“. . . I have recognized my griefs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . . 

Israeli military bulldozers demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for the 133rd time, on Thursday.   ___Despite continuous demolitions of the village by the Israeli authorities, residents insist on rebuilding their homes each time they are demolished to the ground.   ___Al-Araqib was demolished for the 132nd time on August 16th; Israeli forces had detained Sheikh of the village, Sayyah al-Turi, and his son Aziz, alongside another resident identified as Salim Abu Ashraf under the pretext of obstructing the work of Israeli authorities and attempting to prevent the demolition.   More . . .

Marking International Literacy Day, which coincides on September 8 of every year, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published on Thursday on illiteracy rate in Palestine that it is one of the lowest in the world and stood at 3.3% in 2017 among persons 15 years of age and above compared to 24.8% in the Arab states and 13.8% in the world in 2016 for the same age group.   ___It said that the illiteracy rate in 2017 was 3.3% (7,898 illiterate) in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip refugee camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is currently facing a severe financial crisis after the United States has stopped all of its contributions to the humanitarian agency that may affect its educational program for tens of thousands of Palestinian refugee students, compared to 3.1% (67,324 illiterate) in urban areas and 4.8% (20,228 illiterate) in rural localities.   More . . .

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, seven Palestinians in several parts of the occupied West Bank.   ___The Bethlehem office PPS said the soldiers abducted three Palestinians, identified as Ziad Naim al-Masri, Zeid Ahmad Sheikh and Bassel Mizhir, in Deheishe refugee camp and Marah Rabah village, and shot a young man.   ___During the invasion into Marah Rabah, the soldiers searched the home of Ahmad Sheikh Qassem, who is held by Israel, and summoned his wife for interrogation.    More . . .


Mohamed Mohamed   
In an interview with a right-wing Israeli newspaper, Elor Azaria, said he had “no remorse whatsoever” for killing an incapacitated Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 2016.   ___After an alleged stabbing attack against Israeli occupying soldiers, the young Palestinian man, Abd al Fattah Al-Sharif, had already been shot and was seriously wounded. He was lying motionless on the ground, surrounded by many Israeli soldiers. In the video of the murder documented by the Human Rights Defenders in Hebron and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem (warning: many viewers may find this video and the others below, to be disturbing), two other soldiers were closer to the wounded man, and it is clear they did not see him as a threat anymore.   ___Out of nowhere, Azaria cocks his weapon, aims at Al-Sharif, and fires one round into his head. . .    More . . .
Background . . . ELOR  AZARIA  .  .  .  SET  FREE  AFTER  NINE  MONTHS

PLO:  ‘DEMOLITION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  BLATANT  ETHNIC  CLEANSING’    Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said that the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, is “blatant ethnic cleansing.”   ___The Israeli High Court had rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal against the demolition of the village and ruled for its evacuation and for demolition to take place within the next seven days.   ___Ashrawi said in a statement “the inhumane and immoral decision by Israel’s High Court of Justice to green light the destruction of the village of Khan al-Ahmar located near occupied Jerusalem reveals Israel’s intent to erase and eradicate the Palestinian presence and continuity on the land.”  ___She added that “this is blatant ethnic cleansing and constitutes a cause for serious alarm.”   More . . .

Israel plans to sell four boats seized while sailing towards the besieged Gaza Strip and distribute the funds among two settlers families.   ___Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported yesterday that the move came in response to the Israeli Central Court’s decision following a request filed by the families.   More . . .


Dandanat Dance & Music Festival
Presented by DAR AL-KALIMA University College of Arts & Culture, Bethlehem
With ‎‎‎Dar Annadwa Icb, ‎Diyar Consortium مجموعة ديار‎‎, Studieförbundet Bilda, Beit Jala Municipality, Al-Jisser‎ and Beit Jala International Festival for Peace 2018‎.

Black tulips in my heart,
flames on my lips:
from which forest did you come to me,
all you crosses of anger?
I have recognized my griefs
and embraced wandering and hunger.
Anger lives in my hands,
anger lives in my mouth
and in the blood of my arteries swims anger.

O reader,
don’t expect whispers from me,
or words of ecstasy;
this is my suffering!
A foolish blow in the sand
and another in the clouds.
Anger is all I am –
anger, the tinder
of fire.

– – From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988

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

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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
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.)

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 . . .  
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 . . .     
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 . . .      

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

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 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

“. . . Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

❶ Prosecutor calls for Palestinian boy to receive 12-year sentence over alleged stabbing
❷ On Palestinian Journalists’ Day, 24 reporters imprisoned by Israel hold hunger strike
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israel committed 489 violations against Palestinian Journalists
❸ Israeli army ravages nature reserve in al-Khalil

  • Background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❹ Israeli Soldiers Invade Bedouin Community Near Jerusalem
❺ Poetry by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
An Israeli court in Jerusalem postponed on Sunday the sentencing of a 14-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Salih Manasra, as the prosecution called for the boy to spend 12 years in prison for allegedly stabbing and wounding two Israelis in a settlement in October.     ___Manasra, a resident of occupied East Jerusalem, was found guilty in May of carrying out a stabbing attack on Oct. 12, 2015 in the illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev in East Jerusalem, injuring two Israelis ages 13 and 21.
___Manasra’s cousin, 15-year-old Hassan Manasra, was shot dead at the scene of the attack. His body was withheld by Israeli authorities for seven months, finally returned to his family for burial in May after they rejected an earlier transfer due to his body being handed over completely frozen.     MORE . . .     
Interrogation video of Ahmad Salih Manasra

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
Palestinian journalists imprisoned by Israel went on a one-day hunger strike on Monday to mark the Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalists, as 24 of them remained behind bars.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that 24 Palestinian journalists were currently held in Israeli prisons.
___The longest serving Palestinian journalist, according to PPS, is Mahmoud Issa Moussa who has been serving a life sentence since 1993.     MORE . . .   
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
On the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalist , Israeli occupation forces arrested 79 journalists and shot 130 others, Commission of Supporting Palestinian Journalists reported.
___The commission reported that the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and cameramen have raised dramatically since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Habba – uprising.     ___Last October recorded the highest number of Israeli violations against Palestinian media staffs in the West Bank, Gaza and occupied Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 25, 2016
An Israeli army patrol stormed on Sunday a nature reserve in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil and its soldiers razed cultivated land lots.
___Coordinator for the national anti-settlement committee in southern al-Khalil, Rateb al-Jabour, said the Israeli occupation army broke into the al-Daqiqa nature reserve in Yatta, removed barbed wire surrounding the area, and leveled vast land tracts covering an area of over 100 dunums.
___According to al-Jabour, the Israeli forces threatened to devastate the reserve upon three earlier occasions on claims of surpassing the border fence.
___He added that the nature reserve was built some eight years ago with the help of foreign charities and is planted with 5,000 unfruitful trees. The reserve also includes eight wells for amassing rainwater.      MORE . . .       

  • Power, Susan, and Elisabeth Koek. “Israel’s Cash Cow: Natural Resources In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 19/20.4/1 (2014): 88-96.  SOURCE.   

Underneath and adjacent to the lands inhabited by Israelis and Palestinians, natural fresh water from the Jordan River and the Mountain and Costal Aquifers flows abundantly.20 However, at present, the water sector in Israel and the OPT “is characterised by highly asymmetrical overexploitation of damageable shared water resources, exhaustion of long-term storage, deterioration of the water quality and increasing levels of demand driven by high population growth and accompanied by decreasing per capita supplies.” Palestinians residing in the occupied territory face an impending water crisis in the region. Many do not have sufficient access to clean and safe water to their meet daily needs, while residents in Israel proper and in Israel’s illegal settlements have ample water available, enough even for intensive farm irrigation.
___Israel’s desire to secure uninterrupted access to, and exercise exclusive control over, the region’s major surface and groundwater resources dates back to the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel strategically occupied lands rich in natural water resources. Immediately after the war, Israel prioritized maintaining access to and control over the water resources by declaring all water resources subject to Israeli military control through a series of military orders, which are still in place today. These efforts were clearly aimed at consolidating control over the Palestinian share of the water resources as it integrated the West Bank water system into the Israeli system. The integration was completed in 1982 when then-Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon transferred ownership over all West Bank water supply systems to Mekorot for the symbolic price of 1 NIS (approximately $0.25). By making use of its military power, Israel laid the foundations for a system of water governance that remains in place today and is characterised by discrimination in allocation of water resources, and, more broadly, by Israel’s unlawful exercise of sovereign rights over all the water resources of the OPT.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 26, 2016
Israeli soldiers and officials of the “Civil Administration Office” invaded, Sunday, the Abu Nowwar Bedouin committee in the al-Ezarriya town, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and took pictures of a room that was added to the local elementary school.
___Daoud Jahalin, the spokesperson of Abu Nowwar community, said the soldiers surrounded the local school, and photographed a recently added room, an issue that raises fears the army intends to demolish it, especially since most demolition orders are issued by the Civil Administration of the Israeli army, in the occupied West Bank.
___Jahalin added that dozens of soldiers also invaded Abu Nowwar community on Saturday, and conducted various provocative acts.      MORE . . .    


Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil.

Samih al-Qasim 
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.


“. . . To put me in prison, as they did, is a very easy thing . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

Blindfolded Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention facility. 46 Palestinians at Etzion Prison on hunger strike to protest mistreatment. Mar. 4, 2016 (File Photo: PressTV)

❶ Palestinian prisoners declare 3-day hunger strike after death of fellow detainee
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  Samidoun demands accountability for Israeli medical neglect in the death of Palestinian prisoner Yasser Hamdouna

  • Background from Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

❷ Detainees Committee: “Israeli Soldiers Kidnapped 1000 Children This Year”
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)  Pilot programme to limit night arrests – update
POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 25, 2016
Palestinian prisoners held by Israel announced a three-day hunger strike in protest and mourning after a fellow detainee died in Israeli custody on Sunday morning following a fatal stroke.
___Residents of the occupied West Bank village of Yaabad in the Jenin district, said that Yasser Thiyab Hamduna, a 41-year-old Palestinian from the village, died of a stroke on Sunday in the Israeli prison of Ramon.
___Israel Prison Service (IPS) spokesman Assaf Librati confirmed to Ma’an that a Palestinian prisoner held in Ramon had had a “heart attack or stroke,” and was pronounced dead by medics at around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.
___Local sources in Yaabad said that Hamduna, who was serving a 14-year prison sentence, had been suffering from a number of health issues, including shortness of breath, heart problems, and ear pains.       MORE . . . 
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network    
Sept. 25, 2016
Palestinian prisoner Yasser Diab Hamdouna, 41, died on Sunday morning, 25 September, in Israeli Ramon prison
[. . . .]  Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network condemns the ongoing medical neglect and mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli occupation prisons and demands the immediate release of the sick prisoners in Israeli jails.
[. . . .]  Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network affirms the responsibility of the Israeli occupation state for the medical neglect, mistreatment and death of Yasser Hamdouna and dozens of fellow Palestinian prisoners . . .  and demand international accountability for the death of Hamdouna and the ongoing threats to Palestinian prisoners’ lives due to medical neglect.     MORE . . .  

  • OMAR, SA’ED. “Food Is Not Our Issue”: Reflections On Hunger Striking.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 37.2 (2014): 556-559.    FULL ARTICLE.  

It’s impossible to ignore the smell of meat when you are dying from hunger.
___But food is not our issue. We don’t live to eat. We eat to live. If your life is without dignity, you don’t need life. That’s how we look at things in prison.
___Even in prison, you are home. Being restricted from entering Palestine is our greatest fear, to be deported or prevented from going home. The Prison Administration offered to deport us, to Jordan, to Syria, anywhere we wanted. They offered us freedom if we would leave Palestine. But we preferred jail to freedom outside of Palestine.
___This is the life we live here. We have a government that doesn’t support its own people. It just chases its political and economic projects.
___And a few people who fight every day for their freedom.
___And over our heads, Occupation.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC   
September 25, 2016
The Palestinian Detainees Committee reported Saturday that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped at least 1000 children, between the ages of 11 and 18, since the beginning of this year. Testimonies from six detained children are included in this report.
___In a press release, the committee said that the numbers showed an %80 increase when compared to the number of child abducted in the same period of 2015.
___It stated that some of the kidnapped children have been imprisoned under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial, while many others were sent to court, faced high fines and even were sentenced to actual prison terms.       MORE . . .   

On International Children’s Day, Israel Kidnaps 400 Palestinian Children. Nov. 22, 2015 (Photo: IMEMC News)

Military Court Watch
Sept. 22, 2016
Following widespread criticism of the use of night raids to arrest children in the West Bank, the military authorities announced in February 2014, the introduction of a pilot programme to issue written summonses in lieu of night arrests.
___The programme commenced operation in the Nablus and Hebron districts but was temporarily suspended in or about September 2014 due to “increased violence”. At the time of the suspension the military authorities stated that they did not keep any statistics during the initial operation of the programme making any official assessment impossible.
[. . . .]  During the course of 2016 there appears to have been a sharp decrease in the use of summonses which are currently being issued in just 2 per cent of cases documented by MCW. Meanwhile, the practice of arresting children at night is currently unchanged and remains at 2013 levels.     MORE . . . 

Don’t be sad, Darling!
To put me in prison, as they did, is a very easy thing!
But what can they do about the sun
Shining outside and torturing new rebels?

I should like to be romantic and say to you:
If my being in jail
Did nothing more than bring you to visit me
And cry in my arms ―
Then my arrest was not in vain.

But I’m not feeling romantic right now!
(How can one be romantic with the bedbugs
having such a feast?)
I’m just scratching away, and writing to you,
And asking myself this banal question:
If I and others don’t go to prison,
How will the prison guard
Feed his children?

Darling! I would so like for us
To have a baby!
We spoke of it once,
But I don’t know if
We’ll ever be given the chance.
That is why, for the time being, I give myself
To thoughts about the babies of others
Including my enemies’ babies!
And because they cannot understand this simple feeling
They put me here in prison.   

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from Amazon.  
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He participated in founding the Land Movement in 1959. He left in 1966 and lived in Syria and Lebanon and later in New York City where he died in February, 1977. He was buried a week later in Musmus. His funeral was attended by thousands of Palestinians


“. . . he laughs, his Uzi sputters―they are nothing. . . [Sabra/Shatilla, Sept. 16, 1982]” (Sam Hamod)

Massacre of Palestinian People at Sabra and Shatilla Camps. By Katsikoviannis. (Photo: Arabic Literature in English, Sept. 17, 2010)

❶ The Appointment of General Yaron: Continuing Impunity for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres
❷ Palestinian shot dead, another injured in Hebron after car ramming attack
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces shoot and kill Jordanian in East Jerusalem after alleged stab attack
❸ Opinion/Analysis: The Logic of Murder in Israel: A Culture of Impunity in Full View of the Entire World
❹ POETRY by Sam Hamod
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ Malone, Linda A. “The Appointment of General Yaron: Continuing Impunity for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 32.3 (2000): 287.     FULL ARTICLE  

According to Yaron’s [1985] testimony. . . “one of the Phalangists had asked the commander what to do with 45 people, and the reply had been to do with them what God orders you to do.”
[. . . .]
Lieutenant Grabowsky, who had witnessed the Phalangists’ treatment of civilians from the earth embankment outside the camps, continued his own inquiry that afternoon. One of his soldiers, at his request, asked Phalangist soldiers in Arabic why they were killing civilians. He was told, “The pregnant women will give birth to terrorists and children will grow up to be terrorists.” Throughout the afternoon, the l.D.F. soldiers saw the Phalangists’ treatment of men, women and children and heard complaints and stories of the massacre. One soldier said he heard a report to the battalion commander, describing the Phalangists as “running wild.” Lieutenant Grabowsky left the area at 4:00 p.m., and later that afternoon related what he had seen to his commander and other officers. They referred him to his brigade commander, to whom he reported at 8:00 p.m., again conveying what he had seen earlier in the day. The battalion commander, in his testimony, denied receiving any report of killings or mistreatment of civilians other than the report that 300 were killed on Thursday night. The Report says there was no need to resolve these testimonial conflicts beyond the soldiers’ attempts to report the acts to their superiors, and that these soldiers’ reports did not reach Yaron or Drori. The Commission sent no 15(a) notice to the battalion commander, leaving any further investigation of his conduct to the I.D.F.
[. . . .]  The Chief of Staff did not ask the Phalangists any questions or debrief them about activities in the camps. Eitan said he refused to permit them to send in more forces, but Yaron testified that there were no restrictions placed on the Phalangists’ use of additional forces. The killing continued beyond 5:00 a.m. the following day [Saturday], until 8:00 a.m.
[. . . .]  The Phalangists removed truckloads of bodies. Other bodies are believed to remain under the ruins or in mass graves the Phalangists dug. The I.D.F. itself estimates 700 to 800 were killed. Other estimates place the death toll at approximately a thousand, with more than 900 people driven away in trucks. One Israeli source suggested the total number civilians killed was 3,000.

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 16, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man at the entrance of the Kiryat Arba settlement in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron and critically wounded a woman who was also in the vehicle after the two allegedly carried out a car ramming attack on Friday that left three Israeli civilians injured.
___The slain Palestinian was later identified by locals as Moussa Muhammad Khaddour, 18, while the wounded Palestinian woman was identified as  Moussa’s fiance, 18-year-old Raghad Abdullah Abdullah Khaddour, the sister of Majd Khaddour who was killed by Israeli forces at the same junction in June after attempting a car ramming attack.     MORE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 16, 2016
Israeli forces Friday shot and killed a Jordanian youth in occupied East Jerusalem after an alleged stab attack at Damascus Gate in the Old City.      ___Israeli police spokeswoman for Arabic media Luba al-Samri said in a statement that a “terrorist” attempted a stabbing attack on an Israeli border policeman outside Damascus Gate and was “neutralized” by Israeli forces. . . .      MORE . . .

1982, the massacre of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen in west Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps (Photo: Associated Press, Sep 14, 2015, found on Madison.com)

❸ Opinion/Analysis  (REPOSTED):  The  Logic  of  Murder  in  Israel:  A  Culture  of  Impunity  in  Full  View  of  the  Entire  World
Palestine Chronicle
Ramzy Baroud
Apr. 13, 2016
“Whether he made a mistake or not, is a trivial question,” said an Israeli Jewish man who joined large protests throughout Israel in support of a soldier who calmly, and with precision, killed a wounded Palestinian man in al-Khalil (Hebron). The protesting Jewish man described Palestinians as ‘barbaric’, ‘bestial’, who should not be perceived as people.
___This is hardly a fringe view in Israel. The vast majority of Israelis, 68%, support the killing of Abdel Fatah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, by the solider who had reportedly announced before firing at the wounded Palestinian that the “terrorist had to die.”
[. . . .]    ___The incident, once more, highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army, which is not a new phenomenon.      MORE . . .    (paste URL into browser)


It is nothing, the blood
red    into stony ground,    nothing,    we can say
nothing, the flares red and white, blue, nothin
against black sky, faces blur, nothing
sharp rope cuts into wrists, it is
nothing, slash of knife on throat, gurgling, knowing
nothing, phalangist, israeli, we hear phalange, not
spoken, it is in the face, frangüyah’, gemeyal, it is
nothing, mustache moves,
nothing, these words
nothing, thunk, thunk of bazookas,     crunch
of bone, nothing, it is nothing, the
children run hiding under the bed
like play, a man comes in
they say nothing, he laughs, tells them
they’ll be safe, nothing, no sound, he
shouts, “Come out!” nothing
he lifts the bed,
their big eyes open,
he laughs,
his Uzi sputters―
they are nothing
their flesh nothing
oh, it is nothing
do not worry, they are
nothing, it is
nothing, do not worry, nothing
has happened,
nothing, it is nothing, say it is nothing―
so be peaceful brothers and sisters    do not run away
we are all Arabs     we will do nothing     it is nothing
we do nothing    it is nothing    it didn’t happen     if it did
it is nothing     oh, it is nothing
nothing at all
and now say it and believe it, it is nothing
nothing      nothing
oh God       nothing.

Sam Hamod, Palestinian-American Pulitzer Prize-Nominated poet.
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.


“. . . No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 14: Women show their support for two sailing boats with only female activists on board, before they set off for the Gaza Strip (Photo: The Middle East Monitor – MEMO)

❶ Israeli forces carry out airstrikes on Gaza Strip, target 3 alleged Hamas sites
❷ World Bank: Israeli restrictions ruining Palestinian economy
❸ POETRY by Jehan Bseiso

  • Background from journal Middle East Policy (lengthy excerpt)

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 15, 2016
Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip during predawn hours on Thursday after a rocket was launched from Gaza and exploded near the border with Israel.
___The Israeli army had said the rocket hit an area near the Eshkol.
___According to locals, Israeli forces targeted empty agricultural lands northwest of Beit Lahiya in the northern region, reportedly striking a site used by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement. Israeli forces also shelled another site northwest of Beit Lahiya in the area of al-Shayma also allegedly used by Hamas, causing a fire to break out in the area.       MORE . . .
RELATED  Israeli military cleared on Wednesday its occupation forces of war crimes in incidents of killing civilians during Israeli major offensive on the coastal enclave in 2014. RELATED  Photos: ‘The Women’s boats to Gaza’ prepare to set sail

Israel’s air force hit the Gaza Strip early Thursday (Photo: Sept 15, 2016 (Agence France‑Presse)

The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 15, 2016
The prolonged period of slow economic growth has resulted in persistently high unemployment and stagnation in the average income of Palestinian citizens, according to the latest World Bank report on the Palestinian economy.
[. . . .]
Donor aid remains key for improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Out of the US$3.5 billion pledged at the Cairo Conference for rebuilding Gaza (2014-2017), 46 percent has been disbursed, which means it is US$1.3 billion behind schedule. Critically, only 16 percent of the total Gaza recovery needs outlined in the detailed assessment that was prepared after the 2014 war have been addressed.   MORE . . .


No matter white flag.

No matter medicine.
No matter civilian.

No matter international community.

No matter your international waters.

No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy.

Only 62 years’ status quo.
Every day, every day Nakba.
Subsidized settlements.

Even more walls.

Children on the ICRC bus, visiting Babas in your prisons ―

Food and medicine rotting at every border ―
From the shadows, the silent majority watch water go on fire.

Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid-worker currently based in Cairo. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Jordan and studied in Lebanon.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.

  • Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza war, Congress and international humanitarian law.” Middle East Policy 17.1 (2010): 68+.FULL ARTICLE

The large-scale killing of civilians during Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 received widespread condemnation from human-rights advocates and international legal scholars the world over. In both Europe and North America, public reaction to the grossly disproportionate Israeli response to Hamas rocket attacks was the most negative ever expressed against an Israeli military action. In Israel itself, soldiers who had witnesses some of the atrocities joined Israeli peace activists in exposing war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). However, the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of the Democratic Party, overwhelmingly defended the Israeli offensive, even to the point of attacking leading defenders of international humanitarian law.

[. . . .]     On November 6, Israel tightened its siege of the Gaza Strip, prompting Human Rights Watch to note, “Israel’s severe limitations on the movement of nonmilitary goods and people into and out of Gaza, including fuel and medical supplies, constitutes collective punishment, also in violation of the laws of war.” Despite this, congressional leaders of both parties continued to defend the sanctions. . . .  Despite the congressional leadership’s support for Israel’s rejection of such efforts to salvage the ceasefire, which could have prevented further rocket attacks into Israel, they subsequently would claim that Israel had “no choice” but to launch its massive assault on the Gaza Strip in retaliation.
[. . . .]     . . . some members of Congress went so far as to simply deny that large-scale attacks against civilian targets were taking place. For example, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) . . . insisted that. . . . “The Israeli response has been a series of targeted strikes against Hamas militants, aimed directly at those who are launching the attacks on Israeli civilian population centers” and that “the Israeli military is taking extreme caution to limit civilian casualties.”
[. . . .]     . . .  the goal of Congress appears to be to protect war criminals from prosecution. U.S. support for human rights and international law has always been uneven, but never has Congress gone on record by such an overwhelming margin to discredit these universal principles so categorically. Indeed, it may be a means of preventing the kind of precedent that could serve as a deterrent to subsequent violations of international humanitarian law by the United States in its “global war on terrorism.” By essentially going on record that mass killing of civilians is legitimate as long as you are fighting “terrorists,” this provides a blank check for U.S. forces to commit future atrocities. . . .
[. . . .]
Of greatest concern for the U.S. Congress, however, was the mission organized by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), headed by the distinguished South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone Commission report cited a series of war crimes by both Hamas militia and Israeli forces, called on both Hamas and the Israeli government to bring to justice those responsible, and recommended that, in the absence of credible investigations by their respective governments, the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution. . . .
[. . . .] That the report examined violations of international humanitarian law by both sides did not alter these senators’ insistence of bias since, according to the letter, “the vast majority of the report focuses on Israel’s conduct, rather than that of Hamas.”
[. . . .]

“. . . I’ll watch you grow between my heart and the highest high . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

After ransacking the home and threatening the family, Saed said the soldiers hung a written warning on the front door, addressing the family as well as all residents of Sair–see #1 below. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Sep. 4, 2016)

❶ Witnesses: Israeli forces ransack home of slain Palestinian, threaten to detain 10-month-old girl

  • Background from Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma. “. . . In summary, regardless of the terms used, intergenerational trauma in occupied Palestine needs to be understood as a consequence of historic and collective trauma and loss . . . .”

❷ Back-to-school in Tel Rumeida, a closed military zone

  • Background from Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma.  “. . .children in occupied Palestine experience trauma embedded within the fabric of daily life. . . . ongoing acts of racism, discrimination and daily harassments.” 

❸ 18-year-old daughter of Palestinian prisoner hugs her father for the first time ever
❹ POETRY by Ramzy Baroud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
Sep. 4, 2016
Israeli troops stormed the town of Sair in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank early Sunday morning, where they ransacked the home of a slain Palestinian and reportedly threatened to detain the deceased man’s 10-month-old daughter.  ___According to witnesses, Israeli troops raided the home of the family of Fadi Faroukh, who was shot and killed on Nov. 1, 2015 in the eastern Hebron village of Beit Einun after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.
___Fadi’s brother Saed told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers “destroyed the interior of the house” before they “threatened to detain Fadi’s 10-month-old daughter.”
___After ransacking the home and threatening the family, Saed said the soldiers hung a written warning on the front door, addressing the family as well as all residents of Sair.  ___“In the wake of destructive attacks coming from your area against civilians, the Israeli defense forces and the Israeli security forces will operate with increased effort against terrorists and against anyone involved in such activity,” the warning read.       MORE . . .

  • Barron, Ian, and Ghassan Abdallah. “Intergenerational Trauma In The Occupied Palestinian Territories: Effect On Children And Promotion Of Healing.” Journal Of Child & Adolescent Trauma 8.2 (2015): 103-110.  SOURCE.    (The article is available through any library with EBSCO data bases).

Ongoing trauma within any community impacts at a variety of levels, e.g., historical trauma narratives, cultural beliefs about oppression, political and military aggression, the extent of mental illness in the community and the undermining of trust within social contexts [are] the transmission of trauma from one generation to the next. . . .  Mass trauma [is] trauma that occurs as a result of a frightening, threatening event that is experienced by a large number of people simultaneously The ongoing military occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza . . . [go] beyond the focus of single events to recognize these more pervasive aspects of trauma over time [and are] collective complex trauma inflicted on a group of people who share a specific group identity or. . .  It is the legacy of numerous traumatic events a community experiences over generations and encompasses the psychological and social responses to such events.
[. . . .]
In summary, regardless of the terms used, intergenerational trauma in occupied Palestine needs to be understood as a consequence of historic and collective trauma and loss, occurring within an extended period of subjugation and impacting at child, family and community levels. . . .

Child walking to school in Tel Rumeida (Photo: Chelli Stanley/Glasgow-Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Tel Rumeida Project)

Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)    
Aug. 30, 2016
Palestinian children in Tel Rumeida, Hebron, located in the southern part of the West Bank, returned to school on August 28 with no end to the Israeli-enforced military closure of their neighborhood in sight.
___Despite rays of hope last May, when the military order closing the area lapsed, Tel Rumeida neighborhood has remained functionally closed to non-residents since November 1, 2015. Residents must register in order to enter via checkpoint. Each is assigned an individual number, separate from their standard-issued ID. Closed military zones pose staffing problems for schools and risks for children, who are forced to live in constant proximity to armed Israeli soldiers.
___“Each child should have the chance to succeed at school,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director at Defense for Children International – Palestine. “Before children in Tel Rumeida even reach their school, their academic potential is threatened by Israeli military installments restricting their movements, and by Israeli settlers who often target them.”      MORE . . .

  • Barron, Ian, and Ghassan Abdallah. “Intergenerational Trauma In The Occupied Palestinian Territories: Effect On Children And Promotion Of Healing.”

___ In addition to traumatic loss from war events . . .  children in occupied Palestine experience trauma embedded within the fabric of daily life. Set within the Colonial Trauma Response . . .  [these are] . . . . ongoing acts of racism, discrimination and daily harassments. While acts of micro-aggression can appear small, the impact on those receiving such acts may be significant, e.g. anxiety and fear. Micro-aggressions can be chronic in nature and involve subtle rather than overt acts of violence. . . . Within occupied Palestine, children walking to school, can experience the micro-aggression of derogatory comments from groups of youths. These can experienced as intimidating, especially when these have on occasion led to overt violence. Another micro-aggression could be to hear a political discourse from Israel and other international countries denying the existence of Palestine. In this regard, it is argued, children can become disenfranchised, on a day to day basis, from national identity. The experience of daily, weekly, or monthly discrimination is significant for intergenerational trauma, in that both can lead to increased cumulative physical and mental health difficulties.
___The impact on children of daily life humiliations, violence, traumatic loss, and traumatized parents fails to be captured by the concept of post-traumatic stress. . . .  Developmental trauma . . . includes multiple exposure to a range of interpersonal trauma, e.g. experiencing and/or witnessing physical, sexual, emotional abuse, betrayal, abandonment and neglect. The impact of developmental trauma is pervasive and often predictable covering a wide range of functioning. These experiences engender (i) intense affects such as rage, betrayal, fear, resignation, defeat and shame and (ii) efforts to ward off the recurrence of those emotions, including the avoidance of experiences that precipitate them or engaging in behaviors that convey a subjective sense of control in the face of potential threats. . . .
 [. . . .]    As well as traumatic events shaping identity, political and military messages may also impact children’s sense of self. For example, what are children to think of themselves when Israeli military identify children as terrorists or when they experience the world’s inaction to the plight of Palestinian families? Even in the Arab, world messages are mixed, e.g., the “dirty Arabs.”

Ma’an News Agency  
Aug. 28, 2016
The 18-year-old daughter of a Palestinian prisoner serving a life sentence in Israeli prison was able to hug her father for the first time in her life on Sunday, according to Sawt al-Asra (Voice of the Prisoners) radio.
___Yara al-Sharabati, the daughter of 49-year-old Palestinian prisoner Ayman al-Sharabati from occupied East Jerusalem, was recently granted permission to visit her father after being banned from visits for the past three years.
___The teenager, who had reportedly only ever seen her father through a barrier, was allowed to embrace him for the first time in her life, as he was detained before she was born.      MORE . . .

I’ll etch your name
on a secret star
we’ll both go there
on frightful nights

when Mother Earth
runs out of room
for you and me

I’ll hold you tight
and sing you songs
of a distant land
beyond the stars

and watch you grow
between my heart
and the highest high

I’ll draw your face
on a single seed
and hold your palm
to face the sun

when you’re awake
and call out my name
don’t moan or cry

I’ll return
to raise your hand
at a shooting star
and with for you

another day
another sun
another world

where Palestine
is a mountain top
of soil and air
and a purple sky

For (Miriam), a refugee child from Palestine

Ramzy Baroud’s Website.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.


“. . . an impossible burden weighs down on eyelids and chest . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

Mohammad Ghadir Palestinian player of Maccabi Haifa runs with the ball during the UEFA Championship game in Munich, Germany. (Photo: Getty Images, Nov. 25, 2009)

❶ Israel’s Supreme Court orders demolition of settler outpost in Bethlehem by March

  • Background:  “After 50 Years: Save Israel, Stop the Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.    “. . . the occupation became a fundamental catalyst of far-reaching impacts on Israeli society. The state of Israel becomes more Jewish and less democratic . . .”

❷ Prime Minister Hamdallah: U.S. Appeals Court’s Decision is Just
❸ The metamorphosis of a Jewish supremacist
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency  
Sept. 2, 2016
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that an illegal Israeli settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem be demolished by March 2018, sparking condemnation from right-wing Israeli parliament members who blamed the decision on left-wing groups aiming to “exploit the judicial system” for the benefit of a minority.
___The court ordered the removal of 17 homes, comprising of some 40 Israeli families, in the Israeli settler outpost of Derech HaAvot established in 2001 near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc after ruling that the outpost was built on privately held Palestinian land, according to a statement released by Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___ The Jerusalem Post reported that the outpost was established with 300,000 shekels ($79,562) from the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing. Soon after its establishment, the outpost was challenged in the courts by Palestinians from the town al-Khader who claimed they owned the land.     MORE . . .  

  • Schnell, Izhak, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “After 50 Years: Save Israel, Stop The Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 72-80.   FULL ARTICLE.

(NOTE: Izhak Schnell is professor in the Department of Geography and Human Environment at Tel Aviv University. Daniel Bar-Tal is Professor Emeritus at the School of Education at Tel Aviv University. He was co-editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal (2001-05) and president of the International Society of Political Psychology.) 

[Three] mechanisms stabilizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and avoiding the adoption of peace policies. . . The third mechanism relates to the institutionalization of a bureaucratic inertia that maintains and feeds the occupation regardless of declared policies. This mechanism acts at a governmental level when, for example, a senior clerk in the Ministry of Justice announces a regulation that the government does not have to prove ownership of lands in cases of land disputes. Instead, the Palestinians who claim ownership have to prove their ownership of the land in question, and, as a result, this regulation means that many Palestinians lost their lands due to the settlement process. . . . The military was also forced to serve the settlers’ interests by guarding unauthorized settlements that were ordered to evacuate based on the law and Supreme Court decisions. Finally, the settlers’ council represents a population of an estimated 500,000 settlers who have relatives and ideological support among the religious sections, allowing the movement to become a powerful lobby in Israeli politics.  The fact that they are more motivated and better organized than other political lobbies in Israel makes them even more powerful.
___ . . . the occupation became a fundamental catalyst of far-reaching impacts on Israeli society. The state of Israel becomes more Jewish and less democratic in the delicate balance between these two aspects. Jewishness is defined in a combination of religious and nationalist terms, promoting a particularistic identity that turns its back on the Hebrew identity that emphasized universal and humanistic values. By defining the OPT as the core of the Jewish state and identity, the new Israel antagonizes the Palestinians, the Arab world and, indirectly, Western societies, which in turn, strengthen particularistic aspects of Israel’s identity bringing new life to slogans such as “People who live unto themselves.”

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 1, 2016
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah commended Thursday the decision by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to dismiss a $655 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), finding that U.S. courts should not have exercised jurisdiction, according to a statement issued by Hamdallah’s office.
___A number of American families had filed a multimillion dollar law suit in a New York federal court in 2004 against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO holding them responsible for the death of family members in attacks by Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel between the years 2000 and 2002.    MORE . . .

A Permanent home in the illegal outpost of Derech Ha’avot. (Photo: Peace Now, Jan. 13, 2013)

+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
Aug. 31, 2016
David Mizrahi was once a prominent member of La Familia, a notorious Jewish supremacist chapter of the Beitar Jerusalem fan club.
___Three years ago, he famously refused to shake hands with Arab footballer Mohammed Ghadir. But on Sunday, he published the following on Facebook:
[. . . .] ___”And today, three years on, I’m coming full circle. I’m going to meet with Mohammed Ghadir, shake his hand talk to him. I’m the happiest man alive.
___I’ve recently started speaking against racism and for love and tolerance. Many eyebrows were raised. I was harassed along the way, and many are still annoyed with me.”     MORE . . .   

Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).    Available From Amazon.com. 

“. . . the colonel came over and asked why I’d been provocative . . .” (Sam Hamod)

Palestinian, Israeli and international activists march during a protest marking ten years for the struggle against the Wall in the West Bank village Bil’in, February 27, 2015. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

❶ Israeli Commander: I Will Make All the Youth of Al-Duheisha Camp Disabled
❷ Israel investigating claim unarmed Palestinian was shot in the back

  • Background from Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies.  “. . . territoriality is ultimately about power and is embedded in social relations . . .”

. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Five Palestinians Injured by Army Fire during Funeral of Slain Palestinian in Silwad
❸ Israeli forces attack non-violent weekly protest in Bil’in village
❹ POETRY by  Sam Hamod

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Middle East Monitor-MEMO  
Aug 27 2016
An Israeli army commander responsible for the Al-Duheisha area, known to locals as “Captain Nidal”, has repeatedly been reported as threatening to make “all youth in the [Al-Duheisha] camp disabled”.
___BADIL, the Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, reported an Israeli army commander making repeated threats during and after raids on the camp as well as during interrogations.      MORE . . .  

Ma’an News Agency   
Aug. 28, 2016
The Israeli army’s military police have reportedly opened an investigation into the killing of an unarmed Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Friday, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.
___Thirty-eight-year-old Iyad Zakariya Hamed, a resident of the Ramallah area village of Silwad, was shot dead by Israeli forces near a military post at the village’s entrance not far from the illegal Israeli settlement Ofra, when soldiers alleged that they saw Hamed “charging” towards them.
___Israeli media initially reported that Hamed, a husband and father of three, fired shots at the Israeli soldiers, though it was later confirmed that he was unarmed.     MORE . . .    

Clashes in Silwad after the funeral of Iyad Zakariya Hamed. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle via Twitter)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC    
August 26, 2016
Israeli soldiers shot, on Friday, five Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets, at the western entrance of Silwad town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, during the funeral procession of a Palestinian who was killed by the soldiers a few hours earlier.      MORE . . .

  • Hallward, Maia Carter. “NEGOTIATING BOUNDARIES, NARRATING CHECKPOINTS: THE CASE OF MACHSOM WATCH.” Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies 17.1 (2008): 21-40.

Territoriality has a tendency to ‘neutralize’ the relationship between identity and geographic boundaries by classifying according to area rather than type. This means that all who live within a specific area are classified accordingly, regardless of felt identification or other personal characteristics (such as language, culture, etc.) . . .  Palestinian movement between areas is regulated according to the identity card—each of which is identified with a particular geographic location—they carry, regardless of family, personal, or work-related considerations. Likewise, discussions of Jewish settlements are often framed in ‘neutral’ planning language . . . rather than noting . . .  location on the West Bank, or Jewish-only population in the midst of a Palestinian Arab population, etc. Territoriality is ultimately about power and is embedded in social relations; an ‘area’ becomes a ‘territory’ only once its boundaries have been established. . . Boundaries must be maintained constantly . . .  they are applied in various degrees to different people and at different times . . .
[. . . .]
Checkpoints serve as gatekeepers; they delimit a boundary and soldiers staffing them enforce regulations regarding who can cross . . .  The vast majority of checkpoints are located deep within the West Bank  . . . consequently, they primarily affect Palestinians trying to conduct their daily lives. However, checkpoints also make Israeli–Palestinian interaction extremely difficult: Israeli law forbids Israeli citizens from entering areas under nominal Palestinian control . . .  and it is extremely difficult for Palestinians to obtain permission to travel to Jerusalem or areas within 1948 Israel. Such restrictions amplify tendencies to stereotype the ‘Other’ as ‘Enemy’ and further solidify place (area)-based boundaries of identity. Official language used to justify the checkpoints often reflects the displacing tendency of territoriality, as it shifts focus away from the location of the checkpoints . . .  as well as the relationship between the controllers and the controlled (it focuses on the regulation of who can cross and not on who has the power to make that classification).

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 27, 2016 12:06 AM
On Friday afternoon, dozens of local residents from the village of Bil’in, along with Israeli and international activists, marched toward the site of the Israeli Annexation Wall constructed on village land. They were pushed back by Israeli forces who attacked the protesters with rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and concussion grenades.  ___According to the Popular Resistance Committee of Bil’in, this week’s protest focused on the recent desecration and attacks on holy sites by Israeli settlers and soldiers. These attacks have included armed marches by settlers and soldiers into the Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as the defacement of numerous Christian churches by Israeli assailants.  ___Palestinian residents of Bil’in have been protesting every Friday for the past eleven years, and the weekly protests recently entered the 12th year.      MORE . . .  

(In memory of Mahmoud Darwish, the greatest of Arab Poets)
At the checkpoint, the
Israeli private asked me my name, I told
her, my name is
Zaitoun, she asked, what does that mean,
I told her 4,000 year old trees, she laughed,
asked for my real name, I told her, “Dumm,” what?
i said, it means blood, she said, that’s no name, I told her
blood of my grandfather, my father, my uncle
and even mine if necessary, she bridled, called the corporal,
he came running up, said, what kind of threat is that,
I said, it’s no threat, it’s just a fact,
he called the sergeant, he came up and hit me before he spoke,
my mouth  bled,  I told him, this is the blood I mean, that same
blood, you are afraid of, it’s over 4000 years old, see how dark it is
he called the lieutenant, who asked why my mouth was bleeding,
the sergeant said I had threatened him, the lieutenant asked me
if that was the truth, I told him, I had only stated facts, that
they would be true, after they conferred, he called the
colonel, the colonel came over and asked why I’d been provocative,
I said,all I was doing was stating facts; he asked what I did,
I told him, I was a farmer, he asked what kind, I told him
a farmer with words, what some call a poet—
he asked me if I knew the work of Amichai, I told him yes,
that I’d met him, that he knew what I meant, that Amichai was
sorry for what he’d felt he “had to do”—the colonel shrugged
dismissed the others and told me, “pass on,
I understand, but they don’t, they are not Jews, I am Jew,
not a Zionist”
I pulled the qhubz arabi from my pocket, pulled some zaitoun
from another, some jibbin from my bag and gave it to him–
we laughed, he split the bread in half—
we ate together, we laughed at how sad and foolish all this was

-Sam Hamod is a poet who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, has published 10 books of poems, the winner of the Ethnic Heritage Prize for Poetry, taught at The Writers Workshop of The U. of Iowa, Princeton, Michigan, Howard and edited THIRD WORLD NEWS in Washington, DC. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: samhamod@sbcglobal.net.


“. . . Don’t ask me to abandon . . . the memory of my childhood . . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Settlers break into Palestinian apartments in Hebron (Photo: Elisha Ben Kimon)

❶ Palestinian family of 7 in Hebron Hills faces imminent displacement by Israel
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli court rejects appeal against [Hebron district] home demolition of Palestinian attacker’s family

  • Background: “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review

❷ Israeli occupation plans to build new settlement units in Hebron
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 21, 2016
Seven Palestinians face imminent displacement after Israeli forces delivered a demolition warrant for their home on Sunday, which is located inside the official village limits of al-Tuwani in the vulnerable Southern Hebron Hills region of the occupied West Bank. ___Al-Tuwani village council head Nasser al-Adra told Ma’an that Israeli forces notified Kamil Mousa al-Rabai and his family for a second time that their 120-square-meter house would be demolished [. . . .]
___“This would be the first time Israeli forces demolish a house located within the official community master plan,” al-Adra told Ma’an. “This new policy is a dangerous escalation against al-Tuwani and its neighboring villages and hamlets.”       MORE . . .    

Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 22, 2016
The family of Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Abd al-Majid Omaireh, who Israel accused of being an accomplice in a shooting attack last month which left one Israeli settler dead, said on Monday that an Israeli court decided to demolish their family home in the village of Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.      MORE . . .  

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 22, 2016
The Israeli occupation authorities (IOF) plan to build new settlement units in the Jewish settlement amid Hebron southern the West Bank, Haartez newspaper reported.  ___The newspaper reported on Monday that the plan is scheduled to be ended these days, noting that the former Army Minister, Moshe Yaalon, has issued a statement to build the settlement unit on h2 area under Israeli sovereignty.      MORE . . .       RELATED . . .

  • Reuveny, Rafael. “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review 12.3 (2008): 325-374.  FULL ARTICLE.  

During the past five hundred years, three primary types of colonies have been established: colonies of exploitation, colonies of settlement, and colonies of contested settlement. Colonies of exploitation, the large majority, overworked natives in labor intensive sectors and did not include many settlers. In colonies of settlement, the settlers became the majority and gained full control. In Spanish America, for example, settlers intermarried with the local elites, killed many natives, and enslaved others, and in British North America and Australia, settlers ousted the natives and decimated them demographically, turning them into a small minority in the land they had previously inhabited. Some of these settler societies also imported slaves from Africa. In colonies of contested settlement in Africa and Asia, many settlers went to live in the colonized lands, but they remained a minority rejected by the natives.
[. . . .]
Recent settler actions in the West Bank city of Hebron and the former settlement of Homesh provide additional insight. Seeking to gain control over Hebron’s old city, settlers have attacked Palestinians since 2001, playing a key role in driving out 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinian residents and 1,500 to 1,700 Palestinian businesses from the city. Settlers also have often attacked verbally and physically the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel sent to enforce order. In early 2007, settlers took over a large Palestinian house in Hebron and returned to Homesh, from which the government had removed them during 2005. Because they had done so without approval. Defense Minister Amir Peretz from the Labor Party sought to evacuate them, but the World Council tor Saving the People and the Land of Israel, a settler body, warned him not to intervene. IDF evacuated the settlers from Homesh, but they have since returned several times. In Hebron, the settlers reportedly presented forged documents to prove their ownership of the house and have refused to leave.
[. . . .]
In line with historical colonial examples, Israeli settlers have often built settlements, so-called outposts, without state approval. By 2007, some two thousand settlers lived in about one hundred outposts, seizing 75 percent of their lands from Palestinians. Some Israeli governments have promised to remove outposts and have even removed a few, but all the governments have essentially accepted them after the fact.

Homes Demolished in the South Hebron Hills, Feb. 12, 2016 (Photo: Cassandra Dixon/antiwar.com blog)

Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
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About Fouzi El Asmar.