“. . . are Palestinians any different from other refugees . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

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
for money?
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
coexistence beckons
as the only
honorable
demographic.

time for peace
now.

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.

“. . .Stop for a moment and listen to him saying: ‘No!’. . .” (Muin Bseiso)

Palestinians hold their national flag as they ride boats during a rally to show support for activists on the Freedom Flotilla III at the seaport of Gaza City on 24 June 2015. The activists failed to reach Gaza, with three boats turning back and the fourth taken over by the Israelis. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images.
Palestinians hold their national flag as they ride boats during a rally to show support for activists on the Freedom Flotilla III at the seaport of Gaza City on 24 June 2015. The activists failed to reach Gaza, with three boats turning back and the fourth taken over by the Israelis. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images.

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELIS OVERTAKE, BOARD SIEGE [OF GAZA] BREAKING VESSEL
June 29, 2015
According to Haaretz, Israeli forces intercepted the Gaza-bound boat Marianne late Sunday night, in what the military said was a short operation, free of any casualties . . .
____ . . . the Marianne of Gothenburg, was boarded by the Israeli navy and was being escorted to an Israeli port.
____The Swedish boat, which on Sunday afternoon was 150 nautical miles from the Gaza Coast, is carrying 20 activists, among them MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) and former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki.
(More. . .)
(Additional “mainstream” media coverage)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL LARGEST STATE USER OF EXPLOSIVE WEAPONS IN 2014 DUE TO GAZA WAR
Charlie Hoyle
June 26, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel was the single largest user of explosive weapons among international states in 2014 as a result of its war on Gaza, a London-based NGO said this week . . .
____In a report entitled ‘Explosive States: Monitoring explosive violence in 2014,’ Action on Armed Violence said that Gaza . . . saw one of the highest number of global casualties from explosive weapons as a result of Israel’s use of military force during Operation Protective Edge.
(More. . .)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ANTI-PALESTINIAN GRAFFITI FOUND IN JERUSALEM NEIGHBORHOOD
June 30, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Suspected Jewish extremists spray-painted racist graffiti in the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Israeli police said.
____Luba al-Samri, spokeswoman for Arabic-language media, told Ma’an that “Arab blood is a public property,” “Kill Arabs,” and other racist phrases were sprayed on a wall in Hebrew.
(More. . .)

From +972 BLOG
A VICIOUS CYCLE OF LAWLESSNESS IN THE WEST BANK
Eyal Hareuveni
June 30, 2015
For nearly 50 years the Israeli army has been treating settler violence against Palestinians as a decree of fate . . . the army has dealt with the phenomenon without actually dealing with it.
____International law, however, is quite clear that the occupying power . . . has an obligation to preserve the rule of law and public order in those territories. . . the Israeli High Court has even emphasized that it is a basic and fundamental obligation — but the IDF paid no heed.
(More. . .)

Settlers throw stones at Palestinians as IDF soldiers stand by in the West Bank village of Asira al Qibliya. April 30, 2013 (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Settlers throw stones at Palestinians as IDF soldiers stand by in the West Bank village of Asira al Qibliya. April 30, 2013 (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Opinion
From +972 BLOG
THE ONLY REAL DANGER OF GAZA FLOTILLAS
Itamar Sha’altiel
June 29, 2015
Activists on the Freedom Flotilla must understand that . . . Putting the spotlight on humanitarian supplies allows Israel to divert attention from the worst parts of the blockade.
____The truth is that after five years it’s getting a little old. Israeli naval commandos once again take over a boat to Gaza, and again, it happens without any fuss. The Israeli defense minister once again claims that there is no blockade on Gaza, and once again the prime minister tells the activists they should be sailing to Syria.
____There is, of course, clearly a blockade on Gaza. It requires massive quantities of unabashed gall to claim otherwise. Israel forbids the entry and departure of boats to and from Gaza . . . it decides what building materials can be imported to Gaza and for which projects . . . and it restricts the entry and exit of people in and out of the Strip . . . let’s be honest — it’s a blockade, clear and simple.
(More. . .)

“NO!” BY MUIN BSEISO

His wounds said: “No!”
His chains said: “No!”
And the turtledove which shielded his wound with her feather
Said: “No!”
“No!” for those who sold and bought
Gaza’s silver anklet.
They sold the bullets and bought a goose.

Quaking goose!
Stop for a moment.
And listen to him
Saying: “No!”
Pity him; he did not die under neon lights,
Between the candlestick and the moon.
Pity him; there was no formal announcement
or a dumb funeral.
No moaning poem nor song.
Stones!
Let me compose, if only one line of verse,
That I may recite it to all the men with long and false beards.

Stop quaking for a moment
And listen to him saying: “No!”
Like the solid fence of a house in Gaza.
Every day, he gets killed one thousand times,
Quaking goose!

From: A Lover from Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.

Muin Bseiso (1926 – January 23, 1984) was a Palestinian poet who lived in Egypt . . . He finished his primary and secondary education in Gaza in 1948. He started publishing his work in the Jaffa-based magazin Al-Hurriya (“Liberty”), where he published his first poems in 1946. In 1948, he enrolled in the American University in Cairo and subsequently graduated in 1952. On January 27, 1952 he published his first work titled Al-Ma’raka (“The Battle”). Imprisoned in Egyptian jails twice: 1955 to 1957 and 1959 to 1963. He died London in 1984.

A child at home in Gaza
A child at home in Gaza

“. . . I stumbled across Solitude in my house. . .” (Yousef Abdul-Aziz)

(See “NEW: Calendar” above for listing of events of interest.)

Dr. Basel Ghattas, Member of Knesset, Israel (Timesofisrael)
Dr. Basel Ghattas, Member of Knesset, Israel (Timesofisrael)

From MA’AN NEWS ANGENCY
MK GHATTAS: THE FLOTILLA IS PEACEFUL, LET THEM REMOVE MY IMMUNITY
June 24, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Arab MK Basel Ghattas said this week that threats by fellow Israeli lawmakers to remove his parliamentary immunity will not affect his decision to take part in the Freedom Flotilla III.
____The Israeli Knesset Committee reportedly voted in favor Tuesday of stripping Ghattas. . . of his immunity from prosecution for joining the protest flotilla.
____The Flotilla is the third of its kind to attempt to access the Gaza Strip by sea since 2010 . . .
(More. . .)
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE CHRONICLE
THE DRONE EATS WITH ME: DIARIES FROM A CITY UNDER FIRE
Vacy Vlazna
Jun 23 2015

“We prepare the suhoor. We all sit around five dishes: white cheese, hummus, orange jam, yellow cheese, and olives. Darkness eats with us. Fear and anxiety eat with us. The unknown eats with us. The F16 eats with us. The drone, and its operator somewhere out in Israel, eat with us.”

____I read The Drone Eats With Me: Diaries from a City Under Fire by Atef Abu Saif in almost one sitting . . . . These beautifully written searing diaries recounting each of the horrific 51 days of Israel’s monstrous war on the people of Gaza sweeps the reader into Atef’s anguished experience. . . simultaneously personal and collective.
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
SONIC YOUTH FRONTMAN THURSTON MOORE CANCELS CONCERT IN ISRAEL IN SUPPORT OF BDS
June 24, 2015
Thurston Moore, founding member of the 90’s rock band Sonic Youth, has confirmed his support for the cultural boycott of Israel, following the cancellation of his performance in Tel Aviv earlier this year . . .
____The renowned singer-songwriter and guitarist made the remarks in an article written by British-Palestinian musician Samir Eskanda, and published this week by online music magazine The Quietus. The piece, ‘I’m One Of 1000 UK Artists Boycotting Israel. Here’s Why’, makes the case for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). . . .
(More. . .)

“. . . I eventually arrived at the personal conclusion that to perform with my band in Israel was in direct conflict to my values.” (Photo: Chris Owyoung)

From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
ISRAELI AUTHORITIES HALT VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT
June 24, 2015
Israeli authorities yesterday handed down an order to Menizel village council, near Hebron city, to halt all building work on pipes and water tanks feeding water into the village.
____Coordinator of Popular Resistence Committee, Rateb al-Jabour, told the official agency that the Israeli authorities presented . . . a notice of an order to halt the development of water pipes and tanks around the village.
(More. . .)

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
ISRAELI GOV’T SEEKS TO SEIZE PALESTINIAN LANDS NEAR BETHLEHEM
The Israeli government has submitted anew a request to the high court to officially take over private Palestinian lands in order to legalize an unauthorized settlement outpost near Bethlehem, according to Peace Now.
____The request was again in response to a Peace Now petition to demolish 17 settlers’ homes, which were built on Palestinian-owned lots in the illegal settlement of Derech Ha’avot near Bethlehem. . . is located within the illegal settlement block of Gush Etzion, which is now home for more than 54,000 Jewish settlers
(More. . .)

“THE BOOK OF DOUBT,” BY JOUSEF ABDUL-AZIZ
Tonight
I stumbled across Solitude in my house.
Not only wearing my best shirt
and drinking my coffee
but also
smoking my tobacco
it was thrashing about the pages
of what looked like my manuscript.
It sat in my chair like a queen
and from its hands
rose an enchanted fog. . .
Still cloaked in my dreams I stood close by
trembling like a branch of the night
raining down bitter
questions:
What is woman?
In which storm
may my heart play?
Where did I bury the fire?!
As though I were a ring on its finger
it didn’t give me much thought.
Unfazed by my stiff shadow at the door
Solitude went on
with a sneer
scrambling pages
tearing them out of the manuscript.
I saw myself cast out to blind lands
and I hollered;
I saw before me a sphere of water
rising up in the wind
and above, a cracked moon,
and slain butterflies
strewn around me.
I’m sure
you will wrap up this farce! I yelled.
Solitude glanced at me with its two eyes of a gazelle—
my own eyes.
And it handed me
the book of doubt—it was my own book.
— Translated by Juana Acock

— From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
— Yousef Abdul-Aziz was born in Jerusalem and studied in Amman and Beirut. He is a teacher, a committee member of the online journal Awraq, and recipient of literary awards, including the (Jordanian) Arar prize.

Activists aboard a flotilla of boats are set to sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel's blockade of the territory, five years after a similar attempt ended in a deadly raid by Israeli soldiers.
Activists aboard a flotilla of boats are set to sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel’s blockade of the territory, five years after a similar attempt ended in a deadly raid by Israeli soldiers.