“. . . Amid the ruins of a collapsing world . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)


EU says demolition of Palestinian property in occupied West Bank threat to two-state solution

September 3, 2019
The European Union (EU) Representative and Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah denounced yesterday Israel’s demolition of Palestinian property in Area C of the occupied West Bank as a threat to the two-state solution.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ A statement by the local EU missions referred to the August 26 demolition of a Palestinian family’s home and restaurant near Bethlehem. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “These demolitions, together with settlement construction for Israelis in the area, exacerbate threats to the viability of the two-state solution and further undermine prospects for a lasting peace,” said the EU statement.  More . . . .

  • Jerusalem’s Israeli municipality demolishes Palestinian house in the occupied  city  WAFA September 03, 2019
    The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished today a Palestinian-owned house in al-Tur neighborhood of the occupied city under the pretext it was built without a permit, according to the house owner Mohammad Abu al-Hawa.  More . . . .
  • Israel forces Palestinian family to demolish their home
    The Palestinian Information Center
    September 3, 2019
    The Israeli authorities on Sunday forced a Palestinian family in ‘Ara village in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories to demolish their own home.  More. . . .
  • Pictures- A Jerusalemite self-demolishes his commercial facility in Silwan
    Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
    September 1, 2019   More . . . .
  • Israeli settlers set up caravan on confiscated Palestinian land
    The Palestinian Information Center
    September 3, 2019
    Israeli settlers on Tuesday morning erected a caravan on a newly seized Palestinian land in Beit Jala town, west of Bethlehem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Local sources said that the four-dunum land, owned by the Palestinian citizen Saba Skandar, was seized by the Israeli authorities on Monday without prior notice.  More . . . .

PODCAST: Has international law failed Palestinians?

+972 Magazine
Noura Erakat, Palestinian legal scholar
August 30, 2019
Israel has been able to leverage international law to its advantage much better than the Palestinians, says Noura Erakat, Palestinian legal scholar, human rights activist and author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, on the latest episode of The +972 Podcast.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Erakat proposes understanding it as another tool used to promote a political agenda.  More . . . .



Will you not open this door for me?
My hand is exhausted from knocking at Your door.
I have come to Your vastness to beg
Some tranquility and peace of mind
But Your door is closed in my face,
Drowned in silence.
Lord of the house,
The door was open here,
A refuge for all burdened with grief.
The door was open here,
And the green olive tree rose high
Embracing the house.
The oil lamp kindling without fire,
Guiding the steps of one walking at night,
Relieving those crushed by the burden of Earth,
Flooding them with satisfaction and ease.
Do you hear me, O Lord of the house,
After my loss in the deserts;
Away from You I have returned to You
But Your door is closed
In my face, drowned in silence.
Your house is shrouded
With the dust of death.
You are here. Open, then, the door.
Do not veil Your face.
See my orphanhood, my loss,
Amid the ruins of a collapsing world,
The grief of the world on my shoulders
And terrors of a tyrant destiny
To be undone.

From: A Lover From Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“. . . the blast of drums in my eyes Beaten by the arms of hatred.” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

Al-Tur street blockade. MaaImages
Al-Tur street blockade. MaaImages

Salwa Duaibis
August 31, 2015
IDF night raids, an everyday occurrence in the occupied territories, ensure that Palestinians cannot feels safe in the one place where safety should be assured.
____Over the years, the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) has collected testimonies from Palestinian women in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza on a whole range of issues. However there is one issue, above all others, that stands out due to the frequency with which it occurs and the devastating impact it has on women, their children and entire communities: night raids conducted by the Israeli military into Palestinian villages and homes, which have been taking place on a nightly basis in the occupied territories for the past 48 years.
____In a sample of 100 instances of night raids conducted since 2014, the one common thread mentioned by the women who provided testimonies to WCLAC was a sense of terror.
More. . . 

HEBRON ―Israeli forces detained at least 12 Palestinians in predawn raids across the occupied West Bank Tuesday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.
____The Israeli army said that they detained three Palestinians in Nablus district, six in Bethlehem, and three in Jericho, all for “suspected illegal activity.”
____However, Palestinian security officials reported further detentions in Jenin, where violent clashes broke out during an Israeli detention raid targeting a senior Hamas official.
____The officials told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained Majdi Abu al-Hija, his brother Alaa, his son, and other family members during the raid. Israeli forces subsequently demolished their family home.
More. . .

September 1, 2015
JERUSALEM ― A number of Palestinian students in the al-Tur neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem were prevented from reaching their schools on Monday after Israeli forces completely closed the village’s main street with concrete blocks, locals told Ma’an.
____Khalid Odah Abu Sbitan, a member in the parents committee in al-Tur schools, said that traffic was unable to travel along the main road and on Suliman al-Farisi street, making it difficult for children to reach three of the village’s schools.
____He said that students aged 4-12 faced particular difficulty reaching their schools because of the blocks, and the parents committee had to organize the students so they could find a route avoiding them.
____Abu Sbitan said that Suliman al-Farisi Street is the main and only entrance for two schools, Jabal al-Zayton and al-Mahaba wal-Eman kindergarten school, as well as a village mosque, known as Suliman al Farisi, the village cemetery, and Jabal al-Zaytoon club.
[. . . .]
____The closures prevent the movement of residents and hinder crucial services including ambulances and school buses.
More. . . 

September 1, 2015
Israeli soldiers demolished, on Tuesday at dawn, the home of former political prisoner Majdi Raja Abu al-Haija, and kidnapped him, in the al-Hadaf area, in the Jenin refugee camp. The soldiers earlier kidnapped his son, his mother and his brother.
____Eyewitnesses said army bulldozers leveled the home, its surrounding walls, and caused damage to various nearby homes and structures, before withdrawing from the area.
____The demolition of the Palestinian properties is part of a larger invasion in which the soldiers fired missiles into two homes, causing excessive damage and completely burning them, and also demolished walls surrounding several homes.
More. . .

Demolished home Jenin. Image By Thaer Abu Bakr - WAFA News
Demolished home Jenin. Image By Thaer Abu Bakr – WAFA News

❺ Opinion/Analysis
August 31, 2015
John Brown and Noam Rotem
August 2012. A Molotov cocktail is thrown at a cab, burning an entire Palestinian family. They miraculously survive. Nearby the police find a red bag with a plastic bottle full of gasoline, white latex gloves, and a black lighter with DNA belonging to a Jewish minor from the BAT AYIN SETTLEMENT.
____Despite the evidence, not a single person was ever put on trial for this act of terror, a fact that undoubtedly allows these attacks to continue taking place, the last of which led to the burning alive of 18-month old Ali Dawabshe, his father Sa’ad’s death, and life-threatening wounds for his brother and mother, Ahmed and Riham. “We will do everything to catch those responsible and bring them to justice,” promised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But nothing happened.
More. . .

Oh my homeland
The whisper of the leaves in the breeze
Robs me of my sleep.
The darkness of the dawn
And the glance of my beautiful sister
Searching for our songs
Robs me of my sleep.

Lovebirds returning to their nest
At sunset
Kissing their nestlings
Rob me of my sleep.

The silence of the night
Robs me of my sleep
Oh my country.

Sleep does not bless my eyelids
For there are nails in my eyes
Covered with the rust of many days
And the blast of drums in my eyes
Beaten by the arms of hatred.

El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE WIND-DRIVEN REED AND OTHER POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.
Available from Amazon
About Fouzi El-Asmar

View of the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin. Photo credit: Gershon Elinson
View of the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin. Photo credit: Gershon Elinson