“. . . You may take the last strip of my land. . .” (Samih al-Qasim)


Anticipating Netanyahu’s visit, Israeli forces close down Hebron’s Old City

September 4, 2019
Israeli forces today morning closed down Palestinian stores and ordered Palestinian students vacate their schools in Hebron’s Old City in anticipation of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Jamal Sa’afin, an activist with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, confirmed that Israeli forces tightened restrictions in Hebron’s old city, closing Palestinian stores along the area from al-Salaymeh to Tel Rumeida besides to Wadi al-Husayn and Jaber neighborhoods.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He added that soldier ordered Palestinian students out of their schools in the old city, including Qurtuba School purportedly in preparation for the visit.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Netanyahu is set to deliver a speech at the Ibrahimi Mosque, which Jews refer to as the Cave of the Patriarchs, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1919 al-Buraq Uprising. The city of Hebron, which houses the Ibrahimi Mosque, is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers who live in compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.  More . . . . 

  • Netanyahu’s ‘visit’ to Hebron will not change its fact as an Arab Palestinian city
    By Bilal Ghaith
    September 03, 2019
    Palestinian activists called for receiving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Hebron on Wednesday night with black flags on homes near the Ibrahimi mosque as observers, politicians and historians dismissed all allegations regarding the “visit” describing it as a provocation.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to Maarive newspaper, Netanyahu will take part in a ritual in the Jewish settlement in the city on the steps of the Ibrahimi Mosque where the Palestinians were massacred in 1994 that left dozens dead at the hands of an extremist named Baruch Goldstein. An official ceremony will be held at the site to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1929 al-Buraq uprising. These rituals will be held in the presence of Netanyahu, government ministers and Likud Knesset members, on his first official visit to Hebron in 13 years.   More . . . .

Palestinian refugee students must not be incidental to humanitarian endeavours

Ramona Wadi
September 4, 2019
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Despite financial setbacks caused by political agendas and misconduct allegations, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) ensured that its schools opened on time for the new academic year. Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl described education as central to UNRWA’s mandate, yet the agency is not past attaching importance to symbolism and, despite its work, normalise the violence inherent in Israel’s settler-colonial project.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The opening of the new school year in Silwan, for example, publicised due to renovation works carried out during the summer recess, was lauded by Krähenbühl. “This return to school is also a symbol of preserving normalcy and a safe learning environment,” he remarked.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The safe learning environment rhetoric, favoured by international organisations, is replete with discrepancies, and can have severe repercussions. A joint statement published by UNICEF in January 2019 focuses on the impact of Israeli state and settler colonial violence as regards access to education and safety for Palestinian students. If there is still need for UN statements to remind us that children “should never be the target of violence and must not be exposed to any form of violence,” it stands to reason that Israel is not facing any deterrent to its destabilisation of Palestinian education.  More . . . .

West Bank village courts tourists with eggplant, stone terraces

Al-Monitor (Palestinian Pulse)
Ahmad Abu Amer
September 3, 2019
Locally grown eggplants have earned a significant place in the Palestinian cuisine, heritage and economy and is celebrated every summer in Battir, a historical village in the West Bank, 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) west of Bethlehem. Light purple, large or small but always fragrant, eggplants make up an essential part of the Palestinian kitchen from makdous, a pickled stuffed eggplant dish, to maqluba, a traditional dish with chicken, rice and eggplant.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The annual Battir Eggplant Festival, which took place on Aug. 17-19, is not just an occasion to celebrate the popular crop; it highlights just how this historical village — known for its 4,000 years of terraced cultivation of vines and olives — has suffered, first by plans of an Israeli separation barrier that could have been built right across the historical terraces, then under the restriction of movement and nearby Israeli settlers.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Battir, located on the Green Line, won the 2011 UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes. The site was recognized for aesthetic and symbolic value . . . .   In June 2014, the village was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger. The UN cultural body described the village as “a major Palestinian cultural landscape,” due to its complex and unique irrigation system.  More . . . .

Israel Confiscates Palestinian Lands To Expand Illegal Colonies In Bethlehem 

September 4, 2019
The Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank, issued three orders for the illegal annexation of Palestinian lands in Beit Jala city, Teqoua’ and Rashayda towns, in Bethlehem governorate, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Hasan Breijiyya, the coordinator of the Wall and Colonization Commission in Bethlehem, said the first Israeli order targets Palestinian lands in Basin 2 of the al-Makhrour area Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem, and are owned by residents from Beit Jala and al-Khader.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Breijiyya added that Israel wants to confiscate lands in that area to expand colonialist bypass road #60, linking between occupied Jerusalem and Gush Etzion colony, south of Bethlehem, which effectively means annexing hundreds of Dunams of Palestinian agricultural lands.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The second order targets lands in the Rashayda village, east of Bethlehem, and aims at expanding Maali Amos illegal colony.  More . . . .



I may―if you wish―lose my livelihood
I may sell my shirt and bed.
I may work as a stone cutter,
A street sweeper, a porter.
I may clean your stores
Or rummage your garbage for food.
I may lie down hungry,
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may take the last strip of my land,
Feed my youth to prison cells.
You may plunder my heritage.
|You may burn my books, my poems,
Or feed my flesh to the dogs.
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village.
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may put out the light in my eyes
You may deprive me of my mother’s kisses.
You may curse my father, my people.
You may distort my history.
You may deprive my children of a smile
And of life’s necessities.
You may fool my friends with a borrowed face.
You may build walls of hatred around me.
You may glue my eyes to humiliations,
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
O enemy of the sun
The decorations are raised at the port,
The ejaculations fill the air,
A glow in the hearts,
And in the horizon
A sail is seen
Challenging the wind
And the depths.
It is Ulysses
Returning home
From the sea of loss

It is the return of the sun,
Of my exiled ones
And for her sake, and his
I swear
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
Resist―and resist.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.



“. . . towards what remained of the heart . . .” (Majid abu Ghoush)


Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and olive harvesters in the Burin village, in southern Nablus City of the northern occupied West Bank, on Saturday.   ____Wafa News Agency reported that a group of Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian farmers while they were olive-picking in their lands in an attempt to force them to leave.    [. . . .] During the past week, Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian farmer while harvesting his olive trees in the Deir al-Hattab village in Nablus, and other farmers in Burin; settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees and stole harvest in the Tell village.  ____For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income. . .   More . . .
At least 130 Palestinians were injured with live Israeli ammunition, tear-gas suffocation and in airstrikes during protests along the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip under “The Great March of Return,” on Friday.    ____The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 130 Palestinians were injured during protests, including two critical injuries; one of whom is a 70-year-old woman.    ____The ministry added that a Palestinian journalist was among those injured.    ____A Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces heavily and randomly opened fire at protesters as several of them were able to cut through the Israeli security fence at the borders of the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  injured,  arrested  in  Khan  al-Ahmar  protests
. . . . Related  Arrests  reported  as  clashes  erupt  in  West  Bank
. . . . Related  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  off  Gaza  shore
Leaders of the largest three churches in Jerusalem have accused Israel of reneging on a previous agreement reached between them regarding taxing church property.   ____The French news agency, AFP, said on Friday that leaders of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches as well as a senior Latin Church official sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to block a draft legislation a ministerial committee is going to discuss on Sunday that aims at expropriating their property.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Jerusalem:  Christian  cemetery  vandalized,  graves  destroyed


Jeremy Salt
No state established on land seized by force from the people living on that land can claim moral legitimacy and a ‘right’ to exist.    ____A purported ‘right’ to exist is not central to the existence of states anyway, let alone colonial settler states established amidst the wreckage of the genuine rights of another people.   [. . . .] Israel understands this as well as anyone. It makes a lot of noise about its right to exist and its legitimacy but this is bluster. It knows why it exists and why it believes it will continue to exist. It has a strong military. It has nuclear weapons. It can destroy anyone who threatens to destroy it. These are the constituent elements of its existence, not morality and the ‘rights’ of which it endlessly talks.    More  . . .
. . . . Related   The  Apartheid  State  of  Israel  and  the  Palestinian  Resistance
. . . . Related   B’Tselem: World can no longer stand idly by regarding Israeli crimes

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson

MAJID ABU GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . Time has grown up on its own without me. . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

Maher Karaje stands underneath a canopy of his wilted grape vines (Photo: MEE/Akram al-Wa’ra)


The European Parliament passed a resolution, on Thursday, warning that Israel’s decision to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, would constitute a grave violation of international law and threaten peace efforts with the Palestinians.    ___The European Parliament, in a 320 to 277 vote, passed a resolution against Israel that called for monetary compensation for financial losses should Khan al-Ahmar village be demolished.   ___The resolution stated that “the status quo in this area is of fundamental importance for the viability of the two-state solution and for the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state in the future.”   More . . . 

Scientists and scholars from around the world published a letter of support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Lancet, one of the foremost medical journals in the world, urging support for the Agency after the United States has decided to end its contribution to it.   ___In the letter published on Tuesday, 159 scientist and scholars described the crisis facing UNRWA as “unprecedented,” warning of “a ruinous multifaceted emergency” if no action is taken to the help the humanitarian agency.   More . . .

Yumna Patel
Every year, in late August, Palestinians begin celebrating the grape harvest, a quintessential part of Palestinian life and heritage.    ___Grape vines can be found on nearly every street in Palestine — on apartment balconies in cramped refugee camps, to sprawling fields and courtyards in cities and villages.   [. . . .] This year’s harvest, for many farmers across the occupied West Bank, is bittersweet, marred by the violence of months past.   ___Between the months of May and July 7, according to documentation from NGO B’Tselem, more than 2,000 grape vines were cut down, directly affecting dozens of farmers and hundreds of their family members, amounting to material damages in the hundreds of thousands of shekels.   More . . .


ABU  RUDEINAH:  US’  POSITIONS  “INTOXICATED”  US-PALESTINE  RELATIONS        Spokesperson for President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, condemned on Friday a statement made by US President Donald Trump’s top adviser Jared Kushner to New York Times, saying the recent positions of the United States administration “intoxicated” the Palestinian-US relations.   ___In a press statement, Abu Rudeinah said Kushner’s statement indicates that “[he] is unaware of the reality of the conflict, and is an attempt to mislead and falsify the history of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian sanctities.”   ___He continued, “Peace will only come through the two-state solution with East Jerusalem as capital of the State of Palestine, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the resolutions of the Arab summits.   More . . .


THE  MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE  will be hosting our inaugural fundraising reception on Monday,  SEPTEMBER  24TH  at the historic Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C, and you’re invited! We hope you will be able to join us to support the opening of the MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE,  the first and only museum in the nation’s capital that will be dedicated to celebrating Palestinian culture, history and resilience.    Information . . .     Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms—
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
Stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
――Translated by Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

――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.

“. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

A general view of the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

❶ Netanyahu vows to occupy the West Bank forever

  • Background: “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate?” King’s Law Journal

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Japan deplores advancing plans of settlements construction in West Bank
❷ Israel’s renewal of law restricting family unification condemned as ‘apartheid’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Rights groups condemn Israel’s lethal use of force against Palestinian protesters
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Online Magazine      
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 13, 2017         Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised that Israel will never relinquish security control over the West Bank, even as part of a two-state peace deal, which is to say that the Israeli army will occupy the Palestinian territory forever.      __“[I]n any agreement, and even without an agreement, we will maintain security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” the prime minister said.
[. . . .]  . . . the Israeli prime minister, who regularly blames the Palestinians for the lack of progress toward peace, has openly admitted — again — that he is unwilling to end the occupation. Without ending the occupation there can be no Palestinian sovereignty. Without Palestinian sovereignty there can be no Palestinian state, and no national self-determination.
___Without Palestinian national self-determination and statehood, the Palestinian people are left living as subjects under a military regime with no civil rights, no suffrage.    MORE . . .

Wintemute, Robert. “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate, and What If the European Convention Applied?” King’s Law Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, Apr. 2017, pp. 89-129.
[. . . .] It is likely that the occupation would have ended long ago (because it would have been much harder to justify a refusal to allow a State of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), but for Israel’s illegal and stubbornly pursued policy of settlement-building. . . . This was spelled out in the 1978 ‘Drobles Plan’ [that]  the state-owned lands and.…uncultivated barren lands in Judea and Samaria ought to be seized right away. . .  our intention to hold on to Judea and Samaria forever is by speeding up the settlement momentum in these territories. . . . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on 11 July 2014: ‘there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.’
[. . . .]  . . . those who reject the South African apartheid analogy should respond to it in a rational way, pointing to the relevant objective facts that make it inaccurate, rather than in an emotional way: dismissing the possibility of apartheid in Israel-Palestine because it is too painful to contemplate. . . and attributing malice to the person making the claim. . .  In my view, it should . . .  replace the current concept of occupation, which is itself an analogy, inviting the public to compare the situation in Israel-Palestine with other occupations. The occupation analogy is misleading, because almost every occupation one can think of is or was of much shorter duration (eg, the USA’s occupation of Japan, 1945–52), or has become a de jure annexation (internationally recognised or not), with citizenship and the right to vote (if it exists) granted to the occupied territory’s residents (eg, China–Tibet, Indonesia–West Papua, India–Kashmir. . .  etc). The reason why a shift from an occupation analogy to an apartheid analogy could make a difference, in generating international pressure on Israel to change, is that occupation is common and does not shock.
___Absence of genuine democracy (because there is one-party rule or the same party always wins) is common and does not shock. But racial discrimination in access to citizenship and the right to vote (apartheid) is rare, does shock and has become taboo.      SOURCE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
June 12, 2017         The Government of Japan deeply deplored on Tuesday Israel’s approval of plans to construct housing units in settlements in the West Bank, despite repeated calls from the international community including Japan for freezing such activities.     MORE . . .

The West Bank settlement of Efrat is seen on September 1, 2014.

Ma’an News Agency 
June 13, 2017         Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, renewed the controversial “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” law, which sets severe limitations on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory married to Israeli citizens, for the 14th year on Monday, as Palestinian members of parliament denounced the move as “racist” and a show of “apartheid” against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
[. . . .] The law applies to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, and foreign nationals from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq — and can apply to other nationalities originating from countries the Israeli government deems a security threat.
___However, the law has primarily affected Palestinian citizens of Israel, making up 20 percent of the Israeli population, who often marry Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.        MORE . . . 
Ma’an News Agency  
June 13, 2017          Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations released statements this week condemning Israeli forces’ excessive use of force against Palestinians, particularly protesters, which in many cases resulted in death.
___Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a statement Monday highlighting the case of Saba Abu Ubeid, a 22-year-old Palestinian from the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit, who was shot dead by Israeli forces last month during a protest in the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh.       MORE . . . 


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!

So what,
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!

So what,
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?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
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!

So what,
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!

So what,
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.

Samih Al-Qasim
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.


“. . . [Palestinian] landscape as a place of ‘drifting sand and exposed rock’ populated by the morally, spiritually and politically degenerate . . .” (Joanna C. Long)

Ruins of village of Lifta, Jerusalem, with Israeli-planted trees engulfing it. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov., 2015)

❶ . B’Tselem: ‘Dispossession of Palestinians most consistent trend in Israeli policy’
. . . ― (a) Lieberman: Postpone controversial ‘formalization’ bill until Trump takes over
❷ . Fatah’s seventh congress says people have right to resist occupation
. . . ❷ ― (a) Abbas tells Fatah the greater struggle is to come

  • Background: “Rooting Diaspora, Reviving Nation: Zionist Landscapes Of Palestine–Israel.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers

❸ . The IDF’s new ‘Visit Palestine’ campaign refuses to say Palestine
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 5, 2016
As Israel’s Knesset considers a bill which would retroactively legalize settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, Israeli authorities have used both official and unofficial means to expropriate Palestinian lands for decades which has “devastasted” the Palestinian territory, according to a report published on Monday by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
___In its latest report, entitled “Expel and Exploit: The Israeli practice of taking over rural Palestinian land,”  B’Tselem used a case study of Azmut, Deir al-Hatab, and Salem — three Palestinian villages in the northern West Bank district of Nablus — to illustrate a number of official and indirect ways used by the Israeli government over the years to slowly isolate Palestinian communities from their lands.       More . . .  
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 3, 2016
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested on Friday that the controversial “formalization bill,” which would legalize Israeli settler outposts throughout the occupied West Bank and is set to be voted on this Monday, should be postponed until US President Barack Obama leaves office.
___According to Israeli media, the statement was made in Washington D.C. during the Saban Forum where the right-wing defense minister called for postponing the vote until Jan. 20, when President-Elect Donald Trump will be officially sworn in as the new American president.      More . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
December 5, 2016
The concluding statement of Fatah’s seventh congress said the Palestinian people have the right to popular resistance to end the Israeli occupation of their land and determine their future.
___The statement, read at the conclusion of six days of Fatah congress held at the Muqata, the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, also underscored the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to sovereignty, and to having an independent state of their own with East Jerusalem as its capital.       More . . .  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 5, 2016
President Mahmoud Abbas told members of the seventh Fatah congress on Sunday night that the greater struggle is still ahead of them.
___“When you go back to your towns, villages and camps tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, remember at every moment that what you have accomplished in this conference is the lesser struggle and now we have a mission ahead of us and that is to fight the greater struggle,” Abbas told the members at the closing session of the Fatah congress.        More . . .    

  • Long, Joanna C. “Rooting Diaspora, Reviving Nation: Zionist Landscapes Of Palestine–Israel.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 34.1 (2009): 61-77.   SOURCE.

In this paper I explore some possibilities of what the trees were for and why they were (and are) so important to the Jewish National Fund. My main concern is with the entanglement of cultures of landscape with a cultural politics of trees and how these have been enrolled in a project of colonisation and nationbuilding . . .  Specifically, I examine how trees have figured in various constructions of Palestine as an aesthetic and embodied landscape, and how both trees and landscapes have been mobilised in pursuit of an Israeli national space and subjectivity.
[. . . .]  In JNF discourse, however, these notions of subjects embedded in the natural environment, and of subjectivities springing from contact with the natural environment, are inseparable from both scenic renderings of the Palestinian homeland-scape as historically verdant and heroically re-forested by Zionist settlers, and pathologised imaginaries of the diasporic landscape as a place of ‘drifting sand and exposed rock’ populated by the morally, spiritually and politically degenerate . . . [the] implications of casting a landscape as political territory in this way are intimately bound up with the planting of trees, as this drew ‘unproductive’ lands under the control of the state . . . enabled the exercise of territorialised sovereignty, in accordance with long-established European traditions of articulating monarchical and colonial power.
[. . . .] There is, of course, nothing natural about the process of Zionist colonisation or the resulting forested landscape. . . these landscape imaginaries and the trees populating them have been mobilised . . . to perform important geopolitical and ideological work towards the establishment and perpetuation of Israeli nationhood. By positing Palestine as a formerly verdant landscape, currently denuded and empty but being rejuvenated and redeemed by Zionist settlers . . . [the myths] now physically exclude Palestinians from the landscape and efface the history of their presence.
[. . . .] The political geographies of Eretz Israel . . .  helped to generate ideological and financial support . . .  for the acquisition and later the seizure of lands, for the ‘development’ of those purchased and captured lands to legally secure Jewish ownership and to prevent Palestinians from returning.
[. . . .] I have deliberately focused on the planting of pines, rather than on the Israeli practice of uprooting Palestinian olive trees . . .   .   [Trees] are also the guardians to another story, this time of expulsion and dispossession, which is inextricably bound to the first.

+972 Magazine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Dec. 4, 2016
The Israeli army’s new tourism campaign wants you to visit Palestine — just don’t call it that.    ___The Israeli military launched a truly bizarre rendition of a Visit Palestine tourism campaign over the weekend. Except the army couldn’t bring itself to say Palestine, the West Bank, or even mention that Palestinians live there.     ___The video was published on the Facebook page of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli military government that oversees the occupation of the Palestinian territories.      ___ The video mentions sites like Wadi Qelt, the Mar Saba Monastery and Nabi Musa, sites in the West Bank to which Israel makes no claims. Likewise, while the army’s new tourism initiative advertises the Church of the Nativity as a site in “Judea and Samaria,” the biblical name for the West Bank, there is no mention of Rachel’s Tomb, also in Bethlehem but which Israel claims as its own.     More . . .  

“. . . I am accused of words, my pen the instrument. . . .” (Dareen Tatour)

Dareen Tatour, who remains under house arrest, reads from one of her notebooks of poems [Nigel Wilson/Al Jazeera]
❶ Report: Israel detaining Palestinian minors without charge over Facebook posts
. . . ❶― (a) Dareen Tatour, Palestinian poet imprisoned by Israel for social media posts, shares her story

  • Background: “Did Facebook intentionally block profiles of Palestinian journalists?” Christian Science Monitor.

❷ Israeli court extends detention of Palestinian football team board member over photo
❸ Israeli PM slams B’Tselem recent statement to UN on settlements
❹ ‘When the media doesn’t talk to Arabs, coverage of them is negative’
❺ POETRY by Dareen Tatour
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 17, 2016
At least five Palestinian minors have been imprisoned by Israel without being charged in recent months, after sharing social media posts that Israeli authorities alleged amounted to “incitement” to commit violence, according to a report released Monday by rights group Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP).
___Among them was a 17-year-old identified as Ahmad H., who told DCIP that he was interrogated twice in the first week of August for one and three hours, during which time he had neither a parent present nor access to legal counsel.       More . . .  
Ben Norton
Aug. 10, 2016
Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was arrested because of her posts on social media.
___In October, police raided her home in the middle of the night. They handcuffed Tatour, a 35-year-old poet, and took her away.
___“You look like a terrorist,” an interrogator told her. The Israeli government accused Tatour of inciting violence with her poetry and Facebook posts.       More . . .  

  • Amanda Hoover. “Did Facebook intentionally block profiles of Palestinian journalists?” Christian Science Monitor 26 Sept. 2016: N.PAG.   Full article.

[. . . .] The latest complaints came from four editors at the Shebab News Agency and three executives at Quds News Network, Al Jazeera reported. Quds has about 3.7 million Facebook followers, and has a reputation for being affiliated with Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group and Shehab has about 4.2 million followers and is regarded by Palestinians as being linked with Hamas, a militant group that denies Israel’s right to exist. Both publications, which have several million likes on Facebook each, cover daily news in the occupied West Bank region.
___”[Sharek-Quds News Agency] does not publish anything that violates Facebook standards or that could annoy governments,” Nisreen al-Khatib, a translator and journalist at the Quds News Network, told Al Jazeera. “But still, we are targeted.”
___Since the complaint, Facebook has reinstated several of the accounts, claiming that their censorship was accidental.
___”The pages were removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate,” a Facebook spokesperson tells The Christian Science Monitor in a statement. “Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong. We’re very sorry about this mistake.”
___Two weeks ago, Israeli officials announced an agreement with Facebook that would allow the two entities to combat online incitement in tandem. The agreement came after multiple requests from Israel that the company find a way to monitor the content on its platform and remove any likely to incite violence.
___In the past, Israeli officials have reported anti-Israel bias on Facebook, as The Christian Science Monitor reported:
___In December, the Tel Aviv-based Israel Law Center conducted an experiment in which it created two Facebook pages: “Stop Palestinians” and “Stop Israel.” Similar content was posted on both pages, including political cartoons with the respective captions “Death to all the Jews” and “Death to all the Arabs.”It then reported both pages to see if either would be removed. The anti-Palestinian page was shut down the same day it was reported, but the anti-Israel page was not.
___During the four months leading up to the agreement with Israel, Facebook had already agreed to remove 95 percent of the 158 posts Israeli officials flagged, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said.   [. . . .]

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 17, 2016        An Israeli magistrate’s court extended the detention of a Palestinian man who serves on the administrative board of an occupied East Jerusalem football team on Sunday evening, after Israeli officials accused him of publicly supporting “terrorism.”       ___Lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud of prisoners’ rights group Addameer told Ma’an on Sunday evening that a Jerusalem court had extended to Wednesday the remand of Maher Abu Sneina, an administrative member of the Palestinian Hilal al-Quds football team.       More . . .   

Fans of the Scottish Celtic Football Club waved Palestinian flags during game against the Israeli Hapoel Beersheba club on Wed, Aug. 16, 2016. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Oct. 18, 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem on Saturday, accusing it joining the “chorus of slander” against Israel.       ___Netanyahu’s position came after the human rights NGO participated in informal UN Security Council session on Friday in which its representative slammed Israeli settlements in the West Bank, calling them obstacles to peace.       More . . .     
+972 Magazine from The Seventh Eye*
Oren Persico
Oct. 16, 2016

* The Seventh Eye is Israel’s only independent media watchdog, since 1996.

The participation of Arab interviewees in Israeli news items relating to Arab society in the country has a  correlation on the content and tone of the reporting, new research published by Israeli NGO Sikkuy last month has concluded. (Full disclosure: The Seventh Eye partnered with Sikkuy for its ‘Representation Index’ project.)
___The research project, conducted by Edan Ring along with the Ifat Group, examined news coverage of Arab citizens of Israel in the Hebrew-language media during October 2015, a month in which a serious escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict took place, including almost daily attacks against Jewish Israelis.        More . . .  

“A Poet Behind Bars,” By Dareen Tatour
Translated by Tariq al Haydar

In prison, I met people
too numerous to count:
Killer and criminal,
thief and liar,
the honest and those who disbelieve,
the lost and confused,
the wretched and the hungry.
Then, the sick of my homeland,
born out of pain,
refused to go along with injustice
until they became children whose innocence was violated.
The world’s compulsion left them stunned.
They grew older.
No, their sadness grew,
strengthening with repression,
like roses in salted soil.
They embraced love without fear,
and were condemned for declaring,
“We love the land endlessly,”
oblivious to their deeds…
So their love freed them.
See, prison is for lovers.
I interrogated my soul
during moments of doubt and distraction:
“What of your crime?”
Its meaning escapes me now.
I said the thing and
revealed my thoughts;
I wrote about the current injustice,
wishes in ink,
a poem I wrote…
The charge has worn my body,
from my toes to the top of my head,
for I am a poet in prison,
a poet in the land of art.
I am accused of words,
my pen the instrument.
Ink— blood of the heart— bears witness
and reads the charges.
Listen, my destiny, my life,
to what the judge said:
A poem stands accused,
my poem morphs into a crime.
In the land of freedom,
the artist’s fate is prison.
Written on: November 2, 2015,  Jelemeh Prison



“. . . Israeli settlements have gone beyond a mere breach of Article 49(6) by acquiring features of apartheid . . .” (Bianca Watts)

Illegal West Bank Israeli settlement and Apartheid Wall. (Photo: Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, June 19, 2015)

❶ Israeli forces confiscate Palestinian-owned residential barracks in Jericho
❷ British Consulate General launches initiative to support olive harvest
❸ UN Security Council holds meeting on illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in West Bank
. . . ❸ ― (a) ‘The occupation is sustainable because the world refuses to take action.’ Transcript of the prepared remarks B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad delivered to UN Security Council
. . . ❸ ― (b) Israel suspends ties with UNESCO

  • Background:  “Better Than A Thousand Hollow Words Is One Word That Brings Peace: Enforcing Article 49(6) Of The Fourth Geneva Convention Against Israeli Settlements In The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Pacific Mcgeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal
    ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 14, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday confiscated residential barracks in the Palestinian Bedouin residential area of Arab al-Mleihat in the occupied West Bank district of Jericho, according to a Ma’an reporter.
___The residential barracks belonged to Ali Suliman al-Mleihat and Mohammad Ali al-Mleihat.
___The mayor of Jericho Majid al-Fityani told Ma’an that Israel’s continuous demolitions and confiscations are “crimes against the Palestinian people,” and only “proves that Israel is unwilling to make peace.”
___Al-Fityani added that the world was responsible for ending Israeli violations against Palestinians, including the routine leveling of Palestinian lands, confiscations, demolitions, detentions, and killings.      More . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 15, 2016
British Consul General in Jerusalem Alastair McPhail announced on Friday that for the second year in a row, the British Consulate General will be supporting the Palestinian olive harvest in Area C and East Jerusalem.
___McPhail made the announcement during an olive picking event in the village of Yanoun, near Nablus.
___“I’m proud to launch our initiative to support Palestinian olive growers in vulnerable areas of the West Bank, for the second year in a row,” he said. “I hope that this exciting partnership with the Palestinian Authority Commission Against the Wall and Settlements will provide Palestinian farmers, in some of the most vulnerable areas, with the confidence and resilience to harvest their olives during these difficult times.”      More . . .

Bedouin village of al-Arakib, one of the dozens Bedouin Arab communities in the Negev desert not recognised by the Israeli state (Photo: Reuters, Aug. 29, 2013)

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 14, 2016
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held a special meeting Friday regarding illegal Israeli settlement construction and expansion in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. . . .  the meeting was classified as an ‘Arria-Formula,’ which according to the UNSC, are informal gatherings which enable Security Council members to discuss “frankly” the topic at hand, and hear from guests whom the council deems would be beneficial to listen to.
[. . . .]
Among those presenting on the issue were Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem, an Israeli organization that monitors human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territory, and Lara Friedman, director of policy and government relations at the Americans for Peace Now, the sister organization of the Israeli human rights NGO.     More . . .
+972 Blog
Hagai El-Ad
Oct. 14, 2016
What does it mean, in practical terms, to spend 49 years, a lifetime, under military rule? When violence breaks out, or when particular incidents attract global attention, you get a glimpse into certain aspects of life under occupation. But what about the rest of the time? What about the many “ordinary” days of a 17,898-day-long occupation, which is still going strong?       More . . .  
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Oct. 14, 2016
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced today that Israel is suspending all of its joint activities with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) after the organisation adopted a resolution that disregards the connection between Judaism and Al-Aqsa Mosque and casts doubt over the link between the religion and the Western Wall.
___In a message to UNESCO member states, Bennett said: “Your decision denies history and encourages terror. Those who give prizes to supporters of jihad in Jerusalem mere days after two Jews were murdered in the city, may very well be the next in line.”    More . . .

[NOTE: This article is a comprehensive discussion of the history of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the world’s response to it.]

  • Watts, Bianca. “Better Than A Thousand Hollow Words Is One Word That Brings Peace: Enforcing Article 49(6) Of The Fourth Geneva Convention Against Israeli Settlements In The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Pacific Mcgeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal 24.1 (2011): 443-472.  Source (Full) . . .

The illegality of Israeli settlement in the OPT is explained in the Fourth Geneva Convention (“Geneva IV” or “Convention”), which is the principal international treaty governing the law of belligerent occupation. Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Geneva IV (“Article 49(6)”) provides that “[t]he Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” High Contracting Parties (“HCPs”) are obligated to both respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances under Article 1 of the Convention. Today, 194 states are party to the Convention, including the United States and Israel, and none have fulfilled their obligation under Article 1.8. In fact, the United States consistently uses its veto power in the United Nations (“U.N.”) Security Council to block proposals to intervene and enforce the Geneva IV against Israel.
[. . . .]
Israel first inquired about the legality of settling in the OPT, specifically the West Bank and the Golan Heights, in the fall of 1967. On September 18, 1967, Israeli Foreign Ministry Officials received a top-secret memo that settlement in the West Bank and Golan Heights would violate Article 49(6). Israeli officials were advised that the prohibition of settlements under Article 49(6) was categorical, unconditional, and aimed at preventing colonization of a conquered territory by the conquering state. This memo confirmed that Israeli officials knew that building settlements in the OPT violated international law prior to beginning settlement construction. Yet, despite the memo’s unequivocal warning that settlements violated the Geneva IV, Israel forged ahead with plans that resulted in the settlement enterprise we see today.
[. . . .]
“The United Nations has issued scores of resolutions affirming the applicability of Geneva IV to the OPT and calling upon Israel to abide by its legal obligations as an Occupying Power.” For instance, in Resolution 3240, the General Assembly criticized Israel’s “continued and persistent” violation of the Geneva IV through the establishment of new settlements and expansion of existing settlements in the OPT.39 The General Assembly also demanded that Israel cease its settlement activity.
[. . . .]
After over forty years of occupation and settlement in the OPT, Israel was bound to engage in activity that would produce negative effects on Palestinians and subject the state to overwhelming criticism from its nationals and third states. However, Israeli settlements have gone beyond a mere breach of Article 49(6) by acquiring features of apartheid, and possibly rendering its entire occupation regime illegal. The United States, as Israel’s closest and most powerful ally, must change its approach. It cannot continue to shield Israel from both international and domestic calls for the government to comply with its obligation under Article 49(6) to cease settlement in the OPT and yet expect finality to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“. . . Your house is shrouded with the dust of death . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Israeli forces storm Hebron-area refugee camp, Aug. 16, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israeli forces kill 18-year-old Palestinian in Gaza after shooting him in head during protests

  • Background:   “Mental Suffering In Protracted Political Conflict: Feeling Broken Or Destroyed.”

❷ B’Tselem: Palestinian youth killed in al-Fawwar refugee camp away from clashes when shot dead

  • Background:  “An ‘Invented People’: Palestinian Refugee Women And Meanings Of Home.”

❸ US critical of Israeli [Netanyahu’s] remarks on West Bank settlements
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency  
Sept. 9, 2016
An 18-year-old Palestinian in Gaza was killed by Israeli forces on Friday after a soldier shot the youth in the head during protests east of al-Bureij refugee camp near the border between the besieged enclave and Israel. The Israeli army, however, has denied any involvement in the deadly shooting.
___Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the youth as Abd al-Rahman Ahmad al-Dabbagh and confirmed the 18-year-old had been shot in the head. He was rushed to the Al-Aqsa hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
[. . . .]   Witnesses told Ma’an that dozens of youths had gathered in several areas near the border with Israel . . . .  An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a “violent riot erupted” near the border with Gaza, as “dozens of rioters breached the buffer zone” . . .  According to the spokesperson “in an attempt to prevent an escalation of violence,” Israeli forces used tear gas in order to disperse the “riot.”      MORE . . .  

  • Barber, Brian K., et al. “Mental Suffering In Protracted Political Conflict: Feeling Broken Or Destroyed.” Plos ONE 11.5 (2016): 1-17  ARTICLE  . . .

Gazan psychiatrist Eyad El Sarraj [wrote] “When we hear the blasts of their bombs, we do not falter. We resist even in our silence. We hope still that one day they will send a message of justice and peace. We will always be there.”  ___ Muna, one West Bank woman from our study, elaborated the suffering and its complexity as follows: “a kind of depression or despair, and some sort of emotional or psychological disorders, I don’t want to call them physiological disease. We live a very difficult life, in our practical and educational lives, we lived a short period of those trouble and suffered a great deal, how would you imagine someone lived all along those conflicts and intifadas. . . suffering a great deal, and feel[ing] emotionally exhausted and psychologically ill, and having great psychological problems. If not all the Palestinians, I’m sure more than three quarters feel this way, we lost hope, but [we are] still immovable and resisting.”

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 10, 2016
A report released Friday by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed that 19-year-old Muhammad Yudef Sebar Abu Hashhash, who was killed by an Israeli sniper on August 16 during a military raid in Hebron’s al-Fawwar refugee camp, was not taken part in clashes at the time he was killed as was initially reported by media.
___. . . .  Abu Hashhash, who was initially reported as being 17-years-old, and other youths in the camp had climbed to the roof of a building and threw stones at soldiers who had also taken position on rooftops in the camp . . . .
___Some ten Israeli soldiers entered the home of Bajes al-Hamuz nearby Abu Hashhash’s home at around noon, and proceeded to close the family in the bedroom as they ransacked their home.. . . .       During the raid on the home of al-Hamuz, witnesses told B’Tselem that a sniper was positioned at the hole in the family’s guestroom located some 30 to 40 meters away from Abu Hashhash’s family home.  Ayad told B’tselem he heard a sound that sounded like “a shot fired through a silencer . . . .
___Hashhash was killed by live fire, as the Israeli sniper shot him in his back, and the bullet exited through his chest right above his heart.      MORE . . .

A hole carved into a home nearby Muhammad Abu Hashhash’s where an Israeli sniper was stationed and apparently shot Abu Hashhash in the back. (Photo: B’Tselem)
  • Background: Holt, Maria. “An ‘Invented People’: Palestinian Refugee Women And Meanings Of Home.” ACME: An International E-Journal For Critical Geographies 14.2 (2015): 98-106.   SOURCE.  

Notions of ‘national identity’, clearly, have undergone significant changes since 1948. In the process, Palestinians have developed new ways of envisaging themselves as a nation. They live as diasporic communities and share a longing to ‘return’. . . .  I suggest that the shape of Palestinian identity is changing to accommodate more fluid elements of belonging. . . .  In recent years, Palestinian identity has been demonized as violent and terrorist and this perception inevitably has an effect on how Palestinians practice resistance . . . .  women have strongly influenced the evolution of a transnational, diasporic identity, rooted both in the memory of place and the reality of placelessness.
[. . . .]     
While the Palestinian leadership attempted to sustain a unifying ideology based on memory and heroic struggle, individual Palestinians, especially women, have frequently dissented from the official narrative. They do not do this because they are opposed to the notion of an inclusive Palestinian nation but, rather, because it fails to represent the complex reality . . .  of Palestinians. ‘Real’ events, for example, the 2008-09 Israeli war against Gaza, have had a unifying effect on disparate Palestinian communities.
. . .  This incident, like the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon before it, unites individual women . . .  and confirms their identity as Palestinians.
___Place ‘is space to which meaning has been ascribed’ but, while the refugees may not choose to ascribe meaning to the spaces they occupy, the fact that  successive generations have been forced to inhabit these spaces indicates that a degree of ‘meaning’ is inevitable. However, while memories of Palestine evoke nostalgia . . .  the present reality of the refugee camps is rejected. It is an uncomfortable position. On the one hand, women’s traditional role of homemaker has placed them at the centre of the project of place-making and yet, as it is not something they have chosen, they must find other meanings. Thus, their contribution to recreating a sense of place ‘is far from being restricted to the domestic arena’; their ‘place-making practices are integral to the cultural and political struggles against displacement’. Women ‘weave personal and collective struggles – from home to camp and beyond – into a collective historical process of place making’ (Harcourt and Escobar).

❸ US CRITICAL OF ISRAELI REMARKS ON WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      Sept. 10, 2016      The United States strongly criticized on Friday statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he described Palestinians not wanting settlers in their future state as “ethnic cleansing.”
___Netanyahu was seen in a video circulated on social media saying: “The Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews. There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing.”
___He also described this demand as “outrageous,” and said that what is even more outrageous that the world does not find it outrageous and that some enlightened countries, hinting at the US, even promote this outrage.     MORE . . .

Will you not open this door for me?
My hand is exhausted from knocking at Your door.
I have come to Your vastness to beg
Some tranquility and peace of mind
But Your door is closed in my face,
Drowned in silence.
Lord of the house,
The door was open here,
A refuge for all burdened with grief.
The door was open here,
And the green olive tree rose high
Embracing the house.
The oil lamb kindling without fire,
Guiding steps of one walking at night,
Relieving those crushed by the burden of Earth,
Flooding them with satisfaction and ease.
Do you hear me, O Lord of the house,
After my loss in the deserts;
Away from You I have returned to You
But Your door is closed
In my face, drowned in silence.
Your house is shrouded
With the dust of death.
You are here. Open, then, the door.
Do not veil your face.
See my orphanhood, my loss,
Amid the ruins of a collapsing world,
The grief of the world on my shoulders
And terrors of a tyrant destiny
To be undone.

From: A Lover From Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
Fadwa Tuqan obituary.

“. . . with the end goal of preventing the emergence of a contiguous Palestinian state. . .” (Hatem Bazian)

Did she mean to be so welcoming? US Senator Diane Feinstein (Democrat of California) welcomes citizens of Susiya Village (Photo: Sen. Feinstein webpage)

❶ Fate of Hebron Hills village [Susiya] likely to be decided by Israeli defense minister
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) American Senator Dianne Feinstein graciously receives Susiya & Um Al Kheir families  (September 29, 2015)
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Reckless politicking: Lieberman to be named Israel’s defense minister
(May 20, 2016)

  • Background from Harvard International Review

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
August 1, 2016
In the latest development in a decades-long legal battle by Palestinian residents of the village of Susiya in the southern Hebron Hills to remain in their ancestral lands, an Israeli supreme court hearing confirmed on Monday that a decision regarding the fate of the threatened village could likely be decided by ultra-right Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
___The hearing was set to decide whether to accept the state of Israel’s request to immediately and without prior notice demolish 40 percent of the occupied West Bank village where some 100 people live, according to Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR).     MORE . . .
Rabbis for Human Rights
September 29, 2015
California Senator Dianne Feinstein graciously received representatives from the villages of Susiya and Um Al Kheir – two villages under the threat of demolition by the state of Israel. In July of this year, Senator Feinstein sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to halt any demolition orders for the village of Susiya.    MORE . . .
Brookings Institution
Natan Sachs
May 20, 2016
[. . . .]
Netanyahu is now poised to bring back Avigdor Lieberman, a former foreign minister and Israel’s least diplomatic politician. Lieberman won’t be returning to diplomacy, however. Instead, he will get a significantly more powerful position, second only to the prime minister: minister of defense.
[. . . .]
Lieberman’s pending appointment has been met with astonishment by the opposition in Israel, by many in the military which he will oversee, and indeed here in Washington—and with good reason.
___Just these past few months, Lieberman has viciously attacked both Netanyahu and the military brass for what he claimed was a weak response to terrorist attacks.
[. . . .]
Most importantly, Israel’s actual policy may be affected significantly by this move. Of all the governmental posts, defense is the one that has the most effect on the crucial questions of security for Israelis (and on the daily lives of Palestinians). . . . Netanyahu’s political brilliance has wrought one of the most hardline governments Israel has ever had.      MORE . . .

From Harvard International Review
On November 10th, 2013, the Israeli cabinet voted in a special session to authorize the demolition and removal of Umm al-Hiran, an “unauthorized” Palestinian Bedouin village in the Negev Desert. In its place was to be built a new community for national Jews to be named Hiran, which had been planned and approved in early 2002. The stated reason for this demolition and forceful eviction is the existing settlement’s lack of permits. . .  Umm al-Hiran itself was set-up in early 1956 by the Palestinian Abu-Alkian tribe after they had been forced to move from their ancestral tribal lands near Kibbutz Shoval in the Northern Negev.
___A more critical development related to this event is the Israeli Parliament’s passing of the first reading of the Prawer law [2011]. . .  [which] would cause the forceful displacement of 40,000-70,000 Arab Bedouins from the Negev, the confiscation of 800,000 dunams of Arab land, the razing to the ground of 36 or more Arab villages. . . According to Adallah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the “underlying premise of the draft bill is that there is no Bedouin land ownership,” effectively negating the “population’s right to property and historic affinity to the land.”
[. . . .]
The debates within Israel proper surrounding the eviction of the Arab Bedouin communities focus on the same themes that propel the building and expansion of settlements in the Occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights. Since Israel’s occupation of both areas in 1967, policy has been to effectively alter the areas’ demographic landscape by transferring and settling Jewish civilian populations onto confiscated lands, with the end goal of preventing the emergence of a contiguous Palestinian state. Indeed, settler movement into the West Bank has swelled in the past 20 years, and at present some 344,779 settlers reside in approximately 130 settlements authorized and protected by the Israeli government. In addition, another 200,000 settlers have moved into East Jerusalem in hopes of altering the Palestinian demography in the city and preventing a possible Palestinian capital from emerging if a “peace” agreement is reached.

  • Bazian, Hatem. “The Indigenous Palestinians.” Harvard International Review 35.3 (2014): 40-43.   FULL ARTICLE.

+972 Blog
Hagai El-Ad
July 28, 2016
Over the last decade, Israel has demolished over 1,100 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, leaving homeless more than 5,199 people, including at least 2,602 minors. The extensive demolitions are part of a broader Israeli policy of forced transfer. The following speech was delivered at a conference on home demolitions held at the Knesset on July 27, 2016.
[. . . .]
First and foremost, these figures deal with human lives. Lives that Israel ruins, deliberately, as part of a broader strategy designed to dispossess Palestinians from vast areas of the West Bank, to make their lives unbearable until they finally take the hint and move, to move them into smaller concentrated areas, to push them out.
[. . . .]
We at B’Tselem present these figures and explain their import to the Israeli public, to you – members of Knesset, and to the world. We show how Israel managed to [employ] bureaucratic mechanisms to promote the big move of dispossessing Palestinians in the West Bank, and to justify it all on administrative and legal grounds. This is organized state violence, and all the Israeli branches of government are party to it, each playing its own role: the planning mechanisms, the military, the Civil Administration, and also the settlers, and last but not least, the courts that serve as the crowning jewel in whitewashing the injustice.     MORE . . . demolition

Israeli forces demolish Bedouin houses in the village of al-Arakib in the Negev desert, March 1, 2015 (File photo: PressTV)

“. . . my child You are the victim, drowning in lies . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

15 year old
A 15-year-old Palestinian boy sustained a broken hand and heavy bruising after being assaulted and detained by undercover Israeli police officers. (Photo: Ma’an News, July 30, 2016)

❶ 15-year-old Palestine abused, medically neglected during detention by Israeli police

  • Background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ B’Tselem: Israel’s use of administrative detention on Palestinian minors steadily increasing
― ❷ (ᴀ) Palestine Youth Orchestra’s triumphant UK debut
❸ Second debate in UK parliament on children in military custody in 2016
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 30, 2016
A 15-year-old Palestinian boy sustained a broken hand and heavy bruising after being assaulted and detained by undercover Israeli police officers in the Issawiya neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.
__Fadi Rafat al-Issawi was detained last Sunday when two Israeli undercover police officers in civilian clothing stopped to ask him and his friend Mustafa Abu al-Hummus for directions, before the officers assaulted the two minors and detained them for allegedly throwing rocks, according to a member of the village’s monitoring committee Muhammad Abu al-Hummus.
___Abu al-Hummus told Ma’an that during a court hearing held for the two minors, Israeli authorities said three cars raided the village and detained the two “in order to limit rock throwing incidents.”      MORE . . .   

From Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
The Youth Law, enacted in 2008, seeks to guarantee that a child who is suspected or accused of committing a crime is treated in accordance with his or her rights as reflected in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Israel ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 3 October 1991 and in 2008). The Youth law was amended to reflect provisions consistent with the spirit of the Convention. More specifically, the law establishes special safeguards for minors during the entire legal process, from arrest to detention and interrogation, to ensure that their welfare is protected, and that they are rehabilitated — the underlying objective of the law.
___Despite the existence of these safeguards, it has been well documented that the Israeli police regularly violate the Youth Law in East Jerusalem, improperly employ exceptions, and thereby deny Palestinian minors their rights under the law. . . the law requires the police to issue a summons for interrogation and outlines that detaining the minor must be a measure of last resort. . . . Palestinian children in East Jerusalem are routinely arrested during violent nighttime raids and subjected to interrogation without the issuance of a summons, often without the presence of a parent or attorney.
___Recent amendments to the Penal Code and the Youth Law reveal that they are intended to discriminatorily apply to and punish Palestinian minors of East Jerusalem.
___In 2014, the Israeli . . .  instructed the State Prosecutor’s office to amend the State Prosecutor’s Guidelines of December 2009 relating to the enforcement policy for stone throwing. The committee responsible for the decision found that the Guidelines did not “provide an optimal response for the prevailing security reality in East Jerusalem.” A review of the amendments reveals that Decision 1776 is blatantly aimed at increasing the punishment for stone throwing to include actual imprisonment.
[. . . .] goal of Amendment 119 was to create a separate offense for stone throwing, as offenders were previously accused under the offense of “willfully endangering human life on a transportation . . . Military Order 1651 prescribes that a Palestinian minor convicted of stone throwing with the intent to harm can be imprisoned for up to 20 years.
___Discussions surrounding the law in the [Knesset] confirm that these amendments were proposed to specifically target and punish the Palestinian youth of East Jerusalem for resisting the occupation.

  • Baker, Aseil Abu. “Laws Targeting East Jerusalem: Discriminatory Intent And Application.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 55-64.     FULL ARTICLE. 

AseilAbu Baker is a Palestinian lawyer based in Ramallah, and is licensed to practice law in the United States. Ms. Abu-Baker currently focuses on international law issues, and previously litigated business and contract issues before state and federal courts in the United States.

Ma’an News Agency
July 28, 2016
Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a report Thursday evening revealing that Israeli authorities have steadily increased their use of administrative detention — Israel’s policy of internment without charge or trial — on Palestinian minors since October.
___The group stated in the report that the controversial policy that allows for the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence had not been used by Israeli authorities on Palestinian minors since December 2011.
___However, the group found that Israeli authorities had begun to use the policy again on Palestinian minors as of October, when a wave of violence first erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.     MORE . . .
RELATED . . .   Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
The Electronic Intifada Glasgow
Sarah Irving
July 29, 2016
True to form, the rain is hammering down on Glasgow. In the foyer of the Royal Concert Hall young men in sharp black, wearing scarves bearing the unmistakable checkered print of the Palestinian kuffiyeh, are prowling around moodily. One detects pre-performance nerves.
___This is the second night of the Palestine Youth Orchestra’s six-night debut tour of Britain.
[. . . .] If there were indeed pre-show nerves, they weren’t necessary: the Palestine Youth Orchestra received a full standing ovation. Not even greats like the St. Petersburg Philharmonic get that when performing in Scotland.      MORE . . .

Seven-year-old violently detained in Hebron September 8, 2014 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
July 24, 2016
On the last day before the summer recess, the House of Lords debated “the conditions in which Palestinian children are living and the impact on their health and wellbeing” including their treatment while held in military detention. This is the second time this year that the UK parliament has considered the treatment of Palestinian children . . . .
___The most recent debate was sponsored by Lord Norman Warner who visited the West Bank in April as part of a cross-party parliamentary delegation organised by CAABU and MAP. As part of the visit, the delegation went to Ofer military court near Jerusalem.  MORE . . .

EYTAN  IN  THE  STEEL  TRAP,  by  Fadwa  Tuqan

Under the tree, branching out, spreading and growing … growing
In savage rhythms,
Under the “star”, as it builds before his very eyes
Walls of bloody dreams,
Forming a trap, held tightly together with the thread of steel,
Trapping him within, denying him movement
Eytan, the child, the human being, opens his eyes
And asks,
Why the trap and the walls?
Why the time with amputated legs, clad in khaki and death,
Enveloped in smoke rising from flames and from sorrows?

If only the “star” could tell the truth,
If only it could.
But alas!
Alas, the “star”!

Eytan, my child
You are the victim, drowning in lies,
And like Eytan, the harbor is sunk in a sea of lies,
Drowned by the bloated dream
With the head of a dragon
And a thousand arms.
Alas, alas!
If only you could remain the child, the human being!
But I shudder, and live in dread .
That you may grow up inside the trap,
In this time of amputated legs, clad in khaki,
In cruel death, in smoke and sorrow.

From Abdel-Malek, Kamal. The Rhetoric of Violence: Arab-Jewish Encounters in Contemporary Palestinian Literature and Film. MacMillan, 2005. Web.