“. . . lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits . . .” (Walid Khazindar)

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Homes seen from main street in Shufat. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| EU  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  SHUAFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP
The  EUROPEAN  UNION  on Saturday evening condemned Israel’s demolition of around 20 structures in Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, as well as the continued Israeli settlement expansion in the city.    ___The demolitions were part of the Israeli municipality’s new policy of extending the reach of municipal enforcement to refugee camps in Jerusalem.    ___“The policy of settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JORDANIAN  initiative launched to highlight Gaza siege
. . . . Related  Al-Malki meets  JAPANESE  counterpart at the Mediterranean Dialogues
. . . . Related  Palestine and  TURKEY  sign agreement on women’s empowerment
.  .  .  .  .  Istanbul summit  seeks to empower family in age of self
. . . . Related RUSSIA  offers to mediate between Palestinians and Israel
|   COMMISSION  SOUNDS  ALARM  OVER  ISRAEL’S  JUDAIZATION  SCHEMES  AROUND  AQSA 
The Commission of Scholars and Preachers in Occupied Jerusalem has warned of the repercussions of Israel’s violations and Judaization schemes beneath and around holy al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The commission said in a statement that Israel’s so-called “biblical gardens”, “Holy Basin”, and “Biblical Paths” have dangerous upshots on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The statement warned of an Israeli scheme of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians living in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, in Silwan, south of al-Aqsa Mosque, as part of the so-called “Biblical gardens” project.    More . . .

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Homes just outside wall of Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  JERUSALEM  GOVERNOR  FOR  2ND  TIME
Israeli forces detained the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, on Sunday morning, after raiding his home in the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.    ___Local sources confirmed that following Ghaith’s detention, Israeli forces transferred him to an interrogation center in Jerusalem City.    ___It is noteworthy that this is Ghaith’s  second detention  in less than a month.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Minors among 9  detained by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israeli forces surround, attack high school in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers uproot dozens of olive trees in West Bank village
. . . . Related  IOF causes damages to shops near Nablus

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
‘I  THOUGHT  I  KNEW  ABOUT  PALESTINE,  UNTIL  I  SAW  THE  OCCUPATION  FIRST  HAND’ 
Film director Toomas Järvet discusses  Rough  Stage  ahead of its screening at the London Palestine Film Festival on 27 November.    [. . . .] As far as director Järvet is concerned, the essence of the film is very simple; how to stay true to what you believe in and what you want to achieve no matter what the obstacles are in life. “The ideas and problems the film talks about are very common and universal,” he insists.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
THE  JERUSALEM  FUND  –  PALESTINE  DIABETES  INSTITUTE  APPEAL
[. . . .] Now that the US administration has withheld financial support to the Palestinian Authority, to Jerusalem hospitals, and to UNRWA, it has made an already tough situation much worse. The vulnerable diabetic patients may be facing more complications. Your donation at this time will ensure that the PDI will continue to provide valuable services to these patients.    ___Life in the West Bank and Gaza is challenging at every turn, and things have reached a crisis point. With the new developments, it is certain to get worse. Your contribution targeted to the PDI program will make a difference in the lives of these patients. Please contribute generously to the extent that you can, as your donation will help Palestinians stay healthier and productive.   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HOUSES,”  BY  WALID  KHAZINDAR

The cloud of migrations in his eyes,
and in the leather briefcase the book, the pencil, the family photograph
The rust of benches on his hands, the rust of bannisters and doorknobs,
the rust of handshakes on his hands.
The briefcase propped against the wall—
will he take out his souvenirs first, or will he
Like a magician take out a country:
a house,
a street,
a capital.
He closed his eye, lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits.
He will not make friends with another vase,
he will not confess to a bed that will blow up in the next war,
he will not make tea or sing,
He will pace back and forth for a long time between the porch and the kitchen
and he will listen hard for a sound coming from the garden gate.
But there is only the crunching of leaves under feet
passing
then
going on;
there is nothing but the hum of talk in the houses next door.

–Translated by Lena Jayyusi and W.S. Merwin

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . Do you remember your panic― at the reign of death . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israelis escorted through Al Aqsa Mosque courtyard, Jerusalem, by IOF soldiers (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
   DEFENSE  MINISTER  AVIGDOR  LIBERMAN  RESIGNS  OVER  HAMAS  CEASEFIRE
Claiming that the government has capitulated to terrorism, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced his resignation on Wednesday, one day after Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.    ___“I have tried to remain a faithful member of the cabinet and to make heard another view, even at a great electoral and political price,” Liberman said at a news briefing immediately following the faction meeting. However, Tuesday’s ceasefire with Hamas “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism,” he added. “This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.”    More . . .
|    PLO:  30  YEARS  AFTER  DECLARATION  OF  INDEPENDENCE,  OCCUPATION  STILL  LINGERING
Thirty years after the historic declaration of Palestine’s independence, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is still lingering, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Thursday marking Palestine’s Declaration of Independence Day.    ___The Palestinian National Council issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988 in Algiers, declaring an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.    [. . . .] PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on this occasion. . .   “Thirty years later, following this historic and painful compromise, the longest occupation in modern history still continues and holds an entire people captive, willfully stealing their land, resources, freedom, and rights with full impunity. . .     More . . .
. . . . Related  A  FAMILIAR  INVASION:  SETTLERS  TAKE  ANOTHER  MOUNTAIN  TOP,  SOLDIERS  FOLLOW,  AND  PALESTINIANS  DEMONSTRATE  FOR  THEIR  RIGHTS
|    ISRAEL  BANS  JERUSALEMITES  ENTRY  AS  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA     Israeli authorities banned six Jerusalemites, on Thursday, from entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, for one consecutive month. . .   [. . . .]  two days prior to the ban, the six Jerusalemites were detained by Israeli forces during predawn raids of their homes in East Jerusalem.     ___Meanwhile, about 35 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate and “provocatively” toured the compound, according to local sources.     More . . .
. . . . Related  GAZA  IN  PHOTOS:  CEASEFIRE,  MOURNING  AND  PROTESTS  OF  THE  DESTRUCTION  OF  A  TELEVISION  STATION

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ISRAEL’S  NEXT  ELECTIONS  WILL  BE  ABOUT  WHO  IS  MORE  VIOLENT  TO  PALESTINIANS 
Israel appears to be going to early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is resigning from his post, and that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, will leave the ruling coalition over what he called Netanyahu’s “surrender to terrorism.” The surprise resignation came just a day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the most violent flare-up the Gaza border has seen since the 2014 war.    ___Immediately following his announcement, the right-wing Jewish Home party . . .  released a statement that it too would leave the coalition unless party leader Naftali Bennett replaces Liberman as defense minister. It is unlikely Netanyahu will agree to such conditions, which means that his coalition will probably fall apart, ushering in early elections in the spring of 2019, instead of their original date in November 2019.    ___Liberman’s move makes perfect sense, if one considers that his party, which holds only five of 120 seats in the Knesset, might not make it past the election threshold, as several polls have indicated . . .  Liberman also used his podium to attack Netanyahu for backing down on the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, allowing Qatari cash and fuel into Gaza, and the latest cease-fire.    More . . .
. . . . Related POLL:  64%  OF  ISRAELIS  SEEK  TO  ESCALATE  AGGRESSIONS  ON  GAZA
. . . . Related  WHAT  NETANYAHU’S  IDEA  OF  PEACE  LOOKS  LIKE
. . . . Related   IN  BREACH  OF  HUMAN  RIGHTS,  NETANYAHU  SUPPORTS  THE  DEATH  PENALTY  FOR  PALESTINIANS

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

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

“. . . And the tyrant’s fear of songs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

unnamedThe Nessan Band performing at the Said al-Mishal Cultural Center in 2015.
(Photo: Tamer Institute for Community Education. Electronic Intifada, Oct. 10, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .  

|  ISRAELI  ARMY  KILLS  7  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA  PROTESTS
At least 7 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured on Friday when the Israeli occupation forces heavily opened fire at the peaceful protesters taking part in the GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN.   ___[. . . .] Gaza’s Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qedra said that 192 protesters were injured, 140 of whom by live ammunition and three are in critical condition. There are 45 children, eight girls, and two paramedics among the injured.    ___ Thousands of Palestinians marched in the afternoon along the border between the Gaza Strip and the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories to take part in the protests of the 29th Friday of the Great March of Return.  More . . .
. . . . Related  Egyptian  Al-Azhar  [University]  condemns  Israel’s  killing  of  Gaza  protesters
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Woman  Killed  as  Israeli  Settlers  Attack  Vehicle  in  Nablus 
|  NEW  REPORT:  ISRAEL  PUNISHES  AL-AQSA  WORSHIPPERS,  ESCALATES  HARASSMENT  OF  PALESTINIANS  IN  OCCUPIED  JERUSALEM
The Israeli authorities are taking accelerated and unprecedented measures against Palestinian residents of occupied Jerusalem throughout September, reveals a New Report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.   ___The report concluded that Israel is punishing Al-Aqsa worshippers, and is following a number of policies to suffocate Palestinians through arbitrary detention, night house raids and searches, home demolitions, and orders to banish them from Al-Aqsa mosque, Euro-Med’s team has documented.    ___Titled “Banned: Expulsion, Displacement, and Arbitrary Prosecution of Palestinians in Jerusalem during September 2018,” the report shows the escalating Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the Holy City during last September, which are very much coinciding with the Jewish holidays.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  farmers  barred  from  harvesting  their  olive  crops  in  land  near  Jewish  settlement

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  A  CRIME  AGAINST  CULTURE  –  ”I  was  deeply  shocked  when  I  heard  that  the  Said  al-Mishal  center  had  been  bombed.  I  could  not  understand  why  a  place  that  was  so  important  to  me  had  been  destroyed.”
Mousa Tawfiq
I clearly remember the first time I learned about the Said al-Mishal Cultural Center.   ___“Haven’t you seen it yet?” asked Muhammad, a boy older than me. “It’s the most beautiful stage in Gaza. It has a shiny wooden floor with fancy red chairs. When the curtains open, the audience goes completely silent.”   ___The conversation took place in 2008. Muhammad and I both played oud. We were taking lessons at a summer camp run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees.  More . . .
|  GENERAL’S  FINAL  CONFESSION  LINKS  1956  MASSACRE  TO  ISRAEL’S  SECRET  PLAN  TO  EXPEL  ARABS
In mid-July, a strange performance played out in the Military Court of Appeals at the Kirya, the defense establishment’s headquarters in Tel Aviv. The judge, an Israel Defense Forces general, called Meretz MK Esawi Freige, from the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Qasem, to the witness stand, and asked him just one question: Would publication of classified documents relating to the massacre in his village in 1956 be likely to stir up its residents?      [. . . .Brig. Gen. Issachar “Yiska”] Shadmi, the highest-ranking officer to be brought to trial after the event, lives. Shadmi told us that the trial, in which he was initially accused of murder but later acquitted, was intended to mislead the international community with regard to Israel’s ostensible pursuit of justice. For his part, Raz is convinced that the background to ostensibly staging the trial was pressure from above to conceal “Operation Mole” (Hafarperet), a secret program to expel to Jordan the population of the so-called Triangle of Arab towns, located southeast of Haifa – details of which have never been revealed.   (From Haaretz. Copied here )

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“ON  THIS  LAND”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
We have on this land that which makes life worth living
We have on this land all of that which makes life worth living
April’s hesitation
The aroma of bread at dawn
A woman’s beseeching of men
The writings of Aeschylus
Love’s beginning
Moss on a stone
Mothers standing on a flute’s thread
And the invader’s fear of memories
We have on this land that which makes life worth living
September’s end
A woman leaving ‘forty’ behind
with all of her apricots
The hour of sunlight in prison
A cloud reflecting a swarm of creatures
A people’s applause for those who face their own erasure with a smile
And the tyrant’s fear of songs.
We have on this land all of that which makes life worth living
On this land
The lady of our land
The mother of all beginnings
And the mother of all ends
She was called Palestine
Her name later became Palestine
My lady….
Because you are my lady
I have all of that which makes life worth living.

(Source)

“. . . Do you remember your panic―at the reign of death? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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As a guest at Al-Aqsa, November 5, 2015. Photo: by Harold Knight.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WHO:  10  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  WERE  KILLED  BY  ISRAELIS  IN  GAZA  IN  2  WEEKS 
The latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicate that during the demonstrations between 10th and 22nd September, 10 Palestinians including four children were killed and 1,193 were injured by the Israeli forces, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a special situation report on Gaza published on Thursday. Most of the killings and injuries occurred during protests as part of the March of Return on the Gaza border with Israel.    ___Out of the total 1,193 injured, 690 patients required transfer to the MoH hospitals or NGO clinics, including 127 children and 37 females. Of the hospitalized injured, 19 cases were critically life threatening, 275 moderate, 386 mild . . .  More . . .

OVER  500  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  ON  4TH  DAY  OF  SUKKOT
Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Thursday, through the Moroccan Gate on the fourth day of their Jewish holiday of Sukkot.   ___The Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) confirmed that 509 Israeli settlers stormed the compound via the Moroccan Gate that was opened at 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and the numbers are expected to increase throughout the day.   ___Israeli forces and police were deployed across the compound, by the Moroccans Gate and by the Chain Gate, in addition to Israeli police being deployed by the doors of the mosque and into the streets leading up to the compound in the Old City.   More . . .
Related . . .Fanatic  Israeli  settlers  perform  provocative  rituals  in  Samou
Related
. . .Israeli  forces  injure  20  Palestinians  as  settlers  visit  Joseph’s  Tomb     

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

EREKAT:  WHAT  TRUMP  SAID  IS  A  REWARD  FOR    AGGRESSORS  FOR  THEIR  CRIMES
PLO Executive Committee Secretary Dr. Saeb Erekat  said in  his response to President Trump’s Speech at the UNGA today that President Trump has confirmed that his administration has closed the doors to peace and cannot play a role in peacemaking by stating that his decision to move his embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, in violation of Security Council resolution 478, was a “recognition of reality”. Rather, what his administration did, and continues to do, is to reward and incentivize violations of international law, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.    ___His rejection of the International Criminal Court is a rejection of international law. It should be noted that Israel, the occupying power, did not implement any of the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions Erekat said.   More . . .
Related . . .Officials  address  Palestine  at  UNGA

“PREVENTING  PALESTINE”:  A  MUST  READ  HISTORY  OF  FAILED  PEACE-MAKING
James J. Zogby
Seth Anziska’s “Preventing Palestine: A Political History From Camp David to Oslo” is a deeply insightful and profoundly disturbing book that traces the tortuous path of Middle East peace-making during the past four decades. It was quite painful to read.     ___Having been a close observer and sometimes participant in many of the developments that have unfolded since the end of the 1973 War, Anziska opened old wounds while shedding new light on the painful events and acts of betrayal that have shaped recent Palestinian history.     ___Through all of the twists and turns of this period, the brutal wars and the diplomatic initiatives, the one constant that emerges is the Israeli determined refusal to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood and the self-serving acquiesce to their intransigence by successive American administrations and key Arab leaders.  More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .   

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

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

 

“. . . Can a people be born on the guillotine? . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ISRAEL  TO  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  FOR  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION      The Israeli Civil Administration announced an expansion plan of the illegal Israeli settlement of Tina Omarim in the town of Dahriyeh, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.    ___A Palestinian research center, Land Research Center, released a report on Monday showing that the Israeli Civil Administration have published a detailed plan that would change the classification of the Palestinian-owned land from agricultural into urban, in order to justify expanding the illegal Israeli settlement.   ___The report said that the plan would lead to the seizure of 260 dunums (64 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in the al-Thahriyeh town.   More . . .

IMF  DRAWS  BLEAK  PICTURE  OF  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY,  SUGGESTS  WAYS  OUT   The International Monetary Fund (IMF) drew a bleak picture of the Palestinian economy as longstanding constraints continue to act as a brake to growth and suggested ways out from this impediment.   ___It said in a report on the West Bank and Gaza economy that will be submitted to the next ad hoc liaison committee meeting that several factors have contributed to worsening economic situation in the Palestinian territories.   ___The IMF cited the worsening situation in Gaza aggravated by a long Israeli blockade, division, violence and other factors have deemed the outlook “increasingly untenable.”    More . . .

EXCESSIVE  FORCE  REASON  FOR  DEATH  OF  DETAINEE,  SAYS  RIGHTS  GROUP    The Ramallah-based Addameer  human  rights  organization  said on Tuesday that excessive use of force by Israeli soldiers during the arrest of a Palestinian youth was the cause for his death.   ___Mohammad Zaghloul Rimawi, 24, died hours after he was detained by Israeli soldiers during an early morning raid at his home in Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah.   ___Addameer said . . . an Israeli army force raided the village at around 4 in the morning on Tuesday. . .  The soldiers assaulted Mohammad’s mother then forced all the family (the father, mother and three of their children) into a corner of the house while they took Mohammad to another room in the middle of the house where he was severely beaten . . .  After that the soldiers dragged him and took him to an unknown location. Two hours later, the family was informed by the Palestinian District Office that its son has died.   More . . .
Related . . .  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCES  ARRESTS  ADDAMEER’S  LEGAL  UNIT  COORDINATOR  AYMAN  NASSER
Related . . .  IOF  LAUNCHES  LARGE-SCALE  ARREST  CAMPAIGN  IN  WEST  BANK
Related . . .  ISRAELI  POLICE  ASSAULT  PALESTINIANS  AT  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  AS  JEWISH  FANATICS  INTENSIFY  PROVOCATIONS

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

TRUMP’S  DECISION  TO  CLOSE  THE  PLO  EMBASSY  SAYS  MORE  ABOUT  THE  FUTURE  OF  THE  US  THAN  THE  FUTURE  OF  PALESTINE
Trump’s decision to revoke the presence of the PLO Embassy in Washington says a lot more about the future of the US order than about the future of Palestine.   ___US willingness to parley with the PLO was based on the PLO’s participation in a bi-partisan charade: the peace process. . .  The peace process was the name given to the game of geopolitical management the US used to maintain its relationships with client states in Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. . . The US secured arms markets, purchases of its treasuries, sowing of anti-Shia sectarianism, and socio-political containment . . .  of the largest Arab working class, the Egyptians, in exchange for supporting local elites.  [. . . .] Trump  has  ripped  the  veils  off  US  government  strategy. This portends little for Palestine, since the Democratic Party – Lobby or no Lobby – will disintegrate into a thousand fragments before it will push for even a whisper of justice for Palestinians. There is no hope there. However, larger shifts in turn speak to a larger question: where does Palestine and the struggles to which Palestine is increasingly linked fit into a long-term strategy for those of us who wish for a relatively more equal and just world – a world with room for many worlds?   More . . .
DECODING  THE  PIPES/TRUMP/KUSHNER  ‘DEAL  OF  THE  CENTURY”
Richard Falk
You didn’t have to be a ‘never Trump’ loyalist to have qualms about proposing to bring peace to Palestinians and Jews by creating conditions that would produce ‘The Deal of the Century.’ And let’s be fair, if the game of nations is now played according to the rules of Madison Avenue, the phrase was a winner despite being a loser if evaluated from a problem-solving perspective. Even in the present degraded political atmosphere, to bet on an advertising slogan as a substitute for healing ideas may be a good formula for ensuring a large audience for a reality TV episode, but it is a cruel evasion when it comes to addressing the daily ordeal of the Palestinian people consigned to the victimization associated with living under the Israeli apartheid state.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

RESEARCHING  THE  AMERICAN-ISRAELI  ALLIANCE  (RAIA)   RAIA is a research initiative launched in 2017 dedicated to exposing the connections between American and Israeli state violence. Our work is grounded in the conviction that the ongoing dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people undermines the possibility of a viable homeland for both Palestinians and Israelis.  Website . . .   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  ARE  ENTITLED  TO  LOVE  AUTUMN,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We are entitled to love the end of this autumn and ask:
Is there room for another autumn in the field to rest our bodies like coal?
An autumn lowering its leaves like gold. I wish we were fig leaves
…I wish we were an abandoned plant
To witness the change of seasons. I wish we didn’t say goodbye
…to the south of the eye so as to ask what
Our fathers had asked when they flew on the tip of the spear. Poetry
…and God’s name will be merciful to us.
We are entitled to dry the nights of lovely women, and talk
…about what
Shortens the night for two strangers waiting for the north to reach the
…compass.
An autumn. Indeed we are entitled to smell the scent of this autumn,
…to ask the night for a dream.
Does a dream fall sick like the dreamers? An autumn, an autumn.
Can a people be born on the guillotine?
We are entitled to die the way we want to die. Let the land hide in an
…ear of wheat.

– – – From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  Bilingual  Anthology  of  Arabic  Poetry.
Trans. by Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 1984 & 2005.

“. . . In Gaza, There is no legacy under the rubble . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

[Note: Please see the page “Other Sources” for a list of the sources used that are not specifically “news” sites, the location of many of the opinion pieces here.]

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The Apartheid Wall, Shuafat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem. Photo, Harold Knight, November 5, 2015.

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY

2  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  270  OTHERS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS.
Two Palestinians were killed and 270 others were injured by Israeli forces alongside the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip during the 21st Friday of “The Great March of Return” under the slogan “Revolution for Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa.”  More.
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM. A Palestinian youth was killed after being shot by Israeli forces under the pretext of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.  More.
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHUT  DOWN  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  COMPOUND.  Israeli forces have shut down the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following an alleged stabbing attempt by a Palestinian on a group of Israeli policemen in Jerusalem’s Old City.   ___The attacker, a 30-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel from the town of Umm al-Faham, was shot dead by the Israeli forces. . . .  More.

OPINION AND COMMENTARY

AS  ISRAEL  ENSHRINES  JEWISH  SUPERIORITY,  WHAT’S  NEXT  FOR  ITS  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS?
Henriette Chacar (August 15, 2018)
. . . the Jewish Nation-State Law, which enshrined a superior set of rights for Jewish Israelis last month, and the direction in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government is headed.  . . . . ___ Members of the Palestinian community in Israel launched a campaign to repeal the law — headed by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee — an umbrella organization that represents the country’s Arabs, which make up 20 percent of Israel’s population. Tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens, together with Jewish supporters, demonstrated against the law in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square over the weekend, a week after the Druze community held their own mass protest in the same square.  More.

THE  DRUZE  AND  THE  NATION-STATE  BILL.
Yara Hawari (August 16, 2018)
The passing of the “nation-state” bill last month, affirming the Israeli state’s Jewish character and downgrading the Arabic language, has reignited a conversation among the Palestinian citizens of Israel especially with regards to their precarious position within the state. In particular, it has sparked intense conversations among the Palestinian Druze community in Israel. In addition to several resignations from Druze officers currently serving in the Israeli military.   More.

ONE  STATE:  A  VIEW  FROM  GAZA
Ahmed Abu Artema  (August 17, 2018)
There are those who believe that Israel’s recently-passed Nation-State Law represents a failure of the one-state option, as it formalizes the exclusively Jewish nature of the dominant state in Palestine and with it, the disenfranchisement of the non-Jewish population.   ___The new law could also be viewed, however, as betraying a fear on the part of the occupying power that the de facto imposition of one state on the ground holds within it the seeds of the dismantling of the colonial project from the inside. Seen in this way, all of the decisions, laws and actions taken by the occupying power to insist upon the specifically Jewish character of the state are but desperate attempts to go against history and legitimize an order that is both unfair and unsustainable.  More.

INTERVIEW:  BENJAMIN  LADRAA:  ‘YOU  DON’T  HAVE  TO  BE  PALESTINIAN  TO  CARE  ABOUT  THE  INJUSTICE  IN  PALESTINE’.
(August 18, 2018)
Benjamin Ladraa is a Swedish human rights activist, who walked 4,800 km through 13 countries over a span of 11 months to raise awareness about the Palestinian cause.   ___Ma’an News Agency interviewed Ladraa after Israeli authorities banned him from entering Palestine upon his arrival at the Allenby Bridge, the Jordanian-Palestinian borders, in July.   Video.

“CEASEFIRE,” by  Jehan Bseiso.

Little men, cross legged, trade war stories like boys trade baseball cards.

These are times ripe and full with want and promise never fulfilled.

This much is true:
Lost boys become lost men.

Too much water, too much blood dilutes history and
We always end up with less than what we started.

In Gaza,
There is no legacy under the rubble, no pride in long fires
Burning.

There is a face at the window, sallow.

One woman sighing, her body bears the marks of all their trudging,
thighs transformed to gallows and trenches.

Her hair shrouds the dead from both sides and her lap
cradles aporias generations can’t understand.

—from I Remember My Name. Novum Pro Publishers. 2016.

 

“. . . We have a brother in the dust . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Israeli settlers attack northern West Bank school
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Scores of settlers and police forces defile Aqsa Mosque
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Settlers conduct land survey south of Nablus
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Rabbi: Israeli settlement incubates worst violence against Palestinians

  • Background: “Childhood: A Universalist Perspective for How Israel Is Using Child Arrest and Detention to Further Its Colonial Settler Project.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❷ Two boys lose eyes to Israeli fire
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli occupation forces abduct 4 Palestinian children in Jenin
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinian child abducted by 21 Israeli soldiers returns home
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  SCHOOL  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Dec. 28, 2017 ― Jewish settlers attacked on Thursday students at the Burin High School in the northern West Bank district of Nablus prompting local residents to confront them and push them back, according to the school principal Ibrahim Omran.
___Israeli soldiers, who provided protection to the settlers who came from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar, fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the Palestinians causing several cases of suffocation from gas inhalation and rubber bullet injuries.
___Omran said the students were sitting for their mid-term exams when some 15 settlers attacked the school under army protection.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  SCORES  OF  SETTLERS  AND  POLICE  FORCES  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 28, 2017 ―  Dozens of Jewish settlers on Thursday morning desecrated the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards under tight police guard.
___According to local media sources, about 112 settlers entered the Mosque in groups through al-Maghariba Gate, while several police troops were deployed throughout the Mosque’s plateaus and among Palestinian worshipers.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶―  (ᴃ)  SETTLERS  CONDUCT  LAND  SURVEY  SOUTH  OF  NABLUS
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 28, 2017 ―  A group of Jewish settlers escorted by soldiers on Wednesday surveyed a vast tract of land in an area between the towns of Duma and Qusra, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
___Local sources said that several settlers and soldiers were seen using maps in their land survey, expressing fears of Israeli intents to annex lands in their area for settlement projects.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴄ)    RABBI:  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  INCUBATES  WORST  VIOLENCE  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS 
Days of Palestine 
Dec. 27, 2017 ―  Toxic environment of radical Israeli settlements incubates violence, while Israeli occupation forces has miserable record of bringing those who attack Palestinians to justice, Rabbi Arik Ascherman said. 
___In an opinion article published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Tuesday, Ascherman said he was attacked with a knife by a masked settler from the illegal settlement of Itmar in 2015 while he was leading Israeli occupation forces to a FIRE SET BY SETTLERS in a Palestinian olive grove.
___The attacker, Ascherman ironically said, was taken to court and then was sentenced, but to 150 hours of community service.   MORE . . .  

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera.
“Childhood: A Universalist Perspective for How Israel Is Using Child Arrest and Detention to Further Its Colonial Settler Project.”
International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
, vol. 12, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 223-244.
[. . . .] . . . the general trend of settler colonialism is based on “a sustained institutional tendency to supplant the indigenous population” and a cultural logic of elimination that “reconciles a range of historical practices that might otherwise seem distinct” (Wolfe, P. (2006). Settler colonialism. p. 396). Furthermore, settler colonialism is located in programs of control, removal, and termination, and the invasion of the world of colonized people is a structure, not an event. Children who are maltreated in such a context suffer ongoing structural violence at the hands of the colonizer. . .  In the settler colonial project, settlers regard the new territory as theirs and conceive the birth and development of native children as contributing to a “demographic threat” that compromises their dominance over the territory. . .  demographic and social modes of control are  connected to structural preconditions that dispossess land and dominate movement and life. Controlling, subjugating, and abusing children enhances such dispossession.
[. . . .] Within this context, Palestinian children are viewed as security threats and therefore thrust outside of acceptable and established human rights framework and into a discriminatory structure of analysis. Mohammed Zine al-Majid, for example, was only four years old when an arrest warrant was issued in his name . . . Mohammed’s father recalled asking the armed officers who raided his home in search of his toddler son, “Are you sure you have an arrest warrant? A legal one?” . . .  Mohammed’s father could not believe that such a young boy could be considered a threat. Although the authorities left once they realized they had made mistake, the damage was already done.
___Legally, Mohammed was not treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention or the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child . . . Mohammed’s case calls for an analysis of how, in the context of the military occupation of the Palestinian territories, arrest warrants for children are considered “legal,”“acceptable,” and “normal,” and not seen as child abuse.    SOURCE . . . 

❷ TWO  BOYS  LOSE  EYES  TO  ISRAELI  FIRE 
The Electronic Intifada     
Maureen Clare Murphy
Dec. 28, 2017 ―  With Israel’s crackdown on protests over Jerusalem has come a spike in violations of Palestinian children’s rights.
___Since 6 December, when President Donald Trump announced that the US recognized the city as Israel’s capital and pledged to move the country’s embassy there, Palestinian children have been among the hundreds injured and arrested by Israeli forces.
___Several children have suffered potentially irreversible head injuries, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine.
___Two have lost eyes.
___Two boys were hit in the face with tear gas canisters fired by Israeli soldiers from a watchtower near Erez checkpoint during an 11 December protest at the Gaza-Israel boundary.   MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCES  ABDUCT  4  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  IN  JENIN    
Days of Palestine     
Dec. 27, 2017 ―  Israeli occupation forces abducted on Wednesday evening four Palestinian children from Kafr Dan Neighbourhood in West Bank city of Jenin.
___Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli occupation forces raided a Palestinian farm in the area, attacked the farmers and abducted the four children.
___The eyewitnesses identified the four children as Hamza Sabah, Mohamed Salah, Mustafa Mer’e and Ahmed Salah.
___All of them were taken by a military jeep to the Israeli military camp in the area referred to by mass media as Salem Military Camp.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)    PALESTINIAN  CHILD  ABDUCTED  BY  21  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  RETURNS  HOME
Days of Palestine
Dec. 28, 2017 ― The 16-year-old Palestinian teen, Fawzi al-Juneidi, who was recently arrested by Israeli soldiers, returned to his family late Wednesday.
___The boy was abducted on December 7 in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil after being dragged on the ground and blindfolded by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers.
___A photo of the blindfolded youth quickly became a symbol of ongoing Palestinian protests sparked by US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.    MORE . . .    ..

“BROTHER,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
I have a brother in the dust
who has been waiting thirty years for his toys.
How did we not wait for him, he will ask us.
How did age take us by surprise?
How did we grow up?
And how is it, just like that, we’ve never invited him to join us?
Not once did we invite him
into our games in the mirror, in our dreams,
just like that!
One of our games is:
We have a brother in the dust.
When winter comes he waves with the grass.
He beguiles us with intense whiteness―that’s his habit―
then dwells close to our father, over there, inside mother.

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble.
About Ibrahim Nasrallah.

“. . . with their dyed hair and Italian shoes, they play prophet on golf courses . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ Abbas spokesman: We will not accept changes to 1967 East Jerusalem borders
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ashrawi to foreign diplomats: The situation needs real action from int’l community

  • Background: “Narratives of Jerusalem and Its Sacred Compound.” Israel Studies.

❷ Israeli Forces Kill 4 in Palestine During Clashes
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli security forces raid East Jerusalem neighborhood, detain young Palestinians
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Night clashes erupt in Qalqilia town
❸ Rafah crossing [Gaza] with Egypt reopens for four days, students urged to travel to their colleges
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) UN says half a million Gaza Palestinians at risk of displacement due to flooding
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Israel Has No Right to Establish Its Capital in an Occupied City
❺ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ABBAS  SPOKESMAN:  WE  WILL  NOT  ACCEPT  CHANGES  TO  1967  EAST  JERUSALEM  BORDERS  
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 16, 2017 – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, released a statement [on Saturday] saying that Palestinians “will not accept any changes to the 1967 border of East Jerusalem,” as tensions surrounding the Israel-occupied Palestinian territory continue to rise in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Abu Rudeinah’s speech . . . . was allegedly in response to statements attributed to a White House official saying that the US considers the Wailing or Western Wall – which Muslims refer to as Al-Buraq Wall — as part of Israel.
___“This American position proves once again that the current US administration is completely out of the peace process,” he said.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ASHRAWI  TO  FOREIGN  DIPLOMATS:  THE  SITUATION  NEEDS  REAL  ACTION  FROM  INT’L  COMMUNITY 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 16, 2017 ― PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi told foreign diplomats that the current situation  in Palestine needs real action from the international community.
___Ashrawi said US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unilaterally undermined peace opportunities and efforts . . . .
___“Trump’s announcement has led to a change in all conditions,” Ashrawi said, stressing that the United States is no longer suitable to be a mediator in the political process as the American decision led to the impossibility of returning to the bast stage she said.
___“US President Donald Trump move leads us to a new stage and Palestinians can not go back to past stages. Everything that is said about peace deals is now frozen, and all options is open after the American announcement.”   MORE . . .

Reiter, Yitzhak. “NARRATIVES  OF  JERUSALEM  AND  ITS  SACRED  COMPOUND.”
ISRAEL  STUDIES,
vol. 18, no. 2, Summer2013, pp. 115-132.
[. . . .] The Temple Mount/al-Aqsa compound. . . .  is a central symbol of national and religious identity for both sides, and therefore the element of greatest conflict. The battle over the myths and narratives surrounding this compound . . . serve as a vehicle to support the meta-narrative of both Israelis and Palestinians . . .  the right to the Holy Land, to Palestine/Eretz Israel. Within the struggle over public awareness of Jerusalem’s importance, one particular site is at the eye of the storm—the Temple Mount and its Western Wall—the Jewish Kotel—or, in Muslim terminology, the al-Aqsa compound (alternatively: al-Haram al-Sharif) including the al-Buraq Wall. From both the Jewish and the Muslim points of view, the Foundation Stone, the Rock adorned with the golden dome, is the “Rock of our existence”—a symbol of religious-national identity . . .
___The site’s status as a sacred space makes it the natural focal point of the power struggle, including claims to sovereignty, efforts to exclude the opposing group and to claim recognition and inclusion. This situation is all the more true when the site in question lies at the center of a national conflict between two peoples who also represent, to a great extent, two essentially different religions and cultures. “Al-Aqsa” for the Palestinian-Arab-Muslim side is not merely a mosque mentioned in the Qur’an within the context of the Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous Night Journey to al-Aqsa which, according to tradition, concluded with his ascension to heaven (and prayer with all of the prophets and the Jewish and Christian religious figures who preceded him); rather, it also constitutes a unique symbol of identity, one around which various political objectives may be formulated, plans of action drawn up and masses mobilized for their realization.
[. . . . ] The current Jewish and Muslim historical narratives of Jerusalem are mirror images of each other. In pre-modern time they were developed independently, reflecting the religious and collective identity and outlook of each of the two peoples. Since the nineteenth century they have crystallized to respond to national challenges. The historical debate was intensified after 1967, when the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the holy shrines, was conquered by Israel.   SOURCE . . . 

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  4  IN  PALESTINE  DURING  CLASHES 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Israeli Occupation Forces Kill four Palestine During Clashes in the West Bank and Gaza strip in additions of hundreds wounded on Friday.
___According local reports the clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces left four dead and hundreds wounded Friday by live ammunition and rubber coated steel bullets.
___Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are continuing mobilizations against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Six more have been killed during clashes this week, bringing the total death toll to 10.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  SECURITY  FORCES  RAID  EAST  JERUSALEM  NEIGHBORHOOD,  DETAIN  YOUNG  PALESTINIANS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Israeli security forces raided early Saturday the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh and detained at least seven of its young residents, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center based in Silwan, another East Jerusalem neighborhood.
___It said, according to attorney Mohammad Mahmoud, that the seven Palestinians ranging in age between 17 and 21 years, were taken to the Russian compound interrogation center in West Jerusalem.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  NIGHT  CLASHES  ERUPT  IN  QALQILIA  TOWN
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Violent clashes broke out Friday evening in Azzun town, east of Qalqilia, when Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) stormed the town amid heavy firing of teargas bombs.
___Local sources told the PIC reporter that angry protesters attacked Israeli patrols with Molotov cocktails while storming the town.     Several youths suffered breathing problems after inhaling teargas fired by IOF.     MORE . . . 
❸ RAFAH  CROSSING  WITH  EGYPT  REOPENS  FOR  FOUR  DAYS,  STUDENTS  URGED  TO  TRAVEL  TO  THEIR  COLLEGES
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Egypt reopened on Saturday its border crossing with the Gaza Strip at Rafah, in southern Gaza, as the Ministry of Education urged Gaza students enrolled in colleges abroad to take advantage of the opening and travel to their colleges.
___The Palestinian border authority said Rafah terminal will be open in both directions for four days, starting Saturday.
___Nathmi Muhanna, director of the border authority, said Egypt informed them that the crossing will be open for four days to allow humanitarian cases to leave Gaza or return to it.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  UN  SAYS  HALF  A  MILLION  GAZA  PALESTINIANS  AT  RISK  OF  DISPLACEMENT  DUE  TO  FLOODING
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 16, 2017 ― The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to the occupied Palestinian territories said on Friday that over 560,000 Palestinians in Gaza residing in areas prone to flooding are at risk of temporary displacement due to the precarious state of infrastructure.
___It said in its Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin for November that poor infrastructure and lack of funding put over 560,000 people at risk of flooding in the Gaza Strip.  MORE . . .
❹ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  ISRAEL  HAS  NO  RIGHT  TO  ESTABLISH  ITS  CAPITAL  IN  AN  OCCUPIED  CITY
Palestine Chronicle
Richard Falk
Dec. 13, 2017 ―
(Richard Falk  is Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University. He was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.)
Those who speak on behalf of Israel like to defend Donald Trump’s provocative decision of December 6th to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with this contention: “Israel is the only state in the world that is not allowed to locate its capital in a national city of its choice.”
[. . . .] a more thoughtful formulation of the issue would be: “Israel is the only state in the world whose government dares to locate its capital in a city located beyond its sovereign borders and subject to superior competing claims.” Granted, Israel has declined to date to define its borders for purposes of international law, presumably to leave room for its own further territorial expansion [. . . .]   MORE . . . 

EXCERPT FROM “MIDNIGHT” [2005], BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
[. . . .] You, whose mother gave birth to you
in the homestead of the Orient,
surrounded by miracles and ballads
and hillsides wet with dew;
the sound of flutes,
the bustard’s feathers
and across a copper-colored sky
flashes the appetite of the hawk,
you’ll keep seeing in the sand
the footprints of bare-foot prophets
chasing the devils of metaphor
and you will see the devils of your own times
as, with their dyed hair and Italian shoes,
they play prophet
on golf courses, and in the corridors of banks
and on CDs.

You’ll hear promises tailored to be neglected,
like a wedding dress, the day after.

You’ll hear the discourse of your long-gone ancestors
pedants whose graves
have long since been engulfed by desert mounds,
announcing the weather forecast for tomorrow
and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow [. . . .]

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.  A biographical essay about Mourid Barghouti.

 

“. . . I plant my dreams in the streets . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Erekat : we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Arab league approaches US over PLO’s Washington office closure
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Dr. Ashrawi: U.S. is disqualifying itself as a peace broker in the region

  • Background: “The Concept of Palestine: The Conception of Palestine from the Late Bronze Age to the Modern Period.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Israel to demolish residential structures near Hebron
❸ Dozens of Jewish settlers defile Aqsa Mosque
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush

Special notice: Museum of the Palestinian People  (Please make a contribution. Thanks to a generous donor, any gift you make will be matched up to $25,000 by the end of November. This amount will count toward our 2018 budget of $168,000.)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EREKAT  :  WE  WILL  PUT  ON  HOLD  ALL  OUR  COMMUNICATIONS  WITH  THIS  AMERICAN  ADMINISTRATION       
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Saeb Erekat , secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, said that if the American administrations close PLO offices in Washington, D.C., we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration.”
___Erekat added that “the US State Department notified us with an official letter that they cannot certify the continuance opening of the PLO office in Washington D.C. due to the fact that we are pursuing and encouraging the ICC (International Criminal Court).”
___“This is very unfortunate and unacceptable. This is the pressure being exerted on this administration from the Netanyahu government.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ARAB  LEAGUE  APPROACHES  US  OVER  PLO’S  WASHINGTON  OFFICE  CLOSURE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ―The Arab League Sunday announced that its Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has approached the US administration after the latter announced it will close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington.
___The league said in a press statement that Aboul Gheit and Minister of foreign affairs Riyad al-Malki met and discussed the latest developments on the ground and possible means to resume the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
___Al-Malki briefed Aboul Gheit on the official position of the Palestinian Authority regarding the closure of the PLO’s Washington office, saying it will harm the peace process and the role of the US as peace broker.
___Aboul Gheit’s spokesman said the league is working to maintain official communication channels between the Palestinian Authority and the US administration. . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) DR.  ASHRAWI:  U.S.  IS  DISQUALIFYING  ITSELF  AS  A  PEACE  BROKER  IN  THE  REGION    
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Nov. 19, 2017 ― In response to media inquiries concerning the U.S. administration’s refusal to extend the waiver of statutory restrictions on the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States in Washington D.C., PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned such a move and said:
___“Instead of holding Israel liable for its persistent violations of international law and conventions, the U.S. administration and Congress are threatening to punish the Palestinian people because of statements made by President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations and other leaders pertaining to ICC accountability for Israel and for its war crimes in Palestine.   MORE . . .

Masalha, Nur. “THE  CONCEPT  OF  PALESTINE:  THE  CONCEPTION  OF  PALESTINE  FROM  THE  LATE  BRONZE  AGE  TO  THE  MODERN  PERIOD.”
Journal  of  Holy  Land  &  Palestine  Studies
, vol. 15, no. 2, Nov. 2016, pp. 143-202.
The celebrated English historian Edward Gibbon, writing in 1776, noted that ‘Phoenicia and Palestine will forever live in the [collective] memory of mankind’. . . Palestine is the collective watan (homeland) of the Palestinian people —the indigenous people of historic Palestine. The Palestinian people have a multi-religious and multicultural ancient heritage and a multi-layered identity deeply rooted in ancient history. Palestinians often speak of Biladuna Filastin: ‘Our Country, Palestine’ (colloquially: Bladna Falastin). The country of Palestine as a distinct political geography-with its own distinct and diverse traditions and a mélange of styles —is deeply rooted in the indigenous psyche and consciousness; the toponym (place-name) of Palestine is deeply rooted in the ancient past from the Late Bronze Age onwards. . . . For a millennium and a half of Classical Antiquity and Byzantine Christianity as well as under Islam in the Middle Ages the term Palestine also acquired official administrative status.
[. . . .] For over 1200 years the name Palestine was used most commonly, consistently and continuously throughout Classical Antiquity, from the highlight of classical Athenian civilisation . . . [until] the occupation of Palestine by the Muslim armies in 637 AD.
___To substitute the vague and semi-mythical term Cana’an for the real historical and official toponym Palaestina for a spectacular classical period lasting over one millennium would be tantamount to the elimination of the actual history of this important region . . . [and] eliminate the possibility of any real historical knowledge of one of the most important periods in the ancient history of the region, namely: early Christianity and Byzantine greater Palaestina. Greek-speaking Byzantine Christianity in Palestine began in the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (306—337 AD) and lasted until the beginning of Islamic rule in Palestine in 637 AD.
[. . . .] Furthermore, when referring to the ancient history of this region modern European scholarship (and even early Zionist scholarly societies such as the ‘Jewish Palestine Exploration Society’, founded in 1914) universally and unanimously talk about ‘Palestine’, even when referring to Jewish history. [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  RESIDENTIAL  STRUCTURES  NEAR  HEBRON 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Israeli authorities notified Palestinians about a decision to demolish residential structures and animal barns in Masafer Yatta area, to the south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
___Rateb Jabour, who monitors settlement activities in the area, said Israeli forces handed a written notice to locals informing them about their intention to demolish a number of residential structures and a barn used for raising livestock in Kherbet Shaab al-Butum, a village in Masafer Yatta area. The barn was built with funding from the European Union.   MORE . . .
DOZENS  OF  JEWISH  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE  
The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Dozens of Jewish settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning under Israeli security protection provided by special police forces.     ___The PIC reporter said that 86 settlers entered the holy Islamic site via the Maghareba Gate in six separate groups and roamed its plazas.     ___He added that 35 Israeli students toured the Aqsa Mosque compound along with guides, who explained to the students the history of the alleged Jewish Temple.     MORE . . .

“RESISTANCE,”  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
I plant my poetry
in the streets,
in every quarter
and every alley,
a poem…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my fingers
in the streets,
in every hole,
in every flower pot:
a finger…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my blood
in the streets,
on every sidewalk,
on every roadsign:
a drop of blood…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my dreams
in the streets,
in the heads of passers-by:
an infant dream…resisting the conquerors!
I plant the names of my loved ones
in the streets,
on every tree, on every wall:
the name of a martyr resisting the conquerors!
I plant the colors of the flag
in the streets,
on every house,
and every window and door:
a color…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my children’s luggage
in the streets
at every roadblock,
at every checkpoint:
a suitcase…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my hands
in the streets,
on every corner:
a firm hand resisting the conquerors!

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine. Abu Ghoush reading one of his own poems.  See also. 
From: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Middle East Affairs
Special Programs,
Commemorating the Intifada’s Tenth Year, April 10, 1998
Prof. Naseer Aruri

“. . . Have years of suffering . . . led to this? . . .” (Harun Hashim Rashid)

❶ 5 Palestinians shot, injured in the legs during clashes in Ramallah-area village

  • Background: “The Impact of Occupation on Israeli Democracy.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) 2 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces undergo surgery, 1 in critical condition
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Four Children injured After Being Struck By An Israeli Colonist’s Car In Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Israel’s culture of impunity in full view of the world
❷ Behind the headlines in Jerusalem: Recent al-Aqsa clashes are a result of Israel’s long-standing plans to expand control over Jerusalem.
❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rashid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
5  PALESTINIANS  SHOT,  INJURED  IN  THE  LEGS  DURING  CLASHES  IN  RAMALLAH-AREA  VILLAGE  
Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 11, 2017.  Five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes that erupted Thursday evening in the Beit Rima town in northern Ramallah between Palestinian youths and Israeli undercover forces that raided a house in the town, according to official Palestinian sources.
___Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear-gas and stun grenades at youths that surrounded the undercover forces as they were raiding a house in the area.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes in Beit Rima, which is located in the central occupied West Bank.      MORE . . .

Schnell, Izhak. “THE  IMPACT  OF  OCCUPATION  ON  ISRAELI  DEMOCRACY.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture,
vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 18-25.
Military control of large numbers of people who are denied basic human rights and the right for national self-determination cannot be aligned with democratic values. International law legitimizes such situations in occupied territories but only for a limited time and under strict regulations that do not allow putting the occupied people’s interests at risk except for security reasons of both the occupiers and the occupied. . . .
___We have identified five main processes of deterioration in Israeli democracy: first, intensive use of propaganda in order to adopt a blind and a narrow definition of national patriotism; second, the loss of consensus concerning the balance between the Jewish and the democratic characteristics of the state; third, a weakening of the authority of law; fourth, the involvement of the military in politics; and fifth, the undermining of the authority of the Supreme Court.
[. . . .] In its struggle for hegemony, the new elite increasingly applied propaganda techniques that played on the deep fears of the public in order to promote an uncritical and narrow definition of Israeli identity.  . . . the one-sided historical “truth” of the neo-Zionist narrative infiltrated into the established Israeli discourse. Statements like those of . . .  former military generals like Uzi Dayan, who repeatedly say that they care about the interests of Israel and not the Palestinians . . .  helped establish a blind uncritical patriotism. Increasingly, the Bible was introduced as the ultimate justification to our attachment to the land and our identity as Jews and heavenly promise became the ultimate justification for our sole ownership of the land with disregard to the rights of Palestinians who have lived on the land for hundreds of years.
[. . . .] The vicious circle of violence between the occupier and the occupied only increases mistrust and dehumanization of the other. In such a milieu children grow up with a mistrust of foreigners, which may lead to hatred and racism. This mindset is amplified by the fortification of space by fences, walls and guards. Under such a regime the discourse of human rights developed in Western culture could not be adopted by Israelis who support the occupation, thus increasing Western countries’ criticism of Israel and the perception among right-wing Israelis of a nation under siege that, as a consequence, is allowed to use any and all means for its survival.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  UNDERGO  SURGERY,  1  IN  CRITICAL  CONDITION 
Ma’an News Agency.
Aug. 10, 2017.   Two injured Palestinian detainees, who were detained on Wednesday after they were shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during a raid on the Bethlehem-area al-Duheisha refugee camp, have undergone surgery and are still in the hospital, with one in critical condition.
___Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Karim Ajwa released a statement on Thursday after visiting the two injured Palestinians, Abd al-Aziz Arafeh and Raed al-Salhi, who are being held in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital.
[. . . .] Ajwa added that a court session is expected to be held on Thursday to extend the detention of the two, who were detained during a predawn raid on the camp, located in the southern occupied West Bank.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) FOUR  CHILDREN  INJURED  AFTER  BEING  STRUCK  BY  AN  ISRAELI  COLONIST’S  CAR  IN  SILWAN  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC     
Aug. 11, 2017.   Palestinian medical sources have reported that four children were injured, Thursday, after being rammed by a speeding Israeli colonist’s car, in the al-‘Ein Street, in Silwan town, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem.
___The sources said the four children suffered various cuts and bruises, before an Israeli ambulance moved them to Hadassah Medical Center.
___Two of the wounded children have been identified as Hamza Abu Sbeih and his brother Amir.
___Eyewitnesses said the colonist deliberately rammed the children with his car as they were walking along the sidewalk . . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) ISRAEL’S  CULTURE  OF  IMPUNITY  IN  FULL  VIEW  OF  THE  WORLD
Ma’an News Agency 
April 12, 2016.  “Whether he made a mistake or not, is a trivial question,” said an Israeli Jewish man who joined large protests throughout Israel in support of a soldier who calmly, and with precision, killed a wounded Palestinian man in al-Khalil (Hebron). The protesting Jewish man described Palestinians as ‘barbaric,’ ‘bestial,’ who should not be perceived as people.
[. . . .] The vast majority of Israelis, 68 percent, support the killing of Abdel Fatah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, by the solider who had reportedly announced before firing at the wounded Palestinian that the “terrorist had to die.”
[. . . .] The incident, once more, highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army, which is not a new phenomenon.   MORE . . .
See post of July 8, 2017 for further discussion of “culture of impunity.”
❷ BEHIND  THE  HEADLINES  IN  JERUSALEM:  RECENT  AL-AQSA  CLASHES  ARE  A  RESULT  OF  ISRAEL’S  LONG-STANDING  PLANS  TO  EXPAND  CONTROL  OVER  JERUSALEM.
Al Jazeera English    
By Nur Arafeh
Aug. 11, 2017.   Jerusalem has been in the spotlight again recently as tensions reached the boiling point after the mid-July attack on Israeli forces in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. Despite the apparent resolution of the immediate crisis owing to mass Palestinian civil disobedience, which forced Israel to reverse its attempt to change the status quo that has been in place since 1967 at the historic Noble Sanctuary mosque complex, the underlying issues remain in place.
___Media coverage of Jerusalem has tended to focus on clashes as and when they erupt, and to frame these as the harbingers of an emerging “religious war”. However, this approach fails to address the history of and context in which such clashes unfold, and the explicit aims of the Israeli government.   MORE . . .

(After occupying Gaza in 1967, the Israelis searched houses and forced men and women to stand next to walls with arms raised. Often they shot at them. The poet had this experience.)

“RAISE  YOUR  ARMS,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHID
――Raise your arms . . .
they aimed their guns at me . . .
――Raise your arms . . .

I stood, my eyes flaming
and scorching with anger
as an insistent film of events
assailed me.
Can defiled cities be
the outcome of our struggle?
Have years of suffering,
long days of vigilance
in trenches, on hills
and in tattered tents
led to this?

The world blackened in my eyes
my hands on the wall
as guns were pointing at me
I wished the wall would fall on my head
My comrades and I waited
for their bullets,
for their bullets

They walked away, and the wall
remained, gazing back at us
waiting for a fiery volcano, for the flames.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About HARUN HASHIM AL RASHID (born in Gaza, 1927)
From ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.