“. . . an impossible burden weighs down on eyelids and chest . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

mohammed
Mohammad Ghadir Palestinian player of Maccabi Haifa runs with the ball during the UEFA Championship game in Munich, Germany. (Photo: Getty Images, Nov. 25, 2009)

❶ Israel’s Supreme Court orders demolition of settler outpost in Bethlehem by March

  • Background:  “After 50 Years: Save Israel, Stop the Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.    “. . . the occupation became a fundamental catalyst of far-reaching impacts on Israeli society. The state of Israel becomes more Jewish and less democratic . . .”

❷ Prime Minister Hamdallah: U.S. Appeals Court’s Decision is Just
❸ The metamorphosis of a Jewish supremacist
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL’S  SUPREME  COURT  ORDERS  DEMOLITION  OF  SETTLER  OUTPOST  IN  BETHLEHEM  BY  MARCH
Ma’an News Agency  
Sept. 2, 2016
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that an illegal Israeli settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem be demolished by March 2018, sparking condemnation from right-wing Israeli parliament members who blamed the decision on left-wing groups aiming to “exploit the judicial system” for the benefit of a minority.
___The court ordered the removal of 17 homes, comprising of some 40 Israeli families, in the Israeli settler outpost of Derech HaAvot established in 2001 near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc after ruling that the outpost was built on privately held Palestinian land, according to a statement released by Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___ The Jerusalem Post reported that the outpost was established with 300,000 shekels ($79,562) from the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing. Soon after its establishment, the outpost was challenged in the courts by Palestinians from the town al-Khader who claimed they owned the land.     MORE . . .  

  • Schnell, Izhak, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “After 50 Years: Save Israel, Stop The Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 72-80.   FULL ARTICLE.

(NOTE: Izhak Schnell is professor in the Department of Geography and Human Environment at Tel Aviv University. Daniel Bar-Tal is Professor Emeritus at the School of Education at Tel Aviv University. He was co-editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal (2001-05) and president of the International Society of Political Psychology.) 

[Three] mechanisms stabilizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and avoiding the adoption of peace policies. . . The third mechanism relates to the institutionalization of a bureaucratic inertia that maintains and feeds the occupation regardless of declared policies. This mechanism acts at a governmental level when, for example, a senior clerk in the Ministry of Justice announces a regulation that the government does not have to prove ownership of lands in cases of land disputes. Instead, the Palestinians who claim ownership have to prove their ownership of the land in question, and, as a result, this regulation means that many Palestinians lost their lands due to the settlement process. . . . The military was also forced to serve the settlers’ interests by guarding unauthorized settlements that were ordered to evacuate based on the law and Supreme Court decisions. Finally, the settlers’ council represents a population of an estimated 500,000 settlers who have relatives and ideological support among the religious sections, allowing the movement to become a powerful lobby in Israeli politics.  The fact that they are more motivated and better organized than other political lobbies in Israel makes them even more powerful.
___ . . . the occupation became a fundamental catalyst of far-reaching impacts on Israeli society. The state of Israel becomes more Jewish and less democratic in the delicate balance between these two aspects. Jewishness is defined in a combination of religious and nationalist terms, promoting a particularistic identity that turns its back on the Hebrew identity that emphasized universal and humanistic values. By defining the OPT as the core of the Jewish state and identity, the new Israel antagonizes the Palestinians, the Arab world and, indirectly, Western societies, which in turn, strengthen particularistic aspects of Israel’s identity bringing new life to slogans such as “People who live unto themselves.”

❷ PRIME  MINISTER  HAMDALLAH:  U.S.  APPEALS  COURT’S  DECISION  IS  JUST
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 1, 2016
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah commended Thursday the decision by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to dismiss a $655 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), finding that U.S. courts should not have exercised jurisdiction, according to a statement issued by Hamdallah’s office.
___A number of American families had filed a multimillion dollar law suit in a New York federal court in 2004 against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO holding them responsible for the death of family members in attacks by Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel between the years 2000 and 2002.    MORE . . .

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
A Permanent home in the illegal outpost of Derech Ha’avot. (Photo: Peace Now, Jan. 13, 2013)

❸ THE  METAMORPHOSIS  OF  A  JEWISH  SUPREMACIST
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
Aug. 31, 2016
David Mizrahi was once a prominent member of La Familia, a notorious Jewish supremacist chapter of the Beitar Jerusalem fan club.
___Three years ago, he famously refused to shake hands with Arab footballer Mohammed Ghadir. But on Sunday, he published the following on Facebook:
[. . . .] ___”And today, three years on, I’m coming full circle. I’m going to meet with Mohammed Ghadir, shake his hand talk to him. I’m the happiest man alive.
___I’ve recently started speaking against racism and for love and tolerance. Many eyebrows were raised. I was harassed along the way, and many are still annoyed with me.”     MORE . . .   

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).    Available From Amazon.com. 

“. . . I stumbled across Solitude in my house. . .” (Yousef Abdul-Aziz)

(See “NEW: Calendar” above for listing of events of interest.)

Dr. Basel Ghattas, Member of Knesset, Israel (Timesofisrael)
Dr. Basel Ghattas, Member of Knesset, Israel (Timesofisrael)

From MA’AN NEWS ANGENCY
MK GHATTAS: THE FLOTILLA IS PEACEFUL, LET THEM REMOVE MY IMMUNITY
June 24, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Arab MK Basel Ghattas said this week that threats by fellow Israeli lawmakers to remove his parliamentary immunity will not affect his decision to take part in the Freedom Flotilla III.
____The Israeli Knesset Committee reportedly voted in favor Tuesday of stripping Ghattas. . . of his immunity from prosecution for joining the protest flotilla.
____The Flotilla is the third of its kind to attempt to access the Gaza Strip by sea since 2010 . . .
(More. . .)
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE CHRONICLE
THE DRONE EATS WITH ME: DIARIES FROM A CITY UNDER FIRE
Vacy Vlazna
Jun 23 2015

“We prepare the suhoor. We all sit around five dishes: white cheese, hummus, orange jam, yellow cheese, and olives. Darkness eats with us. Fear and anxiety eat with us. The unknown eats with us. The F16 eats with us. The drone, and its operator somewhere out in Israel, eat with us.”

____I read The Drone Eats With Me: Diaries from a City Under Fire by Atef Abu Saif in almost one sitting . . . . These beautifully written searing diaries recounting each of the horrific 51 days of Israel’s monstrous war on the people of Gaza sweeps the reader into Atef’s anguished experience. . . simultaneously personal and collective.
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
SONIC YOUTH FRONTMAN THURSTON MOORE CANCELS CONCERT IN ISRAEL IN SUPPORT OF BDS
June 24, 2015
Thurston Moore, founding member of the 90’s rock band Sonic Youth, has confirmed his support for the cultural boycott of Israel, following the cancellation of his performance in Tel Aviv earlier this year . . .
____The renowned singer-songwriter and guitarist made the remarks in an article written by British-Palestinian musician Samir Eskanda, and published this week by online music magazine The Quietus. The piece, ‘I’m One Of 1000 UK Artists Boycotting Israel. Here’s Why’, makes the case for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). . . .
(More. . .)

“. . . I eventually arrived at the personal conclusion that to perform with my band in Israel was in direct conflict to my values.” (Photo: Chris Owyoung)

From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
ISRAELI AUTHORITIES HALT VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT
June 24, 2015
Israeli authorities yesterday handed down an order to Menizel village council, near Hebron city, to halt all building work on pipes and water tanks feeding water into the village.
____Coordinator of Popular Resistence Committee, Rateb al-Jabour, told the official agency that the Israeli authorities presented . . . a notice of an order to halt the development of water pipes and tanks around the village.
(More. . .)

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
ISRAELI GOV’T SEEKS TO SEIZE PALESTINIAN LANDS NEAR BETHLEHEM
The Israeli government has submitted anew a request to the high court to officially take over private Palestinian lands in order to legalize an unauthorized settlement outpost near Bethlehem, according to Peace Now.
____The request was again in response to a Peace Now petition to demolish 17 settlers’ homes, which were built on Palestinian-owned lots in the illegal settlement of Derech Ha’avot near Bethlehem. . . is located within the illegal settlement block of Gush Etzion, which is now home for more than 54,000 Jewish settlers
(More. . .)

“THE BOOK OF DOUBT,” BY JOUSEF ABDUL-AZIZ
Tonight
I stumbled across Solitude in my house.
Not only wearing my best shirt
and drinking my coffee
but also
smoking my tobacco
it was thrashing about the pages
of what looked like my manuscript.
It sat in my chair like a queen
and from its hands
rose an enchanted fog. . .
Still cloaked in my dreams I stood close by
trembling like a branch of the night
raining down bitter
questions:
What is woman?
In which storm
may my heart play?
Where did I bury the fire?!
As though I were a ring on its finger
it didn’t give me much thought.
Unfazed by my stiff shadow at the door
Solitude went on
with a sneer
scrambling pages
tearing them out of the manuscript.
I saw myself cast out to blind lands
and I hollered;
I saw before me a sphere of water
rising up in the wind
and above, a cracked moon,
and slain butterflies
strewn around me.
I’m sure
you will wrap up this farce! I yelled.
Solitude glanced at me with its two eyes of a gazelle—
my own eyes.
And it handed me
the book of doubt—it was my own book.
— Translated by Juana Acock

— From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
— Yousef Abdul-Aziz was born in Jerusalem and studied in Amman and Beirut. He is a teacher, a committee member of the online journal Awraq, and recipient of literary awards, including the (Jordanian) Arar prize.

Activists aboard a flotilla of boats are set to sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel's blockade of the territory, five years after a similar attempt ended in a deadly raid by Israeli soldiers.
Activists aboard a flotilla of boats are set to sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel’s blockade of the territory, five years after a similar attempt ended in a deadly raid by Israeli soldiers.