“. . . An Arab who has refused to sell his soul . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Sunrise over Nazareth (Photo: Harold Knight, November 9, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY   
| NETANYAHU:  EFFORTS  UNDER  FULL  SWING  TO  NORMALIZE  TIES  WITH  ARAB  WORLD    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening said Israeli relations with Arab countries have been increasingly normalized.    [. . . .] “What is happening at the moment is that we are in a process of normalization with the Arab world without progress in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians,” continued Netanyahu.    ___“Today we are going there without the Palestinians being involved and it is much stronger because it does not depend on their caprices. The Arab states are looking for links with the strong. Cultivating strengths gives us diplomatic power.”    More . . .
| ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  FAMILY  HOME  OF  PALESTINIAN  ATTACK  SUSPECT  IN  TULKAREM   Israeli bulldozers demolished the family home of Ashraf Naalwa, a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a shooting attack killing two Israelis in October and who was killed by Israeli forces during the past week, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, on predawn Monday.    ___Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided Naalwa’s family home in the Shweika village of Tulkarem, on predawn Monday, in preparation to demolish the building.   [. . . .] Dozens of Palestinians had gathered around Naalwa’s family home, since late Sunday, in an attempt to prevent the demolition.    More . . .         
~~ OVER  180  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  IN  LAST  FIVE  DAYS,  SAYS  PRISONERS  COMMISSION    The Israeli military detained 183 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the last five days while the number of those detained since the beginning of the month has reached 330, the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoners Commission said on Monday.    More . . .
|  AS  NAZARETH  PREPARES  FOR  CHRISTMAS,  ISRAELIS  SPRAY  PAINT  HATE  GRAFFITI  ON  WALLS    Extremist Jewish Israelis from the terror group “Price Tag” Monday spray-painted racist, offensive and anti-Arab slogans on the wall of a building in the Arab Christian city of Nazareth in northern Israel as the city prepares for Christmas, according to witnesses.    ___The slogans included terms such as “The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel”, and “death to Arabs”.  More . . .
~~  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  ON  WEST  BANK  ROADS,  INJURE  ONE    A Palestinian man was injured on Monday after he was attacked by Israeli settlers while driving near the southern West Bank town of Tuqa, to the east of the city of Bethlehem, Palestinian security sources said.    [. . . .] Israeli settlers have escalated their attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank by either throwing rocks at their cars as they drove on the roads or by attacking their villages while the army either watch or encourage them.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| ITALY’S  SALVINI  SAID  WHAT  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  CAN’T  SAY:  ‘SUPPORT  ISRAEL’
Ramona Wadi
It is no secret that the right wing has appropriated and manipulated the definition of “peace” in today’s poisonous political climate. Peace  is  now  synonymous  with  power, and little is being done to challenge this notion on a political level, to the point that one can speak of collusion between the right wing and the alleged peacebuilders.    ___Consider, for a moment, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s recent statement during a press conference on a visit to Israel: “Whoever wants peace, needs to support Israel.”    __Whatever happened to the right of people living under a brutal military occupation to seek their liberation by all possible means? We are, surely, entitled to a reasonable answer to this question.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering of his people
Who has carried with him the hope of a just peace,
Who has spoken out against death at every corner
Who has called for and has lived a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

From: El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from biblio.com

“. . . the very air is confiscated, so why don’t you leave? . . .” (Taha Muhammad ‘Ali, 1992)

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Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel take part in the ‘March of Return’, on the land belonging to the destroyed village of Hadatha, near Tiberius, April 23, 2015. (Photo: Omar Sameer/Activestills.org)

❶ Jerusalem families in legal battle to stay in Old City homes
. . . . ❶― (ᴀ) WATCH: Internally displaced Palestinians plan their return
❷ Palestinian killed in day’s 2nd alleged attack on Israeli forces
❸ Why Israel has silenced the 1948 story of Nazareth’s survival
❹ Analysis: Palestinian citizens in Israel: A fast-shrinking civic space
❺ Opinion/Analysis: “HOW  TO  LIE  WITH  MAPS”  IN  THE  CONTEXT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION
❻ Poetry by Taha Muhammad ‘Ali
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
JERUSALEM  FAMILIES  IN  LEGAL  BATTLE  TO  STAY  IN  OLD  CITY  HOMES
Jan. 13, 2016
For the past few weeks, four Palestinian families living in Jerusalem’s Old City have faced the threat of immediate eviction from their homes.
___The Hashima, Kastero, Seidawi, and Maswada families, who live in the Old City’s Aqbat al-Khalidiya quarter, told Ma’an that they were handed eviction notices in December when an Israeli court ruled that their homes originally belonged to a Jewish organization.
___Hayil Sandouka, a Palestinian who has long worked on the restoration of Palestinian buildings in the Old City, told Ma’an that the building previously belonged to the Diskin Orphan Fund of Israel, founded in 1881.   More . . .
. . . . ❶― (ᴀ) +972 MAGAZINE
Watch:  INTERNALLY  DISPLACED  PALESTINIANS  PLAN  THEIR  RETURN
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  KILLED  IN  DAY’S  2ND  ALLEGED  ATTACK  ON  ISRAELI  FORCES
Jan. 14, 2016
A Palestinian was shot and killed on Thursday after a stabbing attack at an Israeli military checkpoint north of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus . . . .
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a stab attack took place on forces stationed at the checkpoint. Israeli forces reportedly opened fire on the assailant in response, killing him on site. . . .
___The attack took place at a flying checkpoint set up by Israeli forces nearby the Palestinian village of Asira ash-Shamaliya, hometown of the alleged attacker who was identified by locals as Haitham Mahmoud Abd al-Jalil, 31.   More . . .

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Sunrise over Nazareth (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 8, 2015)

MONDOWEISS
WHY  ISRAEL  HAS  SILENCED  THE  1948  STORY  OF  NAZARETH’S  SURVIVAL
Jonathan Cook
Jan. 12, 2016
A rarely told story of the 1948 war that founded Israel concerns Nazareth’s survival. It is the only Palestinian city in what is today Israel that was not ethnically cleansed during the year-long fighting . . . .
___Nazareth was not only an anomaly; it was a mistake. It was supposed to be cleared of its Palestinian population, just like those other Palestinian cities now in Israel. Much to Israel’s regret, it has become an unofficial capital for Israel’s 1.6 million Palestinian citizens, a fifth of the Israeli population.
___The reason for Nazareth’s survival are the actions of one individual. Ben Dunkelman, a Canadian Jew who was the commander of the Israeli army’s Seventh Armoured Brigade, disobeyed orders . . .    More . . .
Analysis
AL-SHABAKA: THE PALESTINIAN POLICY NETWORK
PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  IN  ISRAEL:  A  FAST-SHRINKING  CIVIC  SPACE
Nadim Nashif, Raya Naamneh
Jan. 13, 2016
Israel still portrays itself as a Jewish and democratic state. Yet in practice, as its Palestinian citizens can attest, it functions as a Jewish ethnocracy, leaving small margins of freedom for its Palestinian citizens that have been steadily shrinking in the past few years. Now the Israeli state has come under the complete control of the far right wing, which sees no need even for such limited margins of freedom. This is evident in the wave of discriminatory legislation and the use of the Emergency Regulations against established non-governmental organizations (NGOs) an movements such as the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.    More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
“HOW  TO LIE  WITH  MAPS”  IN  THE  CONTEXT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION
Ahmad El-Atrash
Jan. 2016
Since the early days of occupation, the Israeli authorities have used maps as a tool to dispossess Palestinians, establish de facto sovereignty over the occupied territory, and engineer a fabricated statehood. The socio-spatial consequences of map-making, as a form of authority-making, in present-day Palestine become “stubborn realities” that tend to perpetuate in a state of permanent temporariness due to Israel’s prolonged military occupation of territory. In this article, maps are best understood as discourses that create knowledge.  More . . . 

“EXODUS,”  BY  TAHA  MUHAMMAD  `ALI  (1931-1911)

The street is empty
like the memory of a monk
and faces explode in the flames
like an acorn
and the dead crowd all the doorways
they crowd the horizon
and no vein can bleed
more than it has already bled
no scream can rise
higher than it has already risen
We will not leave!
The shields of light are breaking in the face of this siege
in the face of these ill-matched forces
From outside, everyone wants us to leave
But we will not leave!
Ivory white girls hide themselves
from the glare of captivity
and everyone outside wants us to leave
We will not leave!
The big guns rake the jujube trees
and destroy the dreams of the violets
they blunt hunger, but sharpen thirst
they parch lip and souls.
And everyone outside says:
“What are you waiting for? All warmth is denied,
the very air is confiscated,
so why don’t you leave?”
Masks fill the pulpits, the brothels and the places of ablution
Masks cross-eyed with surprise
do not believe what is obvious
and fall, astonished and writhing
like worms.

We will not leave!
Are we inside here merely to be outside?
Leaving is only for the masks, for pulpits and for conferences
It is only the siege within that should go outside
the siege which the Bedouins of the deserts have brought on us
the siege inflicted by brethren tasting of the sword
and the stink of crimson birds
We will not leave!
Those outside are closing the escape routes
and giving their blessings to the imposter
Praying, petitioning the Almighty God
for our deaths.

―translated by Lena Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs

About Taha Muhammad ‘Ali
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

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An Israeli Official Map Showing the West Bank as part of Israel. (Source: Middle East Monitor, 25 November 2015.)