“. . . Do you remember your panic―at the reign of death . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

❶ Intelligence thwarts plans of land sale to Israel
❷ Premier briefs Norway’s foreign minister on latest political developments
❸ Impoverished Gaza’s economy on verge of total collapse

  • Background: “From Gaza to Warsaw : Mapping Multidirectional Memory.” Criticism.

❹ Opinion/Analysis: Haass and Kristof can’t cross the Zionist Rubicon
. . . . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) Israel is a Nazi-like state with a potent public relations machine
❺ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 8, 2018 ― The Palestinian General Intelligence in Qalqilya, north of the occupied West Bank, said on Monday that it was able foil a plan to sell land to Israelis and to arrest those involved in the deal.
___It revealed on its website that four people, including a lawyer, were arrested after they were suspected of getting involved in attempts to sell land to Israelis, noting that the lands are located in Jerusalem, Qalqilya, Nablus, Tulkarm and inside Israel.
___One of those involved in the foiled sale who fled to Israel and a land broker from inside Israel worked together to pass the deal estimated to worth over $11 million.   MORE . . .  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Jan. 8, 2018 ― Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met on Monday with the Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide in Ramallah and briefed her on the latest political developments in the area.
___Hamdallah informed Eriksen Søreide of the consequences of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and US threats to cut off UNRWA’s funding, in addition to Israeli violation against Palestinians.     MORE . . .  
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)      
By Ahmad Abu Amer
Jan. 7, 2018 ― Economists say the Gaza Strip’s economy has entered a  phase of total collapse  as the Israeli blockade continues into its 11th year and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank has failed to lift sanctions, despite what Gazans hailed as a promise of relief weeks ago.
___Gazans are strapped for cash and markets are suffering from an unprecedented recession. Last month, some economic experts called on Gazan citizens living abroad and businessmen to send money to their families in Gaza in the hope of improving the economy and stopping its collapse. Business-media organizations started an Arabic hashtag that translates into #Transferyourmoney.  Meanwhile, on Dec. 30, for the first time in many years, shops in the southern Gaza Strip closed to protest the poor economic conditions.
___According to a Dec. 31 Haaretz article, the number of trucks carrying merchandise into Gaza from the southern Kerem Shalom crossing declined during December, to around 530 per day from a peak of almost 1,000 in October 2015.    MORE . . . 

CRITICISM, vol. 53, no. 4, Fall2011, pp. 523-548.
[. . . .] The Warsaw Ghetto has always been a resonant symbol in public discourse and a multivalenced knot of memory. Established and then quickly sealed by the Nazis in the fall of 1940, the Warsaw Ghetto held approximately 400,000 Jews in a 1.3-square-mile area. Three features of the ghetto have shaped its memorial legacy: it was at once a place of almost absolute segregation and constriction, a way station from which hundreds of thousands of Jews were sent to extermination camps (primarily Treblinka), and a staging ground in 1943 for one of the twentieth century’s most heroic, if suicidal, resistance struggles. References to Warsaw draw selectively or inclusively on all of those characteristics of the ghetto and have anchored collective memories of many persuasions. . . .
[. . . .] Several opportunities are lost in discourses that equate the Warsaw Ghetto with Gaza and the Israeli occupation. Besides obfuscating the fate of certain victims of the Holocaust . . .  the reference to Warsaw obscures the conditions of Palestinian life and death in significant ways. Whereas the Holocaust framework taps into a ready channel of public discourse, its evocation discourages thinking through the novel forms of domination being developed in the occupation and blockade—forms that are distinct from industrialized genocide. The situation in Gaza is the result of forms of Israeli control not even feasible during the Nazi genocide, as well as overlapping and clashing modes of sovereignty that encompass intra-Palestinian conflicts, local powers Israel and Egypt, and the global structures of empire underwritten by the United States. Finally, the discourse of equation in Gaza–Warsaw analogies also imports a dangerous model of victimization into Palestinian politics. For, as a genocidal way-station, the Warsaw Ghetto ultimately offered no exit except the suicidal struggle that the resistance fighters waged in 1943. The situation in Gaza is dire but still allows forms of politics beyond suicide. As historian Mark LeVine writes, “If Gaza is today’s Warsaw, then Palestinians have no hope.” [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .   

By Scott Roth and Phil Weiss
Jan. 7, 2018 ― David Halbfinger produced a fine piece of reporting for  the New York Times this weekend, an article addressing the death of the two-state solution and Palestinians’ recognition that they have begun a struggle for equal rights in one state. Why– there might even be a Palestinian prime minister one day.
___The article quotes Palestinian leaders who are giving thought to what a one-state future would look like. That outcome is “dominating the discussion,” says Mustafa Barghouti. While Saeb Erekat says Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital “was the death knell for the two-state solution.”
___Halbfinger speaks plainly about what a real democracy would look like between the river and the sea:  Palestinian supporters envision one state with equal rights for Palestinians and Jews. Palestinians would have proportionate political power and, given demographic trends, would before long be a majority, spelling the end of the Zionist project.  MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center 
Khalid Amayreh
Jan. 7, 2018 ― I know it is still a taboo to call Israel a Nazi or Nazi-like state. However, an honest writer should always be guided by his or her moral conscience and never succumb to the tyranny of public opinion or prevailing media discourse. . . .
___I believe that we Palestinians who live under the yoke of Zionism here in Occupied Palestine know Israel better than anyone else. That is why we tend to reject with utter contempt lectures by condescending outsiders, irrespective of their intentions, on how we ought to relate to our tormentors and the choice of words we use in describing the killers of our children.
___I am not calling Israel a Nazi-or Nazi-like entity because I am convinced that Israel used the very same tools in effecting the Nakba that the Third Reich used in effecting the Holocaust against European Jewry. . .  No, Israel . . .  has not perpetrated a holocaust in the classical sense against my people.
___But Israel has been adopting Nazi-like policies against my people. . .  In Germany there was the Master race; here in Israel-Palestine we have “God’s chosen people versus the water carriers and wood-hewers!”  MORE . . .   

Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.   Available from Amazon
Samih Al-Qasim Obituary, August 20, 2014.

“. . . are Palestinians any different from other refugees . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Racist proposal to ban non-Jews from election to Israeli parliament

  • Background: “Trumpian Ethics and the Rule of Law.” Creighton Law Review.

❷ Israeli forces prevent Palestinians from accessing their lands to pick olives
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers steal olive harvest near Qalqilia
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli settlers attack Palestinian home in Hebron with rocks, stun grenades
❸ FIFA gives green light to Israeli settlement clubs
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine 
Oct 28 2017 ― The ruling Israeli coalition may propose a bill in the Israeli Knesset that blocks non-Jews from being elected to the parliament, Israeli media reported on Friday.
___The bill would apparently prevent intervention by the Supreme Court in decisions taken by the Israeli Central Elections Committee; it is the latter which would then have sole responsibility for blocking non-Jewish candidates.
___“This bill aims to return the authority and power to the Elections Committee by preventing appeals against its decision,” said its proposer, Oded Forer MK of the extreme right-ring Jewish Home party. “The Knesset has become a place for terrorists and their supporters [sic] to sit in without fear.”
___This was a reference to MKs Basel Ghattas – who is now in prison – and the head of the Arab Joint-list Ayman Odeh. At least 20 per cent of Israel’s population are non-Jews; if such a bill became law it would confirm the apartheid nature of the Israeli state.   MORE . . .   ..    From ISRAELI NEWSPAPER

McKay, John.
CREIGHTON LAW REVIEW, vol. 50, no. 4, Sept. 2017, pp. 781-799.
[. . . .] The biggest obstacle to peace in the region is the unfettered building of settlements by Israel in occupied Palestinian lands. Almost everywhere you travel in the West Bank, when you look up to the hills, you will see an Israeli settlement, illegal in every way under international law. And they are building all the time. . . THE  PALESTINIANS  INSIST  ON  A  RIGHT  OF  RETURN,  AND  TO  THEM—SOME  OF  THEM—THAT  MEANS  THEY  WANT  THE  OLIVE  GROVES  OF  THEIR  GRANDPARENTS  THAT  ARE  NOW  PART  OF  THE  STATE  OF  ISRAEL. This is not a reasonable starting point for peace negotiations on the part of the Palestinians. The Israelis will not stop building settlements and have no observable way to roll back those heavily armed settlers who now number well over half a million living inside the West Bank—a land to which they have absolutely no claim under law.
[. . . .] But for peace to come about, Israel must eventually end its use of military laws of occupation. . .   the only way out is to roll back the occupation, to roll back the laws that governments give themselves when peace is threatened from within. . .
[. . . .] With this impending disaster for the Jewish State of Israel, we would likely be looking at the beginning of an almost direct parallel to South Africa and its discredited policy of apartheid. Some argue that Israel has already created such a policy, in fact.
___There are now approximately 625,000 Israeli Jews living in the West Bank in over one hundred settlements. I have no idea how this can ever be rolled back if there is to be a peace. But to look at the reality on the ground, these are all fortified mini-cities. As I personally observed, every one of them has an Israeli defense garrison close by. All are walled, all are surrounded by barbed wire, and the citizens are armed. On one occasion, I attended a barbeque in an Arab village, above which there was an Israeli settlement. There was a swimming hole, and I, of course, invited the settlers to come and eat with us, which they refused to do. But as they turned away, I could see tucked into the back of their bathing suits that each had a nine-millimeter pistol. It was not only the soldiers who carried weapons; even the Israeli settlers were heavily, heavily armed in every possible way.   FULL ARTICLE.

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces on Sunday reportedly prevented Palestinian farmers in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah from reaching their land to pick olives, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.
___WAFA reported that Palestinians from the village of Nilin were stopped by Israelis forces on their way to pick olives on their farm lands, located on the Israeli side of the separation wall, which runs through the farmers’ lands.
___The farmers, according to Wafa, had permits from Israeli authorities to enter the area, but were denied anyway.
[. . . .] Palestinians living in the areas where Israel’s separation wall cut off their lands, are required to obtain entry permits, and cannot enter their lands for any purpose other than work or residence.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STEAL  OLIVE  HARVEST  NEAR  QALQILIA            Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Israeli settlers stole the olive harvest from Palestinian-owned land in the villages of Jitt, east of Qalqilya, Sunday said one of the land owners.
___Omar Yameen told WAFA that landowners from the village discovered when they reached their land adjacent to the illegal settlement of Kedumim that the olive crops have been harvested and many fully grown trees were damaged and dry after being sprayed with toxic chemicals.
___The owner said he also discovered sewage water being pumped from a settler’s mobile home into his land.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Dozens of Israeli settlers reportedly attacked a Palestinian home in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday, according to local sources.
___Local activist Jamal Iseifan told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement attacked a house belonging to Kayid Mansour al-Jaabari, under the protection of armed Israeli forces.
___Iseifan said that Israeli settlers threw rocks and stun grenades at the house and al-Jaabari’s family, adding that Hebron has seen a rise in attacks on Palestinian houses near the Kiryat Arba settlement, that exists in contravention of international law.   MORE . . .
The Electronic Intifada
By Maureen Clare Murphy
Oct. 28, 2017 ― The world football governing body FIFA stated on Friday that it would not sanction or take other measures against clubs located in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
___“Today the FIFA Council shredded the organization’s statutes and declared itself a complicit organization that welcomes Israel’s illegal settlement clubs,” Stephanie Adam of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel stated.
___“FIFA is intent on providing material support for Israel’s violations of international law amounting to war crimes against one of its own member associations,” Adam added, referring to the Palestinian Football Association.
___In its statement the FIFA Council did not address Israeli rights violations and instead referred to a “current situation … characterized by an exceptional complexity and sensitivity and by certain de facto circumstances that can neither be ignored nor changed unilaterally by nongovernmental organizations such as FIFA.”   MORE . . . 

what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror drove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?

are Palestinians any different from other refugees?
is it not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?

why are they being asked to settle
for money?
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicians tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?
between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only

time for peace

Jundi’s coming-of-age story is chronicled in the illuminating book, The Hour of Sunlight, co-authored with his friend, former colleague and author/documentary filmmaker/playwright Jen Marlowe. . . Jundi’s life is a tale of dislocation, of yearning, of delight in the details and a reverence for the written word. The son of refugees from both Deir Yassin and Zakarriya, Jundi was raised in the Old City of Jerusalem by two blind parents—a unique experience by any measure—and became a refugee at a young age. . . .    MORE . . .
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.

“. . . And the green olive tree rose high Embracing the house . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Alexandra Handal. From  “Bed & Breakfast Notebooks, 2007-2008,” Video (Still from Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2009 Catalogue)

❶ Israeli security cabinet freezes plan for Palestinian housing in Qalqiliya
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes in Jabal al-Mukabbir, Silwan

  • Background: “Be/Come Closer to Home.” Third Text

❷ Israel will not slow settlement on Palestinian land, Says Netanyahu
❸ Population, housing and institutions general census 2017 kicks off
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 13, 2017.   The Israeli security cabinet voted on Wednesday to postpone discussions regarding plans to expand the Palestinian city of Qalqiliya in the northern occupied West Bank, weeks after Israeli officials condemned the planned construction.
___According to Israeli news outlet Ynet, the security cabinet ruled for no further steps to be taken with regards to the plan, which would see some 5,000 housing units built in Qalqiliya, until it convenes to discuss the matter on July 23.
___The security cabinet also called on Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to issue a ruling on how control of Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control, should be divided between the Israeli army and government, and how this would affect the plan.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 12, 2017.   Israeli forces targeted Palestinian-owned buildings in occupied East Jerusalem with demolitions for the second day in a row, under the pretext that the structures lacked the nearly impossible to obtain construction permits from Israeli authorities.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israel’s Jerusalem municipality enforced the demolition of three buildings, which included two homes, in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Jabal al-Mukabbir and Silwan. Amid the tense atmosphere in Silwan, Israeli forces reportedly assaulted a local youth during the demolition.
___In Jabal al-Mukabbir, Musa Obidat told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers raided the neighborhood around dawn time and razed his house to the ground for being built without a permit.
___Obidat noted that he was away from his home when the demolition was carried out, and was informed by his neighbors of the raid. When he attempted to return to the house, Israeli forces prevented him from accessing the area and imposed a complete siege around the premises.   MORE . . .

Photiou, Maria. “BE/COME CLOSER TO HOME.” Third Text, vol. 29, no. 4/5, Jul-Sep2015, pp. 340-355. (Article about the Palestinian artist, Alexandra Handal)
[. . . .]   Handal’s ongoing process of this web documentary exposes the reality of the absurd post-1948 political situation in West Jerusalem where expropriated Palestinian houses are being sold on Israeli real-estate agents’ websites. The realisation of this absurd political reality was the persuasive point for Handal’s engagement in this issue:
“The idea for the work grew from an encounter I made in the early 1990s. During a trip to NYC, I met a Palestinian refugee and he showed me a real estate advertisement that featured upscale residential properties in West Jerusalem. At first glance, there was nothing particularly special about this ad, but the absurd political reality around it became evident after he explained to me that this was in fact his family’s expropriated home that was now on sale for an Israeli international clientele. I was a teenager at the time and the story had an enduring impact on me – beneath the glossy surface of the ad was a cruel reality” [From Karmah Elmusa, ‘Alexandra Handal Combines Palestinian History and Art in Web Documentary,
found at
. . .].
[. . . .]  The concept of homeland and the limitations of the Green Line are obvious in Alexandra Handal’s practice. Born in 1975 into a Palestinian family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Handal is influenced by the 1948 Palestinian depopulation from West Jerusalem and the ongoing Palestinian occupation by Israel.
[. . . .] The desire to document the socio-political events of her homeland is obvious in Handal’s work. In the artist’s statement for No Parking without Permission, Jerusalem, Handal describes her longing to explore the occupied areas:
“I wanted to go see first-hand what had become of those neighbourhoods whose stories had shaped my image of the city. So I decided to undertake a number of walks there. Although walking through a city would almost anywhere in the world be seen as a mundane activity, for a Palestinian drifting in Jerusalem is politicised and loaded with emotional ramifications. Through numerous walks, I explored these areas by looking through all sorts of barriers, fences, gates and bushes in an attempt to remove the distance and be/come closer to the spaces that Palestinians were torn apart from in 1948. These drifts culminated into a series of photos, each image – a visual testimony of my yearning” [Author’s Communication with Alexandra Handal, 2015].       SOURCE . . .

The Palestinian Information Center  
July 12, 2107.   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied media reports claiming that Tel Aviv had agreed to slow the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to kick-start the peace process.
___The Prime Minister’s Office denied reports by Hebrew-speaking and Arab news outlets that the White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt and senior Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders had secured backing for new final status agreement talks, including assurances from Israel that construction in the occupied West Bank would be slowed during negotiations with the PA.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 13, 2017.   Ola Awad, president of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Thursday announced the start of field operations for the population, housing and institutions 2017 general census.
___Awad said in a press release, “This is the third general census, fully conducted by Palestinians. Modern technology will be used to collect information, such as tablets and geographic information systems.”
___The general census is considered the biggest on the national level and is conducted every 10 years and will officially start on Saturday July 15. It was conducted in 2007 and 1997.   MORE . . 

Will you not open this door for me?
My hand is exhausted from knocking at Your door.
I have come to Your vastness to beg
Some tranquility and peace of mind
But Your door is closed in my face,
Drowned in silence.
Lord of the house,
The door was open here,
A refuge for all burdened with grief.
The door was open here,
And the green olive tree rose high
Embracing the house.
The oil lamb kindling without fire,
Guiding steps of one walking at night,
Relieving those crushed by the burden of Earth,
Flooding them with satisfaction and ease.
Do you hear me, O Lord of the house,
After my loss in the deserts;
Away from You I have returned to You
But Your door is closed
In my face, drowned in silence.
Your house is shrouded
With the dust of death.
You are here. Open, then, the door.
Do not veil your face.
See my orphanhood, my loss,
Amid the ruins of a collapsing world,
The grief of the world on my shoulders
And terrors of a tyrant destiny
To be undone.

From: A  Lover  From  Palestine  and  Other  Poems:  An  Anthology  of  Palestinian  Poetry.  Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
Fadwa Tuqan obituary.

“. . . [UN Human Rights Council] condemns summary and extrajudicial executions. . . death penalty without regard for the ICCPR’s safeguards.. . .” (Ilia Maria Siatitsa)

Slain Palestinian youth Jihad Hussein Harb, 19, from Qalqiliya, Dec. 8, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ . Palestinian youth killed by Israeli forces after alleged attempted stabbing near Nablus
❷ . Israel blocks Gaza women from breast cancer treatment

  • Background: “Human Rights In Armed Conflict: Ten Years Of Affirmative State Practice Within United Nations Resolutions.” Journal Of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

❸ . West Bank village turned into a ‘prison’ in the wake of arson accusations
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 8, 2016
A Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli border police forces on Thursday morning in the northern occupied West Bank after he allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.
___Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that an 18-year-old Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli border police officer at the Zaatara junction south of the city of Nablus, prompting Israeli forces to shoot at him, killing him instantly.     ___Al-Samri made no mention of any Israelis being injured.        More . . .  

Gaza women with breast cancer, conference, ” Call For Help” for treatment, Oct. 10, 2016. (Photo: Press House Palestine) http://www.palbas.org/en/news/2016/10/11/782.html

The Electronic Intifada   
Sarah Algherbawi
Dec. 5, 2016
Khuloud Abu Qamar spoke quietly but her words still shocked. “Israel is killing me slowly,” she said. “And it is killing my children, too.”
___After undergoing surgery for breast cancer last year, Abu Qamar requires further treatment which she has not been able to receive in Gaza. She has asked Israel for permission to travel. Her applications have so far been rejected. Aged 40, she has six children, the youngest of whom is still a baby.
___Her plight is shared by many others in Gaza. Estimates from the local health ministry indicate that several hundred women with breast cancer have been obstructed from traveling by Israel so far this year.      More . . .

  • Siatitsa, Ilia Maria, and Maia Titberidze. “Human Rights In Armed Conflict: Ten Years Of Affirmative State Practice Within United Nations Resolutions.” Journal Of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 3.2 (2013): 233-262.   SOURCE. 

[. . . .] p. 238   There are a number of country-specific and thematic resolutions adopted Human Rights Council (HRC), and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which, as presented below, point to a general understanding that HRL (Human Rights Law) does apply in armed conflict . . . the title of resolution 12/5 of the HRC (Human Rights Council) speaks for itself: ‘Protection of the human rights of civilians in armed conflict’. (HRC Res. 12/5, 1 October 2009.)
[. . . .] p. 253 The prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is found in both IHL (International Humanitarian Law) and HRL. The prohibition is absolute in all circumstances . . . Thematic resolutions on the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are adopted annually within the framework of the General Assembly, HRC, and CHR. Despite being thematic, these resolutions contain specific references affirming that the rights referred to are equally applicable in times of armed conflict . . . Most of these directives are taken from human rights instruments.
[. . . .] p. 254    The importance of the right to life is constantly repeated and reaffirmed in a number of resolutions. The right to life is mentioned in the context of indiscriminate attacks affecting civilians by emphasizing the fundamental value of the right to life and calling on relevant parties to abide by their obligations in this respect. The HRC has stressed that the right to life is the most fundamental of all rights. It repeatedly condemns attacks against the civilian population . . . The HRC also condemns summary and extrajudicial executions. The HRC has, moreover, condemned the use of the death penalty without regard for the ICCPR’s safeguards.
___In this context, targeted attacks against civilians have repeatedly been condemned by the SC as violating both branches of law. The relevant bodies tend to employ HRL terms regarding the question of targeted killings and extrajudicial executions that have been condemned by all UN bodies on several occasions. Furthermore, the CHR has invoked the obligation to take measures to prevent loss of life in all circumstances. In sum, the right to life represents an important component of the majority of the conflict-related resolutions.
___The right to a fair trial contains the right of every person to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal established by law. Various bodies, among others the GA, have affirmed this right.  [. . . .]

Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 7, 2016
Dozens of Palestinians have been detained — including a number of children — and clashes have erupted daily in the occupied West Bank village of Deir Nidham since it was blockaded by the Israeli army three weeks ago, “turning the lives of 1,600 into a prison,” locals told Ma’an on Wednesday.
___Deir Nidham, northwest of Ramallah city, was placed under a military closure after a fire erupted just a few kilometers away in the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, which is built on the lands of the village and on the lands of neighboring Nabi Saleh.
___Israeli authorities have said that investigations revealed the fire to be a case of arson, and launched a crippling blockade on Deir Nidham ever since.      More . . . 

“. . . I gathered up Haifa sand and cleansed myself with it . . .” (Abdallah Abu Bakr)

Yafa Street in Haifa, Palestine, before the 1948 Israeli occupation. (Photo: taken from Razan Masri Blog, razanmasri.com)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home, seal off restaurant in Jerusalem area

  • Background: “Spacing Palestine through the Home.” Transactions of the Institute Of British Geographers.

❷ Israeli forces demolish 3 Palestinian-owned buildings in Lod, deliver demolition orders in Haifa
❸ Israeli forces ransack printing shops in West Bank, seize computers
❹ POETRY by Abdallah Abu Bakr
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 22, 2016
Israeli authorities on Tuesday morning completed the demolition of a Palestinian house under construction in the al-Tur village of the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, according to the family.
[. . . .]   Separately, Israeli authorities sealed off a restaurant owned by Moussa Naim Fatafta in the Jerusalem-area village of Silwan.
___According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Jerusalem municipality crews sealed off the restaurant over claims that Fatafta had not obtained a construction license, nor a license to run a restaurant.     More . . .

  • Harker, Christopher. “Spacing Palestine Through The Home.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 34.3 (2009): 320-332.     Source.    

[. . . .] There is a now an established politics of directly confronting the Israeli Occupation through direct action activism, lobbying, advocacy work and education. Such political work has established Palestine as ‘a moral cause’ among a very particular set of international networks, primarily through a human rights discourse that condemns the manifold wrongdoings that are intrinsically part of occupying another nation. Such work is both absolutely necessary and in some circumstances effective. This is particularly the case when organisations are able to generate quantitative data.
___However, what I want to suggest is that it may also prove beneficial to explore and experiment with complementary strategies. People such as Khaled and Abdullah [whose “home” stories are told at the beginning of the article] have their own specific cultural and historical contexts, and while they have undoubtedly been affected in many different ways by the actions of the Israeli Occupation, they are also people who have been affected by time and snowfall. I think foregrounding the multifaceted nature of  Khaled and Abdullah’s pasts and presents might help us to imagine a Palestinian future that is not tied so intimately to Israeli Occupation, where Palestinians move beyond tropes such as refugee, victim or terrorist. Similarly, the homes of Khaled and Abdullah are complex sites at which ideas around family and security, the construction and destruction of built materials, and some of the histories and geographies of Birzeit village and Palestine intersect. These domestic spaces and practices (in contrast to the demolished home) are an effective milieu for generating more complex representations because of the banal, quotidian and intimate practices that take place there (in addition to the violent and ⁄ or destructive processes that may co-constitute such sites). Envisioning Palestinians in Birzeit as people who make homes in particular ways, while nevertheless living under occupation, encourages greater degrees of intimate engagement than geopolitical analyses. Intimacy is important in this context because it challenges the orientalist practices of folding distance (both cultural and spatial) into difference that are partly responsible for allowing the atrocities that occur in Palestine to continue.

Ma’an News Agency     
Nov. 23, 2016
Israeli forces early Wednesday demolished three buildings belonging to a Palestinian family in the city of Lod in northern Israel, while demolition orders were delivered to Palestinian homes in the Haifa district.
___Sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces and border guards in Lod facilitated the demolition of the three buildings which belonged to the Shaaban family in the neighborhood of Karm al-Tuffah north of Lod city without any prior notice.      More . . .

View from the old city walls on East-Jerusalem. Israel
East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood. (Photo: vevesworld.com)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Nov. 23, 2016
Israeli forces Wednesday ransacked two printing shops and seized computers during raids into the northern West Bank districts of Salfit and Qalqiliya, said municipal and security sources.
___Israeli forces stormed and ransacked ‘Alam al-Ibad printing shop during a raid of Al-Zawiya village, west of Salfit.
[. . . .]  In a different incident, forces stormed the Asayel Yaffa printing shop during an overnight raid into Qalqiliya city, seizing six computers.     More . . .  

“A HAIFA PRAYER,” by Abdallah Abu Bakr
I was on my way from Haifa to Haifa.
That’s been my only road ever since I was a child.
I went down to the shoreline and paddled in the ocean
then dug a hole in the sand and buried my heart.
That way I know for sure I would never forget her.
I gathered up Haifa sand and cleansed myself with it
because, God knows, I know precisely
how I should pray to God
and how I should worship her ―
my Haifa.

―Trans. John Glenday

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.

“. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al Qasim)

❶ Israeli Supreme Court rejects Palestinian village’s appeal over confiscated land
❷ IOF attack activists at the symbolic “Al-Yasser village” with teargas
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  Nothing is simple in Palestine
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 17, 2016
The Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by residents of the occupied West Bank village of al-Nabi Elyas over Israel’s confiscation of 100 dunams of Palestinian land, Israeli radio reported on Thursday.
___According to the Arabic-language Voice of Israel station, the court ruled on Wednesday that residents of al-Nabi Elyas in the district of Qalqiliya could not prove ownership of land which had been seized to build a road.
___The court claimed that the road, whose construction is expected to begin in January, would benefit both Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the area.
___The ruling added that if Palestinians were able to prove ownership of the land after the confiscation, they were allowed to demand compensation.    More . . .  

Palestine News Network – PNN 

Nov. 17, 2016
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Thursday afternoon attacked the activists campaigning at the “Al-Yasser village” in response to Israeli legalization of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
___Many have suffered teargas inhalation due to the attack.
___The new village, set up this morning with only tents, was named “Al-Yasser” after the late Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.      More . . .   

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  NOTHING  IS  SIMPLE  IN  PALESTINE 
International Solidarity Movement   
Nov. 17, 2016
Almost nothing in Palestine is what you expect for the most part. And, this is so true of the negative things you see. No matter how bad you think things are or expect them to be, you are almost always guaranteed that they will be worse . . .   Part of our team was invited by an “inspector” from the United Nations office based here in Al Khalil to go to a Bedouin village in the South Hebron Hills where a demolition took place yesterday.      [. . . .] There have been 5 demolitions in the past year: October 27, 2015; 1 in April 2016; 2 this past August; and the most recent one yesterday where two structures were demolished. Their Community Center which housed the kindergarten, a computer center, an after school program to help kids with homework, and a library has been demolished several times.  More . . .   


So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While noting remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!

Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

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.

“. . . historical memory encourages children to realize the relationship between the past and present . . .” (Janette Hibashi)

Raghad Nasrallah Sho’ani, 18, was released from Israeli prison today. (Photo: IMEMC News)

❶ Israel Releases A Wounded Young Woman After Four Months In Detention
. . . ― (a) Reaching a deal to sentence the children Farah and Za’tari for two years
❷ 3 Palestinians injured with live fire during clashes near Gaza border
. . . ❷ ― (a) Clashes In Kufur Qaddoum After Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Procession

  • Background: “Palestinian Children: Authors Of Collective Memory.” Children & Society.

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
November 12, 2016
The Israeli authorities released, Friday, Raghad Nasrallah Sho’ani, 18, after holding her captive for four months, following an Israeli court ruling, sentencing her to six-month suspended sentence for three years, and ordered her to play a 2000 Israeli Shekels fine.     ___Sho’ani was released at Jabara military roadblock, near Tulkarem, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, where her family and dozens of Palestinians waited to welcome her back home.
___Raghad was shot and injured by Israeli army fire prior to her abduction, four months ago, after the soldiers alleged that she intended to carry out a stabbing attack against then at the Qalandia military terminal, north of Jerusalem.
___After being shot with two live rounds in the thigh, the soldiers abducted her without providing her medical treatment, interrogated her, and later took her to a hospital. Raghad is from Kafr Aqab neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem.        More . . .  
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan     
Nov. 9, 2016
The lawyers (Mohammad Mahmoud and Lee’a Tsemel) of two Jerusalemite children accused of “possession of knives and attempt-murder” reached a deal with the public prosecution to sentence their clients for two years in which they will serve in internal institutions.
___The lawyers explained that they reached a deal with the public prosecution to sentence 13-year old Shadi Anwar Farah and 13-year old Ahmad Ra’ed Za’tari for two years in “Yarka” internal institution.      More . . .     

Ma’an News Agency   
Nov. 11, 2016
Three Palestinians were injured with live fire on Friday during clashes with Israeli forces along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
___Gaza’s Ministry of Health Spokesman Ashraf al-Qidrah said the three were moderately injured in clashes east of Gaza city, near the Nahal Oz border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
___Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have demonstrated near the border with Israel nearly every Friday to show solidarity with what Palestinians in Gaza have termed the “Jerusalem Intifada” taking place in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
___The so-called “buffer zone,” where the weekly protests have taken place, was unilaterally declared a “no-go-zone” by Israel in 2005.       More . . .  

Palestinian youths hold Palestinian flags during a demonstration against the construction of the wall in Beit Jala near Bethlehem Mar. 4 2010. (Photo: Aljazeera)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC         
November 12, 2016
Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, dozens of protesters in Kufur Qaddoum town, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqilia, as dozens marched during the weekly procession against the illegal Annexation Wall and colonies, and the continued closure of the town’s main road for the 14th consecutive year.       ___The protestors marched while waving Palestinian flags and carrying posters of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, commemorating the twelfth anniversary of his death, before the soldiers assaulted the procession, leading to clashes.   More. . .

  • Habashi, Janette. “Palestinian Children: Authors Of Collective Memory.” Children & Society 27.6 (2013): 421-433.    Source .  

[. . . .]   The ambiguity of articulating children’s memory is enforced by nation-states’ discourse. Nation-states invest in the protection and safety of children while simultaneously promoting particular collective memory. Citizenship education, reciting national anthems and exposure to history curricula contribute to the creation of a singular collective memory and national discourse. However, this may not be the case in war-like situations where family narratives and local street politics influence the larger national discourse.
[. . . .]    Palestinian children witness current political situations, thus enabling them to express issues that are consequential in forming Palestinian history. In this era, children as third and fourth generation refugees are impacted by Israeli occupation . . .  yet participants experienced moments of freedom through political knowledge and education. The contemporary history arises in the children’s comprehension  of paradoxes within their experiences and in their relationship to preceding generations. Palestinian children’s testimonies, concerning history . . .   is framed with their ability to see the relationship between the history of previous generations and Israeli occupation . . . The concept of historical memory encourage[s] children to realise the relationship between the past and present and enable[s] them to identify individuals’ roles in collective memory  Children speculated on the transformation of the future based on their co-construction of contemporary Palestinian history and their understanding of collective memory: the past and present are profoundly integrated into the future. Children perceived themselves as keepers, carriers, agents and co-authors of future history.
[. . . .]  The involvement of children’s historical agency profoundly coincides with individual and collective experiences that express themselves in three capacities. First, children . . . identify political crises in the context of history and Israeli occupation, which echoes past experiences. Second, [they] perceived themselves as making history by resisting Israeli authority through education, throwing stones and defying the Israeli prediction that Palestinians would forget their past. . .  Third . . . they also imagined life before a critical time in history (1948) . . . that their present anguish had a historical foundation, and that hope for the future depended on the discontinuation of the current political situation . . . the children of the second, third and fourth generations of Palestinians, unlike the first generation, attempt to transform their life experience in refugee camps and co-author historical narratives through the understanding of collective memories as well as through certain acts that can be characterised as moments of ‘freedom’ or perhaps even political rebellion. . . .

“. . . We raise in the sky a glorying arc . . .” (Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh)

Khirbet Tell an Himma, Mass home demolitions five days later. Sep. 27, 2016. (Photo: EAPPI/E. Mutschler)

❶ UN condemns demolition and seizure of donor-funded structures in Palestinian [Bedouin] communities

  • Background:  “Demolitions And Amendments: Coping With Cultural Recognition And Its Denial In Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples

❷ Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian-owned agricultural structures in Qalqilya
❸ Israel preparing to build thousands of housing units in settlements after Trump was elected
❹ POETRY by Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 11, 2016
The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper Thursday condemned Israeli activities in the occupied Palestinian territory that has obstructed the international agency from assisting Palestinian communities, calling the policies “illegal” with the intention of “creating an entirely new reality on the ground.”
___According to a statement, the Israeli Civil Administration and the Israeli army on Nov. 7 “seized nine donor-funded tents (two of which were not yet erected)” in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khirbet Tell al-Himma . . . . The materials were provided to the community as humanitarian aid in response to earlier demolitions carried out by Israeli forces on Sept. 27, which left several Palestinian families without shelter.
___“Targeting the most vulnerable of the vulnerable and preventing them from receiving relief – especially as winter sets in – is unacceptable and runs counter to Israel’s obligations as an occupying power,” Piper said in the statement, adding that “sadly, we are seeing more and more of this.”     More . . .      

  • McKee, Emily. “Demolitions And Amendments: Coping With Cultural Recognition And Its Denial In Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples 19.1 (2015): 95-119.   Source.

[. . . .]   Bedouin Arabs are permitted within Israel and granted formal citizenship, but only in ways that perpetuate their outsider status. However, Bedouin Arabs, though legal citizens, generally cannot gain substantive citizenship through a multicultural recognition of difference. Because of Israel’s definition as a Jewish state and national anxieties over Jews’ cultural solidarity and their separation from Arabs, Bedouins cannot gain inclusion through assimilation, which would recognise threatening similarities. Instead, Bedouin Arabs must accommodate Zionist nation-building projects by relinquishing their lifestyles and ties to place in order to realise certain benefits of citizenship. Because this pressure to accommodate demands the relinquishing of agropastoral practices that so many Bedouin Arabs have asserted as central to their cultural identity, but also does not invite them to assimilate by adopting Jewish culture, I refer to it as de-cultural. It pushes Bedouin Arabs to act as if they were acultural, individual actors making the ‘rational’ choice to move to planned townships for better amenities. De-cultural accommodation points to a particular mechanism of exclusionary incorporation that centres on simultaneous anxieties about cultural differentiation and ‘rooted’ ties to land. It attempts to remove Bedouins as an obstacle to Jewish nation building.
[. . . .] Through direct and indirect pressure, Bedouin Arabs are pushed to abandon rural residences and denied access to large areas of land for farming or shepherding.
___The granting and regulation of sedentary land rights are key modes of governance, and governments throughout the Middle East have pressured formerly nomadic groups to settle and adopt new livelihoods. A key difference between the sedentarisation pressures facing Bedouins in Israel and those elsewhere in the Middle East is that in Israel this pressure to settle is tied directly to efforts to root Jewish Israeli identity in Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel. Agricultural communities have been historically important for Zionism, particularly until the 1970s. In symbolic terms, Zionist proponents have drawn on pastoral images of farming to assert reforged connections between ancient Hebrew patriarchs and contemporary Israeli Jews. In material terms, international organisations, and later the Israeli state, founded and subsidised farming communities (e.g., kibbutzim and moshavim) to establish control over newly acquired lands, create a self-sufficient food supply and establish segregation between Jewish and Arab residents.    [. . . .] 

Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 10, 2016
Israeli bulldozers early Thursday morning, escorted by Israeli forces, demolished two agricultural structures in the occupied West Bank district of Qalqilya under claims they were built without Israeli-issued building permits.
___According to local sources, the Israeli army raided the western district of Qalqilya and demolished a room belonging to Abdulbaset Khayzaran used for agricultural purposes. Israeli forces then headed to the al-Zara district in the south of the city and demolished a room and water tank owned by Hilme Aba also used for agricultural purposes.
___The mayor of Qalqilya, meanwhile, condemned the demolitions, calling the move a “savage act” that aims to expel Palestinians from the lands, and demanded that international authorities protect Palestinian farmers from Israeli aggressions. More . . . 

The Givat Hamatos settlement, Dec. 20, 2012 (Photo: AFP)

Palestine News Network – PNN
Nov. 11, 2016
Israeli Public radio reported Friday morning that the Israeli occupations municipality of Jerusalem is to announce plans to build thousands of settlement units in different parts of the city, which had been frozen because of the international criticism of settlement activity in the last three years.
___According to Israeli radio Meir Turgeman, head of the local committee for construction in Israeli municipality of Jerusalem announced that he intends to approve thousands of settlement housing units that have been freeze because of the international political pressures, especially those which the United States exercised by the current us secretary of state John Kerry.       More . . .     

On my way to them, I pass Him by,
(as, on his way, God passes me by)
for as we go our separate ways
we see no one but those on high.
The beds are allotted before the violet dawn.
The black and endless night is spent alone
and then the cataclysm comes
that will seed them from the borders of Palestine
the Great Thorn.
They are the only roses that grow.
From where they stalk the edge of paradise
the first paradise.
From where the children use thorns
to draw maps of this paradise.
From this spot.
We raise in the sky a glorying arc
the first milestone to Mecca
and we leave a kiss for those who left
with neither luggage nor papers for their passage.
This is the way the journey will always be.
They leave their bags for the postman to deliver
He takes them from the hands
of those who follow
And those who follow leave their packages
as the first ones do.
It’s hard for the post to make it to paradise.
There is no address
neither here nor there.
—translated by Rachel McCrum

Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh is from Jerusalem. He teaches philosophy, history, and creative writing at Bir Zeit University and the Qattan Center in Ramallah, and is the author of many literary and academic books.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.

“. . . He moves in an absolute indistinction of fact and law, of life and juridical rule . . .” (Derek Gregory)

1-stone throwers
New [July 2015] Israeli law only targets Palestinians protesters, but spares Israeli settlers. (Photo: Al Jazeera, July 21, 2015)
❶ Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian vehicles in northern West Bank
Related: Palestinian stone throwers face up to 20 years in jail

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

❷ Using stolen water to irrigate stolen land

  • background from Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 

❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 16, 2016
Israeli settlers Friday evening reportedly threw rocks at Palestinian cars on the Wadi Qana road which runs between the occupied West Bank districts of Qalqilya and Salfit, according to local witnesses.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli settlers threw rocks at a group of Palestinian cars that were returning from a wedding, causing damage to a bus from the Salfit Bus Company and breaking the windshield of a car belonging to Ali Taha from the village of Bidya in Salfit.
___While Israeli settlers routinely throw stones and harass Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, they are rarely reprimanded for it.
___Palestinian stone-throwers, in stark contrast, face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities. . .     MORE . . .

From Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
[. . . .] For years the Israeli human rights community has been trying to defy Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses and other structures in the West Bank. Their opposition is based on individual human rights arguments and international humanitarian law, focusing attention on the unlawful policies of the [Israelis] in the West Bank and their devastating humanitarian consequences on the protected civilian Palestinian population. These included . . . the obligation of the occupying power to ensure public order for the occupied population, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
[. . . .]
No frameworks of legal analysis fully explain the dual system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
[. . . .] moving beyond the national conflict, the main problem in the comparison to the Apartheid framework is that although it is based on similarly applied practices of racial segregation and discrimination as the International Convention On the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid states, it does not emphasize what seems to be the main motivation behind the legal segregation and discrimination: the Israeli spatial expansionist interests [emphasis in original] to advance and reinforce the settlement project until the full conversion of the Israelis in the West Bank from settlers to indigenous peoples.

  • Amar-Shiff, Netta. “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 65-68.
wall water
A segment of the Israeli separation wall near Beit Hanina, Jerusalem, 2012 (Photo: Tanya Habjouqa)

+972 Blog
Dror Etkes
July 16, 2016
The recent reports on water crisis in Palestinian areas of the West Bank were accompanied by a story of another water shortage: this time in Israeli settlements. Let’s get one thing straight — there has never been a “water shortage” in the settlements. When settlers open up the tap at home or in their garden, the amount and quality of the water is identical to that which comes out in most homes to the west of the Green Line. Yes, there were several recent instances in which the water supply was cut off temporarily in a number of settlements (generally for a few hours), during which the authorities provided settlers water from water tanks. One can safely say that not a single settler was left thirsty.      MORE . . .

From Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography
Palestinian towns and cities . . . have been smashed by Israeli missiles and bombs, by tanks and armoured bulldozers. . . .  The “main purpose is to deny the Palestinian people their collective, individual and cultural rights to the city-based modernity long enjoyed by Israelis” . . .   Palestinian “facts on the ground” were erased with almost machine-like efficiency: coolly, dispassionately and ruthlessly.
___But since the spring of 2002, the legal fictions that permitted these erasures have increasingly been dispensed with. . . .  the IDF’s spasm of destruction had created a landscape of devastation from Bethlehem to Jenin. “There is no way to assess the full extent of the latest damage to the cities and towns . . .  but it is safe to say that the infrastructure of life itself and of any future Palestinian state – roads, schools, electricity pylons, water pipes, telephone lines – has been devastated.” Taken together, these are collective assaults in city and in countryside . . .  [not only] on the integrity of Palestinian civil society and on the formation of a Palestinian state, but on what he calls “bare life” itself.
___As Mahmoud Darwish (2002) declared, “the occupation does not content itself with depriving us of the primary conditions of freedom, but goes on to deprive us of the bare essentials of a dignified human life, by declaring constant war on our bodies, and our dreams, on the people and the homes and the trees, and by committing crimes of war.”  The hideous objective . . .  is to reduce homo sacer to the abject despair of der Muselman. . .  a figure from the Nazi concentration camps – it means, with deeply depressing significance, “The Muslim” . . . .  der Muselman no longer belongs to the world of men in any way; he does not even belong to the threatened and precarious world of the camp inhabitants… Mute and absolutely alone, he has passed into another world without memory and without grief.

  • Gregory, Derek. “Defiled Cities.” Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 24.3 (2003): 307.

❸  Opinion/Analysis:  LIFE  TURNED  UPSIDE  DOWN  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
July 15, 2016
Inas Abu Muhadi cannot understand that she will never see her dad again [. . . .]
___The young girl’s father passed away from natural causes in July 2013.
___“Our life turned upside down after that day,” said her mother, Rajaa Abu Khalil. “Now, I have to be their father and mother at the same time. The burden is too heavy and I am tired.”
___On top of Rajaa’s loss of her husband, the home where the couple lived with their six children in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah was bombed and destroyed during Israel’s 51-day onslaught in the summer of 2014.     MORE . . .


So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While noting remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!

Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

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.