“. . .Do you sanction what’s being done In your names?. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

Selected News of the Day

Al-Malki: All countries can make a further contribution to peace

September 20, 2019
Riyad Al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, said [in New York] that each country in the United Nations can make a further contribution to peace by supporting the Palestinian inalienable rights, including to self-determination.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Addressing the Security Council at its session on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, al-Malki said the world countries may contribute to peace not recognizing the illegal actions undertaken by Israel, by not rendering aid or assistance to illegal settlement activities, and by distinguishing between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙  He said, “Impunity is the greatest obstacle to peace as it allows the occupying power to reap benefits from its occupation instead of facing consequences, incentivizing illegal actions instead of ensuring compliance with the law. A state that feels it is above the law will be tempted to continue acting as an outlaw state.”   More . . . .

  • UN: Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and vandalism of property on the rise
    September 21, 2019
    Israeli settlers carried out eight attacks in the first two weeks of September that resulted in two Palestinian injuries and damage to property, amid preparations for the olive harvest season, bringing the total settler-related incidents so far this year to 233, including 52 that resulted in injuries to Palestinians, according to the latest report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory. In 2018, total settler-related incidents amounted to 280.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙  The report said in three separate incidents, settlers believed to be from Yitzhar settlement and its surrounding outposts raided the nearby villages of Madama, ‘Einabus and ‘Asira al Qibliya . . . .
    According to the report, so far this year, over 4,870 olive trees have been vandalized by settlers . . . .
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In addition to settler vandalism of Palestinian property, the Israeli authorities demolished a total of 23 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued permits, displacing 29 people, said OCHA in its report, bringing the total of demolished homes so far this year to 393, out of which 244 were in Area C and 148 in occupied Jerusalem and total of displace people 487, of whom 219 were in Jerusalem.  More . . . .
  • Settlers attack farmers near Ramallah, injure one
    September 20, 2019
    At least one farmer was injured today as Israeli settlers attacked several Palestinian farmers working in a farm near the village of Beitin, northeast of Ramallah in the West Bank, local sources said.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Abu Samra, a local activist, told WAFA that about 25 Jewish settlers protected by an Israeli army force broke into the farm, physically assaulted some of the farmers and injured one of them in the head.  More . . . .

Israeli Court Approves Use Of Palestinian Bodies As Bargaining Chips

Days of Palestine
September 20, 2019
A Palestinian family in the Jerusalem-area village of al-Eizariya has been unable to bury their 14-year-old son, who was killed by Israeli police last month . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israel is holding the remains of more than a dozen Palestinians recently killed during alleged and actual attacks on occupation forces and civilians.  ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This month, following a petition by several families whose relatives’ remains are being held by Israel, the country’s highest court rubber-stamped its approval of the policy. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The court ruled that Israel’s military has “the legal right to hold on to the bodies of slain terrorists  as leverage in future negotiations with Palestinians,” The Times of Israel reported. More . . . .

  • Palestinians preparing for their day in court against Israel
    Al Monitor – Palestine Pulse
    Ahmad Abu Amer
    September 20, 2019
    The Palestinian leadership moved on several fronts this month to implement its threats to redefine and limit relations with Israel. The PLO took steps toward taking Israel to court on a number of commerce- and labor-related issues and amending the Paris Economic Protocol, the agreement governing the economic relationship between the Palestinians and Israelis. The Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israel of violating the provisions of their arrangement.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In March, Palestinian President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had made the decision to resort to international arbitration against Israel. A source at the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Finance who requested anonymity told Al-Monitor that at the weekly ministerial meeting on Sept. 2, the government had asked Finance Minister Shukri Bishara to prepare cases to submit to the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The following day, Bishara announced that the leadership would ask the court to rule on 11 commercial and financial issues involving Israel and inquire separately into amending the Paris agreement. The file is expected to be officially presented to the court at the end of September.   More . . . .


The end of the Netanyahu era doesn’t mean the end of the occupation

+972 Magazine
Haggai Matar |
September 18, 2019
As election results started pouring in Tuesday night, one could hear a sigh of relief – and even some cries of joy – among Israelis who identify with the center-left . . . . The Netanyahu era is coming to an end . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The occupation, however, is not going anywhere. Israeli military control over the day-to-day lives of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, the siege on Gaza, and the structural discrimination against hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in East Jerusalem are all here to stay. None of these three aforementioned groups were allowed to vote for the government that decides their fate.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

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 & Noble.

“. . . ‘The answer to the international battle over Jerusalem is to impose sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim’. . .” (Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely)

Illegal Israeli settlement Maale Adumim (Photo: Helen Crump, Building Design Magazine May 25, 2007)

❶ Israeli forces demolish residential buildings in occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods

  • Background:  “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law

❷ Israeli forces shut down wedding hall in al-Eizariya (Bethany)
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  Israel increasingly defiant as the world loses interest in Palestine

  • Background: “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 8, 2016
Israeli authorities Tuesday morning demolished two residential buildings in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Wadi al-Jouz and al-Issawiya for building without Israeli-issued licenses.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces escorted two excavators to the Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood at 4 am. Israeli soldiers were also deployed throughout the alleys of the neighborhood, before surrounding a three-story building as Israeli excavators tore it down.
___According to locals, the building consisted of stores on the ground floor, apartments on the second, while the third floor was still under construction.
___Local sources highlighted that the stores on the first floor contained food supplies belonging to Palestinian families, adding that Israeli forces demolished the stores without allowing families to remove their supplies.        More . . .  

  • Halabi, Sam F. “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law 26.2 (2014): 223-270.  Full article.  

[. . . .] . . .by examining certain “interpretation catalysts”—presidential speeches from Clinton to Obama and the U.S. Government’s pleadings in its lawsuit with the Zivotofskys (and, by extension, Congress), it is possible to see a growing flexibility toward adopting a foreign policy position that accommodates a Palestinian self-determination movement that sounds more like civil rights in Israel rather than sovereignty under international law. [This] Article does not argue that there has been a fundamental abandonment of the two-state solution in U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have explicitly adopted it as their current platform in the predictable second-term push for Arab-Israeli peace. However, given the realities on the ground, firstly and most importantly with respect to Jerusalem, it is possible to see a U.S. acceptance that the time for the two-state solution may have already passed.

Nov. 7, 2016
Israeli forces shut down a wedding hall in the village al-Eizariya in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, claiming that Palestinians  shoot  firearms in the air during wedding celebrations in the hall.
___Israeli security sources said in a statement, received by Ma’an, that Israeli forces closed the al-Awda wedding hall in order to prevent the “very dangerous phenomenon and bad tradition” of shooting in the air during weddings and special occasions.
___The statement added that the closure of the wedding hall came as part of the Israeli fight against unlicensed weapon ownership among Palestinians.      More . . .  

Overhead map of Bethany. Bethany is present-day West Bank city of al-Eizariya (meaning “Place of Lazarus”), site of the reputed Tomb of Lazarus, located about 1.5 miles to the east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. (From Pinterest, Danette Dailor; source, Jesus-story.net)

+972 Magazine 
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Nov. 2, 2016
Israel’s leadership wants you to think it is worried about some bold move by President Barack Obama during his lame duck period . . .  After all, there’s a compelling argument to be made that it would be bad for Israel if Washington threw its support behind a UN Security Council resolution reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal, or one that codifies a framework for an eventual peace deal.
___An Israeli prime minister worried about international condemnation of his country’s illegal settlements probably wouldn’t declare that, “[t]here is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government.”
___An Israeli government concerned with the world’s perception of its intransigence wouldn’t send the deputy foreign minister . . . . to demand the annexation of Israel’s third-largest settlement.
___Yet the Israeli government doesn’t seem to be worried at all.     “The answer to the international battle over Jerusalem is to impose sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Monday.      More . . .  

  • Amar-Shiff, Netta. “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 65-68.   Source.  

For years the Israeli human rights community has been trying to defy Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses and other structures in the West Bank. Their opposition is based on individual human rights arguments and international humanitarian law, focusing attention on the unlawful policies of the Israeli Civil Administration (1CA) in the West Bank and their devastating humanitarian consequences on the protected civilian Palestinian population. These included primarily the rights of Palestinians to property and adequate housing and other economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the obligation of the occupying power to ensure public order for the occupied population, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. While legal arguments mentioned the illegality of the settlements, they were cautious not to compare settlers and Palestinians.
[. . . .]   The use of the Apartheid paradigm in the context of the West Bank raises the obvious question of the basis for comparison between the Israelis and Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, especially considering the fact that settlements are illegal under the law of occupation and should not be there in the first place. While Apartheid presumes the equal citizenship status shared by blacks and whites in one state, South Africa, the national conflict in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian state seems to negate the use of the conceptual framework of Apartheid, which seems to unfairly marginalize the existence of the national conflict. But moving beyond the national conflict, the main problem in the comparison to the Apartheid framework is that although it is based on similarly applied practices of racial segregation and discrimination as the International Convention On the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid states, it does not emphasize what seems to be the main motivation behind the legal segregation and discrimination: the Israeli spatial expansionist interests to advance and reinforce the settlement project until the full conversion of the Israelis in the West Bank from settlers to indigenous peoples.  [. . . .]

“Don’t ask me the impossible. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

al-Eizariya, as photographed in the 1940s with the Greek Orthodox church on the hilltop.
al-Eizariya, as photographed in the 1940s with the Greek Orthodox church on the hilltop.

(Please take a moment to read the page “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

Aug. 26, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday morning demolished nine tin shacks, including two homes, in the town of al-Eizariya, east of Jerusalem, on land Israeli authorities have earmarked for construction of the separation wall, locals said.
____A popular resistance committee spokesperson, Hani Halabiya, told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops escorted bulldozers and Israeli Civil Administration inspectors into the town.
____The bulldozers then demolished nine shacks without any prior warning, saying that they had been built without the necessary licenses, he said.
____Halabiya said that some of the structures belonged to Sami Abu Ghaliya, a local Fatah official representing Bedouin tribes on the outskirts of Jerusalem, while the others were being rented by Palestinians from Jerusalem, Hebron, al-Eizariya, and the Bedouin al-Jahalin tribe.
____Two of the structures served as homes and seven as commercial stores, including a grocery store, a car wash, and shops selling brassware and used furniture, Halabiya said.
More. . .

Israeli separation barrier at Al-Eizariya, 2007. This shows a part very close to the eastern part of Jerusalem, 2 Km from al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israeli separation barrier at Al-Eizariya, 2007. This shows a part very close to the eastern part of Jerusalem, 2 Km from al-Aqsa Mosque.
“AbuDisWall timeLine” by Zero, Tamarah.

August 25, 2015 ―Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said yesterday that he is seeking to outlaw two Palestinian-Arab groups “that strive to keep Jews off the Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque] in Jerusalem,” Israeli media reported.
____The two groups are mainly running Sharia Schools inside the mosque’s grounds and organising trips for Palestinians to visit the holy site, which is the third holiest site for about two billion Muslims around the world.
____AlkhaleejOnline reported Erdan . . . . accused the groups of destabilising the situation in the area around the mosque. According to the Israeli Radio, Erdan has received detailed security reports from the Israeli security services about the groups’ activities.
____Meanwhile, Deputy Islamic Movement leader Kamal Al-Khatib said: “This is an Israeli plan targeting Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
More. . .

The Free Zone
August 25, 2015
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin says the country has the “right” to build settlements in the West Bank and it is “not a matter of political debate.” His comments are likely to cause controversy, with the EU and Palestine opposed to illegal Israeli development in the area.
____Although the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank is illegal under international law, Rivlin believes that the “land of Israel” includes this territory.
____“I love the land of Israel with all my heart,” Rivlin said, AFP reported. “I have never and will never give up on this land. For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism.”
More. . .

August 26, 2015
TUBAS ― Israeli forces Wednesday notified a nature reserve to the East of Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valley, of their intentions to uproot its forest trees, according to a local official.
____Motaz Bisharat, in charge of the Jordan Valley settlements file in the Palestinian Authority, said that forces notified ‘Enoun’ nature reserve, which occupies an area of 14 dunums, of their intentions to uproot the forest trees
[. . . . ]
____Aref Daraghmeh, head of al-Maleh local council, said an Israeli army force broke into the village in the morning and handed notices to 14 families ordering them to leave their homes from 6:00 AM until 12:00 PM on September 1, to conduct military drills in the area.
More. . .

❺ Opinion
Jonathan Cook, Nazareth
Aug 25 2015
The appointment by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu of one of his most hawkish and outspoken rivals as Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations has prompted widespread consternation.
____As one Israeli analyst noted last week, Danny Danon’s appointment amounts to a “cruel joke” on the international community. The new envoy “lacks even the slightest level of finesse and subtlety required of a senior diplomat”.
____Last year Netanyahu sacked Danon as deputy defence minister, describing him as too “irresponsible” even by the standards of Israel’s usually anarchic politics. Danon had denounced the prime minister for “leftist feebleness” in his handling of Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer.
____Danon is a UN official’s worst nightmare. He is a vocal opponent of a two-state solution and has repeatedly called for the annexation of the West Bank.
More. . .

Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt starts,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

“Greek Orthodox Church al-Eizariya” by See The Holy Land.