SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY | ISRAELI COURT REJECTS APPEAL TO RELEASE NAALWA’S MOTHER, BROTHER The Israeli military court of Salem rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal to release the mother and brother of Ashraf Naalwa on a bail. ___Ashraf Naalwa was shot and killedby Israeli forces on December 13th, 2 months after carrying out a shooting attack in the Israeli Barkan industrial zone, killing two Israelis. ___The Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners and Former Prisoner’s said that the appeal was presented by the lawyer representing Naalwa’s mother and brother. ___The Israeli judge of the Salem military court rejected the release of Wafaa Mihdawi and Amjad Naalwa. ___Naalwa’s mother and brother were detained during the week after the shooting carried he had carried out, in an attempt by Israel to pressure him to turn himself in. ___The two are still being held without any real charges. More. . . ~~ Mother of Palestinian slain by Israeli forces imprisoned for posting on FacebookMore . . . ~~ Palestinian women prisoners escalate struggle against repressionMore . . . | ISRAELI SETTLERS RAZE PALESTINIAN-OWNED LANDS IN BATTIR Israeli settlers razed Palestinian-owned lands in the Battir village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday morning. ___Local activist, Hassan Breijieh, representative of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee, said that Israeli settlers razed lands northwest of Battir, west of Bethlehem City, to create or open a settlement road. __Breijieh added that opening the settlement road comes as an attempt by Israeli settlers to build a new settlement outpost on seize Palestinian lands. More . . . ~~ IOF Goes ahead with Oppression Campaign in West BankMore . . . ~~ Israeli Knesset votes to expel families of anti-occupation activists More . . . | AQSA TV [GAZA] TO GO OFF AIR OVER LACK OF FUNDS More . . . ~~ Israeli army creeps into Gaza border More . . . ~~ Gaza: Hamas delegation leaves for Cairo More . . .
COMMENTARY AND OPINION | Beneath the illusion of a temporary occupation lies apartheid By Fady Khoury
The so-called temporary nature of Israel’s control over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has for too long served as a justification for not extending them full political and civil rights. ___The Oslo peace process entailed a Palestinian acceptance of “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security,” while in return Israel only recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization as “the representative of the Palestinian people.” Israel has never recognized Palestine or the Palestinians’ right to an independent state in the occupied territories. To this day, Israel has never formally recognized the Palestinian people’s right to independence in any internationally binding document. More . . .
POEM FOR THE DAY
“THE WAY,” BY FOUZI EL-ASMAR I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.
It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.
Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.
This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
but will not give up
El Asmar, Fouzi.POEMS FROM AN ISRAELI PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973. Available from Abe Books.
❶ US freezes $125 million grant to UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Bennett slams reported Israeli call on US not to cut aid to Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) What would happen if Trump cuts UNRWA funding?
BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget (2017)
❷ Tzachi Hanegbi: Two-state solution is not dead
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Peace Now: Israel to approve more than 1,329 illegal settlement units
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians protest visit of Greek Orthodox patriarch accused of selling land to Israel
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ US FREEZES $125 MILLION GRANT TO UNRWA The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The United States has frozen $125 million of its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
___Quoting three US officials, Reuters news agency reported that the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, informed the United Nations that it had frozen a $125 million grant that was due to be paid on 1st January.
___According to the three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, Trump’s administration is considering cutting $180 million from its aid payments to the UNRWA in an effort to pressure the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations with Israel. MORE . . . . . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) BENNETT SLAMS REPORTED ISRAELI CALL ON US NOT TO CUT AID TO PALESTINIANS:Israeli officials call on US and all world countries to cut all aid to Palestinians. Days of Palestine
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Israeli Education Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, slammed reports on Friday reported Israeli call on US not to cut UN support for Palestinian refugees.
___Earlier this week, Donald Trump warned that his country would cut aid for Palestinians who he believes receive millions of US dollars without respecting America.
___According to Israeli Hadashot TV, though, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Foreign Minister, is opposed to any cut in such aid.
___ “UNRWA,” claims, Bennett, “is a terror-supporting organisation. Its very existence perpetuates the dire situation of Gaza’s population, who suffer under the rule of Hamas.” He insisted that the US decision to cut aid is the right choice. MORE . . . . . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF TRUMP CUTS UNRWA FUNDING? The Palestinian Information Center
By Yara Hawari
Jan. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Information Center On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, delivered a rather ambiguous threat in response to a question on the maintenance of the US level of funding to the UN Palestinian refugee programme. She replied: “The president has said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding or stop funding until the Palestinians are agreeing (sic) to come back to the negotiating table.”
___President Trump himself tweeted the following threat to UNRWA: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
[. . . .] However, a total US funding cut would mean a serious reduction in services and the complete halt of many of the education and health programmes.
___In other words, schools and health clinics would close leaving hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees across the region without schooling, health care, jobs, making their situation even more dire. MORE . . .
BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget The Jerusalem Post
By Michael Wilner Nov. 17, 2017 ― On Thursday Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation.
___Congress has resolved a budgeting dispute with the Trump administration by sourcing hundreds of millions of dollars in missile defense aid for Israel from its base budget– and not from a fund typically reserved for US wartime operations, as was initially proposed.
___The White House made clear over the summer that it was not opposed to adding hundreds of millions of dollars above its own budget for missile defense to Israel, but rather the vehicle for its delivery– an unprecedented use of dollars typically saved for US military readiness. Earlier this month, Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation, including $588 million over President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. MORE . . .
❷ TZACHI HANEGBI: TWO-STATE SOLUTION IS NOT DEAD Al Jazeera English
by Ali Younes
Jan. 6, 2018 ― An Israeli minister has said US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital does not signal the end of the two-state solution, with Israel willing to grant Palestinians their own independent state but with limited sovereignty.
___Tzachi Hanegbi, minister of regional cooperation, said Trump’s controversial decision on December 6 should not hinder Palestinian claims to have occupied East Jerusalem as their capital.
___”We claim that Jerusalem is our capital and should not be divided, but that’s only a claim, not a diktat,” Hanegbi, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Al Jazeera at his office in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
___Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) PEACE NOW: ISRAEL TO APPROVE MORE THAN 1,329 ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT UNITS Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee is expected to approve the promotion of at least 1,329 housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___In a statement released on Friday, Peace Now said that the committee published its agenda, and is expected to approve the new settlement units next Wednesday, January 10.
___According to the group, two-thirds of the 1,329 units (883 housing units) “will be located in isolated settlements that Israel would probably have to evacuate under any two-state agreement.” MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) PALESTINIANS PROTEST VISIT OF GREEK ORTHODOX PATRIARCH ACCUSED OF SELLING LAND TO ISRAEL Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Palestinian Christians from around the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel came out in harsh opposition on Saturday to a visit by Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
___Theophilos III, along with several other religious and political figures, were visiting Bethlehem as part of celebrations for Greek Orthodox Christmas Eve.
___Despite an intense presence of Palestinian security forces who attempted to open roads near Bethlehem’s Manger Square for the patriarch’s car, angry citizens swarmed around his procession, holding signs, Palestinian flags, and chanting slogans against Theophilus III. MORE . . .
“BUCHENWALD,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .
From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. New and Selected Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Amazon
About Samih Al-Qasim. Obituary,August 20, 2014.
❶ MOFA: Preliminary death penalty bill is state terrorism
Background: “Israel and Its Messianic Right: Path Dependency and State Authority in International Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly.
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) [PCHR] Weekly report: Israel’s systematic crimes in the oPt
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) Serious injury by IOF gunfire north of Ramallah
. . . . . ❶― (ᴄ) The famous UNRWA staffer killed by Israel’s security check
❷ PA signs 22 international treaties and agreements
❸ Opinion/Analysis: There is no status quo, only Greater Israel
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ MOFA: PRELIMINARY DEATH PENALTY BILL IS STATE TERRORISMPalestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 4, 2018 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Thursday condemned the Israeli Knesset’s approval of the preliminary death penalty bill for the Palestinian prisoners, considering it an extension of the Israeli authorities’ escalation of its arbitrary measures against Palestinian citizens and its grave violations of international law, international conventions, protocols and the principles of human rights.
___“This bill follows a series of racist laws which deepen the rights’, the extreme rights’, and the settlers’ control of the Israeli government, and extends the racist regime of apartheid that the occupation authorities continue to establish and expand in the Palestinian land, in a clear and explicit targeting of Palestinian land and the national and humanitarian Presence in Palestine,” the ministry said in a statement. MORE . . .
MENDELSOHN, BARAK. “ISRAEL AND ITS MESSIANIC RIGHT: PATH DEPENDENCY AND STATE AUTHORITY IN INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT.”
INTERNATIONAL STUDIES QUARTERLY, vol. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 47-58.
[. . . .] The religious settler movement was born in the aftermath of Israel’s victory in the 1967 war, which wrested the Palestinian-populated West Bank from Jordanian control. . . . This movement viewed the struggle to keep the West Bank under Jewish sovereignty as pertinent to the process of redemption; leaders prioritized occupying the land above all other values, including the state’s authority or even the Jewish principle of the sanctity of life.
___The messianic movement’s campaign involved numerous and significant extralegal actions that challenged state authority. Prominent among them was the establishment of unauthorized settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in an effort to commit the state to these territories and fight the government’s “temptation” to reach territorial compromises.
___In addition, movement members launched violent attacks on Palestinians and their property and mosques, as well as on representatives of the Israeli state, including the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin. Granted, the movement also engaged in modes of resistance that are accepted as legal and legitimate in a democratic country . . . .
[. . . .] A second mechanism concerns a shift in the balance between the primacy of the state and the ideological positions of Jewish Messianism. The erosion of state primacy in a country where illegalism has always been part of the political culture gradually diminished state capacity to promote the rule of law in the face of the messianic challenge. The state’s inability (and, at certain periods, its disinterest) to reassert its authority created a severe legitimacy crisis. . . . Illegalism in support of resistance to territorial compromise became increasingly accepted, even when it meant fighting the authority of the state.
___Empowering the messianic Right presents a greater challenge to state authority than delegation to a nonideological nonstate actor would, because religion can offer a competing principle for organizing politics. . . . SOURCE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) [PCHR] WEEKLY REPORT: ISRAEL’S SYSTEMATIC CRIMES IN THE oPT Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 4, 2018 ― PCHR/ Gaza/ During the reporting period (28 December 2017- 03 January 2018): Israeli forces escalated the excessive use of force in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
___*Two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; *89 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, *53 of them were hit with live bullets, 23 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, and 13 were hit with tear gas canisters. *Nine civilians, including 7 children and a woman, were arrested in a protest in the West Bank. *Israeli forces conducted 69 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one was conducted in the southern Gaza Strip. MORE . . . . . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) SERIOUS INJURY BY IOF GUNFIRE NORTH OF RAMALLAH The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 4, 2018 ― Palestinian youth on Thursday afternoon was seriously wounded by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) who shot him with a live bullet in the head during clashes that erupted in Deir Nitham town west of Ramallah after the funeral of the Palestinian martyr Musab al-Tamimi.
___The injured Palestinian man was transferred to hospital as his injury was described as serious.
___The head of the local council of Deir Nitham, Ahmad al-Tamimi, told WAFA news agency that IOF soldiers blocked the funeral of martyr al-Tamimi, assaulted participants and showered them with tear gas canisters and stun grenades. MORE . . . RELATED: Soldiers attack funeral of youth they shot and killed the day before.Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA, Jan. 4, 2018. . . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) THE FAMOUS UNRWA STAFFER KILLED BY ISRAEL’S SECURITY CHECK The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 4, 2018 ―The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is responsible for the death of the famous UNRWA staffer Abdel Fattah al-Sibakhi, 65, after banning him from crossing the Beit Hanoun checkpoint, when he was still in the middle of his chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer.
___He had been working for 30 years at UNRWA’s Procurement and Warehousing Unit in occupied Jerusalem until he was promoted to a director, thus obtaining an almost permanent residency in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
___Al-Sibakhi died a few days ago after being denied access to the Israeli-controlled Beit Hanoun crossing for chemical treatment and urgent medical tests under the pretext of security checks. MORE . . . ❷ PA SIGNS 22 INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Palestine has joined 22 international conventions and treaties, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced today.
___In a statement, the PA said that the move was made “to strengthen the legal status of the State of Palestine on a global scale,” stressing that “adopting the international law is the only way to achieve the Palestinians’ legitimate national rights.”
___On the Israeli decision to annex the West Bank to Israel’s sovereignty, the PA noted that the decision is “a declaration of war against the Palestinian people.”
___The Palestinian government also noted to the US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel saying that it is “devoid of any legitimacy.” MORE . . . ❸ Opinion/Analysis: THERE IS NO STATUS QUO, ONLY GREATER ISRAEL +972 Magazine
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Over the past few years, analysts have been using the term “creeping annexation” to describe Israel’s land grabbing, segregationist policies in the West Bank. But over the past few days, the country’s leaders have been openly signaling that annexation need no longer creep. It is the new game in town.
___On Sunday night, Likud’s Central Committee, the body responsible for updating the party’s constitution, unanimously passed a resolution to extend Israeli sovereignty to all West Bank settlements, effectively annexing them to Israel.
___The Likud decision received a significant boost from Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who announced Wednesday that beginning next week, all new pieces of government-supported legislation would include a short directive on how they are to be applied to Israeli settlements. The move, Shaked said Wednesday morning at a Knesset committee hearing, will help implement government policy in the settlements and “normalize life in Judea and Samaria.”
[. . . .] Taken together, Likud and Shaked’s decisions are important for both their practical and psychological implications: they are changing the paradigm. If, until now, annexation was openly championed only by those on the far-right, today it has become a fundamental tenet of Israel’s ruling party, and the Justice Ministry is continuing to lay the groundwork for its future implementation. MORE . . .
“I SHALL SING,” BY FOUZI EL-ASMAR I shall create
out of the darkness of my jail
my dawn out of the jaws of hatred
I shall sing
I shall sing
in spite of fences
in spite of jailers
in spite of hatred.
From: El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE WIND-DRIVEN REED AND OTHER POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979. Available from Amazon.
For more than fifty years, FOUZI EL-ASMAR was one of the most important public intellectuals of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Born in Haifa in 1937, he grew up in a Palestinian area of present-day Israel. In 1958, he became a member of the editorial board of the literary monthly Al-Fajr and in 1966 he became editor of the Arabic magazine Hadha Al-Alam. In 1979, after attending university in the US and graduate school in the UK, he became the managing editor of the London-based international newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat. More . . .
❶ PCHR: New attempts by Israel to legitimize killing of Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel’s attorney general says new laws will consider West Bank
Background: “International Law and the Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.
❷ Palestinians kidnapped, homes ransacked in predawn sweep by IOF
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Detainees narrate how they were tortured during interrogation in Israeli centers
❸ Gov’t to supply Gaza with electricity following bank guarantee
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Gaza: Health Sector may collapse due to shortage of medicines
❹ Hanan Ashrawi to Trump: ‘We will not be blackmailed’
❺ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ PCHR: NEW ATTEMPTS BY ISRAEL TO LEGITIMIZE KILLING OF PALESTINIANS Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Israeli Knesset is set to vote on Wednesday to amend the Penal Code in order to legalize the use of death penalty against those involved in murders while carrying out “terrorist operations”.
___The bill was presented before the Knesset on 30 October 2017 by three Israeli extremist parliamentarians: Robert Eltov, Oded Forer and Yuli Leminovsky.
___The bill stipulates that “the Minister of Defense orders the commander of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the division to give orders to: 1- the Military Court in the division to have the power to sentence death penalty without requiring the consensus of the Military Court, but only the ordinary majority; 2- No other court in the division has the right to commute a final death sentence issued by the military court in the division.” MORE . . . . . . . . ― (ᴀ) ISRAEL’S ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS NEW LAWS WILL CONSIDER WEST BANK The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Israel’s Attorney General on Monday issued a decision stating that all new laws from now on will include the West Bank settlements.
[. . . .] Bennett stressed that they will no longer approve the passage of any law unless it is applied to the West Bank settlers.
___For her turn, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked hailed the decision and said that the Israelis living in the West Bank are not “second class citizens” and that she will work to develop new measures to make sure that the new legislations will be applied to them too. MORE . . .
Weiss, Peter. “INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES.”
PALESTINE-ISRAEL JOURNAL OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS & CULTURE, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 96-101.
[. . . .] 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 United States, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all upheld the agreement. A number of important consequences flow from this fact:
* 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”;
* Under Article 5, persons suspected of activity hostile to the occupying power shall be treated with humanity;
* Under Article 13, the provisions of the convention are to be applied “without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion or political opinion”;
* Under Article 16, the wounded, sick, infirm and expectant mothers “shall be the object of particular protection and respect”; * Under Article 31, No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons,in particular to obtain information from them or from their parties”; * Article 32 prohibits the commission of murder, torture and corporal punishment against protected persons, as well as “any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents”;
* Under Article 33, “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or terrorism are prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”
[. . . .] It requires no evidentiary brief to demonstrate that these and similar provisions are, by the current occupying power, more honored in the breach than in the observance.
[. . . .] There are, of course, many principles of international law beyond those derived from the law of war. To take only one example: The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, to which Israel is a party, contains provisions dealing with, inter alia, the rights of self-determination, the right to work, an adequate standard of living and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Similar legal obligations flow from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, while not a treaty, is widely regarded as another source of basic rights applicable in occupied territories, as well as in the territory of the occupier. SOURCE . . .
❷ PALESTINIANS KIDNAPPED, HOMES RANSACKED IN PREDAWN SWEEP BY IOF The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Wednesday in abduction sweeps launched across the West Bank and Jerusalem.
___Clashes burst out in Jenin’s southern town of Qabatiya shortly after the IOF stormed the area and ransacked civilian homes.
___The occupation forces showered residential neighborhoods with spates of bullet fire and teargas grenades, resulting in injuries. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) DETAINEES NARRATE HOW THEY WERE TORTURED DURING INTERROGATION IN ISRAELI CENTERS Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Omar Zuhour, from Beit Kahil village near Hebron, WAS ONLY 14 YEARS OLD when he was detained by Israeli soldiers who hit him on the head and knees with their bullet case, kicked him all over his body . . .
___This testimony from Zuhour was given to the Prisoners’ Commission and was distributed on Wednesday in a statement on the torture of Palestinians in Israeli detention and interrogation centers. MORE . . . ❸ GOV’T TO SUPPLY GAZA WITH ELECTRICITY FOLLOWING BANK GUARANTEE The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 3, 2018 ― After receiving a bank guarantee from the electricity distribution company in the Gaza Strip, the Ramallah-based consensus government decided to supply the besieged enclave with its power needs.
___An informed source told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) on Tuesday that the government took such decision after the distribution company provided it with a bank guarantee worth 10 million dollars. MORE . . . . . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) GAZA: HEALTH SECTOR MAY COLLAPSE DUE TO SHORTAGE OF MEDICINES
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said it’s deeply concerned over the severe lack of medicines and medical consumables in the Gaza Strip Hospitals, warning that conditions of the Gaza Strip patients would deteriorate due to the shortage of medicine and periodic medications, which are not available in the Gaza healthcare facilities.
___PCHR called upon the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to guarantee the free and secure flow of all consignments of medicines and needed medical supplies for the health facilities in the Gaza Strip. MORE . . . ❹ HANAN ASHRAWI TO TRUMP: ‘WE WILL NOT BE BLACKMAILED’ Al Jazeera English
Jan. 3, 2018 ― A senior Palestinian official has responded with defiance to Donald Trump’s threat via Twitter to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority.
___Hanan Ashrawi’s rebuke followed the US president’s tweet admitting that the Middle East peace process was in difficulty and warning Palestinians that they could lose US aid worth more than $300m a year.
___”We will not be blackmailed,” Ashrawi said in a statement on Wednesday.
___”President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!” MORE . . .
“THE FIRE OF THE MAGI, BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
I take my time!
I take my time!
I draw the first thread of light
From the deep darkness of night;
I tend the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of loved ones
With a kerchief of jasmine.
I plant the most verdant oases
Amidst the scorched sands,
And shape a life for the outlaws
From fragrance, plenty, and justice.
If someday, on the road, my foot should stumble,
My roots will uphold and support me.
I take my time
For I am unlike the match
That flickers once, then dies.
I am more like the fire of the magi, burning bright
From my cradle to my grave.
And from my forebears to my offspring.
My endurance is as limitless as the horizon,
And the skill of the ant I’ve mastered.
I take my time,
For it is the function of history
To follow our dictates.
We have prepared for the downfall of the giants of the earth,
We will pay them back in kind;
We will give them enough rope, not that they may live longer,
But that they might have enough to hang themselves.
About Tawfiq Zayyad.
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.
❶ ‘You choose apartheid’, Netanyahu told in Knesset session
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Settler celebration of life of Sarah turns into a torment for Palestinians in Hebron
Background: “Opposed or Intertwined? Religious and Secular Conceptions of National Identity in Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Politics, Religion & Ideology.
❷ Israel to seize Palestinian land for settlement expansion
❸ Tension hits peak as Israeli army browbeats Palestinian resistance
❹ POETRY by Diab Rabie
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ‘YOU CHOOSE APARTHEID’, NETANYAHU TOLD IN KNESSET SESSION The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Nov. 14, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was accused of choosing “apartheid” and permanent military occupation of the Palestinians during a special session of the Knesset yesterday.
___The debate focused on “the Israeli government’s political challenge in light of new opportunities that have been created”, and was initiated by opposition party Meretz.
___Speaking at the session, Joint List leader Ayman Odeh stated that “we are at a crossroad where it is clearer than ever that we have only two options: peace or apartheid”. MORE . . . . . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) SETTLER CELEBRATION OF LIFE OF SARAH TURNS INTO A TORMENT FOR PALESTINIANS IN HEBRON Mondoweiss
Nov. 12, 2017 ― Hebron activist Badee Dwaik sent us the video below showing a group of settlers celebrating the “feast of Sarah” on Thursday night in Hebron by threatening Palestinians who live in a locked-down portion of the city. Dwaik said some of the settlers carried guns, according to Palestinians who witnessed the action, and chanted “Am Yisrael Chai” — the people of Israel live.
___“Israel is the only state in which there are two armies, namely the organized official army and the army of settlers armed with weapons,” Dwaik said. “Where Jewish settler festivals have become a hell for Palestinian families.” MORE . . .
Baumgart-Ochse, Claudia. “OPPOSED OR INTERTWINED? RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR CONCEPTIONS OF NATIONAL IDENTITY IN ISRAEL AND THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT.”
Politics, Religion & Ideology, vol. 15, no. 3, Sept. 2014, pp. 401-420.
[. . . .] When Israel’s founding elite institutionalized the role of religion in the new State of Israel by way of consociational governance, they could not foresee that religion would ever become such a powerful force as it is in contemporary Israel. Rather, Ben-Gurion and others acted on a common belief of the time that religion was on the retreat in the wake of the economic and political modernization of societies around the world. Granting religious parties and communities a special status served the short-term goal of integrative state- and nation building, Mamlachtiyut, but was not deemed dangerous as religion was expected to fade into insignificance sooner or later anyway. The consociational arrangement rather helped to keep the domestic peace and turn the state’s energy towards the integration of an enormous influx of immigrants from all over the world. Thus, instead of simply being ‘hijacked’ by religious actors, the Zionist elite of the Yishuv and of the early State deliberately aimed to integrate the diverse religious groups. But the close entanglement of Zionism and Judaism, of secular nationalism and religion, did not only express itself in institutional and political arrangements which allowed for the inclusion of the Orthodox in the statebuilding process.
[. . . .] Contrary to the state’s founders’ expectations, religion did not disappear – it became even more important. The immigration of Jews from Arab countries in the 1950s and 1960s gradually changed the demographic makeup of the young nation. Therefore, in order to live up to the task of integrating the new immigrants into Israeli society, Jewish tradition regained new significance for national identity during that time. The influx of these immigrants created a new category of Jewish identity in Israel: in addition to the distinction between ‘Datiyim’ (Religious) and ‘Chiloniyim’ (Seculars), a third segment of ‘Masortiyim’ (Traditionalists) was added, a Jewish religiosity which was less rigid in observing Jewish commandments and studying the Torah, but more based on communal customs and traditions.
___The rapprochement of Zionism and religion as well as the common theme of Messianism, early indicators for the intertwining of religion and secular nationalism, intensified when Israel won the war in 1967. The State of Israel experienced what some authors have called a ‘second republic’. It moved from the dominance of the secular-socialist concept of the state to one which emphasized the ethno-religious boundaries of membership in the nation. This process was driven by both religion and secular nationalism: Religious actors, the settlers in particular, underwent a process of politicization after the war; and the secular state began to use the religious settlement movement as a tool for its mundane politics in the occupied Palestinian territories. SOURCE . . .
❷ ISRAEL TO SEIZE PALESTINIAN LAND FOR SETTLEMENT EXPANSION Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 14, 2017 ― The Israeli military authorities notified Palestinian farmers on Tuesday that they intend to expropriate plots of land near the village of Shofeh, to the southeast of Tulkarm, in order to expand the nearby illegal settlement of Avnei Hefetz.
___The farmers told WAFA that the Israeli military informed the Palestinian liaison office that it intends to expropriate land in the village of Shofeh in order to open roads and build playgrounds and other recreational facilities for the benefit of Avnei Hefetz settlement. MORE . . . ❸ TENSION HITS PEAK AS ISRAELI ARMY BROWBEATS PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Nov. 14, 2017 ― A number of Iron Dome missile defense batteries were deployed in central Israel on Monday by the Israeli army, amid heightened tensions with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad since the army blew up the group’s resistance tunnel last month.
___The Israeli occupation army confirmed the anti-missile systems had been installed in central Israel. On Sunday Iron Dome batteries were spotted on the outskirts of Occupied Jerusalem allegedly in anticipation of retaliation attacks by the Palestinian resistance.
___The occupation army claimed that the Iron Dome system, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets and, in some cases, mortars, was deployed to counter the threats made by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance group, which has vowed to avenge its members killed in the tunnel blast. MORE . . .
“SWEARING BY YOUR JERUSALEM,” BY DIAB RABIE The nightingale stopped singing and mourned the lost land;
It wandered into spaces where winds held command.
Tired by many nights of flight, it took its rest,
But not at wondrous sites or near a female breast.
It once rejoiced in singing, now it merely cries
All night till morning, and it will not shut its eyes.
Memories with bleeding wounds cried out in disgust:
How could you leave the country and abandon your trust.
Your trees shade strangers who oppress and occupy.
Rise, throw off the veil of shame none can justify.
Can the oppressed despise sharp swords and keep their pride?
Face daily insults silently and step aside?
You will regain your land only by sword and spear;
With their help people will see justice reappear.
Youth came into this world to battle with their hands;
Brook no pollution in this holiest of lands.
I swear by “Your Jerusalem,” maimed Palestine,
That Arab flags will wave above you for all time.
Translated by George Khoury and Edward Morin.
This poem was published in the Arabic language newspaper, Sameer, in New York City one month after the UN resolution in 1947 to divide Palestine.
“Diab Rabie (1922-2010) was the last of a group of five Diaspora poets which included Kahlil Gibran, Michael Naimeh, and Elie Abu-Madi. A newspaperman assigned to New York, he was prevented by the Israelis from reentering his homeland and settled in North Carolina. His poems were published in major Arabic newspapers and magazines around the world throughout his life. His collected poems, Shetharat El-Rabie were edited by George Khoury and published before his death (The Birzeit Society, 2010).” Before there Is Nowhere to Stand. Palestine/Israel Poets Respond to the Struggle. Ed. Joan Dobbie & Grace Beeler. Sandport, Idaho: Lost Horse Press, 2012.) Available from Barnes and Noble.
❶ Agricultural group urges support for farmers in Sakout area in Jordan Valley
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers attack Palestinian olive pickers in Hawa
Background: “Not Just a Picnic: Settler Colonialism, Mobility, and Identity among Palestinians in Israel.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly.
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Mar’ee: Israel seized my olive grove in Salfit and built factories
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) US project aims to improve water access for Palestinian farmers
❷ Netanyahu to build bypass roads for 200 million NIS to protect illegal West Bank settlers
❸ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ AGRICULTURAL GROUP URGES SUPPORT FOR FARMERS IN SAKOUT AREA IN JORDAN VALLEY Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 7, 2017 ― The Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC) called on Tuesday to support Palestinian farmers in Sakout village in the northern Jordan Valley after settlers had forced a farmer to leave his land and sabotaged a water pipe built to irrigate crops.
___They said in a statement that Israeli settlers protected by the army attacked Zamel Daraghmeh and his family while they were working on their land planting it with vegetables and forced them to leave it.
___The settlers also sabotaged a water pipe they had built to help the area farmers reclaim their land and irrigate their crops.
___UAWC said the Palestinian farmers in Sakout, whom the army had not allowed to reach their land since 1967, were able to win a court order allowing them to work on their land after they proved ownership. The order affected 3500 dunums of land out of a total of 5600 dunums. MORE . . . . . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI SETTLERS ATTACK PALESTINIAN OLIVE PICKERS IN HAWARA The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 7, 2017 ― Extremist Israeli settlers have stepped up assaults against Palestinian farmers across Hawara’s olive groves, south of the occupied West Bank province of Nablus.
___Head of the West Bank department at Rabbis for Human Rights, Zakaria Sadah, said dozens of Israeli settlers violently attacked Palestinian farmers on Monday evening while they were picking olives in their groves northwest of Hawara town.
___The Israeli army forced the Palestinians out of their farmlands after they ruled that all olive-picking activities in the area be immediately halted. MORE . . .
“NOT JUST A PICNIC: SETTLER COLONIALISM, MOBILITY, AND IDENTITY AMONG PALESTINIANS IN ISRAEL.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 2, Spring2014, pp. 451-473.
[. . . .] Compounding this situation of estrangement, for the rest of the Arab world leadership, it was as if the Palestinians never existed. Political leadership in the Arab world spoke about Palestine and about liberating Palestine, but never about the Palestinians who remained on the land. In the eyes of the Israeli state they were and remain “present-absent”: physically there, yet legally, and as a national indigenous group, without existence . . . . for the Arab leaders, too, the Palestinians who remained within the Israeli settler colonial state in 1948 did not exist . . . Arab Palestinians behind enemy lines, facing forgetfulness by Arab leadership and a war on existence and memory by the Israeli settler colonial state.
[. . . .] Another shift evident in the village is the contraction of land and resources . . . space is shrinking due to state policies of land confiscation and encroachment on Arab villages and towns. The past, where homes were more humble but surrounded by large gardens with fruit trees, is almost extinct . . . . After destroying the Palestinian urban space that existed before 1948, Israel built hundreds of Jewish settlements on land confiscated from Arab villages, limiting further the space for those villages that remained intact after the creation of the state. These villages’ natural space and fields shrank, and the villages became more crowded . . . .
___While resembling ghettos in many western cities, here the village as a whole is constituted as a ghetto, a shanty town to the Jewish cities nearby, which have much more space, superior public services, cleaner streets, gardens, libraries, cinemas, and more state funding. This inverted ghetto, which exists not inside but rather on the outskirts of Jewish towns and cities, divides Palestinian Arab citizens from Jewish Israelis, who come to the village only for cheap labor, cheap products, cheap food, and possibly to feel good that they have some contact with the Palestinian Arabs . . . FULL ARTICLE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) MAR’EE: ISRAEL SEIZED MY OLIVE GROVE IN SALFIT AND BUILT FACTORIES The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 1, 2017 ― With a sigh of sadness, Palestinian farmer Abdullah Mar’ee looked at his annexed plot of land in Farkha village, west of Salfit, which was once an olive grove before Israel took it over along with other vast tracts of Palestinian land and built large factories in their place.
___“We planted olive saplings on 25 dunums of land in Karm Ashour area, west of Salfit, and we were happy with them, especially when we saw them starting to yield olive fruits of the Nabali type, but all of a sudden, the settlement of Ariel encroached on our land,” Abu Mar’ee said.
___“They built a factory for cosmetics, another for sweets and a huge iron plant, and their bulldozers are still embarking on razing more lands belonging to us and others,” he added. MORE . . . ..
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) US PROJECT AIMS TO IMPROVE WATER ACCESS FOR PALESTINIAN FARMERS Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
By Ahmad Melhem
Oct. 31, 2017 ― The US Consulate in Jerusalem launched a $10 million project on Oct. 15 to support the water sector in the West Bank governorate of Jericho. In attendance during the announcement of the launch was Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
___The project . . . (network expansion), which should be ready by early 2018, will connect 70% of the residents of Jericho to the water treatment plant, which, in turn, was funded by the Japanese government in the city and launched by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in June 2014.
___The project will be of great help to the farmers in the city of Jericho and the Jordan Valley, especially palm farmers, as it will increase their irrigation resources, which is the biggest problem plaguing this sector. MORE . . . ❷ NETANYAHU TO BUILD BYPASS ROADS FOR 200 MILLION NIS TO PROTECT ILLEGAL WEST BANK SETTLERS Palestine News Network – PNN
Nov. 7, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledges to support a plan to build new bypass roads and deploy new measures to “strengthen protection” for the Israeli settlers in the West Bank for 200 million NIS.
___This came after arguments in the Knesset’s Finance Committee meeting in the presence of Netanyahu, who was strongly criticized from families whose sons were killed in the streets of the West Bank.
___They demanded “strengthening their protection by creating bypass roads” away from the centers of Palestinian towns. MORE . . .
“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?
I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be
when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men
I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?
who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow
what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?
what is its name?
――Translated by Tom Pow
Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
FromA BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.
❶ Racist proposal to ban non-Jews from election to Israeli parliament
Background: “Trumpian Ethics and the Rule of Law.” Creighton Law Review.
❷ Israeli forces prevent Palestinians from accessing their lands to pick olives
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers steal olive harvest near Qalqilia
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli settlers attack Palestinian home in Hebron with rocks, stun grenades
❸ FIFA gives green light to Israeli settlement clubs
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ RACIST PROPOSAL TO BAN NON-JEWS FROM ELECTION TO ISRAELI PARLIAMENT Days of Palestine
Oct 28 2017 ― The ruling Israeli coalition may propose a bill in the Israeli Knesset that blocks non-Jews from being elected to the parliament, Israeli media reported on Friday.
___The bill would apparently prevent intervention by the Supreme Court in decisions taken by the Israeli Central Elections Committee; it is the latter which would then have sole responsibility for blocking non-Jewish candidates.
___“This bill aims to return the authority and power to the Elections Committee by preventing appeals against its decision,” said its proposer, Oded Forer MK of the extreme right-ring Jewish Home party. “The Knesset has become a place for terrorists and their supporters [sic] to sit in without fear.”
___This was a reference to MKs Basel Ghattas – who is now in prison – and the head of the Arab Joint-list Ayman Odeh. At least 20 per cent of Israel’s population are non-Jews; if such a bill became law it would confirm the apartheid nature of the Israeli state. MORE . . . .. From ISRAELI NEWSPAPER
McKay, John. “TRUMPIAN ETHICS AND THE RULE OF LAW.” CREIGHTON LAW REVIEW, vol. 50, no. 4, Sept. 2017, pp. 781-799.
[. . . .] The biggest obstacle to peace in the region is the unfettered building of settlements by Israel in occupied Palestinian lands. Almost everywhere you travel in the West Bank, when you look up to the hills, you will see an Israeli settlement, illegal in every way under international law. And they are building all the time. . . THE PALESTINIANS INSIST ON A RIGHT OF RETURN, AND TO THEM—SOME OF THEM—THAT MEANS THEY WANT THE OLIVE GROVES OF THEIR GRANDPARENTS THAT ARE NOW PART OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL. This is not a reasonable starting point for peace negotiations on the part of the Palestinians. The Israelis will not stop building settlements and have no observable way to roll back those heavily armed settlers who now number well over half a million living inside the West Bank—a land to which they have absolutely no claim under law.
[. . . .] But for peace to come about, Israel must eventually end its use of military laws of occupation. . . the only way out is to roll back the occupation, to roll back the laws that governments give themselves when peace is threatened from within. . .
[. . . .] With this impending disaster for the Jewish State of Israel, we would likely be looking at the beginning of an almost direct parallel to South Africa and its discredited policy of apartheid. Some argue that Israel has already created such a policy, in fact.
___There are now approximately 625,000 Israeli Jews living in the West Bank in over one hundred settlements. I have no idea how this can ever be rolled back if there is to be a peace. But to look at the reality on the ground, these are all fortified mini-cities. As I personally observed, every one of them has an Israeli defense garrison close by. All are walled, all are surrounded by barbed wire, and the citizens are armed. On one occasion, I attended a barbeque in an Arab village, above which there was an Israeli settlement. There was a swimming hole, and I, of course, invited the settlers to come and eat with us, which they refused to do. But as they turned away, I could see tucked into the back of their bathing suits that each had a nine-millimeter pistol. It was not only the soldiers who carried weapons; even the Israeli settlers were heavily, heavily armed in every possible way. FULL ARTICLE.
❷ ISRAELI FORCES PREVENT PALESTINIANS FROM ACCESSING THEIR LANDS TO PICK OLIVES Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces on Sunday reportedly prevented Palestinian farmers in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah from reaching their land to pick olives, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.
___WAFA reported that Palestinians from the village of Nilin were stopped by Israelis forces on their way to pick olives on their farm lands, located on the Israeli side of the separation wall, which runs through the farmers’ lands.
___The farmers, according to Wafa, had permits from Israeli authorities to enter the area, but were denied anyway.
[. . . .] Palestinians living in the areas where Israel’s separation wall cut off their lands, are required to obtain entry permits, and cannot enter their lands for any purpose other than work or residence. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI SETTLERS STEAL OLIVE HARVEST NEAR QALQILIA Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Israeli settlers stole the olive harvest from Palestinian-owned land in the villages of Jitt, east of Qalqilya, Sunday said one of the land owners.
___Omar Yameen told WAFA that landowners from the village discovered when they reached their land adjacent to the illegal settlement of Kedumim that the olive crops have been harvested and many fully grown trees were damaged and dry after being sprayed with toxic chemicals.
___The owner said he also discovered sewage water being pumped from a settler’s mobile home into his land. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI SETTLERS ATTACK PALESTINIAN HOME IN HEBRON WITH ROCKS, STUN GRENADES Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Dozens of Israeli settlers reportedly attacked a Palestinian home in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday, according to local sources.
___Local activist Jamal Iseifan told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement attacked a house belonging to Kayid Mansour al-Jaabari, under the protection of armed Israeli forces.
___Iseifan said that Israeli settlers threw rocks and stun grenades at the house and al-Jaabari’s family, adding that Hebron has seen a rise in attacks on Palestinian houses near the Kiryat Arba settlement, that exists in contravention of international law. MORE . . . ❸ FIFA GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO ISRAELI SETTLEMENT CLUBS The Electronic Intifada
By Maureen Clare Murphy
Oct. 28, 2017 ― The world football governing body FIFA stated on Friday that it would not sanction or take other measures against clubs located in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
___“Today the FIFA Council shredded the organization’s statutes and declared itself a complicit organization that welcomes Israel’s illegal settlement clubs,” Stephanie Adam of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel stated.
___“FIFA is intent on providing material support for Israel’s violations of international law amounting to war crimes against one of its own member associations,” Adam added, referring to the Palestinian Football Association.
___In its statement the FIFA Council did not address Israeli rights violations and instead referred to a “current situation … characterized by an exceptional complexity and sensitivity and by certain de facto circumstances that can neither be ignored nor changed unilaterally by nongovernmental organizations such as FIFA.” MORE . . .
“ANY REFUGEES IN THE WORLD,” BY LAHAB ASSEF AL-JUNDI
what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror drove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?
are Palestinians any different from other refugees?
is it not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?
why are they being asked to settle
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicians tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?
between continued warfare and annihilation
as the only
time for peace
Jundi’s coming-of-age story is chronicled in the illuminating book, The Hour of Sunlight, co-authored with his friend, former colleague and author/documentary filmmaker/playwright Jen Marlowe. . . Jundi’s life is a tale of dislocation, of yearning, of delight in the details and a reverence for the written word. The son of refugees from both Deir Yassin and Zakarriya, Jundi was raised in the Old City of Jerusalem by two blind parents—a unique experience by any measure—and became a refugee at a young age. . . . 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. Available from Barnes and Noble.
Background: “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Dual Criminal Justice System in the West Bank.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.
❷ Israeli forces detain 15 more Palestinians for involvement in Al-Aqsa protests
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) 4 minors among 30 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces in overnight raids
❸ Villagers urge action against Israeli orders to demolish 14 homes in Al-Walaja village
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli army places Yatta village under complete lockdown following attack
❹ POETRY by Salem Jubran
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ ISRAELI MKS SEEK EXECUTING PALESTINIAN PRISONERS Days of Palestine
August 3, 2017. A number of Israeli MKs are planning to present proposal to introduce death penalty against Palestinian prisoners, Israeli TV revealed on Wednesday.
___The proposal aims to amend the Israeli Penal Code and Counterterrorism Law, stating that Palestinians who carry out operations against Israeli occupation forces are the subject of this amendment.
[. . . .] The second amendment stipulates issuing the death penalty against anyone who assists those carrying out operations or organisations working against Israel.
___In addition, two amendments will be made to Article 39 of the Counterterrorism Law, which states that the punishment for an act of mass terrorism, which causes severe bodily harm to a large population, and for an act of terrorism committed using unconventional weapons, even where these acts do not result in death, would be life imprisonment. MORE . . .
Omer-Man, Emily Schaeffer. “SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL: ISRAEL’S DUAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE WEST BANK.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 16-21.
[. . . .] The Knesset passed a law granting Israeli courts and authorities jurisdiction over any Israeli national accused of committing a crime that violates Israeli law, even if the alleged crime was committed within the OPT. The law was passed as an emergency regulation, but it is periodically renewed and in force to this day. Technically speaking, Israeli military and civilian courts hold concurrent jurisdiction to try Israelis for offenses related to security. The policy for the last four decades, however, has been to refrain from prosecuting Israeli civilians in the military system, despite critiques that doing so constitutes partial annexation of occupied territory. Various attempts by Israeli officials to advocate for the exercise of military court jurisdiction over Israeli settlers have been obstructed by the military or political echelons.
[. . . .] In addition to these structural discrepancies, which have significant bearing on the relative due process protections afforded under each system, the two systems are also distinguished by severe substantive disparities. As such, an Israeli citizen and a Palestinian — both of whom are accused of manslaughter, the Israeli residing in the settlement of Ma’on and the Palestinian in the adjacent village of Al-Tuwani — will be tried before different legal systems. The settler will be processed according to the Israeli Penal Code, which requires he be brought before a judge within 24 hours of arrest, and whose arrest may be extended for a maximum of 30 days. The Palestinian will be processed according to military order, which allows a suspect to be detained for up to four days after arrest before being brought before a judge, followed by 30-day extensions for up to three months. They will be tried before different courts: the Israeli by fellow Israeli judges and prosecutors; the Palestinian by uniformed prosecutors and judges, commissioned by the occupying army. If convicted of manslaughter, the Israeli may be sentenced to up to 20 years’ imprisonment; the Palestinian may be sentenced to up to life imprisonment.
[. . . .] Israel is under strict obligation to protect Palestinians and their property from harm and to uphold their basic due process rights. Instead, it has established and maintained for nearly a half-century a dual criminal system under which the West Bank Palestinian population is unequal under the law, while the settler population is granted virtual carte blanche to carry out acts that directly translate into dispossessing Palestinians of their land, making way for the constant expansion of the settlement enterprise. FULL ARTICLE . . .
❷ ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN 15 MORE PALESTINIANS FOR INVOLVEMENT IN AL-AQSA PROTESTS Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 3, 2017. Israeli forces detained 15 Palestinians in several neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem during overnight raids between Wednesday and Thursday, as Israeli forces continued to crack down on Palestinians in the wake of large-scale protests over Israeli restrictions at Al-Aqsa Mosque, bringing the number of Palestinians detained this week over Al-Aqsa protests to almost 50.
[. . . .] Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri confirmed the detentions, and said that the Palestinians were detained over “violence and disturbing the order in Jerusalem,” which she said included rock-throwing, and blocking and closing roads — which was done during each Muslim prayer during the protests, as thousands of Palestinian performed prayers on the streets of Jerusalem in an act of mass civil disobedience against Israeli policies. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) 4 MINORS AMONG 30 PALESTINIANS DETAINED BY ISRAELI FORCES IN OVERNIGHT RAIDS Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 3, 2017. Israeli forces detained 30 Palestinians, including four minors, across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, during overnight raids between Wednesday and Thursday, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
___Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that Israeli forces detained Mousa Bulbul, Mutlaq al-Sadi, and Alaa Abahra from the Jenin district in the northern West Bank. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that two Palestinians were detained from Jenin city. Israeli forces also detained . . . . MORE . . . ❸ VILLAGERS URGE ACTION AGAINST ISRAELI ORDERS TO DEMOLISH 14 HOMES IN AL-WALAJA VILLAGE Palestine News Network – PNN
August 3, 2017. Last week, Israeli Occupation Authorities handed out demolition threats for 14 Palestinian homes in AL-Walaja village, under the pretext of having no building permit, and refuses to give them any permits at the same time.
___The families, whose homes would be demolished by 9 August, live in an ongoing state of fear and anxiety for their future, especially that they have built these houses themselves and over the years.
___Ahmed al-Atrash said that the Israeli authorities handed over the decision to demolish his house, which he built on top of his parent’s home. MORE . . . . . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI ARMY PLACES YATTA VILLAGE UNDER COMPLETE LOCKDOWN FOLLOWING ATTACK Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 3, 2017. Israeli forces implemented a closure on the village of Yatta in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday, and raided the village again early Thursday after a 19-year-old resident allegedly carried out a stabbing attack at a supermarket in the Israeli city of Yavne, leaving an Israeli man seriously injured.
___On Wednesday, a Palestinian teenager, identified as Ismail Ibrahim Abu Aram was detained by Israeli forces after allegedly stabbing a 42-year-old Israeli man at the Shufersal supermarket in Yavne, where the Palestinian teenager and Israeli reportedly worked. On Thursday, Israeli media reported that the injured Israeli was in stable condition after sustaining multiple stab wounds during the attack. MORE . . .
“A HANGING HUMAN 1964,” BY SALEM JUBRAN One of the toys that appeared on the Israeli market was that of a “hanged Arab.”
A hanging human body
The prettiest of toys
The sweetest recreation for children
Displayed on the market!
No, it is not there anymore
It has been sold out for days
Don’t search for it, tell your child
It’s sold out for days!
Oh, souls of those
Dead in Nazi concentration camps―
The hanged human
Is not a Jew in Berlin.
The hanged human is an Arab
Like me, of my people
Hanged by your brothers―
Forgive me, hanged by the crypto Nazis
Souls of the victims
Of Nazi camps―
If only you knew!
If only you knew!
Background: “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate?” King’s Law Journal
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Japan deplores advancing plans of settlements construction in West Bank
❷ Israel’s renewal of law restricting family unification condemned as ‘apartheid’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Rights groups condemn Israel’s lethal use of force against Palestinian protesters
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ NETANYAHU VOWS TO OCCUPY THE WEST BANK FOREVER +972 Online Magazine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 13, 2017 Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised that Israel will never relinquish security control over the West Bank, even as part of a two-state peace deal, which is to say that the Israeli army will occupy the Palestinian territory forever. __“[I]n any agreement, and even without an agreement, we will maintain security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” the prime minister said.
[. . . .] . . . the Israeli prime minister, who regularly blames the Palestinians for the lack of progress toward peace, has openly admitted — again — that he is unwilling to end the occupation. Without ending the occupation there can be no Palestinian sovereignty. Without Palestinian sovereignty there can be no Palestinian state, and no national self-determination.
___Without Palestinian national self-determination and statehood, the Palestinian people are left living as subjects under a military regime with no civil rights, no suffrage. MORE . . .
Wintemute, Robert. “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate, and What If the European Convention Applied?” King’s Law Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, Apr. 2017, pp. 89-129.
[. . . .] It is likely that the occupation would have ended long ago (because it would have been much harder to justify a refusal to allow a State of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), but for Israel’s illegal and stubbornly pursued policy of settlement-building. . . . This was spelled out in the 1978 ‘Drobles Plan’ [that] the state-owned lands and.…uncultivated barren lands in Judea and Samaria ought to be seized right away. . . our intention to hold on to Judea and Samaria forever is by speeding up the settlement momentum in these territories. . . . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on 11 July 2014: ‘there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.’
[. . . .] . . . those who reject the South African apartheid analogy should respond to it in a rational way, pointing to the relevant objective facts that make it inaccurate, rather than in an emotional way: dismissing the possibility of apartheid in Israel-Palestine because it is too painful to contemplate. . . and attributing malice to the person making the claim. . . In my view, it should . . . replace the current concept of occupation, which is itself an analogy, inviting the public to compare the situation in Israel-Palestine with other occupations. The occupation analogy is misleading, because almost every occupation one can think of is or was of much shorter duration (eg, the USA’s occupation of Japan, 1945–52), or has become a de jure annexation (internationally recognised or not), with citizenship and the right to vote (if it exists) granted to the occupied territory’s residents (eg, China–Tibet, Indonesia–West Papua, India–Kashmir. . . etc). The reason why a shift from an occupation analogy to an apartheid analogy could make a difference, in generating international pressure on Israel to change, is that occupation is common and does not shock.
___Absence of genuine democracy (because there is one-party rule or the same party always wins) is common and does not shock. But racial discrimination in access to citizenship and the right to vote (apartheid) is rare, does shock and has become taboo. SOURCE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) JAPAN DEPLORES ADVANCING PLANS OF SETTLEMENTS CONSTRUCTION IN WEST BANK Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 12, 2017 The Government of Japan deeply deplored on Tuesday Israel’s approval of plans to construct housing units in settlements in the West Bank, despite repeated calls from the international community including Japan for freezing such activities. MORE . . .
❷ ISRAEL’S RENEWAL OF LAW RESTRICTING FAMILY UNIFICATION CONDEMNED AS ‘APARTHEID’ Ma’an News Agency
June 13, 2017 Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, renewed the controversial “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” law, which sets severe limitations on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory married to Israeli citizens, for the 14th year on Monday, as Palestinian members of parliament denounced the move as “racist” and a show of “apartheid” against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
[. . . .] The law applies to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, and foreign nationals from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq — and can apply to other nationalities originating from countries the Israeli government deems a security threat.
___However, the law has primarily affected Palestinian citizens of Israel, making up 20 percent of the Israeli population, who often marry Palestinians from the occupied West Bank. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) RIGHTS GROUPS CONDEMN ISRAEL’S LETHAL USE OF FORCE AGAINST PALESTINIAN PROTESTERS Ma’an News Agency
June 13, 2017 Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations released statements this week condemning Israeli forces’ excessive use of force against Palestinians, particularly protesters, which in many cases resulted in death.
___Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a statement Monday highlighting the case of Saba Abu Ubeid, a 22-year-old Palestinian from the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit, who was shot dead by Israeli forces last month during a protest in the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh. MORE . . .
“A HOMELAND,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.
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.
❶ Thousands of Palestinians pray at Al-Aqsa on second Friday of Ramadan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers vandalize Palestinian cars in Jerusalem neighborhood
❷ US Congress and Knesset celebrate ‘reunification’ of Jerusalem in joint event
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) In Jerusalem, “Religious War” Is Used to Cloak Colonialism
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) 50 Years of Israel’s Military Occupation of East Jerusalem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) Israel’s occupation was a plan fulfilled
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
Select bibliography: journal articles about the Occupation of Jerusalem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS PRAY AT AL-AQSA ON SECOND FRIDAY OF RAMADAN Ma’an News Agency
June 9, 2017 Thousands of Palestinians headed to occupied East Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the second Friday of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, in spite of Israeli restrictions on freedom of movement.
___Hundreds of members of Israeli police and military forces have been deployed across the Old City and its vicinity since early Friday morning Palestinian security services also deployed members near Israeli checkpoints leading to Jerusalem City.
___Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access occupied East Jerusalem or Israel without an Israeli-issued permits. MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI SETTLERS VANDALIZE PALESTINIAN CARS IN JERUSALEM NEIGHBORHOOD Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 9, 2017 Israeli Jewish settlers Friday overnight vandalized a number of Palestinian-owned cars in Beit Safafa neighborhood, south of East Jerusalem.
__WAFA correspondent reported the settlers slashed the tires of several Palestinian-owned cars and spray-painted racist anti-Arab graffiti on walls in the neighborhood.
___Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the East Bank, including East Jerusalem, but is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities. MORE . . . ❷ US CONGRESS AND KNESSET CELEBRATE ‘REUNIFICATION’ OF JERUSALEM IN JOINT EVENT Ma’an News Agency
June 8, 2017 In the latest event celebrating the “reunification” of Jerusalem in Israel, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and the US Congress held a joint live broadcast event marking the occasion on Wednesday, in which leaders from both countries celebrated their shared colonial histories and applauded Israel’s control over occupied East Jerusalem.
[. . . .] Since 1967, Israel has stood accused of committing major violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including excessive and deadly use of violence; forced displacement; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; unjustified restrictions on movement; and the expansion of illegal settlements. MORE . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) IN JERUSALEM, “RELIGIOUS WAR” IS USED TO CLOAK COLONIALISM Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
February 3, 2015 The escalating clashes between Israeli settlers and Jerusalemite Palestinians are the harbingers of a major eruption with incalculable consequences. Immediately billed as a “religious war” by the media and Israeli right wingers, they are in fact the outcome of longstanding Israeli plans to Judaize the city and empty it of its Palestinian inhabitants. Al-Shabaka Policy Member Nur Arafeh analyzes the major changes that Israel has illegally imposed on Jerusalem and addresses the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)/Palestinian Authority’s (PA) effective abandonment of the population to fend for itself. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) 50 YEARS OF ISRAEL’S MILITARY OCCUPATION OF EAST JERUSALEM This Week In Palestine
June, 2017 Israeli settler-colonial policies in occupied East Jerusalem extend from three central strategies: The first creates a Jewish majority in the city through establishing “Jewish only” settlements; the second pursues the same goal by reducing the Palestinian population through policies that either forcefully evict Palestinians from Jerusalem or impede their growth and development as a community; the third isolates East Jerusalem and divides the West Bank into two parts. A policy of spatial colonial segregation reduces the visibility, if not the demographic ratio, of the Palestinian presence in their city. MORE . . . . . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) ISRAEL’S OCCUPATION WAS A PLAN FULFILLED The Electronic Intifada
June 6, 2017 [. . . .] Just recently, I finished writing a book about this period, The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories.
___Through the work on this book, I realized that the Israeli manipulation of Jewish fear in 1967 was even more cynical than it was in 1948, when the Jewish leadership genuinely could not foresee the results of its decision to ethnically cleanse Palestine. ___The cabinet meetings reveal a group of politicians and generals, who ever since 1948 looked for a way of rectifying what they deemed was the gravest mistake of the otherwise triumphant “war of independence”: the decision not to occupy the West Bank. MORE . . .
“IT OCCURRED ON THE FIFTH OF JUNE,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
The reader may or may not recall
What we said in village halls
The reader may or may not recall
But we said it repeatedly
In precise and sound words
The lightning which strikes in the road
Provides the passer-by with light
Despite the burns
The reader may or may not remember
But so that everyone will know
We are in the Fifth
Of the month of June
We’re born anew.
Abuzayyad, Ziad. “The “Unification” of Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 14, no. 1, Mar. 2007, pp. 56-59. SOURCE . . .
Adas, Jane. “Israel’s ‘Master Plan’ for Judaization of Palestine Continues Apace.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, vol. 35, no. 1, Jan/Feb2016, pp. 30-31. SOURCE . . .
Alkhalili, Noura, et al. “Shifting Realities: Dislocating Palestinian Jerusalemites from the Capital to the Edge.” International Journal of Housing Policy,vol. 14, no. 3, Sept. 2014, pp. 257-267. SOURCE . . .
Grassiani, Erella and Lior Volinz. “Intimidation, Reassurance, and Invisibility Israeli Security Agents in the Old City of Jerusalem.” Focaal, vol. 2016, no. 75, Summer2016, pp. 14-30.SOURCE . . .
Halper, Jeff. “The Policy of House Demolitions in East Jerusalem: What It Is, How It Is Done and to What End.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 17, no. 1/2, Mar. 2011, pp. 74-82. SOURCE . . .
Ophir, Adi. “On the Structural Role and Coming End of ‘The Occupation’.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 688-693. SOURCE . . .
Rivera-Pagán, Luis N. “Reading the Hebrew Bible in Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” Ecumenical Review, vol. 68, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 36-61. SOURCE . ..
Schejtman, Mario. “Meretz Jerusalem Views about the Future of the City.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 28-31. SOURCE . . .
Thawaba, Salem A. “Jerusalem Walls: Transforming and Segregating Urban Fabric.” African & Asian Studies, vol. 10, no. 2/3, May 2011, pp. 121-142. SOURCE . ..
Yacobi, Haim. “From ‘Ethnocracity’ to Urban Apartheid: The Changing Urban Geopolitics of Jerusalem\Al-Quds.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 8, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 100-114. SOURCE . . .