“. . . standard issue developing-world cement block structures . . .” (Rachel Barenblat)

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Christmas Lutheran Church, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, 2008)

❶ Political and religious leaders light Christmas tree at the endangered Jabal al-Baba community
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Christmas in Bethlehem: How Trump’s move ruined it
❷ PLO: US bullying will not deter UN member states from voting against Jerusalem decision
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Abbas to arrive in France for talks with French counterpart

  • Background: “Bible and Gun: Militarism in Jerusalem’s Holy Places.” Space & Polity.

❸ Israel begins construction of separation wall in Bethlehem-area village
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) New Synagogue under Western Wall Unveiled, $50m to be Allocated for “Temple Mount Explorations”
❹ POETRY by Rachel Barenblat
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ POLITICAL  AND  RELIGIOUS  LEADERS  LIGHT  CHRISTMAS  TREE  AT  THE  ENDANGERED  JABAL  AL-BABA  COMMUNITY 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Dec. 21, 2017 ― Political and religious leaders attended on Tuesday a solidarity event in the endangered Bedouin community of Jabal al Baba, east of Jerusalem, during which a Christmas tree was lit.
___The community is at imminent risk of forced displacement after the so called “Israeli Civil Administration,” an arm of the occupation authority, ordered all of the community’s 320 Palestinian residents on November 9 to evacuate their homes ahead of the demolition of their homes and structures, despite ongoing court proceedings.
___Israel wants to take over the land located in the occupied West Bank to build a new settlement on it.
___The ceremony . . . was attended by Adnan Husseini, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Walid Assaf, Minister of Anti Wall and Settlements, Atalla Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia, Rev. Jamal Khader, Latin Patriarchate . . .   and a number of diplomats and representatives of various Bedouin communities.
___During the opening ceremony, Minister Husseini reiterated the importance of celebrating Christmas during the latest developments in Jerusalem and noted that US President Donald Trump “wanted us to refrain from celebrating Christmas but despite of his decision we tell him that we will celebrate in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jabal al Baba and everywhere because we are ambassadors of peace.”   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  CHRISTMAS  IN  BETHLEHEM:  HOW  TRUMP’S  MOVE  RUINED  IT
Al Jazeera English
Dec. 20, 2017 ― President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital looms large in Christmas festivities this year in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
___Some food vendors, sellers of holiday trinkets and a leading hotelier in biblical Bethlehem say Palestinian protests, triggered by what many here view as a provocative show of pro-Israel bias, have hurt their Christmas business.
___Yet Bethlehem also offers a stage for a Palestinian rebuttal: banners proclaiming Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Palestine have been draped over facades on Manger Square as a backdrop for Christmas TV broadcasts to a global audience.
[. . . .] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was to have received Vice President Mike Pence, a devout Christian, in Bethlehem, but cancelled after the US pivot on Jerusalem. The snub came as Abbas rejected Washington as a Middle East broker.
___Meanwhile, Bethlehem’s flagship luxury hotel, the 250-bed Jacir Palace, closed because of frequent nearby clashes. General manager Marwan Kittani said the hotel had been fully booked for Christmas, but that he is now assessing day by day if he can reopen.   MORE . . . 
❷ PLO:  US  BULLYING  WILL  NOT  DETER  UN  MEMBER  STATES  FROM  VOTING  AGAINST  JERUSALEM  DECISION
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 21, 2017 ― The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) slammed the US for threatening to take action against countries that vote in favor of a United Nations (UN) resolution that condemns the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
[. . . . ] US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley exercised the US’ veto power on Monday at the UN Security Council (UNSC) to kill a resolution critical of Trump’s unilateral move. The veto blocked the resolution, despite the 14 other members of the Security Council voting in favor.
___Another meeting was called to vote on a resolution calling for annulling the US decision, this time, to the General Assembly where US does not have a veto power. . . .    ___Ahead of the vote the US said that it would “take names” and possibly cut donor funding to those countries who voted against it.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ABBAS  TO  ARRIVE  IN  FRANCE  FOR  TALKS  WITH  FRENCH  COUNTERPART
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 21, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to arrive in Paris on Thursday for a two-day official visit during which he will meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, according to Palestine’s ambassador to France Salman al-Harfi.
___He told Voice of Palestine radio that Abbas and his French counterpart will meet on Friday morning to discuss the implications of US President Donald Trump’s decision recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.   MORE . . . 

Pullan, Wendy. “BIBLE  AND  GUN:  MILITARISM  IN  JERUSALEM’S  HOLY  PLACES.”
SPACE & POLITY, vol. 17, no. 3, Dec. 2013, pp. 335-356.
[. . . .] It is once again possible to re-assess the sword and scroll relationship to suggest that rather than being equal to or led by armed struggle, religion has becoming a primary driving force in Israeli militarism. In reference to the dominant settler movements, Feige explains “the fusion of the political and the religious [as a] religious dictim in the eyes of the believers”. In broader terms . . .  the nation’s shift from a “national security religion [to a] national religious culture” favouring the creation and maintenance of a Greater Israel as derived from biblical ideals. It would be wrong to belittle Israel’s emphasis upon security, which still dominates most political and military thinking; as an over-riding concept, and a threat, it is regularly used to enlist the support of secular Jews and alienate Palestinians . . .  emphasis upon a new aggressiveness in the name of religion shows the concept to have altered to mean the security of the Jewish nation and the biblical Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael). This thinking dominates not just the fighting of wars, but it carries with it an ideology that permeates the practice of everyday life . . .  it dominates the form and meaning of major Jewish holy places within the urban character and spatial structure of Jerusalem.
___To a fair extent, and in religious circles, national religious Jews have taken the upper hand from the ultra-orthodox groups, or haredim. The differences between the two are not always distinct, but it is possible to say that generally the latter believe in redemption realised in God’s own time and unaffected by human interference, whereas for national religious adherents, all of the Land of Israel is considered God-given, carrying an obligation for Jews to redeem it by human hands. This may be accomplished by violence if necessary, regardless of who lives there or has previous claims on the land or ownership of property. The difference between the two groups is well summarised by the criticism of national religious groups by a haredi rabbi: “instead of adapting their ideology to Judaism, they wish to adapt Judaism to their ideology.”

❸ ISRAEL  BEGINS  CONSTRUCTION  OF  SEPARATION  WALL  IN  BETHLEHEM-AREA  VILLAGE 
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 21, 2017 ― Israeli authorities have reportedly began construction on a portion of Israel’s illegal separation wall on lands of the Tuqu town in eastern Bethlehem, in the southern occupied West Bank, on Thursday.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers entered the town early Thursday morning and began placing cement blocks in northern Tuqu.
___According to locals, the wall would swallow up what’s left of agricultural lands belonging to the residents of Tuqu, after Israel confiscated large portions of land for the construction nearby illegal settlement of Tekoa.
___Israel’s separation wall, expected to reach 708 kilometers upon its completion — 88 percent of which is planned inside occupied Palestinian territory, is a common sight in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli-installed cement walls and barrier fences zig zag throughout the landscape.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  NEW  SYNAGOGUE  UNDER  WESTERN  WALL  UNVEILED,  $50M  TO  BE  ALLOCATED  FOR  “TEMPLE  MOUNT  EXPLORATIONS” 
The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) 
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Israeli authorities, today, unveiled a new Jewish synagogue under Al-Buraq Wall – known to Jews as the Western Wall – in occupied East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.    “Following 12 years of construction, the new synagogue was opened on Monday evening,” the Heritage Foundation of the Western Wall, an Israeli governmental body, said in a statement.
[. . . .]  In a statement, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, head of Jerusalem’s Supreme Islamic Council and a former Al-Aqsa imam, stressed that the Al-Buraq Wall was a component of the Al-Aqsa’s western wall.
[. . . . ]“All new construction by the [Israeli] occupation authorities in Jerusalem is illegitimate and lacks a historical basis,” Sabri said, adding that the holy city “cannot be partitioned”.    MORE . . .  

“FIRST VISIT TO THE CAMP D’HAISHA, BETHLEHEM,”
BY RABBI RACHEL BARENBLAT

There are no canvas tents.
The buildings don’t look
so bad, standard issue
developing-world
cement block structures

until I try to imagine
eleven thousand people
in one square kilometer,
one in every minyan
an angry alumnus

of the Israeli jails.
What do I know
about settlers or rock-throwers,
one state, two state
impossibilities?

But our grandparents
didn’t escape the ghettos
of Europe’s worst era
only to create new ones
for somebody else.

When we depart
I’m saddened, troubled
but perfectly able
to order a cold beer
and make conversation.

The sorrow and the fury
dormant overnight
explode the next day.
Even Shabbat can’t soothe
my lacerated heart.

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.
Rachel Barenblat was ordained a rabbi in January 2011 through the Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the author of 4 chapbooks of poetry. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Texas Observer. She lives in western Massachusetts. She blogs as The Velveteen Rabbi. For her observations of the situation in Palestine, see her post from 2014.

 

“. . . fill prisons with dignity . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ Israeli forces order Jordan Valley farmers off their land
. . . . . ―❶ (ᴀ) Hamdallah: Israeli plans to forcibly transfer Bedouins in E1 ‘cross a red line’

  • Background: “Dignity Takings and Dispossession in Israel.” Law & Social Inquiry 

❷ Jordan’s King: Just solution of the Palestinian cause brings regional stability
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  The national Bureau: a new Nakbah may take place if Israel forces Bedouin communities to leave their lands
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  ORDER  JORDAN  VALLEY  FARMERS  OFF  THEIR  LAND       
Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces on Wednesday morning reportedly forced Palestinian farmers off lands they were working on in the Jordan Valley area of the Tubas district in the northern occupied West Bank, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned WAFA news agency.
___WAFA reported that Israeli forces ordered a group of Palestinian farmers near the village of Sakout to stop working and leave the lands immediately.
___While it remained unclear why the farmers were suddenly ordered off their land, the Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ―❶ (ᴀ) HAMDALLAH:  ISRAELI  PLANS  TO  FORCIBLY  TRANSFER  BEDOUINS  IN  E1  ‘CROSS  A  RED  LINE’
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 28, 2017 ― Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah released a statement on Monday expressing the government’s solidarity with the hundreds of Palestinian Bedouins in the community of Jabal al-Baba at risk of forcible displacement by the Israeli government.
___Earlier this month, Israeli forces distributed evacuation notices to all 300 Palestinian residents of the village in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, saying the residents had eight days to move to a “relocation site” designated for them by Israeli authorities.
___The village is populated by some 55 Bedouin families who have inhabited the area for 65 years — after being forced out of their original lands in 1948 when Israel was created — and face constant threat of being expelled from their homes.
___“As the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, let me say clearly: we stand with our Palestinian citizens in Jabal al Baba, as well as with all of the other Palestinian communities across the West Bank that Israel seeks to displace in order to build illegal settlements in their place,” Hamdallah said.    MORE . . .     ..

Kedar, Alexandre (Sandy).
“DIGNITY  TAKINGS  AND  DISPOSSESSION  IN  ISRAEL.”
LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, vol. 41, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 866-887.
[. . . .] Dignity takings occur when the state confiscates more than property; such takings simultaneously deny the dispossessed their dignity. Dignity presumes that human beings are of equal value, and entails a respect for each person’s autonomy. As such, dignity takings deny these core values. . . .
___Dignity taking entails five major elements: (1) “A state directly or indirectly” takes property. (2) “Destroys or confiscates property.” Such dignity takings are often effectuated through brutal and unilateral state force. . .  Atuahene emphasizes the function of property as personhood. Accordingly, when persons are displaced from their homes and properties, they suffer great emotional harm. . . . (3) “From owners or occupiers”. (4) “Whom it deems to be sub persons.” This includes dehumanization, “the failure to recognize an individual or group’s humanness”. It can also occur via infantilization, which is the “restriction of an individual or group’s autonomy based on the failure to recognize and respect their full capacity to reason” or treating them as if they were minors. (5) “Without paying just compensation or without a legitimate public purpose”. Atuahene clarifies that “just compensation” is not sufficient. If the landholder cannot reject the compensation offered and remain on the property, and the taking was not the result of a “legitimate public purpose” but part of a “larger strategy to dehumanize or infantilize” a specific group . . . this qualifies as a dignity taking.
[. . . .] To conclude, the concept of dignity takings, with some qualifications, adaptations, and transformations, can serve as an effective tool in analyzing the dispossession of Palestinians land in and by Israel. The concept highlights not only the material loss and harm done by these takings, but simultaneously the ways in which they inflicted devastating blows to the dignity and humanity of the dispossessed. Finally, the recognition that a certain taking or type of taking such as the Land Acquisition Law and Negev Bedouin cases constitute dignity taking should guide us in devising restitution processes that would restore not only the pecuniary value of the land, but also the taken dignity. Such restoration should recognize both past wrongs and present interests and impediments, while striving to design a healing future.   SOURCE . . .

❷ JORDAN’S  KING:  JUST  SOLUTION  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  BRINGS  REGIONAL  STABILITY 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 29, 2017 ― King of Jordan Abdullah II said on Tuesday evening that reaching a just and permanent solution of the Palestinian cause will lead to achieving security and stability in the entire region.
___King Abdullah, during a meeting in Washington with U.S. senators, called for reviving peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis based on a two-state solution and the resolutions of international community, leading to the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and living side by side with Israel.   MORE . . .   ..
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS:   THE  NATIONAL  BUREAU:  A  NEW  NAKBAH  MAY  TAKE  PLACE  IF  ISRAEL  FORCES  BEDOUIN  COMMUNITIES  TO  LEAVE  THEIR  LANDS    Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 29, 2017 ― The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements released the weekly report on settlements named Israel’s plans Ethnic Cleansing The Bedouin Communities Surrounding Jerusalem in which they wrote:
___“The deadline given by the occupation authorities to the citizens of the Jabal Al-Baba in the Eizariya town, Jerusalem, to leave their land, properties and homes ended last week.  Thus, a new Nakbah (catastrophe) may take place should they succeed in implementing the plan, which means besieging the city of Jerusalem as a whole, and completely isolating it from its Palestinian surroundings.
___The Judaization, racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing policy that carried out by the occupation government against the Palestinian citizens in the East Jerusalem i.e. the Bedouin communities in Jabal-Baba, Arab-Jahalin and Abu-Nawar community to evacuate them requires the world countries. . . to intervene. . . ”  MORE . . .

“HERE  WE  SHALL  STAY,”  BY  TAWFIQ  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.

—translated by Sharif Elmusa and Charles Doria
From poemhunter.com
Tawfiq Zyyad (7 May 1929 – 5 July 1994) was a Palestinian politician well known for his “poetry of protest”. Born in the Galilee, Zyyad studied literature in USSR. He was elected mayor of Nazareth, a victory that “surprised and alarmed” Israelis. Elected to the Knesset 1973, Zyyad was active in pressuring the Israeli government to change its policies towards Palestinians both in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. A report he co-authored. . .  (More . . .)

 

“. . . settle my history between a coward and a senseless god . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

1-oyoun qarra
Oyoun Qarra massacre, 6:30 am on 20.05.1990 (Newspaper photo)

❶ Friday marks the 26th anniversary of the Oyoun Qara massacre
❷ EU strongly opposed to Israel’s settlement policy, demolitions and confiscations
❸ Against Jewish will, Palestinian film screened at Cannes
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  ISRAELI  ‘CHUTZPAH’  VERSUS  PALESTINIAN  ‘SUMUD’
❺ Opinion/Analysis: IN  GAZA,  NOTHING  IS  JUST  AN  ACCIDENT
❻ “A Speech in the Unemployment Market,” By Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

popper000
Ami Popper during a prison furlough. Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 (The Yeshiva World News)

❶ FRIDAY  MARKS  THE  26TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  OYOUN  QARA  MASSACRE
Ma’an News Agency
May 20, 2016
Friday marked the 26th anniversary of the Oyoun Qara massacre . . .
___At 6:15 am on May 20, 1990, 20 Palestinian workers from the Gaza Strip waited for their employers to pick them up from the Oyoun Qara (Rishon Lezion) bus stop when a discharged Israeli soldier arrived and demanded that the workers show him their IDs.
___The soldier, Ami Popper, checked the workers’ IDs, and after ensuring they were all Palestinian, ordered them to line up in three lines and kneel down, then opened fire on the workers with an M16, killing seven and badly injuring 10 others. Popper then drove his vehicle away from the scene [. . . .]
___Israeli courts later convicted Popper of the murders . . .  reduced his sentence to 40 years of imprisonment.      MORE . . .
HISTORY; AMI POPPER TODAY . . .  

❷ EU  STRONGLY  OPPOSED  TO  ISRAEL’S  SETTLEMENT  POLICY,  DEMOLITIONS  AND  CONFISCATIONS
Palestine News Network
May 20, 2016
EU spokesperson said today . . .  that the EU is strongly opposed to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in this context, including demolitions and confiscations, building the separation barrier beyond the 1967 line, evictions and forced transfers. Such developments in the so-called E1 area call into question Israel’s commitment towards the two-state solution.
___The EU spokesperson also said that the regrettable trend of confiscations and demolitions since the beginning of the year, including of EU-funded humanitarian assistance, was confirmed once again this week by demolitions of temporary shelters in Jabal al-Baba, a Bedouin community in the so-called E1 area.      MORE . . .    

❸ AGAINST  JEWISH  WILL,  PALESTINIAN  FILM  SCREENED  AT  CANNES
Days of Palestine
May 19, 2016
Palestinian work was screened on Monday at Cannes Film Festival despite Jewish pressure to cancel it.
___The film, which name is Munich: A Palestinian Story, was screened without any delays as it was previously planned.
___Speaking to Electronic Intifada Nasri Hajjaj from Cannes, saying that the screening of a 14-minute segment passed without incident and he received a positive response from those present.
___France’s main pro-Israel lobby group CRIF had been exerting intense pressure on authorities to ban the film, even enlisting the support of the mayor of Cannes.   MORE . . .  

Opinion/Analysis: ISRAELI  ‘CHUTZPAH’  VERSUS  PALESTINIAN  ‘SUMUD’
Mondoweiss
Jonathan Ofir
May 18, 2016
In his book “The Joys of Yiddish” (1968), Leo Rosten writes . . . “Chutzpa is that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan. A chuzpanik may be defined as the man who shouts ‘Help! Help!’ while beating you up” [. . . .]
___The Palestinians, as a subjugated and militarily-inferior occupied party, had to historically apply a mirror antidote to this Chutzpah. Against the policy of harassment and regular dispossession, they had to apply the attitude of steadfastness. This is the meaning of Sumud.      MORE . . .

1-boy ruins
A Palestinian boy looks at the charred walls of the Abu al-Hindi family home in al-Shati refugee camp after a fire killed three children in their bedroom, 7 May. (Ashraf Amra APA images)

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  IN  GAZA,  NOTHING  IS  JUST  AN  ACCIDENT
The Electronic Intifada
Hamza Abu Eltarabesh
May 17, 2016
When a candle caused a fire that killed three young children at a house in Gaza, it seemed like the kind of horrible misfortune that could happen anywhere.
___But candles in Beach refugee camp, where the recent fire occurred, are lit not for mood but necessity. And in Gaza, where rolling power cuts leave people without electricity for 12 hours a day, that need is great.
___And growing.      MORE . . .  

“A  SPEECH  IN  THE  UNEMPLOYMENT  MARKET,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

If you like, I will forfeit my wages
and put up my clothes and bed for sale.
I’ll work as a stonecutter, porter or street-sweeper,
and search for grain in the dung of cattle
and languish, naked and hungry
but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

Though you steal the last foot of my land
and feed my youth to the prison,
seize my grandfather’s inheritance
of furnishings, dishes and pots,
burn my poems and books,
throw my flesh to the dogs
and dwell as a dream of horror over my village
with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

You may smother my flame in the night,
withhold my mother’s kiss
and let children curse my kinfolk.
You may slip past the guardian of my sorrows
and settle my history between a coward and a senseless god.
You may deny my children holiday clothes
and fool my friends with a borrowed face,
hedge me around with all your walls
and sacrifice my days on some humble spot
but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

Enemy of the sun,
in the port there is feasting, a flood of good tidings,
shrills and shouts and a cry of joy;
heroic anthems burst from every throat!
On the horizon, a boat
challenges the wind and boundless sea, and passes out of danger.
It is Ulysses’ return
from the lost seas―
the return of the sun, and of the exiled―
and by her eyes,
and by his eyes,
I swear I will not bargain!

I will resist.
― (1967)

An interview with Samih Al-Qasim.
From WHEN THE WORDS BURN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY: 1945-1987. Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.

 

“. . . truth needs no eloquence . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

al-Qiq
Hunger striking Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq at Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel, February 8, 2016. On the 83rd day without food, Al-Qiq is suffering from serious vertigo, has lost most of his sight and hearing, and can barely speak. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

❶ Palestinian hunger-striker refuses ‘compromise’ offered by Israeli court
❷ Israeli minister calls to annex West Bank
❸ Palestinians’ access to water in 2015
❹ Israeli forces uproot 100 olive trees in Wadi Qana
. . . . . ❹―(ᴀ) Israel to Demolish Jerusalem Homes to Construct Settlement Park
❺ Opinion/Analysis: A LETTER TO OUR READERS: ON CENSORSHIP [+972 MAGAZINE]
❻ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  HUNGER-STRIKER  REFUSES  ‘COMPROMISE’  OFFERED  BY  ISRAELI  COURT
Feb. 16, 2016
Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, on his 83rd day of hunger strike Monday, refused an Israeli court decision for his transfer to an East Jerusalem hospital, maintaining he would not end his strike until released and brought to a Palestinian hospital in the occupied West Bank . . . .
___Al-Qiq is one of at least 650 Palestinians being held by Israel under administrative detention, a practice that the UN and Amnesty International have repeatedly argued Israel uses as excessively.
___Last month, al-Qiq wrote in a letter: “They [Palestinian journalists] are now experiencing forceful and abusive detention because they have been the voice of human conscience . . . .     More . . .
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAELI  MINISTER  CALLS  TO  ANNEX  WEST  BANK
Feb. 16, 2016
Israeli Education Minister and head of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett on Sunday called to annex Area C of the occupied West Bank, and giving the Palestinians “autonomy on steroids” in Areas A and B, Israeli YnetNews reported.
___”We have already separated from the Palestinians, they are governing themselves,” he said. “My plan is to actually give the Palestinians a sort of autonomy on steroids in Areas A and B, while in Area C, we gradually start applying our sovereignty.”   More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
PALESTINIANS’  ACCESS  TO  WATER  IN  2015
Feb. 14, 2016
Thirsting for Justice finds that Palestinians’ access to water was worse in 2015 than in 1995 due to Israel’s discriminatory water regime.     More . . .

bulldozer2dop
Israeli forces, on Monday, demolished 20 Palestinian dwellings in Ein al-Rushrash, a locality to the southeast of Douma village, south of Nablus. (Photo: Days of Palestine)

See . . . 

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  UPROOT  100  OLIVE  TREES  IN  WADI  QANA
Feb. 16, 2016
Israeli forces uprooted 100 olive trees in the Wadi Qana area west of the village of Deir Istiya in Salfit district on Tuesday amid ongoing efforts to push Palestinians out of the area, locals said.
___Farmers from Deir Istiya told Ma’an the forces arrived in Wadi Qana and uprooted the trees without prior notice.
___Soldiers then forced locals from the area in order to allow Israeli settlers to arrive there.    More . . .
. . . . .―(ᴀ) ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  JERUSALEM  HOMES  TO  CONSTRUCT  SETTLEMENT  PARK
The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Tuesday issued eviction orders to Palestinians living near the town of Ezariya, east of Jerusalem, to establish a national park to serve illegal Israeli settlers.   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
A LETTER  TO  OUR  READERS:  ON  CENSORSHIP
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Feb. 15, 2016
From military censorship to the government deciding who is and isn’t a journalist, Israeli authorities use various tools to interfere with the press. An important disclosure to our readers.
___When +972 Magazine was formed . . . its founders decided that the site would not have an editorial line or political agenda save for three common denominators to which everyone was willing to commit: human rights, opposing the occupation, and freedom of information.
___Late last month, a Facebook account belonging to Chief IDF Censor Col. Ariella Ben Avraham sent a message to +972 Magazine and dozens of new media news sites, blogs and Facebook accounts detailing “the obligation to submit to the censor [for prior review] items relating to security.”   More . . .

TWO  POEMS  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

PRISON

Man said:
blessed are the birds in their cages
for they, at least,
know the limits
of their prisons.

SILENCE

Silence said:
truth needs no eloquence,
After the death of the horseman,
the homeward-bound horse
says everything
without saying anything.

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