“. . . lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits . . .” (Walid Khazindar)

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Homes seen from main street in Shufat. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| EU  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  SHUAFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP
The  EUROPEAN  UNION  on Saturday evening condemned Israel’s demolition of around 20 structures in Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, as well as the continued Israeli settlement expansion in the city.    ___The demolitions were part of the Israeli municipality’s new policy of extending the reach of municipal enforcement to refugee camps in Jerusalem.    ___“The policy of settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JORDANIAN  initiative launched to highlight Gaza siege
. . . . Related  Al-Malki meets  JAPANESE  counterpart at the Mediterranean Dialogues
. . . . Related  Palestine and  TURKEY  sign agreement on women’s empowerment
.  .  .  .  .  Istanbul summit  seeks to empower family in age of self
. . . . Related RUSSIA  offers to mediate between Palestinians and Israel
|   COMMISSION  SOUNDS  ALARM  OVER  ISRAEL’S  JUDAIZATION  SCHEMES  AROUND  AQSA 
The Commission of Scholars and Preachers in Occupied Jerusalem has warned of the repercussions of Israel’s violations and Judaization schemes beneath and around holy al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The commission said in a statement that Israel’s so-called “biblical gardens”, “Holy Basin”, and “Biblical Paths” have dangerous upshots on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The statement warned of an Israeli scheme of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians living in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, in Silwan, south of al-Aqsa Mosque, as part of the so-called “Biblical gardens” project.    More . . .

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Homes just outside wall of Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  JERUSALEM  GOVERNOR  FOR  2ND  TIME
Israeli forces detained the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, on Sunday morning, after raiding his home in the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.    ___Local sources confirmed that following Ghaith’s detention, Israeli forces transferred him to an interrogation center in Jerusalem City.    ___It is noteworthy that this is Ghaith’s  second detention  in less than a month.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Minors among 9  detained by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israeli forces surround, attack high school in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers uproot dozens of olive trees in West Bank village
. . . . Related  IOF causes damages to shops near Nablus

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
‘I  THOUGHT  I  KNEW  ABOUT  PALESTINE,  UNTIL  I  SAW  THE  OCCUPATION  FIRST  HAND’ 
Film director Toomas Järvet discusses  Rough  Stage  ahead of its screening at the London Palestine Film Festival on 27 November.    [. . . .] As far as director Järvet is concerned, the essence of the film is very simple; how to stay true to what you believe in and what you want to achieve no matter what the obstacles are in life. “The ideas and problems the film talks about are very common and universal,” he insists.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
THE  JERUSALEM  FUND  –  PALESTINE  DIABETES  INSTITUTE  APPEAL
[. . . .] Now that the US administration has withheld financial support to the Palestinian Authority, to Jerusalem hospitals, and to UNRWA, it has made an already tough situation much worse. The vulnerable diabetic patients may be facing more complications. Your donation at this time will ensure that the PDI will continue to provide valuable services to these patients.    ___Life in the West Bank and Gaza is challenging at every turn, and things have reached a crisis point. With the new developments, it is certain to get worse. Your contribution targeted to the PDI program will make a difference in the lives of these patients. Please contribute generously to the extent that you can, as your donation will help Palestinians stay healthier and productive.   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HOUSES,”  BY  WALID  KHAZINDAR

The cloud of migrations in his eyes,
and in the leather briefcase the book, the pencil, the family photograph
The rust of benches on his hands, the rust of bannisters and doorknobs,
the rust of handshakes on his hands.
The briefcase propped against the wall—
will he take out his souvenirs first, or will he
Like a magician take out a country:
a house,
a street,
a capital.
He closed his eye, lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits.
He will not make friends with another vase,
he will not confess to a bed that will blow up in the next war,
he will not make tea or sing,
He will pace back and forth for a long time between the porch and the kitchen
and he will listen hard for a sound coming from the garden gate.
But there is only the crunching of leaves under feet
passing
then
going on;
there is nothing but the hum of talk in the houses next door.

–Translated by Lena Jayyusi and W.S. Merwin

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . And here I shall remain . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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At least nine Palestinians were left homeless after settlers escorted by Israeli security personnel forcibly evicted them from their homes in the Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood of East Jerusalem (Photo: Holy Land 24 News, Oct 16, 2015)

❶ Approving the establishment of a settlement outpost in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) In Controversial Move Israel Approves More Funding for West Bank Settlements
~~From: Refuge Journal
❷ Almost 42% of West Bank and Gaza Strip Residents are Refugees (VIDEO)
❸ Israeli Settlers Storm Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa
~~From: Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ APPROVING  THE  ESTABLISHMENT  OF  A  SETTLEMENT  OUTPOST  IN  THE  NEIGHBORHOOD  OF  BATN  AL-HAWA
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
June 19, 2016
The Local Constructions and Organizing Committee recently approved the establishment of a settlement outpost in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan [. . . .]
___The committee of Batn A-Hawa will submit through its lawyer an objection against the settlement project within 30 days. The lawyer pointed out that the Constriction and Organizing Committee ratified the establishment of the building without publishing anything regarding the project in the newspaper to avoid any objections. Also, the area of the project is bigger than the area of the land that Ateerat Cohanim organization claims to own.    MORE . . .     

. . . ❶― (ᴀ)  IN  CONTROVERSIAL  MOVE  ISRAEL  APPROVES  MORE  FUNDING  FOR  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS
The New Arab
Jun 20 2016
The Israeli government on Sunday approved some $18 million in additional funding for settlements in the occupied West Bank, calling it a response to security concerns.
___The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing cabinet will see some 70 million shekels ($18 million, 16 million euros) allocated to settlement-related spending.
___According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the amount is in addition to an already allocated $88 million.    MORE . . .

In the case of Palestine, a complex multi-ethnic society was transformed in 1948 into an ethnocentric state. Ideologues of the new Israel elaborated a highly contentious account of local history in which the indigenous population had no significant role. Palestinians were silenced by the impacts of mass displacement and by an ideological agenda that celebrated certain traditions, rights, and achievements embedded in the new national agenda. At the same time they were affected by continuous efforts of the Israeli state to enforce further ethnic cleansing, a process described by Yiftachel as “ethno-spatial domination and exclusion” (Yiftachel, Oren. Bedouin Arabs And The Israeli Settler State: Land Policies and Indigenous Resistance).
___The dominant Zionist account of foundational events in Israel can be seen as a paradigmatic example of Renan’s contention that “deeds of violence” are excluded from the national narrative. Those who have challenged this record, notably Palestinian academics and Israel’s “revisionist” historians, have often been accused of seeking to “delegitimize” the Israel state—a marker of the importance of the past in contemporary politics. The Palestinian experience also reveals the significance of mass displacement as a functional practice for exclusionary regimes. Most of the Palestinians displaced in 1948, and their descendants to the fourth or even fifth generation, remain in “camps” and settlements in Arab states and in Israel and Israeli-occupied territories, while “internal” displacement (within the borders of Israel)
continues. Exclusion of Palestinian Arabs appears to be an existential principle for the Zionist movement. Here, the violence of the “founding fathers” is revisited continuously upon a historic Other.

  • Marfleet, Philip. “Displacements Of Memory.” Refuge (0229-5113) 32.1 (2016): 7-17.    ARTICLE.
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Israeli extremist settlers storming the compound of the Aqsa Mosque under protection of Israeli regime forces (Photo: Alwaght News & Analysis, July 21, 2015)

❷ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STORM  JERUSALEM’S  AL-AQSA
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 22, 2016
Israeli settlers on Wednesday resumed their provocative visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.
___WAFA correspondent said small groups of extremist settlers accompanied by an Israeli police escort broke into the site during the morning to perform rituals [. . . .]
___The al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem has become a flashpoint of the escalating conflict in recent months. It is the third holiest place for Muslims, and has since 1967 been the center of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.     MORE . . .

The Muslim-Jewish conflict over the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif was revived in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, accelerating tensions. Thus, the critical historical change in the status of the Temple Mount, East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories ignited feelings of despair, revenge and religious solidarity among Muslims. In particular, conservative and zealous Muslims deepened their ideological religious attachment to al-Haram al-Sharif, elevating its importance and vowing to liberate it by Jihad against Israel. Similarly, many Jews in Israel and abroad were deeply moved by the redemption of the Western Wall.
___But among zealous Jews, the Messianic longing to rebuild the Temple was empowered by the intention to blow up the mosques that had “desecrated” the Temple Mount. These mutually hostile attitudes have been accompanied by denial of each side’s attachment to their respective holy shrines.
___The political and religious leaders of both sides adopted these positions regarding these critical issues to advance political and national objectives and to please their militant groups. Simultaneously, attempts have been made by the relevant governments, as well as by various global organizations, to settle this dispute, but to no avail.

  • Ma’oz, Moshe. “A National Or Religious Conflict? The Dispute Over The Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif In Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 20/21.4/1 (2015): 25-32.    ARTICLE.

❸ ALMOST  42%  OF  WEST  BANK  AND  GAZA  STRIP  RESIDENTS  ARE  REFUGEES  (VIDEO)
Palestine Chronicle
Jun 21 2016
Approximately 41.6 per cent of Palestinian residents in the state of Palestine are refugees, Quds Press reported Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) saying yesterday.
___In an official report, the PCBS said that 26.3 per cent of West Bank residents and 67.7 per cent of those in the Gaza Strip are refugees.
___According to UNRWA, there were 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in January 2015. MORE . . .

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR
You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970) 

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