“. . . We know you have abandoned us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Israeli settlers storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN  HOME  AS  PUNISHMENT
Israeli forces raided the family home of 17-year-old Khalil Youssef Ali Jabarin, on predawn Monday, in the southern occupied West Bank city of Yatta. . . .  thoroughly searched the house, destroyed the family’s belongings and damaged most of the furniture.    ___Jabarin had carried out a stabbing attack on Sunday near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion, in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, due to which one Israeli settler died and another sustained serious injuries.   ___Jabarain was shot and injured by Israeli forces and immediately detained.   More . . .
Related . . .    ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  19  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  MINORS

INJURIES  AMONG  PALESTINIANS  AS  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAID  JOSEPH’S  TOMB  IN  NABLUS
At least 10 Palestinians were injured on Monday during clashes with Israeli forces who were providing cover for extremist settlers during the latter’s raid of Joseph’s Tomb, to the east of the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank  . . .    More . . .
Related . . .   114  EXTREMIST  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  AQSA  MOSQUE
Related . . .   DOZENS  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BLOCK  MAIN  ROAD,  DAMAGE  VEHICLES

ASHRAWI  CONDEMNS  US  ADMINISTRATION’S  DECISION  TO  REVOKE  VISAS  OF  PLO  ENVOY  AND  HIS  FAMILY
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the Trump administration’s decision to revoke the visas of the family of Head of the PLO General Delegation to the U.S. as ‘being vindictive and cruel’.   ___On Tuesday, the U.S. administration informed staff at the PLO General Delegation Office in Washington D.C. of the guidelines for closing down the office.  [. . . .] On this most recent outrageous development, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “As if the announcement that the U.S. would close our office in Washington D.C. was not enough, this vindictive action by the Trump administration is spiteful. The U.S. has taken its attempts to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians to a new level.”   More . . .
Related . . .   US  CUTS  AID  TO  ‘PALESTINE-ISRAEL’  CONFLICT  RESOLUTION  PROGRAMS

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  SUPPORT  FOR  ISRAEL  MEANS  ABANDONING  UNIVERSAL  VALUES
Udi Aloni
On a recent trip to Germany, Jewish Israeli filmmaker Udi Aloni finds himself defending the Palestinians’ right to resist Israeli apartheid and occupation. Before pledging unconditional loyalty to Israel, he says, people should ask themselves what values they are helping promote.  [. . . .] ___In a time of weakness and confusion, in which the right wing appropriates our human rights discourse, political correctness and identity politics are crucial to refresh the stagnant left. How is it that crucial strategies become perversely transformed, only to be thrown back in our face as racist ideologies while the white-supremacist crowd applauds? And how can I stand up to these brutal attacks and not fall into them?  More . . .

ON  THIS  DAY:  THE  JERUSALEM  INTIFADA  (SEPT.  15,  2015)
Rebecca Stead
On 13 September 2015, the eve of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), a number of Jewish Israelis visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, entered Al-Haram Al-Sharif escorted by heavily armed Israeli soldiers. Palestinians gathered in the compound to protest the visits, since Israelis are prohibited from praying on the site under the status quo agreement. Israeli forces dispersed the protesters with violence, using tear gas and rubber bullets.  [. . . .] According to the UN’s OCHAoPt, “2015 recorded the highest number of casualties among West Bank Palestinians since 2005, when OCHA began documenting incidents”. Hundreds of Palestinians died from tear gas inhalation, rubber bullets and from live ammunition shot by Israeli forces. Thirty children were killed by Israeli forces and settlers, the highest number recorded since 2006.   ___Some commentators believe that this “third intifada” never really ended.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

UNRWA USA is an independent nonprofit that supports the humanitarian and human development work of the  UNITED  NATIONS  RELIEF  AND  WORKS  AGENCY  for Palestine Refugees through fundraising, education, and advocacy.  UNRWA USA aims to promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees. Due to the United States government’s recent decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis.  HELP FUND UNRWA’S WORK.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  FEAR  FOR  A  DREAM,”  by  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We fear for a dream: don’t believe our butterflies.
Believe our sacrifices if you like, believe the compass of a horse, our
. . . need for the north.
We have raised the beaks of our souls to you. Give us a grain of
. . . wheat, our dream. Give it, give it to us.
We have offered you the shores since our coming to the earth born of
. . . an idea or of the adultery of two waves on a rock in the sand.
Nothing. Nothing. We float on a foot of air. The air breaks up within
. . . ourselves.
We know you have abandoned us, built for us prisons and called them
. . . the paradise of oranges.
We go on dreaming. Oh, desired dream. We steal our days from those
. . . extolled by our myths.
We fear for you, we’re afraid of you. We are exposed together, you
. . . shouldn’t believe our wives’ patience.
They will weave two dresses, then sell the bones of the loved ones to
. . . buy a glass of milk for our children.
We fear for a dream, from him, from ourselves. We go on dreaming
. . . oh, dream of ours. Don’t believe our butterflies!

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

 

“. . . we will begin our prayers amid this bloody sorrow . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Islamic Cooperation to ask Security Council for protection for Aqsa Mosque

Background: “In Defense of Al-Aqsa: The Islamic Movement inside Israel and the Battle for Jerusalem.” Middle East Journal.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Religious figures warn Israel against meddling in Aqsa affairs
❷ Israeli forces detain 21 Palestinians, PLC deputy, in overnight West Bank raids
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces raid Palestinian civil office in Hebron’s Old City
❸ Report: 96 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists in July
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISLAMIC  COOPERATION  TO  ASK  SECURITY  COUNCIL  FOR  PROTECTION  FOR  AQSA  MOSQUE  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 2, 2017.   The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which met in Istanbul in an urgent meeting over the situation in Jerusalem and its Al-Aqsa Mosque, has decided to ask the United Nations Security Council to provide protection to the mosque from Israeli abuses, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Wednesday.
___He told Voice of Palestine radio that the OIC went this time beyond the traditional verbal denunciation of Israel to adopting practical proposals that will be implemented soon.
___He said the OIC decided to call on the Security Council to provide protection for Al-Aqsa Mosque. It also called for providing financial support to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinians in Jerusalem and to boycott Israeli settlements products.   MORE . . .

Larkin, Craig and Michael Dumper.
“IN  DEFENSE  OF  AL-AQSA:  THE  ISLAMIC  MOVEMENT  INSIDE  ISRAEL  AND  THE  BATTLE  FOR  JERUSALEM.”
Middle East Journal
, vol. 66, no. 1, Winter2012, pp. 31-52.
[. . . .] This battle for the sacred is most famously played out on Jerusalem’s ancient fault line: the Jewish “Temple Mount” or the Muslim “Noble Sanctuary” [al-Haram al-Sharif], the site of the Western (Wailing) Wall and the only visible remainder of the second Jewish Temple and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the place of Muhammad’s legendary night journey to Heaven . . .  our interest is in its contemporary politicization as a dynamic symbol and site of Israeli-Zionist domination and Palestinian-Muslim resistance.
___Since Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, the Western Wall (and Temple Mount) has become central to nationalist discourses of Yerushalayim — the “unified” “eternal” capital of a Jewish State — and integral as an iconic space for the performance of military ceremonies, political inaugurations, and national-religious festivals.
___For Palestinians, the Haram al-Sharif (al-Aqsa mosque) has similarly emerged as a sacred national emblem. It serves as the emotive scene for the violent outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising or “Al-Aqsa Intifada” in September 2000 and a potent symbol to mobilize local, regional, and global opposition against Israel’s “Judaization” policies in Arab East Jerusalem and ongoing occupation of Palestinian land.
[. . . .] The Islamic presence in Jerusalem was established in 638 CE and its early history in the city is well-documented. . . The city’s prominence in the genesis of Islam and its eschatology made the city also the site of religious schools, mausoleums of the rich, holy, and learned and thus also of pilgrimages, second only to the pilgrimage cities Mecca and Medina. One result of such a role was the evolution of an extensive system of external support in the form of the endowment (or Waqf) system which generated income for the upkeep of mosques and other communal services. The administration and maintenance of this system led in turn to the creation of an extensive bureaucracy, control over and employment in which was highly prized. While there were periods of decline and paralysis during this long and fruitful period, it is clear that on the eve of the 1967 War, the Muslim community in Jerusalem had deep roots, and a comprehensive and strong institutional presence.
[. . . .]  . . . Waqf assets, the sharia court system, religious education, and holy places have become battlegrounds and popular rallying points in the Islamist campaign to create “a parallel system of autonomous communal institutions.” This tactical shift can be traced back to the beginning of Shaykh Ra’id Salah’s “Al-Aqsa is in Danger” [Al-Aqsa fi Khatir] campaign in 1996, which refocused funds, volunteers, and media attention towards the contested Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, challenging both Israeli control of the site and PA and Jordanian compliance.    SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) RELIGIOUS  FIGURES  WARN  ISRAEL  AGAINST  MEDDLING  IN  AQSA  AFFAIRS     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
August 2, 2017.   Islamic figures in Jerusalem warned on Wednesday that Israel’s repeated intervention in al-Aqsa Mosque affairs could lead to grave consequences.     ___Head of Islamic Waqf Council, head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and acting Chief Islamic Justice said in a joint statement that Israeli police restrictions on entry of Muslim worshipers into Al-Aqsa Mosque constitute a blatant intervention in the right of worship.     ___Israeli meddling in Al-Aqsa affairs “will take us back to the crisis situation and could lead the entire region to unforeseen grave consequences” . . .     MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  21  PALESTINIANS,  PLC  DEPUTY,  IN  OVERNIGHT  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 2, 2017.   Israeli forces detained at least 21 Palestinians, including a deputy of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), in overnight raids between Tuesday and Wednesday across the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
___Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course of 2016, according to UN documentation.
___According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, as of May, there were 6,200 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, including 12 PLC members.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  PALESTINIAN  CIVIL  OFFICE  IN  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY
Ma’an News Agency    
Aug. 2, 2017.   Israeli forces raided a civil investigations office in the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Wednesday, detained the staff members, and confiscated equipment from the office.
___Local sources told Ma’an that the office was opened just a few days ago after an agreement was made between Palestinian and Israeli authorities to establish an office in order to deal with a “wave of increased violence” among locals, especially family disputes in the area which often turn violent.
[. . . .] Israeli forces have continued to hold a number of the employees, local sources said, while Palestinian authorities have been making calls to the Israeli side in order to secure the release of the employees and allow them to continue their work.   MORE . . .
❸ REPORT:  96  ISRAELI  VIOLATIONS  AGAINST  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALISTS  IN  JULY  
The Palestinian Information Center  
August 2, 2017.   The Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists issued a new report on Wednesday documenting Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists over the past month.
___The report said that 96 violations were committed by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian journalists, while PA forces committed 17 violations.
___The report noted that July 2017 has witnessed the biggest number of violations against Palestinian journalists and media institutions.   MORE . . .

“PRAYER,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

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 Barnes and Noble.

 

“. . . For the tragedy I live Is but my share in your larger tragedy . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ Israeli bill aimed at preventing Jerusalem’s division passes reading in Knesset

  • Background: “A National or Religious Conflict? The Dispute over the Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PM Hamdallah to European diplomats: Stop Israel now
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) President Abbas discusses Israeli measures with Turkish counterpart
❷ Israeli soldiers shoot, kill Palestinian after alleged stabbing attempt, sparking clashes
❸ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  BILL  AIMED  AT  PREVENTING  JERUSALEM’S  DIVISION  PASSES  READING  IN  KNESSET
Ma’an News Agency 
July 19, 2017.   A bill aimed at preventing any future divisions of Jerusalem, by requiring a two-third majority in Israel’s parliament in order to do so, passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset on Wednesday.
___The bill, titled “Basic Law: Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel,” passed with 58 Members of Knesset (MKs) voting in favor, 48 voting against it, and one MK abstaining from the vote, according to a statement released by the Knesset.
___The bill aims to mend Israel’s Basic Law on Jerusalem to necessitate the approval of 80 of the 120 Knesset members to make any changes to the law, instead of the regular majority vote.
___According to the statement, the proposal explains that the bill has a “security purpose.”
___“Since the IDF’s withdrawal from Lebanon [in 2000] and the disengagement from the Gaza Strip [in 2005] proved that wherever Israel withdraws from, terrorist factors enter, threatening the security of citizens of Israel,” the bill reportedly states, insinuating that if Israel withdrew from occupied East Jerusalem, it would be taken over by “terrorist” factions.   MORE . . .   

Ma’oz, Moshe. “A  NATIONAL  OR  RELIGIOUS  CONFLICT?  THE  DISPUTE  OVER  THE  TEMPLE  MOUNT/AL-HARAM  AL-SHARIF  IN  JERUSALEM.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 20/21, no. 4/1, Dec. 2015, pp. 25-32.
Arabs and Jews, the children of Abraham, are becoming increasingly engaged in a religious war. The major focus of this conflict is the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif and East Jerusalem/al-Quds Al-Sharif. Amalgamated with nationalist and political components of the Arab-Israeli dispute, this religious war also derives from two opposed processes: growing Islamic Judeophobia in the Arab and Muslim world, on one hand; and accelerated Jewish Islamophobia in Israel and the Diaspora, on the other.
[. . . .] Moderate Israeli and Palestinian personalities — religious and secular — have been warning for years that the Jewish-Muslim conflict over the Temple Mount could trigger a worldwide religious war.
[. . . .] Despite these warnings, top Israeli and Palestinian leaders continue to perpetuate this phenomenon to score political gains. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, must politically ride his people’s anger and frustration regarding alleged Jewish intentions to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other right-wing Israeli leaders continue to use the Jewish sanctity of the Temple Mount to gamer public support.
___Netanyahu has also done very little to change the desire of Jewish citizens to rebuild the third Temple (approx. 40%), control and pray on the Temple Mount (approx. 65%), and keep a united Jerusalem under eternal Israeli sovereignty (80%). In fact, on Jerusalem Day, May 2014, Netanyahu proclaimed that “Jerusalem was unified 47 years ago. It will never be redivided: We will never divide our heart — the heart of the Nation. Jerusalem is also Mount Zion and Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount), the Western Wall — Israel’s eternal.” [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PM  HAMDALLAH  TO  EUROPEAN  DIPLOMATS:  STOP  ISRAEL  NOW
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
July 20, 2017.   Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Thursday urged the European Union to take immediate action to pressure Israel to stop its violations against Palestinian rights and holy places.
___Hamdallah discussed during a meeting at  his Ramallah office with EU diplomats the recent developments in Jerusalem, particularly Israel’s measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the heightened settlement activities in and around Jerusalem.
___He warned of deterioration in the security situation if Israel persists in efforts to change the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PRESIDENT  ABBAS  DISCUSSES  ISRAELI  MEASURES  WITH  TURKISH  COUNTERPART    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
July 20, 2017.   President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday discussed over phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the recent Israeli measures around flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___Abbas and Erdoğan reportedly discussed the Israeli installation of metal detectors at the gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque, assaults against Muslim worshippers and the attempt to change the long-standing status quo at the mosque.
___Abbas called upon Erdoğan to help de-escalate tensions through asking the US administration to oblige Israel to retract its serious measures and also through his contacts with Israel.   MORE . . . 
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SHOOT,  KILL  PALESTINIAN  AFTER  ALLEGED  STABBING  ATTEMPT,  SPARKING  CLASHES
Ma’an News Agency
July 20, 2017.  Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian in the southern occupied West Bank village of Tuqu on Thursday afternoon, sparking clashes in which at least one Palestinian was injured.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to stab Israeli soldiers at an Israeli military checkpoint near Tuqu, adding that “responding to the immediate threat,” soldiers shot and killed the man. They added that no Israelis were injured in the case.
___A Ma’an reporter present at the scene said that Israeli soldiers fired four shots towards the Palestinian near Tuqu’s school, while eyewitnesses said that an Israeli military vehicle then run over the man.   MORE . . .

“I  CLASP  YOUR  HANDS,” BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but my share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

From THE PALSESTINIAN 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.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994, in a dreadful car crash while on his way to meet Yasser Arafat in Jericho after the Oslo agreements. He participated in Palestinian political life in occupied Palestine, was elected mayor of Nazareth, and served as a member of the Israeli Knesset.     (More. . .)