“. . . lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits . . .” (Walid Khazindar)

IMG_3018 - Copy - Copy
Homes seen from main street in Shufat. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| EU  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  SHUAFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP
The  EUROPEAN  UNION  on Saturday evening condemned Israel’s demolition of around 20 structures in Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, as well as the continued Israeli settlement expansion in the city.    ___The demolitions were part of the Israeli municipality’s new policy of extending the reach of municipal enforcement to refugee camps in Jerusalem.    ___“The policy of settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JORDANIAN  initiative launched to highlight Gaza siege
. . . . Related  Al-Malki meets  JAPANESE  counterpart at the Mediterranean Dialogues
. . . . Related  Palestine and  TURKEY  sign agreement on women’s empowerment
.  .  .  .  .  Istanbul summit  seeks to empower family in age of self
. . . . Related RUSSIA  offers to mediate between Palestinians and Israel
|   COMMISSION  SOUNDS  ALARM  OVER  ISRAEL’S  JUDAIZATION  SCHEMES  AROUND  AQSA 
The Commission of Scholars and Preachers in Occupied Jerusalem has warned of the repercussions of Israel’s violations and Judaization schemes beneath and around holy al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The commission said in a statement that Israel’s so-called “biblical gardens”, “Holy Basin”, and “Biblical Paths” have dangerous upshots on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The statement warned of an Israeli scheme of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians living in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, in Silwan, south of al-Aqsa Mosque, as part of the so-called “Biblical gardens” project.    More . . .

IMG_3024 - Copy - Copy
Homes just outside wall of Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  JERUSALEM  GOVERNOR  FOR  2ND  TIME
Israeli forces detained the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, on Sunday morning, after raiding his home in the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.    ___Local sources confirmed that following Ghaith’s detention, Israeli forces transferred him to an interrogation center in Jerusalem City.    ___It is noteworthy that this is Ghaith’s  second detention  in less than a month.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Minors among 9  detained by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israeli forces surround, attack high school in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers uproot dozens of olive trees in West Bank village
. . . . Related  IOF causes damages to shops near Nablus

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
‘I  THOUGHT  I  KNEW  ABOUT  PALESTINE,  UNTIL  I  SAW  THE  OCCUPATION  FIRST  HAND’ 
Film director Toomas Järvet discusses  Rough  Stage  ahead of its screening at the London Palestine Film Festival on 27 November.    [. . . .] As far as director Järvet is concerned, the essence of the film is very simple; how to stay true to what you believe in and what you want to achieve no matter what the obstacles are in life. “The ideas and problems the film talks about are very common and universal,” he insists.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
THE  JERUSALEM  FUND  –  PALESTINE  DIABETES  INSTITUTE  APPEAL
[. . . .] Now that the US administration has withheld financial support to the Palestinian Authority, to Jerusalem hospitals, and to UNRWA, it has made an already tough situation much worse. The vulnerable diabetic patients may be facing more complications. Your donation at this time will ensure that the PDI will continue to provide valuable services to these patients.    ___Life in the West Bank and Gaza is challenging at every turn, and things have reached a crisis point. With the new developments, it is certain to get worse. Your contribution targeted to the PDI program will make a difference in the lives of these patients. Please contribute generously to the extent that you can, as your donation will help Palestinians stay healthier and productive.   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HOUSES,”  BY  WALID  KHAZINDAR

The cloud of migrations in his eyes,
and in the leather briefcase the book, the pencil, the family photograph
The rust of benches on his hands, the rust of bannisters and doorknobs,
the rust of handshakes on his hands.
The briefcase propped against the wall—
will he take out his souvenirs first, or will he
Like a magician take out a country:
a house,
a street,
a capital.
He closed his eye, lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits.
He will not make friends with another vase,
he will not confess to a bed that will blow up in the next war,
he will not make tea or sing,
He will pace back and forth for a long time between the porch and the kitchen
and he will listen hard for a sound coming from the garden gate.
But there is only the crunching of leaves under feet
passing
then
going on;
there is nothing but the hum of talk in the houses next door.

–Translated by Lena Jayyusi and W.S. Merwin

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . Don’t ask me to abandon my eyes, my love, the memory of my childhood . . .” (Fouzi El-Azmar)

❶ Secret Firm Set Up With Top Israeli Ex-generals to Fight “Delegitimization Campaign”

  • Background:  “The [United States] Israel Lobby.” Journal of Psychohistory.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) EU, Norway to hold meeting for Palestine donors soon
❷ Israeli army sues Palestinian family for damages caused to vehicle that killed its son
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Wounded prisoner and mother appeals for release to receive proper medical treatment
❸ Israeli settlers raze Palestinian lands in Nablus
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Thousands at risk as Gaza hospitals undergo fuel dearth
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Azmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
SECRET  FIRM  SET  UP  WITH  TOP  ISRAELI  EX-GENERALS  TO  FIGHT  “DELEGITIMIZATION  CAMPAIGN”       
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Jan. 11, 2018 ― Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry has set up a public-benefit corporation to engage in what it calls “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the delegitimization campaign” against Israel internationally.
___Haaretz has obtained a list of the shareholders and directors of the company, Kella Shlomo, who include former Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations.
___According to a ministry document, Kella Shlomo people would work via social networks because “the enemy directs most of its awareness and motivating efforts to this area.”   MORE . . .  

Hewitt, William F.
“THE  [UNITED  STATES]  ISRAEL  LOBBY.”
JOURNAL  OF  PSYCHOHISTORY, vol. 36, no. 1, Summer2008, pp. 59-71.
[. . . .] So, isn’t the Israel Lobby doing what other powerful lobbies do? Seeking to find traction and influence Congress and the executive, and the courts for that matter, to pursue their agenda or at least not pursue policies antithetical to their agenda? Sure. But . . . a growing number of activist left-wing American Jews, contend is that the Israel Lobby has bribed and cheated, bullied and browbeaten elected officials and the media into unqualified support for policies that are not only counterproductive to the best interests of the United States, but to those of Israel and, by extension, Jews everywhere.
___It is not important here to go into all the indictments regarding the Israel Lobby’s behavior and the submissive attitude of the American political establishment. Let me just cite, as an indication, the testimony of one Congressional staffer cited by Massing in his magisterial New York Review article from last June, in regard to contributions funneled by AIPAC, “We can count on well over half the House—250 to 300 members—to do reflexively whatever AIPAC wants.”
[. . . .] Let’s now return to Sara Roy’s poignant question: “How Can Children of the Holocaust Do Such Things [as the 2006 murderous invasion of Lebanon]?”
[. . . .]  In James Traub’s profile of ADL leader Abe Foxman from January of 2007, we get an up close and personal glimpse of this hypervigilance. Traub writes: “Foxman escaped the worst of the Holocaust, but it has deeply shaped his sense of the world and is presumably responsible for his feeling that nothing short of supreme and unflinching vigilance will ward off the next cataclysm.”
[. . . .] But the Jewish experience during World War II is not enough.
[. . . .] “Most of all, the Zionist movement was characterized by its focus on a rapid transition from inferiority to overcompensation.” (Jay Y. Gonen, The Psychohistory of Zionism, New York: Mason/Charter, 1975, p. 3).        SOURCE . . .   

.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  EU,  NORWAY  TO  HOLD  MEETING  FOR  PALESTINE  DONORS  SOON 
The Palestinian Information Center  
Jan. 11, 2018 ― The European Union (EU) and Norway have decided to convene an extraordinary session of the international donor group for Palestine at the end of the current month.
___This came in a press release issued by the office of EU’s high representative Federica Mogherini.
___Mogherini agreed with Norway’s foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide to hold the meeting at the ministerial level in Brussels on January 31, 2018, according to her office.   MORE . . .  
❷ ISRAELI  ARMY  SUES  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  FOR  DAMAGES  CAUSED  TO  VEHICLE  THAT  KILLED  ITS  SON 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
By Ihab Rimawi
Jan. 11, 2018 ― In an unprecedented and bizarre move, the Israeli army is suing a Palestinian family for damages caused to a military vehicle that ran into a wall while chasing its son at high speed and then flipped over him and killed him.
___Abdullah Ghneimat, 22, from the village of Kufr Malik, east of Ramallah, was chased by an army jeep in the early morning hour on June 14, 2015 when he was returning home from work. He was surprised to see soldiers in his village and therefore ran away, prompting the soldiers to go after him.
___Ghneimat took cover behind a wall, but the jeep ran into the wall and then turned over and fell on him, killing him.   MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  WOUNDED  PRISONER  AND  MOTHER  APPEALS  FOR  RELEASE  TO  RECEIVE  PROPER  MEDICAL  TREATMENT     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 11, 2018 ― Isra Jaabis, 32, a mother of a baby child and a resident of Jabal al-Mukkaber neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, appealed to the Israeli High Court against her 11-year sentence levied against her in November 2016 after she was charged of attempting to blow up an Israeli army checkpoint outside Jerusalem in October 2015.
___The High Court deliberated her appeal on Thursday and said it will send its decision to Jaabis’ attorney at the end of deliberations.
___Jaabis, who is married to a Palestinian from Jericho, had a gas cylinder in her car when it blew up, apparently accidently, when she was only meters away from the checkpoint to the east of Jerusalem. Her family said at the time that she was moving her stuff from Jericho to a new place in Jerusalem when the cylinder blew up by accident. The army, however, decided otherwise. . .       MORE . . .  
❸  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  IN  NABLUS  
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Jan. 11, 2018 ― A group of Israeli settlers on Thursday morning razed Palestinian land in the villages of Tal and Far’ata, southwest of Nablus, northern West Bank.
___Activist Abdul-Rahman Al-Taweel told PNN that these acts began immediately following the killing of an Israeli settlers in Nablus two days ago.
___The settlers set up tents and bulldozed lands near the villages of Asira, Tel and Farata, in preparation for the establishment of a settlement units in the area.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  THOUSANDS  AT  RISK  AS  GAZA  HOSPITALS  UNDERGO  FUEL  DEARTH   
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 11, 2018 ― Increasing shortages of fuel are creating an impending crisis for Gaza’s hospitals, threatening the closure of essential health services which would leave thousands of patients without access to life-saving health care.
___Health Ministry spokesman, Ashraf al-Qidrah, said the health system’s fuel reserves are insufficient and if a solution is not found, Gaza’s hospitals will be forced to partially or completely close essential services.
___Al-Qidrah also warned of the possibility of delayed or canceled surgeries and inter-prison transfers if no urgent action is taken on the part of the concerned authorities.    MORE . . .   

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

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

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

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

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

“. . . damages to the Palestinian economy due to Israeli Occupation . . . reach billions of US dollars every year . . .” (Jakob Rieken)

water_supply
Bedouins purchase water from water trucks in Khirbet A-Duqaiqah in the South Hebron Hills near the Green Line, a village with 300 residents that is not hooked up to water grid. (Photo: Nasser Nawaj’ah, B’Tselem)

❶ Israel breaching Palestine’s right to development, UN human rights expert finds
. . . ❶― (a) Israeli settlers cut down 18 trees on private Palestinian land near Bethlehem

  • Background: “The Role of Development Cooperation in the Conflict Over Palestinian Land.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ EU Foreign Affairs chief affirms the right to Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions against Israel
❸  Israeli court accuses slain Palestinian’s twin brother of social media ‘incitement’
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  BREACHING  PALESTINE’S  RIGHT  TO  DEVELOPMENT,  UN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  EXPERT  FINDS
Palestine News Network – PNN
Oct. 28, 2016
Palestine’s right to development is being denied by Israel, creating an environment plagued by poverty, “epic” unemployment and economic stagnation, according to a new report from a United Nations human rights expert.
___Michael Lynk – the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 – expresses deep concerns about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), in the context of the right to development.     ___He calls on Israel to bring a complete end to almost 50 years of occupation, describing an atmosphere of “despair and hopelessness” among Palestinian citizens.     More . . .  
. . . ❶― (A) ISRAELI  SETTLERS  CUT  DOWN  18  TREES  ON  PRIVATE  PALESTINIAN  LAND  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
Ma’an News Agency     
Oct. 29, 2016
Israeli settlers on Saturday morning cut down 18 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian family in the village of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.      ___Journalist Hani Fanun, whose family owns the trees, said his family went to harvest olives on their land in the Wadi al-Hariq area of Nahalin, and found that settlers from the nearby illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc had cut down over 18 large olive trees.    ___Fanun told Ma’an that the family’s land is closest to the Bat Ayin settlement — which is part of the cluster of Israeli settlements that make up the Gush Etzion bloc — and was reclaimed by the family after an order by the Israeli Supreme Court proved that it belonged to them.   More . . .      Related . . .     The  olive  harvest  in  West  Bank  in  light  of  Israeli  settlers’  attacks     

  • Rieken, Jakob. “The Role of Development Cooperation in the Conflict Over Palestinian Land.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 19/20.4/1 (2014): 27-34.   Source. 

The Oslo Accords . . . were set up to be a temporary, transitional instrument for a five-year period leading to Palestinian statehood. They established the Palestinian Authority (PA) as an interim self-governance arrangement, which is to this day the counterpart for bilateral development cooperation. The Oslo Accords, however, also divided the occupied West Bank into Areas A, B and C, ostensibly as a transitional instrument until defined borders could be negotiated between the parties . . .  Area C, the remaining 60% of the West Bank, is under complete Israeli control.
___. . . .  Fifteen years after the interim arrangement of the Oslo Accords was to be replaced by a final status agreement, the Israeli grip on Area C is tighter than ever. Area C holds most Israeli settlements in the West Bank and, not coincidentally, holds many of the most valuable natural resources, including agricultural land (particularly the fertile Jordan Valley), key water sources, quarries, Dead Sea minerals, oil and gas, etc. Settlements are often located strategically at access points to natural resources. These settlements have been expanding, Palestinian infrastructure has been destroyed, and more and more Palestinian private land has been marked as Israeli “state land” or as a “closed military zone,” barring Palestinians (but not settlers) from these areas.
___ Part and parcel of the entrenchment of Israeli occupation in Area C has been the occupying power’s relationship with state donor organizations. On the basis of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli Civil Administration (a branch of the military occupation authorities in the West Bank) has succeeded in drawing international donors into a remarkable permitting system in Area C that simulates a legal foundation for its intervention in development projects. If a donor agency is interested in building a sanitary landfill, for example, it has to enter a lengthy permitting process . . . [which demands] that the development projects also benefit the nearby settlements, e.g. settlers demand to be able to funnel their wastewater to a donor-funded Palestinian wastewater treatment plant.      [. . . . ] Life for the Palestinians remaining in Area C (estimated by the United Nations to be around 300,000 people, facing 350,000 Israeli settlers) is becoming increasingly difficult, forcing many families to give up and move to Palestinian towns and cities in Areas A and B. It is very telling that Israel significantly downplays the number of Palestinians living in Area C, estimating them at around 50,000. Each Palestinian’s decision to give up and move to Areas A and B is a victory for the Israeli settler movement, which has no intention of reaching a two-state solution but rather has a vision of a Greater Israel which includes (Area C of) the West Bank. In what appears to be the extension of the Zionist slogan “A land without a people for a people without a land,” settler-ideologues in the Israeli Knesset are calling for the annexation of Area C, maintaining that it is virtually unpopulated by Palestinians.

EU  FOREIGN  AFFAIRS  CHIEF  AFFIRMS  THE RIGHT  TO  BOYCOTT,  DIVESTMENT  &  SANCTIONS  AGAINST  ISRAEL  
Palestine News Network – PNN  
Oct. 28, 2016
Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, has condemned attacks on human rights defenders and affirmed the right of European citizens to freedom of expression and association, including through participation in the global Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
___In response to a question on whether the EU commission will commit to defending BDS activists’ right to exercise their democratic freedom of expression, put forward by MEP Martina Anderson, the EU High Representative stated: ___“The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is applicable on EU Member States’ territory, including with regard to BDS actions carried out on this territory.”      More . . .

twins
Ali and Muhammad Shuyukhi (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

ISRAELI COURT ACCUSES SLAIN PALESTINIAN’S TWIN BROTHER OF SOCIAL MEDIA ‘INCITEMENT’   
Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 28, 2016    The public prosecution of Israel’s Jerusalem magistrate court presented on Thursday a list of indictments against the brother of a slain Palestinian youth, accusing him of incitement on social media.
___The prosecution accused 20-year-old Muhammad Shuyukhi of inciting “terrorism” on social media following the killing of his twin brother Ali by Israeli forces during clashes in the occupied East Jerusalem town of Silwan on Oct. 11. . . .
___ The indictment list presented on Thursday said that Muhammad Shuyukhi had published several posts on his Facebook page that included sayings which “incited terrorism,” while other posts of his included support for the Hamas movement and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement.
___The indictment against Shuyukhi coincided with a recent crackdown by the Israeli government on social media “incitement.”    More . . .