sharoni, Simona, et al.
“TRANSNATIONAL  FEMINIST  SOLIDARITY  IN  TIMES  OF  CRISIS.”
INTERNATIONAL FEMINIST JOURNAL OF POLITICS, vol. 17, no. 4, Dec. 2015, pp. 654-670.
[. . . .] Sharoni: For years, feminists in the Global North have failed to understand why Palestinian women insist on linking their struggles for gender equality to national liberation. As a result, Palestinian women have been at the receiving end of well-intentioned but misguided initiatives, which have disregarded their agency, needs and resilience, and have focused on a narrow understanding of “women’s issues” and critiques of patriarchy and nationalism. Missing from the feminist response to the crisis in Palestine has been recognition of its root causes, namely Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, its violation of Palestinian rights and its apartheid-like policies toward the Palestinian people.
[. . . .] NADJE AL-ALI: It is far easier to conceptualize – and even to teach – transnational feminist politics and solidarity, but it is tricky to put it into practice. Theoretically, most feminists would agree that we need to think about gendered inequalities in an intersectional manner, identifying and challenging the specific configurations of power and inequalities that circumscribe women’s and men’s lives. In practice, however, certain power relations – patriarchy, capitalism, racism, heteronormativity – might be better understood and more widely acknowledged than others. Yet, colonialism, imperialism and Zionism are also key configurations of power that intersect to severely impact upon Palestinian women’s lives. It is our responsibility as transnational feminists to challenge simplistic and flawed explanations that would peg “Muslim culture” as the key determinant of Palestinian women’s experiences of oppression. We need to listen to Palestinian women’s rights activists and feminist academics. At the same time, I would argue that gender equality for Israeli Jewish women is also impossible without a challenge to Israel’s settler colonial structures and policies.   SOURCE . . . 

❷ US  AMBASSADOR  TO  ISRAEL  DEMANDS  HALT  OF  USING  THE  WORD  ‘OCCUPATION’     
Palestine News Network – PNN  
Dec. 27, 2017 ― US ambassador to Israel David Friedman urged the State Department to stop using the word “occupation” when referencing Israel’s presence in the West Bank specifically in official documents, The Times of Israel said on Tuesday.
___According to Israel Radio, Friedman suggested the diplomats use alternative terms for “Israeli-occupied territories” proposing they instead refer to it as the “West Bank”, considered a more neutral term by the ambassador, according to The Forward.
___The State Department refused this call, reported Kan public broadcaster, but agreed that the issue will be discussed in the future.
___Friedman has previously expressed his skepticism in the two state solution, and said that Israeli expansion in the West Bank will continue, stating that Israel is “only occupying two percent of the West Bank.”      MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ARAB  PARLIAMENT  CALLED  ON  TO  BLOCK  ISRAEL’S  BID  FOR  SECURITY  COUNCIL  SEAT 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Palestine Committee in the Arab Parliament meeting in Cairo completed on Wednesday a draft proposal to block Israel’s bid for a Security Council seat in 2019-2020 term that will be submitted to a general meeting of the Arab Parliament scheduled for Thursday to adopt it.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  GUATEMALANS  NOT  HAPPY  WITH  DECISION  TO  MOVE  EMBASSY  IN  ISRAEL  TO  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Dec. 27, 2017 ― Guatemalans reacted with anger and concern over their president’s decision to move his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. . . .
[. . . .] Guatemala is the main exporter of cardamom pods that are used with coffee to Arab and Islamic countries with more than $300 million dollars of exports a year. When former President Ramiro J Leon Carpio (1993-1996) made a similar decision . . .  he was forced to quickly rescind that decision when Arab and Islamic countries closed their doors to the Guatemalan market.
___Former vice president of Guatemala, Eduardo Stein (2004-2008), warned of the negative consequences of the decision by [President Jimmy] Morales, who is facing impeachment on corruption charges.   MORE . . .  
❸ ISRAELI  KNESSET  TO  VOTE  ON  ‘DEATH  PENALTY’  FOR  PALESTINIANS      
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Israeli parliament is set to vote on a draft bill that would impose the death penalty on Palestinians “involved in operations against Israeli targets”, the country’s defense minister said Monday.
___Speaking to an Israeli TV channel, Avigdor Lieberman said voting to advance legislation targeting convicted Palestinians of attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers would take place Wednesday.
___“The U.S. also has such legislation. Thus, it’s appropriate for Israel to follow such a powerful democratic system in the world,” Lieberman said.      MORE . . .
❹ PICTURES: ARRESTS…DEMOLITION…AND  CONFISCATING  GOODS  IN  THE  VILLAGE  OF  SILWAN 
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan   
Dec. 26, 2017    On Tuesday morning, the occupation forces executed a series of arrests and raided multiple houses and commercial establishments in the village of Silwan in Jerusalem.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that the occupation forces along with intelligence personnel raided the neighborhoods of Silwan in the early morning hours and were deployed in the streets before storming into houses and arresting several youths and young men.
___The locals of Silwan explained to Wadi Hilweh Information center that the forces deliberately searched and tampered the contents of their houses while executing arrests.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❹  ―  (ᴀ)  STUDY:  AIDA  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  BETHLEHEM  IS  THE  MOST  AREA  EXPOSED  TO  TEARGAS  IN  THE  WORLD 
Palestine News Network – PNN   
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Center for Human Rights of the University of California at Berkeley recently showed that Israeli security forces carried out the use of tear gas “widely” and “frequently” and “indiscriminately” against Palestinian refugees in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem.
[. . . .] Aida refugee camp, occupied West Bank – A Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank – may be the most exposed place to tear gas in the world, according to the author of a new study.
[. . . .] “We found that the constant and unpredictable use of tear gas in Palestine refugee camps has a devastating effect on the mental and physical health of residents,” said the report’s co-author, Dr Rohini Haar, a researcher at the UC Berkeley centre and a doctor with Physicians for Human Rights.    MORE . . .  

“I  WILL  NOT  LEAVE,”  BY  DAREEN  TATOUR
They signed on my behalf
And turned me into
A file, forgotten
Like cigarette butts.
Homesickness tore me apart
And in my own country I ended up
An immigrant.
I abandoned those pens
To weep over the sorrows
Of the inkwells
They abandoned my cause and my dream
At the cemetery gates
And that person who’s waiting
Laments his luck
As life passes.
Besiege me,
Kill me, blow me up,
Assassinate me, imprison me.
When it comes to my country,
There’s no backing down.
―― Translated by Jonathan Wright

Interview with Dareen Tatour
From  Pierre Joris blog

“. . . Whenever a child’s voice goes silent . . .” (Maya Abu Al-Hayyar)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Israeli Soldier surveils children leaving al-Minya School, Nov. 16, 2015. (Photo EAPPI/Suvi. R)

❶ Israeli forces and settlers surround Palestinian school, detain student, 2 teachers
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces assault, detain 2 children on their way home from school

  • BACKGROUND:   Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)      Briefing Note – May 2017

❷ ARIJ Daily Report: Israeli Violations’ Activities in the oPt   Thu, 25th 05 2017
❸ Israeli forces detain two minors near Jenin
❹ Poetry by Maya Abu Al-Hayyar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  AND  SETTLERS  SURROUND  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOL,  DETAIN   STUDENT,  2  TEACHERS
Ma’an News Agency      
May 25, 2017
Israeli settlers escorted by military forces surrounded a Palestinian school in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Thursday morning, detaining a student and two teachers while leaving others trapped inside the school.
___Sharif al-Froukh, the deputy headmaster of the al-Minya middle and high school in the village of Tuqu, said an Israeli settler chased students who were on their way to the school for their end-of-year exams, claiming that they had thrown rocks at him.  (See endnote with photo below.)  
___Al-Froukh added that Israeli forces had detained a fifth grader identified as Mahdi al-Kawazba, and two teachers, identified as Muhammad al-Qurneh and Khalid al-Araysi.
___Al-Froukh said that two Israeli settlers’ vehicles and five military jeeps were surrounding the school, and that some teachers were staying at the entrance to prevent the Israelis from raiding the school, while other teachers and staff remained with students inside classrooms.       MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  ASSAULT,  DETAIN  2  CHILDREN  ON  THEIR  WAY  HOME  FROM  SCHOOL
Ma’an News Agency        
May 24, 2017
At least two Palestinian children were beaten and detained by Israeli forces on Wednesday morning inside the Aida refugee camp, located in the northern part of Bethlehem city in the southern occupied West Bank.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the camp in military jeeps at around 9:30 a.m. while students from the camp’s United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school were returning home from their final exams.
___The soldiers then got out of their jeeps near the camp’s cemetery and assaulted two students, whose identities remained unknown. After beating the two, the soldiers threw them into the jeep and took them into a military base located adjacent to the camp.      ___“After arresting the two kids, the soldiers lined up a group of students against the wall and began pointing their guns in the kids’ faces,” one witness, who recorded the incident on video, told Ma’an.        MORE . . . .

BRIEFING  NOTE – MAY  2017.
Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)               In March 2013, UNICEF published a report – “Children in Israeli Military Detention” – which found that: “The ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the [Israeli] military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing”.
___UNICEF report: 4 years on – March 2017 marked the fourth anniversary since the publication of the UNICEF report: Children in Israeli Military Detention. . . .   During the intervening 4 years there have been a number of legal and procedural changes to the system but reports of ill-treatment and denial of legal rights remain largely constant at 2013 levels.         NOTE WITH LINK TO FULL REPORT . . . .

ARIJ  DAILY  REPORT  THU,  25TH  05  2017. Israeli  Violations  Activities  in  the  oPt 
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ)  
May 25, 2017
The daily report highlights the violations behind Israeli home demolitions and demolition threats in the occupied Palestinian territory, the confiscation and razing of lands, the uprooting and destruction of fruit trees, the expansion of settlements and erection of outposts, the brutality of the Israeli Occupation Army, the Israeli settlers violence against Palestinian civilians and properties, the erection of checkpoints, the construction of the Israeli segregation wall and the issuance of military orders for the various Israeli purposes.       THE REPORT . . . .
❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  TWO  MINORS  NEAR  JENIN     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
May 24, 2017
Israeli forces Wednesday detained two Palestinian minors near the Israeli Salem military camp to the west of Jenin, said local sources.     Sources told WAFA Israeli army detained two minors aged 16 and 17, from Jenin refugee camp, while they near the Israeli Salem military camp.     This brings the total number of Palestinians detained on Wednesday to 10.        MORE . . .   

‘CHILDREN,”  BY  MAYA  ABU  AL-HAYYAR

Whenever a child’s hand comes out of a collapsed building
I check the hands of my three children
I count the digits of their hands and feet
I check the number of teeth
and the hairs of their eyebrows.

Whenever a child’s voice goes silent in Camp Al Yarmouk
I turn up the volume on the TV
and the songs on the radio
I pinch my three children on their sides
to keep them moving and feel they’re alive.

Whenever a heart is devoured by fear
on Qalandia checkpoint
I open my mouth and start to eat
comfort myself with salty treats
Block out the sparks of the eyes that cry everywhere
—Translated by Graham Fulton

Maya Abu Al-Hayyar is a prize-winning author of novels, poetry, and short stories. Born in Lebanon, she has a degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Najah University and lives in Ramallah.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.

note
(Photo: EAPPI, Dec. 3, 2014) World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

EAPPI: Note from the Israeli army explaining why they raided Tuqu’ village the night before:    “Recently, many terror attacks** took place towards Israeli residents by youth from your village. In response, our forces carried out an operation in the village and your houses in order to prevent the increase of harm to the security of the residents. The aim of this military operation in the area is to reduce the amount of violent attacks and the disruption of order against those that travel and live in this area. Therefore, the aim of this activity is not to disrupt your routine. Make the terrorists go away. Only with cooperation will we can achieve peace in the area.”
**The minors detained the night before were detained for throwing stones.  The throwing of stones are the “terror attacks” and those who throw them are the “terrorists” that this note refers to.

“. . . We stand in Manger Square and mimic the dance-steps of Zorba the Greek . . .” (Samih Mohsen)

aaIMG_3159 - Copy
Bethlehem Wall. (Photo by Harold Knight. Nov. 6, 2015)

SAM_2122
❶ Banksy hotel opens in Bethlehem, eliciting heated reactions by Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Lonely Planet [TOURIST GUIDEBOOK] erases Israeli occupation of Syrian Golan Heights
❷ The ‘Beautiful Resistance’ of Aida Camp – “People cannot tolerate injustice for eternity”
❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • “Impossible Intimacies: Towards a Visual Politics of “Touch” at the Israeli-Palestinian Border.” Journal for Cultural Research.
  • “Banksy and the Walled Off Hotel: a personal view.” International Solidarity Movement

❹ POETRY by Samih Mohsen

bansky
Banksy’s art.

❶ BANKSY  HOTEL  OPENS  IN  BETHLEHEM,  ELICITING  HEATED  REACTIONS  BY  PALESTINIANS   
Ma’an News Agency
By Jaclynn Ashly and Reem Alqam
March 11, 2017
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s infamous separation wall in the occupied West Bank, while cutting off Palestinians from their lands and religious sites, isolating communities, and eroding the livelihood of scores of Palestinians along its route, has become an unlikely breeding ground for tourism.
___Adjacent to the graffiti-stained separation wall in the city of Bethlehem, which is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, and next door to the Aida refugee camp, elusive UK artist Banksy now welcomes guests to his latest project: the Walled Off Hotel.     _____In a message written in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, a plaque posted at the entrance to the hotel-cum-art museum tells its guests not to “choose sides” in the conflict. In describing the separation barrier, deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, the statement says: “The wall is a lie. It sells the idea that there is a simple divide between the people here, but there isn’t.”       MORE . . . 

aIMG_3097
Bethlehem Wall Museum. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015.)

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) LONELY  PLANET  [TOURIST  GUIDEBOOK]  ERASES  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  OF  SYRIAN  GOLAN HEIGHTS
The Electronic Intifada
The Lonely Planet website highlights sites in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights as “Top experiences in Israel.”      April 26, 2017         Why has Lonely Planet – publisher of the popular travel guidebooks – erased Israel’s occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights?
___Following the 1967 War, 66 percent of the Syrian Golan – a land mass slightly smaller than Greater London – has been militarily occupied by Israel.
___Its mountainous terrain, forests and rivers means that it is an area of stunning natural beauty, home to a variety of wildlife, including a species of wolf found only in the region. As such, it is no surprise that the Golan has attracted vast numbers of Israeli tourists since its occupation.       MORE. . . .

aIMG_3122
Bethlehem Wall Museum. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

❷ THE  ‘BEAUTIFUL  RESISTANCE’  OF  AIDA  CAMP –  “PEOPLE  CANNOT  TOLERATE  INJUSTICE  FOR  ETERNITY”
International Solidarity Movement
April 19, 2017
Tucked within the antiquated corridors of the municipality of Bethlehem, there lies Aida Camp, established 1950.  The densely populated cement structures, thinly outlined by narrow passageways, are a living summation of the occupation of Palestine itself.   ___Scraping elbows with the massive checkpoint pathway between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, hedged by the West Bank apartheid separation wall and situated nearby two large illegal Israeli settlement blocs, Aida camp sits on the front lines of the Palestinian struggle to exist in the grim face of an ethnic cleansing.       MORE . . .

aIMG_3099
Bethlehem Wall Museum.(Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • Ball, Anna. “IMPOSSIBLE  INTIMACIES:  TOWARDS  A  VISUAL  POLITICS  OF  “TOUCH”  AT  THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  BORDER.”
    Journal For Cultural Research, vol. 16, no. 2/3, Apr-Jul2012, pp. 175-195.
    For the British media in particular, Banksy’s image appeared to represent a daring transgression of authoritarian boundaries, his physical and artistic touch upon the Wall serving as a form of transnational and experiential empathy. Indeed, there is much that is “touching” about Banksy’s image, which juxtaposes the cold, stark materiality of the Wall with a whimsical portrait of childhood innocence in a way that is both poignant and provocative. And yet, during his trip to what Banksy described as “the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers”, one encounter shattered this illusion of intimacy. Banksy records how a Palestinian man approached him in order to comment that his work made the Wall look beautiful. “Thank you”, Banksy replied. “We don’t want this wall to be beautiful, we hate it. Go home”, was the man’s curt response. Despite Banksy’s proximity to the Wall, it would seem that something eluded his grasp; not the ability to touch, but the ability to be touched by the border in a way that might engender an empathetic visual intimacy with its spatial experience for the Palestinian subject.    MORE . . . 
  • BANKSY  AND  THE  WALLED  OFF  HOTEL:  A  PERSONAL  VIEW
    International Solidarity Movement
    By al-Khalil team
    March 14, 2017
    Over the last weeks there has been a lot of noise about Banksy (a street artist from the UK, now darling of the art world) and his new hotel in Bethlehem. Initially the vast majority of news articles seemed to glow with praise for this new project.  However I quickly found myself uncomfortable with the language that the project uses in its narrative. And other commentators have also expressed discomfort.  A number of articles have now come out that are somewhat more critical of the enterprise. I decided that to further my own understanding I would talk to some Palestinian activists and then write something myself – so here it is to be shared.
    [. . . .] Banksy’s stated aim is to bring Israelis and Palestinians together in his hotel, but with a few dorm rooms at $30 a night and the next cheapest rooms at $215 up to $965, the only people that the hotel will bring together are the international bourgeoisie, people who are the least affected by the occupation, who maintain their riches in the face of occupation, or even increase them. The global elite do not effect any real change in this world, but rather maintain injustice for their own profit and comfort. So what does he hope to achieve?     MORE . . .

    aIMG_3112
    Bethlehem Wall Museum. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

“LAMENTATION,” BY SAMIH MOHSEN

At Manger Square, at midday,
The chairs outside the cafes
Are taken by Western tourists, in September
They sip at their longing for God
The streets teem with passers-by
And foreign languages
We tread on the shadow
Of an old man stretched out on the pavement
With his arm and a tattered shoe for a pillow
His mattress was a story. . .
We pass by his wounds without seeing
Beer tickles our bellies to laughter
And telling inane anecdotes
We try to release the child within us
We stand in Manger Square
And mimic the dance-steps of Zorba the Greek
We step
We laugh
We step into the ring of lamentation.
–translated by Henry King

Samih Mohsen was born in the village of Naqour in Nablus, Palestine (Occupid Territories) in 1953, and has published two collections of poetry, Exiting the Narrow Rooms and Kingdoms & Peril.       From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

aIMG_3089
Bethlehem Wall. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

“. . .what lightens your darkness? . . .” (Munther Isaac)

a1-761
Representatives from the Town Twinning Association Cologne-Bethlehem gaze at “Dream Portrait” by artist Johnny Issa Andonieh– October 25th, 2015 (Photo: Museum Web Site) https://bethlehemmuseum.com/the-cologne-bethlehem-town-twinning-associations-first-visit-to-the-bethlehem-museum/

❶ . ‘An atmosphere of fear’: Increased Israeli army operations worry Aida refugee camp [Bethlehem district]
. . . ❶― (a) Israeli forces injure 4 Palestinian youths in Duheisha camp [Bethlehem district] clashes

  • Background: “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise Of ‘Ruin’ And ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History

❷ . Israel approves 770 new settlement units in Gilo settlement, northern Bethlehem
❸ . Artist of the Month. Johnny Issa Andonieh: Iconographer from Bethlehem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ‘AN  ATMOSPHERE  OF  FEAR’:  INCREASED  ISRAELI  ARMY  OPERATIONS  WORRY  AIDA  REFUGEE  CAMP  [BETHLEHEM  DISTRICT]  
Ma’an News Agency
Chloe Benoist
Dec. 11, 2016      On a chilly Monday afternoon, a group of four Israeli soldiers were stationed on the balcony of what is known to locals as the Cola building in Aida refugee camp’s cemetery, weapons pointed at a group of five Palestinian boys, none older than 11, who were peeking from around a street corner some 50 meters away.
___The scene has become a familiar one in the occupied West Bank refugee camp, as the Israeli army has escalated military procedures in Aida over the past several months, creating what some residents have called a perpetual “atmosphere of fear.”
Note:  Chloé Benoist is a journalist based in Bethlehem since January 2016, after graduating from the    American University of Beirut with a master’s in political science in June 2014
More . . .         Related:  Aida Camp

wall-bethlehem
Graffiti on the Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjQDl95tOcU

. . . ❶― (A)  ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  4  PALESTINIAN  YOUTHS  IN  DUHEISHA  CAMP  [BETHLEHEM  DISTRICT]  CLASHES  
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 12, 2016   Four young Palestinian men were shot and injured during clashes with Israeli forces who stormed the al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem early on Monday morning.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles raided the camp from three directions and troops stormed several neighborhoods before young men responded by throwing stones and empty bottles at the soldiers.      More . . .        Related:  Duheisha Camp

  • Abreek-Zubiedat, Fatina. “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise Of ‘Ruin’ And ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History 19.1 (2015): 72-94.   SOURCE.

According to the political theorist Hannah Arendt, a ‘refugee’ is a ‘stateless’ or ‘non-citizen’ person who threatens the nation-state system. Consequently, countries have acknowledged the need for a solution to the refugee problem, whose status is considered temporary, with two possible options: return to the homeland or country of origin, or naturalization in the host country. Historically, both solutions have failed (Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. 1966, 280–283). Arendt views the refugee camp as a ‘final solution’ involving the incarceration of refugees after denying their citizenship. Only then do they become homo sacer in the sense implied by ancient Roman law: destined to die, with their life defined as ‘bare.’

❷ . ISRAEL  APPROVES  770  NEW  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  GILO  SETTLEMENT,  NORTHERN  BETHLEHEM  
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 7, 2016  The Israeli “Construction and Planning Committee” of the Jerusalem City Council on Wednesday approved 770 new settlement units in the illegal settlement of Gilo, northern Bethlehem, which Israel is attempting to annex.
___According to IMEMC, the approval comes as part of 20 new settlement projects in the Occupied West Bank, which also include tourist and commercial buildings, on approximately 142.846 Dunams of lands, while the constructions themselves will occupy around 98.927 square/meters.       More . . . 
❸ .  ARTIST  OF  THE  MONTH.  JOHNNY  ISSA  ANDONIEH:  ICONOGRAPHER  FROM  BETHLEHEM          
This Week In Palestine
December, 2016  Johnny Issa Andonieh was born in Bethlehem in 1957. Interested in theology and monastic life since his youth, Johnny was introduced to iconography while in his thirties by a monk who lived at Mar Saba Monastery, located on the edge of the Kidron Valley (Wadi Nar) in the Jerusalem Wilderness. Since that time, Johnny has dedicated himself to writing icons. Between 1990 and 1992, he studied Byzantine and Russian methods of iconography in Cyprus, working in several churches with Greek and Cypriot iconographers.   
More . . .
        Related:  Bethlehem Museum
“O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Words by Munther Isaac. Sung by the Bethlehem Bible College Choir.

“. . . in the icy morning, the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

tamirrice
Family photo of Tamir Rice, fall of 2014; killed Nov. 22, 2014 (Published: New York Times) Photos of Memorial to Abdullan and Tamir at http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774241

❶ . ‘Young lives taken too soon’: activists dedicate memorial to Tamir Rice in Aida Refugee Camp

  • Background: “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies

❷ . 2016 Christmas Message: Holiday message from PMNH-BU
❸ .  Jerusalem resident forced to demolish own home
❹ .  POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

abed-obeidallah
Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13 (Pictured: left), Killed October 5, 2015, in East Jerusalem (Photo: The Institute for Middle East Understanding)

❶ . ‘YOUNG  LIVES  TAKEN  TOO  SOON’:  ACTIVISTS  DEDICATE  MEMORIAL  TO  TAMIR  RICE  IN  AIDA  REFUGEE  CAMP    
Ma’an News Agency     
Dec. 3, 2016
In the span of one year, a 12- and a 13-year-old boy were shot and killed by armed authorities — one in the occupied West Bank, and one in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
___Their names were Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13, and Tamir Rice, 12, and on Friday, a memorial was unveiled in their honor in the Aida refugee camp — where Ubeidallah was born, raised, and killed — near the southern occupied West bank city of Bethlehem. __Tamir, an African-American child, was shot by local Ohio police on Nov. 22, 2014 while playing alone with his toy gun in a park in Cleveland.
[. . . .] ___Almost one year later, on Oct. 5, 2015, Abd al-Rahman was shot in the chest by Israeli forces as he walked home from school during clashes in the Aida refugee camp.     ___Neither the American police officers nor the Israeli soldiers who killed Rice and Ubeidallah were indicted for killing the boys.
[. . . .]  “We are dedicating this memorial in honor of two young lives which have been snuffed out unjustly,” said Reverend Graylan Hagler, who came with members of his congregation from Washington D.C. to dedicate the memorial inside the Aida playground, built by the NGO Playgrounds for Palestine.         More . . .

  • McEvoy-Levy, Siobhan. “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies 12.3 (2014): 312-326.    SOURCE.  

(Siobhan McEvoy-Levy is Assoc. Prof, and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN)

The use of the term ‘waithood’ to describe a distinct experience of young people who are stuck in their transitions to adulthood has emerged quite recently in the international development literature. Researchers with a focus on the Middle East and Africa have noted that both the structural violence of economic exclusion and the direct violence of war make it very difficult for young people to become adults in traditional terms and they may become trapped in a prolonged or even permanent state of social, cultural and economic limbo. The terms ‘a generation in waiting’, ‘involuntary waithood’ and ‘wait adulthood’ have been coined to explain such thwarted youth transitions.
[. . . .]   Alongside the focus on waithood, scholars of international relations, peace and development have also recognized children (though not youth) as a vulnerable moving (and movable) mass. Rather than being trapped in a state of youth-hood, children in conflict zones are forced to grow up too soon while circulating within and across state borders.
[. . . .]    Every young Palestinian interviewed in the West Bank described their main challenge as simply ‘the Occupation’. Supporting a ‘waithood’ thesis, university students were concerned about how the political situation would affect their employment, future relationships and family. For example, a female student states that her main worry was for her transition to adulthood: Huma (aged 23): “I fear can’t have a job, can’t make my life. Everybody wants to have stability, make a family and go to their work. So if I don’t do these things I will become hopeless.” Several young people identified their own lack of mobility, on the one hand, and a loss of friends and family to emigration, on the other, as key challenges.
[. . . .]  Hamdi, who is male, uses an image of ‘the Palestinian child’ to make a quite complex political point. Male children are propelled into taking a stand, taking on older youth and adult roles, by occupying space, literally, in front of a tank, to reverse the stuckness imposed by the occupation. That role in itself is a reversal of normal childhood development and another way of being stuck. While the image is one of movement through uprising, arguably Hamdi himself remains ideologically stuck in a first Intifada narrative. He admitted feelings of guilt about not doing more himself to resist the occupation, and like many of the participants believed there would be a third Intifada. Much like Alena, Hamdi is partially performing a role in reproducing the Palestinian master narrative, a pattern repeated among the Israeli interviewees where the reality of stuckness is also betrayed by the rhetoric of mobilization. [. . . .]

❷ . 2016  CHRISTMAS  MESSAGE:  HOLIDAY  MESSAGE  FROM  PMNH-BU    
Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH)
Dec. 2, 2016
The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University wish you a great holiday season and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year. May 2017 be a year of progress towards peace and sustainability for our planet.       More . . .  

dscn6928-624x468
Volunteer of Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) teaching children (Photo: PMNH website, Dec. 2, 2016)

❸ . JERUSALEM  RESIDENT  FORCED  TO  DEMOLISH  OWN  HOME
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 3, 2016
A Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was forced Saturday to demolish his own home after the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem warned him that unless he does it himself, it will demolish it and force him to pay exorbitant amount of money in costs.
___Said Abbasi, the home owner, told WAFA that he was forced to demolish the building that houses his and his brother’s homes under the pretext it was built without a license.     ___He said a total of 12 members of the Abbasi family, mostly children, were displaced as a result of the demolition of the two 300-square-meter homes.     More . . .

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
About Mourid Barghouti

“. . . collectively bear witness and advocate for these mothers’ most basic human rights: to raise their children safely . . .” (Roth and Duaibis)

arrest
Israeli occupation soldiers illegally arresting a Palestinian child, October 27, 2015 (Photo: Al-Jazeerah)

❶ Israeli military court extends detention of 7 Palestinian minors from Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp

  • Background: “Crows on the Cradles: Palestinian Mothers at a Frontline Vortex: Reflections on the Psychology of Occupation.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❷ PCHR Weekly Report: One Palestinian killed, 7 wounded, including 4 children, by Israeli troops this week
. . . ❷ ― (a) Israeli forces kidnap 29 Palestinians including children
. . . ❷ ― (b) Israeli forces kill child with flare in Gaza

  • Background: “Collusion as a Defense against Guilt: Further Notes on the West’s Relationship with Israel and the Palestinians.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ISRAELI  MILITARY  COURT  EXTENDS  DETENTION  OF  7  PALESTINIAN  MINORS  FROM  BETHLEHEM’S  AIDA  REFUGEE  CAMP  
Ma’an News Agency     
Oct. 6, 2016
An Israeli military court Thursday extended the detention of seven Palestinian minors, aged between 16 and 17 years old, from Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp in the occupied West Bank for “endangering the lives of Jewish worshippers” after reportedly throwing Molotov cocktails near Rachel’s Tomb at the northern entrance of Bethlehem.
___Three of the minors were detained on Wednesday, following confessions from four minors detained in the previous week, according to Israeli sources.
___Israeli sources also claimed that all seven minors confessed to throwing the Molotov cocktails and reportedly told Israeli authorities they learned how to make the cocktails from online videos, while admitting to buying the materials from shops before gathering every Friday near Rachel’s Tomb to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers.      More . . .  

  • Roth, Judy, and Salwa Duaibis. “Crows On The Cradles: Palestinian Mothers At A Frontline Vortex: Reflections On The Psychology Of Occupation.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.1 (2015): 5-20.  Source . . .

[. . . .] This is the terrible predicament we are sharing in the hopes that we might create concentric circles of witnessing, near and remote, that can collectively bear witness and advocate for these mothers’ most basic human rights: to raise their children safely and competently and to educate their children in a setting that can help them think. There is much that psychoanalysts might contribute to these challenges of bearing witness and igniting activism, that is, to engaging mentalizing communities that can hear, hold, and contain the trauma inflicted by such injustices . . . .

PCHR  WEEKLY  REPORT:  ONE  PALESTINIAN  KILLED,  7  WOUNDED,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  BY  ISRAELI  TROOPS  THIS  WEEK 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Oct. 7, 2016
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 29 September- 05 October 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. A Palestinian civilian was killed at Qalandia checkpoint, north of occupied Jerusalem. 7 civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in the Gaza Strip.
___In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed, on 30 September 2016, Nasib Abu Maizer (28), from Kufor Aqeb village, north of occupied Jerusalem. The aforementioned person was killed when Israeli forces stationed at Qalandia military checkpoint, north of the city, opened fire at him, due to which he sustained 5 bullet wounds throughout his body. He was left bleeding for over an hour as the Israeli forces denied medical crews from the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) access to the scene until he died. Israel forces then kept his corpse. They claimed that Abu Maizer had stabbed a soldier and caused him moderate wounds.     More . . .

teen-arrest
A Palestinian teenager arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces following clashes outside of the Old City of Jerusalem on July 24, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli)

. . . ❷ ― (a) ISRAELI  FORCES  KIDNAP  29  PALESTINIANS  INCLUDING  CHILDREN    Days of Palestine  
Oct. 6, 2016
Israeli occupation forces kidnapped on Thursday night 29 Palestinian citizens in occupied West Bank and holy city of Jerusalem.
___Palestinian sources said that the Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Issawiyeh and Al-Tur neighbourhoods in Jerusalem and broke into Palestinian homes.
___The Israeli occupation forces broke external doors of some of the Palestinian houses and annoyed the Palestinian civilians.
___According to the Palestinian Prisoner Committee (PPC), the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped 14 Palestinians, including children, noting the ages of the kidnapped Palestinians ranged between 12 and 21 years old.
___Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation forces raided several cities and neighbourhoods across the occupied West Bank and broke into Palestinian homes.      More . . .   
. . . ❷ ― (b) ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  CHILD  WITH  FLARE  IN  GAZA
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)      
Oct. 04, 2016
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenage boy with a flare during a protest east of al-Bureij refugee camp near Gaza’s border fence last month.
___Abdel-Rahman al-Dabbagh, 15, was struck in the forehead above his left eye around 7 p.m. on September 9 with an illumination flare cartridge that ignited, setting him on fire and killing him. Israeli forces fired live ammunition, tear gas canisters, and flares at protesters gathered at the border fence from approximately 2:30 p.m. until sunset, Mohammad I., an eyewitness, told Defense for Children International – Palestine. Abdel-Rahman and other Palestinian youth threw stones toward Israeli forces on the other side of the border fence, as well as some unexploded tear gas canisters previously fired by Israeli forces at the protestors.
___”Israeli forces routinely misuse ‘less-lethal’ weapons and projectiles to directly target Palestinian children, killing and injuring them with impunity,” said Ayed Eqtaish, DCIP’s Accountability Program director. “Rampant disregard for international law combined with no accountability ensures the situation will continue to deteriorate for Palestinian children.”     More . . .  
Related . . .  For every Israeli kid killed 15.8 Palestinian kids have been killed
Related . . .    2,145 Palestinian children and 134 Israeli children have been killed since September 29, 2000.

  • Kemp, Martin. “Collusion As A Defense Against Guilt: Further Notes On The West’s Relationship With Israel And The Palestinians.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.3 (2015): 192-222.   Source . . .

My suggestion is that part of the explanation lies in the way that the collective psyches of Israel and the West each engages the other in their attempts to deal with their burden of guilt. The West, as was described earlier, forever sensitive to the danger of being reminded of its own anti-Semitic history, seeks to ward of the painful guilt that would follow. This is a raw place, and one that can be easily picked at. To detract attention from this place, I think that Western countries have concurred with Israel’s definition of what an ally should be, and that essentially involves the West’s collusion and complicity in the dehumanization of the Palestinians. In this way, our shameful lack of response to one historical tragedy – the triumph of Fascism in Europe – is perpetuated in the failure of our moral, and political, response to another. The redefinition of the Holocaust from being considered a crime against humanity, perhaps at the furthest reach but still somewhere on a continuum of human behavior, to being thought of as a “singularity” out on its own as a crime against the Jewish people, makes its own contribution here.
___A particular twist comes about when the West gives up the capacity to question the claim that Israel stands in or substitutes itself for “the Jewish people”, or a Jewish “nation”. It becomes difficult for us to properly distinguish between Zionism, Jewish Israeli society, the Israeli State, and Jewish people more generally. So we become anxious that criticism of Israel might be confused with an anti-Semitism we are desperate to disown. In such a situation, it is no wonder that thought is paralyzed, our moral compass is overwhelmed, leaving the West submissive and inarticulate in the face of an Israel that proclaims its right to speak collectively as victim and survivor of the legacy of European anti-Semitism.
___Israel, meanwhile, is reassured that it has no need to feel guilty because the West endorses its assertion that it is the Palestinians who are the problem, and that they are responsible for the ongoing violence.

 

“. . . Am I lacking something? . . .” (Marwan Makhoul)

Palestinian Munir Shindi drives a replica of 1927 Mercedes Gazelle that he built from scratch, on a street in Gaza City
Munir Shindi drives a replica of a 1927 Mercedes Gazelle that he built from scratch, in Gaza City, June 19, 2016. (Photo:REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

❶ Army Kidnaps Two Palestinian Teenagers In Bethlehem

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ How education reform could curb Palestinian unemployment

  • background from Foreign Affairs

❸ Gaza mechanic turns heads in handmade classic car
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  TERROR  OF  THE  CHILDREN
❺ POETRY by Marwan Makhoul
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ARMY  KIDNAPS  TWO  PALESTINIAN  TEENAGERS  IN  BETHLEHEM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 11, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, the ‘Aida refugee camp, searched several homes and kidnapped two teenagers from their homes. The soldiers also assaulted and injured a Palestinian from Jenin.
___Local sources said the army surrounded Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, before several military vehicles invaded it, and the soldiers stormed and violently searched many homes, and kidnapped two teenagers.
___The two kidnapped teenagers have been identified as Mohammad Khaled al-Kurdi, 17, and Sayyed Mohammad al-Jabiri, 17.     MORE . . .

from  Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
To appreciate the constraints of the operation of law and the legal system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in general and the West Bank in particular, it is important to understand the jurisdictional and sovereign limitations and duality of laws that exist, given the present and past political contexts and the historic legal heritage that have prevailed for centuries. . . .
[. . . .]  Israel’s control over movement within the OPT (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) and family reunification matters has led to issues concerning marriages, children living with both parents and receipt of health care and/or education. If a resident of the West Bank marries abroad, the spouse is denied entry and so are the children, resulting in divorce, separation or emigration abroad. These policies are carried out through the application of military decrees, amended over time to increase the restrictions and limitations.
___These amendments have converted thousands of West Bank residents into “offenders” and “violators” of the military orders.

  • Husseini, Hiba. “Legal Duality In The Occupied West Bank.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 22-30.
The Wider Image: Child labour in Gaza
Palestinian Mohamoud Yazji, a 16-year-old apprentice mechanic, at a garage in Gaza City, March 17, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

❷ HOW  EDUCATION  REFORM  COULD  CURB  PALESTINIAN  UNEMPLOYMENT
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Melhem
July 8, 2016
Come September, Palestinian schools will begin emphasizing vocational and technical training as part of the government’s vision to reform the educational system and alleviate unemployment.
___The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor formed the Supreme Council for Vocational and Technical Education on Jan. 5. The council is tasked with promoting and supporting professional and technical specializations to meet the demands of the labor market.       MORE . . . 

from Foreign Affairs
Arabs remain deeply segregated from Israel’s Jewish population: 90 percent of Arabs live in almost exclusively Arab towns and villages, and with just a few exceptions, Arab and Jewish children attend separate schools.
[. . . .]  when it comes to government support in such areas as the allocation of land for new construction, financing for cultural institutions, and educational funding, Arabs suffer from ongoing discrimination, despite some recent progress. Arabs make up around 21 percent of Israel’s population, but according to the Mossawa Center, a nongovernmental organization that advocates for Israel’s Arab citizens, Arab communities receive only seven percent of government funds for public transportation and only three percent of the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport’s budget is allocated for Arab cultural institutions; Arab schools are also significantly underresourced. (Toward the end of 2015, the Israeli government approved a five-year economic development program for Israel’s Arab community, worth up to $4 billion, that will increase funding for housing, education, infrastructure, transportation, and women’s employment. Although the plan represents a step in the right direction, the exact amount of funding that will be allocated to each of these areas remains unclear, as does the process by which its implementation will be monitored.)

  • Ghanem, As’ad. “Israel’s Second-Class Citizens.” Foreign Affairs 95.4 (2016): 37-42.

❸ GAZA  MECHANIC  TURNS  HEADS  IN  HANDMADE  CLASSIC  CAR
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Mohammed Othman
July 8, 2016
The spirit of challenge and love of classic cars pushed Palestinian Munir Shindi, who lives in the neighborhood of al-Tuffah, east of Gaza City, to spend a year and a half in his small workshop manufacturing a replica of the 1927 Mercedes Gazelle.
___ Shindi, who now works as an auto mechanic in his own workshop, only completed middle school. He arrived in the Gaza Strip from the United Arab Emirates a year and seven months ago after spending 13 years there working in a mechanic shop in Abu Dhabi, where he became a specialist in repairing classic cars.
___He explained, “I decided to import some accessories from the United States so as to build an exact replica of the original model. Israel banned the entry of car parts into Gaza, and any parts I would import from the United States to Gaza would probably be confiscated. This is why I ordered the parts through a friend in the UAE and we had to resort to trickery to bring in these parts using Gazans arriving to the Gaza Strip to bring them in one by one. I waited more than six months to have all of the parts I needed to build my Gazelle.”     MORE . . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis: THE  TERROR  OF  THE  CHILDREN
Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
Mario Vargas Llosa, El Pais
[. . . .]
Did you know that in 2012 not one settler in the West Bank was killed? Do you also know that the average number of crimes committed against settlers in the past five years was as low as 4.8 a year? The Occupied Territories are safer, in fact, for settlers than the streets of New York, Mexico or Bogotá are for their inhabitants. Taking into account that there are 370,000 settlers in the West Bank (half a million with east Jerusalem) compared to 2,700,000 Palestinians, we are talking about one of the least violent corners of the world, despite the gunfights, demolitions, terrorism and protests that we hear about in the news.
___The only way to achieve such a low crime rate is by coldly and methodically imposing a strategy. Israel’s involves the systematic intimidation and psychological destabilization of children and teenagers between the ages of 12 to 17.
___This is done by “demonstrating the ubiquitous presence” of the Israeli Defense Forces, “the cauterization of the conscience” and “simulated operations disturbing the peace”. In other words, generating panic to prevent terror.       MORE . . .

“IDENTITY,” BY MARWAN MAKHOUL

I’m unfamiliar with refugee camps.
Is that the ultimate in giving up?
Or are they tents I’ve been told are white
with guy ropes at the corners to hold them up
that hold me up?

I’m unfamiliar with tear gas.
Is it a weapon whose used bears the radiance of defeat?
Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears
when I cry

I’m unfamiliar with settlements.
Are some of those people good?
Sure, completely. Like I walk
on my hands,
and the sand sings?

I’m unfamiliar with my mother too.
Is she the one who suckled me?
Or is she the one bereft, standing in my doorway,
or a window on belonging?

I’m unfamiliar with UNRWA.
Is it a shipment I once chanced upon?
Or did I direct its driver
when he asked the way to Rafah?

I’m unfamiliar with the “cause”.
Is it a fiancée searching in the rubble
for her finger to put the ring on?
Or is half the whole of a fifth?

I’m unfamiliar with the truth.
Am I lacking something?
Or does my blood course within me
but not as my nerves would wish?

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with myself.
Am I the one now in my body?
Or am I that one I wrote about
the day I became my neighbor?
―Translated by Raphael Cohen   

From BANIPAL: MAGAZINE OF MODERN ARAB LITERATURE 45  Winter 2012.
Marwan Makhoul was born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother in 1979 in the village of Boquai’a in the Upper Galilee region of Palestine. He currently lives in the village of Maalot Tarshiha. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Mustaqbal College. His first book of poetry was published in 2007 in both Beirut and Baghdad by Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa by Maktabat Kul Shai’ Publishers. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in The Acre Theatre Festival for his first play.
(An interview with Marwan Makhoul )

“. . . my child’s back a field of wounds . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

cops
Around 1,200 members of the Israeli security forces line up in a street in Shuafat refugee camp during a home demolition, East Jerusalem, December 2, 2015. (Israel Police)

❶ The rise of psychological trauma in occupied Palestine
❷ Military court watch Newsletter – November 2015
. . ❷―A -Israel Generates the illusion that violence is routine
❸ 13 Palestinians shot in clashes after house demolition in Shufat camp
❹ Israeli forces raid home of Palestinian teen shot dead in Tulkarem
❺ Opinion/Analysis: TO  RESIST  HAS  BECOME  A  CRIME:  MY  FRIEND,   HASHEM  AL-AZZEH
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim (1970)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MONDOWESS
THE  RISE  OF  PSYCHOLOGICAL  TRAUMA  IN  OCCUPIED  PALESTINE
Megan Hanna
Nov. 30, 2015
On the morning of Monday 23rd November, Israeli forces raided Aida refugee camp and a children’s community centre and established a military outpost on the roof of an adjacent building. Once the military post was established, the soldiers also erected an Israeli flag . . . .
[. . . . ]
The move to erect an Israeli flag in such an area hardly conforms to Israel’s usual claims of self-defense, and appears to be a direct and taunting provocation to the residents of the camp. . . there is a lack of a clear motive other than to collectively punish, terrorize and exert psychological pressure on the Palestinian populace.
More . . .
MILITARY COURT WATCH
NEWSLETTER –  NOVEMBER  2015
Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 October 2015, there were 5,683 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as “security prisoners” IN ISRAELI DETENTION FACILITIES INCLUDING 307 CHILDREN. In the case of children there was a 80 per cent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 4 per cent compared with 2014. According to the IPS, 59 per cent of Palestinian children and 86 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention
More . . .
Related . . . UN  SUBMISSION:  UNLAWFUL  TRANSFER  OF  PROTECTED  PERSONS
. . ❷―A
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAEL  GENERATES  THE  ILLUSION  THAT  VIOLENCE  IS  ROUTINE
Dec. 1, 2015
[. . . . ]
Ya’alon’s adherence to this alternative strategy is not a result of his aversion to targeted assassinations. Rather, it is a systematic refining of tactics that, despite initial furore, tend to generate the illusion that violence is routine and, as such, is nothing to be concerned about. The maiming and murder of Palestinian civilians year after year results in hardly any outrage; it is the context of the latest intifada that has propelled Israeli violence to the fore. Netanyahu’s government has embarked upon an approach that refines the existing macabre legislation, in a manner that allows for international law violations under the pretext of security concerns while gradually increasing the number of Palestinian victims.
More. . .
Related . .

IMG_3519
Sign warning Jewish Israelis that it is both illegal and dangerous to enter Palestinian towns. (Photo, Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

❸ MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
13  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  IN  CLASHES  AFTER  HOUSE  DEMOLITION   IN  SHUFAT  CAMP
Dec. 2, 2015
JERUSALEM ― Israeli forces shot and injured 13 Palestinians in the Shufat refugee camp on Wednesday during clashes which broke out after the demolition of the home of camp resident Ibrahim al-Akkari, who carried out a deadly attack in Jerusalem last year.
___The Palestinian Red Crescent in Jerusalem told Ma’an that a total of 43 Palestinians were given medical treatment following the clashes that erupted in the occupied East Jerusalem camp.
___Thirteen were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets, while 30 others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation, the Red Crescent said.
More . . .
Related . . . THIS  IS  HOW  MANY  ISRAELI  COPS  IT  TAKES  TO  DEMOLISH  A  PALESTINIAN  HOME
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  HOME  OF  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  SHOT  DEAD  IN  TULKAREM
Dec. 2, 2015
NABLUS ― Israeli forces on Wednesday raided the Nablus home of a 19-year-old Palestinian woman shot dead a day earlier at a military checkpoint in Tulkarem, officials said.
___Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers broke into the home of Maram Hassouna in Rafidia and interrogated her family.
___The Israeli forces reportedly tore up pictures of the slain teenager during the raid.
___Clashes broke out in the town between Palestinian youth and Israeli military forces following the incursion.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
TO  RESIST  HAS  BECOME  A  CRIME:  MY  FRIEND,  HASHEM  AL-AZZEH
Mats Svensson
Dec. 1, 2015
Hashem al-Azzeh gently took my hand. . . I knew immediately that he had experienced something that had affected him deeply. . . .
___I had had to climb over the wall from his neighbor. It was partially dismantled. There was no longer a path to the house. Everything was blocked. . . . I saw a man sitting with an automatic weapon. We looked at each other. He did not seem to like my presence. He was an Israeli settler. He was my host’s neighbor.
___Within a few meters: One who tries to steal the land and homes, another who just wants to remain, to stay in the house that had been his family home for so many years. . . .
___Hashem had no enemies. But Hashem was hated, hated by the settlers. Right here, they were planning to continue the expansion.
More . . .

“IN  THE  TWENTIETH  CENTURY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM  (1970)

For centuries
I did not hate
But now
I am forced to raise my untiring spear
In the face of the dragon,
To draw a sword of fire
In the face of Baal
To become Elijah in the twentieth century.

For centuries
I did not apostate
But now
I strike at the gods in my heart
The gods that sold my people
In the twentieth century.

For centuries
I did not turn visitors
Away from my door
Then one morning I opened my eyes
To find my food stolen
My wife strangled
And my child’s back a field of wounds.
I recognized my treacherous guests.
I planted mines and daggers at my door
And I swore by the traces of the knife
That none of these guests shall enter my house
In the twentieth century.

For centuries
I was only a poet
In the bands of the Sufis
But now
I am an erupting volcano
In the twentieth century.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . the stranger wakens in his exile, his homeland. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

(See heading “NEW: Calendar” above for listing of events of interest.)

Palestinian women barred by Israeli authroties from prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Palestinian women barred by Israeli authroties from prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

From ALMONITOR
GAZA DOCTORS FIND JOBS IN GERMAN CLINICS
Hazem Balousha Posted June 17, 2015
TranslatorPascale Menassa
June 17, 2015
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — In one of the rooms of the Goethe Institute in Gaza City, 13 students attend a German-language class. Five of them are doctors seeking to study and work in Germany due to the tough economic and political situation in Gaza, which has been under Hamas control for eight years.
____According to figures published by several sources, some doctors employed in Gaza are looking for work in German hospitals. Germany has been offering extensive incentives for doctors from outside the European Union for years.
(More. . .)

From MA’AN NEWS ANGENCY
ISRAELI POLICE ISSUE 15-DAY AQSA MOSQUE BAN FOR 6 PALESTINIAN WOMEN
June 23, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police on Monday banned six Palestinian women from visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for 15 days, a lawyer for the women said.
____Ramzi Kteilat, from Jerusalem based rights group Qudsuna, told Ma’an that the women were arrested earlier in the day and taken to Qishla police station near Jaffa Gate.
(More. . .)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
SOLDIERS KIDNAP FOUR PALESTINIANS IN BETHLEHEM
Tuesday June 23, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, four young Palestinian men in the ‘Aida refugee camp, north of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and handed three from Bethlehem, military warrants for interrogation.
____ Local sources in the camp said the soldiers stormed and searched several homes, and kidnapped. . .
(More. . .)
http://www.imemc.org/article/72023

From MA’AN NEWS ANGENCY
ISRAEL RENEWS JERUSALEM BAN ON ISLAMIC MOVEMENT HEAD
June 23, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Tuesday extended an order banning the head of the Islamic Movement from entering Jerusalem.
. . .
____The prominent Islamic cleric called the ruling “unjust,” while the Islamic Movement said that entering Jerusalem is Salah’s legitimate right and he will exercise it “whenever he sees appropriate.”
(More. . .)

Still from the film Censored Voices shows a former Israeli solider listening back to an interview, censored by the military after the 1967 war. (Noise Film PR)
Still from the film Censored Voices shows a former Israeli solider listening back to an interview, censored by the military after the 1967 war. (Noise Film PR)

From THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
NEW EVIDENCE FROM 1967 WAR REVEALS ISRAELI ATROCITIES
Ilan Pappe
June 23, 2015

“In the operation we had to cleanse the inhabitants. This uprooting of a villager, rooted in his village and turning him into a refugee, by simply expelling him, and not one, two or three of them but a real eviction. And when you see a whole village is led like lambs to the slaughter without any resistance you understand what is the Holocaust.” — An Israeli soldier’s testimony in the documentary Censored Voices, directed by Mor Loushi (2015)

In the wake of the June 1967 war, the Israeli author Amos Oz, then a reserve soldier in the Israeli army, together with a friend collated interviews with Israeli soldiers who participated in the war and asked them about the emotions the fighting triggered in them. The interviews were published as a book titled Conversations with Soldiers, more popularly referred at the time by my generation as the ”shooting and crying” book.
____The military censor (a function that still exists today, held recently by the present minister of culture, Miri Regev), erased 70 percent of the evidence since he claimed it would have harmed Israel’s international image.
____This month an industrious Israeli filmmaker, Mor Loushi, is showing her new documentary based on most of this erased material.
(More. . .)

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
Murīd al-Barghūti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest separated from his wife, the Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour. They have been together in the West Bank since they were allowed to return together in 1996. Their son, Tamim Al Barghouti, born in Egypt in 1977, is himself an important Palestinian poet.
Other poems by Mourid Barghouti here, and here.

A growing library of works by Palestinian and Palestinian-American poets.
A growing library of works by Palestinian and Palestinian-American poets.