“. . . men are pained by long memories . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

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Palestinian orchards seen from Tent of Nations farm near Bethlehem. Photo, Harold Knight, November 6, 2015.

[Note: Please see the page “Other Sources” for a list of the sources used that are not specifically “news” sites, the location of many of the opinion pieces here.] 

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY 

ISRAEL  REJECTS  UN  PROPOSALS  TO  PROTECT  PALESTINIANS   Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, condemned the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ report on improving Palestinian protection in the occupied territories.   ___Danny Danon spoke on behalf of Israel and announced Israel’s rejection of the report presented by Guterres on Friday.   More.
ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  FIRE  AT  GAZA  FLOTILLA     Israeli naval forces opened fire at dozens of Gaza flotilla boats that set sail on Saturday from the besieged Gaza Strip port in attempt to break the maritime blockade imposed by Israel.   ___According to local sources, Israeli naval forces opened fire a while after five boats of the Gaza flotilla set sail towards the northern borders of Gaza to break the nearly 12-year siege.   More.
ISRAEL  ARRESTS  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALIST  FOR  FILMING  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS     A Palestinian journalist has been arrested by Israeli authorities for filming soldiers operating in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Facebook Live. They claim he was inciting violence against Israel and the army.   ___Ali Dar Ali live-streamed two videos on Facebook on Tuesday morning, which showed Israeli soldiers . . . drawing up a plan of a Palestinian home, a procedure typically done before demolishing a building, according to Gaza-based journalist Hind Khoudary.   More.
IRISH  TOWN  TO  TWIN  WITH  BEIT  SAHOUR  A town in Ireland has completed the first step towards twinning with Beit Sahour in the occupied West Bank.   ___Kerry County Council has passed unopposed a motion to link Tralee, in County Kerry, with the Palestinian municipality.   ___Councilor Pa Daly of the Sinn Fein political party, who proposed the motion, said that he had the idea of twinning with a Palestinian town after the killing of more than 60 Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces on Nakba Day.  More.

COMMENTARY  AND  OPINION

‘FARMER  TERRORISM’  IS  THE  NEW  SLOGAN  FOR  JEWISH  SETTLERS
Ramona Wadi
In less than three months, Jewish settlers have destroyed over 2,000 trees and grapevines in the occupied West Bank. Rights group B’Tselem has issued a detailed report on this destruction, including testimony from Palestinian farmers. Bales of hay and barley fields were also destroyed. The destruction wrought by Israel’s settler-colonists equates Palestinian agriculture to terrorism; slogans sprayed on Palestinian property following the destruction included “No to farmer terrorism”.   ___The personal testimonies show that Israel has once again refused to act in order to deter settler violence against Palestinians and their land.  More.

JEWISH  NATION-STATE  LAW:  WHY  ISRAEL  WAS  NEVER  A  DEMOCRACY
Ramzy Baroud 
The head of the Arab Joint List Alliance at the Israeli Knesset, Aymen Odeh, described the passing of the racist Jewish Nation-state Law as “the death of our democracy.”    ___Did Odeh truly believe that, prior to this law, he had lived in a true democracy? 70 years of Israeli Jewish supremacy, genocide, ethnic cleansing, wars, sieges, mass incarceration, numerous discriminatory laws, all aimed at the very destruction of the Palestinian people should have given enough clues that Israel was never a democracy, to begin with.   ___The Jewish Nation-state Law is merely the icing on the cake. It simply gave those who argued, all along, that Israel’s attempt at combining democracy with ethnic supremacy was racism masquerading as democracy, the munition they needed to further illustrate the point.   More.

WHY  WE  CONTINUE  TO  MARCH  IN  GAZA
Abdalrahim Alfarra
I was sitting behind my desk in my family’s supermarket in Khan Younis on 14 May when my cousin Ali approached.     ___There was going to be another gathering in al-Faraheen for that day’s Great March of Return protest, he said. Would I join him?  [Abdalrahim continues with an account of his cousin’s shooting by Israeli soldiers.]
___For Ali and myself, the Great March of Return was a dream. Here we were, Palestinians, together, all calling for the right of refugees to return to their homes and lands from where they were expelled by Zionist forces in 1948. All of us, together, were demanding the lifting of Israel’s blockade on Gaza, now in its 11th year. We were united against the US embassy move to Jerusalem.   ___I was most motivated by the need for the rest of the world to see the protests from a Gazan perspective. There aren’t enough activists here who can tell our story in English to people abroad and reveal how Israel’s terror and inhumanity impact our lives.  More.

“SAND  AND  TEARS,”  by  Ramzy  Baroud
No water here, no humanity either;
only footprints our mothers made
crossing the Sahel into Gaza where
men are pained by long memories,
and women plot their return to die.

Wind, weeping all night, made my
eyes dry, yet when I saw yours
I remembered my name, and I was
determined to reach out for
the moon and ride her back to the

Beginning of our dreams, my hand
trembling in your firm grasp,
above the last dune where my
desert abruptly ends
and yours maps out a continent.
— For a refugee from Mali

—From I Remember My Name, Novum Pro Books, 2016.

“Don’t ask me the impossible. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

al-Eizariya, as photographed in the 1940s with the Greek Orthodox church on the hilltop.
al-Eizariya, as photographed in the 1940s with the Greek Orthodox church on the hilltop.

(Please take a moment to read the page “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  2  HOMES,  7  STORES  IN  AL-EIZARIYA
Aug. 26, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday morning demolished nine tin shacks, including two homes, in the town of al-Eizariya, east of Jerusalem, on land Israeli authorities have earmarked for construction of the separation wall, locals said.
____A popular resistance committee spokesperson, Hani Halabiya, told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops escorted bulldozers and Israeli Civil Administration inspectors into the town.
____The bulldozers then demolished nine shacks without any prior warning, saying that they had been built without the necessary licenses, he said.
____Halabiya said that some of the structures belonged to Sami Abu Ghaliya, a local Fatah official representing Bedouin tribes on the outskirts of Jerusalem, while the others were being rented by Palestinians from Jerusalem, Hebron, al-Eizariya, and the Bedouin al-Jahalin tribe.
____Two of the structures served as homes and seven as commercial stores, including a grocery store, a car wash, and shops selling brassware and used furniture, Halabiya said.
More. . .

Israeli separation barrier at Al-Eizariya, 2007. This shows a part very close to the eastern part of Jerusalem, 2 Km from al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israeli separation barrier at Al-Eizariya, 2007. This shows a part very close to the eastern part of Jerusalem, 2 Km from al-Aqsa Mosque.
“AbuDisWall timeLine” by Zero, Tamarah.

THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ISRAELI  MINISTER  TO  BAN  PALESTINIAN  ORGANISATIONS  IN  AL-AQSA
August 25, 2015 ―Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said yesterday that he is seeking to outlaw two Palestinian-Arab groups “that strive to keep Jews off the Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque] in Jerusalem,” Israeli media reported.
____The two groups are mainly running Sharia Schools inside the mosque’s grounds and organising trips for Palestinians to visit the holy site, which is the third holiest site for about two billion Muslims around the world.
____AlkhaleejOnline reported Erdan . . . . accused the groups of destabilising the situation in the area around the mosque. According to the Israeli Radio, Erdan has received detailed security reports from the Israeli security services about the groups’ activities.
____Meanwhile, Deputy Islamic Movement leader Kamal Al-Khatib said: “This is an Israeli plan targeting Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
More. . .

PALESTINE CHRONICLE
ISRAELI  PRESIDENT  SAYS  GOVT  HAS  ‘RIGHT’  TO  BUILD  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS
The Free Zone
August 25, 2015
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin says the country has the “right” to build settlements in the West Bank and it is “not a matter of political debate.” His comments are likely to cause controversy, with the EU and Palestine opposed to illegal Israeli development in the area.
____Although the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank is illegal under international law, Rivlin believes that the “land of Israel” includes this territory.
____“I love the land of Israel with all my heart,” Rivlin said, AFP reported. “I have never and will never give up on this land. For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism.”
More. . .

PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL  TO  UPROOT  TREES  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY  NATURE  RESERVE,  TO FORCE  FAMILIES  OUT  OF  HOMES  FOR  MILITARY  DRILLS
August 26, 2015
TUBAS ― Israeli forces Wednesday notified a nature reserve to the East of Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valley, of their intentions to uproot its forest trees, according to a local official.
____Motaz Bisharat, in charge of the Jordan Valley settlements file in the Palestinian Authority, said that forces notified ‘Enoun’ nature reserve, which occupies an area of 14 dunums, of their intentions to uproot the forest trees
[. . . . ]
____Aref Daraghmeh, head of al-Maleh local council, said an Israeli army force broke into the village in the morning and handed notices to 14 families ordering them to leave their homes from 6:00 AM until 12:00 PM on September 1, to conduct military drills in the area.
More. . .

❺ Opinion
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
ISRAEL  UNLEASHES  ITS  DIPLOMATIC  THUG  ON  THE  UN
Jonathan Cook, Nazareth
Aug 25 2015
The appointment by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu of one of his most hawkish and outspoken rivals as Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations has prompted widespread consternation.
____As one Israeli analyst noted last week, Danny Danon’s appointment amounts to a “cruel joke” on the international community. The new envoy “lacks even the slightest level of finesse and subtlety required of a senior diplomat”.
____Last year Netanyahu sacked Danon as deputy defence minister, describing him as too “irresponsible” even by the standards of Israel’s usually anarchic politics. Danon had denounced the prime minister for “leftist feebleness” in his handling of Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer.
____Danon is a UN official’s worst nightmare. He is a vocal opponent of a two-state solution and has repeatedly called for the annexation of the West Bank.
More. . .

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt starts,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

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

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

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

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

“Greek Orthodox Church al-Eizariya” by See The Holy Land.

“. . . And build for scoundrels a life of justice and scented plentitude . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Israeli administrative detention. B'Tselem photo.
Israeli administrative detention. B’Tselem photo.

❶ From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
LAWYER:  ALLAN  REFUSED  2-YEAR  ADMINISTRATIVE  DETENTION  DEAL  BEFORE  COMA
August. 15, 2015
BETHLEHEM ― Muhammad Allan, who has been on hunger strike for more than 60 days, had refused an Israeli offer to continue his administrative detention for a period of two years, Allan’s lawyer told Ma’an Saturday.
____Allan’s lawyer Jamil al-Khatib told Ma’an that the offer was made before his health condition was critical.
____Allan remains at Israeli Barzilai Medical Center, where he went into a coma on Friday, and is currently connected to ventilators and intravenous fluids.
____His health condition has been rapidly deteriorating al-Khatib said.
More. . .
Related. . .  ‘FREEDOM  OR  DEATH’:  FAMILY  OF  HUNGER  STRIKER  LEFT  WAITING

❷ From: MONDOWEISS
IN  LATEST  THRUST  AT  OBAMA,  NETANYAHU  NAMES  UN  AMBASSADOR  WHO  TRASHED  HIM  AND  SAID   PALESTINIANS  CAN  HAVE  ‘FACEBOOK  STATE’
Philip Weiss
August 14, 2015
In the midst of his battle with President Obama over the Iran Deal, Israel’s prime minister announced today that he will appoint as the country’s next ambassador to the U.N. a far-right politician [DANNY DANON] who has been outspoken against Obama and who wants to annex the West Bank.
[. . .]
____Netanyahu fired Danon as deputy foreign minister in July 2014 when Danon said that Netanyahu was being too restrained in his attack on Gaza, which was then producing imagery of slaughtered children around the world.
____Two years ago, Danon taunted Palestinians over the idea they would ever have enfranchisement or a state. Ben Birnbaum reported in the New Republic:
More. . .
About Danny Danon

❸ From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ACTIVISTS,  LOCALS  RALLY  NEAR  HEBRON  AGAINST  BLOCKADE,  SETTLEMENTS
August 15, 2015
HEBRON ― Local residents, foreign activists, and volunteers with Hebron’s Youth Against Settlements rallied near the al-Buera village in the southern West Bank district of Hebron on Friday in protest of the continued closure of al-Buera’s main road.
____The village’s main road has been controlled and blockaded by the Israeli occupation since the second Palestinian Intifada broke out in mid-2000.
____For the past 15 years, Israeli forces have implemented the blockaded of al-Buera’s main road using rocks and earth mounds. In addition, a steel gate was installed on one of the village’s exits near the illegal Israeli outpost of Givat Harsina in the Kiryat Arba settlement.
____The rally kicked off near the steel gate, and protesters marched from the outpost towards al-Buera village.
More. . .

Activists from Youth Against Settlements (YAS) group in Hebron demonstrating against blockade of al-Buera's main street.
Activists from Youth Against Settlements (YAS) group in Hebron demonstrating against blockade of al-Buera’s main street.

❹ From: PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  NEAR  RAMALLAH  VILLAGE
August 15, 2015
RAMALLAH― forces Saturday shot and injured a Palestinian youth near the village of Beit ‘Ur al-Tahta to the west of Ramallah before detaining him, said Palestinian medical sources.
____Israeli forces shot and injured Mahmoud Jomhoor, who comes from the East Jerusalem town of Beit ‘Anan, twice in his hand purportedly for attempting to stab an Israeli soldier on route 443, an Israeli bypass road that is considered the main traffic artery between Ramallah and several Palestinian villages to the southwest of the city.
____Sources from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that a PRCS paramedics rushed to provide emergency treatment for Jomhoor, but they were prevented from approaching the scene.
____PRCS sources added that Israeli forces detained the injured man and led him to an unknown destination.
More. . .

❺ Opinion
From: PALESTINE CHRONICLE
ALLIANCE  BLACKMAIL:  ISRAEL’S  OPPOSITION  TO  THE  IRAN  NUCLEAR  AGREEMENT
Richard Falk
July 30, 2015

“Which side will prevail in this dysfunctional encounter is presently obscure, which itself is an indication of the dismal conditions of political life in America. Many unanswered and unanswerable questions bedevil the process: Will this agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program be approved, and then implemented, or will it be blocked or unacceptably revised before coming into operation, or later on? Will Iran become associated more openly with Western attempts to defeat ISIS and in the desperate need to bring peace and humane governance to Syria where the people of the country have endured such severe suffering since 2011? Will these developments allow Iran to be treated as a normal state within regional and global political settings, and if this reduced atmosphere of external tension occurs will it also have moderating impacts on the internal governing process in Iran? Or will Israel and its allies succeed in keeping Iran in ‘a terrorist cage’ reserved for pariah states, and continue to insist upon a military option to wage war against Iran?”
[. . . .]
“What seems superficially astounding is that the world’s number one state seems frightened to step on the smallest Israeli toe, while Israel is ready to do whatever it needs to do to get its way on policy issues in the event of a dispute with its supposedly more powerful partner. After negotiating a far tougher deal (on enriched uranium and intrusive inspections) with Iran than the realities warrant, at least partly out of deference to Israeli concerns. . .”

Richard Falk is Albert G Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Research Fellow, Orfalea Center of Global Studies. He is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.

“THE  PAGAN  FIRE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD  (1929 – 1994)
Slowly,
I draw the thin thread of light
From the night’s entangled darkness,
Water the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of my beloved
With kerchiefs of Arabian Jasmine.

Slowly,
I plant the scarce oases
In the burning sands,
And build for scoundrels
A life of justice and scented plentitude.
If, one day, I trip on the road,
My roots will guide me back.

Slowly,
For I am not like matches
That flicker once and die forever
But like a pagan fire,
I burn from the cradle to the grave,
And from my ancestors to my descendants.
My breath is as wide as the horizon;
I will master the craft of ants.

Slowly,
For we dictate
The course of history.
We have seen the end
Of many a tyrant;
Each gets what he deserves.
We lengthen their ropes,
Not to lengthen their lives, but to hang them.
―Translated by Dr. Mahmud Hassan of Alexandria University

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.
Tawfiq Zayyad (7 May 1929 – 5 July 1994) was a Palestinian politician well known for his “poetry of protest”. Born in the Galilee, Zayyad studied literature in USSR. After returning home, he was elected mayor of Nazareth on 9 December 1973. . .
More . . .

Barailai Medical Center. both prison and hospital.
Barailai Medical Center. both prison and hospital.