“. . . You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards and the land I once ploughed . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

“The savage would eventually cease to exist in the face of civilization’s inevitable, God-ordained expansion. Savagism salved the civilized conscience while completing the task: ‘Civilization had created a savage, so to kill him. Idea had begotten an image, so to kill it’.” (Roy Harvey Pearce)

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A Palestinian woman mourns the destruction of olive trees. (Photo: Flickr / Frank M. Rafik, via Telesur, August 19, 2015)

❶ Assailants destroy 45 olive trees and spray paint ‘revenge’ on Palestinian land
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Addameer highlights systematic abuses by Israeli forces
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Lawyer who says Palestinians don’t exist sues San Francisco University

Background:   “Civilization, Savagism, and the Presence of Burning Children,” from Cross Currents

❷ Claims of Israeli settlement freeze an ‘attempt to fool the public’
. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ) Knesset passes draft bill to annex illegal West Bank settlements
❸ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ASSAILANTS  DESTROY  45  OLIVE  TREES  AND  SPRAY  PAINT  ‘REVENGE’  ON  PALESTINIAN  LAND
Ma’an News Agency
June 25, 2017.  Some 45 olive trees were found destroyed near the village of Burin, adjacent to the notorious illegal Yitzhar settlement in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, while the Hebrew word for “revenge” was spray painted on a stone left in the area, an Israeli human rights organization said Sunday.
___Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights reported on Facebook that the damage was done adjacent to Route 60, the main highway running through the occupied West Bank.  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ON  THE  INTERNATIONAL  DAY  IN  SUPPORT  OF  VICTIMS  OF  TORTURE,  ADDAMEER  HIGHLIGHTS  SYSTEMATIC  ABUSES  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
June 26, 2017.   On International Day to Support Victims of Torture, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association highlights the continued forms of physical and psychological torture of Palestinian prisoners and detainees by Israeli forces. Occupation authorities practice torture and ill-treatment in a systematic manner, in contravention with international law, which prohibits physical and psychological torture. Human rights conventions, including the Convention Against Torture, to which Israeli is a signatory, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibit the use of torture with no exceptions.
MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) LAWYER  WHO  SAYS  PALESTINIANS  DON’T  EXIST  SUES  SAN  FRANCISCO  UNIVERSITY
The Electronic Intifada   
Charlotte Silver
June 23, 2017.   A lawyer who denies that Palestinians exist is suing San Francisco State University, alleging the administration there fosters a hostile environment for Jewish students.
___But faculty and civil rights lawyers say the lawsuit, filed on behalf of six plaintiffs, is yet another attempt at censorship by conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
___The complaint, filed in federal court in Northern California on 19 June, was prepared by The Lawfare Project, a group that describes itself as “the legal arm of the pro-Israel community.”
___Last year, the group’s director, Brooke Goldstein, was filmed asking Israel lobby leaders in New York, “Why are we using the word Palestinian?”
___“THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A PALESTINIAN PERSON,” GOLDSTEIN ASSERTED . . .   MORE . . .

Smith, Robert O. “Civilization, Savagism, and the Presence of Burning Children.” Cross Currents, vol. 66, no. 2, June 2016, pp. 204-214.
[Roy Harvey Pearce in Savagism and Civilization in 1953] argues that “savagism” is a creation of “civilization” so civilization better understands the boundaries surrounding its proper existence. In the North American context, the “savage” was the Indian (undifferentiated by different tribes). While the Indian had many virtues (i.e., eloquence and closeness to the earth), these were all savage virtues diminished by contact with civilization. . . .  The savage would eventually cease to exist in the face of civilization’s inevitable, God-ordained expansion. Savagism salved the civilized conscience while completing the task: “Civilization had created a savage, so to kill him. Idea had begotten an image, so to kill it” (Pearce).
[. . . .] Five days after the [burning to death of 5-year-old Ali Saad Dawabshe on July 31, 2015], Israeli novelist and commentator David Grossman indicted Israeli right-wing politics for nurturing a climate of extremism.
___Grossman suggested “the consciousness of an occupying people” includes the idea that “there are two kinds of people, and the fact that one is apparently subordinate to another means that it is naturally also inferior to the other,” that “the occupied is less of a human being than the occupier.” Thus, “the person who burned down the Dawabsheh family home knew . . . only that they were Palestinians.” This, Grossman says, “was adequate reason in his eyes . . . to kill them . . .  their mere existence justified their murder and their removal from this world.” This is the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run. (Grossman, David, “Will the Israeli Right Finally Come to Its Senses?” Ha’aretz. August 4, 2015).
SOURCE . . . 

jewish-extremist-ettinger-super-169
Mohammed, grandfather of 5-year-old Ali Saad Dawabshe, murdered when his family’s home was firebombed by Jewish extremists on July 31, prays while sitting in the wrecked home. (Photo: CNN.com, n.d.)

❷ CLAIMS  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  FREEZE  AN  ‘ATTEMPT  TO  FOOL  THE  PUBLIC’       
Ma’an News Agency
June 26, 2017.   After reports emerged Friday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised the United States government to stop marketing new settlement units for the rest of 2017, a representative from settlement watchdog Peace Now called the alleged promise “another spin of the Netanyahu government trying to fool the public.”
___Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post had reported that the alleged freeze was discovered when settlers from the illegal Beit El settlement in the central occupied West Bank discovered that plans for 300 new settler homes — promised to the settlers by Netanyahu in exchange for a peaceful evacuation of the illegal Ulpana outpost — were halted.
___Netanyahu then reportedly met with the settlement’s regional council head Shai Alon and ensured him that the homes promised to the settlers would be excluded from the temporary settlement freeze. . . .     MORE . . .
. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ) KNESSET  PASSES  DRAFT  BILL  TO  ANNEX  ILLEGAL  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS   
Palestine News Network – PNN
June 24, 2017.   The Israeli Knesset approved in its preliminary reading a draft law allowing the application of Israeli law in the illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli media reported.
___Haaretz said 48 Members of the Knesset supported the bill while 39 voted against it on Wednesday.
___MK, Bezalel Smotrich, of the right-wing Jewish Home party, who initiated the bill said the decision includes transferring petitions against illegal construction in the settlements to the administrative court instead of the Supreme Court.   MORE . . . 

[Note: Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in 1964 when he was 22 years old. He was imprisoned for it―his first imprisonment. The poem became rallying words for the Palestinians. Note, it was written before the 1967 War and before the First and Second Intifadas and remains germane in today’s Palestine.]

“IDENTITY  CARD,”  BY MAHMOUD  DARWISH  (1964)

Write down:
I am an Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your
door nor humble myself
on your threshold
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab,
a name with no friendly diminutive.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourished.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks―
Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down:
Arab.
The colour of my hair, jet black―
eyes, brown―
trademarks, a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as a rock.
My address is a weaponless village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children
leaving my grandchildren nothing but rocks.
Will your government take those too,
as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

About Mahmoud Darwish
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.
Film biography of Mahmoud Darwish, Hot Docs Film Festival, Toronto, 2014

“. . . the homeless, the eternal wanderer . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

1-sysyia-sky
Afternoon sky over Sousia Bedouin Village, South Hebron Hills (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015).

❶ Israeli forces demolish structures, assault locals in West Bank village
“`Article from Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers
❷ Israeli Forces Detain 16 Palestinians, Shoot and Injure Two Brothers
“`Article from The Nation
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  AN  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  CONFEDERATION?  NOT  SO  FAST
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES,  ASSAULT  LOCALS  IN  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE
Ma’an News Agency
June 19, 2016
Four people were injured and 26 Palestinians were left homeless on Sunday afternoon after Israeli forces assaulted locals and demolished Palestinian structures in the village of Susiya in the southern occupied West Bank, in what activists said was an unprecedented move to carry out a demolition during the holy month of Ramadan.
___According to the Israeli organization Rabbis for Human Rights, two homes were demolished in the southern part of Susiya, in addition to agricultural structures, including a barn and an outdoor kitchen.   MORE . . .   

[. . . .]
When talking and writing about the destruction of Palestinian property, it is usually a case of house demolitions and rarely home demolitions. This slippage perhaps occurs easily when moving from Arabic to English, since the Arabic word beit can be translated as both house and home. However, in English, while house refers to a built structure, as Blunt and Dowling point out in their recent book on the subject, there are multiple experiences of home:

“Some may speak of the physical structure of their house
or dwelling; others may refer to relationships or connections
over space and time. You might have positive or
negative feelings about home, or a mixture of the two.
Your sense of home might be closely shaped by your
memories of childhood, alongside your present experiences
and your dreams for the future.”
(Blunt A. and Dowling R. Home Routledge, London. 2006)

I understand the term house demolitions to mean the destruction of a built form used as ⁄ for housing, and the term home demolitions to imply the destruction of a set of material, social and affective relations that constitute home. While writing about house demolitions may invoke images of a bulldozer reducing concrete, steel and other building materials to a pile of rubble, talking about home demolitions  broadens the discussion to examine the extensive economic, political, cultural and social geographies (and temporalities) of such violence. My understanding of home demolitions is very similar to what Porteous and Smith term ‘domicide . . . defined as the deliberate destruction of home by human agency in pursuit of specified goals, which causes suffering to the victim’. (Porteous J. D. and Smith S. Domicide: The Global Destruction Of Home. 2001).

  • Harker, Christopher. “Spacing Palestine Through The Home.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 34.3 (2009): 320-332.   SOURCE.  
1-susyia-settlers
From Sousia Village looking across valley to encroaching Jewish settlement (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  16  PALESTINIANS,  SHOOT  AND  INJURE  TWO  BROTHERS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 20, 2016
Israeli occupation forces Monday detained 16 Palestinians from across the West Bank district, as well as shot and injured two brothers, according to local and security sources.
___In Hebron, forces detained seven Palestinians, including two journalists, during a military raid into Hebron city.
___Forces reportedly stormed several neighbourhoods in the city before detaining Hamza al-Jamal, Hazem Neurokh, Suhaib Abu Nejmeh, Mohammed Taha, and Firas Abu Snaineh, in addition to two journalists who were identified as Adeeb al-Atrash and Rani al-Haymoni. Al-Haymoni’s two brothers were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during his arrest. They were both transferred to hospital for medical treatment.      MORE . . .   

Seeking to quell the unrest, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government would undertake more stringent measures to suppress Palestinian protests, including the use of live rounds against demonstrators and the immediate demolition of residences belonging to Palestinians involved in violence. PALESTINIANS ARE NOT SAFE, NOT EVEN IN THEIR OWN HOMES [emphasis added]. Israel is also threatening to remove Palestinians from Jerusalem, rendering them stateless.
[. . . .]
___And while the mainstream Western media focus heavily on the loss of Israeli lives, Palestinian deaths are often treated as mere numbers and statistics. More importantly, lost in the media coverage of the violence from “both sides” is the fact that only one side is occupying the other.
[. . . .]
___Palestinian civil society and the international solidarity movement have both reached a point of strength and maturity not seen since the first intifada of the late 1980s. In the United States, solidarity groups are making inroads into AIPAC’s traditional arenas on Capitol Hill, particularly in the Democratic Party. This growing movement should do everything it can to prevent Washington from vetoing an international protection force or from using it to cement a sellout of Palestinian rights.

  • BUTTU, DIANA, and NADIA HIJAB. “Palestine Besieged.” Nation 301.19 (2015): 8-11.   ARTICLE.  

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  AN  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  CONFEDERATION?  NOT  SO  FAST
+972 Blog
Yuval Eylon
June 19, 2016
The latest hit in the peace plan business comes from “Two States One Homeland,” an initiative that eschews both the two-state solution and the one-state solution, instead envisioning a confederation between Israel and a future Palestinian state [. . . .]
___On paper it [leaving settlements] seems like a fair exchange. However with hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens in sovereign Palestinian territory, the Palestinian state will inevitably lack all sovereignty. The disparities in power ensure that Palestinian sovereignty will remain a formality, while actual sovereignty will remain in the hands of Israeli settlers. On the other hand the State of Israel will gain hundreds of thousands of laborers who lack both citizenship or even the very ability to become citizens of Israel.        MORE . . .  

“THE  STAB,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
The moonlight said:
I am the first of the homeless,
the eternal wanderer;
you find me on the breakwaters,
on the soldier’s helmet,
on the false teeth of the party’s general secretary,
in the begging of the willow and in the river’ obstinacy,
on the woman’s brow when pleasure lifts it,
on the executioner’s fingernails and the robber’s key-ring,
on parliament’s oppressive dome,
on a deserter’s medals,
on the tilted surface of a bomber,
on the marble steps,
on a knife blade
which a friend takes from the front of his cloak
and points at your backbone.
And in my moment of agony,
I beg the clouds:
“Hide me!”

Barghouti’s essay, “Verbicide,” in which he describes being a refugee.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon.

 

“. . . we fill the streets with demonstrations and the jails with pride . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

[Note: Today’s photos do not specifically relate to news stories except to show situations of the Palestinian people that lead to resistance actions.]

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Street scene in Shufat Refugee Camp, a squalid over-populated neighborhood closed in by the Apartheid Wall, where there are virtually no city services such as policing, traffic control, or street cleaning, but where the tax rates are the highest in the nation. (Photo, Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❶ 2 Israelis convicted for 2014 killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir
❷ Israeli forces shoot, injure 3 Palestinians near Ramallah
❸ Settler who attacked leftist rabbi: ‘If I kill one it’ll be over’
❹ Israeli court orders Silwan family to demolish two apartments
❺ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAEL’S  MOST  REPRESSIVE  LAW  IS  ABOUT  TO  GET  WORSE
❻ Poetry by Tawfiq Zayyad (1970)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2  ISRAELIS  CONVICTED  FOR  2014  KILLING  OF  MUHAMMAD  ABU  KHDEIR
Nov. 30, 2015
[Note: This killing incited some of the violence that led to 2014 Gaza devastation.]
BETHLEHEM ―Israel’s Jerusalem District Court on Monday convicted two Israelis for the murder of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir last summer, with a third suspect [Yousef ben David] who admitted to the killing escaping conviction on the grounds of his mental health.
[. . . . .]
The two Israeli youths found guilty will be sentenced on Jan. 13, according to the AFP news agency, while another hearing for Ben David was set for Dec. 20.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  INJURE  3  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  RAMALLAH
Nov. 30, 2015
RAMALLAH ― Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians during clashes east of Ramallah late Sunday, locals told Ma’an.
____Witnesses said that Israeli forces raided the village of Silwad after youths hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at settler vehicles driving in the area.
More . . . 

IMG_2866
Scaffolding in place to repair damage done inside Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, by Jewish Extremists. (Photo, Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

+ 972 MAGAZINE
SETTLER  WHO  ATTACKED  LEFTIST  RABBI:  ‘IF  I  KILL  ONE  IT’LL  BE  OVER’
Natasha Roth
Nov. 27, 2015
The Jewish extremist accused of attacking Rabbis for Human Rights president Arik Ascherman last month was charged in court two weeks ago with causing grievous bodily harm and possession of a knife and ammunition. The youth, 17 years old, is suspected of assaulting Ascherman near the settlement of Itamar as the rabbi was assisting Palestinians with their olive harvest.
[. . . . .]
“If I kill one of them it’ll be over. But that isn’t legal,” he said. “We need to deter them. They need to be made fearful. They need to receive a blow.”
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  COURT  ORDERS  SILWAN  FAMILY  TO  DEMOLISH  TWO  APARTMENTS
Nov. 29, 2015
JERUSALEM ―An Israeli court on Sunday issued a demolition order for two apartments in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, claiming they had been built without the necessary permits.
___The Siyam family, which owns the apartments, said they were built 21 years ago, and over the course of years they have spent 600,000 shekels ($154,000) in fines to Israeli authorities, in addition to fees paid trying to obtain a construction license.
More . . .
Related . . . PICTURES:  ADMINISTRATIVE  DEMOLITION  ORDERS  TO  RESIDENTIAL  HOUSES  IN  SILWAN
Related . . . MONITOR:  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  SHOT  DEAD  IN  CLASHES  IN  SILWAN
❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
ISRAEL’S  MOST  REPRESSIVE  LAW  IS  ABOUT  TO  GET  WORSE
Amjad Iraqi
Nov. 29, 2015
In June 1951, member of Knesset and future Prime Minister Menachem Begin participated in a meeting of the Knesset’s Constitutional, Law, and Justice Committee on whether Israel should adopt administrative detentions as a legitimate security practice.
[. . . . .]
Despite Begin’s criticisms in the forum, the Knesset decided to keep the Emergency Regulations as a part of Israel’s legal system. . . .
[. . . . .]
Two weeks ago, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon invoked the Emergency Regulations to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. Rather than conducting transparent investigations, hearings, and collection of evidence as required by various Israeli laws . . .
More . . . 

(Below is the complete poem, parts of which are posted in various places online with the title “Here we shall stay.” The poem is elegant in itself, but it is particularly moving to realize how little has changed since it was written in 1970.)

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD  – 1970

It is a thousand times easier
For you to pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with you oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

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.
About Tawfiq Zayyad 

IMG_3220
Hebron family prepares to climb into back window of their home, of which the Israeli Occupation Force has welded shut the front door because it is on a street where ILLEGAL JEWISH SETTLERS live. Taken from the roof of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee headquarters. (Photo, Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

See information about the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee in The Guardian.