“The messengers of peace here weep for the bitterness and the malice . . . .” Samih Al-Qasim

NEWS OF THE DAY

Netanyahu trial to begin on 17 March, says Israeli court – Prime minister expected to attend initial hearing, where indictment will be read

The Guardian
Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem
Feb 18 2020
Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to appear at a court hearing on 17 March for the start of a corruption trial against him, the Israeli judiciary has announced.
– – – – The first day of the case is scheduled just two weeks after a national election on 2 March in which the prime minister is fighting to remain in power, despite the damning charges levelled against him.
– – – – After a three-year police investigation, the country’s attorney general indicted the 70-year-old leader in November in all three of the major cases against him.   More . . . .

Newspapers review: Plan to build new settlement near Jerusalem focus of dailies

WAFA
Feb 20 2020
The Israeli plan to build thousands of new colonial settlement units on the former Qalandia airport near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab dominated the front page headlines in the dailies.
– – – – The dailies reported that Israeli occupation authorities have prepared a master plan to build 9,000 new colonial settler units on the former Qalandia airport to the north of Jerusalem.
– – – – Al-Quds quoted observers saying in this regard that this project is second largest settlement construction project following the Maale Adumim settlement, which would undermine the prospects for the creation of the Palestinian state.
– – – – Al-Ayyam added in this regard that this huge settlement project is intended to consolidate the separation of Jerusalem from the West Bank.    More . . . .

In an attempt to prevent education in Area C of the West Bank, soldiers seize a classroom

WAFA
Feb 19 2020 – In their efforts to prevent education in the Palestinian areas classified as C, Israeli forces today seized a caravan used as a school classroom in the village of Susiya, in Masafer Yatta cluster to the south of the occupied southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to a local source.
– – – – Fouad al-Amoor, an activist, said that Israeli soldiers seized the classroom caravan under the pretext of construction without permit.
– – – -Israel never gives Palestinians permits to build in Area C of the occupied West Bank, which is under full Israeli military rule and make over 60 percent of the area of the West Bank.    More . . . .

  • Israeli forces detain seven Palestinians, ransack houses in West Bank raids
    WAFA
    Feb 19 2020
    Israeli forces Wednesday overnight detained seven Palestinians and ransacked a
    number of houses and stores across the West Bank, said the Palestine Prisoners’
    Society (PPS).    More . . . .
  • Israel Shuts Down Bakery Shop, Detains Owner In Jerusalem

    Days of Palestine
    Feb 19 2020
    On Wednesday, the Israeli occupation police shut down a bakery shop and detained the owner in the Old City of Jerusalem. Local sources confirmed that Israeli occupation police shut down a bakery shop in Bab Hutta neighborhood, citing the distribution of ka’ek, a crusty bread with sesame seeds, to Muslim worshipers on last Friday free of charge as a pretext.    More . . . .

In Wake of Trump Peace Plan, EU Countries Pushing for Recognition of State of Palestine

Israel is attempting to squash the initiative, claiming that EU opposition to the Trump Mideast plan would only encourage Palestinian rejectionism
‘Whether they accept it or not, it’s going to happen’ — Netanyahu lays out Palestinian submission to Trump plan
Mondoweiss
Philip Weiss
Feb 18, 2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told American Jews that he and the Trump administration are moving ahead with plans to remap the West Bank to give Israel sovereignty over large portions of occupied territory, and Palestinians are going to have to live with that plan “whether they accept it or not.”
– – – – Netanyahu’s discussion of Palestinian submission to the “radical” and “historic” terms of the Trump “peace plan” including annexation of all “Jewish communities” and military control of the West Bank sounded very much like surrender.
– – – – He spoke in Jerusalem two days ago to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a rightwing Israel lobby organization.    More . . . .

POEM FOR THE DAY

“PSALM  OF  ISAIAH’S  GRANDCHILDREN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
We are Isaiah’s grandchildren
calling out to him now,
calling out to his kind face,
our dreams trembling, behind crimson tears!
We are Isaiah’s grandchildren―
and we call to him now―crying in anger:
Isaiah who has slept for ages!
How has this village become a whore?
Its silver has been debased.
They’ve treated it with disdain,
mixing the wine of its people with water.
Why don’t you tell them of the widows’ claims?
O Isaiah of the struggle―
Hallelujah!
The messengers of peace here weep
for the bitterness and the malice,
after the pretenders to right,
the enemies of culture,
severed the heads of the peaceful!
O sad Isaiah!
Rise up now, and cry through a village
that’s falling upon the slope of peril:
“May God show you the error of your ways!
Why, after seventy years, have you resorted to trade
with merchants from every kingdom?
Rise now and cry out through Tel Aviv:
“A thousand woes on those
who do not seek the Lord. And go to Egypt
bearing the wooden boards
of the Orient’s cross!”
O beloved Isaiah!
That revelation comes from Tayma,
From the lands of the Arabs: People!
Bring out the water to the refugees,
provide the long-hungry with bread,
bandage the wounds of those who have fled,
escaping the edge of the sword.
O brave Isaiah!
Rise up now so that
Palestine’s children will be able to play
without fearing the vipers’ fangs,
so two lambs might feel safe
in the lions’ jungle.
Hallelujah!
Then justice will reign among the nations
without the annihilation of right,
without silencing any tongue.
O Isaiah of the struggle!
The swords will be turned into plowshares
and the people’s spears be molded
into scythes, and then―
no nation will raise a sword to fight!
Little people know not war,
nor what bloodshed is.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God of glory!
Our fight has been long,
and we were slaughtered and slaughtered in turn,
and have shed our blood for ages.
God of glory!
We were tried for long, and rested. . .
Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah!

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Available from ALIBRIS.

“. . . Amid the ruins of a collapsing world . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

EU says demolition of Palestinian property in occupied West Bank threat to two-state solution

WAFA
September 3, 2019
The European Union (EU) Representative and Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah denounced yesterday Israel’s demolition of Palestinian property in Area C of the occupied West Bank as a threat to the two-state solution.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ A statement by the local EU missions referred to the August 26 demolition of a Palestinian family’s home and restaurant near Bethlehem. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “These demolitions, together with settlement construction for Israelis in the area, exacerbate threats to the viability of the two-state solution and further undermine prospects for a lasting peace,” said the EU statement.  More . . . .

  • Jerusalem’s Israeli municipality demolishes Palestinian house in the occupied  city  WAFA September 03, 2019
    The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished today a Palestinian-owned house in al-Tur neighborhood of the occupied city under the pretext it was built without a permit, according to the house owner Mohammad Abu al-Hawa.  More . . . .
  • Israel forces Palestinian family to demolish their home
    The Palestinian Information Center
    September 3, 2019
    The Israeli authorities on Sunday forced a Palestinian family in ‘Ara village in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories to demolish their own home.  More. . . .
  • Pictures- A Jerusalemite self-demolishes his commercial facility in Silwan
    Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
    September 1, 2019   More . . . .
  • Israeli settlers set up caravan on confiscated Palestinian land
    The Palestinian Information Center
    September 3, 2019
    Israeli settlers on Tuesday morning erected a caravan on a newly seized Palestinian land in Beit Jala town, west of Bethlehem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Local sources said that the four-dunum land, owned by the Palestinian citizen Saba Skandar, was seized by the Israeli authorities on Monday without prior notice.  More . . . .

PODCAST: Has international law failed Palestinians?

+972 Magazine
Noura Erakat, Palestinian legal scholar
August 30, 2019
Israel has been able to leverage international law to its advantage much better than the Palestinians, says Noura Erakat, Palestinian legal scholar, human rights activist and author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, on the latest episode of The +972 Podcast.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Erakat proposes understanding it as another tool used to promote a political agenda.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“THE  LAST  KNOCK,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

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

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

“. . . the walls arising from silent rocks. . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

holy land 1 046Palestinian home demolished by Israeli Occupation Forces, Silwan neighborhood,
East Jerusalem. Demolitions have continued for decades.
(Photo: Harold Knight,  ‎JULY  ‎12,  ‎2006)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .
|    ISRAEL  COMMENCES  DEMOLITIONS  EAST  OF  JERUSALEM
Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned residential building, on Thursday morning, in the al-Zaayim village, east of Jerusalem.     [. . . .] Israeli soldiers prevented residents, locals and reporters from approaching the area. . .  the demolition was carried out under the pretext that the structure was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.    ___Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  RESIDENTIAL  BUILDING  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PART  OF  PALESTINIAN  CEMETERY  IN  JENIN
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  RAZE  LANDS  IN  SOUTHERN  GAZA
. . . . Related  ARMY  DEMOLISHES  MEMORIAL  FOR  PALESTINIAN  KILLED  BY  SOLDIERS
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  MILITARY  DESTROYS  TEACHING  FACILITY  AT  JORDAN  VALLEY  SCHOOL [KHIRBET IBZEIK]
|    REPORT:  IOF  CONTINUE  SYSTEMATIC  CRIMES  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip

  • A civilian succumbed to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Return and Breaking Siege protests.
  • 77 civilians, including 12 children, a woman, a journalist and 3 paramedics, were wounded; 4 of them sustained serious wounds.
  • Israeli forces continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip . . .   More . . .

   BELGIUM  TO  UPGRADE  PALESTINIAN  DIPLOMATIC  REPRESENTATION  IN  BRUSSELS
Belgium has decided to upgrade the diplomatic status of the Palestinian representative office in Brussels, according to a joint statement issued on Wednesday.    ___This was announced following a meeting between Foreign Minister Riyad Malki and his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders and Minister of Cooperation and Development Alexander De Croo in Brussels.    ___The two sides signed a joint declaration following their ministerial dialogue in which they affirmed their desire to develop bilateral relations in several fields . . .  More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THIS  IS  HOW  ISRAEL  WAS  ESTABLISHED  ON  FALSEHOOD  AND  AGGRESSION   A hundred and one year has passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration. A declaration made to those who do not deserve by those who do not own, initiating the first stage of suffering of the Palestinian people over the last 101 years of displacement, torture, and massacres, which resulted in the martyrdom of thousands of them.    ___The infamous Declaration, under which, the future of an entire people was destroyed, for the benefit of a handful of Jews gathered from the corners of the globe to build a state called Israel on the ruins of Palestine and the ruins of its children and women, including the victims of Deir Yassin, Sabra and Shatila, Kufur Kassem, as well as the bloody massacres committed against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.    ___THE  TEXT  OF  THE  DECLARATION . . .  More . . .
|   NORMALIZING  EXTERNAL  NARRATIVES  IN  PALESTINE’S  SPACES  FOR  EDUCATION   In collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Education,  the  EU  launched  a  competition  across  schools  in Gaza and the occupied West Bank called “Know Europe”. The aim, according to EU Deputy Representative Tomas Niklasson, is “to introduce ourselves again to students of Palestine: introduce our values, culture, history, and identity” and affirm the bloc’s purported commitment to supporting Palestinians.    ___THIS  EDUCATIONAL  ENDEAVOR  IS  TANTAMOUNT  TO  FORCING  GRATITUDE for symbolic recognition, decades after colonial conquest and entrenchment. Yet the reasoning behind the competition, according to the press release, is that “the European Union has a lot in common with Palestine and the region”. PALESTINIANS  KNOW  THERE  IS  NO  COMPARISON, yet this misconception is now being normalized through education, despite the obvious differences between a bloc of countries and Palestine’s disappearance.        More  .  .  .

POEM    FOR    THE    DAY.  .  .  .   

“THE  WINDOWS,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
Windows are a first step into the world,
a song on a spacious cloud,
a departure, a rose,
the braids of the moon falling over hills,
a heartbeat in the darkenss of the night
that travels in chains
and in men.
They are a threshold for the prayers
of our lonely neighbor,
an oasis for lovers
and children, the tempting fruit
in baskets, the seagull in the heart
bent down in sleep, the wisdom of the walls
arising from silent rocks and moving
toward mountaintops.

–From From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . the shedding of blood cleanses nothing . . .” (Aftab Yusuf Shaikh)

PCF-WAFA
Palestine Circus Festival, Ramallah. (Photo courtesy Circus School)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

PALESTINE  CIRCUS  FESTIVAL’S  ‘UNITED  FOR  FREEDOM’  OPENS  IN  RAMALLAH
The second edition of the PALESTINE CIRCUS FESTIVAL, entitled “United for Freedom,” opened over the weekend in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, with the participation of about 200 local and international artists.    ___Palestinian officials, a representative of the European Union, representatives of international and local cultural and artistic organizations . . .   watched the opening ceremony, the Carnival and XY company show, held at the Istiklal Park.    ___The European Union Head of Cooperation, Alessandra Viezzer, said “Circus has long been a strong tool for self-expression, entertainment and storytelling around the world. It brings all people together, whether young or old. In Palestine, the EU is proud of being one of the main supporters of the Palestine Circus: the first to exploit the great potential of Palestinian youngsters in artistic productions.”   More . . .
PALESTINE:  1ST  ARAB  COUNTRY  TO  JOIN  INTERNATIONAL  CITY  ASSOCIATION
The Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) signed a partnership and cooperation agreement, on Saturday, with the International City Management Association (ICMA) to be the first Arab association to join the organization.    ___According to a press statement, Abdullah Anati of APLA and Mark Otte of ICMA, signed the partnership and cooperation agreement on the sidelines of the annual ICMA conference held in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States.    ___The agreement stated that the two associations will be committed to strengthening the relationship and partnership between them through specific activities, such as participating in the annual conferences of each association, hosting representatives and speakers from each association during the annual conferences . . .   More . . .
PERCENTAGE  OF  ELDERLY  IS  LOW  IN  PALESTINE,  SAYS  STATISTICS  BUREAU  The Palestinian society is considered a young society where the percentage of young  people is high and the percentage of the elderly is relatively low, said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on Sunday on the occasion of the World Elderly Day.    ___In 2017, the number of the elderly aged 60 and above reached 233,269 persons (5.0%), (152,443 persons  (5.4%) in the West Bank and 80,826 persons (4.3%) in Gaza Strip).     __PCBS said even though, the percentage of the elderly will be increasing during the coming years in Palestine, but their percentage will stay relatively low . . .     ___Palestine witnessed improvement in life expectancy . . .  Life expectancy has increased about 6-8 years during the last two decades.    More . . .

circus_081211-269_0
Palestinian Circus School. (Photo: MIDDLE EAST REVISED, 2014)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHAT  VOX  GETS  WRONG  WITH  ITS  “11  BIGGEST  MYTHS  ABOUT  ISRAEL-PALESTINE”
Jeremy R. Hammond
I’ve written an article titled “Top Ten Myths about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” . . .  so when I learned that Vox has a feature called “The 11 biggest myths about Israel-Palestine”, I naturally took an interest. Unfortunately, while Vox gets some things right, what it gets wrong it gets badly wrong.  So, to set the record straight, here’s a quick examination of each of Vox’s eleven supposed myths and corrective for its egregious misinformation.   ___“Myth #1: The conflict is too complex to possibly understand”   Although I don’t include it on my own list of myths, I agree this is indeed false. In fact, I’ve written an article titled “The Simplicity of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” that starts with, “There is a general perception that the reason the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued for so long is because it is extremely complex. Nothing could be further from the truth.     More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  AFTAB  YUSUF  SHAIKH
If this city were a woman,
She must have earned a bad name by now,
For the number of swords unsheathed,
For the cauldrons of blood shed,
For the haunting silence that rings in wombs,
For the innocent childhoods weeded,

But, No!
This is a city, and a holy one!
Holy for whom? The ones who heap
unholiness on it.

O children of Abraham!
You are not pagans or witches,
You must remember very sharply,
That the shedding of blood cleanses nothing,
And nothing cleanses the shedding of blood,

Man remembers the Promises of God,
But very casually forgets
The Promise God took from him.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.   

“. . . A thousand eyes for an eye? . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

img0567_cropped_778_518
Children of Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar. (Photo: Medical Aid for Palestinians, March 3, 2017.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  UNRWA  RECEIVES  $118  MILLION  IN  AID  FOR  PALESTINE  REFUGEES
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has received $118 million from a number of countries to help in upholding its essential services.    ___UNRWA’s spokesman Sami Mashasha said a meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in support of the UNRWA, under the sponsorship of Turkey, Japan, Sweden, Jordan and the European Union, culminated in pledges for allocating further essential funding to the UNRWA.   More . . .
Related . . .    EU proposes additional €40 million for UNRWA to keep schools and health clinics open
|  ABBAS  UNANIMOUSLY  NAMED  CHAIRMAN  OF  THE  GROUP  OF  77  AND  CHINA
The Group of 77 and China meeting in New York on Thursday . . .  unanimously named Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as chairman, replacing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the current chairman.   ___The representatives of 134 countries, representing 80% of the world’s population, named the State of Palestine as chairman of the Group of 77 and China during the 42nd meeting of the group’s foreign ministers . . .   ___The State of Palestine, while presiding over the group of 134 countries, will . . .  negotiate with the other partners and member states of the organization on all the developmental, humanitarian and legal issues on the agenda of the United Nations 2019.  More . . .
|  ISRAEL  SEALS  OFF,  DECLARES  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE   Israeli forces declared the Khan al-Ahmar village, east of occupied Jerusalem in the central West bank, on Friday, a closed military zone.   ___A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli forces closed all roads leading to Khan al-Ahmar, preventing Palestinians and journalists from entering the village.   ___Israeli forces closed the iron gate at the entrance of the village, early Friday morning.   More . . .
Related . . . EU Exerts Effort to Halt Demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar
Related . . . Despite Israeli restrictions, Palestinians perform prayer in Khan al-Ahmar
|  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SAVAGELY  ASSAULT  [DISABLED]  JERUSALEMITE
He was not protected by his injury nor his crutch. The young Jerusalemite Amir Abu Laban, 28 years old, was hospitalized in the Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem, after he was cruelly beaten by Israeli soldiers at the King Hussein Bridge crossing at the Jordanian-Palestinian border a few days ago.   [. . . .] The crime of the young Abu Laban was that he said to the occupation soldiers that he has special needs, and that he cannot be examined through X-rays which has a negative impact on his health, due to the existence of platinum in his body because of his disability, yet the soldiers violently assaulted him.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ISRAEL’S  STRANGLEHOLD  ON  AREA  C:  DEVELOPMENT  AS  RESISTANCE
Ahmad El-Atrash
Israel’s efforts to tighten its grip on the West Bank have been unprecedented since the current Israeli cabinet formed in 2015. . . . Five decades of Israeli occupation – particularly since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 – have allowed Israel to continue its colonization of Palestinian land while rendering Palestinian development truncated, distorted, and even mythological.    [. . . .]  Israel has developed [Area C] in particular for its own purposes, namely through the construction of settlements and military infrastructure.   ___In the face of Israel’s policy of expansion in the West Bank, Palestinians view their own development as a means of resistance.    More . . .
|  WHAT  NETANYAHU’S  IDEA  OF  PEACE  LOOKS  LIKE 
Haggai Matar
U.S. President Donald Trump said that he favors two states as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Wednesday.   ___ In response to Trump’s comments, which signaled a change from his previous stance, according to which he would back whichever solution Israelis and Palestinians support, Netanyahu told “. . . . I am willing for the Palestinians to have the authority to rule themselves without the capability to harm us.” Israel, said Netanyahu, will not “relinquish security control west of the Jordan.”   More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

KinderUSADR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA,  October 21, 2018 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Angelika Film Center, Plano, Texas. Information and REGISTRATION.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.

“. . . my liberty/ I shall carve its name/while I resist. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . . 

EU  PLEDGES  CONTINUED  SUPPORT  TO  UNRWA
The European Union issued a statement on Saturday pledging that it will continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) after the United States administration’s “regrettable” decision to end all funding to the agency.    ___The EU issued a statement pledging continued support to UNRWA, which implies that the EU may increase funding to the agency if necessary, following the US decision to end funds and after UNRWA’s announcement that it currently faces a budget deficit of $270 million.   More . . .   Related . . . Germany  to  increase  UNRWA  funding  as  a  response  US  decision

ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGE,  HOLD  JEWISH  RITUALS 
A number of extremist Israeli settlers forced their way early Sunday into the village of Awarta, to the south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus and performed Jewish religious rituals, according to a local official.    ___Hisham Awad, head of village council, told WAFA that a number of settlers broke into the village after midnight under heavy Israeli army protection and performed rituals at a site they claim is holy to them.   More . . .

240  PALESTINIANS  WOUNDED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  AT  GAZA  PROTEST
At least 240 Palestinians were injured by live bullets or sustained suffocation from teargas inhalation on Friday as Israeli forces attacked the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.   ___A 10-year-old child and a volunteer paramedic were among the injured persons, the ministry added.   ___The Israeli forces started firing live bullets and rubber-coated steel rounds as thousands of protesters gathered along the border.    More . . .

ISRAEL  THREATENS  TO  USE  NUCLEAR  WEAPONS  TO  ‘WIPE  OUT’  ITS  ENEMIES
Standing next to a secretive Israeli atomic reactor earlier in the week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to “wipe out” his enemies. In a speech that many will see as the Jewish state breaking its long silence over the possession of nuclear weapons, the Likud leader warned that it has the means to destroy its enemies.      ___“Those who threaten to wipe us out put themselves in a similar danger, and in any event will not achieve their goal,” he said on Wednesday during a ceremony to rename the complex, near the desert town of Dimona. The site has long been suspected to be the location where Israel has been developing nuclear weapons.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

PALESTINIAN  CENTER  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS:  WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (16–  29  AUGUST  2018)        

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against Palestinian peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian civilians were killed, 239 civilians, including 52 children, 6 women, and 5 paramedics, were wounded; 10 of those wounded sustained serious injuries.
  • 14 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded and in the West Bank in addition to a foreign activist, who was wounded twice.
  • Israeli forces continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli forces continue collective punishment policy against Palestinians. A house belonging to Mohammed Dar Yusuf in Kuber village, north of Ramallah, was demolished.   More . . .

IRELAND:  US  CUT  IN  AID  TO  UNRWA  HEARTLESS  AND  DANGEROUS   
Ireland criticized the United States decision to stop all financial contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) saying this decision is heartless and dangerous.    ___”I believe this step is both heartless and dangerous, and will impact negatively on the Middle East region. And I have made my views on this absolutely clear in contacts with the US administration,” said the Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, on Saturday.    More . . .

“MY  LIBERTY,”  BY  FADWA TUQAN

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and in the field,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

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

“ . . . I call upon them all to help Jerusalem . . .” Harun Hashim Rasheed

(The United Nations World Humanitarian Day was August 19. It is never too late to participate. See “Notices from Organizations” below.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .   

EU,  UK  CONDEMN  ISRAEL’S  APPROVAL  OF  NEW  SETTLEMENT  UNITS
The European Union (EU) condemned the Israeli government’s approval of constructing some 1,000 new settlements units in the occupied West Bank.   ___The EU said in a statement, issued late Thursday, that “within the past two weeks the Israeli authorities have advanced plans and tenders for over two thousand settlement units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. If implemented, these plans would further jeopardize the prospect of a contiguous and viable future Palestinian state.”   ___The EU stressed that it strongly opposes Israel’s settlement policy, saying that the policy is illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.   More. . .
ASHRAWI:  ‘ISRAEL  SEEKS  NOT  ONLY  TO  DEFY  BUT  TO  DEFEAT  THE  WHOLE  WORLD’
Member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned, on Thursday, “Israel’s expansion of illegal settlement enterprise on stolen Palestinian land.”   ___In her statement, Ashrawi said that “in response to media inquiries concerning the approval by Israel’s Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration to construct 2,000 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, as well as the authorization of the Jerusalem ‘Municipality’ and the Israel Land Administration to build 20,000 settlement units in occupied Jerusalem.”   ___”In a blatant disregard for and violation of international law and conventions, as well as United Nations Security Council resolutions and the basic requirements of stability and peace, Israel persists in its illegal policies and oppressive measures in favor of its extremist settler population and colonial project.”    More. . .
See alsoErekat: “Israel’s Illegal Expansion Of Colonies, Direct Outcome of American Greed.”
HAMAS  PURSUES  TRUCE  WITH  ISRAEL,  BUT  NOT  ALL  FACTIONS  APPROVE     Flare-ups earlier this month between the Israeli army and Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip seemed likely to escalate into an expanded war were it not for the Egypt-brokered cease-fire in place. Instead, Hamas and Israel are close to reaching a genuine truce that could last for years. . .    ___A real truce, however, will require the PLO’s blessing and the participation of various factions besides Hamas. . . .    ___ Egypt and the UN are trying to mediate a long-term agreement between Israel and Hamas. The quest started July 26 with Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, visiting first the Gaza Strip to meet with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and then Israel, where he met with Israeli officials.   More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  MISTREAT  RELATIVES  OF  THOUSANDS  OF  PALESTINIANS  HELD  ILLEGALLY  IN  ITS  TERRITORY
According to figures from the Israel Prison Service (IPS), on 30 June 2018 Israel was holding some 5,300 Palestinian residents of the West Bank as security detainees or prisoners in incarceration facilities. With the exception of Ofer Prison, all the facilities used to hold Palestinians are located inside Israel.    ___Residents of the West Bank who wish to visit their loved ones have to overcome bureaucratic hurdles in order to secure permission from the relevant authorities – the Civil Administration, the IPS and the Israel Security Agency (ISA). After permission is received, the visits themselves entail a long day of traveling due to countless inspections and protracted delays.   More. . .

JERUSALEM  IN  MAPS  from THE  APPLIED  RESEARCH  INSTITUTE  –  JERUSALEM  (ARIJ).     Presents a series of maps showing the changing boundaries of the Occupation in Jerusalem from 1948 to the present.   More. . .

PALESTINIAN  DANCER  FROM  BELGIUM  JAILED  BY  ISRAEL 
There is growing concern in Belgium for a Palestinian refugee and dancer who was detained by Israeli authorities as he tried to enter the occupied West Bank from Jordan a month ago.   ___Mustapha Awad, who was born in Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, has been granted refugee status and citizenship in Belgium. . . .   ___According to Samidoun, Awad appeared in court on 16 August, and was then returned to an Israeli interrogation center.   ___“My client was arrested at a frontier post for belonging to a terrorist organization, something he firmly denies,” Awad’s Belgian lawyer told media last Friday.    ___The 36-year-old Awad is the co-founder of Raj’een, a Palestinian folk dance group.   More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

THE  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  ON  WORLD  HUMANITARIAN  DAY     August 19, 2018
There are almost no limits to the pleasure of giving, and there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained when it is related to taking happiness into the hearts of others. This is, without doubt, one of the benefits of involvement in charitable and humanitarian work. . . .    ___ The Palestinian cause remains one of the most prominent and important of contemporary issues. . . .   ___ The Palestinian cause in general and the siege of Gaza, in particular, are gaining the support of free people around the world, but more must be done. . . .   ___Humanitarian work, therefore, is an essential component of the struggle for Palestinian rights; for justice; and for peace.   More. . .

A LIMITED SAMPLE OF HUMANITARIAN CAUSES IN AND FOR PALESTINE
UNRWA USA  –  United Nations Relief and Works Agency
Charities & Non Profit Organizations In Gaza Palestine
Islamic Relief USA
Bright Stars of Bethlehem  Donate
KINDER USA – Kids in Need of Development, Education, and Relief
Palestine Institute Of Biodiversity And Sustainability 

“POEM  TO  JERUSALEM,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHEED  
For the sake of a city that’s imprisoned,
for its Dome and Aqsa Mosque,
for the annihilated sanctuary
where Muhammad’s feet once stood,
for all this city has endured,
and for all it has preserved,
for Mary and Jesus,
for all the beings she has known,
for my city’s sake,
raped and abused,
on its wounded brow
God’s words are effaced.

I call on all our dead
and all our living
with verses from the Bible
if only they could hear
with verses from the Quran
in the name of God
calling the young among them and the very old
calling them from my depths
to every brave fighter
I tell them the struggle is for Jerusalem
I call on them to resolve and have faith
tell them how Jerusalem’s sanctity is wounded
I call upon them all to help Jerusalem
She cannot wait any longer,
she overflows with grief.

From the Atlantic to the Arabian Gulf
I call upon you in the name of God
with the purity of anger I beseech you
for the city with the humiliated eyes
I call you in your name,
I call my Arab people.
―translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

“. . . the bark of artillery came near to the flowers . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Israel closes Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) EU’s security committee discussed secret report on Israel, says official

  • Background: “State-Sponsored Vigilantism: Jewish Settlers’ Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Sociology.
    “. . . the Israeli state itself, assisted by its agents, works in collusion with the settlers, and maintains the structural preconditions for this provisional political activity. . .”

❷ UN report says at least 206 international companies tied to Israeli settlements
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Haley slams UN anti-settlement report: It is a “waste of time”
❸ Israeli settlers attack Palestinian farmers north of Hebron
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ‘Construction terror’ Israel’s metaphor for Palestinian displacement
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  CLOSES  PALESTINIAN  INSTITUTIONS  IN  JERUSALEM
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Feb. 3, 2018 — Israel Hayom newspaper on Friday said that the Israeli authorities have decided to close a number of Palestinian institutions in Occupied Jerusalem.
___According to the Hebrew newspaper, the Israeli Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, on Thursday issued a decision to close the Palestine Chamber of Commerce, the Higher Council of Tourism, the Palestinian Center for Studies, the Palestinian Prisoner Society and the Office of Social Studies and Statistics.
___Erdan’s decision was based on an Israeli law issued in 1994 preventing the Palestinian Authority from opening offices or carrying out activities in “Israeli areas”. The same law grants the minister the authority to issue decisions prohibiting such activities.
___The paper said, quoting Erdan, that efforts will continue to impose Israeli sovereignty over every part of Jerusalem. . . following the US president Donald Trump’s recognition . . . .  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  EU’S  SECURITY  COMMITTEE  DISCUSSED  SECRET  REPORT  ON  ISRAEL,  SAYS  OFFICIAL
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 3, 2018 ― The European Union’s (EU) Political and Security Committee (PSC) discussed in its session on Wednesday a secret report that strongly criticized Israel and its policies, Palestine’s ambassador to the EU, Abdul Rahim al-Farra, said on Saturday.
___He said in an interview with the official Palestine TV that the PSC, which is composed of ambassadors from the 28 EU member states, also discussed the situation in occupied East Jerusalem in particular and came out with recommendations that will be presented to the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council when it meets on February 25 and 26 in Brussels.
___He said the PSC recommended that the EU plays a primary and active role in the Middle East peace process in order to salvage the two-state solution.      MORE . . .

Gazit, Nir.
“STATE-SPONSORED  VIGILANTISM:  JEWISH  SETTLERS’  VIOLENCE  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORIES.”
SOCIOLOGY
, vol. 49, no. 3, June 2015, pp. 438-454.
[. . . .] Civilian violence often disrupts government authority and undermines its exclusive sovereignty. However, it may also operate as an extra-juridical force that reproduces governmental power through unofficial channels. This dynamic is salient in situations of contested and fragmented sovereignty, when state power is discontinuous and lacks international and local legitimacy . . .  provisional violence by state forces and ordinary civilians becomes an important mechanism of political power and control.
[. . . .] These trends . . .  suggest a correlation between the two forms of Israeli violence – institutional military violence and non-institutional civilian violence. In times and places of low military presence and violence, unofficial civilian political mechanisms come into play. These reproduce Israeli dominance through direct violence or through initiating Palestinian hostility resulting in provisional active military involvement. The dialectical relationship between the two forms of violence is not trivial . . .  Hence, it is important to analyse the relationship between Israeli ground-level state agents and settlers, and consider how the two sides manage this tension.
[. . . .] . . . the ambiguity surrounding the formal status of the Israeli state in the OTP creates a governmental void. This void is filled, inter alia, by greater freedom of action of the settlers, who, in effect, act as informal agents of the state, behaving as vigilantes and taking the law into their own hands. The settlers’ violence contributes to the manifestation of Israeli rule in two significant ways. First, it brings Israeli dominance to areas with a scarce presence of military forces, generating ad hoc ‘effective control’ over Palestinian territory and population even in the absence of state officials. . .  While the state has limited direct influence over these domains, they undoubtedly contribute to the overall Israeli dominance in the region. The second and complementary mode of support these acts provide to the overall control system is when the Israeli security forces intervene and prevent the settlers from harassing the Palestinians. Such interventions paradoxically demonstrate and reproduce the Israeli power in the region – this time as protectors of the local civilian population. The elusive political and legal structural frameworks of the Israeli occupation are important factors of this phenomenon, generating the necessary ‘degrees of freedom’, so to speak, that allow, and even support, a proliferation of settlers’ violence against Palestinian civilians. In other words, the Israeli state itself, assisted by its agents, works in collusion with the settlers, and maintains the structural preconditions for this provisional political activity, even if it challenges its exclusive jurisdiction.     SOURCE . . .

UN  REPORT  SAYS  AT  LEAST  206  INTERNATIONAL  COMPANIES  TIED  TO  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 1, 2018 ― The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a report on Wednesday identifying 206 companies from around the world that are doing business linked to Israeli settlements, which are built in the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.
___The long-delayed report was initially intended to include the names of companies, but reportedly after intense pressure from the US and Israel, the published report included only the number of companies from each country, rather than naming them.
___”Businesses play a central role in furthering the establishment, maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements,” the UN report said.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  HALEY  SLAMS  UN  ANTI-SETTLEMENT  REPORT:  IT  IS  A  “WASTE  OF  TIME”
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Feb. 1, 2018 ― US Ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday slammed a UN report on 206 companies tied to Israeli settlements as “a waste of time and resources” that showed an “anti-Israeli obsession.”
___The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights released the report that did not name the companies but could pave the way to a “blacklist” of businesses that Israeli officials fear would be targeted for an international boycott.
___“This whole issue is outside the bounds of the High Commissioner for Human Rights office’s mandate and is a waste of time and resources,” Haley said.   MORE . . . 
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  NORTH  OF HEBRON
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Feb. 3, 2018 ― Israeli settlers attacked on Saturday Palestinian farmers in the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to Yousef Abu Maria, a local activist.
___He told WAFA that a group of settlers from the illegal settlement of Karmi Tsur and settlement security guards threw rocks at farmers, cursed them and prevented them from cultivating their land. The settlement is built on seized Palestinian land that belong to Beit Ummar and other area villages.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ‘CONSTRUCTION  TERROR’  ISRAEL’S  METAPHOR  FOR  PALESTINIAN  DISPLACEMENT
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Israel’s construction of its politics on contrasting levels which echo its colonial agenda knows no limits. Now that the international community is largely reluctant to do more than refer to previous statements of colonial expansion as illegal, Israel is more explicit in promoting its state and settler narratives in its appropriation of land ownership.
___A news report published on Monday in Haaretz quotes Jewish Home Party MK Moti Yogev: “Our goal is to protect state lands, consistent with decisions by the state not letting their status be determined by construction terror guided by the Palestinian Authority with the intervention of international elements such as the European Union.” He also suggested legal recourse against Palestinians opposing demolition orders.
___This is not the first time that such rhetoric has been used. In April 2016 a press release titled “Re-evaluate state’s handling of EU-funded construction in Area C” described Palestinian dwellings in similar terms, accusing the EU of financing “construction and infrastructure terror”.     MORE . . . 

“ABOVE  THE  CARNATIONS,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
Her house is above the carnations
on the path to the wind-swept hills. . .
At evening we sought refuge there
watching out for the guns and the aeroplanes.

The crack of bullets followed our coffee
and smashed into our conversation.
The crack of bullets and the bark of artillery
came near to the flowers inside the windows
came near to the warmth and the water jug
debris clattered down the outside stairway
and fell towards the marble pavement.

Her house is above the carnations
there we were in it
we had sought refuge there
and so we moved to where the Jewish soldiers could no longer see us.

—Translated by DM Black
—Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
—From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

“. . . Fear encloses the sweet basil and the alley’s mint . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ EU provides €317,000 to support West Bank farmers
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) UNRWA chief says US aid cut “most severe crisis in agency’s history”
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ)  Dear Mr Trump, we’re facing a humanitarian disaster

  • Background: “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise of ‘Ruin’ and ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History

❷ Arab FMs meet again over US Jerusalem decision
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) AL-Malki: Arab response to US Jerusalem decision decides peace future
❸ Seven more healthcare centres in Gaza shut down
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli airstrikes target sites in northern Gaza
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EU  PROVIDES  €317,000  TO  SUPPORT  WEST  BANK  FARMERS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Feb. 2, 2018 ― The European Union announced on Friday its contribution of about €317,000 to the Palestinian Authority to support Palestinian farmers and agro-businesses in the West Bank.
___A statement by the EU representative office in Jerusalem said the eligible beneficiaries are farmers and agro-businesses in the West Bank directly affected by the Israeli occupation, and particularly farmers in Area B and C.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶―  (ᴀ)  UNRWA  CHIEF  SAYS  US  AID  CUT  “MOST  SEVERE  CRISIS  IN  AGENCY’S  HISTORY”
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 2, 2018 ― Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krähenbühl said on Thursday that the recent US aid cut represents the most severe crisis in the agency’s history.
___Krähenbühl’s comments came during his speech at the meeting of Arab Foreign ministers in Cairo to discuss the Arab action in response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___The UN official said the agency is facing an unprecedented financial crisis because of the US decision to reduce its contribution to UNRWA, adding that he has been travelling around the world to call for mobilization to help UNRWA overcome this crisis.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶―  (ᴃ)    DEAR  MR  TRUMP,  WE’RE  FACING  A  HUMANITARIAN  DISASTER
Al Jazeera English
by Mays Abu Ghosh
Feb. 1,  2018 ― Dear President Trump, Every evening, my grandmother sits us down and tells us stories about a piece of heaven on earth, a place called “Imwas”. She describes every little detail about this place – the water spring, the lavish trees and the flowers that bloom throughout the year. She tells us about the beautiful old stone houses, the fig trees and the cactus plants.
___Imwas is a village situated southeast of the town of Ramleh, where my grandfather owned a plot of land. After my grandfather passed, my father inherited the land. One day, my nine siblings and I will inherit this land from our father. We’ll build our home there, and we’ll harvest the crops of our field.     ___But for now, we live in a small apartment in the Qalandia refugee camp . . .    MORE . . .

Abreek-Zubiedat, Fatina.
“THE  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  CAMPS:  THE  PROMISE  OF  ‘RUIN’  AND  ‘LOSS’.”
RETHINKING  HISTORY
, vol. 19, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 72-94
[. . . .] According to the political theorist Hannah Arendt, a ‘refugee’ is a ‘stateless’ or ‘non-citizen’ person who threatens the nation-state system. Consequently, countries have acknowledged the need for a solution to the refugee problem, whose status is considered temporary, with two possible options: return to the homeland or country of origin, or naturalization in the host country. Historically, both solutions have failed. Arendt views the refugee camp as a ‘final solution’ involving the incarceration of refugees after denying their citizenship. Only then do they become homo sacer in the sense implied by ancient Roman law: destined to die, with their life defined as ‘bare.’
[. . . .]  Exclusion and the definition of modes of belonging and non-belonging and marking populations as ‘outside’ are sovereign acts that cannot be thought of independently of the actor which performed them. These acts are . . .  ‘nothingness acts’ which gain an inherent nihilistic relationship: ‘It is in one guise, a promise of creative destruction. In another, it can work to the opposite end; turn to sheer destruction, annihilating the very context of creativity’. . .  Nihilistic actions not only delineated the creation and development of the camps, but are themselves processes that led to paradoxical situations, veritably positioning the camps on the borderline between the ‘private’ and the ‘public’ spheres.
[. . . .] The refugees’ adherence to the idea of return was very strong. Their various architectural activities which left their mark on the region undermined the abnormal basis of the camp and created an opening for discussing refugee–camp relations, while emphasizing the idea that any attempt to dismantle a camp would only prove successful if citizenship were achieved. Through the many architectural practices discussed above, the refugees succeeded in rewriting the binary layout articulated in the language of planning, which defined a ‘private’ versus ‘public’ sphere. They knew how to dismantle this language through practices designed to negotiate the complexities of discourses about this same sphere, revealing contrasts, struggles, and conflicts reflected in the camp’s appearance, and the impossibility of a single, exclusive discourse with which to describe the harsh duality of camp existence.     SOURCE . . .   ..

ARAB FMS MEET AGAIN OVER US JERUSALEM DECISION
The Palestinian Information Center    
Feb. 2, 2018 ― The Arab League, chaired by Djibouti foreign minister, Mahmoud Ali Yusuf, on Thursday held an emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss the US decision to recognize Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___The meeting, which was attended by Arab foreign ministers or their representatives, was a follow-up to the previous sessions in December and January on Washington’s capital announcement as well as its declared intent to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.
___The attendees discussed the repercussions of US president Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem and the implementation of the Arab League’s ministerial resolution on September 9, 2017, which stipulated that the Arab League should convene another meeting within a month to evaluate the situation and agree on future measures . . .   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  AL-MALKI:  ARAB  RESPONSE  TO  US  JERUSALEM  DECISION  DECIDES  PEACE  FUTURE   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 1, 2018 – Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs Riyad al-Malki affirmed on Thursday that the shape of the Arab countries’ response to the US decision on Jerusalem will determine the future of peace and stability, based on an end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
___Al-Malki’s comments came during his speech at the meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo during which they discussed the Arab action in response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___“The shape and level of the Arab [countries’] response will determine the future of peace and stability, based on an end of Israeli colonization of all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. . . .   MORE . . .
❸  SEVEN  MORE  HEALTHCARE  CENTRES  IN  GAZA  SHUT  DOWN
Days of Palestine
Huge amounts of fuel needed to operate electricity generators to compensate lack of electricity caused by Israeli siege.
Feb. 01 2018 ― Gaza is heading to real disaster as seven more healthcare centres in Gaza Strip closed their doors on Thursday due to tightening 11-year-old Israeli siege.     ___According to the Palestinian ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, fuel ran out in seven more healthcare centres in different areas across Gaza.
___“This problem, which is a result of the Israeli sieged, happened due to the lack of fuel needed to operate electricity generators,” a statement by the ministry said.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES  TARGET  SITES  IN  NORTHERN  GAZA      Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 2, 2018     Israeli forces carried out airstrikes targeting several sites in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday before dawn.
___Locals told Ma’an that the strikes hit targets near the al-Nada Towers in northeastern Beit Lahiya. No injuries were reported.     ___The Israeli army had reported earlier that rockets coming from the Gaza Strip had landed in an Israeli town outside around Gaza.   MORE . . .

“THE  EXILE,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
Silence becomes solid in bones,
in a bird’s song,
in he meaning of a word,
spreading over all of the greenery
and swallowing up the town squares,
creeping like a desert snake
and dwindling the horses’ neighing.
Blossoming in my woman’s embrace,
in the song’s pale light
and in the flowers on the balconies.
I gather myself to lift dry clouds from my body
and prayers from my soul.
I see God’s sun, my face, and my hand: three doves.
The time that’s passed is more than age can carry
and my undulations are in restraints.
The spikes of my soul do not reach the horse’s back,
an angle overlaps another angle . . . within an angle,
this body of mine.
Poets surround me like the fruit of regret.
My mother says: White is laughter’s waterfall.
So we laugh till our blood explodes.
Fear encloses the sweet basil and the alley’s mint.
My love’s tough on my forehead is like a runaway train.
The wind on my shoulders is like a dead horse,
the Sea far away.
Time is a coffin, while nakedness is the daily news.
For thirty three years
I have been digging tunnels
so I might emerge from this cold womb. . .

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble.
Interview with Ibrahim Nasrallah.

“. . . Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

holy land 1 033
The Settler Colonial project, Jerusalem (Photo Harold Knight, 2008)

❶ Ashrawi: Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank amounts to war crimes

  • “Relations of Ruling in the Colonial Present: An Intersectional View of the Israeli Imaginary.” Canadian Journal of Sociology

❷ Analysis:  Rethinking Our Definition of Apartheid: Not Just a Political Regime
❸ How the EU mocks the victims of Israel’s crimes
❹ POETRY by Yousef El Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ASHRAWI:  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  ACTIVITY  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  AMOUNTS  TO  WAR  CRIMES
Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 20, 2017   Following announcements that Israel had advanced plans for nearly 3,000 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced the move as a “blatant disregard for the two-state solution.”
___The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee convened on Tuesday and Wednesday, and advanced plans for 2,615 housing units in illegal Israeli settlements.
___“In blatant disregard of the requirements for the two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability, Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism,” Ashrawi said.
___”Israel is deliberately working to enhance its extremist Jewish settler population and to superimpose ‘Greater Israel’ on all of historic Palestine. Undoubtedly, it is bent on annexing the entire city of Jerusalem, systematically wiping out the Palestinian presence and continuity on Palestinian soil, and destroying the territorial and demographic contiguity of the future Palestinian state.”   MORE . . .

Santos, Madalena.
“RELATIONS  OF  RULING  IN  THE  COLONIAL  PRESENT:  AN  INTERSECTIONAL  VIEW  OF  THE  ISRAELI  IMAGINARY.”
Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 38, no. 4, Oct. 2013, pp. 509-532.
Through the interweaving of Zionist myths of nation, identity, and security, Israel presents itself as the national homeland for all Jewish peoples — a land under constant threat of annihilation by Palestinians who are discursively constructed as demographic and security risks. Yet, the Zionist project of Eretz Israel (our land of Israel) is one of colonization which bases the survival and vitality of the state’s Jewish population on the removal and absence of the racialized Palestinian other. Israel has continued its settler colonial project in Palestine, with its distinct forms of occupation and apartheid, through state discourses and practices of separation, fragmentation, and violence . . .  this article offers a categorical framework that underlines the relationality between race, class, and gender that has been central to the structuring network of Zionist colonization from its initial stages to the colonial present.
___ [. . . .]  Zionism has been preoccupied with the question of ethno-demography and a desire to separate Jews in Palestine from the indigenous Arab population. Since Zionism set Israel out to be the Jewish nation for Jews regardless of where they resided and/or claimed citizenship at the time, there was a perceived need to make Jews the majority of the population . . .  To secure a land base for the Jewish population, the Zionist colonial project that established the state of Israel in May 1948, and which continues in the colonial present, involved the forced expulsion, exile, imprisonment, murder, massacre, and political assassination of Palestinians as well as the destruction of over 500 Palestinian towns and villages. Although implemented and performed by Zionist rule, these practices were facilitated through the laws and governance of Western colonialist forces.  FULL ARTICLE.

❷ ANALYSIS:   RETHINKING  OUR  DEFINITION  OF  APARTHEID:  NOT  JUST  A  POLITICAL  REGIME     
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Haidar Eid, Andy Clarno
Aug. 27, 2017  As Israel intensifies its settler-colonial project, apartheid has become an increasingly important framework for understanding and challenging Israeli rule in historic Palestine. Indeed, Nadia Hijab and Ingrid Jaradat Gassner make a convincing argument that apartheid is the most strategic framework of analysis. And in March 2017, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) released a powerful report documenting Israeli violations of international law and concluding that Israel has established an “apartheid regime” that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.
___Under international law, apartheid is a crime against humanity and states can be held accountable for their actions. However, international law has its limitations. One specific concern involves what is missing from the international legal definition of apartheid. Because the definition focuses solely on the political regime, it does not provide a strong basis for critiquing the economic aspects of apartheid.     MORE . . .
❸ HOW  THE  EU  MOCKS  THE  VICTIMS  OF  ISRAEL’S  CRIMES 
The Electronic Intifada   
Ali Abunimah
Oct. 18, 2017   [. . . .] And why not? Despite the UN Security Council declaring repeatedly – most recently in December – that all of Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law, Israel faces no consequences for its crimes.
___On Wednesday, the European Union put out a statement about Israel’s reinvigorated settlement drive, its forced expulsions of Palestinian Bedouins and its evictions of Palestinian families in Jerusalem.
___The statement does not clearly condemn Israel’s actions. Instead, it says the EU “has requested clarifications from Israeli authorities and conveyed the expectation that they reconsider these decisions, which are detrimental to ongoing efforts towards meaningful peace talks.”
___This is diplomatic speak for: we barely have the courage to even criticize you, let alone to take action.     MORE . . .

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

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

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from Barnes and Noble.
About Yusef El Qedra