“. . . I shall carve the record of my sufferings . . . On an olive tree. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

uproot
Suspended in space: uprooting of olive trees for the expansion of Zufin, Jewish settlement in the Tulkarm district (Photo: B’Tselem/ Christoph Gocke – EAPPI)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Palestinian-owned structures in Nablus
. . . ―❶ (ᴀ) Israeli Occupation uproots 300 trees west of Hebron
. . . ―❶ (ᴃ) Israel demolishes multiple Palestinian structures in Jerusalem area
. . . ―❶ (ᴄ) Israeli forces uproot 50 olive trees as Palestinian farmer awaits court date to appeal

  • Background: “Uprooting Identities: The Regulation of Olive Trees in the Occupied West Bank.”

❷ Gaza Strip: Attacks in the Border Areas and their Consequences
❸ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  STRUCTURES  IN  NABLUS
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished two rooms used for agricultural purposes and leveled stone walls in the villages of Khirbet al-Marajim and Qusra in the southern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli forces, demolished a room belonging to Tariq Dirawi in Khirbet al-Marajim.    MORE . . .  

. . . ―❶ (ᴀ) ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  UPROOTS  300  TREES  WEST  OF  HEBRON
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Hebron. ALRAY. Israeli military bulldozers uprooted about 300 olives trees on Wednesday morning and swept lands in Oula town, West of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank.
___Isa Al Omla, the activist in the wall and settlements resistance, said that the Israeli bulldozers broke into Al- Najar Valley area, near the apartheid wall, and swept away some lands ( 15 acres) owned by the family of Mohammed Khalil Abdul Aziz Al Omla.  MORE . . .

. . . ―❶ (ᴃ) ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  MULTIPLE  PALESTINIAN  STRUCTURES  IN  JERUSALEM  AREA
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli forces demolished multiple Palestinian structures in the Jerusalem area on Tuesday, the same morning that Israeli-enforced demolitions left more than 70 Palestinians homeless in the Hebron and Bethlehem districts of the occupied West Bank.
___In the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, bulldozers escorted by Israeli police officers and Jerusalem municipality inspectors demolished a single-room house and several outdoor walls, because the structures were built without licenses issued by the Jerusalem municipality.     MORE . . .  

Event marking Rachel Corrie's death, Qariyut, West Bank, 15.3.2
Israeli soldiers attack Palestinians during an olive tree planting commemorating (March, 2015). Corrie, an American, was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003, blocking the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip (Photo: Activestills.org)

. . . ―❶ (ᴄ ) ISRAELI  FORCES  UPROOT  50  OLIVE  TREES  AS  PALESTINIAN  FARMER  AWAITS  COURT  DATE  TO  APPEAL
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli bulldozers uprooted more than 50 olive trees on Tuesday morning in the Palestinian village of Shufa in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, Palestinian farmers told Ma’an, two weeks before a court hearing was scheduled to be held to appeal the Israeli-ordered confiscation of the land.
___One of the farmers, Abed Hamid, said he received a phone call from a neighbor notifying him that Israeli forces brought bulldozers to his olive tree orchard and started to uproot the trees, which were planted between 15 and 20 years ago.
___After Hamid rushed to his land, he said he witnessed Israeli forces “stealing” the majority of his trees, which were left intact.    MORE . . .    

  • Braverman, Irus. “UPROOTING IDENTITIES: THE REGULATION OF OLIVE TREES IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK.” Polar: Political & Legal Anthropology Review 32.2 (2009): 237-264.    FULL ARTICLE.   

Trees in general, and olive and pine trees in particular, perform a pivotal role in both the Zionist and the Palestinian national narratives. Since 1901, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) . . . has planted over 240 million trees in Israel, most of which are pines. This massive enterprise has fundamentally transformed the Israeli/Palestinian landscape. Indeed, over the years, the pine has come to be perceived as the quintessential symbol of the Zionist project . . .  If the Jewish tree is the pine, the Palestinian tree is the olive. As Ismat Shbeta, a refugee from the depopulated Palestinian village Miske, tells me in an Interview, “The olive is the Palestinian tree . . . . That’s the olive’s nationality”
[. . . .]  A fusion of humans and trees is thereby constructed: the olive embodies the Palestinian people, the green of its foliage is perceived as interchangeable with the red of their blood. However, the olive is not only a proxy witness; it also provides a model of survival for the Palestinian people. In this sense, the olive not only stands for but also speaks for the mute and uprooted Palestinian . . .
[. . . .]  Since its inception, and increasingly in the last two decades, Israel has been uprooting Palestinian olive trees. . . . . Israel’s central rationale for uprooting olive trees in the occupied territories has not been framed as punitive, or at least not explicitly so. Israel explains these uprootings, rather, as essential for its national security. First, Israel has been uprooting olives to make way for the recently built Separation Barrier. In the same vein, Israel’s Defense Forces have uprooted thousands of olive . . .  to secure roads, increase visibility, and make way for watchtowers, checkpoints. . . .
[. . . .]  In addition to the uprooting of Palestinian olive trees by the State of Israel, for the last decade or so Jewish settlers have also been targeting Palestinian trees. . . . The tree warfare conducted by the New Settlers adds another layer of meaning to the relationship between humans and trees in the occupied West Bank. . . .  the sabotage of olive trees is still an everyday occurrence in the West Bank. As a result, Palestinian access to agricultural land is frequently jeopardized.
[. . . .]   Although both the New Settlers and the human rights activists interviewed here have insisted that the Israeli/Palestinian war is not really about trees but about land, it is nonetheless clear that the emotional, cultural, ritualistic, and economic significance of the tree has been at the forefront of their actions. [Palestinians] would never have claimed that trees are unimportant in this battle. However, they also see clearly the connection between the trees and the overall power struggle over land, autonomy, identity, and power . . . .

❷ GAZA  STRIP:  ATTACKS  IN  THE  BORDER  AREAS  AND  THEIR  CONSEQUENCES
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Aug. 16, 2016
Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip.
[. . . .]
Preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands and fishing areas violates numerous provisions of international human rights law, including the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Enforcing the “buffer zone” through the use of live fire often results in, inter alia, the direct targeting of civilians and/or indiscriminate attacks, both of which constitute war crimes.     MORE . . .

“ON  THE  TRUNK  OF  AN  OLIVE  TREE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

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 Tafiq Zayyad. 

“. . . No politicians Juggle oppression And human rights . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

1-school
First demolition Khirbet Tana school, December 2010. (Photo: Palestina en el corazón, 2012)

❶ 2 Palestinian teens shot dead after allegedly attacking settler
❷ School among ‘dozens’ of structures demolished by Israel north of Nablus
❸ Belgian MPs, ‘Israel hides tragic effect of Gaza siege’ (Belgian MPs banned from entering Gaza)
❹ Analysis: The right to boycott is non-negotiable
❺ Opinion/Analysis: SUCCESS  OF  BDS  CAMPAIGN  IS  ESSENTIAL  FOR  PALESTINIAN  SURVIVAL
❻ Poetry by Samah Sabawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
2  PALESTINIAN  TEENS  SHOT  DEAD  AFTER  ALLEGEDLY  ATTACKING  SETTLER
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers on Wednesday morning after they allegedly attacked an Israeli settler in the illegal settlement of Eli south of Nablus . . . .
___An Israeli army spokesperson said they “infiltrated” the settlement . . . . She said Israeli forces arrived on the scene and responded to the “significant threat” by opening fire on the two teenagers, killing both of them.
___The settler was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem with light injuries.   MORE . . .
SCHOOL AMONG  ‘DOZENS’  OF  STRUCTURES  DEMOLISHED  BY  ISRAEL  NORTH  OF  NABLUS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces on Wednesday morning demolished “dozens” of structures in the hamlet of Khirbet Tana northeast of Nablus, including houses, barns, and the hamlet’s sole school, a local official told Ma’an. . . .
bulldozers under Israeli army escort had stormed Khirbet Tana on Beit Furik’s outskirts and demolished every structure there.
___These included Khirbet Tana’s sole school, Hanani said, a building consisting of movable caravans donated by a European organization. . . .     MORE . . .
RELATED . . . Wadi  Hilweh  Information  Center – Silwan ― February  Statistics
BELGIAN  MPS,  ‘ISRAEL  HIDES  TRAGIC  EFFECT  OF  GAZA  SIEGE’  (BELGIAN  MPS  BANNED  FROM  ENTERING  GAZA)
DAYS OF PALESTINE
Mar 3, 2016
Remarks of the Belgian MPs came after the Israeli occupation authorities had prevented them from entering into the Strip to stand closely at the humanitarian crisis resulted of the Israeli measures against Gazans.
___In a statement, the MPs said: “The visit, which was scheduled on Tuesday, was pre-arranged with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).”   MORE . . .

bds-wall
By working vigorously to combat boycotts against Israel, the very countries that purport to uphold civil rights have become the main forces undermining them. (Photo: +972 Magazine)

Analysis:  THE  RIGHT  TO  BOYCOTT  IS  NON-NEGOTIABLE
+972 MAGAZINE
Amjad Iraqi
2 Mar. 2016
. . . it is ridiculous that one should have to tell self-proclaimed ‘democracies’ that the right to boycott is a basic civil right, not a punishable crime.
___Last week, over 120 people attended a conference in Nazareth on the subject of “BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) . . . . Although the discussions were lively, many participants were cautious with their choice of words: Israel’s Anti-Boycott Law. . . cast a heavy shadow over the event.
___Now, in a corrupt twist, the very countries that purport to uphold civil rights have become the main forces undermining them.     MORE . . .
Opinion/Analysis:  SUCCESS  OF  BDS  CAMPAIGN  IS  ESSENTIAL  FOR  PALESTINIAN  SURVIVAL
THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
Khalid Amayreh
28 Feb. 2016
The Israeli apartheid state seems to be taking the international campaign of boycott and disinvestment as well as other forms of protest against Israel’s decades-old occupation of the Palestinian homeland more seriously than ever before. . . .
___For these reasons, it is morally imperative that every honest woman and man around the world take a moral decision, now not tomorrow, to refrain from buying Israel produces and products from the nearby supermarket or grocery store.     MORE . . .

Samah Sabawi rebels in her poetry against adopting a language she sees as complicit and dictated by the occupier. . . . When a newspaper editor recently deleted these words from an op-ed she submitted saying they were “too strong,” she responded with this:

“WORDS,”  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI
Words!
I stand dispossessed
No congress behind me
No statesmen surround me
No lobby to breathe hellfire
No media eager to appease
No three-ring circus
Of intellectual jesters
Academic clowns
And policy experts
Who truly do not see
the big elephant in the room
No legal acrobats
Dance for me
On a thin rope of decency
No politicians
Juggle oppression
And human rights
On my behalf
No trips to boost careers
For MPs and their wives
No propaganda movies
No radio broadcasts
No myths
No lies
No hasbaranites
No army,
No country
Not even one leader
To believe in
All I have are my words
To tell my story
My voice
To demand justice
But you tell me
My language is too strong

Naksa
Forced exile
Ethnic cleansing
Apartheid
Words
Carefully chosen
Purposely uttered
These are the words
That lay the foundation
Of the language of my liberation

Samah Sabawi, a poet and political activist, has likened Gaza to an “Israeli-controlled Bantustan.” The Israelis forced her parents (and tens of thousands of other Palestinians) to flee their homes in Gaza in 1967. She is now a Palestinian-Australian with Canadian citizenship . . .    MORE. . .
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