“. . . our eyes full of dust That never clears in our ceaseless wandering . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

❶ OCHA says reduction in humanitarian aid to UN refugee agency worrying
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Fatah: U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) American Arab group condemns US cut in aid to UN agency
❷ After Jenin raid, Israeli army leaves behind devastation, both physical and psychological

  • Opinion:  “In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence.” The Palestine Chronicle.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli court indefinitely extends detention of Ahed Tamimi and her mother
❸ Israeli army considering taking control of Palestinian areas in Jerusalem
❹ PLO calls on EU to take effective political steps to salvage peace
❺ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The significant reduction in funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in recent years, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the oPt said on Wednesday.
___The United States announced this week that it has cut $65 million of its $125 million January installment to UNRWA . . .
___“I am deeply concerned about the significant reduction in funding for UNRWA, which is critical to the provision of humanitarian assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory. Some 2.5 million Palestinians in this area, or about half of the population, need humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million Palestine refugees, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the oPt,” Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Roberto Valent, said in a statement.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴀ) FATAH:  U.S.  ACTION  WILL  RESTRICT  THE  WORK  OF  UNRWA     Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  [. . . .] It is important to note that the U.S. contribution to UNRWA represents neither support nor assistance to the Palestinian National Authority . . .  It is to an agency of the United . . . .
___A statement by the Palestine National Liberation movement (Fatah) in a press release said that this U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA and threaten severe deprivation putting Palestinian refugees at even more serious risk.
[. . . .]  “We believe that the methods of extortion and pressure of the U.S. Administration on the United Nations, especially with regard to programs that do not suit Israel and rightwing extremists, are unacceptable to the international community and UN member states.”   MORE . . . 
 .  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴃ)  AMERICAN  ARAB  GROUP  CONDEMNS  US  CUT  IN  AID  TO  UN  AGENCY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemned on Wednesday the US cut of $65 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides education and healthcare to millions of Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
___“This abrupt cut in funding has created an existential crisis for UNRWA,” said ADC in a statement.
___At stake is the education of more than 525,000 students, primary health care for millions, and the provision of emergency relief, including food assistance to one million refugees in Gaza.    MORE . . . 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
By Mohammad Najim
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  At about 11:00 pm (Jerusalem time) on a cold Wednesday night, Palestinian residents of Wad Burqin neighborhood in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, were awakened at the sound of gunfire. It was soon clear that a large Israeli military force has surrounded a number of Jarrar family buildings and opened heavy gunfire at the houses to force a member identified as Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, 26, to come out.     [. . . .] Army units used loudspeakers to call on the family to leave their house, and soon after Ahmad Nasr’s mother, her younger son, Mohammad, and her daughter were out in the cold the army asked them to remove their coats.
[. . . .]  She said the soldiers then asked her daughter to get back to the house and to open all of the windows and doors before their bulldozers approached the house and started to demolish it together with the house of her elder son, Sohaib . . . .   the residents were shocked to find out that three buildings for the Jarrar family had been demolished and a fourth was badly damaged.
___The Palestinian Ministry of . . . . identified the dead person as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, a cousin of Ahmad Nasr Jarrar.     MORE . . . 

The Palestine Chronicle
By Ramzy Baroud
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.
___Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.
[. . . .] Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed [Tamini] and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.
[. . . .] This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.
___Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett . . . are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.
___This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’
[. . . .] Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years [. . . .] Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.
[. . . .]  Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.
[. . . .] So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.     MORE . . .    ..

Ma’an News Agency   
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  An Israeli military court on Wednesday ordered 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed al-Tamimi to remain in custody indefinitely, until she faces trial for a number of charges relating to a video of her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier.
___The teenager was arrested on December 19, days after the video of her confrontation with the soldiers — who were raiding her hometown of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank, and had shot her 14-year-old cousin in the face moments before the video was filmed — went viral on social media.
[. . . .]  During the hearing, the judge reportedly said that they could not grant the teenager bail because she was “too dangerous.”
___The court also ruled to indefinitely extend the detention of Ahed’s mother, Nariman, who was detained a day after her daughter. Nariman is being charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the video.     MORE . . .  
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Israeli military forces are considering taking control over Shu’fat refugee camp and Kafr Aqab areas, according to information obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz.
___Whilst the proposed  plan is still unknown, army officials said the decision has been motivated by an increase in unrest and violence in East Jerusalem.     ___The two areas are currently under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality but are physically cut off from the city [by] the separation wall.     MORE . . .  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat Thursday called on the European Union to take effective political steps to save peace in the region.
___This came during a meeting with representatives of the EU countries at the PLO’s headquarters in Ramallah . . . .
___He called on the EU to protect the principles and the human rights’ system that it has built over the years, by translating and embodying its firm position on the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of a recognized State of Palestine.
___Erekat reiterated the PLO’s position that the United States’ has lost eligibility to play the role of peace broker after its illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel . .  MORE . . .

Spring after spring, in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

About  Jabra Ibrahim Jabra      Related
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.  Available from Palestine Online Store.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes and Noble.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.