“. . . because love and peace are holy and are coming to town. . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

“. . .  Elad . . .  seeks to increase Jewish settlement in the Silwan area by purchasing existing homes on behalf of Jewish families. . .  [with funds] from fundraising efforts . . .  possibly also from the donations of wealthy Russian Jewish oligarchs who support the settlement movement in East Jerusalem . . .  archaeologist Israel Finkelstein sees a serious problem here. ‘The official state institutions abandoned the management of the City of David site to a [private] foundation with clear political inclinations,’ he says.”

The Golden Gate, Eastern Wall, constructed during the Umayyad period atop the ancient footings, with Muslim cemetery at its base. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

❶ UNESCO Adopts Resolution Reaffirming Israel’s Lack of Sovereignty over Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)   UNESCO Resolution ‘Sad, Unnecessary, and Pathetic,’ According to Israeli Foreign Ministry
❷ Israel puts its occupation on display in East Jerusalem

Background: “No Saints in Jerusalem.” Archaeology.

❸ Israeli forces reportedly beat, pepper-spray Palestinians in Silwan raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Arrests in Al-Sowaneh and Esawyehn
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
July 6, 2017.   The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted, on Tuesday, a resolution which confirms Israel’s lack of sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem.
___The organization condemned, in a meeting in Krakov, southern Poland, the excavations carried out by the Israeli Antiquities Department, in Jerusalem.
___According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, the Arab Group of Arab States submitted the wording of the resolution . . .   MORE . . .  
Palestine Chronicle
Jul 5 2017.   The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution on Tuesday reaffirming the international body’s non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty in occupied East Jerusalem. . . [. . . .] The Israeli Foreign Ministry slammed the resolution as “sad, unnecessary, and pathetic.”
___“This is another absurd and irrelevant UNESCO decision, which serves only the enemies of history and truth,” the ministry said in a statement. It went on to reiterate the Israeli claim that Jerusalem was “the eternal capital of the Jewish people” and of Israel – a claim not recognized by the international community. . .   MORE . . .  RELATED:  “Israel fears endangered World Heritage status could thwart Hebron takeover.”
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
July 6, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces projected images from its Judaisation project in East Jerusalem on the walls of Damascus Gate yesterday.
___Part of its annual “Festival of Lights”, the display showed pictures which depicted specific historical periods or which were linked to religious beliefs.
___This year’s event was used as part of the municipality’s efforts to Judaise the city and eradicate its Islamic history replacing it with the Zionist narrative.
___According to Adnan Al- Husayni, minister of Jerusalem affairs, the Umayyad palaces that are targeted by the festival include mostly Islamic Umayyad monuments . . .    MORE . . .

Milstein, Mati. “NO  SAINTS  IN  JERUSALEM.” Archaeology, vol. 63, no. 5, Sep/Oct2010, pp. 18-66.
How religion, politics, and archaeology clash on–and under–the streets of Jerusalem 
In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, some of the 50,000 Palestinian residents can hear digging under their homes. Silwan is partially situated atop the popular tourist attraction known to Israelis as the City of David, the oldest part of historic Jerusalem, directly south of the Temple Mount. During the biblical and Roman periods, the Temple Mount was home to the First and Second Jewish temples (which are believed to have stood between 832 and 422 B.C. and 516 B.C. and A.D. 70, respectively), and was the center of Jewish ritual and spiritual life for millennia. Following the Muslim conquest of the city in A.D. 638, the Umayyad rulers erected the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, two structures that are focal points for Palestinian and Muslim religious identity. There are few, if any, more valued and contested places on earth.
[. . . .]  Excavations and explorations across Israel and the West Bank, many of them located a stone’s throw from key Jewish and Islamic holy sites, lie at the heart of the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians. And artifacts recovered from Jerusalem’s soil are being used as ammunition in the escalating–and often violent–conflict.  Each nation forges its identity from common mythology, religion, and a sense of shared history. Especially in the Holy Land, where people’s historical identity affects every aspect of their lives, there is an eagerness to back up these histories with physical evidence.
[. . . .]  According to Hamdan Taha, archaeological and cultural heritage expert at the Palestinian Authority’s Tourism Ministry, “The sort of archaeology being carried out in Jerusalem, specifically in East Jerusalem and the Silwan area, is motivated by hidden agendas and has nothing to do with scientific objectives. It is done secretly, without taking into consideration international standards, and casts great doubts on the objectives of these excavations.”    [. .  . .]  ___Mahdi Abdul Hadi, chairman of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, agrees. “People are totally ignorant about where they are from, what they are doing, about their identity.” But he warns that empty slogans, rhetoric, and religion, rather than real education, are filling this gap. “Nobody will look at archaeology in good faith today. Everything is exploited now, because the hatred is deepening,” he says . . . .     SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency 
July 6, 2017.   Israeli forces assaulted Palestinian residents during a raid in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Wednesday evening, as two Palestinians were detained.
___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center reported that six Palestinians sustained bruises and suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation during a raid targeting the home of one Muhammad al-Abbasi in the area of Ein al-Luza, during which residents said they were assaulted by Israeli police officers.
___The center added that no reason was given for the raid in the al-Abbasi home, during which Israeli pushed and pepper-sprayed women, children, and elderly Palestinians, pointing their weapons at youth.
[. . . .] Clashes erupted in the neighborhood following the home raid, during which Israeli forces reportedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades in an haphazard fashion, before detaining Muhammad Ibrahim Ruweidi, 20, and Muhammad Imad Taha, 19.   MORE . . . 

Jerusalem: North side of the Tower of David, inside the old city, near Jaffa Gate, built by the Crusaders. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ARRESTS  IN  AL-SOWANEH  AND  ESAWYEHN    
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan 
July 4, 2017.   The occupation forces arrested seven young Jerusalemite men on Tuesday early morning after raiding their homes in the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh in Jerusalem.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the occupation forces along with intelligence personnel raided the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh and stormed into several houses and arrested 7 young men . . . .
___Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud explained that the arrests were made under the pretext of “participating in the funeral of Ali Abu Gharbieh who was drowned in Tiberius Lake last Friday; the body was found last Sunday.   MORE . . .   BACKGROUND . . .

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.
About Mahmoud Darwish
Published by the Academy of American Poets.



“. . . Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

The Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

❶ Israeli police execute 3 Palestinian teens
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces storm Jenin-area villages, raid Palestinian homes

Background: From Arab Studies Quarterly.    “. . . Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them . . .”

❷ UN last hurdle before Israel can rid itself of the Palestinians
❸ The Inside Story On Our UN Report Calling Israel An Apartheid State
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine   
Jun 17, 2017    Israeli police opened fire on Saturday night at three Palestinian teens at Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem, leaving them dead.
___All of the three Palestinians from the West Bank, aged 17 and 18. Sources said that two of them from Ramallah villages of Deir abu-Mashal and Shuqba in the central occupied West Bank.
___The Palestinian security sources said that the third one was a resident of the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil.     ___Israeli occupation police claimed that the Palestinians, who were killed, opened fire and stabbed Israelis, citing the death of a border policewoman in the incident.
[. . . .] Following the attack, the Israeli occupation authorities revoked more than 250,000 entry permits for Palestinians from West Bank that allow them to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and the lands occupied in 1948 (Israel).        MORE . . .          RELATED . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 17, 2017        Israeli forces raided a number of Palestinian villages in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Friday evening, declaring the areas “closed military zones,” according to locals.
___Local sources told Ma’an that sirens had sounded from Israel’s Salem military base near Jenin, before Israeli forces stormed the villages of Rummana, Zububa, and al-Taybeh in western Jenin and declared the areas “closed military zones.”
___Israeli forces ransacked several Palestinian homes and questioned residents of the village on the streets, according to locals.
[. . . .] It was unclear if the military operations were connected to a deadly attack carried out in occupied East Jerusalem Friday evening by three Palestinians from the Hebron area, as Israeli authorities implemented heightened security measures across the occupied West Bank following the incident.     MORE . . .

Abowd, Thomas. “RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
[. . . .] Israel’s Colonial Project in Palestine: Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism have been essentialist assertions of racial and cultural differences between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. Zionism has generated new meanings about Jews and Arabs and imputed notions of superiority and inferiority onto colonizer and colonized alike. As well, there have been assumptions about where and how Palestinians and Israelis should live in relation to one another—who belongs where and who is “out of place.”  . .  . . Questions of race, racism, and racist violence [have been ignored as a frame of analysis for studying Palestine/Israel].
___It might be said that the Jewish state’s ideological architecture of essential differences between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs enables nearly every one of its principle aims. Once racist notions are inculcated into (and imbibed by) a dominant population, an array of distancing policies, technologies of surveillance, methods of exclusion, and “racialised forms of monitoring … ” can be created and sustained more easily.
___Israeli settler-colonialism has relied on sustaining apartness or distance through notions of racial, cultural, and religious difference . . . .     And it is this colonial imperative that has enabled and been enabled by the notion that Palestinians are . . .  “matter out of place”: that is, non-Jewish populations who can be tolerated “over there,” provided they do not pollute the Israeli body politic.
___Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them. The process of reification, therefore, is one not easily ignored in analyzing Palestine/Israel . . .    Reification is that practice in which something that is not a thing is turned into a thing . . .  reification might be understood as the “thingification” of human beings. . . .
___The logic—and practice—of elimination seems untenable without racial notions and efforts at racialization. In their absence, colonialism does not make sense and cannot function. Without the belief that certain bodies are violable, the aims of elimination become more difficult to achieve.     SOURCE . . .

Jonathan Cook
June 16, 2017         Israeli and US officials are in the process of jointly pre-empting Donald Trump’s supposed “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . .       The conspiracy – a real one – was much in evidence last week during a visit to the region by Nikki Haley, Washington’s envoy to the United Nations.
[. . . .] But worse is to come. Now the framework of international laws and institutions established after the Second World War is at risk of being dismembered.
___That danger was highlighted on Sunday, when it emerged that Netanyahu had urged Haley to dismantle another UN agency much loathed by Israel. UNRWA cares for more than five million Palestinian refugees across the region.       MORE . . .

School boys playing football during a break at the UNRWA Khan Younis Preparatory Boys C School in southern Gaza. (UNRWA Photo 2016 by Tamer Hamam)

The Nation
Richard Falk
March 22, 2017         Six months ago, the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) asked Virginia Tilley and me to write a study examining the applicability of the international criminal law concept of apartheid to Israel’s policies and practices toward the Palestinian people . . .  as a result of an uncontested motion adopted by its 18 Arab member governments.
___Almost within hours of its release on March 15, our report was greeted by what can only be described as hysteria. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, denounced it and demanded that the UN repudiate it. The newly elected secretary general, António Guterres, quickly and publicly called for ESCWA to withdraw the report from its website, and when Rima Khalaf, the head of the commission, resisted, Guterres insisted. Rather than comply, Khalaf resigned. Soon thereafter, the report was withdrawn from the commission’s website. . . .
___What is striking about this response, which resembles in many respects the US government response to the Goldstone Report (the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict of 2008-9), is the degree to which Israel’s supporters, in response to criticism, have sought to discredit the messenger rather than address the message.  MORE . . .

What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
The fiercest of French traits:
The cruelest of German blows:
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What should I do?
–From: Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.)
Available from Barnes and Noble
 About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . you who fear death, I feared it not. . . “ (Samih Al-Qasim)

No. 3 below. Matias Hadwa of Palestine jumps for a header during their 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match against the United Arab Emirates at Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in the West Bank town of Al-Ram near Jerusalem, Sept. 8, 2015. (Photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Torokman).
No. 3 below.
Matias Hadwa of Palestine jumps for a header during their 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match against the United Arab Emirates at Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in the West Bank town of Al-Ram near Jerusalem, Sept. 8, 2015. (Photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Torokman).

Israeli forces shoot dead two boys, aged 13 and 15, in Gaza
❷ Israeli airstrike kills pregnant woman, 2-year-old girl in Gaza City
❸ Palestinian soccer scores goal in venue dispute
❹ Analysis: Why one Jerusalem street has seen so many stabbings
❺ Opinion: A different kind of intifada
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you for “following.”)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Oct. 11, 2015
GAZA CITY — Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed two Palestinian boys, aged 13 and 15, at a demonstration in the southern Gaza Strip.
____The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that Marwan Barbakh, 13, and Khalil Othman, 15, were shot dead during the protest to the east of Khan Younis. . . .
____At least 15 others were injured during the protest, the ministry said, although it did not provide further details.
____The Palestinian Red Crescent later said that its ambulance crews had treated seven Palestinians shot with live rounds across the Gaza Strip, in addition to 21 who suffered excessive tear gas inhalation.
More . . .
Oct. 11, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — An Israeli airstrike targeted a building near a home in Gaza City during the earliest hours of Sunday morning, killing a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old daughter after their home collapsed, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza said.
____Ashraf al-Qidra said the woman, identified as Nour Rasmi Hassan was five months pregnant during the time of her death, her daughter Rahaf Yahya Hassan was also killed, and three other family members were injured when their house was damaged from the airstrike near the al-Maslakh mosque in southern Gaza City.
____Hours before the airstrike,sirens sounded across southern Israel, as a single rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome in an area south of Ashkelon.
____No Injuries were reported.
____According to a statement from the Israeli army, Israeli forces responded to Gaza’s rocket with an airstrikes on “two Hamas weapon manufacturing facilities in the northern Gaza Strip.”
____The statement made no mention of any deaths or damages to civilian homes.
More . . .
Ahmad Melhem
(Ahmad Melhem is a Palestinian journalist and photographer based in Ramallah for Al-Watan News.)
Oct.7, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinian soccer may have won its biggest victory over its Saudi rival before the teams even enter the pitch.
____The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) has decided that the two national teams may play the second of two matches in the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Asian Cup qualifications in Palestine after all, revoking an earlier decision to find a less controversial alternative. The reversal came after an Oct. 6 meeting in Zurich between FIFA President Sepp Blatter and the heads of the Palestinian and Saudi Arabian football associations, Jibril Rajoub and Ahmed Eid al-Harbi.
More . . .
❹ Analysis
+972 BLOG
Yonathan Mizrachi
(Yonathan Mizrachi is an archaeologist and the executive director of Emek Shaveh.)
Oct. 11, 2015
For Israel and settler organizations, creating a Jewish identity and presence on the access road to the Western Wall is very important. Palestinians, on the other hand, view it as a dangerous provocation.
____The many stabbings in Jerusalem’s Old City in recent weeks have taken place in one precise location: Ha-Gai Street, or Al-Wad Street in Arabic. While the walled city is relatively small, it is interesting to note why the political and violent struggle over Jerusalem focalizes on its most heavily guarded street.
More . . .
❺ Opinion
Daoud Kuttab
(Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist, a media activist and a columnist for Palestine Pulse. He is former Ferris Professor of journalism at Princeton University.)
Oct. 8, 2015
The ultimate direction of the current violent escalation in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank is a mystery. Is it the long-anticipated third intifada? Or is it merely a short-term spike in the escalation of violence?
____One thing seems clear: There is no way of knowing or predicting the depth, length or nature of what happens when people lose hope. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to wash his hands of the 1993 Oslo Accord — which he himself had signed 22 years earlier — might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
____Without any peace process in sight and with the young Palestinian population seeing no future, it is not surprising that people are revolting.
More . . .

Blogger’s Note: This poem, and many others from the years shortly after the 1967 war seem to be more timely and urgent now than at any time since they were written.

Leave the martyr shrouded in his clothes;
Rest him at the foot of the mountain, it knows his sorrow.
Don’t bury him; his wounds
Tell the will of his love and suffering.
Do you hear? Let him depart from his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Rest him in the sun; a wind
From the land of his youth will caress his face.
Don’t close his eyes; a last
Glimmer of light is still in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I feared it not;
Take me to my home to rest my cheek
On its threshold and to kiss its door.
Let me see my vineyard
One last time.”

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.
About Samih Al-Qasim
Qasim in academic journals
Book review

A Different Intifada. A Palestinian girl hurls stones at Israeli troops during clashes after a suspected Palestinian militant stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier and was then shot dead by special forces, Hebron, Oct. 7, 2015. (Photo by REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma).
A Different Intifada.
A Palestinian girl hurls stones at Israeli troops during clashes after a suspected Palestinian militant stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier and was then shot dead by special forces, Hebron, Oct. 7, 2015. (Photo by REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma).