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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ INTELLIGENCE THWARTS PLANS OF LAND SALE TO ISRAEL
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 . . .
❷ PREMIER BRIEFS NORWAY’S FOREIGN MINISTER ON LATEST POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
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 . . .
❸ IMPOVERISHED GAZA’S ECONOMY ON VERGE OF TOTAL COLLAPSE
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 . . .
Rothberg, Michael. “FROM GAZA TO WARSAW : MAPPING MULTIDIRECTIONAL MEMORY.”
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 . . .
❹ Opinion/Analysis: HAASS AND KRISTOF CAN’T CROSS THE ZIONIST RUBICON
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 . . .
. . . . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) ISRAEL IS A NAZI-LIKE STATE WITH A POTENT PUBLIC RELATIONS MACHINE
The Palestinian Information Center
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 . . .
“BUCHENWALD,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .
From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. New and Selected Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Amazon
Samih Al-Qasim Obituary, August 20, 2014.