“. . . they bring panic and terror they are utterly not-to-be-trusted . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

A Palestinian woman stands next to a house sprayed with graffiti reading in Hebrew: "revenge" and "hello from the prisoners of Zion", in the village of Beitillu, near Ramallah
A Palestinian woman stands next to a house sprayed with graffiti reading in Hebrew: “revenge” and “hello from the prisoners of Zion” in the village of Beitillu on December 22, 2015. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

(“So you dehumanise them and once you dehumanise a group of people there is no turning back. You dehumanise them just so you can say “no” at a checkpoint. But the next time you’re in a situation where you have to push them, it’ll be easy enough for you to push them. And then, when you have to shoot them, it’ll be easy enough for you to shoot them. After a few months, you lose all touch with humanity.”)

❶ ‘It’s okay to be racist in Israel’ (Interview with Sahar Vardi)
❷ Israeli settlers block off Nablus-area road

Background: “West Bank Settlers’ Terrorizing of Palestinians to Deter Israeli Government Law Enforcement.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian Lands Set Ablaze, Contaminated with Sewage by Extremist Yitzhar Settlers
❸ Undercover Israeli soldiers shoot dead Palestinian in Hebron
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Army Injures Two Palestinians Near Ramallah, Abducts One Near Jenin
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ‘IT’S  OKAY  TO  BE  RACIST  IN  ISRAEL’  (INTERVIEW  WITH  SAHAR  VARDI)    
Al Jazeera English  
Zena al-Tahhan
June 29, 2017.  Occupied East Jerusalem – This year, Israel’s 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories entered its 51st year.
___In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Israeli army is responsible for controlling the lives of more than three million Palestinians through hundreds of checkpoints, raids of villages and homes, trial of civilians in military courts, demolition of homes, suppression of protests, and the killing and injuring of civilians, to name a few.
___To sustain the occupation industry, Israel makes it mandatory by law for Israeli citizens . . . to enter the military at 18 . . .
___Yet, there are Israeli citizens who refuse to serve in the military for several reasons, including opposition to the army’s policies in the Palestinian territories it occupies.
___Sahar Vardi, 27, is one of such refusers . . .   MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BLOCK  OFF  NABLUS-AREA  ROAD  
Ma’an News Agency 
June 29, 2017.   Hundreds of Israeli settlers reportedly blocked a road in the northern occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian media reported.
___According to official Palestinian news agency Wafa, between 500 and 600 Israelis escorted by Israeli army and police forces gathered on the main road linking the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Ramallah near the Zaatara military checkpoint in the Nablus district early on Thursday, blocking traffic in the area.
[. . . .]  While details about the incident remained unclear, the Zaatara checkpoint is located near at least half a dozen Israeli settlements, built in contravention of international law.
___One of these settlements, Yitzhar, is particularly known for its extremist residents who are notorious for carrying out attacks against Palestinians, as well as Israeli forces.   MORE . . .

vol40_issue3_2007
Zaatara checkpoint with separate lanes for settlers (left lane, yellow-plated cars) and non-Jews. (Photo by Anna Baltzer)

(Note: While this article was written six years ago, it reports the history of settler violence, and its discussion of the “gradual scale of escalation” has occurred.)

Nir, Ori. “WEST  BANK  SETTLERS’  TERRORIZING  OF  PALESTINIANS  TO  DETER  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT  LAW  ENFORCEMENT.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, vol. 44, no. 1/2, June 2011, pp. 277-289.
[. . . .] “Price Tag”. . .  is a set of violent tactics employed by national-religious Israeli settlers in the West Bank to deter Israeli law enforcement authorities from removing illegally-built structures from West Bank settlements. The tactics employed include attacks on Palestinians and their property, as well as attacks on Israeli military and police officers . . . . their ultimate goal is to deter Israeli leaders from implementing a possible future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that entails removing Israeli settlements from the West Bank.
___. . . a strategy that started as a reaction to a sense of powerlessness and ineptness morphed from an unpopular form of high-profile, anti-government resistance into a popular—and very effective—low-intensity anti-Palestinian terrorism campaign.
[. . . .] The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the West Bank has documented a total of 1,451 settlers’ attacks on Palestinians and their property since January 2006: physical attacks on Palestinians, attacks on vehicles, houses, schools and mosques, uprooting of trees, torching of fields, and more . . .
[. . . .] There are several reasons for Price Tag’s being a form of low-intensity terrorism:  Maintaining a high level of Israeli popular support: Extreme violence might alienate the Israeli public. . . .    Avoiding accountability: Israel’s “Judea and Samaria” police district, responsible for law enforcement in the settlements, is understaffed and under-equipped. . .  Most Price Tag incidents do not end up with indictments. . . .    Allowing room for escalation: Cumulative deterrence, the impact that the settlers are hoping to achieve through their Price Tag campaign, is best accomplished on a gradual scale of escalation.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) PALESTINIAN  LANDS  SET  ABLAZE,  CONTAMINATED  WITH  SEWAGE  BY  EXTREMIST  YITZHAR  SETTLERS   
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
June 29, 2017.   Israeli settlers reportedly started a fire near the Palestinian village of Burin. in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, on Wednesday afternoon.
___According to an Israeli army spokesperson, suspects coming from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar approached Burin on Wednesday afternoon, igniting a fire on lands near the village before fleeing the scene.
___The spokesperson added, according to Ma’an News Agency, that while the fire was extinguished by Israeli forces, no detentions were carried out at the scene, and the case was transferred to Israeli police.   MORE . . . 
❸ UNDERCOVER  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SHOOT  DEAD  PALESTINIAN  IN  HEBRON      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
June 29, 2017.   Undercover Israeli soldiers from the special units shot and killed late Wednesday a Palestinian in Hebron, according to Palestinian medical sources.
___Medics at Alia Hospital in Hebron said Iyad Gheith, 22, was shot dead in the upper part of the body.
___While Palestinians did not have any more details, Israeli reports said the unit was searching for weapons in Hebron when it came under fire.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ARMY  INJURES  TWO  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  RAMALLAH,  ABDUCTS  ONE  NEAR  JENIN 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 29, 2017.   Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier Thursday, the village of Bil’in, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and clashed with local youths, wounding two with rubber-coated steel bullets, and causing dozens of residents to suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation. The soldiers also abducted a Palestinian man near Jenin.
__Abdullah Abu Rahma, the media coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Bil’in, said the soldiers fired many gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets.   MORE . . .

“ENEMY,”   BY   YOUSEF   AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like snakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
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 Barnes & Noble

 

“. . . the day The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

events-six-day-war-5-1061967-captures-arabs-abu-tor-district-east-BB5Y94-001
Six Day War, June 6, 1967, captured Palestinians, Abu Tor district, East Jerusalem (Alamy Stock Photo)

❶ 50 years: Israeli occupation longest in modern history
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PLO: 50 years of Israeli occupation is a shame for the international system
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestine in Motion: Where does the story begin?
❷ Israeli forces destroy [char]coal factories in Yabad
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) IOF kidnap Palestinian youths in overnight raids
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinian cars damaged in new price tag attack
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) Palestinian TV presenter injured by stun grenade during violent raid into Issawiya
❸ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

Occupation

❶ 50  YEARS:  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  LONGEST  IN  MODERN  HISTORY   
Al Jazeera English 
Zena Tahhan
June 5, 2017
Palestinians are marking 50 years since the 1967 occupation of their remaining lands this week.  
Fifty years ago this week, the state of Israel shocked the world when it seized the remaining Palestinian territories . . .  as well as the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, in a matter of six days.
___In a war with Egypt, Jordan and Syria, known as the 1967 War, or the June War, Israel delivered what came to be known as the “Naksa”, meaning setback or defeat, to the armies of the neighbouring Arab countries, and to the Palestinians who lost all what remained of their homeland.
[. . . .]  In 1967, Israel absorbed the whole of historic Palestine, as well as additional territory from Egypt and Syria. By the end of the war, Israel had expelled another 430,000 Palestinians from their homes . . .
[. . . .]  Between June 25-27, Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem and various parts of the West Bank, declaring them part of the state of Israel, in a move never recognised by the international community.
___The rest of the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, housing some 5.1 million Palestinians, remain under Israeli military control under the pretext of security.      MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  PLO:  50  YEARS  OF  ISRAELI   OCCUPATION  IS  A  SHAME  FOR  THE  INTERNATIONAL  SYSTEM   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA        
June 5, 2017
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Monday that 50 years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is a shame for the international system.
___Israel attacked Jordan, Egypt and Syria on June 5, 1967 occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Sinai from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria.
___While Israel has returned the Sinai to Egypt following the signing of a peace agreement between them, it still holds on to the rest of the occupied territories in defiance of international resolutions that have called on it to withdraw from these territories.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PALESTINE  IN  MOTION:  WHERE  DOES  THE  STORY  BEGIN? 
Al Jazeera English
June 5, 2017
Stories of loss, love, trauma, hope, and ultimately, of what it means to be Palestinian.   From exile to resistance: The day my life changed forever. The deeply personal and revealing stories of ordinary people who survived massacres, displacement and military occupation.   From Honduras to New Zealand: What does it mean to be a Palestinian today?  Young Palestinians across the world reflect on their identity, life under occupation, exile and future aspirations.      MORE . . .

LIFE UNDER OCCUPATION

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DESTROY  [CHAR]COAL  FACTORIES  IN  YABAD 
Palestine News Network – PNN       
June 4, 2017
The Israeli occupation bulldozers on Sunday knocked down five coal factories in Jenin’s southwestern town of Yabad, leaving hundreds of Palestinians unemployed.
___The Israeli forces destroyed five factories to manufacture coal and seized hundreds of tons of wood, worth tens of thousands of shekels.
___According to local sources, Israeli military vehicles, escorted by a bulldozer, cordoned off Palestinian lands in Yabad and knocked down coal structures and equipment.   MORE . . .

Mideast-Israel-Palest_Horo-9
Palestinian laborers work at the site of a charcoal factory, in the West Bank town of Yabad, near Jenin. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)  IOF  KIDNAP  PALESTINIAN  YOUTHS  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAIDS
Palestine News Network – PNN
June 5, 2017
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday kidnapped several Palestinian citizens from their homes in different areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem.
___Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the IOF stormed Asira ash-Shamaliya town, north of Nablus, and kidnapped two brothers after ransacking their family home.
[. . . .] Six other Palestinian young men were kidnapped from their homes in IOF raids in different areas of east Jerusalem . . .      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) PALESTINIAN  CARS  DAMAGED  IN  NEW  PRICE  TAG  ATTACK 
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
June 5, 2017
A number of Palestinian cars had their tires slashed and racist graffiti was painted on others in two different places in occupied Jerusalem on Monday morning.
___The incident is considered the most recent in a string of “Price Tag” attacks committed by right wing settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories.   [Note: In “Price tag” attacks settlers demonstrate to Palestinians the “price” of resistance]  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ)  PALESTINIAN  TV  PRESENTER  INJURED  BY  STUN  GRENADE  DURING  VIOLENT  RAID  INTO  ISSAWIYA  
Ma’an News Agency        
June 5, 2017
A Palestinian woman was injured by shrapnel from a stun grenade after getting caught clashes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Sunday night while she was filming for a local TV show.
___Local activist Muhammad Abu al-Hummus told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed Issawiya minutes before Iftar time — when Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan eat their first meal after a day of fasting — sparking clashes with local Palestinians in a number of areas in the neighborhood.
___Israeli border police officers indiscriminately fired live ammunition, stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas canisters throughout the community, Abu al-Hummus said.
___Layali Eid, a reporter and TV presenter for local media outlet the al-Quds Educational TV channel, happened to be in the area interviewing locals about their experiences during Ramadan for a seasonal TV show.        MORE . . .         RELATED . . .

“MY SAD CITY,” BY FADWA TUQAN
(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967**)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gagging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri

** (While the military occupation of Jerusalem took place on June 6, the Israelis did not declare the actual annexation until June 27.)
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 B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

“. . . you get angry send an armed messenger polite to tell me: Come . . . “(Yusif [Yusuf] Hamdan)

A monk stands next to
A monk stands next to “PRICE TAG” graffiti sprayed by vandals on a wall at the entrance to the Latrun Monastery near Jerusalem September 4, 2012. REUTERS Baz Ratner

❶ From: ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE *** (Note below)
PRICE  TAG”  AND  EXTREMIST  ATTACKS  IN  ISRAEL
August 5, 2015
Since 2008, there have been repeated attacks carried out by extremist Israeli Jews against Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, often in reprisal for Israeli government action against illegal settlement activity. These attacks, which are frequently labeled “price tag” incidents, target mosques, churches, Arab and Jewish homes and property, Israeli military bases and vehicles, as well as other Israeli Jews. They involve the desecration of property with anti-Arab and anti-government slogans. MOST OF THESE ATTACKS INCLUDE THE PHRASE “PRICE TAG” AND ARE ACCOMPANIED BY HATEFUL AND RACIST SLOGANS, the name of an illegal settlement, or a reference to an Israeli casualty of Palestinian terrorism, the implication being that THE VIOLENT INCIDENT IS THE “COST” OF ISRAELI GOVERNMENT ACTION on settlements or for anti-Israeli violence.
More. . .
(*** is an international Jewish non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency,” the ADL states that it “fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all,” doing so through “information, education, legislation, and advocacy.”)

❷ From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  TORCH  BEDOUIN  TENT  NEAR  RAMALLAH
August, 13, 2015
RAMALLAH ― Israeli settlers torched a Bedouin tent in the area of Ein Samiya near Kafr Malik village in northern Ramallah Thursday morning, local sources told Ma’an.
____A group of Israeli settlers raided the village of Ein Samiya and threw flammable material on a Bedouin tent before the residents noticed and attacked the settlers, forcing them to flee the area.
____An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the attack but could give no further details.
____The fire caused substantial damages to the tent but locals were able to put the fire out without any injuries, locals said.
____Israeli settlers also SPRAYED “PRICE TAG” NEAR THE SCENE AND SIGNED SLOGANS CALLING FOR THE KILLING OF PALESTINIANS and expelling them out of their lands.
More. . .   

❸ From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  TROOPS  DETAIN  12  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
Aug. 13, 2015
HEBRON ― Israeli forces detained 12 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank overnight on Wednesday, locals told Ma’an.
____Two of the Palestinians were detained in the Jordan Valley, two close to Ramallah, two near Bethlehem, and one in southwest Jenin, an Israeli military spokesperson said.
____Israeli forces also detained two men from villages near Hebron. The two men have been identified asIsmail Youssef Tmeizi, 35, from Ithna and Mushir Abd al-Qader al-Shahatit, 29, from the Kharsa village in Dura.
____The men were detained after Israeli forces raided and searched their homes. . . .
More. . .

Israeli soldiers on patrol in the occupied West Bank (AFP/Abbas Momani, File)
Israeli soldiers on patrol in the occupied West Bank (AFP/Abbas Momani, File)

❹ From: From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAEL  DENIES  WATER  ACCESS  TO  MORE  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGES
August 12, 2015
During the hottest month of the year, the Israeli occupation has cut off water from three more Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank.
____The villages of Qarawat Bani Hassan, Biddya and Sarta, in the West Bank cityu of Nablus, have received only a partial supply of water, leaving almost half of their residents without running water on certain days.
____Mayor of Qarawat Bani Hassan, Aziz Aasi, said that the Israeli water company “Mekorot” had begun lowering the water quota for the villages, causing water pressure to drop.
____“Following the decrease in water pressure, all the houses that are in the higher parts of the towns were left without a drop,” he said, according to Days of Palestine.
More. . .

❺ Opinion
From: +972 MAGAZINE
OCCUPATION  IS  THE REAL  ‘JEWISH  TERRORISM’
Samah Salaime
August 9, 2015
I’ve recently tried to figure out the over-use of the phrase “Jewish terror” . . . According to Wikipedia, “Jewish terror” refers to terrorism carried out by Jews against Arabs since the establishment of the state, with some incidents here and there of Jews targeting other Jews.
[. . . .]
____Under “Palestinian terror” were descriptions of Palestinian actions defined as . . . . “Terror activities were principally invasions into Jewish neighborhoods and settlements, murders of their residents, ambushes of vehicles, and the burning of Jewish-owned orchards and fields.”
____Surely there must be a mistake here. This is exactly what settlers have been doing to Palestinians for quite some time, under the supervision of the army . . . instances of ransacking and harassment, burglary of land and property, vandalism, hostility, destruction of land, uprooting of trees . . . destruction of houses, paving of roads and interruption of the West Bank in every direction. How do we call this form of terror? Ah, yes, “occupation.” Suddenly it made sense: Jewish occupation / Jewish terror.
More. . .

“THE  TRUTH  IS  SAID,”  BY  YUSUF  HAMDAN
I say that I hate occupation
you get angry
wake the mountain from its sleep
and chide the fox for forgetting
and you draw the arrest order

I say that I hate war and fighting
you get angry
send an armed messenger
polite
to tell me: Come!
and when I smile
you drown in insults and coughs

I say that I hate oppression
and that all I have
of progressive papers is Al-Itthad
you get angry
and from the sky
you pour Jerusalem and the News
al-Subh and al-Masa
and New Outlook
and other names

I say that I hate rape
you get angry
and honor me in a prison cell
and inflict punishment upon me
and guard me from my friends

I say that I love Justice
you hate it!

I say that I hate injustice
you love it
and if you get angry
there is the ocean drink it!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts, and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

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.
Also in: Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture. Vol.14 No.1 2007.
Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.
Al-Ittihad (The Union) is an Israeli Arabic-language daily newspaper based in Haifa. Once considered the most important Arab media outlet in Israel, it is owned by Maki, the Israeli Communist Party. It is currently edited by Aida Touma-Suleiman.
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