“. . . 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 )

 

“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

1-Pic-of-Wall-in-Bethlehem
Wall in Bethlehem (Photo: By Michaela Whitten, Nov. 26, 2014)

❶ PLO condemns international complicity on 12th anniversary of ICJ ruling on Israel’s separation wall

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Jordanian Government Rejects Israeli Settlement Policies in Occupied West Bank
❸ Palestinians, International Peace Activists, Hold Weekly Protest In Bil’in

  • background from Social Movement Studies

❹ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PLO  CONDEMNS  INTERNATIONAL  COMPLICITY  ON  12TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  ICJ  RULING  ON  ISRAEL’S  SEPARATION  WALL
Ma’an News Agency
July 9, 2016
The 12th anniversary of a decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that deemed Israel’s separation wall illegal under international law was marked on Saturday, as the PLO released a statement criticizing the international community for their complicity in Israel’s continued annexation of the Palestinian territory.
___The ICJ issued an advisory opinion in 2004 stating that the wall was illegal under international law and its construction must stop immediately, adding that reparations should be paid to Palestinians whose properties were damaged as a result of the construction.
___Twelve years later, the construction of the wall has continued unabated . . . MORE . .

From Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
The Wall powerfully reveals the current geopolitics in the West Bank as it has created a Kafkaesque reality that challenges the sustainability of its natural and built environment. It is a constituent part of “the matrix of control” that established enduring “facts on the ground”. The “matrix of control” extends under, on and above ground, constituting “a vertical occupation.” This “politics of verticality” has fragmented the Palestinian environment, giving Israel control not only of large parts of West Bank territories (while the Palestinian Authority controls only isolated territorial islands), but of the air space above and the subterranean sphere beneath, including water aquifers. The Wall is also part of an extensive “Western Segregation Zone” that extends beyond the Green Line — the 1949 armistice line   and penetrates up to 22 kilometers into the West Bank. This “seam zone   the area trapped between the Green Line and the wall — represents 9.9% of the West Bank territory. The “Western Segregation Zone” is mirrored on the Eastern side of the West Bank, where an “Eastern Segregation Zone” is de facto established through a web of military checkpoints and physical obstructions, which include 29.4% of the West Bank.

  • Leuenberger, Christine, and Ahmad El-Atrash. “Mosquitoes Don’t Carry Visas:Walls, Environments And The Hope For Cooperation In Palestine/Israel.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 19/20.4/1 (2014): 68-78.

❷ JORDANIAN  GOVERNMENT  REJECTS  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  POLICIES  IN  OCCUPIED  WEST  BANK
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 8, 2016
The Jordanian government expressed its utmost rejection to the Israeli government’s settlement policies and repetitive decisions to build and expand [illegal] settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to Jordan’s news agency, Petra.
___The Jordanian government’s spokesperson, Mohammad al-Momani, said these Israeli policies Constitute an assault on the Palestinian territories and the rights of the Palestinian people.      MORE . . .    

❸ PALESTINIANS,  INTERNATIONAL  PEACE  ACTIVISTS,  HOLD  WEEKLY  PROTEST  IN  BIL’IN
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 9, 2016
Dozens of Palestinians, Israeli and international peace activist participated, Friday, in the weekly nonviolent protest against the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and colonies, in the village of Bil’in, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
___Members of the Italian Parliament and activists from The Netherlands visited the village and participated in the weekly nonviolent protest.
___The Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonies in Bil’in has reported that the protesters raised Palestinian flags and marched chanting for national unity, steadfastness, the liberation of Palestine and the release of all political prisoners.     MORE . . .   

From Social Movement Studies
This was, and still is to the Palestinians involved, about the survival of their communities and their way of life, it is a social struggle as much as apolitical one. . . It is of course linked into the wider struggle against the occupation more generally in the rhetoric used by many Palestinians from the villages, yet what is clear is the primary goal of saving their land from the bulldozers and the route of the separation Wall. It is also of fundamental importance that the struggle is led by the Palestinians and predicated on practices of solidarity . . . .  Also what was, and remains most notable, is the lack of institutionalisation of the struggle. While the villagers appeal to the authorities to stop building the Wall, they know that this is futile. They have been radicalised by years of being ignored, therefore, they have decided to undertake direct action facilitated by the presence of the Israelis . . . to force the authorities to stop building the separation Wall. They also undertake this direct action as they know that the authorities to whom they would appeal in a traditional hegemonic, hierarchical relationship are manifold. This is especially true in the village of Bil’in, the villagers have been struggling for three years against the Wall in a situation that is inextricably linked with the expansion of the neighbouring settlement Modi’in Illit. Thus, other interests . . .  are all involved in the subjugation and oppression of the people of Bil’in. Claims cannot be made to all of these interests and so direct action becomes the tactical choice.

  • Pallister-Wilkins, Polly. “Radical Ground: Israeli And Palestinian Activists And Joint Protest Against The Wall.” Social Movement Studies 8.4 (2009): 393-407.
1-bilin
Weekly demonstration  in Bil’in West of Ramallah continued on April 20, 2014. (Photo: hamde abu rahma)

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?
――Translated by Tom Pow

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank. and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . raze to the ground every farm and every village . . .” (Fawaz Turki)

1-IMG_3404
Israeli By-Pass Road over Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem as seen from Palestinians-only road (Photo: Harold Knight, November 18, 2015)

❶ Report: Israel plans massive land takeover in Hebron Governorate through bypass road
❷ Israeli civil administration remapped 62,000 West Bank hectares to expand settlements
❸ Palestinians to form ‘protection committees’ against Israeli settler violence
❹ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAEL’S  COLONIALISM  IS  FAILING  AND  FALLING
❺ POETRY by Fawaz Turki
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
REPORT:  ISRAEL  PLANS  MASSIVE  LAND  TAKEOVER  IN  HEBRON  GOVERNORATE  THROUGH  BYPASS  ROAD
Palestine News Network
May 31, 2016
Since the beginning of April 2016, the Israeli machinery and bulldozers affiliated to the so-called Israeli Civil Administration (ILA) commenced the construction of a new bypass road on lands of Halhul town in the northern Hebron Governorate. The work being implemented on the ground is . . . a new Israeli bypass road that extends all the way from Al Arroub refugee camp north of Hebron to reach Halhul town, through lands of Beit Ummer.       MORE . . .  
First published:
poica.org – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories
April 26, 2016

The closure system in the West Bank refers to a series of restrictions placed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to control the movement of more than 2.3 million Palestinians living there . . . .
___The closure system has become steadily more sophisticated and has increasingly channelled Palestinian traffic onto smaller, local roads, leaving main . . . routes reserved exclusively for Israeli settlers to travel to settlements inside the West Bank [. . . .]
___ The construction of the Barrier has meant that Palestinians can no longer travel through Jerusalembut instead have to take a winding road around the city. Once the Barrier is completed this road will pass under the Barrier through specially constructed tunnels thereby preventing Palestinians from using Israeli roads that go to settlements [. . . .]
___ The urban and manufacturing hub of the main towns of Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and Jericho, that are critical for Palestinian jobs and the economy, are also difficult to access because of tight restrictions. [. . . .]
___As the closure system becomes more institutionalised it has a myriad of other impacts [. . . .]

  • Shearer, David. “Territorial Fragmentation Of The West Bank.” Forced Migration Review 26 (2006): 22-23.    ARTICLE. . .

❷ ISRAELI  CIVIL  ADMINISTRATION  REMAPPED  62,000  WEST  BANK  HECTARES  TO  EXPAND  SETTLEMENTS
Palestine News Network
May 31, 2016
The Israeli civil administration in 2015 has re-mapped an area of 62 thousand hectares in the West Bank in order to expand illegal Israeli settlements. The old maps are being digitally scanned to enhance their accuracy.
___The report, composed by Dror Etkes, founder of Kerem Navot, an NGO that monitors the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, is based over the map digitizing at COGAT.
___“It’s important to understand that the mapping efforts are directed almost exclusively at the depth of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and to settlements which are well outside the ‘settlement clusters,’ as well as, most emphatically, to areas declared by Israel to be ‘fire zones’ despite the fact that in reality they are part of the lands reserve which Israel gradually assigns to settlement,” Etkes told Ha’aretz.       MORE . . . 

Recognizing now that the Palestinian narrative gets erased and misappropriated through a biblical theology of dispossession, what does this mean, in practical terms, for the conflict? How does it function on a daily basis? If a people have no history, then their ability to interrogate the past and engage with it for the present will constantly encounter insurmountable limits. In this regard, the first act of true liberation and freedom is to be located in the mind, with the reclamation of the history and memory of the Palestinians and Palestine.
___We must also note that to interrogate the above ques­ tions would be a normal academic exercise if it had to do with any other region in the world, but when it comes to Palestine and its people, the starting point for many tends to be the rendition of the familiar biblical narrative, ending with the creation of modern Israel by Zionism. Indeed, the success of modern Zionism in Palestine complicates our attempts to locate and treat the history of the indig­ enous Palestinians, since the colonial project undertook the normative strategy of negating or problematizing the relationship of the people to their ancestral lands.

  • BAZIAN, HATEM. “The Indigenous Palestinians.” Harvard International Review 35.3 (2014): 40-43.   ARTICLE . . .
Israel-Settlements
Israeli West Bank Settlement (Photo: Flikr, posted in The Oxford University Politics Blog, March 1, 2013)

❸ PALESTINIANS  TO  FORM  ‘PROTECTION  COMMITTEES’  AGAINST  ISRAELI  SETTLER  VIOLENCE
Middle East Eye
May 30, 2016
Nearly 200 members of the most isolated and under threat Palestinian communities living in the occupied West Bank came together on Monday for the launch of a new project aimed at establishing “protection committees” to document Israeli human rights violations.
___Community leaders and families from villages across the governorates of Hebron and Bethlehem met at a school in the tiny poverty stricken village of Imnezel, which is surrounded by Israeli settlements filled with new and luxurious homes deemed illegal under international law.
___Sheltered from the hot sun by a beige tarpaulin in a makeshift marquee, Palestinians welcomed the launch of a new three-year project by international aid agency ActionAid, which will see the formation of local community protection committees that will document human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.    MORE . . .

[. . . . ]
As we have seen, 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 . . . 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. . .  based on permanent-temporariness and political ambivalence. Such actions contribute to the ambivalence surrounding the identity of ‘the sovereign’ and form localized, temporary ‘sovereign’ domains [. . . .]
___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.

  • Gazit Nir. (Ruppin Academic Center, Israel). “State-sponsored Vigilantism: Jewish Settlers’ Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”  Sociology 49.3 (2015): 438–454.

❹ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAEL’S  COLONIALISM  IS  FAILING  AND  FALLING 
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Zaakir Ahmed Mayet
May 30, 2016
It is often easy to be absorbed by plebeian geopolitics, the sectarian divides plaguing Syria or the outward lack of unity amongst various resistance movements within the Middle East and North Africa. On the face of it, the situation is particularly bleak . . . .
___ . . . . However, the world has unmasked the [Israeli] state as one which cannot function within the fabric of normal society. It has become harder to protect and defend the outlandish action of Israel, be it the continued illegal blockade of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and slow strangulation by the Apartheid Wall of those in the West Bank; the occupation in contravention of international law; or the continued development of colonial-settlements on stolen Palestinian land. . . .       MORE . . .   

“THE  SEED  KEEPERS,”  BY  FAWAZ  TURKI 
(A Recital)

Burn our land
burn our dream
pour acid onto our songs
cover with sawdust
the blood of our massacred people
muffle with your technology
the screams of our imprisoned patriots,
destroy,
destroy
our grass and soil
raze to the ground
every farm and every village
our ancestors had built,
destroy every city and every town
every tree and every home
every book and every law,
flatten with your bombs
every valley,
erase with your edicts
our past
our literature
our metaphor,
denude the forests
and the earth
till no insect
no word
can find a place to hide.
Do that and more,
I do not fear your tyranny.
I guard one seed
of a tree
my forefathers have saved
that I shall plant again
in my homeland.

About Fawaz Turki (b. 1940)
From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press

“. . . Can defiled cities be the outcome . . .” (Harun Hashim Rasheed)

PLEASE NOTE: The content of this blog is changed: it presents fewer news items and gives more background for those items in hope of providing deeper understanding of the issues shaping the news. All articles without direct links can be found through a search in any library with EBSCO online databases. See FINDING  SCHOLARLY  ARTICLES  above.

Protest against the wall, Bilin, West Bank, 28,2,2014
A Palestinian youth places a flag on the Israeli wall during a protest marking nine years of struggle against the wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in, February 28, 2014. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

❶ Israeli forces avoid crowd dispersal weapons in Bilin protest for first time in 11 years
❷ Israel Delivers Demolition Notices for Palestinian Houses in Jerusalem Town
❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  PALESTINIANS  IMPRISONED  BY  ISRAEL  FOR  THEIR  FACEBOOK  POSTS
❹ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  AVOID  CROWD  DISPERSAL  WEAPONS  IN  BILIN  PROTEST  FOR  FIRST  TIME  IN  11  YEARS
Ma’an News Agency
May 27, 2016
For the first time in the 11-year history of weekly popular resistance demonstrations in the central occupied West Bank village of Bilin, Israeli forces did not use tear gas and other crowd control weapons to disperse protesters [. . . .]
___Protesters raised Palestinian flags and marched in the streets chanting songs of unity and resistance [. . . .]
___Bilin has long been one of the most active villages in organized opposition against Israeli policies, this year marking the eleventh consecutive year of weekly marches against expanding nearby settlements and the separation wall which separates residents from their private land.      MORE . . .

Snaking its way through the West Bank, weaving an intricate path that encircles, isolates and sometimes divides Palestinian cities and villages, the Israeli ‘separation’ wall stands as a stark symbol of both the occupation and overall Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The ‘wall’ is in fact a hybrid system of control, made up of a complex mix of electronic fences, dirt paths, barbed wire, radar, cameras, trenches, checkpoints and 8-metre tall concrete blocks, with almost 70 per cent of its path completed since construction began  in 2002. As one of the most prominent and contested instances of such a structure built in the last decade, the Israeli wall is particularly unique in a global scene increasingly captivated by the fortification of borders and the building of barriers, in the sense that the line it traces is disputed and not internationally recognized [. . . .]
___Perhaps the most apparent among these factors is that the wall by no means represents a simple division of territory: it does not run along the 1967 borders (the 1949 Armistice line) that are internationally agreed upon as the basis for future peace settlement, and in fact . . . only 15 per cent of the wall sits on the 1967 borders, with the remaining 85 per cent cutting at times 18 kilometres deep into the West Bank . . . .  Not only are some 80 Israeli settlements located behind it (with an overall population of approximately 75,000), but the wall also separates Palestinian from Palestinian – cutting off neighbouring villages from each other and sometimes dividing them in two. This is most evident in Jerusalem.

  • Busbridge, Rachel. “Performing Colonial Sovereignty and the Israeli ‘Separation’ Wall.” SOCIAL  IDENTITIES  19.5 (2013): 653-669.   SOURCE.

❷ ISRAEL  DELIVERS  DEMOLITION  NOTICES  FOR  PALESTINIAN  HOUSES  IN  JERUSALEM  TOWN
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 28, 2016
Israeli police Saturday delivered demolition notices for at least two Palestinian houses in Silwan town, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, said WAFA correspondent.
___Israeli police along with staff from the so-called Jerusalem Municipality raided the Silwan neighborhood of Ein al-Louza, where they handed notices to demolish the houses . . . .
___Israel has systematically targeted Palestinian residential structures in Silwan with demolition orders.      MORE . . .

Israel ‘s policy―one may even say obsession―of systematically demolishing Palestinian homes, urban neighborhoods and entire towns and villages goes back to 1948 and continues with a vengeance up to this moment, both within Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The motivation is obvious: it is merely one expression of the twin processes of ethnic cleansing and Judaization, both of those, in tum, being consequences of defining Israel as a “Jewish state” and taking the steps necessary to make it so. The house demolition policy represents the essence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: denying the Palestinian people the right to remain in the Land of Israel, either as a national collective or as individuals, and their displacement by Jews. [. . . .]
___The “neighborhoods” built in East Jerusalem serve to isolate Palestinian populations in small and disconnected enclaves, and to prevent the development and expansion of the Palestinian side of the city. Together with a new system of Israeli “ring roads” and the creation of a “Greater Jerusalem” enveloped by a wall, Jerusalem is being transformed from a city into a region dominating the entire central portion of the West Bank.

  • Halper, Jeff. “The Policy Of House Demolitions In East Jerusalem: What It Is, How It Is Done And To What End.” PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE 17.1/2 (2011): 74-82.  SOURCE. 
search
Israeli soldiers stop and search a young Palestinian man walking near the Damascus gate. They forced him to “raise your arms” to pat him down. A member of a Sabeel Witness delegation crossed the street to investigate and was blocked. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 13, 2015)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  PALESTINIANS  IMPRISONED  BY  ISRAEL  FOR  THEIR  FACEBOOK  POSTS
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Asa Winstanley
May 28, 2016
The propaganda goes that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East”. But for anyone familiar with the realities that Israel imposes on the Palestinians and on its neighbours, this has always been a cruel joke.
___The West Bank, occupied in violation of international law by Israel since 1967, is for Palestinians a military dictatorship imposed by Israel. The 600,000 or so (estimates vary) violent Israeli colonists that live in the West Bank settlements are the direct beneficiaries of this dictatorship.      MORE . . .

There is a natural inclination among political scientists and politicians involved in peacemaking to look at the past and memory as obstacles to progress. They recommend liberating oneself from the past as a prerequisite for peace. This view is entrenched in a wider context of reconciliation and mediation policies that emerged in the United States after the Second World War. This school of thought was based on a businesslike approach that treats the past as an irrelevant feature in the making of peace.
___[. . . .] Noam Chomsky, noting such a tendency in the Middle East peace process, concludes that the result was a never-ending “peace process” which was not meant to bring peace, but rather provides jobs and preoccupations for a large group of people belonging to the peace industry.
___This philosophy has informed the peace process in Palestine ever since 1948 and in particular after 1967. It has destroyed the chances of peace in Israel and Palestine; only the re-introduction of the historical dimension can save the peace effort. The starting point that has been totally neglected . . . is the year 1948.

  • Pappe, Ilan. “Historiophobia or the Enslavement of History: The Role of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing in the Contemporary Peace Process.” ARAB  STUDIES  QUARTERLY 38.1 (2016): 402-417.  SOURCE.

(Note: The poetic image below is of the speaker being forced against a wall, either for search by soldiers or for execution. It is, however, an uncanny [prophetic?] description of the “separation” wall, construction of which did not begin until exactly ten years after this poem was published.)

“RAISE  YOUR  ARMS,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHEED

―Raise your arms . . . .
they aimed their guns at me . . . .
―Raise your arms . . . .

I stood, my eye flaming
and scorching with anger
as an insistent film of events
assailed me.
Can defiled cities be
the outcome of our struggle?
Have years of suffering,
long days of vigilance
in trenches, on hills
and in tattered tents
led to this?

The world blackened in my eyes
my hand on the wall
as guns were pointing at me
I wished the wall would fall on my head
My comrades and I waited
for their bullets
for their bullets

They walked away, and the wall
remained, gazing back at us
waiting for a fiery volcano, for the flames.
―translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927)
Born in Gaza, poet Harun Hashim Rasheed witnessed, as a child, British soldiers demolishing his and his neighbors’ home in reprisal against Palestinian rebels, an incident which left a deep mark on him as a poet. After obtaining a Higher Teacher Training Diploma from Gaza College, he worked as a teacher until 1954. He then became director of the Sawt Al-Arab broadcasting station in Gaza. After the fall of Gaza to the Israelis in 1967, he was harassed by the Israeli occupation forces and was eventually compelled to leave. He has had a long and illustrious career as a Palestinian poet and literary figure in exile.

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

“. . . who risks everything to capture the earth? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

highway
The settler-only road over the Apartheid Wall at the Cremisan Valley, where the wall is being doubled to enclose the city of Beit Jala. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 8, 2015.)

❶ Resource: Displaced in their own city
❷ Japan ‘deeply deplores’ East Jerusalem settlement plans
❸ Israeli forces close roads in southern West Bank
❹ Hamas to ‘distribute land’ among Gaza’s unpaid civil servants
❺ Opinion/Analysis: BANGING  YOUR  HEART  AGAINST  SOME  MAD  BUGGER’S  WALL
❻ Poetry by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 MAGAZINE
RESOURCE:  DISPLACED  IN  THEIR  OWN  CITY
A new report by Ir Amim reviews of various aspects of Israeli policy, from 1967 to the present day, that have created the current reality in which tens of thousands of Jerusalem residents have been sundered from the city since the establishment of the Separation Barrier and are virtually ignored by both the local and central governments.
___The findings of the report present a stark warning. The reality it describes constitutes a disaster for the Palestinians and will cause grave damage to the stability of life in Jerusalem, the foundations of Israeli society and to any future political resolution.
More . . .
Related . . . FACTS  ON  THE  GROUND:  THE ILLEGAL  EXPLOITATION  OF  NATURAL  RESOURCES  IN  PALESTINE
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
JAPAN  ‘DEEPLY  DEPLORES’  EAST  JERUSALEM  SETTLEMENT  PLANS
Nov. 21, 2015
BETHLEHEM ― The Japanese government on Friday condemned a recent decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to approve 454 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem.
___Japan’s foreign press secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura said in a statement that Japan “deeply deplores that, according to information, Israel has approved the construction of settlement for 454 units in East Jerusalem.”
___The statement noted that Japan had previously called on Israel to abandon the plans in 2013, along with other members of the international community, who said that they violated international law.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  CLOSE  ROADS  IN  SOUTHERN  WEST  BANK
Nov. 21, 2015
HEBRON ― Israeli forces on Saturday closed a number of roads near the southern West Bank village of Beit Ummar, a day after Israeli officials agreed upon strict security measures in the nearby Gush Etzion settlement bloc.
___Muhammad Awad, a spokesperson for Beit Ummar’s popular committee, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers had sealed a number of roads leading from the village to Route 60, which is the West Bank’s central road.
___Awad said the closures would delay the movement of residents entering and leaving the village. It was not clear how long the roads would remain sealed.
More . . . 

raod
IDF closes road. (Ma’an News Agency photo.)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
HAMAS  TO  ‘DISTRIBUTE  LAND’  AMONG  GAZA’S  UNPAID  CIVIL  SERVANTS
Nov. 21, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s de facto leaders Hamas on Saturday announced plans to distribute land among civil servants hired after 2007 whose salaries the Palestinian Authority has refused to pay.
___Hamas’ finance minister Ziad al-Thatha made the announcement during a symposium in Gaza City, where he also said the employees would be exempted from unpaid electricity and municipal bills.
___He said that memorandums and protocols had already been signed between his ministry, municipal councils, and Gaza’s land authority, electricity company, and banks.
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
BANGING  YOUR  HEART  AGAINST  SOME  MAD  BUGGER’S  WALL
Vacy Vlazna
Nov. 17, 2015
Mohammed, now 6, and Jihad, now 4, have missed their mother, Shireen’s happiness that has been shrouded by grief over the past year, missed their beloved father’s voice, laugh, smile, presence, his good night kiss on their cheeks, his arms that held them close and safe. Also missing is justice for the heinous lynching of their father, Yousef al-Rammouni, 32.
The killers . . . lurk behind the Zionist Wall of Impunity guarded by western governments. . . .
___The Impunity Wall is gargantuan, spanning from 1948 to this very minute, every added brick a mixture of each killer’s psychopathy and devoided humanity cemented with official delusions of the divine right to plunder and kill.
___Plunder and killing is a profitable Zionist industry.
More . . .
Related . . . LEADING  ANTHROPOLOGISTS  GROUP  OVERWHELMINGLY  PASSES  BDS  RESOLUTION  AT  DENVER  CONFERENCE

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank. and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-bird-is-not-a-stone-sarah-irving/1120667363?ean=9781908754561
More . . . 

wall
The Apartheid Wall at Cremisan. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 8, 2015.)

 

“. . . Life will flow, surely it will flow into all our villages anew. . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

Dianne Feinstein meets with Palestinians from Susiya. (Photo from Dianne Feinstein’s Twitter feed.)
United States Senator Dianne Feinstein meets with Palestinians from Susiya. (Photo from Dianne Feinstein’s Twitter feed.)

❶ Palestinians bring US attention to plight of threatened village
❷ Israel notifies Salfit farmers of plans to remove 140 olive trees
❸ West Bank wall threatens Palestine’s flora, fauna
❹ Photo exhibit challenges Zionism’s most popular myth
❺ Analysis: New Report Documents How Israel Keeps Palestinians off Third of West Bank Land
❻ Poetry by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIANS  BRING  US  ATTENTION  TO  PLIGHT  OF  THREATENED  VILLAGE
Sept. 29, 2015
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Six Palestinians came to Washington to secure support against Israeli plans to raze their tiny West Bank village of Susiya, and at the last minute FOUND ASSISTANCE FROM US SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN.
____The hamlet, which has been torn down before and mainly consists of tents and makeshift structures for homes, is among a number of communities threatened with demolition by the Israeli army and has become a symbol of the occupation of the West Bank.
____For Susiya’s proponents, any gesture or public recognition, regardless of how small, by an elected member of the US Congress is a boost they can use as leverage in pressuring Israel’s authorities.
____The US State Department warned this summer that demolition of the village would be “harmful and provocative.” Since then the army has been deliberating the issue, and a deadline has been set for Oct. 13.
More . . .

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  NOTIFIES  SALFIT  FARMERS  OF  PLANS  TO  REMOVE  140  OLIVE  TREES
Sept. 28, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Monday delivered notices to Palestinian farmers informing them of plans to remove 140 olive trees from the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan in Salfit district in the occupied West Bank, the farmers told Ma’an.
____They said that the trees are located in the al-Safar area of the town, which Israeli officials consider a nature reserve.
More . . .

AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WEST  BANK  WALL  THREATENS  PALESTINE’S  FLORA,  FAUNA
Ahmad Melhem
Sept. 27, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — The West Bank barrier project has been condemned by many for its crushing effects on the Palestinian people. Now steps are underway to document its devastation of nature and wildlife as well. The Palestinian Environment Quality Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture plan to prepare and present to the United Nations a comprehensive study on the direct consequences of the wall and its long-term hazardous effects on the environment.
More . . .

A Palestinian walks with his horse past a section of the controversial Israeli barrier, in Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank, near Jerusalem, Nov. 21, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
A Palestinian walks with his horse past a section of the controversial Israeli barrier, in Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank, near Jerusalem, Nov. 21, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

+972 BLOG
PHOTO  EXHIBIT  CHALLENGES  ZIONISM’S  MOST  POPULAR  MYTH
Tom Pessah
Sept. 27, 2015
Using haunting aerial photographs of the Negev Desert, American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges the notion that the desert was an unpopulated land before Zionism made it bloom.
More . . .

❺ Analysis:
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
NEW  REPORT  DOCUMENTS  HOW  ISRAEL  KEEPS  PALESTINIANS  OFF  THIRD  OF  WEST  BANK  LAND
Sept. 29 2015
Around a third of the entire West Bank is closed to Palestinians as Israeli military zones, according to a new report.
___“Walled Garden – Declaration of Closed Areas in the West Bank” is published by Israeli non-profit NGO Kerem Navot, and authored by long-time activist and settlements monitor Dror Etkes.
___The report, now available here on Middle East Monitor, reveals the ways in which the Israeli authorities have designated more than 1.7 million dunams as closed military zones.
(Link to full report included.)
More . . .

“THE  MOUTH  OF  THE  WELL,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA

[During the massacre of Deir Yassin, the enemy flung the bodies of its victim in the village well.]

Mouth of the well,
Where the hands of playful young maidens
Met in friendship, pouring
Spring water into the jugs,
Amidst merriment and song.
Was it suddenly to become an opening to nothingness,
That opening of a grave, stuffed with young maidens
And bleeding pregnant women,
Their blood mixed with gunpowder?
Did the clusters of grapes around it shrivel up and dry?
Was the wheat scorched, and did the oilskins
Spill their contents on the scattered stones,
And was Jesus crucified there once more?
The mouth of the well will be our second Golgotha.
From its bloodied opening will pour forth
Black lava, smoldering and sizzling,
Mixed with the flesh of young women and pregnant women.
To destroy
Those who sowed death
And fed the eagles of our land.
Then, from its sacred and abundant fertility,
Life will flow, surely it will flow
Into all our villages anew.

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.
About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

Israeli regime committed war crimes in Deir Yassin by ethnic cleansing of a whole population. The massacre of the Palestinian small town of Deir Yassin in 9th of April, 1948. The “democracy” on which the State of Israel is built.
Israeli regime committed war crimes in Deir Yassin by ethnic cleansing of a whole population. The massacre of the Palestinian small town of Deir Yassin in 9th of April, 1948. The “democracy” on which the State of Israel is built.