“. . . Remember us now/ In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

THREE FIGURES (oil on canvas), 1946. Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.


A 16-year-old Palestinian succumbed to his wounds on Saturday night that he had sustained during “The Great March of Return” protests in Khan Younis in the southern besieged Gaza Strip over a month ago.    [. . . .]  Suhaib was shot and injured by Israeli forces during protests on August 3rd east of Khan Younis.   ___Meanwhile, mass protests continued on Saturday in various places in the Gaza Strip.   More . . .

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, expressed his concern on Sunday at the intention of Israeli authorities to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem.     ___Mladenov said in a statement “I am concerned at the intention of the Israeli authorities to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar . . .  [. . . .] Mladenov concluded “Such actions are contrary to international law . . .”    More . . .


Yakov Hirsch
[Report of Senator Booker’s breaking the taboo] . . . because of the taboo associated with the Palestinians’ side of their conflict with Israel—the taboo associated with BDS.   ___This taboo is reflective of Israeli and Diaspora discourse right now. It dismisses attempts to portray Palestinians—or people critical of the Israeli government—as making decisions about what to support based on rational criteria. Instead, people are reduced to ideas, to symbols of ancient Jew hatred. “BDS is a modern version of an irrational hatred of the Jewish people,” says Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL.    More . . .

The fierce campaign to cajole, bully and shame the UK Labour Party into adopting a controversial definition of anti-Semitism produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) . . .  has been waged all summer long by pro-Israel lobby groups inside and outside the party. . .   [. . . .] One of the most insidious tactics employed by Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) and the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) – the two organized vocal Zionist campaign groups inside the Labour Party – has been to claim it is an innocuous and uncontroversial document.  [. . . .] This lie has been repeated time and again.   More . . .


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POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, “Self Portrait.” Oil on canvas, 1946

Spring after spring,
in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

–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.
(“Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s Baghdad Home Destroyed; The End of an Era?”)

“. . . we will continue our prayers and conjure new seasons for our lives . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ PRCS: 1,090 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces over course of 10 days

Background: “Al-Aqsa Mosque: Do Not Intrude!” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israeli forces level lands near southern Gaza border
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli navy opens gunfire at fishermen off Gaza
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency  
July 24, 2017.   The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) released a statement Monday detailing the casualties of the past 10 days, ever since Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem launched a civil disobedience campaign in the city in protest of increased Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured over the past week during violent clashes and demonstrations against new Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___On Monday evening, a Palestinian was shot in the head during clashes in the Jerusalem-area town of Hizma, with the Palestinian Ministry of Health reporting him to be in critical condition.     MORE . . .

Abu Sway, Mustafa. “AL-AQSA  MOSQUE:  DO  NOT  INTRUDE!”  Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 20/21, no. 4/1, Dec. 2015, pp. 108-113.
“Verily, ‘Al-Aqsa’ Is a name for the whole mosque which is surrounded by the wall, the length and width of which are mentioned here, for the building that exists in the southern part of the Mosque, and the other ones such as the Dome of the Rock and the corridors and other [buildings] are novel (muhdatha).”  (Mujir Al-Din Al-Hanbali, Al-Uns Al-Jalil fo Tarikh Al-Quds wal-Khalil, vol.2, p.24.)
More than 500 years ago, when Mujir Al-Din Al-Hanbali offered the above definition of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the year 900 AH/1495, there were no conflicts, no occupation and no contesting narratives surrounding the site. Not only do the Israeli occupation authorities prevent freedom of movement and freedom of worship, they interfere in defining Al-Aqsa Mosque by restricting the meaning of Al-Aqsa Mosque to the southernmost building, Qibli Mosque, father than all 144 dunums or 36 acres. The Israeli occupation authorities consider the open yards within Al-Aqsa Mosque as belonging to public parks, with no jurisdiction for the Waqf. In doing so, the Israeli occupation authorities justify their own role in permitting and protecting extremist Israelis’ and others’ entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound against the will of the Waqf administration.
[. . . .]  It should be known that all policies, actions and “facts on the ground” created by the Israeli occupation are null apd void; they are in violation of international and humanitarian laws. Only Muslims have the right to define their own religious space and what to do with it, for they have exclusive rights to it.
[. . . .]  Places of worship are meant to be exclusive. Those in authority should never be blinded by their own powers to the degree they infringe on the religious space of the other. When invited by Patriarch Sophronius to pray at the Holy Sepulchre Church, Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab declined politely, citing his fear that future Muslim generations might claim this as a right.  This is true leadership. This should be the prevailing ethos between those in power and the religious space of the other. It might help the powerful to show some humility if they could learn from history, and the history of Jerusalem in particular, that power could shift.     COMPLETE ARTICLE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency
July 25, 2017.   Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers crossed the border into the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, where they leveled lands in the “buffer zone” of southern Gaza.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that six bulldozers under heavy military protection leveled lands in the outskirts of al-Qarara, north of the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
___According to the witnesses, Israeli drones hovered over the area during the incursion. No gunfire was reported. . . .
___An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.
___Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone,” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.   MORE . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  GUNFIRE  AT  FISHERMEN  OFF  GAZA   Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
July 25, 2017.   Israeli fishermen early Tuesday morning opened machine gunfire at Palestinian fishermen while sailing offshore Gaza city, causing damage to one of their boats.
___WAFA correspondent said Israeli naval boats attacked the fishermen with gunfire while the latter were sailing at less than four miles from the shore, causing damage to one of their boats.    MORE . . .

Farah, we will begin our prayers
amid this bloody sorrow
and among the lonely pine.
What makes the mountains this morning much kinder,
the sun more glamorous,
the wind a song that celebrates the heights?
What makes our beloved jasmine
more pure than we imagined
and more disobedient than we had thought?
What makes these mountains
and these trees that we allowed to be taller than us
much shorter than us now?
Farah, we will continue our prayers
and conjure new seasons for our lives,
new rivers to flow in our veins
and a new place for the world’s singing.
We will continues our prayers
and when love is total,
when our fingers shyly and tenderly come together
like beads of the fig’s milk,
we will climb the mountain to bless all creatures
and together whisper: Amen . . . amen.

About Ibrahim Nasrallah
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.

“. . . Let the oppressor review his account Before the turn of the wheel . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Dar al-Aytam al-Islamiyya dates back to the Circassian Mamluk and Ottoman periods, and includes an Islamic orphanage and  secondary school. (Photo: Archnet)

❶ Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in Beit Ummar, Hebron for alleged rock-throwing

  • Background: “International Law And The Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces raid Palestinian orphanage for 5th time
❸ Israeli Soldiers Open Fire On Farmers In Southern Gaza, Navy Attacks Fishers In Northern Gaza
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 20, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday evening shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian near the Beit Ummar junction in the northern part of the village of Beit Ummar in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron. Israeli authorities have claimed an Israeli soldier shot the teenager dead in response to a rock-throwing incident.
___Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that he saw the body of a young Palestinian on the ground near the entrance of Beit Ummar. The young Palestinian, later identified as Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr, 15, was reportedly shot by Israeli forces in the back, with the bullet exiting through his chest.     More . . .       

  • Weiss, Peter. “International Law And The Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 96-101.   Source.

There is virtually unanimous international agreement that Israel’s presence in the West Bank constitutes an occupation within the meaning of Section III of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilian persons in times of war. . .
* The settlements are illegal because, under Article 49, “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”;
* Under Article 3, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” are prohibited, as well as violence to life and person, in particular murder and torture”
[. . . .]
As with international law generally, the law of war [is] based on moral principles rather than formal treaty. . . .
* Article 1: “A place, district, or country occupied by an enemy stands, in consequence of the occupation, under the Martial Law of the invading or occupying army. . . .”
* Article 4: “Martial Law is simply military authority exercised in accordance with the laws and usages of war. Military oppression is not Martial Law . . . it is incumbent upon those who administer it to be strictly guided by the principles of justice, honor, and humanity
[. . . .]
All Palestinians living in the West Bank are protected persons under the law of occupation. They do not lose that status by killing settlers or committing other war crimes; they only become protected persons who remain entitled to due process and humanitarian treatment.
[. . . .]
The difference between a war crime and a crime against humanity is that the former can be committed as an isolated act constituting a serious violation of the law of war, while the latter requires that it be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against the civilian population. . . . . The most recent definition of both types of crimes is found in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which entered into force in 2002.
[. . . .]
Article 7 lists the following as crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment in violation of international law, torture and other sexual crimes, persecution, enforced disappearance, apartheid, other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
___The situation is paradoxical: Israel, not being a party to the ICC, may not, as a matter of international law, be bound by certain crimes enumerated in the Rome Statute, such as rape, while Palestinians are. Many of these would, of course, be crimes under domestic or military law or under customary humanitarian law. However, it is troubling that, when Israeli officials speak about these non-treaty obligations, they do so in terms of Jewish values or IDF values, rather than universal values, as if the universal values . . .  do not necessarily apply to Israel.

Days of Palestine
Oct 20, 2016
Israeli forces kidnapped teen orphan following fifth raid on  Palestinian orphanage   in Old City of occupied Jerusalem.
___Seventeen-year-old orphan Mp’az Khalil was kidnapped after the orphanage was raided for the fifth time in ten days. He had been interrogated after being accused of throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces.
___The orphanage’s administrative board evacuated it before the end of the day to prevent any clashes with the Israeli occupation forces, sources said.
___On Monday, the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped the Director of the Palestinian Ministry of Education Samir Jibril.   More . . .    

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 21, 2016
Israeli soldiers opened fire, on Friday morning, targeting Palestinian farmers in their own lands, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships opened fire on fishers in northern Gaza.
___Eyewitnesses said the soldiers, stationed on military towers across the border fence, fired many live rounds into Palestinian agricultural lands, forcing the farmers out in fear of additional army fire.
___They added that the attack was carried out while military vehicles were seen heavily driving across the border fence, while many army sharpshooters were deployed across the border fence.   More. . .


It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.

Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

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.
About Tawfiq Zayyad 

“. . . When former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the occupation corrupts, most of us understood . . .” (Yael Patir)

❶ Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinian in Jenin-area clashes
❷ Israeli forces shoot towards Palestinian crew trying to repair Gaza electricity lines
❸ Israeli Navy Opens Fire On Fishing Boats In Gaza Waters
. . . ❸― (a) Israeli Soldiers Open Fire On A Number Of Homes, Lands And Workers, In Southern Gaza

  • Background:  “Who Is Afraid Of Peace?” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 17, 2016
Israeli forces reportedly shot and injured two young Palestinians in the village of Qabatiya in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Sunday, after an Israeli army raid into the town provoked clashes between locals and Israeli soldiers.
___State-run Palestinians news agency Wafa reported that 18-year-old Ahmad Hamamdeh and 21-year-old Amjad Kemail were shot by Israeli forces, and that Kemail, despite his injuries, was then detained and taken into custody.
___The clashes occurred after Israeli forces reportedly raided and searched a number of commercial shops in Qabatiya, breaking down their front doors, according to Wafa.     More . . .     
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 17, 2016      Israeli forces fired gunshots at Gaza electricity company technicians on Monday morning in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses told Ma’an.
___According to eyewitnesses, the technicians were doing maintenance work on electricity lines in the eastern suburbs of the town of Khuzaa, east of Khan Yunis, when Israeli troops fired at them. No injuries were reported.     More . . .   
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 17, 2016       Israeli Navy ships opened fire, on Monday morning, targeting a number of fishing boats in Palestinian territorial waters, in the northern part of improvised Gaza Strip.
___Eyewitnesses said navy fired many live rounds at the boats, and used water cannons, forcing the fisher back to shore.
___They added that the attack took place less than four nautical miles from the Gaza shore.
___At least 70.000 Palestinians depend on fishing as their only source of livelihood in the Gaza Strip, but the navy continuously attacks the fishers, preventing them from providing for their families.      More . . .   
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 17, 2016        Israeli soldiers, stationed at military towers across the border fence, fired several live rounds, on Monday morning, targeting a number of homes and agricultural lands, and maintenance workers, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
___The WAFA Palestinian News Agency has reported that the soldiers fired dozens of live rounds into agricultural lands, and a number of homes, east of Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis.        More . . .   

  • Patir, Yael. “Who Is Afraid Of Peace?” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 18.4 (2013): 46-52.      Full article.  

Yael Patir, the Israeli director for J Street, is former coordinator of the Israeli Peace NGO Forum.

For a thirty-something-year-old Israeli, the experiences of the conflict since he or she became politically conscious are: great hope that quickly shifted to lack of trust . . . .  the Oslo process . . .  [that] means terror, rocket attacks and more exposure to an Arab world that hates and does not accept Israel.
___These developments, I will argue, left Israeli youth (those who grew up in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s) with a fear of peace, not because it is an unknown that holds uncertainty and possible deterioration — on the contrary, because they feel that they had a taste of it and were not happy with what they got.
[. . . .]
While leaders talk behind closed doors, actions on the ground, mainly settlements and violence, progressed and leaders’ rhetoric became more and more disconnected from reality. Israeli leaders played a decisive role in crafting the way the public understood the failed negotiations. Of the greatest magnitude is the idea that there is “no partner” for peace on the Palestinian side.
[. . . .]
It is hard to describe the effects that doing Israeli army service in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has on an individual . . . it is clear that the experience of my generation in the army is very different from that of the generations before us. Our fighting took place in populated areas among civilians and not in battlefields where soldiers face other soldiers. Since the early 1980s and mainly after the signing of the peace agreement with Egypt, Israel has been engaged more and more with what is called asymmetrical war . . .  While our parents fought existential wars, ours were civil wars. While our parents lay in trenches, we stood in checkpoints examining women and children. Under the occupation, combat soldiers today are required to perform duties that are more suitable to police officers; they are given missions to go into people’s houses in the middle of the night to perform arrests or take over the house; and they are sent to keep order during demonstrations, patrol neighborhoods or even escort kids to school. In the fight against terrorism they take part in targeted killing. . . . When former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the occupation corrupts, most of us understood well what he was talking about.
[. . . .]
Israel today is like a boy who knows he must end his relationship with a girl but is afraid of the consequences of being left alone and perhaps without better options. It’s the moment when one needs a good friend to serve as a mirror and tell the boy the truth: “This relationship is not good for you. You can get out of it. I will help you overcome.”

“. . . as if his look could order the rubble to become a house, could restore . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

[NOTE: the background article today is somewhat more technical than usual, but it explains in detail the problem of “collective punishment” and the Israel Supreme Court’s inconsistent rulings on the question. The poetry by Barghouti is one small section of his important major work. The entire poem is available only in the book noted.]

The apartment of Amjad Ilaiwi in Nablus after Israeli forces demolished it, Oct. 11, 2016. (Photo: Ayman Noubani/WAFA)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Nablus home of shooting attack ‘mastermind’

  • Background: “When Does A Court Systematically Deviate From Its Own Principles? The Adjudication By The Israel Supreme Court Of House Demolitions In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Leiden Journal Of International Law

❷ Israel Army Targets Abu Sbeih Family, Their Homes And Stores
❸ IOF demolish agricultural facility in Yatta, level lands in Salfit
❹ IOF opens fire at Palestinian houses, fishermen in Gaza
❺ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 11, 2016
Israeli forces raided the city of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank early Tuesday morning and demolished the home of Amjad Aliwi, who Israeli intelligence accused of being one of the masterminds of a shooting attack on Oct. 1, 2015 which left two Israeli settlers dead.
___Local sources told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed a three story building in the Khallat al-Eiman neighborhood in southern Nablus where Aliwi’s family lived.      ___Aliwi was one of six men accused in the deadly drive-by shooting, and was sentenced by an Israeli court to two life sentences with an additional 30 years in prison in June.       More . . .

  • HARPAZ, GUY. “When Does A Court Systematically Deviate From Its Own Principles? The Adjudication By The Israel Supreme Court Of House Demolitions In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Leiden Journal Of International Law 28.1 (2015): 31-47.   Source . . .

Anti-terrorist measures may be pursued for the purposes of pre-emption, retribution, deterrence, and pressure. . .  measures adopted for general deterrence purposes are problematic because they treat the subject matter of the measures as a means rather than as an end. Thus even if deterrence can serve as a justification for severe security measures, the required evidentiary-data threshold of the net benefit stemming from security measures should arguably be higher than the one applicable to a measure aimed at pre-emption. Yet in dealing with HD [Home Demolition] measures aimed at general deterrence, the Court faces a greater challenge than when it deals with pre-emptive measures aimed at particular individuals. The question of whether or not a proposed sanction effectively promotes general deterrence does not lend itself easily to strict evidentiary requirements.
[. . . . ] Had the Court adopted its traditional approach on issues of international law, collective punishment, and security necessity, it would have been forced to conclude that HD measures are illegal per se, especially in cases of suicide terrorists whose family members are not at fault. Yet such a result is incompatible with the Court’s own record in security petitions submitted by Palestinians at times of security instability, when the Court has been strongly disinclined to allow petitioners to win through a final Court disposition. Instead the Court has been inclined to exert pressure on the parties to settle, granting the petitioners partial relief and avoiding the need to issue a coercive order which would bring the petitioners into direct, overt conflict with the state.
[. . . .]  When courts are faced with deterrent measures employed in periods of severe security threats and strongly supported by the political establishment and by the public, they may find it difficult to play a counter-majoritarian role and to abide by their own judicial doctrines and principles, particularly when there has been a consistent series of their own verdicts upholding the legality of the proposed measures.

ISRAEL  ARMY  TARGETS  ABU SBEIH  FAMILY,  THEIR  HOMES  AND  STORES       International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Oct. 11, 2016
Since the death of Misbah Abu Sbeih, who was killed by Israel army and police fire after carrying out a fatal shooting attack in which an Israeli police officer and an Israeli woman were killed, the family, their homes and stores became the target of the Israeli army, police and security forces.
___The soldiers started repeatedly invaded the family’s homes and stores, in the al-Ram town and Kafr Aqab, in occupied Jerusalem, since Misbah was killed after carrying out a drive-by shooting attack, near the Light-Rail stop, close to the Police headquarters, in Jerusalem.     More . . .    

Soldiers conduct military training in front of home in Masafer Yatta (Photo: Christian Peacemakers Teams, Jan. 1, 2016)

Palestine News Network – PNN 
Oct. 10, 2016
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday morning have demolished acricultural facility in Masafer Yatta, southern Hebron Hills, and bulldozed lands in Salfit, northern West Bank.
___Coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, Rateb Jabour, told PNN that IOF demolished the facility, and handed the owner a notice to halt building his home on his property, claiming that the land was “State Property” and he had no permission to build.
___At the same time, Israeli bulldozers and jackhammers were bulldozing, leveling Palestinian lands to the west of Salfit in order to expand Ariel illegal settlement, as reported by PIC.     More . . .    
The Palestinian Information Center
Oct. 11, 2016
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire at Palestinian houses east of Khuzaa town east of Khan Younis to the south of Gaza Strip Monday evening. According to the PIC reporter, Israeli forces opened their machine gun fire at Palestinian homes and agricultural lands near Shuhada School in Khuzaa town.     More . . .  

Excerpt  from  “MIDNIGHT,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI  (pages 86-90)

My grandfather’s cloak gets hooked
on the bulldozer’s teeth.

The bulldozer retreats a few metres,
empties its load,
comes back to fill its huge shovel,
and never has its fill.
Twenty times, the bulldozer
comes and goes,
my grandfather’s cloak still hooked on it.
After the dust and smoke
have cleared from the house that once stood there,
and as I stare at the new emptiness,
I see my grandfather wearing his cloak,
wearing the very same cloak ―
not one similar to it,
but the same one.
He hugs me and maintains a silent gaze,
as if his look
could order the rubble to become a house,
could restore the curtains to the windows,
and my grandmother to her armchair,
as if it could retrieve her coloured medicine pills,
could lay the sheets back on the bed,
could hang the lights from the ceiling,
and the pictures from the walls,
as if his look could return the handles to the doors,
and the balconies to the stairs,
and persuade us to resume our dinner,
as the world had not collapsed,
as if Heaven had ears and eyes.
He goes on staring at the emptiness.
I say:
what shall we do when the soldiers leave?
What will he do when the soldiers leave?
He slowly clenches his fist,
recapturing a boxer’s resolve in his right hand,
his coarse bronze hand,
the hand that tames the thorny slope,
the hand that holds his hoe lightly
and with ease,
the hand which, with a single blow,
splits a tree stump in half,
the hand that opens in forgiveness,
the hand that closes on candy
with which he surprises his grandchildren,
the hand that was amputated
many years ago.

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


“. . . When the faces of the judges peer down on us . . .” (Muhammad al-As’ad)

Israeli Tanks Invade Border Areas Near Central Gaza Strip, April 22, 2010 (Photo IMEMC)

Israeli forces detain 47 Palestinians in major East Jerusalem, West Bank raids
❷ Israeli [alleged] murderer of Dawabsheh family released
❸ Israeli Army Invades Palestinian Agricultural Lands in Central and Southern Gaza
❺ POETRY by Muhammad al-As’ad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 1, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 47 Palestinians in overnight raids in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli sources told Ma’an.
___Israeli police carried out a major detention campaign in the al-Tur and al-Suwwana neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, detaining at least 29 Palestinian men and teenagers, locals told Ma’an [. . . .]
___Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli police and border guard officers detained 33 Palestinians across East Jerusalem on Tuesday night.  MORE . . .  

The Fourth Geneva Convention establishes a high standard for detaining a civilian, whether in occupied territory or in the territory of a party to the conflict. . . .
___The rule is slightly different for occupying powers in occupied territory. In that case, “if the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security”  [. . . .]
___Israel has two laws that authorize it to conduct security detentions―an emergency powers law and an “incarceration of illegal combatants” law. Under both laws, a detainee may have his detention reviewed by a court. The Government of Israel views itself as being in an ongoing armed conflict with Palestinian terrorist organizations operating from Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip [. . . .]
___Under Israel’s emergency powers law, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) may detain a person during a “state of emergency” when the Minister has “reasonable cause to believe that reasons of state security or public security require “. . . . The proceedings are not public, and may depart from the regular rules of evidence.

  • Deeks, Ashley S. “Administrative Detention in Armed Conflict.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 40.3 (2009): 403-436.      MORE. . .

Palestine News Network – PNN
June 1, 2016
The top Israeli terror suspect, Meir Ettinger (20) who [allegedly] led the arson attack on the Dawabsheh home in Duma village was released after 10 months of administrative detention on Wednesday morning.
___Ettinger, the grandson of the slain far-right activist Meir Kahane, was detained following the murder of the Dawabsheh family last July, in which baby Ali Dawabsheh and both his parents were killed.       MORE . . .

master plan
Jerusalem’s Har Homa Jewish Settler neighborhood in 2008. (Photo: Haaretz/Emil Salman)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 1, 2016
Several armored Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers invaded, on Wednesday morning, Palestinian agricultural lands, close to the border fence, in the southern and central parts of the Gaza Strip.
___Several tanks and bulldozers, stationed in the Kissufim military base, east of Khan Younis, invaded Palestinian lands, northeast of al-Qarara town, northeast of Khan Younis, while three tanks were positioned behind sand hills, across the border fence.     MORE . . .  
. . . RELATED   Israeli navy injures one Palestinian fisher, kidnaps four others, in Gaza waters   
. . . RELATED   Gaza commemorates 6th anniversary of the freedom flotilla attack

If it cannot be established that the objective (intention) of the closure [of Gaza] regime was to deny the civilian population of Gaza objects essential for its survival then the closure regime will still be unlawful if . . . ‘the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade’. A blockade cannot be therefore deployed if the damage to the civilian population is expected to be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage [. . . .]
. . . even if the Israel-Hamas armed conflict could be internationalised and thus regarded as an international armed conflict, the blockade would still be unlawful because, on 31 May 2010, the blockade was not deployed in accordance with the principle of proportionality. . . Israel’s blockade of Gaza on 31 May 2010 cannot be regarded as lawful. As a state cannot lawfully enforce an unlawful blockade Israel cannot rely upon international humanitarian law to override its obligations under the law of the sea . . .

  • Buchan, Russell. “The International Law of Naval Blockade and Israel’s Interception of the Mavi Marmara.” Netherlands International Law Review (Cambridge University Press) 58.2 (2011): 209-241

Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.
Nur Arafeh
May 31, 2016
It is the year 2050 and Israel has fulfilled its vision for Jerusalem: Visitors will see a largely Jewish high-tech center amid a sea of tourists, with a minimal Palestinian presence. To achieve this vision, Israel is working on three master plans; one is well-known but two remain under the radar [. . . .]
___The best known of the three Israeli master plans for the city is the Jerusalem 2020 Master Plan, which has not been deposited for public view even though it was first published in 2004. The least known are the Marom Plan, a government-commissioned plan for the development of Jerusalem, and the “Jerusalem 5800” Plan, also known as Jerusalem 2050, which is the outcome of a private sector initiative and is presented as a “transformational master plan for Jerusalem” (see below).      MORE . . .

. . . Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 during the Six-day War and in 1980 declared the whole city, both the western part and the eastern occupied part, to be the “eternal and united” capital of the Jewish State. Nonetheless, the international community has never recognized Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and Palestinians still claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. This is the reason why the main Israeli effort since the 1967 annexation has been to strengthen de facto its control over the whole city; the aim being to create “urban facts” which would make any future division of the city practically impossible. As Michael Romann and Alex Weingrod state, “the overall policy had as its main axiom the prevention of any possible future attempts to again divide the city or to cut off the occupied East Jerusalem territory from sovereign Israeli control.” 9

  • Chiodell, Francesco. The Jerusalem Master Plan: Planning into the Conflict. Jerusalem Quarterly 51 (2012): 5-20.  MORE. . .

(The footnotes to above article are below)


A deep plunge into the darkness
Merits golden birds
Red roses
And a band all ready to play.
But we the singers in the Arab night
The night of low-profile stars
And eternal sands
We scorn the reward
And cannot take it in.
When the faces of the judges peer down on us
We weep a botanical pain
Picked up in meadows, weep
The blue of waters
And the beauty of deer
Running in our valleys.
When sentence is passed down
In our absolute absence
We will be content with a smile
Or perhaps a sneer.
We are
Not of
Who comprehends the bewilderment
of the last bird
In a blazing forest.
―Translated by May Jayyusi and Jack Collom

About Muhammad al-As’ad
From: ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

8 The international resolutions about Jerusalem by the General assembly and Security Council of the United Nations are available at http:// unispal.un.org  . For a summary, see Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook No 13 (Ramallah: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 2011), 49-60).
9 Michael Romann and Alex Weingrod, Living Together Separately. Arabs and Jews in Contemporary Jerusalem (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), 54. The words of Golda Meir (Prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974 . . .) are very elucidatory: “Arab sovereignty in Jerusalem just cannot be. This city will not be divided – not half and half, not 60–40, not 75–25, nothing” (Golda Meir, “Middle East: Getting almost all Points of View”, The Times, February 19, 1973).

“. . . we will continue our prayers and conjure new seasons for our lives . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Analysis: The end of normalcy for Israeli settlements?
❷ Israeli forces seize Palestinian vehicles, equipment in Jordan Valley
❸ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers, shepherds in Gaza
❹ Jerusalem court slams police over arrests of left-wing activists
❺ Opinion/Analysis: The Israeli government is as responsible for Duma murders as those who threw the firebomb
❻ Poetry by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
January 29, 2016
The United States appears to be following the European Union in taking symbolic steps to challenge the aura of normalcy with which Israel has cloaked its settlement enterprise for decades.
___United States Customs officials published a notice last week clarifying that U.S. law does not permit goods manufactured in the West Bank, including in Israeli settlements, to be labeled as “made in Israel.”   More
Jan. 30, 2016
Israeli forces late Friday confiscated trucks and equipment being used to build a new agricultural road in the Palestinian village of Khirbet al-Dir in the northern Jordan Valley.
___The head of a local council in the occupied West Bank village, al-Maleh Arif Daraghmah, told Ma’an that military forces had seized the equipment, without citing a reason for its removal.
___Daraghmah added that days before, Israeli forces had ruined dozens of acres of agricultural land and roads while carrying out military drills in the area.    More . . .
Jan. 30, 2016
Israeli forces deployed at the borderline between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at a group of Palestinian farmers and shepherds who were in nearby agricultural lands.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that the group was forced to leave the area after the forces opened fire east of the city of Khan Younis. No injuries were reported. . . .
___Israeli military forces have opened fire on Palestinian farmers near the border at least four times this month, one of whom was injured on Friday.    More . . .
Haggai Matar
Jan. 29, 2016
The Jerusalem Magistate’s Court freed Israeli left-wing activists Ezra Nawi and Guy Butavia from house arrest on Thursday, with Judge David Shaul Gabai Richter chastising police for not substantiating their suspicions against the pair.
___Nawi and Butavia, activists with anti-occupation direct-action group Ta’ayush, were arrested following the broadcast of a right-wing hidden camera “sting,” on suspicion of making contact with a foreign agent (Palestinian security services). . . .    More . . .
Dan Cohen
Jan. 29, 2016
Since the announcement of an indictment in the deadly firebombing in the occupied West Bank village of Duma, Israeli media outlets have analyzed the likelihood that the killers will be punished, given that the main suspect’s confession were extracted by torture.
___But they have not mentioned the elephant in the room: culpability for the murder of baby Ali Dawabshe and his parents lies not only with those who threw the firebomb, but with the Israeli government which promotes, subsidizes and protects their presence in the West Bank.   More . . .


Farah, we will begin our prayers
amid this bloody sorrow
and among the lonely pine.
What makes the mountains this morning much kinder,
the sun more glamorous,
the wind a song that celebrates the heights?
What makes our beloved jasmine
more pure than we imagined
and more disobedient than we had thought?
What makes these mountains
and these trees that we allowed to be taller than us
much shorter than us now?
Farah, we will continue our prayers
and conjure new seasons for our lives,
new rivers to flow in our veins
and a new place for the world’s singing.
We will continues our prayers
and when love is total,
when our fingers shyly and tenderly come together
like beads of the fig’s milk,
we will climb the mountain to bless all creatures
and together whisper: Amen . . . amen.

About Ibrahim Nasrallah
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.