SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY. . .
| DEFENSE MINISTER AVIGDOR LIBERMAN RESIGNS OVER HAMAS CEASEFIRE
Claiming that the government has capitulated to terrorism, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced his resignation on Wednesday, one day after Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. ___“I have tried to remain a faithful member of the cabinet and to make heard another view, even at a great electoral and political price,” Liberman said at a news briefing immediately following the faction meeting. However, Tuesday’s ceasefire with Hamas “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism,” he added. “This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.” More . . .
| PLO: 30 YEARS AFTER DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, OCCUPATION STILL LINGERING
Thirty years after the historic declaration of Palestine’s independence, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is still lingering, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Thursday marking Palestine’s Declaration of Independence Day. ___The Palestinian National Council issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988 in Algiers, declaring an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. [. . . .] PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on this occasion. . . “Thirty years later, following this historic and painful compromise, the longest occupation in modern history still continues and holds an entire people captive, willfully stealing their land, resources, freedom, and rights with full impunity. . . More . . .
. . . . Related A FAMILIAR INVASION: SETTLERS TAKE ANOTHER MOUNTAIN TOP, SOLDIERS FOLLOW, AND PALESTINIANS DEMONSTRATE FOR THEIR RIGHTS
| ISRAEL BANS JERUSALEMITES ENTRY AS SETTLERS STORM AL-AQSA Israeli authorities banned six Jerusalemites, on Thursday, from entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, for one consecutive month. . . [. . . .] two days prior to the ban, the six Jerusalemites were detained by Israeli forces during predawn raids of their homes in East Jerusalem. ___Meanwhile, about 35 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate and “provocatively” toured the compound, according to local sources. More . . .
. . . . Related GAZA IN PHOTOS: CEASEFIRE, MOURNING AND PROTESTS OF THE DESTRUCTION OF A TELEVISION STATION
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL’S NEXT ELECTIONS WILL BE ABOUT WHO IS MORE VIOLENT TO PALESTINIANS
Israel appears to be going to early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is resigning from his post, and that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, will leave the ruling coalition over what he called Netanyahu’s “surrender to terrorism.” The surprise resignation came just a day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the most violent flare-up the Gaza border has seen since the 2014 war. ___Immediately following his announcement, the right-wing Jewish Home party . . . released a statement that it too would leave the coalition unless party leader Naftali Bennett replaces Liberman as defense minister. It is unlikely Netanyahu will agree to such conditions, which means that his coalition will probably fall apart, ushering in early elections in the spring of 2019, instead of their original date in November 2019. ___Liberman’s move makes perfect sense, if one considers that his party, which holds only five of 120 seats in the Knesset, might not make it past the election threshold, as several polls have indicated . . . Liberman also used his podium to attack Netanyahu for backing down on the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, allowing Qatari cash and fuel into Gaza, and the latest cease-fire. More . . .
. . . . Related POLL: 64% OF ISRAELIS SEEK TO ESCALATE AGGRESSIONS ON GAZA
. . . . Related WHAT NETANYAHU’S IDEA OF PEACE LOOKS LIKE
. . . . Related IN BREACH OF HUMAN RIGHTS, NETANYAHU SUPPORTS THE DEATH PENALTY FOR PALESTINIANS
POEM FOR THE DAY. . . .
“BUCHENWALD,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .
From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. New and Selected Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble