“. . . Next to the great room we call our country . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ Palestinians across the West Bank, Jerusalem protest Trump’s decision
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Over 50 injured, 9 with live ammunition, in clashes across Palestinian territory
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli arrest campaign waged in anticipation of ‘day of rage’
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Israeli Soldiers Isolate Kufur Qaddoum
❷ Israel to construct 14,000 settlement units in Jerusalem

  • Background: “Divided We Rise: Politics, Architecture and Vertical Cityscapes at Opposite Ends of Jerusalem.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

❸ REACTIONS TO TRUMP’S DECISION
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIANS  ACROSS  THE  WEST  BANK,  JERUSALEM  PROTEST  TRUMP’S  DECISION  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem marched in protest of US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to move the US embassy.
___The protestors headed to Israeli checkpoints in several districts to express condemnation and rejection of the illegal move. In Ramallah district, hundreds gathered after the Friday prayer and marched to al-Bireh’s northern entrance, where clashes erupted with Israeli soldiers.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  OVER  50  INJURED,  9  WITH  LIVE  AMMUNITION,  IN  CLASHES  ACROSS  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY   
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 7, 2017 ― The number of injured Palestinians continues to climb on Thursday as clashes with Israeli forces continue to escalate across the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Palestinian and world leaders warned Trump against making the announcement, for fear of instability and violence across the region that is now expected to continue in the days to come.
___9 injured with live ammunition [. . . .]   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  ARREST  CAMPAIGN  WAGED  IN  ANTICIPATION  OF  ‘DAY  OF  RAGE’   
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 8, 2017 ― The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched at dawn Friday a large-scale raid and arrest campaign in West Bank and Jerusalem as Palestinians declare a day of rage over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Local sources affirmed that at least 16 Palestinian were detained in occupied Jerusalem, while ten others were arrested in Issawiya town after being brutally attacked.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶― (ᴄ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ISOLATE  KUFUR  QADDOUM 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC  
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Earlier Friday, dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded and isolated Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, ahead of the weekly protest against the Annexation Wall and colonies.
___The army stopped and searched dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians, while inspecting their ID cards.
___Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum, said the army is trying to prevent the Palestinians, along with Israeli and international peace activists, from marching.   MORE . . .
ISRAEL  TO  CONSTRUCT  14,000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  JERUSALEM
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Israeli government is considering pushing ahead with plans to build around new 14,000 settler units in the city.
___Under the plan, pursued by Israeli housing minister Yoav Galant, 5,000 units would be built in the northern parts of the city and just outside Ramallah, Israeli media reported Thursday night.
___There would be 1,000 units built in East Jerusalem, while the remaining 8,000 units were to be built in the city’s western neighborhoods.   MORE . . .

Rosen, Gillad and Igal Charney.
“DIVIDED  WE  RISE:  POLITICS,  ARCHITECTURE  AND  VERTICAL  CITYSCAPES  AT  OPPOSITE  ENDS  OF  JERUSALEM.”
TRANSACTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE OF BRITISH GEOGRAPHERS, vol. 41, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 163-174.
[. . . .] Since 1967 Palestinian East Jerusalem is to a large extent a construct of Israeli power and political domination. To strengthen control over annexed lands in East Jerusalem, Israel has been manipulating planning policies and procedures. . .  decisions are highly political and reflect the state’s power to . . .  determine what is acceptable and what is not, and direct which forms of informality will thrive and which will disappear.
___For almost 50 years, Israel has enforced a discriminatory planning regime that has systematically delegitimised Palestinian development rights, restricting the growth of Palestinian communities. Planning policies and practices in these areas have been largely subordinated to the ethno-national aspirations and geopolitical territorial claims of Israel, which have intentionally ignored the development needs of Palestinians. A Palestinian planning rights advocate explained this reality: ‘Palestinians do not exist for the Israeli planning system in Jerusalem . . . they are neither partners nor participants in planning agendas and procedures’, thus making them practically invisible to the Israeli planning authorities.
___Permissive approaches to tall-building development in West Jerusalem and in Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem make discrimination against Palestinians even blunter. It is nothing but preposterous to apply the anachronistic limit of four to six storeys to most Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem. . . .  As a planner from a human right advocacy group explained, this situation is actually ‘another tool of Israeli occupation which exploits and marginalises the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem’.   [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .    ..

REACTIONS  TO  TRUMP’S  DECISION
Arab League says Trump’s decision on Jerusalem inflames tension   MORE . . .    ..
Ambassador: EU will not transfer embassy to Jerusalem   MORE . . .    ..
Pakistan condemns US move, calls it violation of Security Council’s resolutions MORE . . .
South Africa: US Unilateral Decision Undermines Middle East Peace Process    MORE . . .
Norway warns of increased instability following Trump’s decision     MORE . . .
Abbas meets King Abdullah II to discuss Jerusalem developments     MORE . . .
‘If these decisions go into effect my life here will become like a prison’: Palestinians in Jerusalem respond to Trump    MORE . . .

“IN THE NEIGHBORING ROOM,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Next to
our nation’s bedroom,
Next to
the 5 a.m. orchestra, when
upright and in a hurry
the farm-worker goes out
and the 5 p.m. flute, when

bent and dumb
he comes back

Next to
the room of hope and despair,
the family prayers,
the silence of nurses
and the dry branch,
motionless on clean sheets

Next to
the poet’s room
where words are dogs
or birds:
with his stick
he drives the assaulting dogs away,
his hand opens
to throw barley to the birds
and he waits

Next to
the interrogation room
packed with the stupidity of screams
and the cunning
of the iron chains

Next to
the grandmother
squatting near the clay oven
watching the interaction between
a loaf of bread
and the flames

Next to
the maternity ward

He sits
with strong muscles
and tools and weapons
ready to help:
he thinks of us a lot
he looks after us
like an indispensable
head of the family

Next to
the great room we call our country

Death
stays up, active
for our sake.

From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.  A biographical essay about Mourid Barghouti.

“. . . I’m unfamiliar with settlements. Are some of those people good? . . .” (Marwan Makhoul)

❶ European conference on settlement declares Israel ‘apartheid regime’

  • Background: “Spatial Changes in Palestine: From Colonial Project to an Apartheid System.” African & Asian Studies.

❷ Israel encourages settlers to move to Jordan Valley settlements
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Netanyahu is redefining ethnic cleansing not pursuing genuine peace
❹ POETRY by Marwan Makhoul
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ EUROPEAN  CONFERENCE  ON  SETTLEMENT  DECLARES  ISRAEL  ‘APARTHEID  REGIME’ 
Days of Palestine
Nov. 11, 2017 ― Representatives from 24 European countries, including parliamentarians, legal experts, journalists and activists, met in Brussels, have declared Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” in the West Bank.
___In a press release, the recommendations of the first European conference on Israeli settlement activity were named the Brussels Declaration, and included the following:
1. Israel, the occupying power of the Palestinian territories since 1967 continues its policy of confiscating and judaising Palestinian land and building settlements over it. These settlements have turned, with the passage of time, into an incubator for settler’s “terrorist organisations” such as HiiltopYouth, Paying the Price and Revenge.
2. With this premeditated policy of settlement expansion, it is, therefore, inappropriate to talk about dismantling political or security settlements, but rather, see this movement as a structure colonial policy that was able to colonize a large part of the West Bank not less than 60 percent of its size. This policy has, in fact, established an Apartheid regime, which violates the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 . . .        MORE . . .

Al-Rimmawi, Hussein.
“SPATIAL  CHANGES  IN  PALESTINE:  FROM  COLONIAL  PROJECT  TO  AN  APARTHEID  SYSTEM.”
African & Asian Studies,
vol. 8, no. 4, Nov. 2009, pp. 375-412.
[. . . .] After the 1967 war, Israel began to strip Palestinian land from its Palestinian owners . . . . settlements penetrated deeply inside the occupied land like spears, with the purpose of dividing the Palestinian land in the West Bank into three main Bantustans, north, and central and south.
___At present, Israel continues to construct its Apartheid Wall which would guarantee that the confiscated land be on the Israeli side of the border . . .  The Wall is planned and implemented in a way which results in residential and territorial discrimination. Palestinian workers may be allowed to work in Israel but will not be allowed to reside in the same place . . . .
___Palestinian cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is being destroyed by Israeli bulldozers. The Apartheid Wall is destroying archeological sites, shrines, monuments and historical buildings. The establishment of this wall is represented by ‘spatial and socio-side’. The Wall also has a significant impact on Palestinian wild life and biodiversity. For example, heavy equipment destroys plant coverage and degrades the soil. Flora and fauna are endangered and some species will disappear.
[. . . .] The whole Zionist plan evolved through different phases which reflected itself on the space through the settlements, the creation of the State of Israel, the evolution of Israel to become an occupying power in Arab lands and the present apartheid system. Through the acquisition of territory and the building of the Annexation Wall, Israel aims at eliminating the possibility of Palestine as a viable political entity. Palestinians cannot fully exercise their human rights, including their freedom of expression, travel from one place to another, and different laws are applied to them than those used for Israeli settlers. At present, they are prisoners inside their own cities, villages, and refugee camps. . .  It seems that Israelis are not capable of transferring the soul of settlement movement into a real and consolidated state.   SOURCE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  ENCOURAGES  SETTLERS  TO  MOVE  TO  JORDAN  VALLEY  SETTLEMENTS       
The Palestinian Information Center 
Nov. 11, 2017 ― The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement on Saturday said that the Israeli government is planning to double the number of Jewish settlers in the Jordan Valley area.
___The Office explained in its weekly report that the Israeli government plans to launch a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging settlers to move to the Jordan Valley, adding that it also has vowed to transfer funds to the settlement councils that host the newcomers. Preference will be given to the settlements that set fewer conditions to host settlers.
___Hebrew media sources have unveiled a plan presented by the Israeli Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, to strengthen the Jewish presence in the Jordan Valley, one-quarter of the West Bank.   MORE . . .
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  NETANYAHU  IS REDEFINING  ETHNIC  CLEANSING  NOT  PURSUING  GENUINE  PEACE   
The Palestinian Information Center
Kamel Hawwash    [ Kamel Hawwash is Professor in the School of Civil Engineering at Birmingham University, and Immediate Past President of the European Society for Engineering Education.]  
Nov. 11, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not known for missing an opportunity to push peace further into the distant future. [. . . .] Netanyahu took to the air to absolve Israel of any fault for the lack of progress towards peace. Israel is in a difficult neighbourhood and therefore its security needs are such that meeting these is almost incompatible with a Palestinian state.
___In an interview . . .  he trotted out the usual talking points. Israel, he said, “stands out as a beacon of democracy, a beacon of self-restraint in a sea of trouble”. As for the Israeli army, “there is no more moral army in the world,” he said. The settlements “are an issue but I don’t think they are the issue”. Instead he believes the issue “is the 100-year-old refusal of the Palestinian leadership to recognise a Jewish state in any boundary”.  Netanyahu took issue with Marr regarding the settlements, saying “the idea that Jews cannot live in Judea [the West Bank] is crazy”. When challenged that it is Palestinian territory, which the UN says is a flagrant violation of international law, he said that it is “disputed territory”.  MORE . . .

“IDENTITY,” BY MARWAN MAKHOUL
I’m unfamiliar with refugee camps.
Is that the ultimate in giving up?
Or are they tents I’ve been told are white
with guy ropes at the corners to hold them up
that hold me up?

I’m unfamiliar with tear gas.
Is it a weapon whose used bears the radiance of defeat?
Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears
when I cry

I’m unfamiliar with settlements.
Are some of those people good?
Sure, completely. Like I walk
on my hands,
and the sand sings?

I’m unfamiliar with my mother too.
Is she the one who suckled me?
Or is she the one bereft, standing in my doorway,
or a window on belonging?

I’m unfamiliar with UNRWA.
Is it a shipment I once chanced upon?
Or did I direct its driver
when he asked the way to Rafah?

I’m unfamiliar with the “cause”.
Is it a fiancée searching in the rubble
for her finger to put the ring on?
Or is half the whole of a fifth?

I’m unfamiliar with the truth.
Am I lacking something?
Or does my blood course within me
but not as my nerves would wish?

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with myself.
Am I the one now in my body?
Or am I that one I wrote about
the day I became my neighbor?
―Translated by Raphael Cohen   

From BANIPAL: MAGAZINE OF MODERN ARAB LITERATURE 45  Winter 2012.
Marwan Makhoul was born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother in 1979 in the village of Boquai’a in the Upper Galilee region of Palestine. He currently lives in the village of Maalot Tarshiha. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Mustaqbal College. His first book of poetry was published in 2007 in both Beirut and Baghdad by Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa by Maktabat Kul Shai’ Publishers. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in The Acre Theatre Festival for his first play. (An interview with Marwan Makhoul )

 

“. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

c8de4a59e6525e0645e293a5edae1274a0577630
A general view of the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

❶ Netanyahu vows to occupy the West Bank forever

  • Background: “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate?” King’s Law Journal

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Japan deplores advancing plans of settlements construction in West Bank
❷ Israel’s renewal of law restricting family unification condemned as ‘apartheid’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Rights groups condemn Israel’s lethal use of force against Palestinian protesters
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ NETANYAHU  VOWS  TO  OCCUPY  THE  WEST  BANK  FOREVER   
+972 Online Magazine      
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 13, 2017         Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised that Israel will never relinquish security control over the West Bank, even as part of a two-state peace deal, which is to say that the Israeli army will occupy the Palestinian territory forever.      __“[I]n any agreement, and even without an agreement, we will maintain security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” the prime minister said.
[. . . .]  . . . the Israeli prime minister, who regularly blames the Palestinians for the lack of progress toward peace, has openly admitted — again — that he is unwilling to end the occupation. Without ending the occupation there can be no Palestinian sovereignty. Without Palestinian sovereignty there can be no Palestinian state, and no national self-determination.
___Without Palestinian national self-determination and statehood, the Palestinian people are left living as subjects under a military regime with no civil rights, no suffrage.    MORE . . .

Wintemute, Robert. “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate, and What If the European Convention Applied?” King’s Law Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, Apr. 2017, pp. 89-129.
[. . . .] It is likely that the occupation would have ended long ago (because it would have been much harder to justify a refusal to allow a State of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), but for Israel’s illegal and stubbornly pursued policy of settlement-building. . . . This was spelled out in the 1978 ‘Drobles Plan’ [that]  the state-owned lands and.…uncultivated barren lands in Judea and Samaria ought to be seized right away. . .  our intention to hold on to Judea and Samaria forever is by speeding up the settlement momentum in these territories. . . . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on 11 July 2014: ‘there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.’
[. . . .]  . . . those who reject the South African apartheid analogy should respond to it in a rational way, pointing to the relevant objective facts that make it inaccurate, rather than in an emotional way: dismissing the possibility of apartheid in Israel-Palestine because it is too painful to contemplate. . . and attributing malice to the person making the claim. . .  In my view, it should . . .  replace the current concept of occupation, which is itself an analogy, inviting the public to compare the situation in Israel-Palestine with other occupations. The occupation analogy is misleading, because almost every occupation one can think of is or was of much shorter duration (eg, the USA’s occupation of Japan, 1945–52), or has become a de jure annexation (internationally recognised or not), with citizenship and the right to vote (if it exists) granted to the occupied territory’s residents (eg, China–Tibet, Indonesia–West Papua, India–Kashmir. . .  etc). The reason why a shift from an occupation analogy to an apartheid analogy could make a difference, in generating international pressure on Israel to change, is that occupation is common and does not shock.
___Absence of genuine democracy (because there is one-party rule or the same party always wins) is common and does not shock. But racial discrimination in access to citizenship and the right to vote (apartheid) is rare, does shock and has become taboo.      SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) JAPAN  DEPLORES  ADVANCING  PLANS  OF  SETTLEMENTS  CONSTRUCTION  IN  WEST  BANK 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
June 12, 2017         The Government of Japan deeply deplored on Tuesday Israel’s approval of plans to construct housing units in settlements in the West Bank, despite repeated calls from the international community including Japan for freezing such activities.     MORE . . .

Settlement_israel_260810
The West Bank settlement of Efrat is seen on September 1, 2014.

❷ ISRAEL’S  RENEWAL  OF  LAW  RESTRICTING  FAMILY  UNIFICATION  CONDEMNED  AS  ‘APARTHEID’  
Ma’an News Agency 
June 13, 2017         Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, renewed the controversial “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” law, which sets severe limitations on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory married to Israeli citizens, for the 14th year on Monday, as Palestinian members of parliament denounced the move as “racist” and a show of “apartheid” against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
[. . . .] The law applies to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, and foreign nationals from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq — and can apply to other nationalities originating from countries the Israeli government deems a security threat.
___However, the law has primarily affected Palestinian citizens of Israel, making up 20 percent of the Israeli population, who often marry Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.        MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) RIGHTS  GROUPS  CONDEMN  ISRAEL’S  LETHAL  USE  OF  FORCE   AGAINST  PALESTINIAN  PROTESTERS    
Ma’an News Agency  
June 13, 2017          Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations released statements this week condemning Israeli forces’ excessive use of force against Palestinians, particularly protesters, which in many cases resulted in death.
___Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a statement Monday highlighting the case of Saba Abu Ubeid, a 22-year-old Palestinian from the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit, who was shot dead by Israeli forces last month during a protest in the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh.       MORE . . . 

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!

Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.

 

“. . . My country, you are seeds of hope . . .” (Abu Salma)

1-Flagellation_google-001
Church of the Condemnation: Roman Catholic Church on Via Dolorosa. According to tradition, this was the site where Jesus took up his cross after being sentenced. http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/Condemnation.html

❶ Knesset extends ‘racist’ emergency provision on Family Unification Law for 13th year

  • “Israel’s Palestinian Minority In The Two-State Solution: The Missing Dimension”

❷ The Minister of Internal Security agrees to release the detained bodies of Jerusalemite Martyrs and the police will decide where to bury them
❸ Israel to build 258 illegal settlement units in Jerusalem
. . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Key Muslim and Christian Holy Sites Erased From “Old City” Map

  • “Israel: The New South Africa?”

❹ POETRY by Abu Salma
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ KNESSET  EXTENDS  ‘RACIST’  EMERGENCY  PROVISION  ON  FAMILY  UNIFICATION  LAW  FOR  13TH  YEAR
Ma’an News Agency
June 13, 2016
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset voted on Monday evening to re-extend Israel’s “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” provision, which prohibits Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip from automatically obtaining legal status in Israel or East Jerusalem through family unions.
___The law was passed 65 in favor, 14 against, according to press release published by the Knesset on Tuesday.        MORE . . . 

At present, there are approximately 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, comprising about 20 percent of Israel’s total population and about 12 percent of Palestinians worldwide.  This Palestinian population has been almost completely ignored by the international community. For decades, [in]international discussion . . . The Palestinian minority in Israel has received little, if any, attention [. . . .]
___A widespread and longstanding disregard for the Palestinian minority in Israel has been reflected in all of the accords, initiatives, conferences and summits aimed at achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace . . . . Not only has the Palestinian minority consistently been ignored; it has always been excluded from participating in the peace process itself. . . .  The reason for this omission lies in the prevailing view of the “Palestinian problem” as one primarily concerning Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and, secondarily, those in the Diaspora.
___This view, however, is too narrow. More than ever before, the “Palestinian problem” goes beyond the demand for statehood by Palestinians in the territories . . . the growing ethno-national conflict within Israel today between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs should be viewed as part of the larger conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
[. . . .]
___Only a . . . solution that also involves improving the status and rights of the Palestinian minority within Israel can really resolve the century-long conflict between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism.

  • Waxman, Dov. “Israel’s Palestinian Minority in the Two-State Solution: The Missing Dimension.” Middle East Policy 18.4 (2011): 68-82.   ARTICLE.

❷ THE  MINISTER  OF  INTERNAL  SECURITY  AGREES  TO  RELEASE  THE  DETAINED  BODIES  OF  JERUSALEMITE  MARTYRS
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
June 13, 2016
The Minister of Internal Security and public prosecution agreed to release the bodies of Palestinian bodies without setting any deadlines.
___Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud explained that the public prosecution responded today to the appeal he had submitted to the Supreme Court saying that after the Minister of Internal Security and police discussed all the procedures that came with releasing Martyrs’ bodies, they agreed to release the bodies to their families on conditions. . . . Another condition was also added which gives the police the option to choose the Islamic cemetery where the bodies will be buried.      MORE . . .

al-issawiya
Al-Issawiya, where new illegal settlements will be built in occupied East Jerusalem, has come under restrictions. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 21, 20150)

❸ ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  258  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  JERUSALEM
The Palestinian Information Center
June 14, 2016
Reports have recently been released by Israeli pro-settlement groups on an Israeli plan to build 258 illegal settlement units in Occupied Jerusalem.
___These groups, one of which is affiliated with the Israeli army, said the planning committee in Occupied Jerusalem will discuss a scheme on Thursday June, 22 to build 258 settlement units on Palestinian lands in the villages of al-Issawiya, al-Tur, and Lefta.
___734 dunums of Palestinian lands have been confiscated by the Israeli occupation authorities to establish the projected Jewish settlement outpost.     MORE . . .
. . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) KEY  MUSLIM  AND  CHRISTIAN  HOLY  SITES  ERASED  FROM  “OLD  CITY”  MAP
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 13, 2016      MORE . . .

[. . . .] In reality, Palestinian citizens were discriminated against in all areas of public life since the early years of the young state, decades before Netanyahu’s government flooded the Knesset with racist bills.
___The 2010 report from Adalah, the Legal Centre for Arab Minority rights in Israel, identified over 30 laws that discriminate directly or indirectly against Palestinian citizens in terms of citizenship issues, the right to political participation, land and housing rights, educational, cultural and language rights, religious rights, and during detention on security charges . . . .
___If we look at the Law of Return (1950) and the Citizenship Law (1952), both are fundamentally discriminatory and serve to bolster the Jewish nature of the state . . . two laws allow Jews to immigrate freely to Israel from any part of the world and to gain citizenship, but exclude Palestinians who were forced to flee their homes between 1947-52, denying them any internationally recognised legal rights.
___In 2003, the government in Tel Aviv enacted the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, publicly known as the ‘family unification law’. This law denies the right to Israeli residency or citizenship status to Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, even if they are married to citizens of Israel (Jewish or Arab).
___Since 1948, the state of Israel has passed a series of laws that allowed it to systematically confiscate and transfer Palestinian-owned land to the state . . . .  Today, Palestinian citizens, who constitute a fifth of Israel’s population, own only 3-3.5% of the land, compared to 48% under Palestinian ownership in 1948. This massive land confiscation and its transfer to Zionist organisations was executed through two laws from the early 1950s . . .     ARTICLE.

POETRY  BY  ABU  SALMA   (ABDELKARIM  AL-KARMI)

  “GLORY  LIES  IN  THE  EARTH  OF  JIHAD”

Rub your face in the dust, say: This is my land!
Each particle sings that it is holy,
Free hearts lie buried in it,
How can I not make it my bed?
Stand at the Yarmuk, and look. Do you see,
The procession of history, with hope at its head?
The dust-trails rising from beyond the hill,
On the plains, cavalry ranked in rows?
The songs of victory are heard even now,
The chants of love from every valley rise.
Or do you see the Yarmuk bathed in tears,
Hitting far, far beyond the hosts?
My country, you are seeds of hope,
Watered by the tears of my heart.
What has wounded you?
Speak! The ruses of your sons, or of your foes?
Do not say that this is dead ground,
For it embraces those who were truly alive.
Protect that generation in the womb of your earth,
For free blood still calls, and is heard.
Source

 

 

“. . . scattered forever in the light of the impossible . . .” (Sulafa Hijjawi)

Residents of al-Walaje survey the destruction following the demolition of three homes in the village overnight on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. (Photo: +972 Magazine, April 14, 2016)
Residents of al-Walaje survey the destruction following the demolition of three homes in the village overnight on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. (Photo: +972 Magazine, April 14, 2016)

❶ Jerusalem demolishes Palestinian homes beyond the wall for first time
❷ EU Missions Concerned at Re-launching of Work on Separation Barrier
❸ ‘Peace Now’ and Israeli gov’t go head to head over new settler units
❹ Settlers Prevent Palestinian Farmer from Accessing his land near Bethlehem
❺ Opinion/Analysis:  DOES  ISRAEL  WANT  THE  PALESTINIANS  TO  THANK  HER  FOR  NOT  EXTERMINATING  THEM?
❻ POETRY by Sulafa Hijjawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ JERUSALEM  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  BEYOND  THE  WALL  FOR  FIRST  TIME
+972 Blog
Aviv Tatarsky
April 14, 2016
Israeli authorities destroy three homes in al-Walaje, a village that was partially annexed to Jerusalem, yet has been totally neglected by the municipality. . . .
___The demolitions in al-Walaja may have far-reaching consequences . . . . Ever since the beginning of the construction of the separation wall . . . Israel refrained from demolition homes there.      MORE . . .  

View of Ein Karem village, West Jerusalem, pre-1947. From BEFORE THEIR DIASPORA: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE PALESTINIANS 1876-1948. Commentary by Walid Khalidi. Washington, D.C. Institute for Palestine Studies, 2010.
View of Ein Karem village, West Jerusalem, pre-1947. From BEFORE THEIR DIASPORA: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE PALESTINIANS 1876-1948. Commentary by Walid Khalidi. Washington, D.C. Institute for Palestine Studies, 2010.

❷ EU  MISSIONS  CONCERNED  AT  RE-LAUNCHING  OF  WORK  ON  SEPARATION  BARRIER
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 16, 2016
The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed deep concern over the re-launching of works for the construction of the separation barrier in the Cremisan valley . . .  said a statement issued on Friday by the EU press office.
___The statement noted that once built, the barrier will severely restrict access of almost 60 Palestinian families to their agricultural land, profoundly affecting their livelihoods.
___“EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah recall the EU’s strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in this context, such as building the separation barrier . . . .      MORE . . .  
THE EU STATEMENT . . .

PEACE  NOW’  AND  ISRAELI  GOV’T  GO  HEAD  TO  HEAD  OVER  NEW  SETTLER  UNITS
Ma’an News Agency  
April 15, 2016
Israeli settlement watchdog ‘Peace Now’ has rejected Israeli government claims that more than 200 settler homes approved this week were already built, saying the approval will go toward new housing units.
___The watchdog reported Wednesday that the Israeli government had given the green light to another 267 homes in Israel’s Jewish-only settlements, bringing the total number of new units approved this year to 941.      MORE . . .   

❹ SETTLERS  PREVENT  PALESTINIAN  FARMER  FROM  ACCESSING  HIS  LAND  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 16, 2016
Israeli settlers Saturday denied a Palestinian farmer access into his farmland near al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, said security sources.
___A group of settlers from Neve Daniyyel, an illegal Israeli settlement to the southwest of Bethlehem, denied Ibrahim Salah access into his land and farmed it.
___Al-Khader is an agricultural town known for its grape vines. Israel has seized thousands of acres of the town’s land and uprooted olive trees for settlement, bypass road and wall construction.      MORE . . .   

❺ Opinion/Analysis: DOES  ISRAEL  WANT  THE  PALESTINIANS  TO  THANK  HER  FOR  NOT  EXTERMINATING  THEM?
The Palestinian Information Center
Khalid Amayreh
Like apartheid South Africa did to justify its repulsive approach toward its majority black citizens, Israel is making all sorts of similarly despicable arguments to justify its decades-old evil occupation and systematic persecution of Palestinians . . .  the apartheid South African regime had argued that black South Africans ought to be grateful to the White regime for giving them employment and enabling them to have a semblance of decent life. . . .
___What is wrong with this argument is that it doesn’t really distinguish between humans and animals. In the final analysis, humans, unlike animals, don’t live by bread alone. They are also entitled to freedom and dignity.      MORE . . .

Ein Karem as it is today, an upscale Jewish suburb nestled in the hills in southwest Jerusalem. An example of re-population of Palestinian villages. By Gila Brand, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4059455
Ein Karem as it is today, an upscale Jewish suburb nestled in the hills in southwest Jerusalem. An example of re-population of Palestinian villages.
By Gila Brand, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4059455

“DEATH  SENTENCE,”  BY  SULAFA  HIJJAWI  (b. 1934)

At night, orders came to the soldiers
to destroy our lovely village, Zeita.***
Zeita! Bride of trees,
of blooming tulips,
spark of the winds!

The soldiers came in the dark
while the sons of the village
the trees and field and flowerbuds
clung to Zeita
hugging her for shelter . . .

“Orders demand that all of you depart
Zeita will be destroyed before the night ends.”

But we held tight, chanting:
Zeita is the land, the heart of the land,
and we her people are its branches.

That’s how people fall―
a few moments of resistance,
so Zeita remains an eternal embrace across the nights
In moments she was rubble,
not a single bread oven remained.
Men and stones
were pasted and powdered by enemy tractors,
scattered forever in the light of the impossible.

Now in the evenings
in the song of our wind,
Zeita arises, igniting its scarlet spark
upon the plains
And by morning
Zeita returns to the fields
as tulips do.

Night is morning in Zeita,
Night is morning.
―Translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

*** Zeita was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, July 17–18, 1948. Its inhabitants became refugees, ending up the West Bank and Gaza Strip. All that remains of the village structures is the well that served as its main water source.

Sulafa Hijjawi, Palestinian poet and researcher, was born in Nablus, 1934. She lived in Iraq and married Iraqi poet Kazim Jawad. She has published several studies and translations, most importantly, Poetry of Resistance in Occupied Palestine (1982).
From: ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . Of the rubble that was your eyes I erect my home . . .” (‘Abd al-Latif ‘Aql)

A general view of the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the East Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood, a densely populated Palestinian area on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse/Ahmad Gharabli)
A general view of the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the East Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood, a densely populated Palestinian area on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse/Ahmad Gharabli)

❶ Foreign Ministry Seeks UN Resolution to Freeze Settlement Construction
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Breaking news: Ratifying the settlement project “Kedem” in Silwan
❷ Israel Detains 23 Palestinians during West Bank Raids
❸ UN: Israel’s execution of wounded Palestinian gruesome, unjust
❹ UN passes 4 Palestinian-backed resolutions in landmark victory
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHY  NETANYAHU  IS  SO  THREATENED  BY  BREAKING  THE  SILENCE
❻ Poetry by ‘Abd al-Latif ‘Aql
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
FOREIGN  MINISTRY  SEEKS  UN  RESOLUTION  TO  FREEZE  SETTLEMENT  CONSTRUCTION
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 24, 2016
Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to seek a United Nations resolution to force Israel to halt its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
___The Ministry, in a statement Thursday, called upon world countries to support Palestinian and Arab efforts aiming to hold an international peace conference on Palestine.
___The statement came in response to Israel’s approval of a controversial plan pushed by the settler organization ‘Elad’, which aims to construct settlement units in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.      MORE . . . 

Developer’s rendering of Kedem project (Photo: Altahrir, News of Islam, Muslims, Arab Spring and special Palestine)
Developer’s rendering of Kedem project (Photo: Altahrir, News of Islam, Muslims, Arab Spring and special Palestine)

. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) BREAKING  NEWS:  RATIFYING  THE  SETTLEMENT  PROJECT  “KEDEM”  IN  SILWAN
WADI HILWEH INFORMATION CENTER – SILWAN
March 23, 2016
The District Council for Planning and Building ratified on Wednesday night the project of Elad settlement organization known as “Kedem project- City of David- Old City of Jerusalem” which is intended to be established at the entrance of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.      MORE . . .
RELATED . . .

ISRAEL  DETAINS  23  PALESTINIANS  DURING  WEST  BANK  RAIDS
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 24, 2016
At least 23 Palestinians, including a minor girl, were Thursday detained by Israeli forces. . . .
___PPS said Israeli forces stormed the village of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, and detained 14-year-old Salwa Hayyan. . . . In Jerusalem, Israeli police detained seven Palestinians . . . Meanwhile in Ramallah district . . . In the northern West Bank, city of Nablus . . .   MORE . . .

UN:  ISRAEL’S  EXECUTION  OF  WOUNDED  PALESTINIAN  GRUESOME,  UNJUST
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 25, 2016
A UN official on Friday condemned in the strongest terms the brutal “extrajudicial execution” of a wounded Palestinian by an Israeli soldier that was captured on camera in Hebron the day before.
___Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said he strongly condemned the apparent “extrajudicial execution” of the Palestinian, who was shot in the head at point-blank . . . .
___”This was a gruesome, immoral, and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation,” Mladenov said.      MORE . . .
RELATED VIDEO . . . .

UN  PASSES  4  PALESTINIAN- BACKED  RESOLUTIONS  IN  LANDMARK  VICTORY
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 24, 2016
In a landmark victory for the Palestinian leadership, the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday passed four resolutions relating to the occupied Palestinian territory, one of which will draw up a “blacklist” of companies who do business in illegal Israeli settlements.
___The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department said that in addition to the resolution regarding settlements — which passed 32 to 0 — a resolution was adopted recognizing the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.   MORE . . .  

OPINION/ANALYSIS:  WHY  NETANYAHU  IS  SO  THREATENED  BY  “BREAKING THE SILENCE”
+972 BLOG
Dotan Greenvald
March 21, 2016
Breaking the Silence has classified information in its possession. The information is so confidential that its publication could pose a genuine threat. I hope you are sitting down, because I am about to disclose that information. Just don’t tell me later on that I went first and told the gentiles or anti-Semitic foreign governments. You are hearing it firsthand from me, a silence breaker: Israel is a country that controls the lives of millions of Palestinians with no rights, and its elected officials are doing one hell of a job of keeping it from you.    MORE . . . 

(Palestinian poets frequently use the image of “lover” for Palestine.)

“LOVE  PALESTINIAN-STYLE,”  BY  ‘ABD AL-LATIF ‘AQL

In times of drought you are my figs and olives,
Your barrenness is my fragrant gown.

Of the rubble that was your eyes I erect my home,
I love you alive, I love you in death.
When hungry, I feed on thyme.

I feel your hair against my face and I pine,
My weary face turns red.

I am born in the palms of your hands, and embryo,
I grow and grow, and I reach maturity.

I drink the meaning of my life from your gaze,
Then my being is awakened and is intoxicated.

I journey across frontiers, you are my suitcase,
You are my forged passport.

I boast that I can smuggle your eyes
Across borders;
I boast and boast and pride surges within me.

And when soldiers confiscate you,
Even before hashish,
And gouge the pupils of my eyes,

I feel I have been cleansed of the shame;
I have become purer
And more immaculate.

When they fear what may be under my armpits,
They confine me in small cells
I sign your name
At the end of police reports.

And when I am led all alone
To be whipped and humiliated,
And lashed at every police station,
I feel we’re lovers, who died from ecstasy,
A dark-skinned man and his woman.

You become me and I become you―
Luscious figs and shelled almonds.
And when soldiers smash my head
And force me to sip the cold of prison
To forget you―I love you even more.

‘Abd Al-Latif ‘Aql was born in 1942 in Deir Istiya, a village near Nablus. His family was exiled in 1948, and he lived in Amman and studied in Damasus and the U.S. where earned a PhD in social psychology. He worked as a school teacher in the West Bank for many years. He has published many volumes of poetry. His two plays incurred the wrath of the Israelis, and were forced to end performance at Bir Zeit University.
FROM: Parmenter, Barbara McKean. GIVING  VOICE  TO  STONES :  PLACE  AND  IDENTITY  IN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Austin, Texas : University of Texas Press, 1994.  The Database of Arabic Literature in Western Research (DAL). OxLit Literary Publication and Documentation