“Here we shall stay, sing our songs. . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Selected News of the Day

Israeli forces seal off main roads west of Ramallah following suspected attack

August 23, 2019
Israeli forces today sealed off main roads leading to the western Ramallah district in the West Bank following a suspected attack that resulted in the killing of a settler, confirmed local sources.
· · · · Forces deployed heavily and blocked major roads leading to a cluster of Palestinian villages west of Ramallah, particularly the Wadi al-Dilb Road and Ein Ayyoub junction. They also blocked the roads leading to Kafr Ni’ma and Ras Karkar villages, where they ransacked several homes and stores.
· · · · Soldiers set up roadblocks at the northern entrance to Ramallah city and at Ein Siniya junction, north of Ramallah, inspecting Palestinian vehicles and inspecting the IDs of passengers. They also raided Beituniya and Ein Arik towns, west of Ramallah.
· · · · The closure is conducted as part of a manhunt for a Palestinian suspected of killing an Israeli settler and wounding two others in an attack at Ein Bunin natural spring near the illegal Israeli settlement of Dolev, near Ras Karkar village.  More . . . .

  • Al-Shoroq: The activist farmers resisting Israeli annexation in Beit Ummar. IMEMC News & Agencies. August 21, 2019. More . . . .
  • Jewish Settlers Rule the Roost in Israel, but at What Cost? The Palestine Chronicle. August 22, 2019. More . . . .   

Displacement In Gaza And Israel’s Demographic Obsession

Days of Palestine
August 22, 2019
The statements made by a senior Israeli political source, which is likely to be Prime Minister Netanyahu himself, published in Israeli media, including Haaretz on 20 August regarding Israel taking practical steps to displace Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, reminds us of what Israel calls the demographic threat. This involves ensuring a Jewish majority in the country, which has been a concern since the establishment of the Zionist colonial settlement project. Why displace Gazans? Why now? Is there a real possibility for its implementation?
· · · · Israel has used all forms of displacement, including ethnic cleansing, in order to reduce the number of Palestinians in Palestine as much as possible and achieve Zionism’s top goal, i.e. imposing a Jewish majority in Palestine, where its indigenous people have been living for many many years. This method on its own did not achieve the desired results, so Israel attracted tens of thousands of Arab and non-Arab Jews in order to successfully establish the state of Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948. However, the demographic danger continued to pose a threat to Israel after occupying and controlling the Palestinians in 1967.   More . . . .   

  • Living in fear of the bulldozers. Electronic Intifada, August 22, 2019. More . . . .

Israeli Police Kidnaps Seven Jerusalemites From Bab Al-Rahma

Two young girls and three children among the detainees
Days of Palestine
Aug 22 2019
The Israeli occupation police on Thursday afternoon kidnaped seven Palestinian citizens, including two young girls and three children, from the Bab al-Rahma prayer area of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
· · · According to eyewitnesses, police forces stormed the Bab al-Rahma area and rounded up Aqsa guard Bader al-Rajbi along with three children, two girls and one young man. More . . . .

Anti-Semitism’ vs. ‘Islamophobia’: How language creates hierarchies of discrimination and whitewashes bigotry

Timo Al-Farooq
August 22, 2019
From the ivory towers of academic knowledge production to the lowlands of cracker-barrel Stammtisch-culture, tactical language is omnipresent in everyday political discourse. . . . language manipulation is a key modus operandi for the powers that be in stifling critical thought and thus consolidating their grip on potentially subversive populaces.
· · · One such example of strategic linguistic flexibility, taken straight from our fiction-turned-fact and prophesy-fulfilled Orwellian times: someone who hates Jews is known as an “anti-Semite”, but someone who hates Muslims is merely an “Islamophobe”, a person afraid of Islam? . . . .
· · · · So my question is: why is an anti-Semite not called a “Semitophobe?” And an Islamophobe not an “anti-Muslim?” And what is that even supposed to mean, “afraid of Islam?” As if the heterogeneous beliefs of 1.8 billion people were a Freddy Krueger-like serial killer coming to murder you in your sleep. More . . . .

 Poem of the Day

“HERE WE SHALL STAY” by Tafiq Zayyad

In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain
like a wall upon your chest,
and in your throat
like a shard of glass,
a cactus thorn,
and in your eyes
a sandstorm.

We shall remain
a wall upon your chest,
clean dishes in your restaurants,
serve drinks in your bars,
sweep the floors of your kitchens
to snatch a bite for our children
from your blue fangs.

Here we shall stay,
sing our songs,
take to the angry streets,
fill prisons with dignity.

In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain,
guard the shade of the fig
and olive trees,
ferment rebellion in our children
as yeast in the dough.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND. ED. Joan Dobbie & Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press. 2002.

“. . . It’s fine to have a clean death, with no holes in our shirts . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Israel demolished two apartments of the el-Salaima family, Beit Hanina (Photo: +972 Magazine, May 21 2013)

❶ Palestinian families forced to raze their homes amid spike in Israeli-enforced demolitions

  • Background from Geopolitics

. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli Army Displaces Bedouin Families To Conduct Military Training
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israelis raze Palestinian olive orchards to expand illegal settlement
. . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) IOF opens fire towards farmers east of Deir al-Balah
❷ PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Kidnap 13 Palestinians In The West Bank”
❸ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sep. 28, 2016
Two Palestinian families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina were forced to demolish their own homes for being built without licenses on Wednesday, in order to avoid the expensive demolition fines imposed by the Jerusalem municipality when its employees carry out the demolition themselves.
___Between the two families, 15 Palestinians were displaced as a result of the demolitions.
___Owner of one of the homes Imad Jaber told Ma’an he was forced to rent a bulldozer to demolish his house, after receiving an order from the municipality.     MORE . . .  

  • Tawil-Souri, Helga. “Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)Mobilities: ID Cards In Palestine/Israel.” Geopolitics 17.1 (2012): 153-176     SOURCE    

Upon the insistence of its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s Declaration of Independence did not define the state’s borders so as to keep the option for future expansion possible. Already by the time statehood was declared in May 1948, Israel had expanded beyond the boundaries of the Jewish state delineated in the 1947 UN partition plan; it expanded even more in the months leading up to the Armistice Agreements in 1949; and has been expanding ever since (with the one occasion of ‘shrinking’ when it returned the Sinai to Egypt between 1973 and 1982 which it had held since the 1967 war).
[. . . .]
Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and ‘inside’ Israel, claim that the state of Israel through various methods simultaneously attempts to thwart, isolate, fragment, transfer and erase them away: slowly kill them all; send them off to neighbouring Arab countries; strangle them geographically, politically, economically, and militarily until they accept their subordination. This is not a chimerical claim of ethnic cleansing, but a reality that can be analysed as a ‘problem’ of the geo-political conditions of Palestinians’ status. Moreover, it is no secret that “the mere existence of the Palestinian people is a major strategic impediment to the realization of classical Zionist ambitions”; and thus, exclusion, throughout Palestine/Israel, “forms the logical background of a segregational policy that erects defensive walls of legal, institutional, and physical kinds to prevent Palestinians access to land, institutions, or other rights that could threaten Jewish hegemony.”57 These realities seem to form a cognitive dissonance: on the one hand the Israeli state is accused of trying to eradicate Palestinians, on the other hand the state institutes an impressive infrastructure of control and containment based on Palestinians’ continued presence in Palestine/Israel.  [. . . .]
(Note 57: Nils Butenschon, Uri Davis, and Manuel Hassassian (eds.), Citizenship and the State in the Middle East: Approaches and Applications [Syracuse: Syracuse University Press 2000] pp. 20–21.)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 29, 2016
Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, Thursday, the Hamsa al-Fouqa area, near Tubas in central West Bank, and removed 19 Bedouin families from their dwelling, so that the army can conduct life fire training in their community.
___The soldiers surrounded Abu Hamsa al-Fouqa area before invading it, and handed the military orders for the families before removing them.        MORE . . .  
Sep. 29, 2016
Israeli settler gangs residing in the illegal Leshem settlement, in western Salfit, uprooted Palestinian olive trees, paving the way for settlement expansion.
___Palestinian farmers said Israeli bulldozers leveled their olive orchards in eastern Deir Balout town, to the west of Salfit, in an attempt to expand illegal settlement at the expense of their own lands.    MORE . . .     
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sep. 29, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened fire on Thursday morning towards farmers’ land east of Deir al-Balah in the central of the Gaza Strip.
___Israeli occupation troops positioned in military towers in vicinity of “Kissufim” site penetrated towards the border southeast of the city and opened fire with machine guns towards farmers’ lands in the region.      MORE . . .      

Israeli settlers uprooted 450 olive trees in Deir Istiya, northern Salfit (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Apr. 21, 2015)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 29, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped overnight and on Thursday morning, thirteen Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The Hebron office of the PPS, in the southern part of the West Bank, said the soldiers invaded various communities in the district, searched many homes and kidnapped four Palestinians, two of them identified as Mohammad Qassem Shallash and Abdul-Nasser Abu Mariyya.      MORE . . .    


It’s also fine to die in our beds
on a clean pillow
and among our friends.

It’s fine to die, once,
our hands crossed on our chests,
empty and pale,
with no scratches, no chains, no banners,
and no petitions.

It’s fine to have a clean death,
with no holes in our shirts,
and no evidence in our ribs.

It’s fine to die
with a white pillow, not the pavement, under our cheek,
with our hands resting in those of our loved ones,
surrounded by desperate doctors and nurses,
with nothing left but a graceful farewell,
paying no attention to history,
leaving this world as it is,
hoping that, someday, someone else
will change it.

Mourid Barghouti.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon

“. . . Don’t ask me to abandon . . . the memory of my childhood . . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Settlers break into Palestinian apartments in Hebron (Photo: Elisha Ben Kimon)

❶ Palestinian family of 7 in Hebron Hills faces imminent displacement by Israel
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli court rejects appeal against [Hebron district] home demolition of Palestinian attacker’s family

  • Background: “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review

❷ Israeli occupation plans to build new settlement units in Hebron
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 21, 2016
Seven Palestinians face imminent displacement after Israeli forces delivered a demolition warrant for their home on Sunday, which is located inside the official village limits of al-Tuwani in the vulnerable Southern Hebron Hills region of the occupied West Bank. ___Al-Tuwani village council head Nasser al-Adra told Ma’an that Israeli forces notified Kamil Mousa al-Rabai and his family for a second time that their 120-square-meter house would be demolished [. . . .]
___“This would be the first time Israeli forces demolish a house located within the official community master plan,” al-Adra told Ma’an. “This new policy is a dangerous escalation against al-Tuwani and its neighboring villages and hamlets.”       MORE . . .    

Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 22, 2016
The family of Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Abd al-Majid Omaireh, who Israel accused of being an accomplice in a shooting attack last month which left one Israeli settler dead, said on Monday that an Israeli court decided to demolish their family home in the village of Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.      MORE . . .  

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 22, 2016
The Israeli occupation authorities (IOF) plan to build new settlement units in the Jewish settlement amid Hebron southern the West Bank, Haartez newspaper reported.  ___The newspaper reported on Monday that the plan is scheduled to be ended these days, noting that the former Army Minister, Moshe Yaalon, has issued a statement to build the settlement unit on h2 area under Israeli sovereignty.      MORE . . .       RELATED . . .

  • Reuveny, Rafael. “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review 12.3 (2008): 325-374.  FULL ARTICLE.  

During the past five hundred years, three primary types of colonies have been established: colonies of exploitation, colonies of settlement, and colonies of contested settlement. Colonies of exploitation, the large majority, overworked natives in labor intensive sectors and did not include many settlers. In colonies of settlement, the settlers became the majority and gained full control. In Spanish America, for example, settlers intermarried with the local elites, killed many natives, and enslaved others, and in British North America and Australia, settlers ousted the natives and decimated them demographically, turning them into a small minority in the land they had previously inhabited. Some of these settler societies also imported slaves from Africa. In colonies of contested settlement in Africa and Asia, many settlers went to live in the colonized lands, but they remained a minority rejected by the natives.
[. . . .]
Recent settler actions in the West Bank city of Hebron and the former settlement of Homesh provide additional insight. Seeking to gain control over Hebron’s old city, settlers have attacked Palestinians since 2001, playing a key role in driving out 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinian residents and 1,500 to 1,700 Palestinian businesses from the city. Settlers also have often attacked verbally and physically the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel sent to enforce order. In early 2007, settlers took over a large Palestinian house in Hebron and returned to Homesh, from which the government had removed them during 2005. Because they had done so without approval. Defense Minister Amir Peretz from the Labor Party sought to evacuate them, but the World Council tor Saving the People and the Land of Israel, a settler body, warned him not to intervene. IDF evacuated the settlers from Homesh, but they have since returned several times. In Hebron, the settlers reportedly presented forged documents to prove their ownership of the house and have refused to leave.
[. . . .]
In line with historical colonial examples, Israeli settlers have often built settlements, so-called outposts, without state approval. By 2007, some two thousand settlers lived in about one hundred outposts, seizing 75 percent of their lands from Palestinians. Some Israeli governments have promised to remove outposts and have even removed a few, but all the governments have essentially accepted them after the fact.

Homes Demolished in the South Hebron Hills, Feb. 12, 2016 (Photo: Cassandra Dixon/antiwar.com blog)

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.

“. . . the political apparatus often actively amplifies the sense of perceived threat posed by the Palestinians . . .” (Shuki J. Cohen)

Jordanian visitors wait outside Israel’s Hasharon prison where they came to visit relatives jailed in the Jewish state, on November 25, 2008 in Hadarim, north of Tel Aviv (Photo: Getty Images)

❶ Netanyahu distorts a Palestinian’s helpless reaction to occupying soldiers to dehumanize Palestinian parents

Background from International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

❷ 41 Palestinian women, including 12 minors, currently held in Israel’s HaSharon prison
❸ Hundreds of Israeli settlers raid Nablus-area village
❹ Poetry by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Philip Weiss
August 4, 2016
Two days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted outraged commentary on a video of an encounter last Friday between a Palestinian father and son and Israeli occupying forces in Nil’in, Palestine.
___The video showed Ayoub Sroor daring Israeli soldiers to shoot his three-year-old child, Mohammad.
___Netanyahu said:  “I’ve just watched a video that shook me to the core of my being. In just a few seconds, it shows why our conflict persists… What did this child do to deserve this? The answer is nothing. He’s innocent . . .”
___PLO General Secretary Saeb Erekat issued a statement that Ayoub Sroor had suffered numerous “physical and psychological attacks” from occupying Israeli soldiers, which led him to seek psychiatric treatment given to torture victims. Here is a portion of Erekat’s response:      MORE . . .

Cohen, Shuki J. “Breakable And Unbreakable Silences: Implicit Dehumanization And Anti-Arab Prejudice In Israeli Soldiers’ Narratives Concerning Palestinian Women.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.3 (2015): 245-277.

The dehumanization of Palestinians . . .  is a complex defense, whose borderline-level of functioning may be a result of the multiplicity and intensity of the conflict between the motives that it aims to reconcile: The need to identify with one’s comrades, the need to service and obey the state, the need to contain and handle denigrated and potentially dangerous inhabitants who are devoid of legal status or recourse, and the need to maintain a sense of self as a moral and humane individual . . . to name but a few components of this individual – and arguably societal – conflict.
___Such complex conflicts are not unusual in clinical settings, and common psychoanalytic praxis usually advocates for an empathic acknowledgment of the defenses that the patient mounts in an effort to mitigate them. . .  However, in the case of political conflict, gauging the “adaptability” of a defense is complicated by the moral relativism that nationalistic sentiments (and agenda) command.
[. . . .]
As with most defenses, the testimonies [of “Breaking the Silence” members] suggest that the use of dehumanization increases with perceived anxiety. Here, too, the question where on the neurotic borderline-psychotic spectrum of reality perception does the anxiety actually reside and who is the arbiter of the reality when it comes to gauging said anxiety is an added layer of complexity. This is particularly true when – as is often the case in the trauma-ridden discourse in Israel – the political apparatus often actively amplifies the sense of perceived threat posed by the Palestinians. Once again, whether this induction of anxiety is motivated by an anti-Arab prejudice or by a survivalist sense that inducing (hyper)vigilance in the troops will protect them is anybody’s guess.  SOURCE.

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 5, 2016
Several dozen Palestinian women, including 12 minors, are currently being held in Israel’s HaSharon prison, according to a statement released Thursday by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.
___The committee said in the statement that 41 Palestinian women and girls are being held in the prison, with some suffering from deteriorating health conditions, adding that Israel’s treatment of women prisoners is against international law, and requires “international institutions to end their silence” and to stop Israel’s “perpetual crimes.”
___The committee also called upon all Palestinians to unite behind the prisoners’ cause, highlighting the recent escalation of raids and assaults by Israel Prison Service (IPS) officials in recent weeks in response to a mass hunger strike under way inside Israel’s prisons in protest of the arbitrary detention of Palestinians without charge or trial. More than 300 Palestinian prisoners have joined the strikes.   MORE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 5, 2016
Some 400 Israeli settlers entered the village of Awarta in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus in the early morning on Friday and performed religious rituals in the area, according to Israeli sources.
___Israel’s Channel 7 reported that the Israeli settlers raided the village as they were escorted by Israeli forces, prompting clashes to erupt between Palestinian youths, Israeli settlers, and soldiers.
___Israeli forces reportedly detained seven Palestinians from the village for allegedly throwing rocks at the settlers.    MORE . . .      

Israeli Settlers Invade Qasra Village Near Nablus, February 21, 2013 (Photo: occupiedpalestine)


Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
So you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

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

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

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

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes & Noble.


“. . . with the end goal of preventing the emergence of a contiguous Palestinian state. . .” (Hatem Bazian)

Did she mean to be so welcoming? US Senator Diane Feinstein (Democrat of California) welcomes citizens of Susiya Village (Photo: Sen. Feinstein webpage)

❶ Fate of Hebron Hills village [Susiya] likely to be decided by Israeli defense minister
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) American Senator Dianne Feinstein graciously receives Susiya & Um Al Kheir families  (September 29, 2015)
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Reckless politicking: Lieberman to be named Israel’s defense minister
(May 20, 2016)

  • Background from Harvard International Review

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
August 1, 2016
In the latest development in a decades-long legal battle by Palestinian residents of the village of Susiya in the southern Hebron Hills to remain in their ancestral lands, an Israeli supreme court hearing confirmed on Monday that a decision regarding the fate of the threatened village could likely be decided by ultra-right Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
___The hearing was set to decide whether to accept the state of Israel’s request to immediately and without prior notice demolish 40 percent of the occupied West Bank village where some 100 people live, according to Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR).     MORE . . .
Rabbis for Human Rights
September 29, 2015
California Senator Dianne Feinstein graciously received representatives from the villages of Susiya and Um Al Kheir – two villages under the threat of demolition by the state of Israel. In July of this year, Senator Feinstein sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to halt any demolition orders for the village of Susiya.    MORE . . .
Brookings Institution
Natan Sachs
May 20, 2016
[. . . .]
Netanyahu is now poised to bring back Avigdor Lieberman, a former foreign minister and Israel’s least diplomatic politician. Lieberman won’t be returning to diplomacy, however. Instead, he will get a significantly more powerful position, second only to the prime minister: minister of defense.
[. . . .]
Lieberman’s pending appointment has been met with astonishment by the opposition in Israel, by many in the military which he will oversee, and indeed here in Washington—and with good reason.
___Just these past few months, Lieberman has viciously attacked both Netanyahu and the military brass for what he claimed was a weak response to terrorist attacks.
[. . . .]
Most importantly, Israel’s actual policy may be affected significantly by this move. Of all the governmental posts, defense is the one that has the most effect on the crucial questions of security for Israelis (and on the daily lives of Palestinians). . . . Netanyahu’s political brilliance has wrought one of the most hardline governments Israel has ever had.      MORE . . .

From Harvard International Review
On November 10th, 2013, the Israeli cabinet voted in a special session to authorize the demolition and removal of Umm al-Hiran, an “unauthorized” Palestinian Bedouin village in the Negev Desert. In its place was to be built a new community for national Jews to be named Hiran, which had been planned and approved in early 2002. The stated reason for this demolition and forceful eviction is the existing settlement’s lack of permits. . .  Umm al-Hiran itself was set-up in early 1956 by the Palestinian Abu-Alkian tribe after they had been forced to move from their ancestral tribal lands near Kibbutz Shoval in the Northern Negev.
___A more critical development related to this event is the Israeli Parliament’s passing of the first reading of the Prawer law [2011]. . .  [which] would cause the forceful displacement of 40,000-70,000 Arab Bedouins from the Negev, the confiscation of 800,000 dunams of Arab land, the razing to the ground of 36 or more Arab villages. . . According to Adallah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the “underlying premise of the draft bill is that there is no Bedouin land ownership,” effectively negating the “population’s right to property and historic affinity to the land.”
[. . . .]
The debates within Israel proper surrounding the eviction of the Arab Bedouin communities focus on the same themes that propel the building and expansion of settlements in the Occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights. Since Israel’s occupation of both areas in 1967, policy has been to effectively alter the areas’ demographic landscape by transferring and settling Jewish civilian populations onto confiscated lands, with the end goal of preventing the emergence of a contiguous Palestinian state. Indeed, settler movement into the West Bank has swelled in the past 20 years, and at present some 344,779 settlers reside in approximately 130 settlements authorized and protected by the Israeli government. In addition, another 200,000 settlers have moved into East Jerusalem in hopes of altering the Palestinian demography in the city and preventing a possible Palestinian capital from emerging if a “peace” agreement is reached.

  • Bazian, Hatem. “The Indigenous Palestinians.” Harvard International Review 35.3 (2014): 40-43.   FULL ARTICLE.

+972 Blog
Hagai El-Ad
July 28, 2016
Over the last decade, Israel has demolished over 1,100 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, leaving homeless more than 5,199 people, including at least 2,602 minors. The extensive demolitions are part of a broader Israeli policy of forced transfer. The following speech was delivered at a conference on home demolitions held at the Knesset on July 27, 2016.
[. . . .]
First and foremost, these figures deal with human lives. Lives that Israel ruins, deliberately, as part of a broader strategy designed to dispossess Palestinians from vast areas of the West Bank, to make their lives unbearable until they finally take the hint and move, to move them into smaller concentrated areas, to push them out.
[. . . .]
We at B’Tselem present these figures and explain their import to the Israeli public, to you – members of Knesset, and to the world. We show how Israel managed to [employ] bureaucratic mechanisms to promote the big move of dispossessing Palestinians in the West Bank, and to justify it all on administrative and legal grounds. This is organized state violence, and all the Israeli branches of government are party to it, each playing its own role: the planning mechanisms, the military, the Civil Administration, and also the settlers, and last but not least, the courts that serve as the crowning jewel in whitewashing the injustice.     MORE . . . demolition

Israeli forces demolish Bedouin houses in the village of al-Arakib in the Negev desert, March 1, 2015 (File photo: PressTV)

“. . . the concordance between aggressive development and external reality. . .” (Samir Qouta)

Muhammad abu Khdeir
Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Palestinian teenager who was burned alive by Israeli settlers in 2014; his cousins are charged stone throwing (Photo: Times of Israel, July 31, 2016)

❶ Relatives of Muhammad Abu Khdeir detained for throwing stones, Molotov cocktails

  • Background from Aggressive Behavior

❷ My daughter sends joy to Gaza
❸ House of Lords debate on Palestinian children 21 July 2016
❹ Irish public figures’ statement in support of Israel boycott
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 31, 2016
Two young Palestinians related to Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teenager who was burned alive by Israeli settlers in 2014, have been indicted by a Jerusalem court over a number of charges in the wake of their cousin’s brutal murder, Israeli police said on Sunday.
___Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Nasser Abu Khdeir, 19, and Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 21 — who shares a name with his slain cousin — had been detained on June 26.
___The two youths have been accused of breaking the law following Abu Khdeir’s death, with al-Samri noting that they stood accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces . . .
___A 16-year-old from Shufat in occupied East Jerusalem, Muhammad Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and murdered by three Israeli extremists on July 2, 2014.       MORE . . .

From Aggressive Behavior
War and military violence signify a shattering and nightmarish reality for children: life threat, loss of home, killing and detention of family members, and witnessing humiliation of trusted and admired adults. According to psychoanalytical view, human beings have two possibilities to deal with pain and bewilderment that overwhelms their cognitive-emotional processing capacity: to turn them inside and suffer subsequently from depression and anxiety or target them outside in the form of aggression and acting out. Contemporary conceptualization of children’s psychiatric distress as internalizing and externalizing symptoms concurs with these alternatives given for humans when facing devastating events.
[. . . .]
Society at war sends double messages to children who until early adolescence face difficulties in interpreting them: the aggression, defiance and revenge are encouraged toward the enemy, but discouraged or even punished when directed toward own family and peers.  Similarly, research on children’s war attitudes and moral development point out dilemmas and conflicts: children learn that war is generally bad and immoral, but our own war is heroic, legitimate and moral and our fighters are pure and honorable, whereas enemy soldiers are cruel and coward-like.

  • Qouta, Samir, et al. “Does War Beget Child Aggression? Military Violence, Gender, Age And Aggressive Behavior In Two Palestinian Samples.” Aggressive Behavior 34.3 (2008): 231-244.       SOURCE  

The Electronic Intifada
Rami Almeghari
July 25, 2016
It has been a long time since my family has had reason to celebrate.
___For nine years my wife Faten and I have been intermittently separated from our school-age children as we traveled back and forth between our home in Gaza and Cairo as Faten needed brain surgery and radiotherapy treatment unavailable here.
[. . . ]  my wife and I returned to Gaza in mid-February of this year. By then, Aseel had already been in school for five months without us present. The pressure on her mounted as summer neared and the time to sit for exams grew closer. Whether or not she would succeed became a matter of concern for our extended family.
___After she finished her exams in mid-June, we waited anxiously for the results. Is this a good result, Dad?” Aseel asked, her eyes tearing up. She had scored 86 percent.
___“Of course it is, my dear daughter. It is even great,” I replied, to Aseel’s relief.  MORE . . . 

The granddaughter of Um Hani, killed May 5, 2016, as she worked in a field in Gaza, displays a photo of her grandmother (Photo: Shadi Alqarra)

On 21 July, a two-and-a-half-hour long debate was held in the House of Lords on the situation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Territories and the impact of the occupation on their mental health. This was the second debate on the issue this year following a Commons debate on 6 January.
The Lords debate was put forward by Lord Norman Warner. Lord Warner was part of a Caabu and Medical Aid for Palestinians delegation to the West Bank in April 2016 and  to Gaza in 2010.
___WATCH Lord Warner’s speech in his debate in the House of Lords on the situation of Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Palestinian Information Center
July 27, 2016
In an open letter published recently in the Irish Times and Irish Independent, thirteen of Ireland’s best-known musicians, writers, artists and sports stars have called on the Irish government to join them in supporting the growing worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The statement has been welcomed by Palestinian and Irish human rights campaigners.
[. . . .]
The letter welcomes Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan’s support for BDS as a legitimate political standpoint, but also outlines their disappointment that the Irish government does not go further and support the BDS movement. . .      MORE . . .  

“. . . Whenever a child goes silent . . .” (Maya Abu Al-Hayyat)

Bypass road in the greater Bethlehem area; a clear physical manifestation of a spatial segregative system existing within the West Bank. (Photo: probablenotes, April 22, 2012)

❶ B’Tselem: Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in past 6 months than in all of 2015

  • Background from Postcolonial Studies

❷ A new Israeli bypass road cater to the benefit of El Matan outpost

  • Background from Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❺ POETRY by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 27, 2016
Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the West Bank in the first six months of 2016 as they did in all of 2015, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed in a report released on Wednesday, in a worrying confirmation of Israel’s ongoing crackdown on Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank.
___The report, which was also presented by the Arab Joint List during a Knesset conference on Israel’s home demolition policy the same day, said that 168 homes were destroyed during the first half of 2016 for lacking hard to obtain Israeli-issued building permits, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless.
___B’Tselem’s report did not include punitive demolitions enacted on the home of suspected Palestinian attackers and their families.       MORE . . .

From Postcolonial Studies
With the wall, this policy [Apartheid] became obvious and clear. Before there were laws, how they dealt with you differently, even in your daily life. But when they started building the wall and these checkpoints, the analogy became more obvious. . .  [the Wall] is here. You can see it on a map, you see it on the ground, and you see the checkpoints. So now, talking about apartheid became much more open, especially to the international community after 2002. It has become totally accepted to the world . . . . everybody is talking about apartheid because this is something that is so clear. What they are doing here and inside Israel, destroying Palestinian homes through thousands of house demolitions, more than 76,000 people have had their homes threatened in Jerusalem—all of this fits into this analogy [of Apartheid].

  • Lee, Christopher J. “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life In The West Bank.” Postcolonial Studies 16.4 (2013): 374-387.  SOURCE.

POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories
July 28, 2016
Since 1967, the successive Israeli Governments have actively supported Israeli settlers to build settlements and outposts in the occupied Palestinian territory . . .  it has been a form of expanding Israel’s control of land and natural resources with the purpose of creating irreversible facts on the ground that will become hard to change in the future.
___El Matan, a tiny but strategic Israeli outpost in the heart of Wadi Qana area, in Salfit Governorate. It is one example of the Israeli encroachment on Palestinian land. In June 2002, a group of religious Israeli settlers from the nearby settlements of the so-called Shomron local council occupied a hilltop south of Ma’ale Shomron . . .
___Recently, Israeli Authorities commenced the construction of a new bypass road that connects the outpost (El Matan) with the nearby Ma’ale Shomron settlement. Extensive construction is underway in the outpost and is being implemented based on a previously approved master plan (TPS) No. 116/5.  MORE . . .    

From Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
Behind the policy of denying the Palestinians permits to build or to expand their homes is an even greater motivation; to protect the interests and stability of the Jewish state.’ ___While this approach has existed since the establishment of the state of Israel, a policy decision related to Jerusalem was officially made in 1973 by a ministerial committee known as the Gafni Commission. At the core of the policy was the concern that the Jewish character of Jerusalem would be jeopardized if the Palestinian population kept increasing at its current rate. In 1977, the Planning Policy Division prepared a paper stating: “One of the cornerstones of Jerusalem’s planning process is […] the preservation of the demographic balance between the ethnic groups [in accordance with] the resolution of the Government of Israel.” Therefore, as a result of this growing “threat,” Israel has used a number of methods to keep the demographic balance between the Jewish and the Palestinian populations at a fixed ratio of 70% Jews to 30% Palestinians.'”

  • Dimova, Nicoletta. “When Ideology Leads to Destruction: Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture Sept. 2008: 92+.  SOURCE.
A section of the Wall is seen close to a Jewish settlement near Jerusalem. (Photo: REUTERS)

Annie Robbins
July 27, 2016
Never let a serious crisis go to waste. This is the first thought that crossed my mind when I read Israel National News headline: ‘We’re taking advantage of the US elections to build’ . . . .
___Israel will use every opportunity to expand the breadth of their illegal colonies on Palestinian land, and the US election season is no exception. Jerusalem Online picked up the story too reporting “Jerusalem construction accelerated due to US elections“. The articles claim officials from the Jerusalem Municipality told Channel 2 News that plans to build 57 new housing units over the green line in the occupied East Jerusalem colony of Ramot had been fast-tracked because of U.S. election season and “the accelerated process is not a coincidence.”     MORE . . .

Whenever I see an image of a child’s hands
sticking out of the rubble of a collapsed building
I check the hands of my three children
I count the fingers of their hands, the toes on their feet,
I check the numbers of teeth in their mouths, every
last hair in each finely-marked wee eyebrow.

Whenever a child goes silent in Al Yarmouk Camp
I turn up the volume on the TV, the songs on the radio,
I pinch my three children
to make them cry and squirm with life.

Whenever my sore heart gets hungry at Qalandia checkpoint
I comfort-eat, I
emotionally over-eat, craving excessive salt
as if I could then somehow say: enough, block out
the salt spark of the tears everyone around me is crying.
―Translated by Liz Lochhead

Maya Abu Al-Hayyat is a prize-winning author of novels, poetry, and short stories. Born in Lebanon, she has a degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Najah University in Nablus, the largest Palestinian university, and lives in Ramallah.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.
Maya Abu Al-Hayyat reading one of her poems
About Qalandia checkpoint


“. . . He moves in an absolute indistinction of fact and law, of life and juridical rule . . .” (Derek Gregory)

1-stone throwers
New [July 2015] Israeli law only targets Palestinians protesters, but spares Israeli settlers. (Photo: Al Jazeera, July 21, 2015)
❶ Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian vehicles in northern West Bank
Related: Palestinian stone throwers face up to 20 years in jail

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

❷ Using stolen water to irrigate stolen land

  • background from Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 

❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 16, 2016
Israeli settlers Friday evening reportedly threw rocks at Palestinian cars on the Wadi Qana road which runs between the occupied West Bank districts of Qalqilya and Salfit, according to local witnesses.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli settlers threw rocks at a group of Palestinian cars that were returning from a wedding, causing damage to a bus from the Salfit Bus Company and breaking the windshield of a car belonging to Ali Taha from the village of Bidya in Salfit.
___While Israeli settlers routinely throw stones and harass Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, they are rarely reprimanded for it.
___Palestinian stone-throwers, in stark contrast, face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities. . .     MORE . . .

From Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
[. . . .] For years the Israeli human rights community has been trying to defy Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses and other structures in the West Bank. Their opposition is based on individual human rights arguments and international humanitarian law, focusing attention on the unlawful policies of the [Israelis] in the West Bank and their devastating humanitarian consequences on the protected civilian Palestinian population. These included . . . the obligation of the occupying power to ensure public order for the occupied population, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
[. . . .]
No frameworks of legal analysis fully explain the dual system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
[. . . .] moving beyond the national conflict, the main problem in the comparison to the Apartheid framework is that although it is based on similarly applied practices of racial segregation and discrimination as the International Convention On the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid states, it does not emphasize what seems to be the main motivation behind the legal segregation and discrimination: the Israeli spatial expansionist interests [emphasis in original] to advance and reinforce the settlement project until the full conversion of the Israelis in the West Bank from settlers to indigenous peoples.

  • Amar-Shiff, Netta. “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 65-68.
wall water
A segment of the Israeli separation wall near Beit Hanina, Jerusalem, 2012 (Photo: Tanya Habjouqa)

+972 Blog
Dror Etkes
July 16, 2016
The recent reports on water crisis in Palestinian areas of the West Bank were accompanied by a story of another water shortage: this time in Israeli settlements. Let’s get one thing straight — there has never been a “water shortage” in the settlements. When settlers open up the tap at home or in their garden, the amount and quality of the water is identical to that which comes out in most homes to the west of the Green Line. Yes, there were several recent instances in which the water supply was cut off temporarily in a number of settlements (generally for a few hours), during which the authorities provided settlers water from water tanks. One can safely say that not a single settler was left thirsty.      MORE . . .

From Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography
Palestinian towns and cities . . . have been smashed by Israeli missiles and bombs, by tanks and armoured bulldozers. . . .  The “main purpose is to deny the Palestinian people their collective, individual and cultural rights to the city-based modernity long enjoyed by Israelis” . . .   Palestinian “facts on the ground” were erased with almost machine-like efficiency: coolly, dispassionately and ruthlessly.
___But since the spring of 2002, the legal fictions that permitted these erasures have increasingly been dispensed with. . . .  the IDF’s spasm of destruction had created a landscape of devastation from Bethlehem to Jenin. “There is no way to assess the full extent of the latest damage to the cities and towns . . .  but it is safe to say that the infrastructure of life itself and of any future Palestinian state – roads, schools, electricity pylons, water pipes, telephone lines – has been devastated.” Taken together, these are collective assaults in city and in countryside . . .  [not only] on the integrity of Palestinian civil society and on the formation of a Palestinian state, but on what he calls “bare life” itself.
___As Mahmoud Darwish (2002) declared, “the occupation does not content itself with depriving us of the primary conditions of freedom, but goes on to deprive us of the bare essentials of a dignified human life, by declaring constant war on our bodies, and our dreams, on the people and the homes and the trees, and by committing crimes of war.”  The hideous objective . . .  is to reduce homo sacer to the abject despair of der Muselman. . .  a figure from the Nazi concentration camps – it means, with deeply depressing significance, “The Muslim” . . . .  der Muselman no longer belongs to the world of men in any way; he does not even belong to the threatened and precarious world of the camp inhabitants… Mute and absolutely alone, he has passed into another world without memory and without grief.

  • Gregory, Derek. “Defiled Cities.” Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 24.3 (2003): 307.

❸  Opinion/Analysis:  LIFE  TURNED  UPSIDE  DOWN  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
July 15, 2016
Inas Abu Muhadi cannot understand that she will never see her dad again [. . . .]
___The young girl’s father passed away from natural causes in July 2013.
___“Our life turned upside down after that day,” said her mother, Rajaa Abu Khalil. “Now, I have to be their father and mother at the same time. The burden is too heavy and I am tired.”
___On top of Rajaa’s loss of her husband, the home where the couple lived with their six children in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah was bombed and destroyed during Israel’s 51-day onslaught in the summer of 2014.     MORE . . .


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 noting 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.




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

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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
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.

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 . . .    

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.
Weekly demonstration  in Bil’in West of Ramallah continued on April 20, 2014. (Photo: hamde abu rahma)

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.

“. . . Burdened, Weighed down with death and defeat. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

A bulldozer is seen next to a new housing construction site in the Israeli settlement of Har Homa in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, on March 19, 2014. (Photo: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP )

❶ Egypt condemns Israeli settlement building as ‘killing the hopes of Palestinians’

  • background from Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers

❷ EU : Israel’s decision to build in settlements threatens the viability of the two-state solution
❸ Netanyahu Rejects American And European Condemnations Of New Settlements’ Plan
❹ From European Journal Of International Law: “Apartheid, International Law, And The Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
❺ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 7, 201
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned on Thursday the Israeli government’s decision to build hundreds of housing units in illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.
___The ministry slammed Israel’s continuous building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory — in contravention of international law — and obstruction of the peace process.
___The Egyptian government urged the Israeli government to “cancel the decision and put an end to the policy of escalation, which kills the hopes of Palestinians.”   MORE . . .

From Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers
Whether looking at the ‘security’ or at the ‘socio-cultural’ definitions of gated communities as they appear in the geographic and sociological literature, it is difficult to think of a more explicit example of a community featuring social cohesion based on shared values on the one hand, and self-isolation with the help of fences and a stress on the ‘security of the community’ on the other.
[. . . .] . . . the West Bank is not just an aggregate of 124 ‘legal’ gated communities and a similar number of ‘illegal outposts’, but rather a single, contiguous gated community gating, in turn, Palestinian ‘islands’ within it. This assertion might sound puzzling: the sum total of built-up areas in the settlements amounts to less than 2 per cent of the West Bank’s territory; the settlers’ number (including East Jerusalem) amount to less than 15 per cent of the West Bank’s population; and the total area occupied directly by the settlement complex. . .  amounts to circa 42 per cent of the West Bank’s territory. These figures seem to make it difficult to claim that the settlements constitute a single, contiguous, gated and gating community.
[. . . .]  Establishing a chain of small settlements situated at strategic distances from each other – sufficiently close to enable connection on the one hand, but sufficiently far apart to enable efficient dispersion on the other – is an efficient way of seizing large areas in a short time and with relatively few resources.
[. . . .] . . . settlements had not been built with a premeditated intention of restricting Palestinian movement, but mainly in order to restrict Palestinian construction and to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian entity . . . .

  • Handel, Ariel. “Gated/Gating Community: The Settlement Complex In The West Bank.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 39.4 (2014): 504-517.  SOURCE.  

Palestine News Network – PNN
July 6, 2016
In a statement send  by an EU Spokesperson on Israel’s announcement of new settlement units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank the  EU said its threatens the viability of the two-state solution.
___He added that :” Israel’s decision on Sunday to advance several hundred new settlement units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank threatens the viability of the two-state solution and calls into question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians.       MORE . . .   

Illegal settlement with settler-only road and Apartheid Wall, March 20, 2014 (Photo: Thomas Manning)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 7, 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected American and European ‘condemnations’ of a new plan to build hundreds of colonialist units, in illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.
___In a press conference with the Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, on Wednesday, Netanyahu claimed that what is preventing peace in the region “is not the settlements,” but what he called the “ongoing incitement against Israel.”               MORE . . . 

European Journal Of International Law
John Dugard and John Reynolds.

[NOTE: this article is a point by point examination of the situation in the Occupied Territories of Palestine in light of the International Convention on Apartheid.]

[. . . .] Article 2 of the Apartheid Convention provides the most detailed list of practices that are discrete human rights violations in themselves, but that may further amount to acts of apartheid when committed in a systematic fashion for the purpose of maintaining domination by one racial group over another:
(a) Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person:
(i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;
(ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
(iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;
(b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;
(c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country.
[. . . .]
Article 2(f) of the Apartheid Convention relates to the persecution of organizations and persons who oppose a prevailing system of apartheid. Persecution in this context entails the deprivation of fundamental rights and freedoms. While law condones the deprivation of rights in some cases in defense of state security, regimes of racial domination are typically exemplified by illegitimate acts of repression that go beyond what can be justified by reference to national security. Cases of extra-judicial killings, torture, and mass imprisonment of Palestinians . . . fall into the latter category, as do restrictions of freedom of expression and association within the meaning of Article 2(c). The systematic targeting
of Palestinian political leaders, community activists, and human rights defenders can be understood as persecution . . . .  Dugard, John, and John Reynolds. “Apartheid, International Law, And The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” European Journal Of International Law 24.3 (2013): 867-913.     COMPLETE ARTICLE.

(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gaging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri 

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.