“. . . the stars Like refugees scattered . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

(NOTE: A group of articles about the Partitioning of Palestine prompted by yesterday’s UNGA votes.)

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Palestinian Refugee Camp, c. 1948. (Photo: Institute for Palestine Studies, Journal of Palestine Studies)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  UNGA  VOTES  AGAINST  ANTI-HAMAS  RESOLUTION
The United Nations General Assembly failed to pass an anti-Hamas resolution, on Thursday, serving a crushing defeat to both the United States and Israel after weeks of diplomacy.     ___While the draft resolution, which was proposed by outgoing UN envoy, Nikki Haley, received 87 votes in favor, it fell short of the two-thirds super-majority needed to pass.     ___Additionally, 57 opposed it and 33 countries abstained and another 23 were not present.    ___Israeli leaders still praised the outcome as a “show of wide support” for their position against the Hamas movement.     More . . .
|   UN  VOTES  IN  FAVOR  OF  RESOLUTION  TO  END  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  OF  PALESTINE 
The UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution calling to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, current President of the UN General Assembly Maria Espinosa said in a statement.    ___The Comprehensive, Just and Lasting Peace in the Middle East resolution sponsored by Ireland urges to end the occupation of Palestinian territories by the state of Israel and reaffirms its support for the two-state solution.    More . . .   UN Press Release

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  THE  MYTH  OF  THE  U.N.  CREATION  OF  ISRAEL
By Jeremy R. Hammond
There is a widely accepted belief that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 “created” Israel, based upon an understanding that this resolution partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority or legitimacy to the declaration of the existence of the state of Israel. However, despite its popularity, this belief has no basis in fact, as a review of the resolution’s history and examination of legal principles demonstrates incontrovertibly.   More . . .
|   70  YEARS  LATER,  ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  IGNORE  WHAT  IT  DOESN’T  LIKE  IN  PARTITION  RESOLUTION   
By Ian Williams
IT IS NOW 70 years since the U.N. General Assembly voted for Resolution 181 to partition Palestine between an Arab and a Jewish state. . .    The partition of Mandatory Palestine and dispossession of its people are the original sins of the world organization when it collectively overrode the very principles it had just written into its charter.    ___The Arab side understandably boycotted the U.N.’s Special Committee on Palestine. After all, they were being invited to help map out the cuts for their own vivisection and did not agree with the process. . .   and the Palestinian absence allowed the Zionist side to shape the agenda and the details for the committee members—who, minutes show, were already predisposed to see the Jewish refugees and settlers in a very sympathetic light.    More . . .
|  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY’S  ROLE  IN  ISRAELI  HISTORY 
by Hillel Schenker
The fact that after over 20 years of fruitless negotiations the Palestinians have chosen an internationalization strategy to try to achieve national independence is considered by the current Israeli government and its supporters to be illegitimate “unilateral action” that bypasses the need for bilateral negotiations with Israel to resolve the conflict. What those opponents of internationalization are conveniently forgetting is the major role that internationalization has played in Israeli history.     More . . .
| THE  UNITED  NATIONS  AND  PALESTINE:  PARTITION  AND  ITS  AFTERMATH
By Phyllis Bennis  
[. . . .] The bi-polar U.S.-Soviet agreement on the partition of Palestine, and parallel efforts by Washington and Moscow to establish and maintain close ties with the nascent Israeli state, insured that neither the UN nor any other international institution was likely to respond to the Israeli capture of far more of 1947 Palestine than it was granted in Resolution 181. The partition agreement was ostensibly to include the creation of a Palestinian Arab state as well as a special international regime for Jerusalem under the UN Trusteeship Council. But those conditions were never met. Establishing UNRWA to alleviate some of the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians expelled from their homes was the primary response.    More . . .
|  THE  ORIGINS  AND  EVOLUTION  OF  THE  PALESTINE  PROBLEM  1917-1988 – Prepared for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – UNITED NATIONS, New York, 1990

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“TENT  #50  (SONG  OF  A  REFUGEE),”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
Tent #50, on the left, is my new world,
Shared with me by my memories:
Memories as verdant as the eyes of spring.
Memories like the eyes of a woman weeping,
And memories the color of milk and love!

Two doors has my tent, two doors like two wounds
One leads to the other tents, wrinkle-browed
Like clouds no longer able to weep;
And the second ― a rent in the ceiling, leading
To the skies,
Revealing the stars
Like refugees scattered,
And like them, naked.

Also the moon is trudging there
Downcast and weary as the UNRWA,
Yellow as if it were the UNRWA
Under a load of yellow cheese for the refugees.

Tent #50, on the left, that is my present.
But it is too cramped to contain a future!
And ― “Forget!” they say, but how can I?

Teach the night to forget to bring
Dreams showing me my village
And teach the wind to forget to carry to me
The aroma of apricots in my fields!
And teach the sky, too, to forget to rain.

Only then, I may forget my country.

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 abebooks.com

 

“. . . He renovates a memory demolished like a wall . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

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Khan al Ahmar Village with illegal Israeli settlement Kfar Adummim in background. (Photo: Reuters, in The National, Sept. 23, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   AL-MALKI  ON  CLOSURE  OF  US  CONSULATE:  US  HAS  ADOPTED  THE  AGENDA  OF  FAR-RIGHT  ISRAELI  SETTLER  MOVEMENT 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki strongly condemned on Thursday the recent US’ decision to close the US consulate in East Jerusalem, which mainly serves Palestinians, and merge it with the US embassy in the city.    ___“Closing of the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, which has operated independently since in 1844, and turning it into a unit in the illegally placed American Embassy in Jerusalem reflects the US administration’s determination to entrench its illegal embassy move and force its functions on the Palestinian side,” he said in a press release.    ___Al-Malki stressed that decision clearly “proves that the US administration has adopted the agenda of the far-right Israeli settler movement, treating the entire area of historic Palestine as one political unit under Israeli control.”    More . . .
|   UNRWA  DISMISSES  ISRAELI  THREATS  OF  CLOSING  ITS  JERUSALEM  OPERATIONS
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) dismissed on Thursday threats by the Israeli mayor of West Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, to close down its operations in occupied Jerusalem.    ___Barkat submitted to a parliamentary committee a plan to end UNRWA operations in Jerusalem and to turn over its services in health and education to his municipality.    ___UNRWA spokesman Sami Mshasha told WAFA that while these threats are worrying, they will not change facts on the ground since UNRWA exists based on international resolutions and binding bilateral agreements.    ___UNRWA was created in December 1949 by a United Nations resolution. . .    More . . .
|   122  DAYS  OF  DEMOLITION  THREATS,  ISRAEL  SEALS  OFF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR    Israeli forces assaulted protesters inside the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday.   ___Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas bombs and pepper-sprayed Palestinian and international protesters and activists as they attempted to protest at the main road leading to the village, preventing them from doing so.   [. . . .] Large numbers of Israeli forces surrounded Khan al-Ahmar and sealed off its main entrance, declaring it a closed military zone.   [. . . .] The seal off came as an attempt to prevent hundreds of protesters and journalists from reaching Khan al-Ahmar to show solidarity with the residents of the village after 122 days of being under threat of demolition. . .  as part of an Israeli plan to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim More. . .
. . . . Related   Theresa  May  Condemns  Israel’s  Planned  Demolition  of  Khan  Al-Ahmar  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related   Israel  demolishes  7  structures  in  Jordan  Valley

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THE  UN  ‘SHERIFF’:  NIKKI  HALEY  ELEVATED  ISRAEL,  DAMAGED  US  STANDING
Ramzy Baroud
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has made her post a “more glamorous” position than her predecessors – as President Donald Trump [said] following her resignation announcement.    ___. . . we certainly know that, during her relatively brief stint, Haley has further diminished her country’s struggling reputation, entrenching US isolation in the world’s most vital international political body.    ___In her own words, Haley concluded that her mission at the UN was accomplished, commending herself on three achievements: the US has become more respected; it saved a lot of money and vigorously defended Israel against UN ‘bias.’   [. . . .] Nothing could be further from the truth and Haley, who is suspected of engineering a run for the White House in the future, has no evidence to back up her claim of new-found ‘strength’ and ‘respect’.   ___During his speech before the General Assembly on September 25, Trump’s outrageous claims were not met with thundering applause but humiliating laughter. So much for respect.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

Eyewitness  Palestine  PALESTINE  2.0  DELEGATION  WINTER  2019  For  Returning  Delegates  and  Previous  Travelers
___Co-sponsored by the Hebron Freedom Fund, this delegation is meant for alumni of previous Eyewitness Palestine delegations, as well as other delegation programs.   ___Delve deeper into the issues and spend more time with specific Palestinian communities. Explore the current realities for Palestinians, including the repression of Palestinian strategic organizing, the separation and segregation of the Palestinian population, and creative ways communities are continuing to resist.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“RENOVATION,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

He renovates a tin window
to open it for the morning birds.
And renovates some stars that have burned out
in the streets, and a woman massacred in the neighborhood.
He renovates a memory demolished like a wall,
a bird’s scattered ashes,
light reflected off a blade in the dark,
a woman lost in a spacious bed
and a bellow.
He renovates a friend’s face as the sea breaks over it
and the singer who no longer resembles his songs,
the wind when it sleeps forgetting the immensity of an orbit,
the taste of words in conversation,
the taste of air and fruit
and two legs that have never carried a planet
while destruction prevails.
He renovates a womb, subdues horses
and poems that beg for livelihood in the shade
before slipping into a chicken coop or blowing by
like a steaming train.
He renovates pillars, neighs,
guns covered with moss from waiting.
He renovates a promise, roots, clouds,
and in the end he is slain alone like a lighthouse.

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

“. . . I guard one seed of a tree . . .” Fawaz Turki

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Israel has carried out hundreds of punitive house demolitions over the years. (Photo: ActiveStills.org, Published in Palestine Chronicle, Aug. 28, 2018)


SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
. . . . 

FOREIGN  MINISTRY  SAYS  REMARKS  BY  US  ENVOY  TO  UN  ON  REFUGEES  IGNORE  INTERNATIONAL  LAW         
The Foreign Ministry strongly criticized on Wednesday statements by United States envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, in which she questioned the official figure of Palestinian refugees and called for cutting it down by the millions and expressed opposition to their right of return to the homeland they were forced out from after Israel was created on their land in 1948.     ___The remarks by Nikki Haley on Palestinian refugees and their right of return “ignore international law and international legality and are hostile to the Palestinian people and their rights,” said the ministry in a statement [. . . .]   ___It said this is a further step in the war US President Donald Trump’s administration has waged against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which is the symbol of the Palestinian refugee issue.   More . . .
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  25  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  TWO  MINORS            Israeli forces detained at least 25 Palestinians, including a teen and a child, during predawn raids in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.     ___Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) confirmed that Israeli forces detained five Palestinians from the southern West Bank district of Hebron. . . .   ___In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, three Palestinians were detained . . . .   ___In the Silwan neighborhood of the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, Israeli forces assaulted and detained two Palestinians . . . .  ___In the central West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh, four Palestinians were detained . . . .    More . . .
ISRAEL  DESTROYS  FAMILY  HOME  OF  KILLED  PALESTINIAN  TEENAGER  (VIDEO)   
Israeli forces have demolished the family home of the Palestinian teenager who was recently killed in the occupied West Bank.    ___ The Israeli army said on Tuesday it had destroyed the family home of Mohammed Dar Youssef in the village of Kobar, north of Ramallah.   More . . .
—Background:  ISRAELI  DEMOLITION  OF  ATTACKERS’  FAMILY  HOMES  PROVOKES  PALESTINIAN  BACKLASH   (2015)
[. . . .] Ruth Edwards of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions said [2015] such drastic steps ensure that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank “is a permanent presence in people’s daily lives, that there’s always a sense of instability, of insecurity.”    ___Israel frequently demolished homes during a Palestinian uprising in 2000 to 2005. . . .    ___Netanyahu revived the tactic last year [2012] after the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . . 

IN  VIDEO  –  PALESTINIAN  CHILD  FORCED  TO  CLIMB  HER  WAY  HOME 
An Israeli activist and spokesperson of the Breaking the Silence Non-Governmental Organization, Achiya Schats, captured on video the moment a Palestinian child was forced to climb an Israeli military fence to be able to go home in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron. . . .  ___The caption also reads that the girl’s house was recently blockaded by a fence and that Israeli forces locked the gate leading to her home, which forces Palestinian residents to climb the fence. “Don’t worry, it’s not because we’ve made them less than humans, it’s about security.”   More . . .    Related . . .

PLO  OFFICIAL  DENOUNCES  ISRAELI  COURT’S  RULING  LEGALIZING  SETTLEMENT  OUTPOST  AS  TRAVESTY 
Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), strongly denounced on Wednesday the Israeli Jerusalem District Court’s ruling to legalize Mitzpeh Kramim settlement outpost, north of Ramallah and which was built illegally on private Palestinian land, describing the decision as “an outrageous travesty.”   ___The court had said that if the settlers built with “good intentions,” then the settlement should not be removed, in contradiction with previous court rulings forcing the Israeli government to remove outposts . . . on private Palestinian land in the occupied territories.   ___”The Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory, whether on public or private land, and its illegal settlement enterprise are an egregious violation of international law and conventions, including UN Security Council Resolution 2334; it also constitutes a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Fourth Geneva Convention”. . .   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

International Solidarity Movement | Ramallah, occupied Palestine
CALL  TO  ACTION:  OLIVE  HARVEST  2018  –  JOIN  ISM  NOW!

the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is issuing an urgent call for volunteers to join us for the 2018 Olive Harvest Campaign at the invitation of Palestinian communities.   ___The olive tree is a national symbol for Palestinians. As thousands of olive trees have been . . .  destroyed since September 2000—harvesting has become more than a source of livelihood; it has become a form of resistance.   ___The olive harvest is an annual affirmation of Palestinians’ historical, spiritual, and economic connection to their land, and a rejection of Israeli efforts to seize it. Despite efforts by Israeli settlers and soldiers to prevent them from accessing their land, Palestinian communities have remained steadfast in refusing to give up their olive harvest.   ___ISM volunteers join Palestinian farming communities “on the ground” each year to harvest olives, in areas where Palestinians face settler and military violence when working their land.   MORE INFORMATION . . .

“THE SEED KEEPERS: A Recital,” by FAWAZ TURKI (b. 1940)

Burn our land
burn our dream
pour acid onto our songs
cover with sawdust
the blood of our massacred people
muffle with your technology
the screams of our imprisoned patriots,
destroy,
destroy
our grass and soil
raze to the ground
every farm and every village
our ancestors had built,
destroy every city and every town
every tree and every home
every book and every law,
flatten with your bombs
every valley
erase with your edicts
our past
our literature
our metaphor,
denude our forests
and the earth
till no insect
no word
can find a place to hide.
Do that and more,
I do not fear your tyranny.
I guard one seed
of a tree
my forefathers have saved
that I shall plant again
in my homeland.

—From Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature, Columbia University Press, 1992.

“. . . There’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

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A pediatric dialysis patient proudly displays the coloring she has done as part of the psycho-social care facilitated for children at Augusta Victoria Hospital’s Specialized Child Care Center. (Photo by K. Brown)

❶ Israeli police kill 16-year old Palestinian girl in Jerusalem
❷ PA says crisis resolved after East Jerusalem hospital turned patients away over debt
❸ April 2017: 2758 settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque (East Jerusalem)
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  Open Letter to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Our Report on Apartheid in Israel
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) How Israel’s violent birth destroyed Palestine
❺ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  POLICE  KILL  16-YEAR  OLD  PALESTINIAN  GIRL  IN  JERUSALEM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC  
May 8, 2017
On Sunday afternoon, Israeli police shot and killed a 16-year old Palestinian girl near the Damascus gate in Jerusalem.
___Although the Israeli police spokesperson claimed that the teen attempted to stab a security officer, that account has been disputed.
___The child has been identified as Fatima Afeef Abdul-Rahman Hajiji, 16, from Qarawat Bani Zeid village,  northwest of Ramallah, in the central part of the West Bank.   ___Eyewitnesses said Fatima was standing near the entrance of Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate), and was at least ten meters away from the near soldier or officer, and that one of the soldiers started shouting “knife, knife,” before five soldiers fired a barrage of bullets at the child.      MORE . . .

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At least three soldiers with AK47s are needed to murder one teenage girl (Photo, Ma’an News, May 8, 2017)

❷ PA  SAYS  CRISIS  RESOLVED  AFTER  EAST  JERUSALEM  HOSPITAL  TURNED  PATIENTS  AWAY  OVER  DEBT
Ma’an News Agency  
May 8, 2017
The Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Health Jawad Awwad announced on Sunday afternoon that an agreement had been reached with a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem after the medical facility had said earlier in the day that it would no longer accept new patients, owing to a “crisis level” financial situation due to excessive delays in payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA) amounting to some $41.78 million.
___After a meeting with Augusta Victor Hospital General Manager Walid Nammur and Director of Operations Atif Rimawi, Awwad said that the situation “had been resolved,” and that the hospital would resume accepting patients referred to by the ministry.
___The minister added in a statement that an agreement was reached on “all unresolved issues” in coordination with Palestinian Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara, and that “we will do our best to end the crises facing Jerusalem hospitals.”       MORE . . .  

❸ APRIL  2017:  2758  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE 
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan   
May 3, 2017
Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for April 2017 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem as well as settlers’ assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque concurrently with the execution of multiple arrests, isolations and deportations from Al-Aqsa and the Old City of Jerusalem.
___The center said the number of settlers who broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque and the number of Jerusalemites isolated from Al-Aqsa and deported from the Old City of Jerusalem as well as arrests were the highest since the beginning of the years. MORE . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  OPEN  LETTER  TO  UN  AMBASSADOR  NIKKI  HALEY  ON  OUR  REPORT  ON  APARTHEID  IN ISRAEL    
The Nation
Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley
April 25, 2017
Republished in The Jerusalem Fund
Dear Madam Ambassador:
We were deeply disappointed by your response to our report, Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid, and particularly your dismissal of it as “anti-Israeli propaganda” within hours of its release. The UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) invited us to undertake a fully researched scholarly study. Its principal purpose was to ascertain whether Israeli policies and practices imposed on the Palestinian people fall within the scope of the international-law definition of apartheid. We did our best to conduct the study with the care and rigor that is morally incumbent in such an important undertaking, and of course we welcome constructive criticism of the report’s method or analysis (which we also sought from several eminent scholars before its release). So far we have not received any information identifying the flaws you have found in the report or how it may have failed to comply with scholarly standards of rigor.        MORE . . .
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) HOW  ISRAEL’S  VIOLENT  BIRTH  DESTROYED  PALESTINE
Al Jazeera English
Ramzy Baroud
May 1, 2017       Related article

“JERUSALEM,” by  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE

“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.

The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.