“. . . Hello, good morning, we’re fine . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ After PLO halts ties with US, Arab League steps in to salvage peace process

  • Background: “Edward Said and the Future of Palestine.” Raritan.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian national council says closure of PLO office in US reward to Israel
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Abbas will send Majid Faraj to resolve the crisis with the US
❷ Hundreds cross Rafah as Egypt continues to open crossing for 3rd day
❸ Israeli Occupation prepares to demolish six buildings in Kafr Aqab
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
AFTER  PLO  HALTS  TIES  WITH  US,  ARAB  LEAGUE  STEPS  IN  TO  SALVAGE  PEACE  PROCESS 
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 20, 2017 ― The Arab League has reportedly approached the United States government regarding its recent decision to punitively shut down the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington D.C, over the Palestinian leadership’s efforts to bring Israel before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported on Sunday, shortly after the US State Department announced its decision, that the Arab League — a regional organization of 22 Arab countries — announced that its Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit approached the US President Donald Trump’s administration over the closure.
___The league is reportedly attempting to do damage control and resume US-led peace negotiations following the PLO’s reaction to the closure, in which the group’s secretary general, Saeb Erekat, threatened to “put on hold all our communications with this American administration” if the US did in fact close the PLO Washington office.   MORE . . .

FALK, RICHARD. “EDWARD  SAID  AND  THE  FUTURE  OF  PALESTINE.”
RARITAN,
  vol. 34, no. 3, Winter2015, pp. 1-21.
[. . . .] . . . developments in and after 1967 permanently changed the strategic framework of the entire region and infused the Palestine national movement with a sobering epiphany along these lines: if liberation for the Palestinian people was to be achieved, it could only result from what might be called liberation-from-within, that is, on the basis of a Palestinian resistance movement rather than through reliance on warfare waged by neighboring Arab states. The Palestinian leadership for the first time fully realized that Palestinians must themselves become agents of their own liberation.
[. . . .] Said’s distress with the secular Palestinian leadership reached its climax after the Oslo Framework of Principles was made public in 1993 . . .  seen as a breakthrough at the time in most liberal circles as it acknowledged the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people with a status enabling direct negotiations for a peaceful solution to the conflict with Israel within an anticipated time horizon of five years. In retrospect, the Oslo approach was deeply flawed in a number of respects . . .  ENTRUSTING THE UNITED STATES WITH THE ROLE OF “HONEST BROKER” ENSURED THE BIASING OF THE PROCESS; and there was no obligation for Israel to end the expansion of its unlawful settlements. Said prophetically interpreted the Oslo agreement as a humbling defeat for Palestinian diplomacy, a bigger setback than the 1967 War, and the fulfillment of his worst fears as to where the Palestinian movement was headed. . . . What particularly disturbed Said about the Oslo text was its complete failure to reference Palestinian rights, especially the inalienable right of Palestinian self-determination. Beyond this there was no explicit mention of Palestinian statehood. There was also no insistence that Israel suspend any further expansion of the flagrantly unlawful settlements and commit to their eventual dismantling. . .  Said renounced his advocacy of the 1988 conception of a just peace. Instead, he now proposed a single binational state as the correct principled solution for both peoples.    SOURCE . . .

. . . . ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN   NATIONAL   COUNCIL   SAYS   CLOSURE   OF   PLO  OFFICE   IN   US   REWARD   TO   ISRAEL  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 20, 2017 ― The Palestinian National Council (PNC), the parliament in exile, strongly rejected on Monday the US decision not to renew the permit for the operation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, saying this decision rewards Israel for its continued illegal settlement activities.
___PNC president, Salim Zanoon, said in a statement that the US decision is an attempt to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians against pursing Israel for its crimes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at the International Criminal Court.
___He said this move conflicts with the US role as mediator and sponsor of efforts to revive the deadlocked Palestinian-Israeli peace process.   SOURCE . . .
. . . . . ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  ABBAS  WILL  SEND  MAJID  FARAJ  TO  RESOLVE  THE  CRISIS  WITH  THE  US    
Palestine News Network – PNN
Nov. 20, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas will send the head of the General Intelligence Service, General Manger, Majid Faraj to the United States to resolve the escalating crisis with the US State Department following their decision to close the office of the Representative office of Palestine in Washington within 90 days, according to a senior diplomatic source.    MORE . . .
HUNDREDS  CROSS  RAFAH  AS  EGYPT  CONTINUES  TO  OPEN  CROSSING  FOR  3RD  DAY 
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 20, 2017 ― Egyptian authorities continued to open the Rafah crossing between the besieged Gaza Strip and Egypt on Monday for the third and final day, allowing humanitarian cases, students, and holders of Egyptian residency to pass through.
___Hundreds of Palestinians passed through the crossing over the past two days, as thousands more waited for a chance to travel via the crossing, which had been closed for more than 100 days before it was opened over the weekend.
___The crossing was reopened on Saturday for three days, under the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) control for the first time in 10 years.    MORE . . .
❸ ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  PREPARES  TO  DEMOLISH  SIX  BUILDINGS  IN  KAFR  AQAB
Palestine News Network – PNN
Nov. 20, 2017 ―  Israeli occupation forces with a group of engineers stormed Al-Matar Neighborhood in Kafr Aqab, north of occupied Jerusalem, and took measurements of six buildings in preparation for their demolition.
___Local sources said that the explosive engineers accompanied by Israeli police, surrounded six buildings threatened with demolition, took their measurements, and carried out a reconnaissance in the area before leaving the place.
___The residents were given eviction orders in September and then 10 days ago a decision by the Israeli High Court authorized the Israeli municipality to demolish the buildings within a month starting from mid-November to next month.    MORE . . .

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
Mourid Barghouti

“. . . thieves have not broken down the door of my life . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

  • “In terms of what it aimed to achieve, the [Oslo] Agreement is geared at transforming Palestinian factions into amiable partners in negotiations, concerned with the governing and policing of the Palestinian territories  . . .  while posing a minimal military/security threat to the Jewish state” (Somdeep Sen).

❶ Abbas suspends all contacts with Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque

  • Background: “It’s Nakba, Not a Party”: Re-Stating the (Continued) Legacy of the Oslo Accords.” Arab Studies Quarterly.

❷ 3 Palestinians killed in Al-Aqsa clashes in Jerusalem, West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Scores of Palestinians wounded in Jerusalem in protest against Israeli measures at Al-Aqsa
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces violently suppress Al-Aqsa protests in West Bank, Gaza
❸ UN chief deplores Israeli killing of Palestinians in Jerusalem
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Syndicate, ministry protest Israeli treatment of Palestinian journalist in the field
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ABBAS  SUSPENDS  ALL  CONTACTS  WITH  ISRAEL  OVER  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE
Palestine News Network – PNN 
July 22, 2017.   President Mahmoud Abbas said last night that he has decided to suspend all contacts with Israel until the latter cancels all measures it has implemented against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
___According WAFA official news agency Abbas, who cut short a trip to China and returned home following the deterioration in the situation at Al-Aqsa Mosque, headed an urgent joint meeting for the Palestine Liberation Organization and Fatah Central Committee to discuss strategy in confronting the Israeli measures.
[. . . .] “In the name of the Palestinian leadership, I declare the suspension of all contacts with the occupying country on all levels until Israel revokes all its measures against our Palestinian people and Jerusalem, particularly at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and preserve the historic status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abbas said at the end of the leadership meeting held in Ramallah.   MORE . . .

Sen, Somdeep.
“IT’S  NAKBA,  NOT  A  PARTY”:  RE-STATING  THE  (CONTINUED)  LEGACY  OF  THE  OSLO  ACCORDS.”
Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 2, Spring2015, pp. 162-176.
[. . . .] . . . the least discussed effect of Oslo is in fact rooted not in what it failed to do but in what it aimed to achieve. . .  the Accords created a realm of “official politics” that incentivizes a certain brand of Palestinian liberation factions (that are unarmed and recognize Israel) . . .  it continually influences and affects the brand of Palestinian political organizations that are able to operate, uninhibited, within the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). On the basis of these legacies, one could then assert that the Oslo Accords features prominently in the Palestinian political  consciousness today not only through its failures but also the continued influence it has on the manner in which Palestinian politics can be conducted.
[. . . .] The most tangible manifestation of this aspect of the Accords is evident in its creation of a realm of official Palestinian politics. At the very outset, entrance into this realm is limited to Palestinian organizations that have publicly renounced an armed struggle and recognized Israel. Subsequently, the faction would be deemed a “legitimate” representative of the Palestinian populace and granted a permanent seat in negotiations with Israel and Western stakeholders. Once a Palestinian faction abides by this pre-condition, it is given the responsibility of governing the Palestinian territories and would subsequently have access to the financial resources earmarked for the PA. As the PA is responsible for key sectors such as education, culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation, and tourism, the resultant expectation would be that the recognized Palestinian faction, through its entrance into official politics, would be socialized into the reasoning of the state and out of the logic of resistance. Finally, in keeping with the “statist logic” of Oslo-mandated official politics . . .  the recognized Palestinian faction would also be responsible for ensuring the primacy of the mandate of the state-like PA (evocative of the logic of “official politics”) through the Palestinian internal security forces.
[. . . .] In terms of what it aimed to achieve, the Interim Agreement is geared at transforming Palestinian factions into amiable partners in negotiations, concerned with the governing and policing of the Palestinian territories (than militarily engaging with Israel), while posing a minimal military/security to the Jewish state. Then, in addition to its failures, the agreement today can be characterized as an institutional embodiment and framework geared at changing the foundational characteristics and subjective identity of Palestinian liberation factions. (Somdeep Sen is a postdoctoral researcher at Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His current research focuses on spatial politics in Palestine.)    SOURCE . . .

❷ 3  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  IN  AL-AQSA  CLASHES  IN  JERUSALEM,  WEST  BANK    
Ma’an News Agency  
July 21, 2017.  Three Palestinians were reportedly shot and killed during clashes in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank on Friday, amid large-scale clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory over new Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.  The deaths comes amid a large-scale demonstration across East Jerusalem on Friday to denounce new Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following a deadly attack last week.     MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) SCORES  OF  PALESTINIANS  WOUNDED  IN  JERUSALEM  IN  PROTEST  AGAINST  ISRAELI  MEASURES  AT  AL-AQSA
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2017.   Tensions were running high in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday as thousands of Palestinians were marching towards the Old City to denounce increased Israeli security measures in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which Israeli authorities decided to maintain early on Friday, despite recommendations from Israel’s own security agencies.
___A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson told Ma’an that at least 72 Palestinians had been injured in East Jerusalem, and at least 390 had been injured in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in total.     MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  FORCES  VIOLENTLY  SUPPRESS  AL-AQSA  PROTESTS  IN  WEST  BANK,  GAZA    

Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2017.   Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza on Friday, injuring scores who had gathered in solidarity with a massive protest in occupied East Jerusalem to denounce increasing Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa compound.
___Palestinian demonstrators performed prayers outdoors across the occupied Palestinian territory in solidarity with Al-Aqsa, to denounce the installation of metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in the compound after a deadly shooting attack took place there on July 14.     MORE . . .
❸ UN  CHIEF  DEPLORES  ISRAELI  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIANS  IN  JERUSALEM

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 22, 2017.   United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “deeply deplores” Israeli police killing of three young Palestinians in clashes that raged in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday calling for these incidents to be fully investigated, according to a statement by Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the Secretary-General.
___“His (Guterres) thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” said the deputy spokesman.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) SYNDICATE,  MINISTRY  PROTEST  ISRAELI  TREATMENT  OF  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALIST  IN  THE  FIELD 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 22, 2017.   The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) and the Ministry of Information denounced in two separate press releases on Saturday treatment by the Israeli security forces of Palestinian journalists doing their work in the field.
___The two organizations accused Israeli security of intentionally targeting Palestinian journalist, some of whom were hit by rubber bullets or tear gas canisters.
___They said WAFA photographers Afif Amira was shot by a rubber bullet in the chest while covering the Jerusalem clashes and Mashhour Wahwah was hit by a concussion bomb in his foot while covering the clashes in Hebron.
___Maan news agency reporter Mirna Atrash was intentionally hit by a stun grenade in the face during her coverage of the clashes at Bethlehem’s northern outskirts.    MORE . . .

“NORMAL  JOURNEY,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

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

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

 

“We are all victims of some kind of occupation” (Ahed Tamimi)

Ahed Tamimi
Ahed Tamimi

Postings Begin Again

After a few months of not posting here, I begin again. The posts will be simple at first, that is, providing links to items in the news and on the Internet without commentary on my part. The links will be to important stories and/or opinion pieces that do not appear on widely-circulated websites and news outlets.

Please watch for a return to the normal format and content here within a few days. Thank you.

____________________________________________

Why I Dissent
By James Zogby

Posted on April 29, 2017, in Washington Watch

This week, nearing the end of four years of service as an Obama Presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I felt compelled to issue a public dissent to USCIRF’s 2017 Annual Report.

While the larger part of my dissent dealt with the way the Commission does its work (which I will discuss in a future column), what moved me to go public was the glaring refusal of some Commissioners to allow even a consideration of religious freedom in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
(More . . . )

__________________________________________

Living Resistance Tour

Friends of Sabeel North America
Published on Feb. 24, 2017
16 year old Ahed Tamimi reveals life under occupation in the village of Nabi Saleh in Palestine. This video was screened as part of the FOSNA Living Resistance Tour when Ahed was effectively denied a travel visa to speak in person.
(More . . . )

__________________________________________

385 Israeli settlers storm Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Anadolu Agency
2017 By Abdel Raouf Arnaout
April 14, 2017

Hundreds of Israeli settlers Thursday [April 13] stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem amid protests by Jerusalem-based Muslim bodies, Palestinian officials said.

“Three hundred and eighty-five settlers stormed the mosque while being heavily guarded by Israeli police,” Firas al-Debs, a media official in Jerusalem’s Islamic Endowments Department, told Anadolu Agency.
(More . . .)
___________________________________________

“The Three Cypress Trees,”  by Mourid Barghouti

Transparent and frail,
like the slumber of woodcutters,
serene, foreshadowing things to come,
the morning drizzle does not conceal
these three cypresses on the slope.
Their details belie their sameness,
their radiance confirms it.
I said:
I wouldn’t dare to keep looking at them,
there is a beauty that takes away our daring,
there are times when courage fades away.
The clouds rolling high above
change the form of the cypresses.
The birds flying towards other skies
change the resonance of the cypresses.
The tiled line behind them
fixes the greenness of the cypresses
and there are trees whose only fruit is greenness.
Yesterday, in my sudden cheerfulness,
I saw their immortality.
Today, in my sudden sorrow,
I saw the axe.

Mourid Barghouti
From: Midnight and Other Poems
Translation: 2009, Radwa Ashour
Publisher: Arc Publications, Todmorden, Lancashire, 2009

 

 

“. . . in the icy morning, the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

tamirrice
Family photo of Tamir Rice, fall of 2014; killed Nov. 22, 2014 (Published: New York Times) Photos of Memorial to Abdullan and Tamir at http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774241

❶ . ‘Young lives taken too soon’: activists dedicate memorial to Tamir Rice in Aida Refugee Camp

  • Background: “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies

❷ . 2016 Christmas Message: Holiday message from PMNH-BU
❸ .  Jerusalem resident forced to demolish own home
❹ .  POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

abed-obeidallah
Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13 (Pictured: left), Killed October 5, 2015, in East Jerusalem (Photo: The Institute for Middle East Understanding)

❶ . ‘YOUNG  LIVES  TAKEN  TOO  SOON’:  ACTIVISTS  DEDICATE  MEMORIAL  TO  TAMIR  RICE  IN  AIDA  REFUGEE  CAMP    
Ma’an News Agency     
Dec. 3, 2016
In the span of one year, a 12- and a 13-year-old boy were shot and killed by armed authorities — one in the occupied West Bank, and one in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
___Their names were Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13, and Tamir Rice, 12, and on Friday, a memorial was unveiled in their honor in the Aida refugee camp — where Ubeidallah was born, raised, and killed — near the southern occupied West bank city of Bethlehem. __Tamir, an African-American child, was shot by local Ohio police on Nov. 22, 2014 while playing alone with his toy gun in a park in Cleveland.
[. . . .] ___Almost one year later, on Oct. 5, 2015, Abd al-Rahman was shot in the chest by Israeli forces as he walked home from school during clashes in the Aida refugee camp.     ___Neither the American police officers nor the Israeli soldiers who killed Rice and Ubeidallah were indicted for killing the boys.
[. . . .]  “We are dedicating this memorial in honor of two young lives which have been snuffed out unjustly,” said Reverend Graylan Hagler, who came with members of his congregation from Washington D.C. to dedicate the memorial inside the Aida playground, built by the NGO Playgrounds for Palestine.         More . . .

  • McEvoy-Levy, Siobhan. “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies 12.3 (2014): 312-326.    SOURCE.  

(Siobhan McEvoy-Levy is Assoc. Prof, and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN)

The use of the term ‘waithood’ to describe a distinct experience of young people who are stuck in their transitions to adulthood has emerged quite recently in the international development literature. Researchers with a focus on the Middle East and Africa have noted that both the structural violence of economic exclusion and the direct violence of war make it very difficult for young people to become adults in traditional terms and they may become trapped in a prolonged or even permanent state of social, cultural and economic limbo. The terms ‘a generation in waiting’, ‘involuntary waithood’ and ‘wait adulthood’ have been coined to explain such thwarted youth transitions.
[. . . .]   Alongside the focus on waithood, scholars of international relations, peace and development have also recognized children (though not youth) as a vulnerable moving (and movable) mass. Rather than being trapped in a state of youth-hood, children in conflict zones are forced to grow up too soon while circulating within and across state borders.
[. . . .]    Every young Palestinian interviewed in the West Bank described their main challenge as simply ‘the Occupation’. Supporting a ‘waithood’ thesis, university students were concerned about how the political situation would affect their employment, future relationships and family. For example, a female student states that her main worry was for her transition to adulthood: Huma (aged 23): “I fear can’t have a job, can’t make my life. Everybody wants to have stability, make a family and go to their work. So if I don’t do these things I will become hopeless.” Several young people identified their own lack of mobility, on the one hand, and a loss of friends and family to emigration, on the other, as key challenges.
[. . . .]  Hamdi, who is male, uses an image of ‘the Palestinian child’ to make a quite complex political point. Male children are propelled into taking a stand, taking on older youth and adult roles, by occupying space, literally, in front of a tank, to reverse the stuckness imposed by the occupation. That role in itself is a reversal of normal childhood development and another way of being stuck. While the image is one of movement through uprising, arguably Hamdi himself remains ideologically stuck in a first Intifada narrative. He admitted feelings of guilt about not doing more himself to resist the occupation, and like many of the participants believed there would be a third Intifada. Much like Alena, Hamdi is partially performing a role in reproducing the Palestinian master narrative, a pattern repeated among the Israeli interviewees where the reality of stuckness is also betrayed by the rhetoric of mobilization. [. . . .]

❷ . 2016  CHRISTMAS  MESSAGE:  HOLIDAY  MESSAGE  FROM  PMNH-BU    
Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH)
Dec. 2, 2016
The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University wish you a great holiday season and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year. May 2017 be a year of progress towards peace and sustainability for our planet.       More . . .  

dscn6928-624x468
Volunteer of Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) teaching children (Photo: PMNH website, Dec. 2, 2016)

❸ . JERUSALEM  RESIDENT  FORCED  TO  DEMOLISH  OWN  HOME
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 3, 2016
A Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was forced Saturday to demolish his own home after the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem warned him that unless he does it himself, it will demolish it and force him to pay exorbitant amount of money in costs.
___Said Abbasi, the home owner, told WAFA that he was forced to demolish the building that houses his and his brother’s homes under the pretext it was built without a license.     ___He said a total of 12 members of the Abbasi family, mostly children, were displaced as a result of the demolition of the two 300-square-meter homes.     More . . .

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
About Mourid Barghouti

“. . . the bed of her elder son, made for the final time . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

khaled-bahar
Khaled Bahar, 15, killed by Israeli soldiers, Oct. 20, 2016 (Photo: IMEMC)

❶ PCHR Weekly Report: Child killed, 3 civilians, including child, wounded by Israeli troops

  • Background:  “The End Of The Old Israel.” Foreign Affairs  (The Council on Foreign Relations)

❷ Israeli forces detain 17 Palestinians, including two young children, in overnight raids
. . . ― (a) Court drops charges against Israeli security guards over killing of Palestinian siblings
. . .― (b) Child killed by Israeli soldiers did not pose danger, probe finds
❸  New bill would give Israeli military minister broad powers
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PCHR  WEEKLY  REPORT:  CHILD  KILLED,  3  CIVILIANS,  INCLUDING  CHILD,  WOUNDED  BY  ISRAELI  TROOPS  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC      
Oct.28, 2016
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 20 – 26 October 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. A Palestinian child was killed in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by Israeli forces.       More . . .  

  • Benn, Aluf. “The End Of The Old Israel.” Foreign Affairs 95.4 (2016): 16-27.  Full article.   (The journal of the Council on Foreign Relations; Aluf Benn is Editor in Chief of the Jerusalem newspaper Haartez)

Israel—at least the largely secular and progressive version of Israel that once captured the world’s imagination—is over. Although that Israel was always in some ways a fantasy, the myth was at least grounded in reality. Today that reality has changed, and the country that has replaced it is profoundly different from the one its founders imagined almost 70 years ago . . .  Already, the transformation has been dramatic. Israel’s current leaders—headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. . . —see democracy as synonymous with unchecked majority rule and have no patience for restraints such as judicial review or the protection of minorities. In their view, Israel is a Jewish state and a democratic state—in that order. Only Jews should enjoy full rights, while gentiles should be treated with suspicion. . . .   Meanwhile, the two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians has been taken off the table, and Israel is steadily making its occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank permanent.
[. . . .]
The loners’ intifada has presented the current government with its toughest test so far. Netanyahu has always claimed to be tough on terror and has portrayed his opponents as softies. Yet he and his top aides have seemed clueless in the face of the rising violence. Instead of stanching the bloodshed, they have redoubled their attacks on those they deem enemies within: human rights groups and Arab Israeli politicians. And the center-left parties, worried about looking unpatriotic, have gone along with him . . . the opposition . . .  has called on the army and the police to ease their rules of engagement and “shoot to kill whoever takes out a knife or a screwdriver or whatever.”
[. . . . ]
Regardless of who wins the next election, at least some of these changes seem likely to become permanent. The country has already become far less tolerant and open to debate than it used to be. The peace camp has withered, and very few really challenge the status of the occupation anymore. Arab-Jewish relations are so bad that they would take outstanding leadership and enormous effort to fix.

ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  17  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  TWO  YOUNG  CHILDREN,  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAIDS
Ma’an News Agency     
Oct. 27, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 17 Palestinians, including two young children, during overnight raids across the occupied Palestinian territory, also raiding the home of a sick prisoner and threatening his family, locals said.
Bethlehem and Hebron districts   
Israeli forces detained two 8-year-old children near the illegal Israeli settlement of Migdal Oz in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Wednesday evening, claiming that they were trying to carry out a stabbing attack.       More . . .  

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinian woman Maram Abu Ismail and her brother Ibrahim Taha
Mourners carry the bodies of Maram Abu Ismail and Ibrahim Taha during their funeral on 23 May. (Photo: Shadi Hatem APA images)

. . . ― (A) COURT  DROPS  CHARGES  AGAINST  ISRAELI  SECURITY  GUARDS  OVER  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIAN  SIBLINGS 
Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 27, 2016
An Israeli court dropped charges on Wednesday against two Israeli security guards who shot and killed two Palestinian siblings at a checkpoint in April, ruling that there was not sufficient evidence that they had acted improperly.
___A private security contractor shot and killed Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, 23, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim Salih Hassan Taha on April 27 at the Qalandiya checkpoint between the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, after Israeli forces said Abu Ismail, who was five months pregnant, threw a knife in the direction of Israeli forces while she was some 20 meters away from them.     More . . .       Backstory . . .  
. . .― (B) CHILD  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  DID  NOT  POSE  DANGER,  PROBE  FINDS
Days of Palestine
Oct 26, 2016
Internal Israeli army probe found that Palestinian child killed by Israeli soldiers last week did not pose danger on them.
___Last Thursday, the Israeli occupation forces murdered Palestinian boy in Beit Ommar Neighbourhood near West Bank city of Al-Khalil . . . .
___Since the first minute, the occupation media reported contradicted narratives about the killing, proving that the Israeli armed had told a lie regarding its claim the boy posed danger on Israeli soldiers.    More . . .
NEW  BILL  WOULD  GIVE  ISRAELI  MILITARY  MINISTER  BROAD  POWERS
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency   
Oct. 27, 2016
Israeli occupation government submitted legislation that would expand the Israeli military minister’s powers to curb citizens’ freedom under security pretexts.
___According to Haaretz paper the proposed law would broaden the power of the Israeli military minister to curb citizens’ freedom, including restricting the profession a person could work in, forbidding anyone from leaving the country or having contact with certain individuals.      More . . . 

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
About Mourid Barghouti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

“. . . The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

demolition
Palestinian couple at the debris of their house after it was demolished on February 5, 2014 in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli)

❶ Death in numbers: A year of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel

  • Background from Journal Of Applied Philosophy

❷ September 2016 report: 436 Palestinians arrested, nearly 8000 since October 2015
❸ Consultations to begin in New York over draft resolution on settlements
❹ IOF forces Jerusalemite to demolish his house
❺ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
DEATH  IN  NUMBERS:  A  YEAR  OF  VIOLENCE  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  AND  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency  
Oct. 4, 2016
In October 2015 began what has been in turn called a wave of unrest, a Palestinian upheaval, or even the “Jerusalem Intifada.” Whatever the name, the past year has seen an intensification of deadly violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.    ___Over the course of the year, Ma’an has collected data regarding every person who has died as part of this latest chapter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    ___In total, Ma’an has recorded the death of 274 individuals from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016. Of these dead, 235 were Palestinians (85.8 percent of deaths), 34 were Israeli (12.4 percent), and five (1.8 percent) were foreign nationals — two Americans, one Eritrean, one Sudanese, and one Jordanian.       More . . .  

  • Gross, Michael L. “Assassination And Targeted Killing: Law Enforcement, Execution Or Self-Defence?.” Journal Of Applied Philosophy 23.3 (2006): 323-335. (Michael L. Gross, Department of International Relations, The University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa.)

[NOTE: Gross is writing about planned targeted assassinations, not attacks on soldiers, i.e. alleged knifings at checkpoints. However, substituting “immediate killings” for “targeted killings” the question remains the same: Are targeted killings (or immediate killings) acts of self-defense or extra-judicial execution?]

___Paradoxically, targeting terrorists, that is, those who egregiously violate humanitarian law and wantonly murder civilians, complicates the conceptual framework that justifies killing during war and distinguishes it from murder. As observers evaluate the merits of targeted killing and assassination, they find it difficult to categorize the actors and their actions clearly. Are targets of assassination ordinary soldiers, war criminals or illegal combatants? Do perpetrators of assassination seek retribution, deterrence, interdiction or pre-emption? Are targeted killings acts of self-defense or extra-judicial execution?
[. . . .]
The criminal behaviour of terrorists may then lead officials to invoke the law enforcement paradigm. This demands that states treat terrorists just as they would any heinous criminal, whether an ordinary lawbreaker or war criminal. Law enforcement entails arrest, trial and sentencing, and only permits law enforcement officers to use lethal force when either their lives or the lives of bystanders are in immediate danger. . . . Without due process, named killings are nothing but extrajudicial execution and murder. . . .
___. . . soldiers may kill during armed conflict when it is necessary, proportionate and consistent with the demands of utility. These are the common principles of just war and the conventional laws of armed conflict. Necessity allows nations to exercise armed force only when no other means are feasible to stave off armed aggression. Utility demands that belligerents do not cause more harm than the good they hope to achieve while proportionality limits excessive harm so that even important or necessary goals may not be secured at any cost. . . . Unless nations face a ‘supreme emergency’ that is, an otherwise unavoidable genocidal threat, there are no grounds for violating the laws of armed conflict.

SEPTEMBER  2016  REPORT:  436  PALESTINIANS  ARRESTED,  NEARLY  8000  SINCE  OCTOBER  2015
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network  
Oct. 3, 2016
Israeli occupation forces arrested 436 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in September 2016, including 73 children and 11 women (including 3 minor girls.)
___151 of those arrests took place in the Jerusalem Governorate, 81 in Al-Khalil, 40 in Bethlehem, 40 in Nablus, 35 in Jenin, 32 in Ramallah and El-Bireh, 23 in Tulkarem, eight in Qalqilya, six in Tubas, six in Salfit, five from Jericho and nine from the Gaza Strip.      ___There are approximately 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 59 women, 12 of them minor girls. There are a total of approximately 350 children in Megiddo and Ofer prisons. There are 700 Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial. 122 administrative detention orders were issued in September, including 44 new orders.       More . . .    

shooting
Israeli forces stand guard near the Zaatara military checkpoint where a Palestinian was shot dead stabbing a border police officer in August 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File)

CONSULTATIONS  TO  BEGIN  IN  NEW YORK  OVER  DRAFT  RESOLUTION  ON  SETTLEMENTS   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Oct. 4, 2016
Foreign Minister Riyad Malki Tuesday stated that the Arab Ministerial Quartet has decided to start consultations in New York to push for a United Nations Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements.
___Speaking to WAFA before leaving Cairo where he attended the Arab meeting, Malki said that consultations will start in New York on submitting a draft resolution to the UN Security Council condemning and calling for a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories.          More . . .

IOF  FORCES  JERUSALEMITE  TO  DEMOLISH  HIS  HOUSE
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency     
Oct. 4, 2016
Israeli occupation authorities forced on Monday the Jerusalemite Samer Dkaik to demolish part of his house in Assadeiah neighborhood in Old Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed building.
___Dkaik said that Israeli authorities forced him to demolish a 30-m2 room in his house that he built a year ago.
___He explained that he along with his wife and his daughter and sons live in just one room, so that he built the other room for his sons, “No words can express the pain when you are forced to demolish your own house,” he said.     More . . .  

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
Mourid Barghouti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank)

 

 

“. . . It’s fine to have a clean death, with no holes in our shirts . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

beit-hanina
Israel demolished two apartments of the el-Salaima family, Beit Hanina (Photo: +972 Magazine, May 21 2013)

❶ Palestinian families forced to raze their homes amid spike in Israeli-enforced demolitions

  • Background from Geopolitics

. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli Army Displaces Bedouin Families To Conduct Military Training
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israelis raze Palestinian olive orchards to expand illegal settlement
. . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) IOF opens fire towards farmers east of Deir al-Balah
❷ PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Kidnap 13 Palestinians In The West Bank”
❸ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  FORCED  TO  RAZE  THEIR  HOMES  AMID  SPIKE  IN  ISRAELI-ENFORCED  DEMOLITIONS
Ma’an News Agency
Sep. 28, 2016
Two Palestinian families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina were forced to demolish their own homes for being built without licenses on Wednesday, in order to avoid the expensive demolition fines imposed by the Jerusalem municipality when its employees carry out the demolition themselves.
___Between the two families, 15 Palestinians were displaced as a result of the demolitions.
___Owner of one of the homes Imad Jaber told Ma’an he was forced to rent a bulldozer to demolish his house, after receiving an order from the municipality.     MORE . . .  

  • Tawil-Souri, Helga. “Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)Mobilities: ID Cards In Palestine/Israel.” Geopolitics 17.1 (2012): 153-176     SOURCE    

Upon the insistence of its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s Declaration of Independence did not define the state’s borders so as to keep the option for future expansion possible. Already by the time statehood was declared in May 1948, Israel had expanded beyond the boundaries of the Jewish state delineated in the 1947 UN partition plan; it expanded even more in the months leading up to the Armistice Agreements in 1949; and has been expanding ever since (with the one occasion of ‘shrinking’ when it returned the Sinai to Egypt between 1973 and 1982 which it had held since the 1967 war).
[. . . .]
Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and ‘inside’ Israel, claim that the state of Israel through various methods simultaneously attempts to thwart, isolate, fragment, transfer and erase them away: slowly kill them all; send them off to neighbouring Arab countries; strangle them geographically, politically, economically, and militarily until they accept their subordination. This is not a chimerical claim of ethnic cleansing, but a reality that can be analysed as a ‘problem’ of the geo-political conditions of Palestinians’ status. Moreover, it is no secret that “the mere existence of the Palestinian people is a major strategic impediment to the realization of classical Zionist ambitions”; and thus, exclusion, throughout Palestine/Israel, “forms the logical background of a segregational policy that erects defensive walls of legal, institutional, and physical kinds to prevent Palestinians access to land, institutions, or other rights that could threaten Jewish hegemony.”57 These realities seem to form a cognitive dissonance: on the one hand the Israeli state is accused of trying to eradicate Palestinians, on the other hand the state institutes an impressive infrastructure of control and containment based on Palestinians’ continued presence in Palestine/Israel.  [. . . .]
(Note 57: Nils Butenschon, Uri Davis, and Manuel Hassassian (eds.), Citizenship and the State in the Middle East: Approaches and Applications [Syracuse: Syracuse University Press 2000] pp. 20–21.)

. . . ❶― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  ARMY  DISPLACES  BEDOUIN  FAMILIES  TO  CONDUCT  MILITARY  TRAINING
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 29, 2016
Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, Thursday, the Hamsa al-Fouqa area, near Tubas in central West Bank, and removed 19 Bedouin families from their dwelling, so that the army can conduct life fire training in their community.
___The soldiers surrounded Abu Hamsa al-Fouqa area before invading it, and handed the military orders for the families before removing them.        MORE . . .  
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELIS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  OLIVE  ORCHARDS  TO  EXPAND  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT
Al-Hourriah
Sep. 29, 2016
Israeli settler gangs residing in the illegal Leshem settlement, in western Salfit, uprooted Palestinian olive trees, paving the way for settlement expansion.
___Palestinian farmers said Israeli bulldozers leveled their olive orchards in eastern Deir Balout town, to the west of Salfit, in an attempt to expand illegal settlement at the expense of their own lands.    MORE . . .     
. . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) IOF  OPENS  FIRE  TOWARDS  FARMERS  EAST  OF  DEIR AL-BALAH
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sep. 29, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened fire on Thursday morning towards farmers’ land east of Deir al-Balah in the central of the Gaza Strip.
___Israeli occupation troops positioned in military towers in vicinity of “Kissufim” site penetrated towards the border southeast of the city and opened fire with machine guns towards farmers’ lands in the region.      MORE . . .      

salfit
Israeli settlers uprooted 450 olive trees in Deir Istiya, northern Salfit (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Apr. 21, 2015)

PPS:  “ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  13  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK”
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 29, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped overnight and on Thursday morning, thirteen Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The Hebron office of the PPS, in the southern part of the West Bank, said the soldiers invaded various communities in the district, searched many homes and kidnapped four Palestinians, two of them identified as Mohammad Qassem Shallash and Abdul-Nasser Abu Mariyya.      MORE . . .    

“IT’S ALSO FINE,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI

It’s also fine to die in our beds
on a clean pillow
and among our friends.

It’s fine to die, once,
our hands crossed on our chests,
empty and pale,
with no scratches, no chains, no banners,
and no petitions.

It’s fine to have a clean death,
with no holes in our shirts,
and no evidence in our ribs.

It’s fine to die
with a white pillow, not the pavement, under our cheek,
with our hands resting in those of our loved ones,
surrounded by desperate doctors and nurses,
with nothing left but a graceful farewell,
paying no attention to history,
leaving this world as it is,
hoping that, someday, someone else
will change it.

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

“. . . Don’t worry, your son is still in his grave . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

bahaa elayyan
Muhammad Elayyan makes the victory sign after the body of his slain son Bahaa Elayyan is released by Israeli authorities, Sept. 1, 2016. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ After 325 days, Israel returns body of slain Palestinian Bahaa Elayyan to his family
❷ Israel shuts down Palestinian radio station amid escalation in press violations
. . . ❷― (ᴀ)   Israeli violations against journalists in occupied territory increase by 17% in first half of 2016
❸ Israeli forces detain 10 Palestinians, including journalist, in West Bank night raids

  • Background from Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. “. . . discourse . . .  itself actually functions to shield Israeli society from the criticism that it deserves.” 

❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ AFTER  325  DAYS,  ISRAEL  RETURNS  BODY  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  BAHAA  ELAYYAN  TO  HIS  FAMILY
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 1, 2016
Israeli authorities returned the body of Palestinian Bahaa Elayyan on Thursday at dawn, allowing his family — which has been leading the movement advocating for Israel to release slain Palestinians’ bodies — to bury him 325 days after his death.
___Elayyan, a 22-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir, was killed alongside another Palestinian after they attacked an Israeli bus with on Oct. 13, killing three Israelis with knives and a gun.
___His body was buried at the al-Mujahidin cemetery near the Old City of Jerusalem, in accordance with stipulations from Israeli police, which has allowed the release of bodies of slain Palestinians from East Jerusalem accused of “terrorism” on the condition that they no longer have funerals in their neighborhoods or villages, but would instead be buried in cemeteries chosen by the police.    MORE . . .   

❷ ISRAELI  VIOLATIONS  AGAINST  JOURNALISTS  IN  OCCUPIED  TERRITORY  INCREASE  BY  17%  IN  FIRST  HALF  OF  2016
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 28, 2016
A Palestinian press freedoms watchdog on Saturday said Israeli violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory had continued to rise at a rapid pace over the first half of 2016.
___The increase came even after the group reported an “unprecedented” increase in violations throughout 2015 — “the highest ever to be monitored in Palestine” since the group started monitoring violations against media freedoms more than a decade ago.   ___The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, known as MADA, recorded a 17 percent escalation of violations by Israeli authorities during the first half of 2016.     MORE . . .

. . . ❷― (ᴀ) “JOURNALISTS  SUPPORT”  CALLS  TO  STOP  ISRAELI  AGGRESSION  AGAINST  JOURNALISTS
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 31, 2016
The Journalists support committee called upon the international institutions concerned with the rights of journalists to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to stop its aggression against the Palestinian journalists.
___The Committee called in a statement issued on Wednesday, for the release of journalists and media workers in the radio without charge attributed to them, and with the guarantee of freedom of opinion and expression as guaranteed to them in accordance with international laws.
___Earlier this morning, the Israeli occupation forces arrested at dawn the entire crew of Al-Sanabel Radio in the southern city of Hebron south of the West Bank, after the closing and confiscating of its entire contents.      MORE . . .   

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  10  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  JOURNALIST,  IN  WEST  BANK  NIGHT  RAIDS
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 1, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 10 Palestinians, including a journalist, in Wednesday night raids across the occupied West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported on Thursday that four Palestinians were detained in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, including journalist and former prisoner Osama Shaheen.    MORE . . .

  • Elrahim, Amira Abd. “Lack of Security for Palestinians.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.2 (2015): 28-35.  FULL ARTICLE

Unfortunately, the biased international media has always tried to exonerate Israel as an ethnic supremacist state from its guilt regarding ethnic cleansing. Many political analysts, activists and others fear being portrayed as anti-Semites. Conservative discourse surrounding anti-Semitism itself actually functions to shield Israeli society from the criticism that it deserves. This was obvious in the news coverage of the stabbing attacks in some of the international media channels. In the headlines, “stabbings” were presented as the root of the problem which justifies deadly responses and the murder of Palestinians. In this way, the responses were portrayed as responses to an external factor, which is the violence against Israelis. As a result, Israel was portrayed as a victim, changing victims into criminals, and criminals into victims.
___At the same time, social media by contrast threatens to damage the public image of Israel. It played a big role in removing the mask of the Israeli image through its ability to bypass the propaganda war of international media channels. The image of Israeli society has had barbarous periods before, but not like this one, in which every stabber or anyone who threatens with a knife, school scissors or a ruler is executed, even after he has thrown down his “weapon,” while the killer becomes the hero of the nation.
___The goal of this unilateral war is, on one hand, to force Palestinians to give up all their national demands in their homeland and, on the other hand, add privileges to the Israelis. Israel has chosen occupation over peace and has used negotiations as a smokescreen to advance its colonial project.

osama shahin 2
Osama Shaheen

“NORMAL  JOURNEY,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

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

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

“. . . serene foreshadowing things to come . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Combatants for Peace
Combatants for Peace demonstration, January 15, 2016, Bethlehem. (Photo: Combatants for Peace)

❶ Israeli opposition leader warns of ‘uprising of hatred’ in Israel

  • background from Digest of Middle East Studies

❷ ‘No military solution’ say Israeli, Palestinian ex-fighters
❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  IS  LEFT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  LEFT?
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  OPPOSITION  LEADER  WARNS  OF  ‘UPRISING  OF  HATRED’  IN  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency
July 18, 2016
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog warned of what he called “growing hatred and racism” in Israel encouraged by right-wing politicians, adding that it could pave the way for further deadly violence, Hebrew-language news site NRG reported on Monday.
___”We are on the verge of an uprising of hatred, racism, darkness and upcoming killings and assassination based on the overwhelming internal hatred here,” NRG quoted Herzog as saying during a speech at a Zionist Camp parliamentary bloc session on Monday.
___”We hear hatred at every turn, whether it is directed towards women by military rabbis, by Ashkenazi Jews against Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews against Ashkenazis, from military school rabbis towards homosexuals, or between Arabs and Jews,” the Labor Party leader added, notably in reference to the recent appointment of Eyal Karim, who has implicitly justified the rape of women in times of war, as the new chief rabbi of the Israeli army.      MORE . . .

From Digest of Middle East Studies
Carlo Strenger . . . writes that “Mizrahi [Jews descended from Arab Jews] resentment” has led to “hatred and resentment towards Israel’s liberal secular Jews,” while noting that “The core values of liberal democracy have become associated with the so-called ‘white tribe’ of the secular Ashkenazi [European Jews] ‘elite’.” He concludes that “Israel’s secular liberals must cease apologizing for fighting for a liberal democratic Israel. We are not oppressors, but a minority . . . our ethics are not meant to discriminate against anybody, whether on grounds of ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. The opposite is true: our ideals are the only ones that can ensure freedom and dignity for all.”
[. . . .]  The fear of the Orthodox other manifests itself in a notion that their birth rate endangers the state. Donniel Hartman, president of the Shalom Hartman institute [a pluralistic center of research in Jerusalem] noted “In truth, we have no desire to share our country with them and prefer that their integration be limited, all the while hoping for their religious assimilation” . . .  Yuval Elizur and Lawrence Malkin in The War Within: Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Threat to Israeli Democracy . . . described [the Haredim – Orthodox Jews who reject modern culture] as a “problem” that must be “solved.”
___The “battle” for Israel is viewed as one between its secular minority and the burgeoning Arab and Orthodox public. . .  Newspaper editor Amnon Dankner argued in 2011 that “what adds to my sense of depression is the awareness that demographic processes are turning our society more and more religion [sic], more and more racist and venomous, more and more withdrawn and violent.”

  • Frantzman, Seth J. “‘They Will Take The Country From Us’: Labor Zionism, The Origins And Legacy Of The ‘Other’ In Israeli Mass Media, And Hegemonic Narratives.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies 23.1 (2014): 156-189.   SOURCE.  

❷ ‘NO  MILITARY  SOLUTION’  SAY  ISRAELI,  PALESTINIAN  EX-FIGHTERS
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Daoud Kuttab
July 18, 2016
The request for a travel permit seemed terribly innocent. An international filmmaker was debuting a film about Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and wanted the Palestinian activist to be present at the premier in West Jerusalem. But the Israeli authorities denied Shifa al-Qudsi’s request.
___. . .  “I have received permits to visit my brother in jail in Israel, so why do they deny me a chance to attend a peace documentary?” she commented in a phone call with Al-Monitor from her home in Tulkarm.
___Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s “Disturbing the Peace,” about a brave group of Israelis and Palestinians, was screened July 14 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. The film features four Israelis and four Palestinians, including Qudsi, who are part of Combatants for Peace, a nonviolent organization originally made up exclusively of members who had participated in the conflict as armed combatants on one side or the other.      MORE . . .

isaac herzog
Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog speaks in Jerusalem. (Photo: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  IS  LEFT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  LEFT?
Ilan Pappé
Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2015

. . . being a leftist in Israel means opposing the ultra-Orthodox Jewish way of life, almost as though it were an existential threat. It is this clash of ideas that highlights the difference between Left as it is understood in the world and Left as it is defined in Israel. The clash between Left and Right in Israel is not about socioeconomic issues such as government spending, social welfare, or minority rights. It is rather a clash between a secular way of life and a more traditional and religious way of life. This is important to understand because  after  the  1967  war,  the  division  between  the  Zionist  Left  and  Right revolved around the question of whether or not Israel should withdraw from the territories it occupied in the June 1967 War. Quite a few of the ultra-Orthodox Jews supported withdrawal, as did the Zionist Left. However, this was not enough to form an alliance, as secularism was just as important to the Zionist Left as the idea of withdrawing from the 1967 occupied territories.
[. . . .]
Ultimately, it is impossible to reconcile a Zionist perspective with universal values associated with the Left. The history of the Zionist Left reveals genuine attempts to reconcile Zionism with universalism, but all these attempts have failed dismally. Yet, an alternative approach was always there, waiting for its historical opportunity to come forward as a universal agenda of peace and reconciliation for the sake of Israelis and Palestinians alike. Were such an agenda to be integrated into the Palestinian liberation project, it would become possible for the international community to rally around it. This can only happen when the two-state solution, which accepts and reinforces that there is conflict between two national movements that divide the land, is declared dead and gone. This has already been defeated as a possible solution, but a strong international coalition still supports it, and it will be a long process to undo this. It can only be replaced by a framework that recognizes that the conflict is between a settler-colonial movement, Zionism, a settler state of Israel, and the native population. Such a solution means, in essence, a decolonization of the whole of Palestine, which means reframing the relationship between the Jewish settler community (by which I mean the Israeli Jewish society as a whole), now in its third generation, and the native population.

  • PAPPÉ, ILAN. “What Is Left Of The Israeli Left? (1948-2015).” Brown Journal Of World Affairs 22.1 (2015): 351-367.    SOURCE.

Interview with Ilan Pappé 

“THE THREE CYPRESS TREES,” by Mourid Barghouti

Transparent and frail,
Like the slumber of woodcutters,
serene foreshadowing things to come,
the morning drizzle does not conceal
these three cypresses on the slope.

These details belie their sameness,
their radiance confirms it.

I said:
I wouldn’t dare to keep looking at them,
there is a beauty that takes away our daring,
there are times when courage fades away.

The clouds rolling high above
change the form of the cypresses.

The birds flying towards other skies
change the resonance of the cypresses.

The tiled line between them
fixes the greenness of the cypresses
and there are trees whose only fruit is greenness.

Yesterday, in my sudden cheerfulness,
I saw their immortality.

Today, in my sudden sorrow,
I saw the axe.

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