“. . . a dream beyond, half formed, half grasped . . .” (Reja-e Busailah)

220899556 - Copy
Mohamed Hebali, killed today by Israeli soldiers. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center, Dec. 4, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  DISABLED  PALESTINIAN  YOUTH  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  MILITARY  IN  TULKAREM  RAID 
A Palestinian young man with special needs was fatally shot by the Israeli occupation army at daybreak Tuesday after the latter rolled into Tulkarem province, in the northern West Bank, and violently attacked Palestinian protesters.    ___Local sources said Mohamed Hebali, aged 22, was killed shortly after Israeli soldiers stormed Tulkarem and randomly unleashed spates of bullet fire.    ___Mohamed was hit with bullets in his chest and head.    More . . .
. . . . Related  250,000 people with disabilities in Palestine
. . . . Related  Children, students kidnapped by Israeli army in West Bank sweep
. . . . Related  9 Palestinians injured as Israel suppresses 18th naval march
. . . . Related  Palestinians suffer tear-gas suffocation during Israeli raid to Beit Ummar
ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  COMMERCIAL  STRUCTURES  IN  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  

Israeli forces Tuesday demolished several commercial structures in Hares village, west of Salfit in the northern West Bank, said a villager.    ___Fadi Suleiman, who owns one of the demolished structures, said that a large number of Israeli forces raided the village before a military bulldozer demolished a blacksmith workshop, a carpentry workshop and a laundry wash.    ___The structures were demolished purportedly for being built without a license from the so-called Israeli Civil Administration, in Area C, which accounts for 94 percent of the village’s land.  More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli bulldozers raze lands in northern Gaza
. . . . Related  Palestinian family forced to demolish structures by Israeli occupation
. . . . Related  Israeli court rejects appeal to halt third demolition of Abu Hmaid family home
|  PALESTINIAN  LEADERSHIP  PRAISES  CANADA’S  COMMITMENT  TO  NOT  TRANSFER  ITS  EMBASSY  
Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, met with Canadian ambassadors, on Monday, and called on the Canadian government not to regard the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination as a “threat” to it.    ___Erekat met with the Canadian ambassadors to Palestine, Jordan and Israel, in the central occupied West Bank city of Jericho, to discuss the latest regional and international developments.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Haneyya reaches out to Turkish FM over US anti-resistance resolution
. . . . Related  Egypt proves itself a reliable mediator to Palestinians
. . . . Related  Israel launches military operation against ‘Hezbollah tunnels’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
CANADIAN  JEWISH  NEWS  PROMOTES  ‘TERROR  TOURISM’
By  Yves Engler
What should we make of a media outlet that praises those who join or give money to a foreign army, which occupies territory belonging to another people, terrorizes the local population by destroying houses, restricting their movement, subjecting them to military courts and shooting unarmed protesters?    ___What should we call the Canadian Jewish News, an unfailing flatterer of Canadians who join or finance a military subjugating Palestinians? Would “promoter of terror tourism” be an appropriate description?    ___Over the past month the CJN has published at least four pieces celebrating Canadian support for the Israeli military. On November 22 it reported, “Bayli Dukes, who recently won the Israel Defence Forces’ Award of Excellence for the Southern Command of the IDF, was a biology student at York University in Toronto less than two years ago. Tired of sitting on the couch and posting on Facebook about the situation in Israel, she decided there was more she could be doing.”    More . . .
| ISRAEL’S  NEW  WAR  OF  ATTRITION  ON  JERUSALEM’S  PALESTINIANS 
By Jonathan Cook
Czech president Milos Zeman offered Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist government a fillip during his visit to Israel last week. He inaugurated a cultural and trade center, Czech House, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls. . . .     At the opening, he expressed hope it would serve as a precursor to his country relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.    [. . . .] It is this kind of endorsement that, of late, has emboldened Netanyahu’s government, the Israeli courts, Jerusalem officials and settler organisations to step up their combined assault on Palestinians in the Old City and its surrounding neighborhoods.    ___Israel has never hidden its ambition to seize control of East Jerusalem, Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967 and then annexed, as a way of preventing a viable Palestinian state from emerging.     More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“ALI  OF  LYDDA,”  BY  REJA-E  BUSAILAH

Before the conqueror shot him dead
from the top of our roof,
he had on his head
as he walked homeward in the morning sun
a tray made of straw and of circles,
none vicious though:
each flowed into the next
from small to large to larger rounds:

the first bore the transformation
of the dream of wheat, its ears still close to the ground,
into loaves of exciting breath;
the second of a humble communion
of young and old breaking bread into lasting bond
under the sanctity of one roof;
the third of modest hopes
which rose and tossed like one vast field shedding green
in the wind and ripening sun;
the fourth of a dream beyond,
half formed, half grasped –

after he shot him dead
and the tray fell in a manner undignified
and the bread tumbled and scattered
on hot hard stone
in shapes of heads rolling about a sanctuary,
I heard the conqueror on the high roof
under the bare sky,
I heard him snort
I heard him spit on the ground
I heard him piss
through the eye of light.

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.

“. . . An old nakba is waiting for a cast of falcons . . .” (Muhammad Fanatil al-Hajaya)

IMG_3733 - Copy
Bedouin children, Desert Southeast of Jerusalem. Photo: Harold Knight, November 9, 2015

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

RABBIS  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS  CELEBRATE  SUKKOT  AT  KHAN  AL-AHMAR   
Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) announced on that they have set up sukkah’s, which are temporary tents constructed for use during the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot, in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem.   ___RHR decided to set up sukkah’s at the Bedouin village to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, to show solidarity with the residents and as a protest against Israel’s planned demolition of the village.   ___RHR said, in a statement, “We will express solidarity with our Bedouin brothers and we will live as they do for a little bit. We will remember that our forefathers lived as free human beings for 40 years in the Sinai Desert.”    More . . .
Related . . . Qatar  reiterates  condemnation  of  Israeli  decision  to  demolish  Al-Khan  Al-Ahmar  village

EGYPTIAN  PRESIDENT:  ‘TRUMP  MADE  UNIQUE  CHANGES  WORLDWIDE’
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi met with the United States President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly meeting in the US, on Monday.   During the meeting, the US President described al-Sisi as “a great friend.”   [. . . .] For his part, al-Sisi said that this meeting “speaks volumes of the magnitude of the relationship between Egypt and the US,” adding that during Trump’s term, the relationship “has led to even more support.”    More . . .
Related . . .   Erdoğan  vows  to  safeguard  Jerusalem  against  Israeli  invaders

KING  ABDULLAH  II:  ‘UNRWA  MUST  CONTINUE  DESPITE  US  CUTS’ 
Jordanian King Abdullah II told the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, on Monday that the Jordanian Kingdom believes a two-state solution is the only path to peace and that the international community must continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).    ___The two had scheduled a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York . . .      ___Abdullah II reaffirmed his position regarding that the future State of Palestine must have East Jerusalem as its capital and that the only path to peace is through a two-state solution.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

PALESTINE:  THE  TESTBED  FOR  TRUMP’S  PLAN  TO  TEAR  UP  THE  RULES-BASED  INTERNATIONAL  ORDER
Jonathan Cook
Washington’s decision to intensify swinging aid cuts to the Palestinians . . .  reveals more than a simple determination to strong-arm the Palestinian leadership to the negotiating table.    ___Under cover of a supposed peace effort . . .  the Trump administration . . .   wants finally to shake off the burden of international humanitarian law, and the potential for war crimes trials . . .  ___The Palestinians . . . are the most troublesome legacy of a post-war, rules-based international order that the US is now committed to sweeping away. Amputate the Palestinian cause, an injustice festering for more than seven decades, and America’s hand will be freer elsewhere.    [. . . .] The Israeli bulldozers sent to KHAN AL AHMAR will also launch an assault on Europe and its resolve to defend international law and the Palestinians. When push comes to shove, will Europe’s nerve hold?    More . . .

THE  TRUMP  ADMINISTRATION  IS  TRYING  TO  REDUCE  THE  NUMBER  OF  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES,  HERE’S  WHY  IT  WON’T  WORK
Susan Akram
The Trump administration’s decision last month to cut $360 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is a purely political decision that has no relevance to the definition of Palestinians as “refugees”, nor to their legal rights. Although highly significant since the U.S. makes the largest single donation to UNRWA of any country, the claim that defunding UNRWA will somehow terminate the Palestinian refugee problem and lead to peace is absurd.     ___UNRWA has nothing to do with defining or perpetuating “refugee status.” The definition and status of Palestinian refugees is determined by the UN General Assembly . . .     More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  WEST’S  CRAFTY  MEN,”  BY  MUHAMMAD  FANATIL  AL-HAJAYA

The West’s crafty men laid a trap, and Putin fell in
They messed with his mind the way Spaniards mess with bulls

Putin went to save a man who slaughtered half his people
And the chaos is helping out the Balfour Declaration

The Persians are playing the same game:
Divvying up the land and the work and the roles

A conspiracy against the Arabs, so hard for us to bear
A dish of politics cooked up by one thousands specialists

For them we’re just a plate of food, their greed for which has increased
With our divided opinions and broken power

The Arabs’ Baghdad? A Zoroastrian hyena-wolf is tearing it to pieces
The Levant? Now a rabid bear’s slice of the pie

Lebanon? Nasrallah and Hezbollah are mangling it
Yemen? Contracted out to the Houthis

Every form of evil has been sowed in the Arabs’ lands
Sectarian strife has increased, and blood is being spilled in vain

Jerusalem? Our younger generations haven’t even heard of it
An old nakba is waiting for a cast of falcons

A world of injustice, convinced we Arabs have no rights
For that world, injustice is a principle, a way, a constitution

Oh Security Council, you’re also just a game
And I hereby witness that you’re a council of injustice and oppression

—Translated by William Tamplin

“. . . History marches behind our footsteps, honor sings around us . . .” (Abu Salma)

❶ The normalisation of colonial violence is in tune with Balfour’s infamous letter

  • Background: “The Purifying Effect of Truth: Jabotinsky’s Interpretation of the Balfour Declaration.” Israel Studies.

❷ Foreign Minister says legal proceedings will soon start against British government
❸ Abbas demands British government recognize Palestine on Balfour centenary
❹ Balfour Declaration: Britain Broke Its Feeble Promise to the Palestinians
❺ POETRY by Abd Al-Kareem Al-Karmi (Abu Salma)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ THE  NORMALISATION  OF  COLONIAL  VIOLENCE  IS  IN  TUNE  WITH  BALFOUR’S  INFAMOUS  LETTER 
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Nov. 3, 2017 ― A century down the line from the Balfour Declaration, the obliteration of Palestine remains the aim of the Israeli colonial entity built on stolen land. On Wednesday, Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest in Bethlehem marking the anniversary of the infamous letter. The protestors marched to the Apartheid Wall, where they were confronted by Israeli police forces, who fired rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition at the gathering, injuring one person.
[. . . .]  Historically . . .  it was one of the first major steps towards Palestinian oblivion following the first Zionist colonisation efforts in the late 1880s. The convenience of timeframes ensured that each laceration of Palestinian territory eclipsed the one previous in terms of remembrance rather than significance: the 1948 Nakba and the 1967 war are two such prominent examples. The declaration, therefore, lay mostly in the background until the realisation dawned that its centenary was drawing near, which prompted the Palestinian Authority to make grand declarations from a compromised platform about prosecuting Britain. No doubt Balfour is of significant historical importance. However, one of the mistakes lay in separating the significance from the violations, thus adding value for Israel’s territorial expansion.   MORE . . .

Arye Naor.
“THE  PURIFYING  EFFECT  OF  TRUTH:  JABOTINSKY’S  INTERPRETATION  OF  THE  BALFOUR  DECLARATION.”
Israel Studies, vol. 22, no. 3, Fall2017, pp. 31-47.
ABSTRACT: Ze’ev Jabotinsky viewed the Balfour Declaration as a commitment to establish the Jewish State in Mandatory Palestine. He believed that public and diplomatic pressure on decision-makers and opinion leaders in Britain could cause that commitment to be fulfilled, either as an independent state or as a dominion within the framework of the British Commonwealth. Personally, he favored the latter. Even as the conflict of interests between Zionism and Britain became increasingly apparent, Jabotinsky maintained his faith in the Zionist connection with Britain—at least up until the publication of McDonald’s White Paper on 17 May 1939. As he saw it, the obstacle to fulfil the British obligation was the political game that the Mandatory Administration in Palestine played. He put the blame on the local administration, rather than on His Majesty’s government in London. This article presents the interpretation of the Balfour Declaration—and, by extension, the British Mandate—through the eyes of the leader of Revisionist Zionism.  SOURCE . . .

 FOREIGN  MINISTER  SAYS  LEGAL  PROCEEDINGS  WILL  SOON  START  AGAINST  BRITISH  GOVERNMENT    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 2, 2017 ― Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Thursday that legal proceedings against the British government will be soon brought before British, European and international courts to lift the injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by the Balfour Declaration.
___He said in a statement that the State of Palestine “made every effort possible to persuade the British government to abandon plans to celebrate the centennial of the Balfour Declaration because such a celebration shows lack of sensitivity to the Palestinian people.”
___However, because these efforts have failed to yield results and because of its moral and national obligation towards its people, the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry will soon act to bring legal proceedings before the British courts against the British government to remedy its mistake of 100 years, Malki said.   MORE . . .
RELATED:  “How Britain Became an Obstacle to Peace”
❸ ABBAS  DEMANDS  BRITISH  GOVERNMENT  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINE  ON  BALFOUR  CENTENARY  
Ma’an News Agency     Nov. 2, 2017 ― The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas released a statement on Thursday, the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, calling on the British government to “apologize to the Palestinian people for the suffering caused as a result of the Balfour Declaration a hundred years ago.”
___“The second day of November marks the centennial of the disastrous Balfour Declaration, which, in 1917, the British government gave the Jews of the world a national homeland in Palestine while it was aware that Palestine is owned and inhabited by another people, the Palestinian people,” the statement said.
___Abbas called the declaration “null and void” given that it ignored the national and political rights of the indigenous Palestinian people.   MORE . . .
BALFOUR  DECLARATION:  BRITAIN  BROKE  ITS  FEEBLE  PROMISE  TO  THE  PALESTINIANS     
The Palestine Chronicle 
By Jonathan Cook
Nov. 1, 2017 ― There is more than a little irony in Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to attend a “celebration” dinner this week in London with his British counterpart, Theresa May, marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
___Palestinian objections to the 1917 document are well-known. Britain’s Lord Balfour had no right to promise a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, on the land of another people.
___But Israelis have been taught a different history in which they, not the Palestinians, were betrayed.
___In 1939, Britain appeared to revoke its pledge, stating “unequivocally” that it would not establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Limits on Jewish immigration were imposed, at a time when Europe’s Jews were fleeing the Nazi Holocaust.
___It was for this reason that nearly a quarter of a century ago, in his book A Place Among the Nations, Netanyahu accused Britain of perfidy.
___One can understand the reluctance of Israelis today to concede the pivotal role provided by Britain. The Balfour Declaration is an embarrassing reminder that a Jewish state was the fruit of a transparently colonial project.   MORE . . .

“MY  COUNTRY  ON  PARTITION  DAY,”  BY  ABD  AL-KAREEM  AL-KARMI  (ABU SALMA)  (1907–1980)
My country! Live in safety, an Arab country
may the jewel of your tradition continue smiling
Though they’ve partitioned your radiant heart
our honor denies partition.
We’ve woven your wedding clothes with red thread
dyed from our own blood.
We’ve raised banners on the Mountain of Fire**
marching toward out inevitable destiny!
History marches behind our footsteps,
honor sings around us.

Rise, friend, see how many people
drag their chains of dented steel.
Behold the serpents slithering endlessly among them!
They’ve prohibited oppression among themselves
but for us they legalized all prohibitions!
They proclaim, “Trading with slaves is unlawful”
but isn’t the trading of free people more of a crime?
In the West man’s rights are preserved,
but the man in the East is stoned to death.
Justice screams loudly protecting Western lands
but grows silent when it visits us!
Maybe justice changes colors and shapes!
Live embers scorch our lips
so listen to our hearts speaking,
call on free men in every land
to raise the flag of justice where we stand.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

**The city of Nablus and its suburbs and nearby villages were called the Mountain of Fire, because the region was a seat of rebellion against the British Mandate and its application of Zionist policy.

Abd Al-Kareem Al-Karmi (Abu Salma)
From:  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma  Khadra Jayyusi.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.  Available from Columbia University Press.
“Here In No-Here: Open Houses, Exhibitions and Tours,” Qatamon, Jerusalem:  “We will then walk up Rachel Imenu St. to the house of Abd al-Karim al-Karmi (Abu Salame), where we will talk about poet, read some of his poems and relate his fate in 1948.”

“. . . Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

IMG_3745
The Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

❶ Israeli police execute 3 Palestinian teens
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces storm Jenin-area villages, raid Palestinian homes

Background: From Arab Studies Quarterly.    “. . . Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them . . .”

❷ UN last hurdle before Israel can rid itself of the Palestinians
❸ The Inside Story On Our UN Report Calling Israel An Apartheid State
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  POLICE  EXECUTE  3  PALESTINIAN  TEENS         
Days of Palestine   
Jun 17, 2017    Israeli police opened fire on Saturday night at three Palestinian teens at Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem, leaving them dead.
___All of the three Palestinians from the West Bank, aged 17 and 18. Sources said that two of them from Ramallah villages of Deir abu-Mashal and Shuqba in the central occupied West Bank.
___The Palestinian security sources said that the third one was a resident of the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil.     ___Israeli occupation police claimed that the Palestinians, who were killed, opened fire and stabbed Israelis, citing the death of a border policewoman in the incident.
[. . . .] Following the attack, the Israeli occupation authorities revoked more than 250,000 entry permits for Palestinians from West Bank that allow them to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and the lands occupied in 1948 (Israel).        MORE . . .          RELATED . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  STORM  JENIN-AREA  VILLAGES,  RAID  PALESTINIAN  HOMES
Ma’an News Agency 
June 17, 2017        Israeli forces raided a number of Palestinian villages in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Friday evening, declaring the areas “closed military zones,” according to locals.
___Local sources told Ma’an that sirens had sounded from Israel’s Salem military base near Jenin, before Israeli forces stormed the villages of Rummana, Zububa, and al-Taybeh in western Jenin and declared the areas “closed military zones.”
___Israeli forces ransacked several Palestinian homes and questioned residents of the village on the streets, according to locals.
[. . . .] It was unclear if the military operations were connected to a deadly attack carried out in occupied East Jerusalem Friday evening by three Palestinians from the Hebron area, as Israeli authorities implemented heightened security measures across the occupied West Bank following the incident.     MORE . . .

Abowd, Thomas. “RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
[. . . .] Israel’s Colonial Project in Palestine: Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism have been essentialist assertions of racial and cultural differences between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. Zionism has generated new meanings about Jews and Arabs and imputed notions of superiority and inferiority onto colonizer and colonized alike. As well, there have been assumptions about where and how Palestinians and Israelis should live in relation to one another—who belongs where and who is “out of place.”  . .  . . Questions of race, racism, and racist violence [have been ignored as a frame of analysis for studying Palestine/Israel].
___It might be said that the Jewish state’s ideological architecture of essential differences between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs enables nearly every one of its principle aims. Once racist notions are inculcated into (and imbibed by) a dominant population, an array of distancing policies, technologies of surveillance, methods of exclusion, and “racialised forms of monitoring … ” can be created and sustained more easily.
___Israeli settler-colonialism has relied on sustaining apartness or distance through notions of racial, cultural, and religious difference . . . .     And it is this colonial imperative that has enabled and been enabled by the notion that Palestinians are . . .  “matter out of place”: that is, non-Jewish populations who can be tolerated “over there,” provided they do not pollute the Israeli body politic.
___Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them. The process of reification, therefore, is one not easily ignored in analyzing Palestine/Israel . . .    Reification is that practice in which something that is not a thing is turned into a thing . . .  reification might be understood as the “thingification” of human beings. . . .
___The logic—and practice—of elimination seems untenable without racial notions and efforts at racialization. In their absence, colonialism does not make sense and cannot function. Without the belief that certain bodies are violable, the aims of elimination become more difficult to achieve.     SOURCE . . .

❷ UN  LAST  HURDLE   BEFORE  ISRAEL  CAN  RID  ITSELF  OF  THE  PALESTINIANS        
Mondoweiss   
Jonathan Cook
June 16, 2017         Israeli and US officials are in the process of jointly pre-empting Donald Trump’s supposed “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . .       The conspiracy – a real one – was much in evidence last week during a visit to the region by Nikki Haley, Washington’s envoy to the United Nations.
[. . . .] But worse is to come. Now the framework of international laws and institutions established after the Second World War is at risk of being dismembered.
___That danger was highlighted on Sunday, when it emerged that Netanyahu had urged Haley to dismantle another UN agency much loathed by Israel. UNRWA cares for more than five million Palestinian refugees across the region.       MORE . . .

gaza_situation_report_130_002
School boys playing football during a break at the UNRWA Khan Younis Preparatory Boys C School in southern Gaza. (UNRWA Photo 2016 by Tamer Hamam)

❸ THE  INSIDE  STORY  ON  OUR  UN  REPORT  CALLING  ISRAEL  AN  APARTHEID  STATE
The Nation
Richard Falk
March 22, 2017         Six months ago, the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) asked Virginia Tilley and me to write a study examining the applicability of the international criminal law concept of apartheid to Israel’s policies and practices toward the Palestinian people . . .  as a result of an uncontested motion adopted by its 18 Arab member governments.
___Almost within hours of its release on March 15, our report was greeted by what can only be described as hysteria. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, denounced it and demanded that the UN repudiate it. The newly elected secretary general, António Guterres, quickly and publicly called for ESCWA to withdraw the report from its website, and when Rima Khalaf, the head of the commission, resisted, Guterres insisted. Rather than comply, Khalaf resigned. Soon thereafter, the report was withdrawn from the commission’s website. . . .
___What is striking about this response, which resembles in many respects the US government response to the Goldstone Report (the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict of 2008-9), is the degree to which Israel’s supporters, in response to criticism, have sought to discredit the messenger rather than address the message.  MORE . . .

“THE  UGLIEST  OF  WORDS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
Foreigner?
The fiercest of French traits:
Etrangé?
The cruelest of German blows:
Ausländer?
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
Oivim.
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
Kuffar.
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What?
What should I do?
–From: Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.)
Available from Barnes and Noble
 About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . I am an Arab/You have stolen the orchards/of my ancestors . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

IMG_2961
Shopping in the Arab Quarter, Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ Knesset’s new bill ‘portrays racism as entirely normal’
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) The destructive potential of Israel’s nation-state bill
❷ Israel debating bill banning rights groups from defending Palestinians
❸ Background Articles

  • Israel’s Second-Class Citizens
  • Why the ‘hijacking’ of Israeli democracy is a myth

❹ ARIJ Daily Report
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ KNESSET’S  NEW  BILL  ‘PORTRAYS  RACISM  AS  ENTIRELY  NORMAL’   
Al Jazeera
Jonathan Cook
May 11, 2017
New legislation to cement the definition of Israel as a state belonging exclusively to Jews around the world is a “declaration of war” on Palestinian citizens of Israel, the minority’s leaders warned this week.
___The bill, which defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people”, passed its first vote in the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, after it received unanimous backing from a government committee on Sunday.
___Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to get the measure on to the statute books within 60 days.       MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  THE  DESTRUCTIVE  POTENTIAL  OF  ISRAEL’S  NATION-STATE  BILL  
+972 Magazine  
By Marzuq Al-Halabi
May 9, 2017       The “nation-state bill,” which was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, is no different from the day-to-day political discourse taking place in Israel these over the last years. By revoking Arabic as an official language of the state, and maintaining that “the right to realize self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” the bill enshrines the ideas, desires, ideology, and actions of Israel’s political leaders since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.       ___The proposed bill, in the “refined” version put forth by the prime minister, is in the spirit of the most extreme right-wing bills that have been proposed before the committee or in the hallways of the Knesset.         MORE. . . .
❷ ISRAEL  DEBATING  BILL BANNING  RIGHTS  GROUPS  FROM  DEFENDING  PALESTINIANS  
Middle East Monitor – MEMO       
May 13, 2017
The Israeli government is to discuss a draft law banning Israeli rights groups from defending Palestinians by petitioning the High Court, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed yesterday.
___The bill would prevent Israeli human rights groups from “petitioning the High Court of Justice on behalf of Palestinians.”
___According to Haaretz, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation is set to discuss this bill during the cabinet’s weekly meeting on Sunday.
___Haaretz also added: “The bill is aimed primarily at [Israeli] left-wing organisations such as Yesh Din, Peace Now and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which routinely petition the court on behalf of Palestinians.”
___In addition, it said: “The bill would bar Knesset members from petitioning the court to challenge cabinet decisions and laws passed by the Knesset.”      MORE . . .
❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • Ghanem, As’ad. “ISRAEL’S  SECOND-CLASS  CITIZENS.”
    Foreign Affairs, vol. 95, no. 4, Jul/Aug2016, pp. 37-42.
    [. . . .] But in many ways, the future of the Arabs in Israel hinges on developments over which they have little control. The first is how the Netanyahu government and its successors manage Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank: whereas open violence between Israel and the Palestinians tends to exacerbate anti-Arab sentiment among Israel’s Jewish majority, a solution to the conflict could set the stage for reconciliation among Arabs and Jews in Israel. The second, of course, is how the Israeli government treats its own Arab citizens. Regardless of the state’s choices, however, Arabs in Israel can still shape their own fate—but that will require settling on a unified political program.    MORE . . .
  • WHY  THE  ‘HIJACKING’  OF  ISRAELI  DEMOCRACY  IS  A  MYTH  
    +972 Magazine      
    Edo Konrad
    November 8, 2015
    Labor MK Stav Shaffir, darling of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” crowd, recently implored progressive American Jews to do what liberal Zionists have been attempting for the better half of the past decade: reclaim the “real” Zionism from the extreme right wing’s ideological bastardizations.
    ___Speaking to a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism in Florida last week, Shaffir tasked liberal American Jewry with explaining the “complexity” of Israel’s political map, namely that Benjamin Netanyahu and his proxies do not represent the views of all Israelis. “We have to explain this complexity [to Americans], and I believe it will be an ideological weapon for Israel’s defenders here,” Shaffir posited.               MORE . . .
IMG_2966
Arab shops near Herod’s Gate, Jerusalem, with IDF soldiers. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❹ ARIJ  DAILY  REPORT     
12 May 2017
Throughout the years of occupation of the Palestinian territory, Israel has engaged in excessive and disproportionate violations    MORE . . .

“IDENTITY  CARD,”  MAHMOUD  DARWISH – 1964
Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks―
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have a name―without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots―
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass
My father―
descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather―
was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house―
is like a watchman’s hut
Made of branches and cane
This is my status
Does it satisfy you?
I have a name without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
The color of hair―is black
The color of eyes―is brown
And my distinctive features:
The head-dress is hatta wi’gal
And the hand is solid like a rock
My favorite meal
Is olive oil and zatar
And my address:
A village―isolated and deserted
Where the streets have no names
And the men―work in the fields an quarries
They like socialism
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards
of my ancestors
and the land
which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks―
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!

Therefore!
Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware―beware―of my hunger
and my anger!

Mahmoud Darwish
From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.

“. . . I understand . . . you covet the dowry, but not the bride . . .” (Levi Eshkol)

bedouin-village-demolition-israel-001
Bedouin women from al-Turi family sit next to their destroyed homes in Al-Araqib village, located between Beersheba and Rahat in the Israeli Negev desert (AFP Photo)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village of al-Araqib for 105th time
. . . ❶― (a) Israeli authorities demolish graves in East Jerusalem cemetery
. . . ❶― (b) Israeli authorities demolish home in Jerusalem-area village of Beit Hanina

  • Background:   “From Colonization To Separation: Exploring The Structure Of Israel’s Occupation.” Third World Quarterly.

❷ Fear involves Jerusalem village as Israel issues demolishing orders
❸ Netanyahu’s Logic Prevails: Western Leaders Grow Deaf to Israeli Abuses
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  OF  AL-ARAQIB  FOR  105TH  TIME 
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 2, 2016
Israeli bulldozers raided and demolished the unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert for the 105th time on Wednesday morning.
___Officers from Israeli police’s Yoav unit, the section created to implement demolitions of Bedouin homes in the Negev, were heavily deployed in the area.
___Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to Ma’an that police forces were deployed in the area to carry out demolitions on a “number of buildings” in accordance with a court order.        More . . .

cemetary
Sep. 2, 2015. The Islamic-Christian Commission in support of Jerusalem and Holy Sites warned against seizure of a portion of Bab Al-Rahma cemetery by members of the so-called Israeli Nature Authority. (Photo: International Islamic News Agency)

. . . ❶― (A)  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  DEMOLISH  GRAVES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM  CEMETERY 
Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 1, 2016
Israeli Nature and Parks Authority forces demolished several graves inside a Palestinian cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, according to local sources.     ___Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, told Ma’an that forces from the Nature and Parks Authority raided the Bab al-Rahma cemetery — which runs along the eastern wall of Jerusalem’s Old City — and demolished six Palestinian graves and crumbling tombstones.     More . . .  
. . . ❶― (B)  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  DEMOLISH  HOME  IN  JERUSALEM-AREA  VILLAGE  OF  BEIT  HANINA
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 2, 2016
Israeli bulldozers demolished a residence in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Wednesday morning, despite the owners saying that the demolition order had been postponed.
___Thalji Suleiman, the owner of the building said that an Israeli court had postponed the demolition order by two months on Tuesday, and that his family was attempting to obtain building licences from the Israeli municipality but were taken by surprise by the demolition.
___He added that his family tried to show the municipality crew the postponing order to get them to call off the demolition, to no avail.       More . . .   

  • Gordon, Neve. “From Colonization To Separation: Exploring The Structure Of Israel’s Occupation.” Third World Quarterly 29.1 (2008): 25-44.   Full article.   

[. . . .] By the colonisation principle I mean a form of government whereby the coloniser attempts to manage the lives of the colonised inhabitants while exploiting the captured territory’s resources. Colonial powers do not conquer for the sake of imposing administrative rule on the indigenous population, but they end up managing the conquered inhabitants in order to facilitate the extraction of resources. After the 1967 war Israel assumed responsibility for the occupied residents, undertaking the administration of the major civil institutions through which modern societies are managed: education, health-care, welfare and the financial and legal systems. Simultaneously it began expropriating Palestinian land and water, the most important natural resources in the region. Two weeks after the war East Jerusalem, alongside 28 villages was annexed, and about three months later, in September 1967, the first Jewish settlement was built in the West Bank. . . .
___The colonisation principle thus incorporates some type of separation principle, which one might call the first separation principle. Levi Eshkol, Israel’s prime minister in 1967, clearly articulated this separation principle during a Labor Party meeting that took place three months after the war and in which he discussed the consequences of Israel’s military victory. He turned to Golda Meir, who was then the party’s general secretary, and said: ‘I understand . . . you covet the dowry, but not the bride’. The dowry was the land that Israel occupied in June 1967, and the bride was the Palestinian population.  Despite Israel’s aversion towards the bride, it considered the Palestinian body to be an extremely important object of management and control, and during the first two decades of occupation it attempted to rule the population in primarily non-violent ways.
[. . . .]
At a certain point during the first Intifada, Israel realised that the colonisation principle could no longer be used as the basic logic informing its control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and began looking for a new principle that would allow it to uphold the occupation. The desire to normalise the occupation and successfully annihilate the Palestinian national subject through a series of disciplinary technologies that were supported when need be by the sword proved to be unrealistic. It took a few years before a clear policy was shaped, but eventually the second separation principle was adopted. As opposed to the colonisation principle, which was rarely discussed, the separation principle has been talked about incessantly. The paradigmatic sentence describing this principle is ‘We are here, they are there’. The ‘we’ refers to Israelis, and the ‘they’ to Palestinians.
___If the first principle reflects the logic of the occupation, the second one ostensibly offers a solution to the occupation. The key word here is ostensibly. If truth be told, the second principle does not aim to solve the occupation, but rather to alter its logic. In other words, ‘We are here, they are there’ does not signify a withdrawal of Israeli power from the Occupied Territories (even though that is how it is understood among the Israeli public), but is used to blur the fact that Israel has been reorganising its power in the territories in order to continue its control over their resources. Thus the Oslo Accords, which were the direct result of the first intifada as well as of the changing political and economic circumstances in the international realm, signified the reorganization of power rather than its withdrawal, and should be understood as the continuation of the occupation by other means. As one commentator observed early on, Oslo was a form of ‘occupation by remote control’. [. . . .]

FEAR  INVOLVES  JERUSALEM  VILLAGE  AS  ISRAEL  ISSUES  DEMOLISHING  ORDERS    
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Nov. 2, 2016
A state of fear involved the occupied Jerusalem village of Wallaga after the Israeli occupation authorities issued destruction notice against 20 Palestinian houses in the village.
___The concerns of Palestinians over the Israeli demolishing process in the village raised as the Israeli magistrate court in Jerusalem reviewed the petitions against the orders of demolishing seven Palestinian houses in the village.
___The court stated that it could not prevent the demolishing process because these houses are built without licenses. About 80 people live in these houses.      More . . .

NETANYAHU’S  LOGIC  PREVAILS:  WESTERN  LEADERS  GROW  DEAF  TO  ISRAELI  ABUSES   
Palestine Chronicle  
Jonathan Cook
Nov. 2 2016
[. . . .]   Israel’s treatment of this supremely important Islamic holy site [Al-Aqsa Mosque] symbolizes for Palestinians their powerlessness, oppression and routine humiliation. Conversely, a sense of impunity has left Israel greedy for even more control over Palestinians . . .  European governments – fearful of upsetting Israel’s patron in Washington – have been trying to hold in check popular anger at a belligerent and unrepentant Israel.
___Illustrating that caution, UNESCO was forced last week to vote a second time on its resolution, this time removing the word “occupation” and, against normal practice, giving equal status to the occupier’s names for the sites under threat from its occupation.
[. . . .] Israel and its enablers have successfully engineered a hollowing out of official discourse about Israel to blunt even the mildest criticism.
___Gradually, as the UNESCO vote . . .  highlight[s], western powers are accepting Netanyahu’s doubly illogical premises: that criticizing the occupation is anti-Israel, and criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic.
___Incrementally, Western leaders are conceding that any criticism of Netanyahu’s policies – even as he tries to ensure the occupation becomes permanent – is off-limits.     More . . .   

 

“. . . nations are modern constructs . . . and not the expression of organic entities . . .” (Peige Desjarlais)

Workers of Israel Antiquities Authority at excavation site of ancient house in Nazareth, Dec. 21, 2009. (Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)
Workers of Israel Antiquities Authority at excavation site of ancient house in Nazareth, Dec. 21, 2009. (Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)

❶ Knesset Member: Comparing Palestinian Citizens of Israel With Illegal Israeli Settlers Is Immoral, Irrational and Ahistorical
❷ Turning settlers into victims
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Annexing archaeology: Will UNESCO take on Israel?

  • Background: “Excavating Zion: Archaeology And Nation-Making In Palestine/Israel.” Totem: The University Of Western Ontario Anthropology Journal

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  KNESSET  MEMBER:  COMPARING  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  WITH  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  IS  IMMORAL,  IRRATIONAL  AND  AHISTORICAL      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Sept. 11, 2016
Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comparison of Palestinian citizens of Israel with its illegal settlers in Occupied Palestine is not only immoral, but a total departure from rationality, history and Israel’s obligations under international law, said an opinion piece published by the Israeli daily, Haartez.
___“He [Netanyahu] should realize that no matter Israel’s institutionalized system of discrimination, this is our homeland and we are here to stay.”
___The Knesset member stressed that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not foreign immigrants that came to Israel and applied for visas or citizenship, rather Israel went to them. They are the indigenous population of the country.”
___“They lived there way long before the Zionist movement was created. They are those who later survived the Nakba of 1948, where 85% o f the Palestinians living in what is now Israel were ethnically cleansed only because they were not Jews. Yes, they can tell Mr. Netanyahu about the meaning of ethnic cleansing on this land.”     MORE . . .    

❷ TURNING  SETTLERS  INTO  VICTIMS      
+972 Blog     
Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon
Sept. 12, 2016
Just a few weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he cares about the rights and lives of Palestinians in Gaza more than the Palestinian leadership does, he posted a new video message on his Facebook wall, arguing that any future dismantlement of Jewish settlements in the West Bank would amount to “ethnic cleansing.” He went on to intimate that [  ]  the U.S. and other western countries support the uprooting of Israeli settlements as part of an agreement with the Palestinians, they were, in effect, supporting the cleansing of Jews.
___“Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without Blacks,” he rhetorically asked, thus drawing a direct link between the settlers in the colonized Palestinian territories and racially discriminated citizens in the United States.
___Netanyahu’s description of any potential evacuation of the West Bank colonies reflects the ethics of settler colonialism in which any attempt to dislocate the settlers is now equated with injustice. [He is] Unwilling to acknowledge that Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948 and 1967, and that they continue to live under the constant threat of displacement as a direct result of his own government’s policies.      MORE . . . 
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ANNEXING ARCHAEOLOGY: WILL UNESCO TAKE ON ISRAEL?
Al-Jazeera via Jonathan Cook Blog
19 May 2016
Israel is stepping up its efforts to seize control of Palestinian heritage sites and antiquities in the occupied territories in violation of international law, Palestinian and Israeli archaeologists warned this week.
___The experts echoed criticisms levelled against Israel in a recent resolution passed by the United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, that accused Israel of interfering with major holy sites in occupied areas.
[. . . .]    Archaeologists, however, said the UNESCO resolution underestimated the scope of the problem facing Palestinian heritage sites. The Palestinian tourism and antiquities ministry is preparing to announce a list of 14 major sites in the occupied territories that are in urgent need of protection from Israeli activities.     MORE . . .  

  • Desjarlais, Peige. “Excavating Zion: Archaeology And Nation-Making In Palestine/Israel.” Totem: The University Of Western Ontario Anthropology Journal 21.1 (2013): 1-14.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .]    Indeed, the borders of Israel are made most obviously and violently through wars (in 1948 and 1967), conquest, and colonial settlement. However, nationmaking projects also come into being through a variety of social, cultural, and institutional practices, like archaeology, which not only help to maintain the “imagined community” of the nation, but also participate in the production of the national landscape . . .  it is within these practices of Jewish nationmaking that Israeli archaeology should be properly situated [. . . .]   
___Challenging conceptions of the nation as natural or primordial, scholars of nationalism . . . emphasize that nations are modern constructs, historical phenomenon, and not the expression of organic entities. Nations must be produced, brought into being, and then constantly reproduced through symbolic acts of nationhood. . . . [T]he rise of print colonialism made possible . . . a sense of belonging to an “imagined community.” [. . . .] Nations are also made through engagement with ideas, theories and knowledge produced outside the national boundaries. . . .
[. . . .]  
___The roots of modern Israel lie not in the Middle East but in Europe. Zionism, a political movement aimed at the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, was born and developed in Europe in the late 19th century, and was supported by Europe’s leading imperial power at the time: Britain. . . . [which promised] a Jewish state where, at that time, a mostly Muslim and Christian Arab population coexisted with a small Jewish minority.
___As evident in the historical record and numerous UN documents the Israeli national territory was established through military force and settler colonialism . . . [and] through an ongoing process of land expropriation and displacement . . . .  and through the idea and practice of “transfer” of the native population – all common tropes of European colonial discourse and practice.
[. . . .]  
___It is through these early archaeological excavations (and nationalist rituals like climbing the Masada), that material culture was reconfigured into objects of national significance and landscapes emerged as “historical locales” through which particular historical narratives of Palestine as the “land of Israel” were made visible. Thus archaeology was one of the means through which the nation began to emerge in concrete form, saturating the Palestinian landscape with symbols of Jewish-ness. . .  the sites together mapped the Jewish homeland onto the landscape as a whole, creating a “spatial biography” of Jewish past and future presence.

Israeli tourists, guarded by soldiers, visit the Roman site of Sebastiya, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Jonathan Cook)
Israeli tourists, guarded by soldiers, visit the Roman site of Sebastiya, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Jonathan Cook)

“. . . suddenly to become an opening to nothingness . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

Artists of Yes Theatre (Hebron) in performance. (Photo: International Solidarity Movement. April 3, 2016)
Artists of Yes Theatre (Hebron) in performance. (Photo: International Solidarity Movement. April 3, 2016)

❶ Israel Punitively Demolishes Family Homes of Killed Palestinian Attackers
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Israel Demolishes Store near Hebron
. . . . . ❶―(ᴃ) Israel Demolishes Five Homes in West Bank, Jerusalem
❷ Israel blocks construction of 50 schools in besieged Gaza
❸ Palestinian on the run from Israeli soldiers for a week — is 12 years old
❹ Yes Theatre: Resisting occupation through theatre and socially engaged art practice
❺ Opinion/Analysis: EXECUTION  OF  PALESTINIAN  EXPOSES  ISRAEL’S  MILITARY  CULTURE
POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  PUNITIVELY  DEMOLISHES  FAMILY  HOMES  OF  KILLED  PALESTINIAN  ATTACKERS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 4, 2016
Israeli occupation forces Monday punitively demolished the family homes of three killed Palestinians, whom Israel accused of carrying out a fatal attack against an Israeli soldier, in Jenin’s Qabatiya town.      MORE . . .  
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ)  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  STORE  NEAR  HEBRON
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 4, 2016
Israeli forces on Monday demolished a Palestinian-owned store in the town of Beit Ummar, to the north of Hebron, according to local sources.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―(ᴃ)  ISRAEL DEMOLISHES FIVE HOMES IN WEST BANK, JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 4, 2016
Israeli authorities Monday demolished five Palestinian-owned homes in the West Bank district of Nablus and Hebron, as well as in East Jerusalem, according to local sources.      MORE . . .

ISRAEL  BLOCKS  CONSTRUCTION  OF  50  SCHOOLS  IN  BESIEGED  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
April 4, 2016
The construction of over 50 schools in Gaza has been blocked due to the tough Israeli siege, Assistant Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Education, Anwar al-Bar’awi said Sunday. Al-Bar’awi raised alarm bells over the need to construct more schools in the blockaded Gaza Strip due to overcrowding.
___He said serious efforts have been underway to maximize pupils’ academic output, improve assessment strategies, and develop pedagogical policies.     MORE . . .

Ramzi Abu Ajamia has been on the run from Israeli soldiers for the past seven nights (Photo: Middle East Eye/Abed al Qaisi)
Ramzi Abu Ajamia has been on the run from Israeli soldiers for the past seven nights (Photo: Middle East Eye/Abed al Qaisi)

PALESTINIAN  ON  THE  RUN  FROM  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  FOR  A  WEEK  — IS  12  YEARS  OLD
Mondoweiss
April 2, 2016
Sheren Khalel & Abed al-Qaisi
The father of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy on the run for a week from Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank has told Middle East Eye that he fears his son will be killed if caught. Ramzi Abu Ajamia has been in hiding for the past seven nights, the boy’s father, Nasir Abu Ajamia said from their family home in Bethlehem’s Dheisha refugee camp. Israeli forces first showed up at the family’s home on 24 March, raiding the house and detaining Ramzi’s older brother. Ramzi said he had no idea why Israel was seeking to detain him. He says he attended protests against Israeli occupation, where rocks were thrown.    MORE . . .

YES  THEATRE:  RESISTING  OCCUPATION  THROUGH  THEATRE  AND  SOCIALLY  ENGAGED  ART  PRACTICE
International Solidarity Movement
Al-Khalil Team
April 3, 2016
The Yes Theatre in Al-Khalil works with dedication, for a brighter future for the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank through a diverse set of cultural activities. Roughly eight new productions every year reach an audience of over thirty thousand Palestinians . . . . Additionally, the Yes Theatre continually searches for new ways to share and develop its decade-long artistic practice, by engaging in dialogue with its local community, sharing their stories, hosting workshops, providing youth education, and internships with a job-guarantee. Their projects include Yes 4 Future, Yes 4 Kids, workshops that support women speaking in front of an audience, along with several plays that include female actors – something which is not a standard feature in Palestinian theatre.       MORE . . .

Opinion/Analysis:  EXECUTION  OF  PALESTINIAN  EXPOSES  ISRAEL’S  MILITARY  CULTURE
Palestine Chronicle
Jonathan Cook
April 3, 2016
It might have been a moment that jolted Israelis to their senses. Instead the video of an Israeli soldier shooting dead a young Palestinian man as he lay wounded and barely able to move has only intensified the tribal war dance of the Israeli public.
___Last week, as the soldier was brought before a military court for investigation, hundreds of supporters protested outside. He enjoys vocal support too from half a dozen cabinet ministers, former army generals, rabbis and – according to opinion polls – a significant majority of the Israeli Jewish public.
___It is worth reflecting on this generous act of solidarity.      MORE . . .

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

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

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.
Available from Palestine Online Store.
About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
BDS FINAL LOGO_v5WEB_URL_side

 

“. . . the splendor of life is being born within the walls of my prison . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

david m. gordis
David M. Gordis, as president of Hebrew College, has overseen major changes in his 15 years leading the Newton school near Boston, MA. (Boston Globe Staff Photo / Suzanne Kreiter)

❶ ‘In every important way Israel has failed’– leading American Zionist says No mas
❷ Palestinian families in Silwan receive evacuation notices
❸ Report reveals ‘systematic’ torture in Israeli prison
❹ Having a settler for neighbor in Hebron
❺ Analysis-Opinion: ISRAEL’S ETHNIC CLEANSING OF ITS PARLIAMENT
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
“““““““““`
MONDOWEISS
‘IN  EVERY  IMPORTANT  WAY  ISRAEL  HAS  FAILED’–  LEADING  AMERICAN  ZIONIST  SAYS:  NO  MAS
Philip Weiss
Feb. 24, 2016
Israel is “a failure,” the Zionist dream has curdled into Jewish selfishness, a major Jewish leader writes in an important article published yesterday. “After a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in every important way Israel has failed to realize its promise for me,” David Gordis states.
___Gordis is a former executive at the American Jewish Committee, a central organization of the Israel lobby, and former president of the Hebrew College and a former vice president of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He published his article yesterday at Tikkun under the title, “Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind about Israel.”   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  IN  SILWAN  RECEIVE  EVACUATION  NOTICES
Feb. 24, 2016 7:45 P.M.
A Palestinian family in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Tuesday received a court notice for eviction following efforts by right-wing group Ateret Cohanim to take over their land, according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
___The Silwan-based center said in a statement that Ateret Cohanim brought to court their claim over land belonging to the Awad Abdul-Fattah al-Rajabi and Abdul-Fattah Jaber al-Rajabi families.
___Ateret Cohanim — an organization that aims to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem at the expense of Palestinian communities — claims the land was owned by three Yemenite Jews prior to 1948.     More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
REPORT  REVEALS  ‘SYSTEMATIC’  TORTURE  IN  ISRAELI  PRISON
Feb. 24, 2016
A joint investigation launched by Israeli rights groups into practices in Israel’s Shikma prison has revealed — once again — that “systemic” violations are taking place against Palestinian detainees.
___Representatives of B’Tselem and HaMoked reported in a press hearing Tuesday routine abuse and torture of Palestinian prisoners in Shikma’s interrogation center in the southern city of Ashkelon.
___Affidavits and witness accounts documented by the Israeli rights groups showed that nearly all of 119 Palestinians interrogated at the facility experienced either physical violence, sleep deprivation, threats, or solitary confinement, with a number of detainees subjected to a combination of degrading treatments.     More . . .

1-hebron
Synagogue tent built on the Jabari’s land between Givat Ha’avot and Kiryat Arba settlements (Photo: EAPPI/Sabrina Tucci)

MONDOWEISS
HAVING  A  SETTLER  FOR  NEIGHBOR  IN  HEBRON
Sabrina Tucci
Feb. 23, 2016
The Jabari family lives in the Hebron neighborhood of Wadi Al Hussein, between the illegal Israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and the Giva Ha’avot. Since 2001, the family has been fighting a legal battle to regain control of their land after settlers illegally built a “Synagogue Tent” on it. “Problems started very early but increased after the second intifada. Settlers tried to convince my father to sell the house. My father said no, they threatened him. They said this is Israeli land, not Palestinian. But this is my father’s land, for many generations”, Ayat, one of the Jabari daughters says.
___On four occasions since 2008, Israeli courts have ordered the tent to be removed, but after each time the settlers have rebuilt it. The family’s case is still going through the court system.     More . . .
Analysis-Opinion
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
ISRAEL’S  ETHNIC  CLEANSING  OF  ITS  PARLIAMENT
Jonathan Cook
Feb 24 2016
Benjamin Netanyhu’s government is drafting legislation that ought to resolve in observers’ minds the question of whether Israel is the democracy it proudly claims to be. The bill empowers a three-quarters majority of the parliament to oust a sitting MP.
___It breathes new life into the phrase “tyranny of the majority”. But in this case, the majority will be Jewish MPs oppressing their Palestinian colleagues.
___Netanyahu has presented the bill as a necessary response to the recent actions of three MPs from the Balad faction of the Joint List, a coalition of parties representing the often-overlooked fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian citizens.     More . . .

“LETTER  FROM  A  PRISON  CAMP,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Mother, it grieves me,
That because of me, throughout your night of agony,
You shed silent tears, anxiously awaiting the return
Of my beloved brothers from their chores;
That you are not able to eat
While my seat remains empty, and there is no talk or laughter.
How it pains me, Mother,
That tears rush to your eyes
When friends drop by to ask about me.
But I believe, Mother,
That the splendor of life
Is being born within the walls of my prison,
And I believe that the last of my visitors
Will not be an eyeless bat, coming to me by night.
Surely, the light of day will dawn,
And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled.
He will fall to the ground . . . broken,
Shattered, burnt by daylight.

―Translated by A. M. Elmesseri

Samīh al-Qāsim (1939-2014) was a Palestinian Druze whose Arabic poetry is well known throughout the Arab World. His poetry is influenced by two primary periods of his life: Before and after the Six-Day War. He joined the Communist Hadash political party in 1967. Al- Qāsim has published several volumes and collections of poetry.
More. . .
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.

“. . build for scoundrels a life of justice and scented plentitude . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad, 1970)

hebron blockade
Blockade of an entrance to Hebron erected a few days before this photo was taken (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

❶ Officials: Israel to confiscate 244 dunams of land in northern Hebron
❷ 2 Palestinian teenagers killed in Hebron after stabbing attack
❸ PA, Israel in dispute over Dawabsha family medical bills
❹ The farce of catching Jewish terrorists
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israel  Ratchets  up  Its  Violence  against  a  New  Generation  of  Palestinians.  A  New  Intifada?
❻ Poetry by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
OFFICIALS:  ISRAEL  TO  CONFISCATE  244  DUNAMS  OF  LAND  IN  NORTHERN  HEBRON
Dec. 3, 2015
HEBRON ― Israeli authorities have ruled to confiscate 244 dunams of land from the villages of Surif and al-Jabaa in the northern Hebron district, local officials told Ma’an Thursday.
___The mayor of Surif, Muhammad Lati Ghneimat, said that the land is located in the al-Ghazal, Khillet Abu Ghneim, Deir Moussa, and Thahr al-Mansara areas in al-Jabaa village.
___“There are hundreds of olive trees planted in these lands that are very old belonging to the Ghneimat, al-Hur, Hmeidat and other families,” the mayor said.  More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2  PALESTINIAN  TEENAGERS  KILLED  IN  HEBRON  AFTER  STABBING  ATTACK
Dec. 4, 2015
HEBRON ― Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers in Hebron overnight Friday after an alleged stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier, Israel’s army and locals said.
___”Overnight two assailants stabbed an IDF soldier in Hebron. In response to the threat, forces fired at the attackers, resulting in their death. A soldier was moderately wounded,” an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.
___Palestinian sources identified the victims to Ma’an as cousins Taher Faysal Fannoun, 19, a student at Hebron University, and Faysal Abd al-Minem Fannoun, 15.
___Witnesses in the Tel Rumeida area where the incident took place reported seeing two bodies on the ground after hearing gunshots after midnight.  More . . .

hebron guard tower
Barricade in Hebron with guard tower overlooking street commandeered by Jewish Settlers (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PA,  ISRAEL  IN  DISPUTE  OVER  DAWABSHA  FAMILY  MEDICAL  BILLS
Dec. 4, 2015
RAMALLAH ― The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health on Thursday said it had been asked to pay the medical bills to treat members of the Dawabsha family after a deadly attack on their home by settlers in July, a claim denied by a senior Israeli official.
¬¬___The ministry issued a statement claiming that the Sheba Medical Center had demanded that the Palestinian ministry cover the medical bills of four-year-old Ahmad Dawabsha, the only surviving member of a deadly arson attack which killed his 18-month-old baby brother and parents Saad and Riham.
___On Oct. 25, the PA ministry received a bill from the medical center for 259,643 shekels ($67,000) to cover treatment of the Dawabsha family.  More . . .
Related . . . DAWABSHA  FAMILY:  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT  GAVE  SETTLERS  A  ‘LICENCE  TO  KILL’
+ 972 MAGAZINE
THE  FARCE  OF  CATCHING  JEWISH  TERRORISTS
Edo Konrad
Dec. 3, 2015
After months of seemingly never-ending promises by Israel’s defense establishment, a number of Israeli youths have been arrested in connection with the arson attack in the West Bank village Duma last summer, which killed three members of the Dawabsha family. . . . Their identity still remains under gag order.
Gag orders are commonly used in cases of Jewish terrorism, a courtesy hardly extended to Palestinian subjects of military rule. In fact, at any given moment there are hundreds of Palestinians, including minors, who Israel holds without trial.
[. . . . ]
The Duma arrests come just months after Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon first claimed he knew who was responsible for the attack, yet abstained from putting anyone on trial so as not to expose the defense establishment’s source’s in court.  More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
ISRAEL  RATCHETS  UP  ITS  VIOLENCE  AGAINST  A  NEW  GENERATION  OF  PALESTINIANS.  A  NEW  INTIFADA?
Jonathan Cook (first of four commentaries)
December, 2015
Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s defense minister, gave an interview to Israeli army radio on Oct. 15. . . The man who 13 years earlier, during the height of the second intifada, had called for his troops to “burn into [the Palestinians’] consciousness” their defeat, now spoke of the challenges Israel faced in “managing” the conflict.
___“We have to know how to deal with this and not get scared, and understand that there’s a long struggle there and mainly act in our own interests,” he said. Israelis had to concentrate on living a “normal life” while “around us there’s a culture of death.”
___The change of emphasis more than a decade later almost certainly reflected the views of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu too. . More . . .

“THE  PAGAN  FIRE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD  (1929 – 1994)

Slowly,
I draw the thin thread of light
From the night’s entangled darkness,
Water the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of my beloved
With kerchiefs of Arabian Jasmine.

Slowly,
I plant the scarce oases
In the burning sands,
And build for scoundrels
A life of justice and scented plentitude.
If, one day, I trip on the road,
My roots will guide me back.

Slowly,
For I am not like matches
That flicker once and die forever
But like a pagan fire,
I burn from the cradle to the grave,
And from my ancestors to my descendants.
My breath is as wide as the horizon;
I will master the craft of ants.

Slowly,
For we dictate
The course of history.
We have seen the end
Of many a tyrant;
Each gets what he deserves.
We lengthen their ropes,
Not to lengthen their lives, but to hang them.
―Translated by Dr. Mahmud Hassan of Alexandria University

From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
Tawfiq Zayyad (7 May 1929 – 5 July 1994) was a Palestinian politician well known for his “poetry of protest”. Born in the Galilee, Zayyad studied literature in USSR. After returning home, he was elected mayor of Nazareth on 9 December 1973. . . More . . . 

hebron fortress
Fortress of the Israeli military protecting illegal Jewish settlements in Hebron (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)