“The earth is closing in on us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
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| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  HANG  POSTERS  CALLING  FOR  KILLING  PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENT   
Israeli extreme Jewish groups hung posters of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Huwwara crossroads in southern Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday, calling for his assassination.    [. . . .] The posters read “supporter of terrorists” and called for killing (assassinating) the Palestinian President.    ___The incident comes as member of the Likud party at the Israeli Knesset, Oren Hazan, had called for imposing closure on the Ramallah and al-Bireh district until the suspect of an attack carried out in the Ofra illegal Israeli settlement, two days ago, is detained.    [. . . .] Israeli forces raided several institutions in Ramallah, including the Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News and Information Agency, allegedly searching for the suspect.    More. . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian journalists, officials protest Israeli army raid of WAFA news agency office  
. . . . Related  Palestinians kidnapped, civilian homes ransacked by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israel shoots dozens of Palestinians in the 19th maritime march in Gaza
. . . . Related  Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in Hebron
RAMALAWI:  THE  OCCUPATION  HAS  ISSUED  A  DECISION  RESTRICTING  VACCINE  IMPORTS  TO  PALESTINE
The Israeli occupation authorities issued a decree banning the Palestinian Ministry of Health from importing vaccines, starting from the beginning of the year 2019, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Asaad Ramlawi.    ___In an interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio station, Dr. Ramlawi said that the Israeli decree put the supply of vaccinations at risk; the Ministry of Health has resources for just two months of vaccine provision, after which there will be a serious problem if the issue is not resolved.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Mizan Center: Eight patients died due to Israeli travel restriction
| OMAN  ALLOWS  ISRAELI  PLANES  TO  USE  ITS  AIRSPACE    More . . .
. . . . Related  Qatari envoy says Gaza airport was proposed, Israel unresponsive
. . . . Related  Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel
. . . . Related  World Zionist Organization Used Israeli Public Funds to Finance Illegal Outpost
. . . . Related  [American] Evangelical Christian Groups Invested $65 Million to Jewish Settlements

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  WHY  IS  ISRAEL  FORGING  SECRET  TIES  WITH  SUDAN?
The past two months saw Israeli official visits to several Arab countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Qatar Oct. 26 and met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said to discuss the situation in the region. On the same day, Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev touched down in Abu Dhabi as part of the Israeli judo team participating in international competitions there. Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz arrived Nov. 4 in Muscat for an international conference on global transportation.    ___Moreover, Bahrain invited Nov. 25 Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen for a visit in April to attend a technology conference. On the same day, Chadian President Idriss Debby visited Israel, in a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries, while Chad is hoping to obtain Israeli-made weapons and security assistance as well as benefit from Israeli technologies.    ____Amid these Arab-Israeli developments, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Nov. 25 that Netanyahu’s next Arab visit will be Sudan, without specifying a date. The visit comes within the framework of efforts to create short air routes from Israel to South America via Sudan.    More . . .    

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  EARTH  IS  CLOSING  IN  ON  US,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

The earth is closing in on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
. . . . we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
. . . . and live again. I wish the earth was our mother
So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our
. . . . dreams to carry
As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us
. . . . in the last defense of the soul.
We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll
. . . . throw our children
Out of the windows of this last space. Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds
. . . .fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will
. . . . write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood
. . . . will plant its olive tree.

–From Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . Your land is no holier than my backyard . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Israeli forces demolish structures, notify to demolish homes in Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A child [from Nabi Saleh village] with an IOF bullet in his skull
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Video: IOF shoot, injure four Palestinians in Hebron clashes

  • Background: “Boycotting Apartheid from South Africa to Palestine.” Peace Review

❷ PPS: since Trump announcement, Israeli forces have detained over 600 Palestinians
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Video: Right-wing Israeli minister harasses Palestinians visiting imprisoned relatives
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) ICRC slams MK’s harassment of Palestinian prisoners’ families relatives
. . . . . ❷― (ᴄ) Abu Marzouk: Israelis should think it over before trying to ape Haza
❸ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
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❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES,  NOTIFY  TO  DEMOLISH  HOMES  IN  SILWAN    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Israeli forces Tuesday demolished two structures and notified to demolish a number of homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to WAFA correspondent.
___Israeli police accompanied by bulldozers broke into Silwan area in the early morning hours and demolished a structure and an animal shack, according to the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center.  MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A  CHILD  [FROM  NABI  SALEH  VILLAGE]  WITH  AN  IOF  BULLET  IN  HIS  SKULL 
The Palestinian Information Center     
Dec. 25, 2017 ― On the 15th of December 2017, Mohammed climbed his house’s three-meter wall, to watch the movement of Israeli occupation forces (IOF), yet there was a soldier lying down, and watching his movement. The soldier shot the 15-year-old boy with a single bullet that penetrated his face. The boy fell from the top of the wall and hit the ground.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴃ)  VIDEO:  IOF  SHOOT,  INJURE  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON  CLASHES    
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Four Palestinians were shot and injured with live bullets and others suffocated on Tuesday during separate clashes with Israeli forces in the town of Sa’ir and nearby al-Arroub refugee camp, to the north of Hebron, according to local and security sources.
___Israeli forces raided al-Aroub refugee camp, spurring clashes with locals. Forces fired live bullets at residents, shooting and injuring three in the foot.  They were transferred to hospital for medical treatment. Their medical condition is still unknown, WAFA reported.
___Forces further attacked residents’ homes with tear gas canisters, causing many to suffocate as a result of teargas inhalation.    MORE . . . 

Di Stefano, Paul and Mostafa Henaway.
“BOYCOTTING  APARTHEID  FROM  SOUTH  AFRICA  TO  PALESTINE.”
PEACE REVIEW, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan-Mar2014, pp. 19-27.
[. . . .] There is little doubt that Israel’s international membership in numerous diplomatic and economic forums “provides both an unmerited veneer of respectability and material support for its crimes.” In fact, a key challenge of this facet of the BDS strategy is to keep international attention focused on Israeli human rights violations, so the Palestinian struggle is not subsumed under the veneer of normalization prevalent in international relations. Normalization is anathema to achieving rights and ending oppression because it allows Israelis to gain while Palestinians lose. Normalization accepts the humanity and dignity of Israelis while actively denying Palestinians their own. It obfuscates the Palestinian reality of oppression and colonialism and improperly casts the relationship between colonizers and colonized as symmetrical. BDS asserts the notion that oppression must end before peace can take place. Neve Gordon urges, “Outside pressure is the only answer. . . . Words and condemnations have not yielded results, not even a settlement freeze . . . nothing else has worked.” Noura Erakat notes that “the tripartite strategy is rooted in economic logic: Israel must comply with international law because non-compliance is too politically and economically costly to maintain . . . ” Therefore, the key to changing the conditions for Palestinians is to politically isolate Israel by calling for sanctions against it. In effect, these sanctions serve to buttress the varied boycotts by grassroots organizations that, in turn, threaten to alter the status quo. . . .    SOURCE . . . 

❷  PPS:  SINCE  TRUMP  ANNOUNCEMENT,  ISRAELI  FORCES  HAVE  DETAINED  OVER  600  PALESTINIANS
Ma’an News Agency  
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained at least 24 Palestinians during pre dawn raids Tuesday across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian sources.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported that as of Tuesday the number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since the US President’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel three weeks ago, stands at 610 Palestinians, including 170 minors, 12 women and three injured detainees.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  VIDEO:  RIGHT-WING  ISRAELI  MINISTER  HARASSES  PALESTINIANS  VISITING  IMPRISONED  RELATIVES
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 25, 2017 ― An ultra right-wing Israeli minister verbally harassed Palestinians from Gaza as they traveled on a bus to visit their imprisoned relatives in souther Israel’s Nafha prison, hurling abuse at women on the bus calling their sons “dogs.”
___MK Oren Hazan of the right-wing Likud party, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, intercepted and boarded a bus of Palestinian families traveling to Nafha prison on Monday.
___As he confronted the Palestinian families, he turned to the mother of an imprisoned Palestinian and asked, “Who did you come to visit? What did your son do?” to which she replied “He did not do anything.”
___Hazan responded to the mother by saying “Your son is a dog. He’s a dog. You come to visit the scum who are sitting here in prison, whom you see as your family members.”   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴃ)  ICRC  SLAMS  MK’S  HARASSMENT  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS’  FAMILIES  RELATIVES  
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 25, 2017 ― The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday slammed an Israeli Knesset member for intercepting a bus of Palestinian families visiting their imprisoned sons in Israeli jails.
___ICRC spokeswoman Soheir Zaqout said that the Committee is following with concern what happened during the visit, stressing that the families of Palestinian prisoners have the right to visit their sons with dignity.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴄ)  ABU  MARZOUK:  ISRAELIS  SHOULD  THINK  IT  OVER  BEFORE  TRYING  TO  APE  HAZAN
The Palestinian Information Center   
Dec. 25, 2017 ― Member of Hamas’s political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk has said that Israeli leaders should think twice before trying to copy Knesset member Oren Hazan and bully families of Palestinian prisoners who seek to see their relatives in Israeli jails.
___“Hazan’s savage behavior reflected the fragility of this rogue entity whose leaders are looking for fake heroism,” Abu Marzouk said in Twitter remarks on Monday.  MORE . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. Attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: “In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets”, edited by Robert Bonazzi, “Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry”, edited by Hayan Charara, and “Between Heaven and Texas”, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

 

 

“. . . the tactic has not been a very effective deterrent . . .” (Talal Jabari)

❶ 5 Palestinians injured with live fire during Israeli demolition of prisoner’s home

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israeli soldiers open fire, wound Palestinian over stabbing attack

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❸ Israel sentences Pal boy to 6.5 years, $6,718 fine
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  EQUALITY  COULD  BE  THE  ULTIMATE  DETERRENCE  TO  VIOLENCE
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❶  5  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  WITH  LIVE  FIRE  DURING  ISRAELI  DEMOLITION  OF  PRISONER’S  HOME
Ma’an News Agency
July 18, 2016
Five Palestinian civilians were injured by Israeli live fire during the pre-dawn hours of Monday, as Israeli forces carried out the punitive home demolition of Palestinian prisoner Bilal Ahmed Abu Zeid.
___Under the protection of armed Israeli soldiers, bulldozers entered the town of Qabatiya in the Jenin district early Monday morning, where they demolished the home of Abu Zeid, who was accused of transferring weapons to the attackers suspected in the killing of a 19-year-old Israeli border police officer and wounding of one other outside the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem in February.    MORE . . .

From Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
The recent unrest experienced across the Occupied Palestinian Territory . . . is the outcome of Israel’s oppressive occupation. While Israel’s violent responses to Palestinian resistance reverberate across the OPT, they have been especially felt in occupied East Jerusalem, specifically through recent legislation.
__Israel has framed much of the recent legislation against the backdrop of a so-called “wave of terrorism.” . . .  on October 13, 2015, Israel passed a series of measures . . .  the demolition of alleged terrorists’ homes . . . among others. In light of various comments made by Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stated that Israel was “waging a fight to the death against Palestinian terror,” it is clear that the measures are to directly target the Palestinian population generally, and those of East Jerusalem specifically.
[. . . .]
The intent to collectively punish Palestinians is made clear by Knesset Member Oren Hazan, who stated . . . .  “[i]f you think we have done enough by stiffening the punishment, you are wrong. It’s time we realize that the Palestinians only understand force. No more . . .  demolishing homes two years after (a terror attack), but at the exact moment. . . . I plan to submit a proposal that the families of terrorists will be banished to Gaza. It’s time we internalize the fact that terror cannot be fought with democratic tools. (Israeli Knesset Press Release)

  • Baker, Aseil Abu. “Laws Targeting East Jerusalem: Discriminatory Intent and Application.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 55-64.  ARTICLE.

❷ ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  OPEN  FIRE,  WOUND  PALESTINIAN  OVER  STABBING  ATTACK
Palestine News Network – PNN
July 18, 2016
A Palestinian man was wounded after Israeli soldiers opened fire on him, over claims that he stabbed two soldiers who were at the entance of Al-Arroub refugee camp south of Bethlehem, central West Bank.
___The Palestinian Ministry of health said that the man who was shot was identified as Mustafa Barad’iyah from Al-Arroub refugee camp, adding that he was hit by two bullets in the stomach, and is now in a stable condition.   MORE . . .  

From Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
Palestinians who were accused of attacking Israelis were shot directly, either by Israeli military forces or by settlers who may have just felt insecure or threatened with or without reason. Most of the martyrs would not be liable for a death sentence in a state of law. The homes of these Palestinian martyrs are being demolished in violation of international law. . . . the theft of Palestinian land and spree of barbaric extrajudicial killings are all being buoyed by the cheers of the masses, media incitement and the encouragement of the Israeli government and the Zionist far-right extremists.
[. . . .] Many other similar incidents of the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian youth accused of stabbing Israelis laid bare for the world the inhumanity of Zionism. It was enough to show the ongoing Jewish supremacist ideology which places non-Jews in an inferior relation to Jews and places less value on their lives. . . . It is an intergenerational sense of superiority bred from the dehumanization of Palestinians and Arabs in general that justifies their oppression, brutalization and murder.
__In the absence of international action to put an end to the Israeli occupation or even provide protection, what are Palestinians supposed to do, stand still and wait for the next family to be burned, or for the next Palestinian to be killed, or for the next settlement to be built? Why does the world remain silent while watching the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians?

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

❸ ISRAEL  SENTENCES  PAL  BOY  TO  6.5  YEARS,  $6,718  FINE
Days of Palestine
Jul 18, 2016
Israel Central Court in Jerusalem sentenced on Sunday 14-year-old Palestinian boy to six and half years and fine worth NIS26,000 ($6,718).
___The verdict against Alqam, who was kidnapped from the Israeli light rail in Jerusalem with his cousin on November 10, 2015, was reached during a hearing held last month.
___Alqam is accused of carrying out a stabbing attack against an Israeli commuter of the light rail in Jerusalem. While his cousin, Ali Alqam, is also accused of planning to carry out a stabbing attack.  MORE . . .
❹ Opinion/Analysis: EQUALITY  COULD  BE  THE  ULTIMATE  DETERRENCE  TO  VIOLENCE
+972 Blog
Talal Jabari
July 17, 2016
One of my very first assignments as a young journalist was to go to Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem to take pictures and gather quotes pertaining to the demolition of several homes that day. I remember looking on as the bulldozers went about their work, and as the residents of the homes, male and female, wept helplessly as they watched their life’s savings collapse into neat piles of rubble.
[. . . .]
Of the more than 48,000 structures Israel demolished since 1967, hundreds were destroyed as a punitive measure, in the aftermath of a Palestinian attack — even a failed attack. Logic would suggest that the very fact that Israel has had to demolish hundreds of homes rather than a few dozen means the tactic has not been a very effective deterrent. An Israeli army commission came to the same conclusion in 2005, publishing a report that put an end to the practice of punitive demolitions.
[. . . .]
So why are we still discussing a practice that was halted in 2005? In its infinite wisdom, the Israeli security establishment decided to ignore the findings of two military committees and the research of top Israeli journalists . . . .   MORE . . .