“. . . our days of sacrifice have arrived; they shine, radiant. . .” (‘Abd Al-Raheem Mahmoud)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [JERUSALEM]
Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes in the Anata village in northeastern the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, on Tuesday evening.    ___Local witnesses told Ma’an that a large number of Israeli forces stormed the village escorting staff members from the Jerusalem Municipality and several bulldozers, and surrounded the neighborhood in which the two homes are located. [. . . .] . . .both of the demolished homes were built long before the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.  [. . . .] More . . .
IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  BEGIN  DEMOLITION  CAMPAIGN  IN  AL-WALAJA  [between  Jerusalem and Bethlehem]    More . . .
ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  189  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [Bethlehem]   More . . .

ISRAELI  HIGH  COURT  RULES  TO  DEMOLISH  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  COMMUNITY        The Israeli High Court gave on Wednesday the green light to the Israeli military to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem, paving the way for removing it, displacing its 180 residents and replacing it by a Jewish settlement.    ___According to Walid Assaf, head of the anti-wall, anti-settlement commission in the Palestinian Authority, the court gave the army one week to remove the village and said that its residents will not be allowed to return to it and live there again.   More . . .

US  AMBASSADOR:  JERUSALEM  MADE  ISRAEL’S  CAPITAL  ‘UNDER  GOD’S  DIRECTION’  3,000  YEARS  AGO
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has praised President Donald Trump’s administration for putting US-Israeli relations on “more solid [ground] than ever before”, reported the Jerusalem Post.   ___Speaking at a pre-Rosh Hashanah reception in his Herzliya residence, Friedman singled out for praise the US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.   ___“Now, the United States did not make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. That was done by King David some 3,000 years ago under God’s direction,” Friedman declared.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  IDEOLOGY  LEADS  TO  DESTRUCTION:  HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
Home demolitions that target the Arab population of East Jerusalem is an issue that deserves attention and further exposure, as it is often overlooked in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and ignored by the international community. While several key organizations within Israel are working hard to expose the unjust policies behind many of the demolitions of Arab homes, there is very little that civil society is actually able to achieve. In fact, driven by an ideological motive, the Israeli authorities have developed strategies to preserve the Jewish population’s demographic and geographic advantage over the Palestinians, thus protecting the interests and stability of the Jewish state. There is much to consider when analyzing this topic: the motivations and mechanisms used by the Israeli authorities to carry out home demolitions, the effects of such policies on the Palestinian population and the international community’s response.
Dimova, Nicoletta. “When Ideology Leads to Destruction: Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 15, no. 3, Sept. 2008, pp. 92-98.  (NOTE: this article is not yet available online but may be accessed through any EBSCO database.)

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  PRESENTS  THE  JERUSALEM  CONFERENCE,  HOUSTON,  TX    Featuring Rev. Jim Winkler, President of National Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon of Churches for Middle East Peace, Sojourners’ Founder and President Jim Wallis, and Bright Stars of Bethlehem President, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.  As part of the Room for Hope festival, The Jerusalem Conference is a one-day conference on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 that brings together scholars, ecumenical theologians, and peace-doers around the topic    Register . . .

PLAYGROUNDS  FOR  PALESTINE  ANNUAL  GALA          SATURDAY,  SEPTEMBER  22,  2018  |  5PM  –  9PM  | Bodek  Lounge  |  Houston  Hall  |  University  of  Pennsylvania  |  PHILADELPHIA      Tickets  .  .  .

“CALL  OF  THE  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
The slain motherland called for our struggle
and my heart leapt with joy.
I raced the winds, but did not boast.
Isn’t it my simple duty to redeem my country?
I carried my soul in my hands asking
any who feared death: do you hesitate
before the enemy?
Would you sit still when your country begs for your help?
Would you back away from facing the enemy?
If so, then go hide in your mother’s bedroom!
May your hesitation humiliate you!
The motherland needs mighty defenders
who meet aggression
but never complain;
true lions on the battlefield.

People of my country, our days of sacrifice have arrived;
they shine, radiant, across the hills of this holy land.
Redeemed by our young men too proud
to endure oppression,
what can we do but fight bravely
when the fire’s kindled?
March on, to the field! Pour fire
on the heads of the enemy everywhere.
Nothing’s humbler that a people who shun the fight
when their country calls for it.

Neighbors, brethren, arise from your sleep!
How can you sleep through this oppression?
Never stop even if the sky should grow dark.
Never retreat even if the sandstorms flare up behind you!
Don’t give up even if the world should face you
with weapons from every direction
unite, unite everywhere!
If Palestine should be lost while you still live,
I’ll say: our people have
abandoned the path.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye. From 
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  1992. 

 

“. . . a land that can fit, with wilderness to spare, in the Panhandle of Texas . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Abu Rudeineh responding to US ambassador: Occupation is reason for violence
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Amid rising tensions, US troops in Israel for missile defense drill
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) 44 Settlers, 33 US soldiers storm al-Aqsa Mosque plaza

  • Background: “The Gold Standard: U.S.–Israel Military Relations.” American Foreign Policy Interests.

❷ Israeli forces shower Palestinian school with tear gas, sending several students to hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian teen from Halhul, clash with locals
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Teen critically injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers north of Jerusalem
❸ PCHR: IOF continue systematic crimes in the oPT
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ABU  RUDEINEH  RESPONDING  TO  US  AMBASSADOR:  OCCUPATION  IS  REASON  FOR  VIOLENCE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Responding to statements by the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman criticizing the Palestinian Authority, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said on Wednesday that the Israeli occupation and the settlement policy are the main reason for violence in the region.
___Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements and settlers who regularly donates money and support for the illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied territories, which are in violation of international law, lashed out at what he said in a tweet as “Palestinian leader” not speaking out against the killing of  settlers in the West Bank.
___“The statements by the US ambassador lead us to wonder about the ambassador’s relationship with the occupation: Does he represent the US or Israel?” wondered Abu Rudeineh.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  AMID  RISING  TENSIONS,  US  TROOPS  IN  ISRAEL  FOR  MISSILE  DEFENSE  DRILL
The Jerusalem Post
Feb. 4, 2018 ― With tensions high on both the northern and southern fronts, US troops are in Israel and have deployed anti-missile defense systems across the country ahead of the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise.
___The large-scale, five-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from both fronts and will be led by the Israel Air Force, the IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)    44  SETTLERS,  33  US  SOLDIERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  PLAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 8, 2018 ―  Some 44 Jewish settlers escorted by 33 American soldiers on Thursday broke into al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas amid protection by Israeli police.
___Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said the American soldiers stormed the holy site in civilian uniform with the company of an Israeli officer.  MORE . . .

Holt, Blaine D.
“THE  GOLD  STANDARD:  U.S.–ISRAEL  MILITARY  RELATIONS.”
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY INTERESTS, vol. 36, no. 2, Mar/Apr2014, pp. 111-118. ‘‘The Gold Standard’’ may well be one of the most cliche´d and overused phrases used to communicate any field’s leading program or effort. However, in considering the military-to-military relationship between the United States and Israel, this trite descriptor may be more than appropriate. . . .
[. . . .] At present, the bilateral relationship in the military sphere is the envy of strategists and planners around the world. Joint and combined exercises, staff colleges and fellowships, interoperability training, and joint research and development are some of the jewels in the crown that suits both countries well. . . .   Today’s relationship boasts robust intelligence cooperation in addition to all the measures that yield two very capable, ready forces that have confidence in their ability to meet the bilateral challenges posed by leaders in Washington and Tel Aviv. And, while U.S.–Israeli bonds at the political level have ebbed and flowed, military-to-military relations have grown steadily, while remaining pragmatic and professional, over the last 50 years.
[. . . .] Irrespective of the level at which U.S. foreign aid settles as the political leadership in both countries engage in dialogue and debate domestically, the relationship between militaries forged over five decades is valuable. A way to safely shepherd this evolving and dynamic military alliance through any political, economic, or diplomatic climate is to deepen the roots of the existing programs while looking at innovative options to form new initiatives. In other words, rather than looking for ways to sustain the status quo, the timing is optimal to move the relationship to the next level . . . version 2.0.     SOURCE . . .  

ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOWER  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOL  WITH  TEAR  GAS,  SENDING  SEVERAL  STUDENTS  TO  HOSPITAL 
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinian school students in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron were exposed to high levels of tear gas on Thursday morning as Israeli forces showered their school with tear gas canisters.
___Several students were transferred to the Muhammad Ali al-Muhtaseb Hospital for treatment.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  FATHER  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  FROM  HALHUL,  CLASH  WITH  LOCALS
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Clashes erupted in the Hebron-area town of Halhul in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday during an Israeli raid into the town, just shortly after an Israeli security guard had shot and killed Halhul resident Hamzeh Youssif Zamaareh, 19.
[. . . .] After the alleged attack, Israeli forces raided Zamaareh’s family house and detained his father, Youssif.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴃ)  TEEN  CRITICALLY  INJURED  IN  CLASHES  WITH  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  NORTH  OF  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers Wednesday critically injured a 16-year-old Palestinian in Kafr ‘Aqab, north of Jerusalem, said medical sources.
___The Palestinian Red Crescent told WAFA the teen, who remains unidentified until the moment, was hit in the face, chest, and thigh areas during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . .  
❸  PCHR:  IOF  CONTINUE  SYSTEMATIC  CRIMES  IN  THE  OPT
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 7, 2018 ― The Gaza based Palestinian Center for Human Rights in its weekly report during the reporting period of (01 – 07 Feb. 2018) has recorded ongoing systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, which include:

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • Two Palestinian civilians were killed in peaceful protests that did not pose any threat to the Israeli soldiers’ life.
  • Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar in a crime of extra-judicial execution.
  • [. . . .] Israeli forces conducted 74 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 into Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. He attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications,

“. . . Though they betray me and my cause, Palestinian I am . . .” (Harun Hashim Rashid)

❶ Netanyahu threatens Hamas with “greater force”
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) US envoy to Israel: PA is reason there’s no peace

Background: “Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) How the Israeli Right succeeds at making itself the victim
❷ Israeli army declares Nabi Saleh, home to Tamimi family, closed military zone
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Civilians arrested, access roads closed by IOF throughout West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Life-saving treatment to be halted at Gaza hospitals over fuel dearth
❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rashid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ NETANYAHU  THREATENS  HAMAS  WITH  “GREATER  FORCE” 
Palestine News Network – PNN   
Jan. 14, 2018 ― Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu on Sunday threatened to use “even greater force if necessary,” after Israeli strike on a Gaza tunnel on the Palestinian Rafah, Gaza-Sinai border.
___“There are those who have said the IDF just targeted sand dunes — this is incorrect,” Netanyahu said in remarks to Israeli media before departing on his trip to India. “Hamas must understand that we will not permit these attacks and we will respond with even greater force.”
___Hours later, the Israel army confirmed reports that the target of the strike was a Hamas tunnel . . . .   MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  US  ENVOY  TO  ISRAEL:  PA  IS  REASON  THERE’S  NO  PEACE
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 14, 2018 ― US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman slammed the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the wake of shooting that killed Jewish rabbi settler in occupied West Bank city of Nablus . . . .
___On Twitter, Friedman accused the PA of spending the financial aid it receives from donors on “killers” of Israelis and basing the amount of financial reward they receive on the amount of damage they cause to Israelis.
___His comments came after an Israeli settler was shot and killed on Tuesday evening in the Nablus region of the occupied West Bank.
___The diplomat went on to justify America’s threats to cut financial aid to the PA and UNRWA which supports Palestinian refugees.   MORE . . .  

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael.
“RELIGIOUS,  HATEFUL,  AND  RACIST  SPEECH  IN  ISRAEL.”
SHOFAR: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF JEWISH STUDIES, vol. 31, no. 2, Winter2013, pp. 95-117.
[. . . .] This essay is largely concerned with Israel’s policy on hate speech and racial expressions as they have come into expression by religious authorities . . .  Those expressions have stemmed from the ideologically motivated religious authorities against two groups of people: those who aimed to give away parts of Israel’s territory, and Palestinian Arabs. . . .
[. . . .] In 2008, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu called on the government to carry out “state-sanctioned revenge” against Arabs in order to, in his words, “restore Israel’s deterrence”. . .   Rabbi Eliyahu wrote: “It’s time to call the child by its name: Revenge, revenge, revenge. We mustn’t forget. We have to take horrible revenge for the Arab terrorist attack on Mercaz Harav Yeshiva,” referring to the incident in which eight students were killed in June 2008. “I’m not talking about individual people in particular, I’m talking about the state,” Eliyahu wrote. Israel has “to pain them to the point where they scream ‘Enough,’ to the point where they fall flat on their face and scream ‘help.’ Not for the sake of satisfying the need for revenge but for the purposes of deterrence.” 
___In the newsletter that was distributed to synagogues around the country, Eliyahu proposed “hanging the children of the terrorist who carried out the attack in the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva from a tree.” The rabbi said: “We’ll stay here. We need to live with those who understand very well the language of revenge.”    SOURCE . . . 

.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  HOW  THE  ISRAELI  RIGHT  SUCCEEDS  AT  MAKING  ITSELF  THE  VICTIM
+972 Magazine  
By Almog Behar
We are in the historical stage of the ideological Right, in which every single detail, which would have previously embarrassed the right wing, now only strengthens it.
___ The most recent example of this phenomenon is that of Ateret Cohanim, the settler organization that used prostitutes, front organizations, and threats of murder to buy Palestinian properties in East Jerusalem. The ideological Right . . .  view the organization’s deeds as a mitzvah on the way to taking control of more land. Ateret Cohanim’s cleverness evokes wonderment rather than criticism . . .  As Yair Netanyahu, son of the prime minister, recently wrote on his personal Facebook page, the real danger is the Left, including groups such as Black Lives Matter and the BDS movement, rather than the extreme right that believes in white supremacy or neo-Nazism.   MORE . . .  
❷ ISRAELI  ARMY  DECLARES  NABI  SALEH,  HOME  TO  TAMIMI  FAMILY,  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE
Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 13, 2018 ― The Israeli army declared the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh — home to imprisoned teenage activist Ahed al-Tamimi — a closed military zone on Saturday, closing off all entrances and exits.
___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that that Israeli forces set up barriers on the main road that leads to Nabi Saleh and prevented Palestinians, including journalists, from entering the village.   MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  CIVILIANS  ARRESTED,  ACCESS  ROADS  CLOSED  BY  IOF  THROUGHOUT  WEST  BANK
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 14, 2018 ― Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in abduction sweeps rocking the West Bank at predawn Sunday.
___The Israeli army claimed responsibility for the abduction of 15 Palestinians on allegations of involvement in anti-occupation activities.
___The IOF wreaked havoc on civilian homes and aggressively beat several arrestees in the presence of their family members.
___Reporting from the northern West Bank, a PIC reporter said the occupation forces kidnapped 26-year-old Islam Samar from Jenin’s western town of Yamon after they ravaged his family home.
___The IOF also seized surveillance cameras from a Palestinian home in Mesliya town, in Jenin.   MORE . . .    
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  LIFE-SAVING  TREATMENT  TO  BE  HALTED  AT  GAZA  HOSPITALS  OVER  FUEL  DEARTH 
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 14, 2018 ― The Palestinian healthcare system in the besieged Gaza Strip is facing an alarming crisis due to the shortage of fuel supplies for generators that provide power for hospitals, a spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza has warned.
___Health Ministry spokesman, Ashraf al-Qidrah, said the ministry has enacted a “Plan B” which involves the redistribution of resources to more critically needed health assets.
___Al-Qidrah also warned of the possibility of delayed or canceled surgeries and inter-hospital transfers if no urgent action is taken on the part of the concerned authorities.   MORE . . .  

“PALESTINIAN,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHID
Palestinian,
Palestinian is my name.
In a clear script,
On all battlefields
I have inscribed my name,
Eclipsing all other titles.
The letters of my name cling to me,
Live with me, nourish me,
Fill my soul with fire
And pulse through my veins.
Palestinian,
Such is my name, I know
It torments and grieves me,
Their eyes hunt me,
Pursue me, wound me.
For my name is Palestinian.
And as they pleased
They have made me wander.

I have lived all my life
Without traits and features
As they pleased,
They gave me names and titles.
Jails with their gates flung wide
Summon me
And in all the airports of the world
Are found my names and titles―
The lying wind carries me,
Disperses me.
Palestinian―
The name pursues me, lives with me.
Palestinian is my fate,
Clinging to me, reviving me.
Palestinian I am
Though they betray me and my cause
Palestinian I am
Though they sell me in the market
For what they please,
For thousands of millions;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the gallows they drive me;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the walls they bind me.
Palestinian I am,
Palestinian I am,
Though to the flames they cast me.
I―what am I?
Without my name, Palestinian,
Without a homeland to live for,
To protect and be protected by?
I―what am I?
Answer me, answer me.

Harun Hashim Rashid  
AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY.
 Selected, Edited, and Translated by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1974. Available from Amazon.

“ . . . They abandoned my cause and my dream At the cemetery gates . . .” (Dareen Tatour)

2017_12-22-Ahed-Tamimi21766869_845269138965989_6970575238447373100_n-002
Ahed Al-Tamimi during a demonstration, Dec. 21, 2017 (Photo: 2 Suns Shamsaan/Facebook; from Middle East Monitor) “. . . irrefutable proof that Palestinian women and children do not need to be saved from Arab patriarchy . . . but from the Israeli military . . .” (Nada Elia)

❶ Opinion/Analysis: The face of Palestinian women’s defiance is a 16-year-old girl

  • Background: “Transnational Feminist Solidarity in Times of Crisis.” International Feminist Journal of Politics

❷ US ambassador to Israel demands halt of using the word ‘Occupation’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Arab Parliament called on to block Israel’s bid for Security Council seat
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Guatemalans not happy with decision to move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
❸ Israeli Knesset to vote on ‘death penalty’ for Palestinians
❹ Pictures- Arrests…demolition…and confiscating goods in the village of Silwan
❺ POETRY by Dareen Tatour
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  FACE  OF  PALESTINIAN  WOMEN’S  DEFIANCE  IS  A  16-YEAR-OLD  GIRL
The Palestinian Information Center 
By Nada Elia
Dec. 26, 2017 ―   Ahed Tamimi has been protecting her ancestral land since she was a tender nine years old.
___Photos of the 16-year-old in pigtails, sometimes in a Minnie Mouse T-shirt, mostly with a keffiyeh around her shoulders, started circulating a few years ago, as she and the rest of her family held weekly protests against their dispossession.
[. . . .] Gender matters. What is unusual about Ahed and her family is the visibility, by Western standards, of the “empowerment” of Palestinian women. This is not to suggest that a veiled woman is not empowered – rather Ahed’s iconic status holds up a mirror to Western myopia, which frequently fails to see beyond a headscarf.
___If Ahed wore a hijab, and let’s be honest, if she were not an attractive, blue-eyed, blonde young girl, she would not have become the favourite of millions of Western liberals who cannot quite reconcile themselves to the full validity of a hijabi woman’s struggle.
___The young Ahed Tamimi, as well as her mother, Nariman, and her cousin Nour, are the irrefutable proof that Palestinian women and children do not need to be saved from Arab patriarchy, or Islamic fundamentalism, but from the Israeli military, as it carries out their dispossession, displacement and violation of their human rights.  MORE . . . 

Sharoni, Simona, et al.
“TRANSNATIONAL  FEMINIST  SOLIDARITY  IN  TIMES  OF  CRISIS.”
INTERNATIONAL FEMINIST JOURNAL OF POLITICS, vol. 17, no. 4, Dec. 2015, pp. 654-670.
[. . . .] Sharoni: For years, feminists in the Global North have failed to understand why Palestinian women insist on linking their struggles for gender equality to national liberation. As a result, Palestinian women have been at the receiving end of well-intentioned but misguided initiatives, which have disregarded their agency, needs and resilience, and have focused on a narrow understanding of “women’s issues” and critiques of patriarchy and nationalism. Missing from the feminist response to the crisis in Palestine has been recognition of its root causes, namely Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, its violation of Palestinian rights and its apartheid-like policies toward the Palestinian people.
[. . . .] NADJE AL-ALI: It is far easier to conceptualize – and even to teach – transnational feminist politics and solidarity, but it is tricky to put it into practice. Theoretically, most feminists would agree that we need to think about gendered inequalities in an intersectional manner, identifying and challenging the specific configurations of power and inequalities that circumscribe women’s and men’s lives. In practice, however, certain power relations – patriarchy, capitalism, racism, heteronormativity – might be better understood and more widely acknowledged than others. Yet, colonialism, imperialism and Zionism are also key configurations of power that intersect to severely impact upon Palestinian women’s lives. It is our responsibility as transnational feminists to challenge simplistic and flawed explanations that would peg “Muslim culture” as the key determinant of Palestinian women’s experiences of oppression. We need to listen to Palestinian women’s rights activists and feminist academics. At the same time, I would argue that gender equality for Israeli Jewish women is also impossible without a challenge to Israel’s settler colonial structures and policies.   SOURCE . . . 

❷ US  AMBASSADOR  TO  ISRAEL  DEMANDS  HALT  OF  USING  THE  WORD  ‘OCCUPATION’     
Palestine News Network – PNN  
Dec. 27, 2017 ― US ambassador to Israel David Friedman urged the State Department to stop using the word “occupation” when referencing Israel’s presence in the West Bank specifically in official documents, The Times of Israel said on Tuesday.
___According to Israel Radio, Friedman suggested the diplomats use alternative terms for “Israeli-occupied territories” proposing they instead refer to it as the “West Bank”, considered a more neutral term by the ambassador, according to The Forward.
___The State Department refused this call, reported Kan public broadcaster, but agreed that the issue will be discussed in the future.
___Friedman has previously expressed his skepticism in the two state solution, and said that Israeli expansion in the West Bank will continue, stating that Israel is “only occupying two percent of the West Bank.”      MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ARAB  PARLIAMENT  CALLED  ON  TO  BLOCK  ISRAEL’S  BID  FOR  SECURITY  COUNCIL  SEAT 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Palestine Committee in the Arab Parliament meeting in Cairo completed on Wednesday a draft proposal to block Israel’s bid for a Security Council seat in 2019-2020 term that will be submitted to a general meeting of the Arab Parliament scheduled for Thursday to adopt it.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  GUATEMALANS  NOT  HAPPY  WITH  DECISION  TO  MOVE  EMBASSY  IN  ISRAEL  TO  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Dec. 27, 2017 ― Guatemalans reacted with anger and concern over their president’s decision to move his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. . . .
[. . . .] Guatemala is the main exporter of cardamom pods that are used with coffee to Arab and Islamic countries with more than $300 million dollars of exports a year. When former President Ramiro J Leon Carpio (1993-1996) made a similar decision . . .  he was forced to quickly rescind that decision when Arab and Islamic countries closed their doors to the Guatemalan market.
___Former vice president of Guatemala, Eduardo Stein (2004-2008), warned of the negative consequences of the decision by [President Jimmy] Morales, who is facing impeachment on corruption charges.   MORE . . .  
❸ ISRAELI  KNESSET  TO  VOTE  ON  ‘DEATH  PENALTY’  FOR  PALESTINIANS      
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Israeli parliament is set to vote on a draft bill that would impose the death penalty on Palestinians “involved in operations against Israeli targets”, the country’s defense minister said Monday.
___Speaking to an Israeli TV channel, Avigdor Lieberman said voting to advance legislation targeting convicted Palestinians of attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers would take place Wednesday.
___“The U.S. also has such legislation. Thus, it’s appropriate for Israel to follow such a powerful democratic system in the world,” Lieberman said.      MORE . . .
❹ PICTURES: ARRESTS…DEMOLITION…AND  CONFISCATING  GOODS  IN  THE  VILLAGE  OF  SILWAN 
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan   
Dec. 26, 2017    On Tuesday morning, the occupation forces executed a series of arrests and raided multiple houses and commercial establishments in the village of Silwan in Jerusalem.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that the occupation forces along with intelligence personnel raided the neighborhoods of Silwan in the early morning hours and were deployed in the streets before storming into houses and arresting several youths and young men.
___The locals of Silwan explained to Wadi Hilweh Information center that the forces deliberately searched and tampered the contents of their houses while executing arrests.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❹  ―  (ᴀ)  STUDY:  AIDA  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  BETHLEHEM  IS  THE  MOST  AREA  EXPOSED  TO  TEARGAS  IN  THE  WORLD 
Palestine News Network – PNN   
Dec. 27, 2017 ― The Center for Human Rights of the University of California at Berkeley recently showed that Israeli security forces carried out the use of tear gas “widely” and “frequently” and “indiscriminately” against Palestinian refugees in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem.
[. . . .] Aida refugee camp, occupied West Bank – A Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank – may be the most exposed place to tear gas in the world, according to the author of a new study.
[. . . .] “We found that the constant and unpredictable use of tear gas in Palestine refugee camps has a devastating effect on the mental and physical health of residents,” said the report’s co-author, Dr Rohini Haar, a researcher at the UC Berkeley centre and a doctor with Physicians for Human Rights.    MORE . . .  

“I  WILL  NOT  LEAVE,”  BY  DAREEN  TATOUR
They signed on my behalf
And turned me into
A file, forgotten
Like cigarette butts.
Homesickness tore me apart
And in my own country I ended up
An immigrant.
I abandoned those pens
To weep over the sorrows
Of the inkwells
They abandoned my cause and my dream
At the cemetery gates
And that person who’s waiting
Laments his luck
As life passes.
Besiege me,
Kill me, blow me up,
Assassinate me, imprison me.
When it comes to my country,
There’s no backing down.
―― Translated by Jonathan Wright

Interview with Dareen Tatour
From  Pierre Joris blog

“. . . Like twenty impossibilities/ We shall remain. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

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A Palestinian woman holds the key to her old family house as Palestinians stage a Nakba Day rally. [Photo: Alaa Badarneh/EPA]
❶ ‘We will support you by every possible means:’ David Friedman arrives in Israel

  • Background: “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.”

❷ Israel is still unable to deal with the catastrophe of 1948
❸ Jewish Nation-State Bill: Israel’s Precarious Identity is Palestine’s Nightmare
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ‘WE  WILL  SUPPORT  YOU  BY  EVERY  POSSIBLE  MEANS:’  DAVID  FRIEDMAN  ARRIVES  IN  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency
May 16, 2017
US President Donald Trump’s pick for US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman embarked on his first official trip to Israel on Monday, as the ultraright, pro-settler ambassador reportedly told Israeli leaders that he and Trump would support Israel “by every possible means.”
___Friedman’s first stop after landing in Israel was the Western Wall, a holy Jewish site located in occupied East Jerusalem and adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the ambassador “prayed for Donald Trump.”
___On Tuesday, Friedman met with President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and presented his credentials. . .  MORE . . .

Ben-Dor, Oren. “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press), vol. 12, no. 2, Nov. 2013, pp. 181-205.
[. . . .] Thus, the possibilities for genuine political struggles that contest political, social and economic inequalities are heavily managed so as to protect the apartheid premise for the sake of which the state [Israel] was constituted. The injustices in it are not just a de facto durational injustice which are found and persist for some time in any political community and which may be more or less systematic until the narratives that give rise to them are overcome. . . .  In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state, a sense of ‘separateness; of Jews that has to be constantly rejuvenated and reinvented and reinforced by the state. Because the Zionist ideological doctrine of ‘separateness’ led to the raison d’etre of the state, this separateness . . .  is disguised as ‘democratic’ practices. As such this denial is more entrenched in collective unconscious memory and thus more morally repugnant than the explicit apartheid of South Africa [which] was thus already open to reform . . . a political community that [could] be made responsible for its actions. In short. . .  South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel.          ___Moreover and crucially, in Israel it is because of the need to create a state which is based on this apartheid premise that sustains Jewish majority and character that ethnic cleansing took place . . .  such a state should not be recognised and . . .  in the case of Palestine national self-determination must not, under any circumstances, imply a Jewish state.     Full Article.

❷ ISRAEL  IS  STILL  UNABLE  TO  DEAL  WITH  THE  CATASTROPHE  OF  1948
+972 Blog
Oren Barak
May 16, 2017
Why does the State of Israel, which just celebrated 69 years of independence, struggle to deal with the unpleasant events in its distant past, especially not the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe in the 1948 War?
___Professor Avraham Sela and Professor Alon Kadish, two top scholars of the 1948 War from Hebrew University, recently published a book titled The War of 1948: Representations of Israeli and Palestinian Memories and Narratives. The book looks at a number of realms in which the memory of the war, as well as how it is forgotten, are expressed . . . .
[. . . .] The final chapter, was written by Sela and Professor Neil Kaplan, a Canadian researcher who focuses on the Israeli-Arab conflict, suggests an important insight: memory and historical narratives are the product of a particular political and social reality — not the other way around. The question is, then, what is the political and social reality that influences what is remembered and what is forgotten about the war     MORE . . .

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View of the assembly hall of the Knesset, during the opening of the winter session, October 31, 2016. (Photo: New York Jewish Week)

❸ JEWISH  NATION-STATE  BILL:  ISRAEL’S  PRECARIOUS  IDENTITY  IS  PALESTINE’S  NIGHTMARE
Palestine Chronicle     
Ramzy Baroud
May 17 2017
The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has hurriedly passed a new bill that defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people.” Although the association between Jewishness and Israel goes back to the foundation of the state, the new law also carries clear discriminatory elements that target the country’s Arab communities, numbering nearly two million people.
___The ‘Jewish Nation-State Bill’ is the latest concoction of Israel’s rightwing Zionist Jewish parties, which have dominated Israeli politics for years. With the Israeli ‘Left’ rendered irrelevant, or has itself moved to the right, the right wing elements of Israel are now the supreme rulers of that country.
[. . . . ] Israel’s odd definition of democracy and relentless attempts to reconcile between democracy and racial discrimination, however, is rarely challenged among its American and European allies.
___Palestinians, on the other hand, are bearing the brunt of racism more than ever before, for Israel’s Jewish dream has become their never-ending nightmare.  MORE . . .

“WE SHALL REMAIN,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

Tawfiq Zayyad, poet, scholar, politician (1929-1994)
From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon. 

And so the Trump/Friedman assault begins

PLEASE NOTE: This blog will resume its coverage of news from Palestine shortly. However, today it is important to begin to make clear the drastic shift in American policy toward Israel that will take place on January 2o. Thank you.

Senators Threaten to Cut Worldwide Embassy Security If U.S. Doesn’t Move Its Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem

___In 1995, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all campaigned on relocating the embassy and executing this law. But once in office, every one of them invoked a waiver in the law that allows them to hold off on the move if they deem it necessary to the national security interests of the United States to do so.       ___Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be seen as a green light to some Israeli government officials, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who seek to make Jerusalem the undivided capital of the state of Israel. That, in turn, would preclude the Palestinians from establishing a state that includes East Jerusalem. Most international observers believe that this would render the two-state solution impossible and thus be damaging to peace.       More . . .
________________________________
Call to direct action for [American] readers

Act Now

PUSH BACK AGAINST ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS – ACT NOW TO STOP HOUSE/SENATE RESOLUTIONS
We need you to ACT NOW to push back against illegal Israeli settlements! Congress has spent its first two days in session trying to back away from decades of U.S. policy on illegal settlements.
___Yesterday, the House and the Senate introduced legislation that would object to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 “as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.” H.R. 11 & the yet un-numbered Senate companion bill are unfounded and unwise criticisms of the Obama administration for abstaining from the UNSC resolution which condemned Israel for its settlements in the occupied West Bank.
___Contrary to what these bills (H.R. 11 & S.R. X) say, they do NOT aim to support the peace process. That was made even more clear when Rep. Peter King [R-NY-2] introduced an amendment that would DELETE any reference in the House bill to a two-state solution, which is a shocking abandonment of core U.S. policies. Simply put, these bills are about Congress trying to protect Israel from any criticism of illegal settlements.
More-including form for contacting members of Congress.
(Please forward to your American friends.)
__________________________________

Trump’s Pick for Israel Ambassador Is No Diplomat

THE ATLANTIC
David A. Graham
Dec. 16, 2016
David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer, believes Israel can annex and settle in the West Bank, wants to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and called a liberal American Jewish group “worse than kapos.”
___There was a time when Donald Trump’s statements on Israel rattled hardliners who were concerned he would be too friendly to Palestinians. In February, when Joe Scarborough asked him who was to blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Republican candidate replied, “I don’t want to get into it for a different reason, Joe, because if I do win, there has to be a certain amount of surprise, unpredictability. Let me be sort of a neutral guy, let’s see what—I’m going to give it a shot. It would be so great.”     ___Those days are long gone, a fact made clear by President-elect Trump’s decision to appoint David Friedman, an extreme hard-liner on the right, as his ambassador to Israel. Friedman, like many of Trump’s picks for Cabinet jobs, does not have any directly relevant experience, and the two men previously worked together when Friedman, a bankruptcy attorney, represented him in past bankruptcy proceedings.
___But Friedman advised Trump on Israel policy during the campaign and has left behind a long trail of statements indicating his views, including equating liberal Americans Jews to “kapos” who assisted Nazis in ghettos; labeling President Barack Obama an anti-Semite; and suggesting Israel should annex the West Bank.    More . . .

 

 

“. . . Mr. Friedman has been a pioneer philanthropist and builder of Jewish institutions and housing projects in Judea and Samaria . . .” (Baruch Gordon)

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View of Ramallah from Beit-El, with the buffers between the two. The first building with the red roof on the right hand side of the photo next to a parking lot with cars is the PA Ministry of Health. Nov. 1, 2010 (Photo by Rhonda Spivak)

(Note: please see Towering Trump blog for more information on Friedman’s association with and ideas about Israel.)

❶ . US President-elect Donald Trump donated $10,000 to Beit El in the West Bank in 2003
❷ . Group  [Friends of Beit El Settlement]  headed by Trump’s Israel envoy pick sued for war crimes
❸ . Beit El Institutions expresses its warmest blessings to David Friedman in his new position
❹ . Molotov cocktails burn down house in illegal settlement of Beit El in Palestine
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . US  PRESIDENT-ELECT  DONALD  TRUMP  DONATED  $10,000  TO  BEIT EL  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  IN  2003
Jerusalem Post Israel News‎ 
Dec. 18, 2016 – US President-elect Donald Trump donated $10,000 to Beit El in the West Bank in 2003, according to documents uncovered by The Jerusalem Post Sunday.
___A Trump Foundation tax form from 2003 shows Trump gave the sum to American Friends of Beit El. Other Jewish organizations the Trump Foundation donated to that year are UJA-Federation, American Jewish Committee and American Jewish Historical Society.   [. . . .]  A decade later, Trump’s choice for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, would become president of the organization, which is the settlement’s fund-raising operation, bringing in about $2 million annually.      More . . .
❷ . GROUP   [FRIENDS OF BEIT EL SETTLEMENT]   HEADED  BY  TRUMP’S  ISRAEL  ENVOY  PICK  SUED  FOR  WAR  CRIMES  
The Electronic Intifada
Ali Abunimah
Dec. 16, 2016 – President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to Israel is the head of an organization that is being sued by Palestinians for its role in the theft of their land for settlements and other Israeli war crimes.
___Announcing the nomination, the Trump transition team said that David Friedman would serve from Jerusalem . . . the new administration intends to move the US embassy to the city from its current location in Tel Aviv.
___Friedman is being described as “more extreme” even than the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
[. . . .]    Friedman is president of American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center, a nonprofit organization that raises about $2 million a year, mostly for the Beit El settlement, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
[. . . .]  ___The lawsuit argues that directly supporting Israeli settlements with tax-exempt charitable funds amounts to money laundering and tax fraud and aids and abets crimes including theft of Palestinian property, home demolitions, maiming, murder, ethnic cleansing and even genocide.       More . . . 

beitel4
A view of the Israeli settlement of Beit El with the neighboring Palestinian city of Ramallah in the background. (Photo: Michael Omer-Man)

❸ . From  American  Friends  of  Bet  El  Yeshiva  Center’s  Facebook  Page
BET  EL  INSTITUTIONS  EXPRESSES ITS WARMEST BLESSINGS TO DAVID FRIEDMAN IN HIS NEW POSITION as US Amb to Israel. In his position as President of Bet El Institutions, Mr. Friedman has been a pioneer philanthropist and builder of Jewish institutions and housing projects in Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank) and throughout the country. His vital and valorous role in the rebuilding of Israel has earned him the trust and respect of the Israeli People, a key factor which will enable him to best fulfill his duties in representing US interests in Israel. Bet El Institutions is proud to be closely associated with Mr. Friedman and wishes him much success in strengthening the historic ties between the United States and the state of Israel.     -Baruch Gordon, Director of Development for Bet El Institutions and IsraelNationalNews.com.          More . .
❹ . MOLOTOV  COCKTAILS  BURN  DOWN  HOUSE  IN  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  OF  BEIT  EL  IN  PALESTINE        
Al Bawaba News
Nov. 12, 2016 – An Israeli home in the illegal Beit El settlement, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh, was left completely burned down late Thursday night after a group of Palestinian youth threw Molotov cocktails into the settlement, according to Palestinian sources.
___According to locals, several youths threw the Molotov cocktails at the house, which was located on the outskirts of the settlement. The house then caught on fire and burned to the ground.   More . . .
RELATED:
Israeli soldiers open fire on Palestinians near [Beit El] settlement, hitting one, Israeli media says   Ma’an News Agency   Oct. 23, 2016    More . . .  
Settlement buildings bulldozed in Israel [Beit El Settlement], but Netanyuhu calls for more construction   Los Angeles Times      Jul. 29, 2015    More . . .
Israel to build 800 new housing units in West Bank   
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO    July 30, 2015    More . . .  
PA slams plans for 90 new homes in Beit El settlement   Jerusalem Post    Feb. 11, 2013
More . . .