“. . . You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards and the land I once ploughed . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

“The savage would eventually cease to exist in the face of civilization’s inevitable, God-ordained expansion. Savagism salved the civilized conscience while completing the task: ‘Civilization had created a savage, so to kill him. Idea had begotten an image, so to kill it’.” (Roy Harvey Pearce)

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A Palestinian woman mourns the destruction of olive trees. (Photo: Flickr / Frank M. Rafik, via Telesur, August 19, 2015)

❶ Assailants destroy 45 olive trees and spray paint ‘revenge’ on Palestinian land
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Addameer highlights systematic abuses by Israeli forces
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Lawyer who says Palestinians don’t exist sues San Francisco University

Background:   “Civilization, Savagism, and the Presence of Burning Children,” from Cross Currents

❷ Claims of Israeli settlement freeze an ‘attempt to fool the public’
. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ) Knesset passes draft bill to annex illegal West Bank settlements
❸ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ASSAILANTS  DESTROY  45  OLIVE  TREES  AND  SPRAY  PAINT  ‘REVENGE’  ON  PALESTINIAN  LAND
Ma’an News Agency
June 25, 2017.  Some 45 olive trees were found destroyed near the village of Burin, adjacent to the notorious illegal Yitzhar settlement in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, while the Hebrew word for “revenge” was spray painted on a stone left in the area, an Israeli human rights organization said Sunday.
___Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights reported on Facebook that the damage was done adjacent to Route 60, the main highway running through the occupied West Bank.  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ON  THE  INTERNATIONAL  DAY  IN  SUPPORT  OF  VICTIMS  OF  TORTURE,  ADDAMEER  HIGHLIGHTS  SYSTEMATIC  ABUSES  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
June 26, 2017.   On International Day to Support Victims of Torture, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association highlights the continued forms of physical and psychological torture of Palestinian prisoners and detainees by Israeli forces. Occupation authorities practice torture and ill-treatment in a systematic manner, in contravention with international law, which prohibits physical and psychological torture. Human rights conventions, including the Convention Against Torture, to which Israeli is a signatory, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibit the use of torture with no exceptions.
MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) LAWYER  WHO  SAYS  PALESTINIANS  DON’T  EXIST  SUES  SAN  FRANCISCO  UNIVERSITY
The Electronic Intifada   
Charlotte Silver
June 23, 2017.   A lawyer who denies that Palestinians exist is suing San Francisco State University, alleging the administration there fosters a hostile environment for Jewish students.
___But faculty and civil rights lawyers say the lawsuit, filed on behalf of six plaintiffs, is yet another attempt at censorship by conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
___The complaint, filed in federal court in Northern California on 19 June, was prepared by The Lawfare Project, a group that describes itself as “the legal arm of the pro-Israel community.”
___Last year, the group’s director, Brooke Goldstein, was filmed asking Israel lobby leaders in New York, “Why are we using the word Palestinian?”
___“THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A PALESTINIAN PERSON,” GOLDSTEIN ASSERTED . . .   MORE . . .

Smith, Robert O. “Civilization, Savagism, and the Presence of Burning Children.” Cross Currents, vol. 66, no. 2, June 2016, pp. 204-214.
[Roy Harvey Pearce in Savagism and Civilization in 1953] argues that “savagism” is a creation of “civilization” so civilization better understands the boundaries surrounding its proper existence. In the North American context, the “savage” was the Indian (undifferentiated by different tribes). While the Indian had many virtues (i.e., eloquence and closeness to the earth), these were all savage virtues diminished by contact with civilization. . . .  The savage would eventually cease to exist in the face of civilization’s inevitable, God-ordained expansion. Savagism salved the civilized conscience while completing the task: “Civilization had created a savage, so to kill him. Idea had begotten an image, so to kill it” (Pearce).
[. . . .] Five days after the [burning to death of 5-year-old Ali Saad Dawabshe on July 31, 2015], Israeli novelist and commentator David Grossman indicted Israeli right-wing politics for nurturing a climate of extremism.
___Grossman suggested “the consciousness of an occupying people” includes the idea that “there are two kinds of people, and the fact that one is apparently subordinate to another means that it is naturally also inferior to the other,” that “the occupied is less of a human being than the occupier.” Thus, “the person who burned down the Dawabsheh family home knew . . . only that they were Palestinians.” This, Grossman says, “was adequate reason in his eyes . . . to kill them . . .  their mere existence justified their murder and their removal from this world.” This is the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run. (Grossman, David, “Will the Israeli Right Finally Come to Its Senses?” Ha’aretz. August 4, 2015).
SOURCE . . . 

jewish-extremist-ettinger-super-169
Mohammed, grandfather of 5-year-old Ali Saad Dawabshe, murdered when his family’s home was firebombed by Jewish extremists on July 31, prays while sitting in the wrecked home. (Photo: CNN.com, n.d.)

❷ CLAIMS  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  FREEZE  AN  ‘ATTEMPT  TO  FOOL  THE  PUBLIC’       
Ma’an News Agency
June 26, 2017.   After reports emerged Friday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised the United States government to stop marketing new settlement units for the rest of 2017, a representative from settlement watchdog Peace Now called the alleged promise “another spin of the Netanyahu government trying to fool the public.”
___Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post had reported that the alleged freeze was discovered when settlers from the illegal Beit El settlement in the central occupied West Bank discovered that plans for 300 new settler homes — promised to the settlers by Netanyahu in exchange for a peaceful evacuation of the illegal Ulpana outpost — were halted.
___Netanyahu then reportedly met with the settlement’s regional council head Shai Alon and ensured him that the homes promised to the settlers would be excluded from the temporary settlement freeze. . . .     MORE . . .
. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ) KNESSET  PASSES  DRAFT  BILL  TO  ANNEX  ILLEGAL  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS   
Palestine News Network – PNN
June 24, 2017.   The Israeli Knesset approved in its preliminary reading a draft law allowing the application of Israeli law in the illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli media reported.
___Haaretz said 48 Members of the Knesset supported the bill while 39 voted against it on Wednesday.
___MK, Bezalel Smotrich, of the right-wing Jewish Home party, who initiated the bill said the decision includes transferring petitions against illegal construction in the settlements to the administrative court instead of the Supreme Court.   MORE . . . 

[Note: Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in 1964 when he was 22 years old. He was imprisoned for it―his first imprisonment. The poem became rallying words for the Palestinians. Note, it was written before the 1967 War and before the First and Second Intifadas and remains germane in today’s Palestine.]

“IDENTITY  CARD,”  BY MAHMOUD  DARWISH  (1964)

Write down:
I am an Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your
door nor humble myself
on your threshold
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab,
a name with no friendly diminutive.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourished.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks―
Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down:
Arab.
The colour of my hair, jet black―
eyes, brown―
trademarks, a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as a rock.
My address is a weaponless village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children
leaving my grandchildren nothing but rocks.
Will your government take those too,
as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

About Mahmoud Darwish
From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.
Film biography of Mahmoud Darwish, Hot Docs Film Festival, Toronto, 2014

“. . . martyrs vie with one another in the Negev prison . . .” (‘Abd al-Nasir Salih)

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Israeli Occupation Forces guard tower on a main street in Hebron, a virtual prison-city. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

❶ Israeli forces detain Palestinian prisoner released in Shalit exchange
. . ❶―A— Solitary confinement: A common denominator in Jerusalem attacks
❷ Since 1967: 95,000 Palestinian Children Incarcerated By Israel
❸ Israeli authorities expand closed military zone in Hebron’s Old City
❹ Israeli MK: burning Palestinian boys is not act of terror
❺ Opinion/Analysis: IS  ISRAEL’S  HIGH  COURT  THE  ENEMY  OF  HUMAN  RIGHTS?
❻ Poetry by ‘Abd al-Nasir Salih
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  RELEASED  IN  SHALIT  EXCHANGE
Dec. 13, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces early Sunday detained a former Palestinian prisoner who was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, according to a local prisoners’ committee.
___Fahd Sharaya was detained from the Balata refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the coordinator for a local Palestinian prisoners’ committee, Imad al-Din Ishteiwi, told Ma’an.
[. . . . ]
___Over 1,000 Palestinian detainees were released in the Egypt-brokered 2011 agreement between Hamas and Israel in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by Hamas for five years.
More . . .
. . ❶―A +972 MAGAZINE
SOLITARY  CONFINEMENT:  A  COMMON  DENOMINATOR  IN  JERUSALEM  ATTACKS
More . . .
IMEMC NEWS
SINCE  1967:  95,000  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  INCARCERATED  BY  ISRAEL
June 10, 2015
Since martial law was imposed in the West Bank 48 years ago, some 95,000 children have been detained, of which 59,000 are likely to have been subjected to some form of physical violence.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  EXPAND  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE  IN  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY
Dec. 13, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities early Sunday expanded a closed military zone in the area of Hebron’s Old City Sunday, preventing access to the headquarters of an activist group, a local activist said.
___Issa Amr, head of the Youth Against Settlements group, told Ma’an that Israeli officials handed him a notification banning the presence or arrival of any persons to the area of the headquarters, excluding Palestinian residents.
___The building — known as Sumoud and Tahaddi (steadfastness and challenge) center — lies in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of central Hebron, and borders one of the city’s illegal Israeli settlements.
More . . .

Bezalel Smotrich
What could be more obvious to Member of the Israeli Knesset Bezalel Smotrich than that it’s OK to burn Palestinian children? (Photo: Days of Palestine)

DAYS OF PALESTINE
ISRAELI  MK:  BURNING  PALESTINIAN  BOYS  IS  NOT  ACT  OF  TERROR
Dec 12, 2015
Days of Palestine, Jerusalem –Israeli Knesset Member (MK) Bezalel Smotrich considered on Thursday burning Palestinian children is not an act of terror.
___Smotrich published a column in the B’Sheva weekly newspaper, saying that the attacks carried out by extremist Israeli settlers, including “price tag” attacks are not classified as terrorism.
___“Terrorism is only violence carried out by an enemy within the framework of war against us, and only that justifies taking severe steps who are out of place in normal situations,” he wrote, “all the rest are serious crimes, abominable crime, nationalist crime, but not terrorism.”
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
IS  ISRAEL’S  HIGH  COURT  THE  ENEMY  OF  HUMAN  RIGHTS?
Noam Rotem
Dec. 11, 2015
When he woke up from his nightmare one morning, Mr. Israeli discovered that the Israeli High Court had turned into a giant insect. Tasked with balancing the sickening populism of the legislative branch and fighting to protect Israeli democracy, the High Court has become the legal rubber stamp for the racist caprices of its overlords.
___This week, as we marked International Human Rights Day, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, published a report on 10 recent decisions by the High Court that violate basic human rights.
More . . . 

“IN  MEMORY  OF  ALI  SMOODY  AND  AS’AD  AL-SHAWWA  WHOM  THE  ISRAELIS  KILLED  IN  THE  NEGEV  AUGUST  16,  1988,”  BY  ‘ABD AL-NASIR  SALIH **

The martyrs vie with one another in the Negev prison
as they formulate with their blood the death-life dialectic
and baptise their bodies with the sand
they join the long procession celebrating the spirit
trees they are, planted on the path of martyrdom.
How often did they smite down the thrones of repression!
How often were the invaders foiled from conquering the spirit!
How often did the invaders fail!
The martyrs vie with one another
they overtake the ancient sand on the way to their wedding
they embrace n the procession of musk and henna
constantly they dreamt of the festival of the land
constantly they celebrated the names of the mountains
and they built a fortress for the winds; for the free song they mustered
the formations of those birds which crossed the barrier of death
and gathered on Negev land.
the martyrs did not fall from their heights

no, they ascended up to the ceiling of oneness
and in the dark regained their spirits
with the ink of their blood they wrote their testaments
they greeted the sea
and gathered its shells
they bared their chests before showers of bullets
that they might receive a flood of flames
in the noon sun the singing wrestled with the rattle of gunfire
it stirred up the sand
it granted the stones their magical shapes
and out of the shrapnels of thought
emerged a song which overwhelmed the sand
a song which now faces the firing and the teargas
it renews the covenant which gave to the spilt blood its green color
and it drops out of the modern fighter’s calculations
all the formulas of despair
of long-preserved grief and weariness.
Have the martyrs left the warmth of their homes
have they bid their children farewell
have they kissed an olive tree on the mountain slope
or did they leave in the night?
Did the birds of love alight on them
the air spreading about the walls of the spirit?
The Palestinian wedding tastes musk
as the women pour forth their ululations,
the children celebrating as young men in the square
and the horses dancing to the rhythm of the threshing on the rocks
did the dark faces embrace
did the eyes look up to discover the self
did the vanguards of our fiery wedding arrive?
Martyrs have the color of wild thyme and of henna
moons they are soaring in the sky
they are a banner of glory fluttering in the orbit of the heart
giving the Intifadah its popular depth
and etching in the sand the record of its rage
the martyrs vie with one another
and there the bullet which penetrates the chest
bearing good tidings to the Arab generations
the martyrs do not go away
rather their Intifadah will eventually
rescue Palestinian thought from the mud of speechmaking
the martyrs do not go away
rather they have bestowed life on their age
and in the sand of the Negev
they have recorded our ignored history.

This poem is posted on a University of Massachusetts class website.
The only information I have been able to find about the poet is from Google Books: “In the first volume of Ibda’at al-Hajar, for example, appear poets from the territories such as . . . ‘Abd al-Nasir Salih.” Ami Elad-Bouskila. Modern Palestinian Literature and Culture. London: Routledge, 1999, reprint 2014.

** Ktzi’ot Prison is an Israeli detention facility located in the Negev desert 45 miles south-west of Beersheba. It is Israel’s largest detention facility. Shortly after the camp was opened, on August 16, 1988, two inmates were shot dead in a riot involving 1,000 prisoners. The camp commander at the time, Colonel David Tsemach, fired the shots that killed at least one of the victims. He was cleared of wrongdoing by an army investigation headed by Colonel Mordechai Peled.

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“Kziot” by I, יוסי הראשון. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kziot.JPG#/media/File:Kziot.JPG

“. . . Don’t ask me to empty the sea . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

ramallah christmas
Palestinians attend the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec. 13, 2011. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)

❶ The Grinch who stole Palestinian Christmas
❷ Israel releases Palestinian journalist held without trial or charge
❸ Israel releases suspect of Dawabsha arson murder on house arrest
❹ ‘Jews can’t be terrorists,’ Jewish Home MK says
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Letter From An Israeli Activist
❻ Poetry by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
REPORT: LIST  OF  116  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  SINCE  OCTOBER  1ST

AL-MONITOR: THE PULSE OF PALESTINE
THE  GRINCH  WHO  STOLE  PALESTINIAN  CHRISTMAS
Aziza Nofal
Dec. 10, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Activist Hekmat Bessiso recently wrote on her Facebook page, “If the birthplace of Jesus Christ does not celebrate Christmas, who in the world will? I hope Palestine remains full of lights every December. Our struggle is enduring, and this is why we should preserve our joy.”
___Bessiso’s comments were in protest of a Nov. 23 declaration by the Council of Churches of Ramallah city and municipality to cancel the annual Christmas tree lighting and limit Christmas celebrations to religious rituals because of the current unrest. It said the decision had been made out of respect for victims and the wounded. As of Dec. 8, the number of Palestinians killed during the two-month-old intifada stood at 117.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  RELEASES  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALIST  HELD  WITHOUT   TRIAL  OR  CHARGE
Dec. 10, 201
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities released a well-known Palestinian rights activist and journalist on Thursday after being held for 18 months under administrative detention, locals told Ma’an.
___Nidal Abu Aker, who has served a total of 14 non-consecutive years in Israeli prison, was released to his family in Duheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem.
___Most of Abu Aker’s total internment in Israeli prison had been under Israel’s policy of administrative detention, or imprisonment without trial or charge.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  RELEASES  SUSPECT  OF  DAWABSHA  ARSON  MURDER  ON  HOUSE  ARREST
Dec. 11, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel on Thursday released an Israeli settler arrested for suspected involvement in a fatal arson attack on a Palestinian family in July, Israeli media reported.
___The settler, connected to a Jewish extremist organization, was arrested along with several others as a suspect in an arson that killed three members of the Dawabsha family in Duma village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
___The suspect was reportedly released and transferred to house arrest for five days at his home in the illegal Israeli settlement of Benyamin, east of Ramallah city.
More . . . 

real terrorists
Riham Dawabsha has died of injuries she sustained during an arson attack on her home in the West Bank that killed her husband and infant son on July 31, 2015.

+972 MAGAZINE
‘JEWS  CAN’T  BE  TERRORISTS,’  JEWISH  HOME  MK  SAYS
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Dec. 10, 2015
‘When you push an entire population up against the wall, when you demonize them and trample their rights, [the situation] will explode in the end,’ the Israeli parliamentarian writes with no sense of irony.
More . . .
Related . . . WATCH:  BARBECUE  AT  THE  CHECKPOINT?  WHY  NOT
Opinion/Analysis
IMEMC NEWS
LETTER  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  ACTIVIST
Matan Kaminer – Alternative Information Center
Nov. 30, 2015
I read your open letter to Israeli activists with great shame. I do not know you personally but from your letter and your background I gather that you are one of the many Palestinians who hold a real belief in human decency, and have not entirely lost hope of finding that decency in Jewish Israelis. For many years, people like you have searched all channels of information to garner knowledge about Israeli acts of resistance against the occupation, and it used to be that such acts could be discovered. Not many, perhaps. But now it seems to me that you perk up your ears and hear nothing but a deafening silence. The least I can do is to break that silence by answering your letter, though I cannot say I bring good tidings.
More . . .

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country. (March 1971)

El Asmar, Fouzi.  POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available at Google Books.
About Fouzi El-Asmar 

pal ofer
Ofer Prison, Occupied Territories run by the Israel Prison Service. It holds 1,100 Palestinians, those under administrative detention and those who have been tried and sentenced. Among them are children. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)