SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY. . . | PRISONER’S SOCIETY: ISRAEL DETAINED OVER 900 PALESTINIAN CHILDREN SINCE BEGINNING OF YEAR
Israel detained 908 Palestinian children under 18 years of age since the beginning of the year, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Tuesday. ___It said in a statement marking UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY, which coincides on Tuesday, that out of the 908 detained since January 2018 until the end of October, 270 are still held in detention in various prisons in Israel. More . . . |THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION CAMPAIGN CONDEMNS ARBITRARY ARREST OF BIRZEIT UNIVERSITY’S HEAD OF STUDENT COUNCIL
The Right to Education Campaign expresses its grave concern over the Israeli Occupying forces’ arrest of the head of Birzeit University student council Yehya Rabie’ at dawn on November 19, 2018, from his house in Al- Mazra’a Al Gharbiya near Ramallah. Rabie’ is a third-year student in the Faculty of Business and Economics. ___ Such outrageous acts are categorical violation of international laws and norms, which all forbid any violation against the basic right of people to the right of education. More . . . | ISRAEL RAZES PALESTINIAN LANDS, UPROOTS 500 PALM TREES IN JERICHO
Israeli bulldozers razed and leveled Palestinian-owned agricultural lands, and uprooted about 500 palm trees, on Tuesday, in Jericho City, near road 90, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jericho. ___Ibrahim Ahmad, the tenant of the razed lands, said that Israeli forces along with several bulldozers stormed the area and razed agricultural lands that belong to the ISLAMIC ENDOWMENT (WAQF) DEPARTMENT. ___No reason was given for the razing and leveling of the lands. More. . .
. . . . RelatedNetanyahu: KHAN AL-AHMAR to Be Demolished Very Soon
. . . . RelatedIsraeli bulldozers raze lands in GAZA . . . . RelatedIsraeli bulldozers demolish Palestinian structures in EAST JERUSALEM
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . . |WHY IS NETANYAHU SO DESPERATE FOR A CEASEFIRE WITH HAMAS?
It was supposed to be a routine intelligence undercover operation whereby the Israeli agents would infiltrate into “enemy territory”, carry out the mission, and leave without being detected . . . But the Israeli intelligence operation on November 11 in Gaza did not go according to plan. . . [. . . .] Seven Palestinians were killed in the botched operation, including a prominent al-Qassam Brigades commander, Nour Baraka . . . [. . . .] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had little space for manoeuvre: he was forced to settle for a ceasefire with Gaza armed groups, which prompted Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman to resign and plunged his government into a major political crisis. ___This time, provoking a new conflict in Gaza in order to take attention away from the domestic political mess he has made is not an option for Netanyahu. He is cornered by a resurgent Hamas and his own geopolitical game in the Middle East, so he needs to keep Gaza quiet. More . . .
speak to me—she holds her breath
and draws a circle of suffering
a circle of soldiers
a circle of guns
She lets down her ropelike braids
I tell her:
Plough my body
travel in my palm
and give me a sign
She gazes at me like a little child
opens her album
pointing to the map of the big Arab homeland
writing in blood the names of the tribes
I tell her:
Draw a moon for proof
She slams her album shut
and enters me to sleep within my ribs
Out comes a troop of children,
a bouquet of wheatstalks,
And her voice, whispering:
—All others but you are enemies
and every god but you, an intruder.
–Translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye
From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.
Noontime call to prayer, Jericho, November 10, 2015.
SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY. . . | DEFENSE MINISTER AVIGDOR LIBERMAN RESIGNS OVER HAMAS CEASEFIRE Claiming that the government has capitulated to terrorism, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced his resignation on Wednesday, one day after Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. ___“I have tried to remain a faithful member of the cabinet and to make heard another view, even at a great electoral and political price,” Liberman said at a news briefing immediately following the faction meeting. However, Tuesday’s ceasefire with Hamas “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism,” he added. “This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.” More . . . |PLO: 30 YEARS AFTER DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, OCCUPATION STILL LINGERING
Thirty years after the historic declaration of Palestine’s independence, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is still lingering, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Thursday marking Palestine’s Declaration of Independence Day. ___The Palestinian National Council issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988 in Algiers, declaring an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. [. . . .] PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on this occasion. . . “Thirty years later, following this historic and painful compromise, the longest occupation in modern history still continues and holds an entire people captive, willfully stealing their land, resources, freedom, and rights with full impunity. . . More . . .
. . . . RelatedA FAMILIAR INVASION: SETTLERS TAKE ANOTHER MOUNTAIN TOP, SOLDIERS FOLLOW, AND PALESTINIANS DEMONSTRATE FOR THEIR RIGHTS |ISRAEL BANS JERUSALEMITES ENTRY AS SETTLERS STORM AL-AQSA Israeli authorities banned six Jerusalemites, on Thursday, from entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, for one consecutive month. . . [. . . .] two days prior to the ban, the six Jerusalemites were detained by Israeli forces during predawn raids of their homes in East Jerusalem. ___Meanwhile, about 35 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate and “provocatively” toured the compound, according to local sources. More . . .
. . . . RelatedGAZA IN PHOTOS: CEASEFIRE, MOURNING AND PROTESTS OF THE DESTRUCTION OF A TELEVISION STATION
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . . | ISRAEL’S NEXT ELECTIONS WILL BE ABOUT WHO IS MORE VIOLENT TO PALESTINIANS
Israel appears to be going to early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is resigning from his post, and that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, will leave the ruling coalition over what he called Netanyahu’s “surrender to terrorism.” The surprise resignation came just a day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the most violent flare-up the Gaza border has seen since the 2014 war. ___Immediately following his announcement, the right-wing Jewish Home party . . . released a statement that it too would leave the coalition unless party leader Naftali Bennett replaces Liberman as defense minister. It is unlikely Netanyahu will agree to such conditions, which means that his coalition will probably fall apart, ushering in early elections in the spring of 2019, instead of their original date in November 2019. ___Liberman’s move makes perfect sense, if one considers that his party, which holds only five of 120 seats in the Knesset, might not make it past the election threshold, as several polls have indicated . . . Liberman also used his podium to attack Netanyahu for backing down on the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, allowing Qatari cash and fuel into Gaza, and the latest cease-fire. More . . .
. . . . RelatedPOLL: 64% OF ISRAELIS SEEK TO ESCALATE AGGRESSIONS ON GAZA . . . . RelatedWHAT NETANYAHU’S IDEA OF PEACE LOOKS LIKE . . . . RelatedIN BREACH OF HUMAN RIGHTS, NETANYAHU SUPPORTS THE DEATH PENALTY FOR PALESTINIANS
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .
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
Medical sources reported that Abdullah Hamayel sustained fractures and bruises in various areas of his body due to the violent assault by Israeli forces. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Nov. 9, 2018)
SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY. . . . |WEEKLY REPORT ON ISRAELI HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY (01 – 07 NOVEMBER 2018) Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip:
A civilian succumbed to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Return and Breaking Siege protests.
77 civilians, including 12 children, a woman, a journalist and 3 paramedics, were wounded; 4 of them sustained serious wounds.
[. . . .] Israeli forces wounded 12 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children and a woman, in the West Bank.
Israeli forces conducted 88 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 2 limited ones into the southern Gaza Strip. 53 civilians, including 11 children and a woman, were arrested in the West Bank. More . . .
| ISRAELI FORCES REPEATEDLY ASSAULT AL-BIREH MUNICIPALITY EMPLOYEE
Israeli forces assaulted and injured Abdullah Hamayel, a Palestinian staff member of the al-Bireh Municipality, late Thursday, while passing by on the road leading to the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Mikhmas, built on the lands of Mikhmas Palestinian village, in the central occupied Ramallah district. [. . . .] The reason for the assault remained unknown. More . . .
. . . . RelatedISRAEL BANS JERUSALEM GOVERNOR ENTRY TO WEST BANK . . . . RelatedISRAELI FORCES ARREST 8-YEAR-OLD NEAR HEBRON . . . . RelatedPALESTINIANS REINSTALL MONUMENT TO PALESTINIAN MARTYRBackground
. . . . RelatedIOA HAND EVICTION NOTICES TO AGRICULTURAL LAND IN SOUTHERN WEST BANK . . . . RelatedLIEBERMAN AGREES TO RETURN BODY OF MARTYR
|BDS VICTORY: UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS DIVESTS FROM ISRAEL-LINKED FIRMS A UK university has ended investment in companies involved in Israeli arms trade following a fierce student-led BDS campaign. ___The University of Leeds has ceased its dealings with Airbus, United Technologies and Keyence Corporation – all of which supply military equipment to Israel. More . . .
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . . |ECONOMIC DISENGAGEMENT AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN PALESTINE By Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, Chairman of Palestine Investment Fund
Given the political deadlock we have reached, the Palestinian leadership is in the process of reviewing the framework governing our relationship with Israel. ___The notion of economic disengagement from Israel is top of mind for the Palestinian leadership; and with it the need to revise or terminate the Paris Economic Protocol that was signed between the PLO and Israel in April 1994 . . . the creation of a custom union with free movement of people and goods, and unified taxation between Palestine and Israel. ___Israel’s unilateral actions over the years . . . have effectively abolished the essence of the Paris Protocol, and created in its place a system to cement the Palestinian economy’s captivity to Israel. More . . . |THE THOUSANDS OF UNDOCUMENTED GAZANS LIVING IN LIMBO
By Amjad Yaghni
Wafaa Abu Hajjaj has been active in the media industry in Gaza for the past eight years, working as a correspondent for various local and regional television news outlets. But she has also been deprived of dozens of job opportunities abroad because she doesn’t have a Palestinian identification card. Without it, she can’t be officially employed or access government services. __Abu Hajjaj and her father are among thousands of undocumented Palestinians in Gaza. ___Israel withdrew its military and civilian presence from the Strip in 2005, but one of the countless ways it still exercises immense control over the lives of Gazans is through its control over the Palestinian population registry. Many simple types of changes to the registry, including changing the address or place of one’s residence, still require the Israeli army’s approval. More . . .
POEM FOR THE DAY. . . .
“MARTYR,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB
When they found him
he had become an emerald flame;
as when they lifted his arms they found
sheaves of wheat where a heart should be;
and they say those sheaves were whispering
beneath his shirt; and they say the wild birds
ferried his blood to his family, drop by drop;
and they say he will come back, suspended
in the hidden tree at the burning heart of volcanoes
and that his mother will fold him in her arms.
But when they found him he was an emerald flame,
so they stitched together rose petals for a shroud
and smoothed out the sky to keep him warm
and for a pillows, they lifted down the sun
and laid it beneath his head.
—Trans. By John Glenday
Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. She was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. She was also editor of the journal Awarq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014). Available from Barnes and Noble.
|NETANYAHU TEMPORARILY DELAYS FORCIBLE EVICTION OF KHAN AL-AHMAR
The Israeli government has postponed the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar until further notice, following weeks of rising tensions in the Bedouin village. ___Following a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the village will soon be “evacuated,” adding that the government plans on implementing the September High Court decision allowing for the demolition of the village. ___[. . . .] Later Sunday afternoon, the Israeli news website Haaretz that the Israeli security cabinet approved Netanyahu’s plans to temporarily postpone the demolition “in order to exhaust negotiations with the village residents.” More . . . Related . . . . Land in the south of the West Bank leveled, [320 olive and almond] trees uprooted |ISRAEL MINISTER: NO CHOICE BUT WAR
Israel’s war Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) threatened to wage a bloody war against Gaza at the start of a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. ___“Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” the minister claimed on Monday. “Anything less than the toughest response won’t help anymore. We have exhausted the other options.” ___ “There is no popular uprising,” Lieberman said. “There is violence organized by Hamas. More . . . | ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN 13 PALESTINIANS IN WEST BANK RAIDS
Israeli forces detained at least 13 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, on predawn Monday. ___According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained one Palestinian in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. . . In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, three Palestinians were detained. . . In Kafr Aqab town, in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, one Palestinian was detained by Israeli forces. . . In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, another three Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . . In the northern West Bank district of Nablus, two Palestinians were detained. . . In the northern West Bank district of Jenin. . .More . . .
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . .
| THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S LATEST BLOW TO THE CHANCES FOR MIDEAST PEACE Daniel Kurtzer, US Ambassador to Israel, 2001-2005 [. . . .] the Trump administration has decided on yet another step that accelerates the burial of an already moribund peace process: closing the American Consulate General in Jerusalem and transforming it into a “Palestinian Affairs Unit” with the U.S. Embassy. The strangest part of all this is that the administration believes it can still achieve what President Trump has called the “ultimate deal.” ____The American Consulate General in Jerusalem has been an independent diplomatic mission since its establishment in 1844. Since 1948, and in particular since 1967, the Consulate has served a critical purpose of engaging with Palestinians in an effort to advance the prospects of peace with Israel. The Consulate reported directly to Washington, commenting on what its officers saw and heard, and offered recommendations on how to resolve problems both small and large. More. . . |NETANYAHU, THE ARMED PROPHET OF THE CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS
Dr. Mohammad Makram Balawi, president of ASIA MIDDLE EAST FORUM
. . . . Netanyahu is the prophet out to save the modern Israelites in a hostile environment. His message is to cast the clash of civilisations theories of Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington into a religious mould. The battle is against evil, which is embodied, he believes, in Islam. . . . I suspect that even Lewis and Huntingdon would be shocked if they could see where Netanyahu has taken their idea. ___ [. . . .] Netanyahu’s words did not reflect gratitude to the US President as much as implicate and entangle him in a messy situation in an area were historical feuds are rarely forgotten. The Israeli-US alliance. . . is “an eternal bond that can never, ever be broken,” said Netanyahu. His message was clear: you cannot leave us alone, because we share both the responsibility and the consequences for. . . occupying the Holy City and land of our existential enemy, Islam. More . . .
With small shovels
and plastic buckets,
in their joyful clothes,
are building sturdy sand castles.
They throw balls in a game without rules,
they shout, call each other names, laugh,
get scratched in short inevitable clashes.
Complaints are also inevitable:
“Why did you leave me alone?”
“Why don’t you leave me alone?”
They squat on the seat, in a flash,
to make the swing fly higher and higher.
They invent their sudden demands:
a glass of water,
a cry for help, soon forgotten,
a look at the miracle about to take place:
“Watch what I am going to do now!”
“Watch how I jump.”
In the half circle of benches in the part,
on wooden seats
that have almost lost their cumin-colored paint,
mothers and grandmothers in their drab clothes
turn up the collars
to avoid a gust of cold wind,
or silently finger their wrinkled worries.
And from time to time,
trying to overcome their boredom,
they exchange the latest news
in low voices.
They send their children a caring smile,
an encouraging look,
or an instructive gesture.
A big-bellied cat with heavy steps
moves around, as if lost, looking for something.
A string of birds, silent, turns slowly,
like a column of prisoners of war.
Dark clouds pile up above the scene;
a small sun keeps on trying.
From the sand kingdom
a shriek of grief,
a child yells at everyone:
“The castle has fallen.”
—From MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS, by Mourid Barghouti, translated by Radwa Ashour. London: ARC Publications, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.
| IN VIDEO – ISRAELI SETTLERS ATTACK PALESTINIAN FARMERS IN NABLUS Video footage showed how several Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, on Saturday, while they were harvesting olive harvest on Palestinians lands belonging to the residents of the Burin village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus. ___According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Givat Ronin settlement attacked two Palestinian farmers by throwing rocks at them and chased them out of their own lands. ___The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported that “Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by. More. . . | VIDEO: AS THE OLIVE HARVEST BEGINS, SO DO THE SETTLER ATTACKS The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees. This chance only came twice a year: two days in the spring to cultivate their land, and two days in the fall to harvest the olives. ___When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting. More. . .
. . . . RelatedIsraeli forces chase Palestinian herders out of grazing land . . . . RelatedSettlers chop off olive, grape trees near Bethlehem . . . . RelatedSettlers attack civilians in Hebron . . . . RelatedIsraeli army destroys water pipeline in Kafr Qaddoum . . . . RelatedIsraeli Soldiers And Settlers Uproot Trees In Silwan . . . . RelatedPHOTOS: Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in West Bank villages . . . . RelatedIsraeli fanatics break into Aqsa Mosque |ISRAEL ORDERS IMMEDIATE HALT OF FUEL DELIVERIES TO GAZA Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to besieged Gaza in response to what he claimed attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. ___The announcement on Friday follows the killing of seven Palestinians by Israeli forces during the ongoing March of Return protests. ___”Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” the statement from Lieberman’s office read. More. . .
POEM FOR THE DAY. . . .
“A HOMELAND,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.
From THE PALESTINIAN 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.
| LIEBERMAN TO APPROVE 31 SETTLEMENT HOUSING UNITS IN HEBRON CITY
The Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced on Thursday that he expects the Israeli government to approve the construction of 31 new illegal settlement housing units in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron. ___Lieberman announced his intention to have the Israeli government approve the construction of 31 news illegal settlement housing units, in Hebron City, on Sunday. ___He posted a tweet on his official Twitter account that the illegal settlement plan includes new housing units, kindergartens and public parks. ___”We continue to strengthen the Jewish settlement in the West Bank with actions, not words.” More . . . |ISRAEL DECLARES TUBAS-AREA VILLAGE CLOSED MILITARY ZONE
Israeli forces declared the village of Khirbet al-Hadidiyeh in the northern Jordan Valley a closed military zone and sealed off several roads leading to the village, on Friday. ___Local activist, Aaref Daraghmeh, said that Israeli forces sealed off entrance roads to Khirbet al-Hadidiyeh and prevented activists from reaching the area, where Israeli forces demolished Palestinian housing structures and steel structures used for housing sheep on Thursday. ___Israeli forces declared the village a closed military zone . . . More . . .
. . . . RelatedClashes break out as IOF storms Nablus villages . . . . RelatedIllegal Settlers Attack Palestinian Cars and High School [Nablus area] |283,000 UNEMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS IN GAZA STRIP
Gaza unemployment has doubled since Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip 12 years ago, the General Federation of Palestinian Labor Unions said on Thursday. ___It said that while unemployment rate has reached 27.2% before the blockade, it has now reached 50%, including 283,000 workers considered unemployed in 2018, which it described as “unprecedented.” ___The poverty rate has reached 80%, which indicates critical deterioration in the standard of living and economic performance in the Gaza Strip, said the Federation, explaining that Gaza’s two million people have been living difficult and catastrophic conditions for over 12 years. More . . .
. . . . RelatedThousands of Chronically Ill Gazans Deprived of Medicine . . . . RelatedWeekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (04 – 10 October 2018)
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . .
|THE AUDACITY OF UNCHECKED POWER IN KHAN AL-AHMAR
An entire Palestinian village is facing destruction. What follows will dictate the fate of Palestinian communities all over the West Bank.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s recent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post – designed to whitewash the war crime of the destruction of an entire Palestinian community in the occupied West Bank – is riddled with lies and distortions. ___ The very premise he posits in his opening sentence is untrue. Lieberman writes of “a judicial ruling for the relocation of a small group of squatters from Khan al-Ahmar.” The High Court of Justice’s ruling, however, actually addressed demolition orders, not “relocation.” More. . . | AS THE OLIVE HARVEST BEGINS, SO DO THE SETTLER ATTACKS
The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees. [. . . .] When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting. ___The 40 olive trees belonged to 78-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud al-Araj, who had been tending to the trees since he was a boy. [. . . .] “I have been cultivating these trees, this land, since I was a boy. We helped our families and tired ourselves on this land so we could provide for our children and the future generations,” he said. “We give everything we have to our land and to these trees, and then the settlers come and destroy it all.” More. . .
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?
I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be
when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men
I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?
who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow
what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?
what is its name?
Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. She has been a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. She has also been editor of the journal Awarq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY.Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014. House of Poetry in Mafraqlaunches its fourth meeting in Amman
Under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, the House of Poetry – Mafraq – was opened four years ago on the initiative of the ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. In the presence of the chairman of the cultural authority in Sharjah Abdullah Al Owais with creative contributions by the poet Zuhair Abu Shaib. . . More . . .
| GAZA “LABORATORY” BOOSTS PROFITS OF ISRAEL’S WAR INDUSTRY . . . the largest homeland security industry in the world [,] Israel’s arms industry is twice the size of its US counterpart in exports per capita. [. . . .] Guy Keren. . . CEO of an Israeli homeland security firm called iHLS. [. . . .] explained how the Gaza Strip affords Israel – and iHLS – a competitive advantage over other countries. [. . . .] “Because we are checking our systems live,” he said. “We are in a war situation all the time.“ [. . . .] Keren isn’t the first to make this connection. Gaza is widely perceived as a human Petri dish – to improve killing capacity and cultivate pacification methods [. . . .] Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general in the Israeli army, addressed a 2012 conventionof specialists in border control technology in El Paso, Texas. [He said ] “We have learned lots from Gaza. It’s a great laboratory.”
. . . . RelatedUS Border Protection Gets Technological Enhancement . . . . Related WHO: Israeli restrictions major obstacle to health access for Gazans
SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY. . .
| GAZA: ISRAELI NAVAL FORCES AGAIN REDUCE ALLOWED AREA FOR FISHING Israeli naval forces on Saturday arrested 2 fishermen and wounded one of them as part of the Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen and preventing them from freely sailing and accessing the fish breeding areas. Yesterday afternoon, The Israeli forces declared that they reduced the area allowed for fishing in the Gaza Sea to 6 nautical miles, deteriorating the economic and living conditions of the fishermen . . . [. . . .] This is part of the Israeli policy to impose restrictions on fishermen and target their livelihoods. . . . PCHR stressed that the decision to reduce the area allowed for fishing violates the right to work recognized by Article (6) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [Israel ratified on Oct. 1, 1991]. More . . . | ISRAEL CLOSES ROADS, ENTRANCES TO VILLAGES IN SALFIT DISTRICT Israeli forces set up military checkpoints and closed several roads to Palestinian traffic, on Sunday, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit, after a shooting attack, in which two Israeli settlers were killed, while the third was severely injured, near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel. ___. . . forces closed several roads and the entrances of the Palestinian villages of Bidia, Qarawat Bani Hassan, Sarta, and Mesaha, banning the entry and exit of local residents. ___. . . Israeli forces set up military checkpoints and closed a number of entrances to the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya. More . . .
. . . . RelatedIsrael persists in expanding settlement on annexed land in Deir Ballut [SALFIT DISTRICT] | LIEBERMAN SCOLDS EU DIPLOMATS FOR CONDEMNING KHAN AHMAR DEMOLITION Israel’s war minister Avigdor Lieberman sent a letter to eight European ambassadors in Israel slamming them for a joint statement signed by their countries in which they criticized the Israeli government’s plan to demolish a Palestinian Bedouin village. ___The ambassadors from Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Poland and Britain reportedly received a letter from Lieberman last week calling their joint statement on the demolition of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar “absurd” [responding] to a joint statement by the eight countries last week in which they called “upon the Israeli authorities to reconsider their decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar.” More. . .
The landscape constantly changes
Only the sea remains the same
A consistent presence amid the chaos
Its whooshing waves whisper tales
Of occupiers that have come and gone
Crusaders, tyrants and warlords
Riding on their horses
Riding on their Tanks
Riding on their F16 fighter jets
Always riding through
Leaving their footprints
And part of their history
Leaving their artifacts and ruins
Leaving fire and debris
Only the sea remains
A cure for the trail of broken lives left behind
A landmark untouched by human greed and destruction
Oblivious to war occupation and aggression
Defiant to the rules of man
It embraces the shores of a battered city
It makes a mockery
Of those who try to break its spirit
Those who think they can contain
Its one and a half million beating hearts
It laughs in the face
Of that big iron wall
There is no limit to the sea’s audacity
It breaks the siege every day,
One defiant wave at a time
Connecting Gaza to the rest of the world
And connecting the world with the Shati refugee camp
If you stood with your back to Gaza facing the sea
You can imagine you are some place else
Beirut, Barcelona, Alexandria or Santorini
You can dream of the promise of what lays
Beyond the horizon
Countries, continents the whole world is out there
If only you could ride the sea
If only your body was bullet proof
If only your boat was made of steel
If only your dream was real
The landscape will change once more
|Only the sea will remain the same
Its whooshing waves will whisper new tales
Of occupiers that have come and gone
– From “Poetry, Palestine and the Language of Resistance – An interviewwith Samah Sabawi”
❶ Israel: Gaza economy on the verge of collapsing
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) On the border of Gaza Israel destroys the hopes of farmers
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Vic Mensa’s searing piece in ‘Time’ on Israeli oppression is prefaced by clunky disclaimer re anti-Semitism
Background: “Apartheid, Settler Colonialism and the Palestinian State 50 Years on.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.
❷ Abu Rudeineh: Strength of Palestinian position foiled free normalization
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Abbas at Central Council calls for revision of agreements with Israel
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Lieberman attacks Abbas: He had “lost his senses”
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Decades of failed peace talks: How Israel negotiates with itself
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ ISRAEL: GAZA ECONOMY ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSING Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 15, 2018 ― The Israeli daily, Haaretz on Monday reported that Israeli military officials said the Palestinian situation is deteriorating, and that the economy and infrastructure in Gaza was “from zero to below zero.”
___Haaretz said Israeli politicians were acting as if military pressure can continue on Gaza, ignoring the worsening economic situation in the strip.
___“In the long term, continually deteriorating infrastructure brings the risk of an uncontrollable blow-up in the Strip,” the daily said. MORE . . . . . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ON THE BORDER OF GAZA ISRAEL DESTROYS THE HOPES OF FARMERS The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 15, 2018 ― Farmer Mohammad Rashad Abu Ezzar, 30 years old, checks up the land and plants of his family, estimated at 40 dunums, which was burned by the poisonous gas recently sprayed by Israeli planes .
___Abo Ezzar spoke to the PIC of the devastation of their crops, which is the only source of income for his family in light of the high rate of unemployment in the Gaza Strip.
[. . . .] He feels like shouting out loud: “World, what happened is a sin. These are God’s blessings for us to live and eat.” He appealed to the world to intervene in order to stop this crime against all agricultural lands. MORE . . . . . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) VIC MENSA’S SEARING PIECE IN ‘TIME’ ON ISRAELI OPPRESSION IS PREFACED BY CLUNKY DISCLAIMER RE ANTI-SEMITISM ___Mondoweiss
By Philip Weiss
Jan. 14, 2018 ― Rapper Vic Mensa has published a wrenching piece in Time Magazine about“oppression and abuse” in Palestine. He saw elderly women being “punched in the face” by Israeli soldiers, saw hundreds of children being harassed and detained, and felt a solemn obligation to bear witness. But check out two of the opening sentences in the article: “I am not anti-Semitic, and the views expressed in this essay are in no way an attack on people of the Jewish faith.”
[. . . .] Those words are an insult to the essay itself . . . the article has nothing to do with Jewishness. Vic Mensa went to Palestine last summer “with a group of African-American artists, scholars and activists organized by Dream Defenders.” MORE . . .
Salem, Walid. “APARTHEID, SETTLER COLONIALISM AND THE PALESTINIAN STATE 50 YEARS ON.” PALESTINE-ISRAEL JOURNAL OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS & CULTURE, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 112-118.
After 50 years of the Israeli occupation . . . the situation on the ground cannot be described as being any less than catastrophic for the Palestinians. This is a situation that can reasonably be described as a continuation of the 1948 Nakba.
___The aspects and ramifications of this ongoing Nakba can be seen everywhere: First, the Palestinians in East Jerusalem are losing their residency rights . . . Second, the 2 million Palestinians in Gaza live under constant attacks, imprisoned in their tiny 360 km2 strip . . . Third, in the West Bank, Area C‘ Bedouins and farmers are subjected to ongoing processes of evacuation . . . Fourth, the Palestinians in Hebron are subjected to daily settler attacks and the division of their city . . . Fifth, the Palestinians in Area A and B”‘ are being subjected to Israeli Army “hot incursions” . . . Sixth, and finally, the plight of the Palestinian refugees continues almost 70 years after 1948 and 50 years after the displacement of persons in 1967.
___In brief, an Israeli one-state solution in all the historical land of Palestine is in the making, while the Palestinians are facing a growing ignorance of their right to self-determination in an independent state on the 1967 borders. The PLO has accepted this compromise in 1988, a two-state solution to live side-by-side in peace and security with Israel. However, Israel is no longer interested in the two-state solution. FULL ARTICLE . . .
❷ ABU RUDEINEH: STRENGTH OF PALESTINIAN POSITION FOILED FREE NORMALIZATION Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 15, 2018 ― Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Monday that the strength of the Palestinian position towards Jerusalem has succeeded in foiling the biased US policy, exposed the conspiracy against Jerusalem, the core and title of the Palestinian cause, and foiled free normalization, which goes against the Arab Peace Initiative.
___“Everyone is now required to stand united in the face of the attack on the Palestinian cause, particularly Jerusalem with its Islamic and Christian holy places, which necessitated the convening of the Central Council to take decisions that live up to the seriousness of the period,” Abu Rudeineh. MORE . . .RELATED . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ABBAS AT CENTRAL COUNCIL CALLS FOR REVISION OF AGREEMENTS WITH ISRAEL Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 14, 2018 ― President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) meeting in Ramallah on Sunday for a revision of the agreements signed between the PLO and Israel.
___“I call on the Central Council to revise all the agreements signed between the PLO and Israel because Israel has brought these agreements to a dead end,” he said, adding that “we are going to take this decision even though we know in advance what it will bring to us.” MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) LIEBERMAN ATTACKS ABBAS: HE HAD “LOST HIS SENSES” Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 15, 2018 ― The Israeli minister of army, Avigdor Lieberman in response to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech said that he had “lost his senses” for criticizing the US administration and its bias towards Israel.
___Lieberman told Israeli Army Radio that Abbas’ address conveyed his give up on the negotiations, failure of relations with the US, and having narrow political horizons.
___Criticism came not only from right wing Israeli leaders, but also from the Israeli opposition parties. MORE . . . ❸ Opinion/Analysis: DECADES OF FAILED PEACE TALKS: HOW ISRAEL NEGOTIATES WITH ITSELF +972 Magazine
By Noam Sheizaf
June 28, 2017 ― Why have Israeli-Palestinian negotiations failed? . . . .
[. . . .] What does this reality look like on the ground? The Jewish and Palestinian populations are mixed together throughout the territory. Jews and Arabs live alongside one another in the West Bank . . . in each one of these areas, the State of Israel is sovereign. It controls every land and sea border, all of the airspace, the primary currency and the population registry . . . Israel also exercises perhaps the most important ingredient of sovereignty — it enjoys a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence in the entire territory.
[. . . .] Let’s put it another way: ALTHOUGH WE LOVE ARGUING ONE STATE VS. TWO STATES, IN REALITY WE HAVE BEEN LIVING IN A SINGLE STATE FOR SOME DECADES NOW — one in which half the population (Jews) holds almost all of the political power and controls all the resources, while enjoying full rights throughout the entire land. MORE . . .
COLLATERAL SAVAGE,” BY LAHAB ASSEF AL-JUNDI 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.
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.
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.
❶ Opinion/Analysis: The face of Palestinian women’s defiance is a 16-year-old girl
Background: “Transnational Feminist Solidarity in Times of Crisis.” International Feminist Journal of Politics
❷ US ambassador to Israel demands halt of using the word ‘Occupation’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Arab Parliament called on to block Israel’s bid for Security Council seat
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Guatemalans not happy with decision to move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
❸ Israeli Knesset to vote on ‘death penalty’ for Palestinians
❹ Pictures- Arrests…demolition…and confiscating goods in the village of Silwan
❺ POETRY by Dareen Tatour
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ Opinion/Analysis: THE FACE OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN’S DEFIANCE IS A 16-YEAR-OLD GIRL The Palestinian Information Center
By Nada Elia
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Ahed Tamimi has been protecting her ancestral land since she was a tender nine years old.
___Photos of the 16-year-old in pigtails, sometimes in a Minnie Mouse T-shirt, mostly with a keffiyeh around her shoulders, started circulating a few years ago, as she and the rest of her family held weekly protests against their dispossession.
[. . . .] Gender matters. What is unusual about Ahed and her family is the visibility, by Western standards, of the “empowerment” of Palestinian women. This is not to suggest that a veiled woman is not empowered – rather Ahed’s iconic status holds up a mirror to Western myopia, which frequently fails to see beyond a headscarf.
___If Ahed wore a hijab, and let’s be honest, if she were not an attractive, blue-eyed, blonde young girl, she would not have become the favourite of millions of Western liberals who cannot quite reconcile themselves to the full validity of a hijabi woman’s struggle.
___The young Ahed Tamimi, as well as her mother, Nariman, and her cousin Nour, are the irrefutable proof that Palestinian women and children do not need to be saved from Arab patriarchy, or Islamic fundamentalism, but from the Israeli military, as it carries out their dispossession, displacement and violation of their human rights. MORE . . .
Sharoni, Simona, et al. “TRANSNATIONAL FEMINIST SOLIDARITY IN TIMES OF CRISIS.”
INTERNATIONAL FEMINIST JOURNAL OF POLITICS, vol. 17, no. 4, Dec. 2015, pp. 654-670.
[. . . .] Sharoni: For years, feminists in the Global North have failed to understand why Palestinian women insist on linking their struggles for gender equality to national liberation. As a result, Palestinian women have been at the receiving end of well-intentioned but misguided initiatives, which have disregarded their agency, needs and resilience, and have focused on a narrow understanding of “women’s issues” and critiques of patriarchy and nationalism. Missing from the feminist response to the crisis in Palestine has been recognition of its root causes, namely Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, its violation of Palestinian rights and its apartheid-like policies toward the Palestinian people.
[. . . .] NADJE AL-ALI: It is far easier to conceptualize – and even to teach – transnational feminist politics and solidarity, but it is tricky to put it into practice. Theoretically, most feminists would agree that we need to think about gendered inequalities in an intersectional manner, identifying and challenging the specific configurations of power and inequalities that circumscribe women’s and men’s lives. In practice, however, certain power relations – patriarchy, capitalism, racism, heteronormativity – might be better understood and more widely acknowledged than others. Yet, colonialism, imperialism and Zionism are also key configurations of power that intersect to severely impact upon Palestinian women’s lives. It is our responsibility as transnational feminists to challenge simplistic and flawed explanations that would peg “Muslim culture” as the key determinant of Palestinian women’s experiences of oppression. We need to listen to Palestinian women’s rights activists and feminist academics. At the same time, I would argue that gender equality for Israeli Jewish women is also impossible without a challenge to Israel’s settler colonial structures and policies. SOURCE . . .
❷ US AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL DEMANDS HALT OF USING THE WORD ‘OCCUPATION’ Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 27, 2017 ― US ambassador to Israel David Friedman urged the State Department to stop using the word “occupation” when referencing Israel’s presence in the West Bank specifically in official documents, The Times of Israel said on Tuesday.
___According to Israel Radio, Friedman suggested the diplomats use alternative terms for “Israeli-occupied territories” proposing they instead refer to it as the “West Bank”, considered a more neutral term by the ambassador, according to The Forward.
___The State Department refused this call, reported Kan public broadcaster, but agreed that the issue will be discussed in the future.
___Friedman has previously expressed his skepticism in the two state solution, and said that Israeli expansion in the West Bank will continue, stating that Israel is “only occupying two percent of the West Bank.” MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ARAB PARLIAMENT CALLED ON TO BLOCK ISRAEL’S BID FOR SECURITY COUNCIL SEAT Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Palestine Committee in the Arab Parliament meeting in Cairo completed on Wednesday a draft proposal to block Israel’s bid for a Security Council seat in 2019-2020 term that will be submitted to a general meeting of the Arab Parliament scheduled for Thursday to adopt it. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) GUATEMALANS NOT HAPPY WITH DECISION TO MOVE EMBASSY IN ISRAEL TO JERUSALEM Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 27, 2017 ― Guatemalans reacted with anger and concern over their president’s decision to move his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. . . .
[. . . .] Guatemala is the main exporter of cardamom pods that are used with coffee to Arab and Islamic countries with more than $300 million dollars of exports a year. When former President Ramiro J Leon Carpio (1993-1996) made a similar decision . . . he was forced to quickly rescind that decision when Arab and Islamic countries closed their doors to the Guatemalan market.
___Former vice president of Guatemala, Eduardo Stein (2004-2008), warned of the negative consequences of the decision by [President Jimmy] Morales, who is facing impeachment on corruption charges. MORE . . . ❸ ISRAELI KNESSET TO VOTE ON ‘DEATH PENALTY’ FOR PALESTINIANS Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Israeli parliament is set to vote on a draft bill that would impose the death penalty on Palestinians “involved in operations against Israeli targets”, the country’s defense minister said Monday.
___Speaking to an Israeli TV channel, Avigdor Lieberman said voting to advance legislation targeting convicted Palestinians of attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers would take place Wednesday.
___“The U.S. also has such legislation. Thus, it’s appropriate for Israel to follow such a powerful democratic system in the world,” Lieberman said. MORE . . . ❹ PICTURES: ARRESTS…DEMOLITION…AND CONFISCATING GOODS IN THE VILLAGE OF SILWAN Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
Dec. 26, 2017 On Tuesday morning, the occupation forces executed a series of arrests and raided multiple houses and commercial establishments in the village of Silwan in Jerusalem.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that the occupation forces along with intelligence personnel raided the neighborhoods of Silwan in the early morning hours and were deployed in the streets before storming into houses and arresting several youths and young men.
___The locals of Silwan explained to Wadi Hilweh Information center that the forces deliberately searched and tampered the contents of their houses while executing arrests. MORE . . . . . . . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) STUDY: AIDA REFUGEE CAMP IN BETHLEHEM IS THE MOST AREA EXPOSED TO TEARGAS IN THE WORLD Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Center for Human Rights of the University of California at Berkeley recently showed that Israeli security forces carried out the use of tear gas “widely” and “frequently” and “indiscriminately” against Palestinian refugees in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem.
[. . . .] Aida refugee camp, occupied West Bank – A Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank – may be the most exposed place to tear gas in the world, according to the author of a new study.
[. . . .] “We found that the constant and unpredictable use of tear gas in Palestine refugee camps has a devastating effect on the mental and physical health of residents,” said the report’s co-author, Dr Rohini Haar, a researcher at the UC Berkeley centre and a doctor with Physicians for Human Rights. MORE . . .
“I WILL NOT LEAVE,” BY DAREEN TATOUR They signed on my behalf
And turned me into
A file, forgotten
Like cigarette butts.
Homesickness tore me apart
And in my own country I ended up
I abandoned those pens
To weep over the sorrows
Of the inkwells
They abandoned my cause and my dream
At the cemetery gates
And that person who’s waiting
Laments his luck
As life passes.
Kill me, blow me up,
Assassinate me, imprison me.
When it comes to my country,
There’s no backing down.
―― Translated by Jonathan Wright
❶ Israel plans expanding illegal West Bank settlement
. . . . . ― (ᴀ) Official report: Israeli government encourages killing Palestinians
❷ Historical document reveals possible collusion with Israeli occupation pre-Six Day War
❸ How the Palestinian leadership came to accept the Partition Plan
Background: “The ‘Al-Aqsa Intifada’ as a Result of Politics of a Transition.” Arab Studies Quarterly.
❹ France [expresses desire] to recognize Palestine as part of European Union
❺ POETRY by Abu Salma
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ ISRAEL PLANS EXPANDING ILLEGAL WEST BANK SETTLEMENT Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 3, 2017 ― Israeli occupation authorities are planning to set up new large settlement on the western borders of the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.
___According to Quds Press, the Israeli news website 0404 revealed that a special committee was assigned by the Israeli interior ministry six months ago to prepare for this plan.
___The committee offered its recommendation, noting that the committee recommended bringing a number of settlements together to create a large settlement applicable for expansion. MORE . . . . . . . . ― (ᴀ) OFFICIAL REPORT: ISRAELI GOVERNMENT ENCOURAGES KILLING PALESTINIANS The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 3, 2017 ― The Palestinian national office for the defense of land and resistance of settlement accused Israeli war minister Avigdor Lieberman with inciting settlers to kill Palestinians. The office also charged the Israeli government of confiscating Palestinian lands.
___In a weekly report on Saturday, the office referred to Lieberman’s remarks in which he praised the Jewish settler who cold-bloodedly murdered martyr Mahmoud Odeh last Thursday near Qusra town to the south of Nablus. MORE . . .
[Lieberman said, “The use of a weapon for self-defense is a moral value that is defended by every democracy. My thanks and recognition to the armed escort who saved the hikers from a clear and present danger to their lives.”] ❷ HISTORICAL DOCUMENT REVEALS POSSIBLE COLLUSION WITH ISRAELI OCCUPATION PRE-SIX DAY WAR The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 1, 2017 ― A historical letter sent from the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia to the then US President, Lyndon B Johnson, in 1966 reveals the monarch’s possible collusion with the US over Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. Published by Al Motamar net news website, it has been described as “dangerous” by former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has long promised to reveal the contents of the document.
___“King Faisal’s letter to US President Lyndon Johnson said that the Egyptian forces would not withdraw from Yemen unless Israel moved to occupy Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank,” explained Saleh. The Head of the General People’s Congress urged the current Yemeni president and the rest of the Arab countries participating in the Saudi-led coalition, especially Egypt, to withdraw immediately from the alliance fighting in Yemen. “The events in Saudi Arabia, the blockade on Qatar, and the Sudanese President’s visit to Russia are all a part of the changing equations [in the Middle East],” he claimed. MORE . . . ❸ HOW THE PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP CAME TO ACCEPT THE PARTITION PLAN +972 Magazine Blog
Jerome M. Segal
Dec. 1, 2017 ― A few days ago, Israel and its supporters worldwide marked the 70th Anniversary of the 1947 Partition Resolution, which was passed by the UN and called for the division of Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish.
___Why did the Palestinians say “no” to partition? The answer is simple. They believed that it was unjust, that all of the land was rightfully theirs, and, more to the point, they believed they did not have to accept it. Everyone knew that war was imminent, and the Palestinian could not imagine that 600,000 Jews could withstand the overwhelming power of the Arab armies.
___But in their celebrations, the commemorators missed a different anniversary. It occurred, largely unnoticed, two weeks earlier: the 29th anniversary of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, proclaimed by the PLO on November 15, 1988. MORE . . .
[Note: this article provides contemporaneous background for the events Segal explains in his article.]
Schulz, Helena Lindholm. “THE ‘AL-AQSA INTIFADA’ AS A RESULT OF POLITICS OF A TRANSITION.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 24, no. 4, Fall2002, p. 21.
[. . . .] Perhaps the most substantial representation of Palestinian national identity is to ‘struggle,’ which serves as the action or the strategy through which to transcend and refute the denial, humiliation and dispossession which have served as core experiences informing Palestinian identity. . . . Struggle through the resistance and revolution, which followed upon the 1967 war, nurtured a revolutionary political culture, promoting values related to a romanticizing discourse on heroic fights and militarism.
[. . . .] However, in the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the future ‘independent’ state was defined as ‘democratic,’ based on constitutionalism, parliamentarianism and respect for civil rights. Democracy has thus not been absent from the political discourse of the PLO. . . .
[. . . .] Both the PLO Charter of 1964/1968 and the Declaration of Independence of 1988 circle around the notion of ‘struggle’:
“___And in generation after generation, the Palestinian Arab people gave of itself unsparingly in the valiant battle for liberation and homeland. For what has been the unbroken chain of our people’s rebellions but the heroic embodiment of our will for national independence? And so the people was sustained in the struggle to stay and to prevail.”
[. . . .] The battle between elites led to different conclusions regarding the implementation of democracy as a form of governance. In abstract terms, even Arafat loyalists . . . . adhered to democracy as the principle of governance in the long run. However, in their view the lack of sovereignty and the continuous negotiations with Israel were of overall importance and the political system had to direct itself towards securing control over land and solving the conflict with Israel. There was a need for the Authority to centralize power in order to deliver effectively in the form of tangible results of the peace process. SOURCE . . .
❹ FRANCE [EXPRESSES DESIRE] TO RECOGNIZE PALESTINE AS PART OF EUROPEAN UNION Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 3, 2017 ― Ambassador of Palestine to France Al-Harfi Sunday said the French government has expressed desire to recognize Palestine, but as part of the European Union.
___He told WAFA in a phone call that France wants to recognize a state of Palestine, but with other European countries taking part, because it will safeguard the peace process. MORE . . . SITUATION: FRENCH PARLIAMENT VOTES TO RECOGNIZE PALESTINIAN STATE, The Times of Israel, Dec. 2, 2014
“MY COUNTRY ON PARTITION DAY,” BY ABU SALMA
My country! Live in safety, an Arab country,
may the jewel of your tradition keep smiling
Though they’ve partitioned your radiant heart
our honor denies partition.
We’ve woven your wedding clothes with red thread
dyed from our own blood.
We’ve raised banners on the Mountain of Fire***
marching toward our inevitable destiny!
History marches behind our footsteps
honor sings around us.
Rise, friend, see how many people
drag their chains of dented steel.
Behold the serpents slithering endlessly among them!
They’ve prohibited oppression among themselves
but for us they legalized all prohibitions!
They proclaim, “Trading with slaves is unlawful”
but isn’t the trading of free people more of a crime?
In the West man’s rights are preserved,
but the man in the East is stoned to death.
Justice screams loudly protecting Western lands
but grows silent when it visits us!
Maybe justice changes colors and shapes!
Live embers scorch our lips
so listen to our hearts speaking,
call on free men in every land
to raise the flag of justice where we stand.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye ***The City of Nablus was called the “Mountain of Fire” because it was the seat of rebellion against the British Mandate and its Zionist policies.
Abu Salma(Abdelkarim Al-Karmi) was born in 1907 in Haifa. He studied law and worked in Haifa until April 1948 when the Israelis occupied the city. He then moved to Akka. Shortly after he moved from Akka to Damascus. Abu Salma kept the keys to his house and office in Haifa hoping to return. Abu Salma was awarded The Lotas International Reward for Literature in 1978 by The Association of Asian and African Writers. He was also given the title “The Olive of Palestine.” Abu Salma died in 1980.
From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available fromColumbia University Press.