“. . . You may take the last strip of my land. . .” (Samih al-Qasim)


Anticipating Netanyahu’s visit, Israeli forces close down Hebron’s Old City

September 4, 2019
Israeli forces today morning closed down Palestinian stores and ordered Palestinian students vacate their schools in Hebron’s Old City in anticipation of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Jamal Sa’afin, an activist with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, confirmed that Israeli forces tightened restrictions in Hebron’s old city, closing Palestinian stores along the area from al-Salaymeh to Tel Rumeida besides to Wadi al-Husayn and Jaber neighborhoods.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He added that soldier ordered Palestinian students out of their schools in the old city, including Qurtuba School purportedly in preparation for the visit.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Netanyahu is set to deliver a speech at the Ibrahimi Mosque, which Jews refer to as the Cave of the Patriarchs, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1919 al-Buraq Uprising. The city of Hebron, which houses the Ibrahimi Mosque, is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers who live in compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.  More . . . . 

  • Netanyahu’s ‘visit’ to Hebron will not change its fact as an Arab Palestinian city
    By Bilal Ghaith
    September 03, 2019
    Palestinian activists called for receiving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Hebron on Wednesday night with black flags on homes near the Ibrahimi mosque as observers, politicians and historians dismissed all allegations regarding the “visit” describing it as a provocation.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to Maarive newspaper, Netanyahu will take part in a ritual in the Jewish settlement in the city on the steps of the Ibrahimi Mosque where the Palestinians were massacred in 1994 that left dozens dead at the hands of an extremist named Baruch Goldstein. An official ceremony will be held at the site to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1929 al-Buraq uprising. These rituals will be held in the presence of Netanyahu, government ministers and Likud Knesset members, on his first official visit to Hebron in 13 years.   More . . . .

Palestinian refugee students must not be incidental to humanitarian endeavours

Ramona Wadi
September 4, 2019
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Despite financial setbacks caused by political agendas and misconduct allegations, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) ensured that its schools opened on time for the new academic year. Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl described education as central to UNRWA’s mandate, yet the agency is not past attaching importance to symbolism and, despite its work, normalise the violence inherent in Israel’s settler-colonial project.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The opening of the new school year in Silwan, for example, publicised due to renovation works carried out during the summer recess, was lauded by Krähenbühl. “This return to school is also a symbol of preserving normalcy and a safe learning environment,” he remarked.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The safe learning environment rhetoric, favoured by international organisations, is replete with discrepancies, and can have severe repercussions. A joint statement published by UNICEF in January 2019 focuses on the impact of Israeli state and settler colonial violence as regards access to education and safety for Palestinian students. If there is still need for UN statements to remind us that children “should never be the target of violence and must not be exposed to any form of violence,” it stands to reason that Israel is not facing any deterrent to its destabilisation of Palestinian education.  More . . . .

West Bank village courts tourists with eggplant, stone terraces

Al-Monitor (Palestinian Pulse)
Ahmad Abu Amer
September 3, 2019
Locally grown eggplants have earned a significant place in the Palestinian cuisine, heritage and economy and is celebrated every summer in Battir, a historical village in the West Bank, 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) west of Bethlehem. Light purple, large or small but always fragrant, eggplants make up an essential part of the Palestinian kitchen from makdous, a pickled stuffed eggplant dish, to maqluba, a traditional dish with chicken, rice and eggplant.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The annual Battir Eggplant Festival, which took place on Aug. 17-19, is not just an occasion to celebrate the popular crop; it highlights just how this historical village — known for its 4,000 years of terraced cultivation of vines and olives — has suffered, first by plans of an Israeli separation barrier that could have been built right across the historical terraces, then under the restriction of movement and nearby Israeli settlers.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Battir, located on the Green Line, won the 2011 UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes. The site was recognized for aesthetic and symbolic value . . . .   In June 2014, the village was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger. The UN cultural body described the village as “a major Palestinian cultural landscape,” due to its complex and unique irrigation system.  More . . . .

Israel Confiscates Palestinian Lands To Expand Illegal Colonies In Bethlehem 

September 4, 2019
The Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank, issued three orders for the illegal annexation of Palestinian lands in Beit Jala city, Teqoua’ and Rashayda towns, in Bethlehem governorate, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Hasan Breijiyya, the coordinator of the Wall and Colonization Commission in Bethlehem, said the first Israeli order targets Palestinian lands in Basin 2 of the al-Makhrour area Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem, and are owned by residents from Beit Jala and al-Khader.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Breijiyya added that Israel wants to confiscate lands in that area to expand colonialist bypass road #60, linking between occupied Jerusalem and Gush Etzion colony, south of Bethlehem, which effectively means annexing hundreds of Dunams of Palestinian agricultural lands.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The second order targets lands in the Rashayda village, east of Bethlehem, and aims at expanding Maali Amos illegal colony.  More . . . .



I may―if you wish―lose my livelihood
I may sell my shirt and bed.
I may work as a stone cutter,
A street sweeper, a porter.
I may clean your stores
Or rummage your garbage for food.
I may lie down hungry,
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may take the last strip of my land,
Feed my youth to prison cells.
You may plunder my heritage.
|You may burn my books, my poems,
Or feed my flesh to the dogs.
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village.
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may put out the light in my eyes
You may deprive me of my mother’s kisses.
You may curse my father, my people.
You may distort my history.
You may deprive my children of a smile
And of life’s necessities.
You may fool my friends with a borrowed face.
You may build walls of hatred around me.
You may glue my eyes to humiliations,
O enemy of the sun,
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
O enemy of the sun
The decorations are raised at the port,
The ejaculations fill the air,
A glow in the hearts,
And in the horizon
A sail is seen
Challenging the wind
And the depths.
It is Ulysses
Returning home
From the sea of loss

It is the return of the sun,
Of my exiled ones
And for her sake, and his
I swear
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
Resist―and resist.

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



“. . . Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
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 . . . 

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 . . .  
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 . . .   
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 . . .  

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.

“. . . Jerusalem, beloved city of mine, tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

❶ “Unified Jerusalem” bill passes in Knesset plenum
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Trump will move embassy to Jerusalem in 2018

  • Background: “‘The Road to the Village’: Israeli Social Unconscious and the Palestinian Nakba.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❷ Settlers set up tents in Nablus area, seen as nucleus for building settlement
. . . . . ❷ ― CONTEXT: Netanyahu’s Party Votes to Annex West Bank, Increase Settlements
❸ Ahed Tamimi indicted on charges of assaulting a soldier and stone throwing
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Administrative detention orders issued against 41 Palestinians
❹ POETRY by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 2, 2018 ― The “unified Jerusalem” bill which provides for separating Palestinian neighborhoods from Jerusalem and prohibits relinquishing any part of the city under any future agreement has passed its second and third readings at the Israeli Knesset.
___Any decision relating to Jerusalem, the bill stipulated, will require the consent of 80 MKs—even in the case of a peace agreement.
___64 MKs supported the bill and 51 objected. MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) ended up abstaining, despite his intention of voting against it.
___The bill, filed by the Jewish Home party, requires the approval of 80 MKs for any decision to hand over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority in the future.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  TRUMP  WILL  MOVE  EMBASSY  TO  JERUSALEM  IN  2018
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 2, 2018 ― Hebrew “0404” website on Tuesday said that US President Donald Trump, has confirmed to Israel his intention to transfer the embassy of his country from “Tel Aviv” to Jerusalem as soon as possible, and begin to transfer this year.
___The website reported that Trump is pressuring his staff in Washington in coordination with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to start working on moving the embassy.
___“President Trump has sent a clear message that he wants to start moving the embassy soon,” a source at the White House said, adding work will begin in 2018.    MORE . . .  

Even-Tzur, Efrat.
[. . . .] Historical research clearly reveals an active policy designed to erase the memory of the Nakba from Israeli collective memory. . . .  On a material level, the destruction of buildings in depopulated Palestinian localities that has been going on since the 1960s explicitly served to eliminate the traces of previous Palestinian presence and to conceal the void left behind by this presence . . . . a 1957 letter from the ministry of foreign affairs to the ministry of Labor, present[s] the raison d’être for this extensive demolition: “The ruins of Arab villages […] standing desolate and empty since 1948, bring up harsh associations that cause considerable diplomatic damage . . . . the remains of dozens of villages now reside within the bounds of various tourism and recreation sites run by the JNF and the “Israel Nature and Parks Authority” . . .  signs posted in these sites offer ample information about the historical and geographical aspects of the area – while repeatedly failing to mention the fact that these places were inhabited by vibrant communities until quite recently.
[. . . .] Understanding the Nakba as a trauma that is shared . . . accounts for an interesting aspect of these practices – the fact that their wide-scale implementation did not begin immediately after the war, but gained full momentum only a decade later . . . .
[. . . .] Insufficiently worked through as it is, Israeli society’s traumatic past leads to yet another “pathological” manifestation: the appearance of repressed materials in a compulsively repetitive manner, “not as an event of the past, but as a present-day force”. Today, the ongoing repetition of the Nakba’s injustices is re-enacted in the violent relationship between Israel and its discriminated Palestinian citizens . . .  The destructive assaults on Palestinian society. . .  have been continuously launched and re-launched through the state’s actions and policies to this day. The besiegement and recurring bombardment of Gaza, for example, are not unrelated to the ignorance, on the part of most Israelis, of the fact that the majority of Gaza’s current inhabitants are descendants of refugees who lost their homes in 1948. This ignorance should be understood, in my view, in terms of the repression and effacement processes described . . .    SOURCE . . .  

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 2, 2018 ― Jewish settlers set up on Tuesday tents on Palestinian land that belongs to Deir al-Hatab village, east of Nablus, which is seen as a nucleus for a new settlement in the area, said a local activist.
___Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that settlers from the illegal Elon Moreh settlement set up tents on a land in Ras al-Ein, an area east of the village, and fenced it off.    MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❷ ― CONTEXT: Netanyahu’s Party Votes to Annex West Bank, Increase Settlements   
Jan 01, 2018 ― The Likud Central Committee voted Sunday to unanimously accept a resolution that calls on the party’s leaders to move to formally annex the West Bank.
___The vote by the ruling party is nonbinding and was called for in a letter signed by some 900 members of the central committee.
___The wording of the resolution states: “On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the regions of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], including Jerusalem our eternal capital, the Likud Central Committee calls on the Likud’s elected officials to act to allow free construction and to apply the laws of Israel and its sovereignty to all liberated areas of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.”   MORE . . .  
Ma’an News Agency    
Jan. 2, 2018 ―An Israeli military court on Monday indicted 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi on 12 charges, including assaulting an Israeli soldier, interfering with a soldier’s duties, and two past instances of stone throwing.
___Tamimi, who along with her family is well-known internationally for her fierce opposition to the Israeli occupation, was detained last month after a video went viral of her slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers near her home in the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
___Since her arrest, Tamimi has had her detention extended several times, until charges were finally presented against her on Monday.
___Ahed’s mother Nariman has been charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the altercation, while her cousin Nour, who also appeared in the video, was charged with assaulting a soldier and interfering with a soldier’s duties.  MORE . . . 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 2, 2018 ― The Israeli authorities recently issued administration detention orders against 41 Palestinians, including a member of the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Tuesday.   MORE . . .    ..

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

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.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

“. . . a permanent phenomenon incapable of being nullified, and we need to consider another vision. . .” (Dr. Meir Margalit)

❶ Government condemns Likud’s decision to annex West Bank settlements
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Knesset to vote on unified Jerusalem bill
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) Abbas to make important decisions in 2018 in response to Israel’s violations

  • Background: “Jerusalem between the Veteran and the Younger Generation.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Palestinian girl indicted for slapping heavily armed Israeli soldier
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) IOF arrest retired General at Jerusalem checkpoint
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) IOF extend re-arrest of Parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar
❸ IOF breaks into al-Khalil, erects checkpoint north of Halhul
❹ “On Hope,” poetry by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 1, 2018 ― The government condemned on Monday the approval by Likud party, Israel’s ruling party, of a draft resolution that calls on Likud leaders and Israeli lawmakers to agree on annexing Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
__Government’s spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud described the resolution as “an outrageous violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy, especially the resolutions of the United Nations and the Security Council, as well as an irony and contempt for the entire UN system.”
___“The Palestinian land that includes the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, foremost of which our eternal capital Jerusalem, is a land occupied by Israel. . .   MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴀ)  KNESSET  TO  VOTE  ON  UNIFIED  JERUSALEM  BILL
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 1, 2018 ― The Knesset is set on Monday to vote on the “unified Jerusalem” bill which provides for separating Palestinian neighborhoods from Jerusalem and prohibits relinquishing any part of the city under any future agreement.
___The bill, filed by the Jewish Home party, requires the approval of 80 MKs for any decision to hand over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority in the future.   MORE . . .   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Jan. 1, 2018 ― President Mahmoud Abbas said that he is going to make important decisions in 2018 to hold Israel accountable for its grave and systematic violations of international law.
___Abbas’ statement came in response to the decision of the ruling Israeli party, Likud, to annex the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to Israel, which the president said was a result of the support Israel enjoys from the United States.
___“We shall make important decisions during 2018, including regarding legal venues, in order to hold Israel accountable for its grave and systematic violations of international law, and to revisit agreements signed with Israel,” Abbas said in a press statement.    MORE . . .    ..

Margalit, Meir.
[. . . .] We have always known the solution to the conflict . . . .  and in the realm of intellectual debate, there are no inherent deficiencies in our program. However, the general public has not been impressed by our rational arguments . . . .
[. . . .]  We [Israelis] have also ignored the irrational components of the conflict. We provided a rational answer to a conflict that is, to a large extent, irrational. We downplayed (or ignored) the irrational dimensions, and in doing so, we lost most of the public. Freud wrote in 1915 that the behavior of nations stems far more from impulses and irrational compulsions then it does from rational calculations, and most even employ rational arguments to justify irrational urges. . .  We would like to believe that in life there is rational order, but . . . nothing can be taken for granted, and no rational explanation can truly explicate phenomena around us.
[. . . .]  . . .  since the 1990s . . . Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have changed the reality . . . such that the occupation appears to be here indefinitely, a permanent feature of the landscape that is not going anywhere. A change of such magnitude is not merely quantitative but also fundamentally qualitative, which obligates new thinking, a different perspective and an alternative political model. If our occupation is akin to that of Algeria, Ireland or apartheid, then the impetus to disengage is correct. However . . . we are dealing with a permanent phenomenon incapable of being nullified, and we need to consider another vision. It would then not be precisely ending the occupation but reducing its associated damages and changing the power relations from within, for example, ensuring full civic equality for all citizens from the Jordan River to Mediterranean Sea and allowing demographic trends to exact their consequences. . . . we need to understand that “peace” itself is also no longer feasible.    SOURCE . . .  

PALESTINIAN  GIRL  INDICTED  FOR  SLAPPING  HEAVILY  ARMED  ISRAELI  SOLDIER  (In Israel, killing thousands of innocent Palestinians does not matter, but slapping a heavily armed Israeli soldier by a little girl deserves rape and life sentence.)    Days of Palestine 
Jan. 01, 2018 ― Israeli court indicted on Sunday Palestinian girl Nour Tamimi, 21, who was seen slapping heavily armed Israeli soldier along with her cousin Ahed Tamimi two weeks ago.
___The Israeli court charged Tamimi with aggravated assault of an Israeli soldier and obstructing a soldier from carrying out his duty.
___ A short video showed the young Tamimi girls, slapping an Israeli soldier in Nabi Salih after shoting their cousin in the head.   MORE . . .   
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Jan. 1, 2018 ― Israeli occupation forces on Sunday afternoon arrested the retired Major General and activist Yusuf al-Sharqawi at a military checkpoint east of occupied Jerusalem, while on his way from Ramallah to Bethlehem.
___Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli occupation forces arrested Al-Sharqawi during while he was in a taxi heading home from Ramallah to Bethlehem, when the vehicle was stopped by soldiers, and he was asked to show his ID card.
___After that, he was taken to an unknown destination.       MORE . . .  
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 1, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation military issued an order extending the arbitrary administrative detention of Palestinian parliamentarian and national leader Khalida Jarrar for an additional six months on Wednesday, 27 December 2017, four days before her detention was to expire. Jarrar was seized by occupation soldiers who invaded her home in El-Bireh on 2 July 2017. A well-known Palestinian leader, Jarrar is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, head of its Prisoners’ Committee and Vice-Chair of the Board of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.     MORE . . .  
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 1, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday morning stormed al-Shuyukh town in al-Khalil province.
___Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that six Israeli military vehicles, accompanied by a car belonging to the so-called Civil Administration, broke into a neighborhood to the southeast of the town, conducted some examinations and took several photos of the area.
___More than 20 years ago, the Israeli occupation authorities issued a decision to confiscate dozens of dunums of land privately-owned by Palestinian families living in al-Shuyukh in preparation for the establishment of a new settlement outpost, but the residents’ protests prevented the implementation of the Israeli plan.     MORE . . .  

Do not tell me:
I wish to be a baker in Algeria
In order to sing with the revolutionaries
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a shepherd in the Yemen
To sing for the uprising of the age
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a waiter in Havana
To sing for the victory of the poor
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a stone carrier in Aswan
To sing for the rocks
My friends:
The Nile will not pour into the Volga
The Congo and Jordan Rivers
Will not serve the Euphrates
Each river has its own
Our land is not barren
Each land has its own rebirth
Each dawn has a date with revolution.

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

“. . . a reality that is willfully obscured by the complicit international community . . .” (Ramona Wadi)

❶ A research centre affiliated to the PLO has revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed 478 Palestinian buildings and other facilities during 2015. (Photo: MEMO File Photo)

❶ Settlement expansion and the disappearance of Palestinian memory
❷ Palestinian killed after suspected car attack near Huwwara
❸ Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians from West Bank
❹ Young Palestinian patriot cut down by Israeli bullet
❺ Opinion/Analysis: +972’s Story of the Year: The Right has officially taken over
❻ Poetry by Fadwa Tuqan
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Ramona Wadi
Dec. 30, 2015
Israeli pressure group Peace Now, which defends Israel’s right to exist “within secure borders” and advocates for the two-state paradigm, has revealed that the Israeli housing ministry is planning the construction of 55,548 settlement units in the occupied West Bank. . . .
___For Palestinians. . . “Greater Israel” and its ramifications are about the concept of disappearance with regard to history and memory – a reality that is willfully obscured by the complicit international community.   MORE . . .
Dec. 31, 2015
A Palestinian was shot dead after a suspected vehicular attack near the Huwwara military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, Israel’s army said.
___A spokesperson for the Israeli army told Ma’an that an assailant ran his car into Israeli forces who were stationed on highway 60 near the Huwwara checkpoint for security purposes.
___The forces opened fire on the man, killing him on scene, the spokesperson said.   MORE . . . 
Dec. 31, 2015
Israeli forces overnight Wednesday detained 16 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, a prisoners’ rights group said.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society told Ma’an that four Palestinians were detained from Bethlehem, identifying the detainees as Ahmad Amer Odeh, 20, from the Aida refugee camp, Ahmad Mahmoud Shakarneh and Noor Izzat Shakarneh from the Nahalin village, and Muhammad Salem Khalil Jibrin, 20, from the Tuqu village.    MORE . . .

Mahmoud Alayan, killed by Israeli troops Nov. 19. (Photo: Electronic Intifada)

Budour Youssef Hassan
Dec. 31, 2015
Mahmoud Alayan was a Fatah party supporter and an active member of its campus chapter at his school.
___He was also an implacable opponent of the status quo in occupied territory to which a Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority clings.
___That defiance ultimately cost him his life.   MORE . . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
Noam Sheizaf
Dec. 30, 2015
Benjamin Netanyahu and the Right finally took over Israel this year. The right wing successfully isolated and delegitimized the Left, eliminated any serious ideological challengers, put the country’s Palestinian citizens in its crosshairs, and quietly ushered us into an un-democratic one-state era.
___Save for the brief episodes of the Rabin and Barak governments, the Israeli Right has been in power since 1977 . . .  In the 70s and 80s the right- and left-wing blocs were relatively balanced, but over the past 15 years the Likud . . . has been the unchallenged, dominant force in the Israeli political system. . . .  The Right is in the driver’s seat, alone.  MORE. . .

❺ Benjamin Netanyahu makes final notes to a  speech against the Iran deal he delivered to AIPAC in Washington. March 2, 2015, Washington D.C. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)


They drew up the map of the road to life
they paved it with precious stones and with their young hearts
they raised their hearts as stones on their palms
embers and flame
and with these they pelted the monster of the road,
now is the time to show courage and strength,
their voice was heard strong everywhere
it reverberated everywhere
and there was courage and strength
they died standing
blazing on the road
shining like stars
their lips pressed to the lips of life.

Death charged and drove its scythe through them
they stood up in the face of death
fairer than palm groves
fairer than the yield of wheat
fairer than bright day rising
fairer than the trees which the rain has bathed in the lap of dawn
they rose they sprang they were on their way to the battlefield
and there they spread like balls of fire
they burned they shone and gave forth light
in the middle of the road–and then disappeared like the sun.

Ah dream of theirs which appear in the distance
embracing the happy future!
You will bring about their rebirth
along with their great tomorrow.
Their rebirth will come will rise out of the depth of death and darkness,
on its face it bears good tidings
and on its broad brow a star shines.

Earth shall suckle him all through life
neither the concentrations of evil
nor the demons of earth land and sea
shall tear him from its breasts
never will he be weaned whatever the usurper’s cruelty
he shall not be weaned
until in a perfidious night death paints
the nipples of the bountiful breasts with the juice of bitter apple.

Look at them in the distance!
How they rise up higher and higher
while the whole world watches!
How they climb up ever higher
on a ladder of their gushing blood!
Never shall treacherous death seize their hearts
as long as rebirth and the new dawn
remain their vision which guides them on the path of sacrifice!
Look at them falcons in their Intifada
how they join to the heavens the land and their sacred country!

About Fadwa Tuqan
Posted in University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
Director: Dr. Naseer Aruri, Chancellor Professor