“. . . 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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .
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 . . .
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.”
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 . . .
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.

“. . . Prison assaults but does not hit the mark . . .” (Ahmad Dahbur)

❶ Israel’s arrests of Palestinians ‘highest in years’

Background: “Multiple Legal Systems in the West Bank.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ 2 Palestinians, Israeli soldier injured during al-Duheisha refugee camp raid
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain 32 Palestinians in West Bank, Jerusalem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces ban Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering Old City of Jerusalem
❸ “MADA” demands release of detained journalists in Palestinian prisons
❹ POETRY by  Ahmad Dahbur
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Al Jazeera English
Zena Tahhan
Aug. 9, 2017.   Israeli forces arrested some 1,268 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories over the last two months, according to rights groups.
___Several non-governmental organisations, including the Ramallah-based Addameer prisoner rights group and al-Mezan rights centre in Gaza, released the figures in a joint press release published on Tuesday.
___In June, the arrest of 388 Palestinians from across the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, including 70 children and six women was documented.
___In July, Israeli forces proceeded to arrest an additional 880 Palestinians, including 144 children and 18 women.   MORE . . .

(Note: This article is an explanation of the evolution of the current system of laws and courts in the West Bank.)

Shehadeh, Raja.
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 6-15.
The concept of a ’’dual legal system” has a long history, stemming from the beginning of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River in 1967. . .  Israel’s ultimate aim is the annexation of the West Bank without its Palestinian inhabitants. However, the unlikelihood and difficulty of a mass expulsion of Arabs has meant that an interim period, pending full de jure annexation, has necessitated the creation of a particular legal relationship with the territory. Among the legal problems that arise in this interim period are the following:

* How to apply Israeli law to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank while the area has not been annexed and is not under Israeli sovereignty. Related to this problem are the situations in which courts are to apply this law, which government departments are to execute it, and how to ensure that only the Jewish settlers will be subject to these laws, courts and government departments.

* How to avoid applying the Israeli legal system to the Palestinian inhabitants.

* How to reconcile this peculiar legal state of affairs with the requirements of international law.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 9, 2017.   Two Palestinians were shot and injured during a predawn raid on Wednesday by Israeli forces on the al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
___Locals identified the two injured as Raed al-Salhi and Aziz Arafeh, adding that al-Salhi was critically injured while Arafeh was injured in the leg and in stable condition.
___The two were detained by Israeli forces and taken to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.        MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 9, 2017.   Israeli forces detained overnight at least 32 Palestinians during raids across the occupied West Bank districts and East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Wednesday.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 9, 2017.   Israeli forces prevented dozens of Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon, claiming that they had been subjected to bans from “higher orders.”
___Sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces were deployed at the entrances to the Old City and Al-Aqsa ahead of the asr afternoon prayers, examining the IDs of people entering the Old City, and preventing Palestinians whose ID cards said they resided in Palestinian-majority towns in Israel from entering.
___Witnesses said that Israeli forces chased after some people who tried to pass through Damascus Gate into the Old City despite having been told they were not allowed in, and escorted them out.
___The witnesses added that Israeli forces had forced some buses carrying worshipers to leave Jerusalem.
___A worshiper from the town of Umm al-Fahm said that some eight buses coming from Palestinian-majority municipalities such as Umm al-Fahm, Mashhad, and Baqa al-Gharbiya had been stopped by Israeli security forces upon arriving at the Old City of Jerusalem.   MORE . . .
Palestine News Network – PNN
Aug. 9, 2017.   The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the arrest campaign carried out by the security services in the West Bank last night against five journalists; MADA expresses its rejection of all justifications of attacks against media freedoms.
___The arrestment campaign included the following journalists: Ahmad Mohammad Halayka, Tareq Abu Zeyd, Quttaiba Saleh Qasem, Mamdouh Mahmoud Hamamreh and Amer Abdulhakim Abu Arafa.
___Moy’ad Hamamreh the brother of the journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh reported to MADA “at around19:00pm of (08/08/2017) and while my brother Mamdouh was in a shop right near his house in Husan village, a private car arrived (Scoda), with agents dressed in civil presented themselves as Palestinian intelligence agents, and asked Mamdouh to accompany them without presenting any official document or any arrest warrant, and they deported him to the headquarters of the Palestinian Intelligence in Bethlehem”.   MORE . . .

“THE  PRISON,”  BY  AHMAD  DAHBUR  (Ahmed  Dahbour)
(To Abu Faris. . . who has been there)

Prison teaches that the heart is a desert,
That light is a desert.
It curses the fire and the land of the commandos.
Prison teaches that water is a chameleon,
That the landscape is a snake,
That echo is treacherous, and the wind an enemy.
Prison teaches that the guide’s sight grows dim,
And that the homeland departs.
Prison is a black kingdom in the sand;
Prison is a sword guarding the eyelids;
Prison . . . not the homeland!
So how, my beloved homeland, will the beloved ones survive?

Here we are, no complaints and no regrets,
We never say: an aimless wandering!
Blood gushes forth from the depths of our love.
Prison assaults but does not hit the mark;
Our wounds hit back,
Reaching out like water . . . like the wilderness,
Promising the light with a new light.
From deep within us, signaling twice!
Our cub child,
And the fire of salvation.
We see it, yes we do.
We are not dreaming,
We almost step into his joyous landscape
We almost do.
This is the moment of travail in our difficult labor,
We hug the newborn―
He who springs from our very ecstasy,
Whose kicks we feel in our guts,
Who teaches the hungry what he knows
And declares in words well understood:
Revolution, revolution . . . till life.

The inmate has not lost his features in the sand,
Prison did not turn him into a desert.
From his hunger, water and vegetation sprang.
When silence wounds him,
He can break it with a sigh,
But he endures.
His testimony:
Near death, there were exhaustion and fatigue,
His executioner pressing him to promise
A word . . . a groan, or to divulge his secret,
But all in vain.
His countenance was radiating in the sand
Like an oasis,
For prison had not turned him into a desert.

About Ahmad Dahbur. And here.
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY.  Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store

“. . . I did not steal―did not kill―didn’t oppress . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Israel steals Jerusalem’s documents from Al-Aqsa Mosque

  • Background: “Relations of Ruling in the Colonial Present: An Intersectional View of the Israeli Imaginary.”  Canadian Journal of Sociology.

❷ Israeli forces destroy Palestinian home in East Jerusalem, leaving 4 homeless
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Jerusalem family has until Wednesday to vacate its home for Jewish settlers
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces delivers 14 demolition notices to Palestinian structures in Area B
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Don’t Historicize the Balfour Declaration: The Past is Still the Palestinians’ Present
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  STEALS  JERUSALEM’S  DOCUMENTS  FROM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE   (Israeli authorities plan to forge documents in favour of Judaization plans) 
Days of Palestine
Aug. 8, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces stole important documents from Al-Aqsa Mosque related to Jerusalem’s properties and endowments, reports revealed on Monday.
___Chairman of Jerusalem International Centre Hassan Khater said that the Israeli occupation stole the documents from the “rooms, libraries, documentary archives” of Al-Aqsa Mosque when its forces were alone during the closure of the Mosque last month.
___“Through these documents, the Israeli occupation is putting its hand on the endowments, properties and real estate of Jerusalem’s endowment department,” Khater said, noting that the theft of these documents is a “real disaster.”
___He noted that these documents include “details, secrets and signatures,” adding that more than 90 per cent of Jerusalem’s Old City is part of these endowments.   MORE . . .
RELATED . . .    “Copies of those documents are kept in Jordan, and the committee will compare the lists of documents to account for any stolen items,” [Shaikh Ekrima Sabri, who heads the Supreme Islamic Council of Occupied Jerusalem] told Gulf News.

Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 38, no. 4, Oct. 2013, pp. 509-532.
[. . . .]  The seemingly evident contradiction between political Zionism and what is construed as modern secular racism are complexly interrelated. Notably, the increase in anti-Jewish sentiment during the Nazi period resulted in increased support for the Zionist movement which had not received a great deal of backing from Jewish peoples previously. The historical foundation for Zionist ideology that began as a political response to racism “through the construction of an ethnically-defined and exclusively ‘Jewish’ modern capitalist state … moved from a marginal view to one that is hegemonic in global politics”. Prior to this period, many Jewish peoples understood the Zionist idea of creating a Jewish-only state to be accepting of the racist notion that Jews were unable to live with non-Jews and could only live with each other.
[. . . .] To carry on its transformation of historical Palestine into a Jewish majority state, Israel has maintained its practices of ethnic cleansing through land expropriation which are not only geopolitically significant and meaningful in a material sense, but are culturally symbolic and intended to alter the story of Palestine. For instance, through the bureaucratic machinery of the Israeli state, 95 percent of state territory is administered via the offices of the Jewish National Fund according to “laws that differentiate between Jew and non-Jew making it illegal for non-Jews (read Palestinians) to lease state lands”. As a result, most Palestinians who remained within ’48 or what is more commonly considered Israel proper are not legally entitled to own or lease land since Israel has designated almost all of the land within the Green Line as available exclusively to Jews. Known as the “Judaization of land”, these processes include the erasure of Arab villages through their purposeful unrecognition as well as the Hebraicization of Arab villages and street names. In addition to the material dispossession of land and property, displacement of peoples, and the creation of a considerably large refugee population with all of the socioeconomic consequences that result from these processes, the Zionist methods of erasure of Palestinian history, collective memory, and existence are central to the aim of white colonial rule that naturalizes notions of settler nationality and citizenship belonging. [. . . .]  FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 8, 2017.   Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian home in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, leaving a family of four homeless.     ___The owner of the home, Hamza Shaludi, told Ma’an that bulldozers, escorted by Israeli Jerusalem Municipality crews and large Israeli police forces broke into the family home “without prior notice” and “coerced the family into evacuating the home quickly.”     ___Municipality workers, Shaludi said, removed some of the furniture, but the majority of the family’s belongings remained inside the home and ended up buried under the rubble.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 8, 2017.   The Palestinian Shamasneh family has until Wednesday to vacate its home located in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem following an Israeli court order to turn the home over to Jewish settler organizations.
___The occupation authorities threatened that unless the Shamasneh family leaves its home voluntarily, Israeli police will use force to evict them.
___Meanwhile, activists and supporters of the family have been holding a vigil at the house to protect the family from forceful eviction.
___The Shamasneh family rented the house in 1964 from the Custodian of Enemy Property of the Jordanian government . . . .   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 8, 2017.  Israeli authorities raided the town of Silwad, east of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Tuesday to issue demolition orders for 14 structures.
___Silwad Mayor Abd al-Rahman Saleh told Ma’an that the demolition orders were issued over allegations that they were built without the necessary Israeli-issued construction permits.
___Saleh noted, however, that the structures were located in Area B, under combined Palestinian civil and Israeli military control, not in Area C — the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military and civilian control — meaning that they should not be required to receive Israeli building permits.
___One of the 14 structures is a private school, which has been operating for more than 10 years and is the only private school that serves villages in eastern Ramallah.   MORE . . .
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network   
Yara Hawari
June 27, 2017.   The political turmoil in the United Kingdom following Prime Minister Theresa May’s re-election with a reduced, precarious majority . . .  casts doubt on the way in which the UK will mark the centennial of the Balfour Declaration later this year. As is well known, the fateful letter, signed by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour on November 2, 1917, promised British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, completely disregarding the sovereign rights of the Palestinian people who lived there.
[. . . .] Britain’s involvement in Israel and Palestine has consisted of an almost unwavering support for the Zionist project since its colonial inception. Despite claims of a commitment to peace, Britain has shown that it is Israel’s ally first and foremost. . .   Britain has also failed to sanction Israel for its continued settlement building in the West Bank, which has doubled since the Oslo Accords, with over half a million settlers in areas that would constitute a Palestinian state . . .
___ A century ago, Christian Zionist ideology, which sought to facilitate the return of Jews to the Holy Land to fulfil a biblical prophecy, guided Britain’s political elite. . .   Just over a month after the Balfour Declaration, General Edmund Allenby took Jerusalem from the Ottoman forces, marking the beginning of British colonial rule in Palestine. Though this rule ended at the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948 and the forcible displacement of and denial of return to the majority of the Palestinian population, British interference in Palestine would continue thanks to Britain’s unwavering commitment to Zionism.     MORE . . .

Rome was burnt, O crazy man
..Rome is more durable than Nero
Rome will not grasp your poems
..She can recite them by heart
Rome will slice your strings
..My tunes arise from my heart
Your voice echoes a miserable past
..My voice echoes a rocket rage
Your path is long
..I shall not tire
Yehuda** sold you
..I shall not be crucified
My ancestors were cremated in Auschwitz
..My heart is with them
..Pull out the wires from my skin
And the wounds of yesterday?
..A shameful scar―in the face of the executioner over there
What do you carry in your head
..A little wheat
What’s in your chest?
..A picture of a wound
Your face reflects a rancor color
..My face reflects the color of the earth
Then convert your sword into plowshares
..You did not leave me land to plow
You criminal!
..I did not steal―did not kill―didn’t oppress
You Arab! You are a dog!
..O man, may God cure your soul
..Why don’t you try the taste of love
..Why don’t you make way for the sun!!

** The Israeli town of Or Yehuda was established in 1950 on the lands of the depopulated Palestinian villages of Saqiya and Kfar ‘Ana. Jews from Iraq and North Africa settled there.

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.
Mahmoud Darwish Obituary

“. . . I will resist and soar above your matrix of control . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

❶ Opinion/Analysis: Netanyahu’s new plan: Getting rid of Israel’s Palestinians

  • Background: “The Arab-Palestinian Community in Israel: A Test Case for Collective Rights under International Law.” George Washington International Law Review.

❷ Israeli police demolish Bedouin Naqab village for 116th time
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settler family to move into Hebron home, days after expelling Palestinian owners
❸ Hundreds of Israelis enter Al-Aqsa compound for Jewish holiday
❹ POETRY by Samah Sabawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Blog
Marzuq Al-Halabi
July 31, 2017.   The idea of territorial or population swaps as part of a final-status agreement with the Palestinians is not new . . . . A new proposal put forth by Prime Minister Netanyahu would transfer the Arab villages of Wadi Ara — adjacent to the northern West Bank — to the Palestinian Authority, in exchange for annexing the settlements to Israel . . . .
[. . . .] It is possible that Netanyahu, as opposed to his minister Tzahi Hanegbi, did not want to threaten the Palestinians — even those in Israel — with a third Nakba, and thus decided on the more sophisticated route of territorial swaps . . . .
___Netanyahu’s idea needs to be viewed as part of his search for an outlet for the current tensions, and as part of the public discussions on a final-status arrangement and a range of “creative” ideas that will pave the way out of the current strategic tie-game between Israel and the Palestinians.
[. . .] . . . one can safely establish that the right-wing elites in Israel do not want any further Palestinian participation in Israeli politics.
[. . . .] The Right views every act . . .  that hints at fully recognizing Palestinians’ citizenship or their potentially pivotal role in the political sphere, civic identity, peace, and war, as a call for intervention to change direction toward exclusion.   MORE . . .

Abareen, Yousef T.
George Washington International Law Review, vol. 47, no. 3, Aug. 2015, pp. 449-480.
[. . . .] Legally, Israel defines itself as a “Jewish and democratic” state. However, nearly one-fifth of Israel’s citizens belong to the Palestinian national group, with their own ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic characteristics. While they have been granted Israeli citizenship . . .  the Jewish majority views its Palestinian minority as part of the Arab world and often as enemies of the state. Not surprisingly, this atmosphere has forced the Arab-Palestinian minority to regularly confront its status and role within Israeli politics and in the region at large.    ___ Similar to other minorities globally, Arab-Palestinians face a great deal of discrimination . . .    They are excluded from positions of influence and leadership and are severely underrepresented in government institutions as well as in the general public sphere . . .
[. . . .] The right to equality and nondiscrimination is a well-established principle in international law. Articles 2 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 4 of the U. N. 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities . . . [establish] the legal concept of the collective for minorities within international law and imposes an onus upon states to actively work to protect the rights of such collectives. Article 27 of the ICCPR is key and reads as follows:

In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities
exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied
the right, in community with the other members of their group,
to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own
religion, or to use their own language.

[. . . .]  Indeed, the claim for granting comprehensive collective rights is based on the Arab-Palestinian community’s special historical, emotional, national, religious, and cultural relationship with its native land. This is not an immigrant population; Arab-Palestinians have lived on the land long prior to the founding of the Israeli state, and this “nativity” is critical to formulating the status and rights of the Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel, from both a moral and international legal perspective . . . .
[. . . .]  The Arab-Palestinian community in Israel . . .  has adopted this discourse of rights. This indigenous minority suffers from ongoing discrimination by successive Israeli governments . . .  the Arab-Palestinian community’s views reflect international discourse and are regarded as being essential for improving their situation on an individual and collective basis. The passage of the 2007 Indigenous Peoples Declaration, in particular, strengthens the Arab-Palestinian case in international law by giving the demands of the community the moral and legal legitimacy and support they require.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 1, 2017.   Israeli police backed by heavy machinery Tuesday demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Naqab region, in southern Israel, for the 116th time since 2010.
___Witnesses said staff from the so-called Israel Land Authority accompanied by Israeli police and bulldozers broke into the village and demolished the homes, mainly made of tin, which residents build every time their village is demolished.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 31, 2017.   Almost one week after dozens of extremist Israeli settlers raided and occupied a Palestinian home in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, an Israeli settler declared on Monday that he and his family will be officially moving into the home, despite an ongoing legal battle between the Palestinian homeowners and Israelis.
___The Israeli settler who made the declaration, according to Hebrew media, was Yossi Dagan, a leader of the Homesh First organization — an umbrella organization of right-wing settler groups whose goal is to rebuild the illegal Homesh settlement, which was destroyed and evacuated by the Israeli government in 2005.
___Hebrew media reported on Monday that Dagan had accused the Israeli government of “stalling” on legal procedures, and called on Israeli leaders to “stop this injustice” and to move the ownership of the home — which belongs to the Palestinian Abu Rajab family — to Dagan and the settlers of Hebron.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 1, 2017.  Hundreds of far-right religious Israelis entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday morning on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av.
___Tisha B’Av notably commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temple, which Jews believe were located where the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, now stands.
___Islamic Endowment (Waqf) spokesman Firas al-Dibs told Ma’an that 870 Israeli Jews had entered the compound in large groups under heavy military protection between 7 and 11 a.m., adding that several Israelis had performed Jewish religious rites in the compound.   MORE . . .

(June 27, 2011)

To the people of Israel who fear our freedom:  Don’t be afraid,
we will liberate you too.
This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
That day you and I will stand side by side
Shoulder to shoulder
Watching a new dawn wipe away decades of hate and savagery
The day I rise from the ashes of your oppression
I promise you I will not rise alone
You too will rise with me
You will be liberated from your own tyranny
And my freedom will bring your salvation

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I’ll craft new words of expression
Outside of this suffocating language that has occupied me
Your words are like your walls
They encroach on my humanity
I am more than demography
I’m neither your collaborator
Nor your enemy
I am not your moderate
Not your terrorist
Not your Islamist
I am more than adjectives letters and syllables
I will construct my own language
And replace your words of power
With the power of my words

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I don’t want to obliterate nor humiliate you
I refuse to hate you
Don’t care to demonize or proselytize or theorize your intentions
Every breath you draw reminds me you are human
The sound of your beating heart is a rhythm familiar to my ears
You and I are no different
We are made of blood and tears

This is my rendition of an anthem to be be sung
I will resist and soar above your matrix of control
With the power of my will your wall will fall
And the concrete that once segregated us will be used to rebuild homes
Your bulldozers and your tanks will dissolve into the earth
The sap will return to the olive trees
The gates will open wide for the refugees
We will be free
I will be your equal
And only then you will be mine
My other self
My fellow human being

About Samah Sabawi.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . Beloved, do not blame me. They killed me. . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Committees formed to assess damage caused by Israel at Aqsa Mosque

  • Background: “The Rule of Difference: How Emergency Powers Prevent Palestinian Assimilation in Israel.” Israel Studies Review.

❷ Israel under fire for attacks on Palestinian journalists and media institutions
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli police assault journalists, detain 8 Palestinians at funeral in Jaffa
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ‘They killed him because he was an Arab’
❸ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
July 31, 2017.   Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and its Governor Adnan Husseini said Monday that the Islamic Waqf Department has formed four committees to assess damage and inspect property at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
[. . . .] The minister added that the next stage requires specialized experts to know if the occupation forces put cameras or listening devices in the mosque.
___Husseini said that if the final report shows that the occupation authorities have made any changes in the mosque or the theft of any of its belongings, then work will first focus on returning these documents and then on pursing Israel in international courts on ground of stealing and damaging important historical documents and property in order to punish Israel for its crime.  MORE . . .

Israel Studies Review, vol. 27, no. 2, Winter2012, pp. 18-40.
Since Israel’s inception in 1948, the country has been under a state of emergency. This condition has persisted for more than six decades, despite the fact that periods of war have generally been punctuated by more peaceful times. This continued state of emergency poses a direct threat to the state’s rule of law and its democratic institutions. Under a state of emergency, a government can—to protect the state and its people—employ exceptional measures that violate civil rights or introduce sovereign arbitrariness. Thus, Israel’s lasting emergency regime has had a significant impact on the state’s mode of governance, and it raises questions about the role of emergency powers.
___Israel’s decades-long emergency seemingly began as a pragmatic solution. The 1948 declaration of a state of emergency was originally invoked as a temporary solution to wartime conditions (i.e., Israel’s War of Independence)—not a permanent governing mechanism. Yet, quite quickly, this makeshift solution became a systemic, permanent mechanism in the hands of the Israeli authorities. This development suggests that the Israeli authorities have gone beyond the protection of the state and its people and have used emergency powers to satisfy political objectives as well.
[. . . .] Ultimately, I join these two prongs of political power—allocation of resources and representation—under a single political objective: Israel’s rule of difference, or its anti-assimilation policy, which is also to say Israel’s adjunct security conception. First, the state’s authorities have transferred most state land to Jewish control and have quarantined Palestinians in the process. Second, the state has denied Palestinians real political representation, which has made them unable to challenge this doctrine through the political process. Overall, I discuss how Israel’s adjunct security policy of anti-assimilation shapes the political uses of emergency powers, how this policy motivates the Israeli authorities to maintain a state of emergency, and how the rule of difference has become institutionalized in state policy [. . . .]    SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
July 30, 2017.   Israeli forces have been the target of fierce condemnation in recent days for attacks on Palestinian journalists and media institutions, following an overnight raid targeting a media production company in Ramallah on Saturday and multiple attacks on journalists who were covering mass protests in the occupied Palestinian territory against now dismantled security measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
___In a predawn raid Saturday, Israeli forces broke into the headquarters of PalMedia, a media production company that provides broadcast services to several media outlets, including Russia Today, al-Mayadeen, al-Manar, and al-Quds news, ransacked the offices, and destroyed equipment over accusations of alleged “incitement.”
___Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi denounced the raid in a statement, in which she said that “Israel’s policies of violence and repression are a blatant attempt to break the steadfastness of the Palestinian people” and represented a violation of international human rights law regarding freedom of expression.
___“Clearly, Israel is engaging in an ongoing policy that deliberately targets media institutions and journalists in Palestine who courageously work to represent the Palestinian human narrative and report on Israel’s military occupation and its persistent policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” she said.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 30, 2017.   Israeli police assaulted Israeli journalists and detained eight Palestinian citizens of Israel, six of them minors, as hundreds participated in a funeral march Saturday night in Jaffa city in southern Israel for 22-year-old Mahdi al-Saadi, who was shot dead by police early Saturday morning.
[. . . .] . . .locals argued that al-Saadi posed no threat to Israeli police when he was fatally shot and that he could have been detained without using lethal force. The incident sparked major street protests in Jaffa against against police brutality and racial profiling Saturday afternoon, triggering clashes with Israeli police. An atmosphere of tension and outrage prevailed in the city during the funeral march and late into the night.
[. . . .] During the funeral procession, Israel’s Channel 2 News reporter Gilad Shalmor and photographer Gal Zeitman were beaten and their equipment was destroyed by Israeli police as they were trying to cover the event, according to Israeli news site Ynet.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ‘THEY  KILLED  HIM  BECAUSE  HE  WAS  AN  ARAB’  
Al Jazeera English
Zena Tahhan
July 30, 2017.   The family of a young Palestinian man fatally shot by Israeli police in Jaffa are demanding justice for what they believe was a “cold-blooded killing”.
___Mahdi al-Saadi, a 22-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel, was shot in the chest and killed in the early hours of Saturday morning. Israeli police also shot another young man at the same scene, Sleiman Abu Taleb, who was taken to hospital in critical condition.
___”I was travelling, and I got a phone call from my wife telling me that they killed our boy. The police did not get in touch with us or tell us what happened. He was killed for no reason – in cold blood. They killed him because he was an Arab,” Jamal, Mahdi’s father, told Al Jazeera.
___Israeli police say the young men were suspects in a shooting at a store in Jaffa around 4am (01:00 GMT) on Saturday.     MORE . . .

Once the olive grove was green.
It was, and the sky
A grove of blue. It was my love.
What changed that evening?
At the bend in the track they stopped the lorry of workers.

So calm they were.
They turned us round towards the east.
So calm they were.
Once my heart was a blue bird, O nest of my beloved.
The handkerchiefs I had of yours were all white. They were, my love.
What stained them that evening?
I do not understand at all, my love.
At the bend in the track they stopped the lorry of workers.

So calm they were.
They turned us round towards the east.
So calm they were.
From me you’ll have evening,
Yours the shade and yours the light,
A wedding-ring and all you want,
And an orchard of trees, of olive and fig.
And as on every night I’ll come to you.
In the dream I’ll enter by the window and throw you jasmine.
Blame me not if I’m a little late:
They stopped me.
The olive grove was always green.
It was, my love.

Fifty victims
Turned it at sunset into
A crimson pond, Fifty victims.
Beloved, do not blame me.
They killed me. They killed me.
They killed me.

(Fifty Arab villagers, including many children and women, were stopped and machine gunned by Israeli soldiers at Kafr Qassem on October 29, 1956. More . . . )

From: Darwish, Mahmoud. THE  MUSIC  OF  HUMAN  FLESH. Trans. Denys Johnson-Davies. London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1980. Found at http://poetsfrompalestine.blogspot.com/2010/01/victim-number-18.html 

Remembering Mahmoud Darwish

“. . . And to the last pulse in my veins I shall resist . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

❶ Israel imposes new restrictions on Al-Aqsa as anticipation of widespread clashes grows

  • Background: “Changing Trends in Palestinian Political Activism: The Second Intifada, the Wall Protests, and the Human Rights Turn.” Geopolitics (Note: While this article is specifically about the change in resistance from the First Intifada to the Second Intifada, it offers much insight into the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian resistance in general.)

❷ 25-year-old Palestinian succumbs to wounds days after being shot in head by Israeli forces
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces install iron gate at an entrance of Bethlehem-area town
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
July 28, 2017.   Hours after thousands of Palestinians entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, after a near two-week long boycott of Israeli security measures imposed at the site, Israeli forces imposed a new series of sweeping restrictions on the compound Friday morning.
___Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that only men above the age of 50 would be allowed into the compound, while no restrictions would be placed on women.
___Hebrew-language media reported that the restrictions were ordered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
___Israeli forces remained heavily deployed across the compound and inside the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as in “seam zones” across the occupied West Bank in anticipation of heavy clashes following Friday prayers.     MORE . . .

Mall Dibiasi, Caroline. “CHANGING  TRENDS  IN  PALESTINIAN  POLITICAL  ACTIVISM:  THE  SECOND  INTIFADA,  THE  WALL  PROTESTS,  AND  THE  HUMAN  RIGHTS  TURN.” Geopolitics, vol. 20, no. 3, Jul-Sep2015, pp. 669-695.   What is often overlooked in the assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are the instances of non-violent protest by Palestinians.4 In fact, it is striking that forms of non-violent protest have persisted and been re-invented despite the disproportionate use of violence by the Israeli army against Palestinian civilians, decades of discrimination and the denial of basic rights, and a general deterioration of the Palestinian situation in economic, social as well as political terms.
[. . . .]  One of the central structural features that drove the transformation of political activism during the Al-Aqsa intifada is the division of Palestinian territory into different zones of control, a legacy of Israeli military plans for phased re-deployment over the Oslo period.61 Because complete military withdrawal never occurred, a complex system of control now divides the West Bank into different zones of governance. Its inhabitants are subject to different regulations and experience very disparate levels of services and provision for personal security. These zones are not contiguous areas but are mapped out like a jigsaw puzzle on West Bank territory.
[. . . .] . . . if Israel continues to refuse to negotiate with the Palestinians on a viable Palestinian state, the Palestinian national movement might ask for full democracy. The convergence of a focus on individual human rights, a demand for democracy, and the decreasing significance of national-level politics in Palestinian political activism may challenge the still dominant concept of Israel as a Jewish state. Alternatively, it may further undermine its validity as a democratic state in the Middle East.   SOURCE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency  
25-year-old Muhammad Kanaan succumbed to his wounds Thursday night, days after he was shot in the head by Israeli forces during clashes in his hometown of Hizma in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___Kanaan had been in the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah in critical condition since he was shot on Monday.
___According to Ma’an documentation, Kanaan was the fifth Palestinian to have been shot and killed by Israelis in the past two weeks, all during clashes with Israeli forces that had erupted across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in response to Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the violent repression of a near two-week long Palestinian civil disobedience campaign.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency  
July 27, 2017.   Israeli forces installed an iron gate at an entrance of the village of Janata on Thursday, southeast of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.
___Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces installed a large iron gate at the eastern entrance of Janata, without providing and reason for the measure.
___Local activists said that the installation of the gate “aims to restrict the life of Palestinians by closing the gate at any time Israel wants to.”     MORE . . .

I may―if you wish―lose my livelihood
I may sell my shirt and bed.
I may work as a stone cutter,
A street sweeper, a porter.
I may clean your stores
Or rummage your garbage for food.
I may lie down hungry,
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may take the last strip of my land,
Feed my youth to prison cells.
You may plunder my heritage.
You may burn my books, my poems,
Or feed my flesh to the dogs.
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village.
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may put out the light in my eyes
You may deprive me of my mother’s kisses.
You may curse my father, my people.
You may distort my history.
You may deprive my children of a smile
And of life’s necessities.
You may fool my friends with a borrowed face.
You may build walls of hatred around me.
You may glue my eyes to humiliations,
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
O enemy of the sun
The decorations are raised at the port,
The ejaculations fill the air,
A glow in the hearts,
And in the horizon
A sail is seen
Challenging the wind
And the depths.
It is Ulysses
Returning home
From the sea of loss

It is the return of the sun,
Of my exiled ones
And for her sake, and his
I swear
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
Resist―and resist.

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 ABE BOOKS.
About Samih Al-Qasim 


“. . . we will continue our prayers and conjure new seasons for our lives . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ PRCS: 1,090 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces over course of 10 days

Background: “Al-Aqsa Mosque: Do Not Intrude!” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israeli forces level lands near southern Gaza border
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli navy opens gunfire at fishermen off Gaza
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency  
July 24, 2017.   The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) released a statement Monday detailing the casualties of the past 10 days, ever since Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem launched a civil disobedience campaign in the city in protest of increased Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured over the past week during violent clashes and demonstrations against new Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___On Monday evening, a Palestinian was shot in the head during clashes in the Jerusalem-area town of Hizma, with the Palestinian Ministry of Health reporting him to be in critical condition.     MORE . . .

Abu Sway, Mustafa. “AL-AQSA  MOSQUE:  DO  NOT  INTRUDE!”  Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 20/21, no. 4/1, Dec. 2015, pp. 108-113.
“Verily, ‘Al-Aqsa’ Is a name for the whole mosque which is surrounded by the wall, the length and width of which are mentioned here, for the building that exists in the southern part of the Mosque, and the other ones such as the Dome of the Rock and the corridors and other [buildings] are novel (muhdatha).”  (Mujir Al-Din Al-Hanbali, Al-Uns Al-Jalil fo Tarikh Al-Quds wal-Khalil, vol.2, p.24.)
More than 500 years ago, when Mujir Al-Din Al-Hanbali offered the above definition of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the year 900 AH/1495, there were no conflicts, no occupation and no contesting narratives surrounding the site. Not only do the Israeli occupation authorities prevent freedom of movement and freedom of worship, they interfere in defining Al-Aqsa Mosque by restricting the meaning of Al-Aqsa Mosque to the southernmost building, Qibli Mosque, father than all 144 dunums or 36 acres. The Israeli occupation authorities consider the open yards within Al-Aqsa Mosque as belonging to public parks, with no jurisdiction for the Waqf. In doing so, the Israeli occupation authorities justify their own role in permitting and protecting extremist Israelis’ and others’ entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound against the will of the Waqf administration.
[. . . .]  It should be known that all policies, actions and “facts on the ground” created by the Israeli occupation are null apd void; they are in violation of international and humanitarian laws. Only Muslims have the right to define their own religious space and what to do with it, for they have exclusive rights to it.
[. . . .]  Places of worship are meant to be exclusive. Those in authority should never be blinded by their own powers to the degree they infringe on the religious space of the other. When invited by Patriarch Sophronius to pray at the Holy Sepulchre Church, Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab declined politely, citing his fear that future Muslim generations might claim this as a right.  This is true leadership. This should be the prevailing ethos between those in power and the religious space of the other. It might help the powerful to show some humility if they could learn from history, and the history of Jerusalem in particular, that power could shift.     COMPLETE ARTICLE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency
July 25, 2017.   Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers crossed the border into the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, where they leveled lands in the “buffer zone” of southern Gaza.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that six bulldozers under heavy military protection leveled lands in the outskirts of al-Qarara, north of the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
___According to the witnesses, Israeli drones hovered over the area during the incursion. No gunfire was reported. . . .
___An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.
___Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone,” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.   MORE . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  GUNFIRE  AT  FISHERMEN  OFF  GAZA   Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
July 25, 2017.   Israeli fishermen early Tuesday morning opened machine gunfire at Palestinian fishermen while sailing offshore Gaza city, causing damage to one of their boats.
___WAFA correspondent said Israeli naval boats attacked the fishermen with gunfire while the latter were sailing at less than four miles from the shore, causing damage to one of their boats.    MORE . . .

Farah, we will begin our prayers
amid this bloody sorrow
and among the lonely pine.
What makes the mountains this morning much kinder,
the sun more glamorous,
the wind a song that celebrates the heights?
What makes our beloved jasmine
more pure than we imagined
and more disobedient than we had thought?
What makes these mountains
and these trees that we allowed to be taller than us
much shorter than us now?
Farah, we will continue our prayers
and conjure new seasons for our lives,
new rivers to flow in our veins
and a new place for the world’s singing.
We will continues our prayers
and when love is total,
when our fingers shyly and tenderly come together
like beads of the fig’s milk,
we will climb the mountain to bless all creatures
and together whisper: Amen . . . amen.

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

“. . . Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Islamic Waqf says decision not to enter Al-Aqsa through metal gates final
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli police injure dozens of worshipers denouncing security measures at Al-Aqsa
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Rally in Rabat [Morocco] in support of al-Aqsa
❷ Opinion/Analysis: Aqsa shooting attack: Security blow to Israeli occupation
❸ A letter from Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
July 18, 2017.   The Islamic Waqf (Endowment), which is in charge of Al-Aqsa Mosque, said Tuesday it was adamant about its decision not to encourage Muslim worshippers to enter the holy compound passing through the newly installed metal detectors.
___General Director of the Jordanian-run Islamic Waqf, Azzam Khatib, said during a sit-in for Waqf officials and staff outside Bab al-Majlis (Al-Nather), one of the gates to Al-Aqsa compound, that Muslim worshipers should not accept the new Israeli police measures for entering the Muslim holy place.
___Police installed on Sunday metal detectors outside two gates to Al-Aqsa Mosque and prevented worshippers from entering the mosque without going through them. Muslims have rejected the Israeli measures and have been holding the daily prayer ritual outside the gates causing tension with the police that often end up with clashes.     MORE . . .    
Ma’an News Agency  
July 18, 2017.  Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Monday evening when Israeli forces violently dispersed Muslim worshipers who were performing the night-time Isha prayer in the streets outside of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to express their opposition to increased Israeli security measures at the holy site following a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
[. . . . ] The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service told Ma’an that its paramedics had treated more than 50 people who were injured by Israeli forces at Lions’ Gate.
___The Red Crescent said 16 Palestinians were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets, nine were wounded by shrapnel from stun grenades, and 25 sustained bruises after being beaten and kicked by Israeli forces.         MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) RALLY  IN  RABAT  [MOROCCO]  IN  SUPPORT  OF  AL-AQSA    
The Palestinian Information Center   
July 18, 2017.   Hundreds took part in a large demonstration held on Monday in the streets of the Moroccan capital in support of al-Aqsa Mosque and in protest against Israeli unprecedented restrictions against the third holiest site in Islam.
___The protesters chanted slogans calling for an end to “Israeli attacks on al-Aqsa and Israeli settlement expansion.”
___They also demanded a ban to all forms of normalization with Israel.     MORE . . .      

The Palestinian Information Center 
July 15, 2017.   With the Friday morning breeze, one hour after the dawn prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem, and as Muslim worshipers were reading the Quran, Palestinians were surprised by three young men carrying out a shooting attack at the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
[. . . .] Hamza Abu Shanab, an expert on Israeli affairs and a political analyst explained that the operation in Jerusalem constituted a qualitative shift in the resistance attacks, in terms of timing and place of implementation, noting that it emphasized the unity of the land and the Palestinian people geographically and in all places of existence.
___Abu Shanab said that the timing of the operation and its location dealt a security blow to the Israeli security apparatuses and army, especially in light of the procedures taken against Muslim worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.       MORE . . . 

The Electronic Intifada
17 July 2017

  • The renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was the first writer that the Palestine Festival of Literature approached with a request to be a Founding Patron. He accepted. He was due to speak at PalFest’s inaugural event in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah in May 2008 but medical reasons prevented him from attending. He sent a letter instead. Darwish passed away three months later in August.     [. . . .] Darwish’s letter appears online here for the first time.

[. . . .]   We are now in the 60th year of the Nakba. There are now those who are dancing on the graves of our dead, and who consider our Nakba their festival. But the Nakba is not a memory; it is an ongoing uprooting, filling Palestinians with dread for their very existence. The Nakba continues because the occupation continues. And the continued occupation means a continued war. This war that Israel wages against us is not a war to defend its existence, but a war to obliterate ours.
___The conflict is not between two “existences,” as the Israeli discourse claims. The Arabs have unanimously offered Israel a collective peace proposal in return for Israel’s recognition of the Palestinians’ right to an independent state. But Israel refuses.
[. . . .]  Life here, as you see, is not a given, it’s a daily miracle. Military barriers separate everything from everything. And everything – even the landscape – is temporary and vulnerable. Life here is less than life, it is an approaching death. And how ironic that the stepping up of oppression, of closures, of settlement expansion, of daily killings that have become routine – that all this takes place in the context of what is called the “peace process;” a process revolving in an empty circle, threatening to kill the very idea of peace in our suffering hearts.
___Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence. Here, on this slice of historic Palestine, two generations of Palestinians have been born and raised under occupation. They have never known another – normal – life. Their memories are filled with images of hell. They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope.    THE LETTER IN FULL . . . 

“. . . She must have earned a bad name by now, For the number of swords unsheathed . . .” (Aftab Yusuf Shaikh)

Dkaika Village, South Hebron Hills (Photo: Hebron International Rehabilitation Network. Dec. 24, 2014)

❶ Al-Aqsa officials reject new Israeli security measures as compound reopens

  • Background: . “From ‘Ethnocracity’ to Urban Apartheid: The Changing Urban Geopolitics of Jerusalem\Al-Quds.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PCHR Strongly Condemns Israeli Authorities’ Measures against Al-Aqsa Mosque in Unprecedented Step
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Knesset bill bans dividing occupied Jerusalem
❷ Israel is expelling 300 Palestinians, to a village it plans to demolish
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) My village is under threat. I’m not giving up hope
❸ POETRY by Aftab Yusuf Shaikh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency       
July 16, 2017.  As Israeli officials moved to “gradually reopen” the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday after three days of closure, officials from the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) that runs the holy site expressed their rejection to the new metal detectors installed at compound’s entrances . . .
___The attempt to reopen the compound came upon an order from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after it had been closed following a deadly shooting attack inside the compound that left two Israeli border policemen killed and three Palestinian assailants shot dead on Friday.
___After discussions with “top security leadership,” Netanyahu announced additional security measures at the holy site Saturday evening, including the installation of the metal detectors as well as security cameras outside the compound.
___Meanwhile, Al-Aqsa and the entirety of the Old City has remained shuttered to Palestinians who don’t reside there since Friday, while Israelis and tourists have been allowed to enter the Old City.  MORE . . .

Yacobi, Haim. “FROM  ‘ETHNOCRACITY’  TO  URBAN  APARTHEID:  THE  CHANGING  URBAN  GEOPOLITICS  OF  JERUSALEM\AL-QUDS.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 8, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 100-114.
(Haim Yacobi is Professor of Development Planning, University College, London)
[. . . .] ‘Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, a city reunified so as never again to be divided… Our people’s unparalleled affinity to Jerusalem has spanned thousands of years, and is the basis of our national renaissance. It has united our people, secular and religious alike’. The statement above, by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expresses the mainstream Israeli understanding of the city as ‘unified Jerusalem,’ a fixed urban space, a given subject of Israeli sovereignty and ethno-national aspirations. But in fact, the city of Jerusalem is manufactured continuously by geopolitical practices, which include not merely military occupation but also colonial planning and demographic engineering.
___As widely documented and analyzed, a turning point in Israel’s geopolitical situation occurred in June 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem and other territories. Following this occupation, and despite international objections, the Israeli government issued the Municipalities Ordinance (Amendment No. 6) Law, 5727–1967, applying Israeli law to East Jerusalem. As a result, Israel annexed Palestinian land and declared the city of Jerusalem to be its united capital. This stage in the colonization of East Jerusalem was heavily based on legal measures in the form of expropriation of Palestinian land into (Israeli) state hands.
___The next stage in the process was the rhetorical device of incessantly declaring that Jerusalem is a unified city. In this regard, planning policies have clearly reflected the paradigm of an ethnocracity; both state and city governments have pursued the same general policy, which persistently promoted the Judaization of Jerusalem – i.e. the expansion of Jewish political, territorial, demographic and economic control. More specifically, over the past five decades, Israel has used its military might and economic power to redraw borders and recreate boundaries, to grant or deny rights and resources, and to move populations around for the purpose of ensuring Jewish control. These all served a common goal, which was to construct a new cognitive map for the city and thus normalize its occupation.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

Palestine News Network – PNN     
July 16, 2017.   The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the measures taken by the Israeli Government against al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
___These measures included closing the Mosque; banning prayers; and arresting and investigating with dozens of Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department’s officers, Mosque’s guards and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
___PCHR emphasizes that these measures are part of Israeli policies applied to create a Jewish majority in the City and part of the Israeli collective punishment policy in the Palestinian territory . . .
___PCHR calls upon the international community, particularly the Permanent Member States of the UN Security Council and High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention . . .  to take all deterrent measures against the Israeli government’s serious violations in the oPt.        MORE . . .
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
July 16, 2017.   Israeli ministerial committee for legislation approved Sunday Unified Jerusalem Bill that bans dividing occupied Jerusalem in any future settlement.
___A bill spearheaded by . . .  Education Minister Naftali Bennett designed to make dividing Jerusalem virtually impossible was vetoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon after the former made clear his intentions to put the so-called ‘Unified Jerusalem Bill’ to the vote without proper prior coalition consultations.
___According to the proposed legislation, any decision taken on Jerusalem’s fate would require the consent of eighty MKs in the Knesset.   MORE . . .
+972 Blog
By Eli Bitan
July 13, 2017.   Dkaika, a tiny Bedouin-Palestinian village in the south Hebron Hills, is under threat of demolition. The state hopes to expel its residents to a nearby village — which is also under threat of destruction.
Israel’s High Court of Justice is set to decide the future of a small Palestinian village in the West Bank next week. Dkaika, located on the edge of the South Hebron Hills in Area C, is living under the shadow of demolition . . .  The village’s 300 residents are to be expelled to the nearby village Hamida — which is also under threat of demolition.
___The High Court is set to hear the case on July 17.
___Out of Dkaika’s 140 structures, 114 are slated for demolition. In order to prevent the expulsion, the village submitted a detailed plan, put together by Professor Rasem Khamaisi, to the state. . . .
___Should the petition be rejected, or should the High Court refuse to intervene and defend the residents from expulsion, the state may completely or partially demolish the village.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)   MY  VILLAGE  IS  UNDER  THREAT.  I’M  NOT  GIVING  UP  HOPE    
+972 Magazine 
By Awdah al-Hathalean
July 16, 2017.  My name is Awdah Mohammed al-Hathalean. I’m 23 years old and I live in Umm al-Khair, a village in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank. My story is bittersweet.
___When I was seven months old, I fell into a fire in my home, and my father was not able to move fast enough to rescue me because of his disability.
[. . . .] I have now finished my studies at university, and have returned to live in my village . . .    sometimes I feel that I have overcome many obstacles in my life.
___I believe, like my father did, that we have the right to live without the constant threat of demolition, to have enough clean water, to have good houses that we can live in during all seasons, to have a community center for our children, and for all of us to continue learning and growing, to live without fear, and to do what we want as autonomous humans.   MORE . . . 

If this city were a woman,
She must have earned a bad name by now,
For the number of swords unsheathed,
For the cauldrons of blood shed,
For the haunting silence that rings in wombs,
For the innocent childhoods weeded,

But, No!
This is a city, and a holy one!
Holy for whom? The ones who heap
unholiness on it.

O children of Abraham!
You are not pagans or witches,
You must remember very sharply,
That the shedding of blood cleanses nothing,
And nothing cleanses the shedding of blood,

Man remembers the Promises of God,
But very casually forgets
The Promise God took from him.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.    Available from Barnes and Noble.
About Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

“. . . what can I call this rug of soil? is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

Blockaded street in Hebron, preventing Palestinians from entering area controlled by Israeli illegal settlers, with Israeli soldiers guarding above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)

❶ Hebron is the next Israeli-Palestinian fight at UNESCO

Background: “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies

❷ Palestinian fires at Israeli soldiers during Jenin raid to remove memorial
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers change name of Damascus Gate-area street to ‘honor Israeli soldiers’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Europeans for Jerusalem warns of Israel’s practices in holy city
❸ Knesset begins deliberations on bill to cut funds to PA over ‘martyrs’ social program
❹ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Blog
Yonathan Mizrachi
June 29, 2017.   In recent years, every time UNESCO convenes to discuss world heritage sites, Israel-Palestine is in the limelight.  Usually, tensions center around the Old City of Jerusalem, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger in 1982. Recently, however, the Israeli Foreign Ministry began a campaign against the Palestinian nomination of the city of Hebron as a World Heritage Site. Though Hebron is not Jerusalem, Israel’s claims to the place sound pretty much the same: a national and religious connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs which is based on the city’s status as a sacred site from Biblical times. Names such as Abraham and King David — who made Hebron his first capital for seven years before conquering Jerusalem — are proclaimed in connection to the city with requisite pathos.
___The discussion about recognizing Hebron as a World Heritage Site will take place during the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland from July 2 to 12. The Palestinians propose recognizing the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron as a World Heritage Site because of the city’s rich 6,000 year-old history. Like the Israelis, the Palestinians also revere the tombs of the Matriarchs and the Patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. They note that the present structure of the Cave of the Patriarchs dates to the time of Herod — a tradition accepted by all sides, but that is yet to be verified by archeologists.   MORE . . .              POSTED HERE    Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City    June 26, 2017

Masalha, Nur. “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 3-57.
Cartography and toponymy – the term derives from the Greek words topos (‘place’) and onoma (‘name’) – were central to European empire building in the nineteenth century. Place names (including human settlements such as villages, towns, cities, streets and countries and natural places such as mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, springs, and wadis) are meant ‘to provide clues as to the historical and cultural heritage of places and regions’. Yet in reality place names are not just spatial references; they are rooted in power relations and struggles over land and resources and the identities of the people that inhabit these places.
[. . . .] Since the rise of the Zionist settler movement in the late nineteenth century, and especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the struggle over toponymic memory and the renaming of sites has developed as an integral part of the political conflict in Palestine. The indigenous Palestinians have insisted on their own comprehensive set of Arabic place names through which they see their own social memory and deep-rootedness in the land of Palestine. On the other hand, since the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba and the creation of the Israeli state, a large number of Palestinian Arabic place names have been Judaised, Hebrewised. Indeed since 1948 the Israeli army and Israeli state have sought to rename systematically Palestinian Arabic place names, claiming priority in chronology and using modern archaeology, map-making, and place names as their proofs of Jewish roots in ‘the land of Israel’. In Israel the significance of place names lies in their potential to legitimize ‘historical claims’ asserted by the Zionist settler-colonial movement.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency       
June 30, 2017.  An armed Palestinian opened fire on Israeli forces carrying out a raid in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Friday, causing no injuries.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian shot towards Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in Jenin, before dropping his weapon and fleeing.
___No Israelis were injured in the incident, the spokesperson said, adding that the army recovered the weapon on the scene.
___The spokesperson added that the soldiers were targeted as they were undertaking an operation to remove a memorial stone commemorating Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal.   MORE . . .

IMG_2845 - Copy
Five fully armed Israeli soldiers detaining and searching a lone Palestinian young man, outside Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

Ma’an News Agency      
June 23, 2017.  A group of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli police and border police forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area Sultan Suleiman Street in occupied East Jerusalem to Heroines Street, “in commemoration of killed Israeli soldiers.”     ___Hebrew-language media sites reported on Friday that a group of Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area street, in commemoration of two Israeli soldiers who were killed in shooting and stabbing attacks near Damascus Gate — including 23-year old Hadas Malka, an Israeli police officer who, along with three Palestinian assailants, was killed last week at the gate’s entrance.
___Israeli settlers, police and border guards lit candles at the site before putting a sign reading “Heroines Street” in Hebrew, Arabic and English over the original street sign, which read Sultan Suleiman Street.  MORE. . .
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
June 21, 2017.   Europeans for Jerusalem foundation has warned against Israel’s persistence in its serious practices in Occupied Jerusalem in general and at the Aqsa Mosque in particular.
___In a statement, Europeans for Jerusalem described the exposure of the holy city in general and the Aqsa Mosque in particular to direct targeting, break-ins, desecration and assaults on worshipers under police protection as “a threat to regional stability.”
___The foundation voiced deep concern about acts of desecration and sabotage which Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque are being exposed to . . .    MORE . . .    FOUNDATION . . . 
Ma’an News Agency    
June 29, 2017.   Israel’s parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee began discussing on Wednesday a bill aimed at slashing tax transfers to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) over its controversial “martyrs” compensation program, which provides financial support to Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, their families, and for relatives of those who have been killed by Israeli forces — whether during attacks against Israelis or in situations void of wrongdoing.
___The bill, which would see the Israeli government cut an estimated 1 billion shekels ($280 million) in tax transfers to the PA each year, was approved for a preliminary reading in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, earlier this month.
___Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in taxes yearly on behalf of the PA, according to a 2015 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), representing three quarters of the PA’s revenue.
___Israel has regularly withheld transferring taxes to apply pressure on the Palestinian government, despite rights groups saying such punitive measures amount to “collective punishment.”   MORE . . .

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?
――Translated by Tom Pow

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.