“. . . Whether my way leads to a jail . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Wafaa Mahdawi, (Photo: Asra Media, from Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY  
| ISRAELI  COURT  REJECTS  APPEAL  TO  RELEASE  NAALWA’S  MOTHER,  BROTHER
The Israeli military court of Salem rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal to release the mother and brother of Ashraf Naalwa on a bail.    ___Ashraf Naalwa was shot and killed by Israeli forces on December 13th, 2 months after carrying out a shooting attack in the Israeli Barkan industrial zone, killing two Israelis.    ___The Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners and Former Prisoner’s said that the appeal was presented by the lawyer representing Naalwa’s mother and brother.    ___The Israeli judge of the Salem military court rejected the release of Wafaa Mihdawi and Amjad Naalwa.    ___Naalwa’s mother and brother were detained during the week after the shooting carried he had carried out, in an attempt by Israel to pressure him to turn himself in.    ___The two are still being held without any real charges.   More . . .
~~ Mother of Palestinian slain by Israeli forces imprisoned for posting on Facebook   More . . .
~~ Palestinian women prisoners escalate struggle against repression    More . . .
| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  LANDS  IN  BATTIR
Israeli settlers razed Palestinian-owned lands in the Battir village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday morning.    ___Local activist, Hassan Breijieh, representative of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee, said that Israeli settlers razed lands northwest of Battir, west of Bethlehem City, to create or open a settlement road.    __Breijieh added that opening the settlement road comes as an attempt by Israeli settlers to build a new settlement outpost on seize Palestinian lands.
More . . .
~~ IOF Goes ahead with Oppression Campaign in West Bank    More . . .
~~ Israeli Knesset votes to expel families of anti-occupation activists     More . . .
| AQSA  TV  [GAZA]  TO  GO  OFF  AIR  OVER  LACK  OF  FUNDS    More . . .
~~ Israeli army creeps into Gaza border    More . . .
~~ Gaza: Hamas delegation leaves for Cairo    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| Beneath the illusion of a temporary occupation lies apartheid
By Fady Khoury
The so-called temporary nature of Israel’s control over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has for too long served as a justification for not extending them full political and civil rights.    ___The Oslo peace process entailed a Palestinian acceptance of “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security,” while in return Israel only recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization as “the representative of the Palestinian people.” Israel has never recognized Palestine or the Palestinians’ right to an independent state in the occupied territories. To this day, Israel has never formally recognized the Palestinian people’s right to independence in any internationally binding document.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“THE  WAY,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

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

“. . . An Arab who has refused to sell his soul . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Sunrise over Nazareth (Photo: Harold Knight, November 9, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY   
| NETANYAHU:  EFFORTS  UNDER  FULL  SWING  TO  NORMALIZE  TIES  WITH  ARAB  WORLD    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening said Israeli relations with Arab countries have been increasingly normalized.    [. . . .] “What is happening at the moment is that we are in a process of normalization with the Arab world without progress in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians,” continued Netanyahu.    ___“Today we are going there without the Palestinians being involved and it is much stronger because it does not depend on their caprices. The Arab states are looking for links with the strong. Cultivating strengths gives us diplomatic power.”    More . . .
| ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  FAMILY  HOME  OF  PALESTINIAN  ATTACK  SUSPECT  IN  TULKAREM   Israeli bulldozers demolished the family home of Ashraf Naalwa, a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a shooting attack killing two Israelis in October and who was killed by Israeli forces during the past week, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, on predawn Monday.    ___Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided Naalwa’s family home in the Shweika village of Tulkarem, on predawn Monday, in preparation to demolish the building.   [. . . .] Dozens of Palestinians had gathered around Naalwa’s family home, since late Sunday, in an attempt to prevent the demolition.    More . . .         
~~ OVER  180  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  IN  LAST  FIVE  DAYS,  SAYS  PRISONERS  COMMISSION    The Israeli military detained 183 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the last five days while the number of those detained since the beginning of the month has reached 330, the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoners Commission said on Monday.    More . . .
|  AS  NAZARETH  PREPARES  FOR  CHRISTMAS,  ISRAELIS  SPRAY  PAINT  HATE  GRAFFITI  ON  WALLS    Extremist Jewish Israelis from the terror group “Price Tag” Monday spray-painted racist, offensive and anti-Arab slogans on the wall of a building in the Arab Christian city of Nazareth in northern Israel as the city prepares for Christmas, according to witnesses.    ___The slogans included terms such as “The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel”, and “death to Arabs”.  More . . .
~~  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  ON  WEST  BANK  ROADS,  INJURE  ONE    A Palestinian man was injured on Monday after he was attacked by Israeli settlers while driving near the southern West Bank town of Tuqa, to the east of the city of Bethlehem, Palestinian security sources said.    [. . . .] Israeli settlers have escalated their attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank by either throwing rocks at their cars as they drove on the roads or by attacking their villages while the army either watch or encourage them.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| ITALY’S  SALVINI  SAID  WHAT  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  CAN’T  SAY:  ‘SUPPORT  ISRAEL’
Ramona Wadi
It is no secret that the right wing has appropriated and manipulated the definition of “peace” in today’s poisonous political climate. Peace  is  now  synonymous  with  power, and little is being done to challenge this notion on a political level, to the point that one can speak of collusion between the right wing and the alleged peacebuilders.    ___Consider, for a moment, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s recent statement during a press conference on a visit to Israel: “Whoever wants peace, needs to support Israel.”    __Whatever happened to the right of people living under a brutal military occupation to seek their liberation by all possible means? We are, surely, entitled to a reasonable answer to this question.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering of his people
Who has carried with him the hope of a just peace,
Who has spoken out against death at every corner
Who has called for and has lived a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

From: El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from biblio.com

“. . . I loved life, from the bottom of my heart . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli Field executions: Ashraf Na’alwa, Saleh Barghouthi, Majd Mteir. (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, by Quds News, Dec. 13, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .    
PLO:  TIME  FOR  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  TO  PROVIDE  PROTECTION  TO  PALESTINIANS
Azzam al-Ahmad, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said that the leadership has reached several regional and international stakeholders “to put an end to the escalated violence by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank,” on Thursday.     ___Al-Ahmad spoke to Voice of Palestine radio and stressed, “The time has come for the international community to shoulder its responsibility to provide protection to our people from the (Israeli) violations, which include field executions of Palestinian citizens and incitement (by Israeli settlers) to kill President Mahmoud Abbas.”    ___He added “this incitement was met with international condemnation,” noting that the Palestinian people “will not stand idly, but will confront the Israeli occupation until they fulfill their rights.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  Assassinate  Three  Palestinians  They  Claim  Were  Involved  In  Anti-Israeli  Attacks
. . . . Related  Settlers attack in Nablus and Hebron
. . . . Related  2 Palestinians injured by Israeli  Forces in al-Mughayyar
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations In The Occupied Palestinian Territory (06– 12 December 2018)
| UPDATE  |  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  100  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces arrested more than 100 Palestinians, including lawmakers and former prisoners, during large-scale raids that targeted many areas across the occupied West Bank throughout the past two days, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).    ___Last night alone, the forces detained at least 46 Palestinians, including two lawmakers and a journalist, during a large-scale detention campaign across the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted multiple overnight raids in Hebron city in addition to the nearby towns of Idhna, Beit Kahel, Yatta and Adh-Dhahiriyya, ransacking civilian houses and interrogating families.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Ramallah City Sealed Off For Second Consecutive Day
. . . . Related  Entrance to Al-Arroub Refugee Camp Sealed by Israeli Forces
. . . . Related  Israeli army raids headquarters of Palestine Olympic Committee in Al-Bireh

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL’S  EXECUTIONS  CAN’T  KILL  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE:  REMEMBERING  ASHRAF  NA’ALWA,  SALEH  BARGHOUTHI,  MAJD  MTEIR  AND  HASAN  ARDA
On 13 December 2018, Israeli occupation forces shot down four Palestinians, including several resistance fighters who had evaded their pursuit for months.    [. . . .]  These killings were carried out in a coordinated fashion, alongside the arrest of dozens of Palestinians on the same night. Clearly, these were intended to be a deadly blow not only against these strugglers, but also the Palestinian resistance as a whole.    ___Nevertheless, ensuing events made clear that the military power of the occupation and its extrajudicial executions would only inflame Palestinian resistance further.    More . . .
|  PALESTINIAN  SOLIDARITY:  IS  SOUTH  AFRICA  IN  THE  DRIVER’S  SEAT?   Recent events in South Africa have had a profoundly positive impact on Palestine.    ___It may not be music for this country’s [UNITED STATES] pro-Israel lobby but certainly welcomed by the broad spectrum of solidarity movements active in pursuit of freedom and justice for the Palestinian cause.    ___These milestone events have provided Palestinian Resistance Movements, particularly Hamas, as well as solidarity activists, renewed hope that the pendulum is slowly but surely swinging away from the colonial settler regime Israel.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HE  WHISPERED  BEFORE  HE  TOOK  HIS  FINAL  BREATHS,”
BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Don’t honor me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm.

Don’t glorify me by giving my name
to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
(in my name)
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honor!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name.

Tell my mother―
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy.

From: Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.