“. . . When the almond and the olive have turned to timber . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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THE VILLAGE OF BURIN. PHOTO BY SALMA A-DEB’I. B’Tselem Website, March 27,2018.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  NABLUS       Video footage showed how several Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, on Saturday, while they were harvesting olive harvest on Palestinians lands belonging to the residents of the Burin village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.    ___According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Givat Ronin settlement attacked two Palestinian farmers by throwing rocks at them and chased them out of their own lands.    ___The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported that “Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by.    More . . .
|  VIDEO:  AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS     The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees. This chance only came twice a year: two days in the spring to cultivate their land, and two days in the fall to harvest the olives.     ___When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli forces chase Palestinian herders out of grazing land
. . . . Related  Settlers chop off olive, grape trees near Bethlehem
. . . . Related  Settlers attack civilians in Hebron
. . . . Related  Israeli army destroys water pipeline in Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers And Settlers Uproot Trees In Silwan
. . . . Related  PHOTOS: Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in West Bank villages
. . . . Related  Israeli fanatics break into Aqsa Mosque
|  ISRAEL ORDERS IMMEDIATE HALT OF FUEL DELIVERIES TO GAZA    Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to besieged Gaza in response to what he claimed attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.    ___The announcement on Friday follows the killing  of  seven  Palestinians  by  Israeli  forces  during the ongoing March of Return protests.   ___”Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” the statement from Lieberman’s office read.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
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 nothing 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.

“. . . his wounds Proclaim his testament of love and suffering . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Mitzpe_KramimOn Tuesday, 3 July 2018, the State . . .  informed the court that
it agreed that the land [Mitzpe Kramim] , which is privately
owned by Palestinians, would be transferred to the settlers
who invaded it.  (Photo: Peace Now, July 7, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .Israel

MOH:  93  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTEST 
Almost 100 Palestinians suffered injuries at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday, as protesters participated in the naval march setting off from the Gaza seaport against the nearly 12-year Israeli siege.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 93 Palestinians were injured, including 37 injured by Israeli live ammunition.    ___Israeli forces opened fire directly targeting medical crews and ambulances that attempted to reach the area to provide aid to those injured.    More . . .
. . . Related  In video – Israeli forces assault, injure Jerusalemite youths
. . . Related  Israeli forces injure Palestinians in Hebron clashes
. . . Related  Israeli forces attack West Bank protests against Israel’s Nation-State Law, injuries reported
. . . Related  ADALAH:  ‘ISRAELI  SNIPERS  CONTINUE  TO  TARGET  UNARMED  PALESTINIANS’
IOF  KIDNAPS  21  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  CAMPAIGNS
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday arrested 21 Palestinians during large-scale campaigns in the West Bank.   ___The Israeli occupation army said in a statement that 21 “wanted” Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday for being involved in popular resistance activities against Israeli targets.   ___The IOF at daybreak carried out raid and search campaigns against Palestinian houses in Tulkarem, Occupied Jerusalem, al-Khalil, and Jenin.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

IT  IS  NOT  UP  TO  THE  UN  TO  DETERMINE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  AND  NARRATIVES       
The Great Return March protests in the Gaza Strip have provided the foundations for Palestinians from which they can articulate their demands, away from the political bickering, opportunism and exploitation which has rendered the people dependent solely on their own determination to survive.    [. . . .] Two recent statements by UN officials testify to the international community’s refusal to recognise the latter.       ___The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA) has diluted the ongoing Palestinian protests to a reflection over “increasing frustration over worsening conditions of daily life . . .      ___To mark the International Day of Non-Violence, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the implementation of Gandhi’s non-violent approach. “At the United Nations,” he explained, “a world free of violence – and the resolution of differences through non-violent means – is at the core of our work.”    ___Both UN statements are replete with omissions.   More . . .
. . . Related  Israel’s Stranglehold on Area C: Development as Resistance
REPORT:  WIDE  COOPERATION  BETWEEN  ISRAELI  JUDICIAL  SYSTEM  AND  BANKS  IN  FAVOR  OF  SETTLEMENTS 
The National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlement said that the Israeli army [is] involved in the crime of forging the Palestinian documents which prove their ownership of the land, but also confiscate and allocate those lands for settlement purposes. The Jerusalem District Court issued a ruling last month alleging that the Mitzpeh Kramim outpost northeast of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank was built on settler land.    ___The occupation authorities claimed before the court at the time that they had handed over the land to the “Settlement Brigade” by mistake. . .  The court decided at the time not to continue construction work in the settlement outpost, but the Supreme Court’s decision did not prevent the “the Brigade” from continuing settlement activities, and providing banks with documentation to enable settlers to obtain housing loans.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

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

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

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.

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

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As a guest at Al-Aqsa, November 5, 2015. Photo: by Harold Knight.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WHO:  10  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  WERE  KILLED  BY  ISRAELIS  IN  GAZA  IN  2  WEEKS 
The latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicate that during the demonstrations between 10th and 22nd September, 10 Palestinians including four children were killed and 1,193 were injured by the Israeli forces, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a special situation report on Gaza published on Thursday. Most of the killings and injuries occurred during protests as part of the March of Return on the Gaza border with Israel.    ___Out of the total 1,193 injured, 690 patients required transfer to the MoH hospitals or NGO clinics, including 127 children and 37 females. Of the hospitalized injured, 19 cases were critically life threatening, 275 moderate, 386 mild . . .  More . . .

OVER  500  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  ON  4TH  DAY  OF  SUKKOT
Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Thursday, through the Moroccan Gate on the fourth day of their Jewish holiday of Sukkot.   ___The Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) confirmed that 509 Israeli settlers stormed the compound via the Moroccan Gate that was opened at 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and the numbers are expected to increase throughout the day.   ___Israeli forces and police were deployed across the compound, by the Moroccans Gate and by the Chain Gate, in addition to Israeli police being deployed by the doors of the mosque and into the streets leading up to the compound in the Old City.   More . . .
Related . . .Fanatic  Israeli  settlers  perform  provocative  rituals  in  Samou
Related
. . .Israeli  forces  injure  20  Palestinians  as  settlers  visit  Joseph’s  Tomb     

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

EREKAT:  WHAT  TRUMP  SAID  IS  A  REWARD  FOR    AGGRESSORS  FOR  THEIR  CRIMES
PLO Executive Committee Secretary Dr. Saeb Erekat  said in  his response to President Trump’s Speech at the UNGA today that President Trump has confirmed that his administration has closed the doors to peace and cannot play a role in peacemaking by stating that his decision to move his embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, in violation of Security Council resolution 478, was a “recognition of reality”. Rather, what his administration did, and continues to do, is to reward and incentivize violations of international law, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.    ___His rejection of the International Criminal Court is a rejection of international law. It should be noted that Israel, the occupying power, did not implement any of the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions Erekat said.   More . . .
Related . . .Officials  address  Palestine  at  UNGA

“PREVENTING  PALESTINE”:  A  MUST  READ  HISTORY  OF  FAILED  PEACE-MAKING
James J. Zogby
Seth Anziska’s “Preventing Palestine: A Political History From Camp David to Oslo” is a deeply insightful and profoundly disturbing book that traces the tortuous path of Middle East peace-making during the past four decades. It was quite painful to read.     ___Having been a close observer and sometimes participant in many of the developments that have unfolded since the end of the 1973 War, Anziska opened old wounds while shedding new light on the painful events and acts of betrayal that have shaped recent Palestinian history.     ___Through all of the twists and turns of this period, the brutal wars and the diplomatic initiatives, the one constant that emerges is the Israeli determined refusal to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood and the self-serving acquiesce to their intransigence by successive American administrations and key Arab leaders.  More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .   

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“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.

 

“. . . being caught―between the ugliest and the finest . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

IMG_3198 - Copy
(Illegal Israeli Gush Etzion Settlement above
Tent of Nations near Nahalin Village, Bethlehem Governate.
Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

ARAB  JOINT  LIST  DEMANDS  EU  TO  CONDEMN  ISRAEL  FOR  ‘NATIONALITY  LAW’     
Arab members of the Israeli Knesset, of the Joint Arab List, demanded that the European Union should condemn Israel as a result of approving the controversial “Nationality Law.”   ___A number of Arab MK’s will be leaving to Brussels . . .   ___MK Jamal Zahalka, leader of the Balad political party, said “We are going to Brussels to ask Europe remain faithful to its principles regarding the rights of minorities and human rights . . . They have declared war on us and on our rights through the Nationality Law. We have the right to defend ourselves by using the international community as well.”   More . . .

PALESTINIAN  FOREIGN  MINISTRY  CALLS  FOR  COOPERATION  TO  DOCUMENT  SETTLER  VIOLATIONS
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called for holding a meeting soon with all official and non-official institutions to protect the rights of Palestinian citizens against Israeli settler violations.    ___It aims to speed up the registration and documentation of each violation to file a lawsuit against Israel as an occupying power . . .   ___“It is no longer sufficient to issue statements condemning these violations because they are not deterring the occupation authorities from stopping their repressive and arbitrary measures,” the ministry said in a statement.    More . . .
Related . . . Extremist  Settlers  Assaulted  Four  Palestinians  In  Nablus    

IOF  KIDNAPS  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  CAMPAIGNS
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday arrested 10 Palestinian citizens in raid campaigns launched in the West Bank and Jerusalem.   ___Israeli occupation army said in a statement Monday morning that six of the detained Palestinians are involved in popular resistance attacks against Israeli targets.   ___The statement noted that the IOF soldiers were able to seize a weapon in a Palestinian house in Tulkarem and confiscate thousands of shekels in Qalqilya that are used to fund resistance operations.   More . . .
Related . . . 6 Gaza  Fishermen  Arrested  By  Israeli  Navy  At  Nightfall
Related . . . IOFF  Kidnapped  Two  Youths  From  Badou  Village,  Occupied  Jerusalem
Related . . . Injuries  And  Arrests,  And  Demolishing  A  Commercial  Establishment  In  Silwan

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

‘IF  UNRWA  LEAVES,  WE  WON’T  SURVIVE’  —  REFUGEES  BRACE  FOR  HARD  TIMES  AS  US  ENDS  AID   
Yumna Patel 
On Saturday morning [Sept. 1], millions of Palestinian refugees woke up to the news that UNRWA . . .   was one step closer to the brink of collapse.      . . . 5 million Palestinian refugees — the descendants of those who were forcibly expelled from their homes when Israel was created in 1948 — [. . . .] Nagham Al-Jaf, 43, originally from Iraqi Kurdistan, has lived in Aida camp for the better part of 25 years. Her husband is the child of refugees from the Jerusalem-area village of Deir Aban.    [. . . .] “If UNRWA leaves its hands from the camp, and from the schools, we won’t be able to survive, not at all,” al-Jaf said.   More . . .

TOP  ACADEMICS  AND  SCIENTISTS  OPPOSE  CONFERENCE  IN  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT
[. . . .] In an open letter published in the Guardian this weekend, 15 of the world’s top academics and science professionals wrote that holding a three-day science convention [at Ariel University] in West Bank would be an outright violation of international law.    ___”We are writing to express our view that Ariel University in the occupied West Bank is the wrong venue for a conference on cosmology and particle physics . . . .    Human Rights Watch has noted that Ariel’s ‘development is inseparable from a history of continuous dispossession of Palestinians from their land and restrictions on their freedom of movement.’”   More . . .

AMERICAN  MUSICIAN  SHLOHMO  CANCELS  ISRAEL  CONCERT   
American electronic musician Shlohmo took it to social media to announce that he will not be going to Israel to participate in the Meteor Festival, citing Israel’s human rights atrocities as a reason.     [. . . .] “Sorry to the fans I’m letting down and to the festival staff but supporting the oppressed thru my absence is more important to me especially after the government’s recent human rights atrocities,” he wrote.   ___“I had said no to playing there for years and the only reason I could find to say yes was if I were to donate my fee to Gaza relief. But after much dialogue I found it to be a more important statement to say no all together . . . .    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

AMERICAN  NEAR  EAST  REFUGEE  AID  (ANERA)
2018 50th Anniversary Dinner: Where Hope Finds A Way
Come take a journey through five decades of ANERA’s work in Palestine and Lebanon. Together, we’ll also lay the foundation for delivering future impactful programs and building better lives so hope finds its way.   More . . .

“THE  UGLIEST  OF  WORDS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
Foreigner?
The fiercest of French traits:
Etrangé?*
The cruelest of German blows:
Ausländer?*
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
Oivim.*
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
Kuffar.*
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What?
What should I do?
–Trans. by Nazih Kassis

 *Etrangé: Stranger
*Ausländer: 
Outlander/Foreigner
*Oivim: 
Enemies
*Kuffar: 
Infidels

From Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.) 

 

“. . . the globe that’s standing In silence and mourning . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

[Note: Please see the page “Other Sources” for a list of the sources used that are not specifically “news” sites, the location of most opinion pieces here.]  

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Early Sunday morning, Beit Jala, Governate of Bethlehem, Nov. 8, 2015. Photo: Harold Knight.

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY    

ISRAEL  APPROVES  NEW  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
The Israeli authorities approved the construction of new settlement units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat, in southern Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.   ___Activist Hassan Breijieh said, on Monday, that Israeli settlers of Efrat rejected a plan, previously approved by the Israeli civil Administration’s Higher Planning Council, to construct 40 new housing units in the settlement and demanded the construction of 106 units; their demand has been approved by the council.  More.
ISRAEL’S  INTENTION  TO  ANNEX  THE  WEST  BANK  REVEALED
Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, warned on Monday that the Israeli government’s response to the petition, filed to the Israeli Supreme Court, signals Israel’s intention to proceed with annexation of the occupied West Bank.   ___The Israeli government submitted legal materials to the Israeli Supreme Court declaring that “the Knesset (Israeli parliament) is permitted to legislate laws everywhere in the world and it is authorized to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries via legislation that would be applied to events occurring in their territories.”   ___This statement was declared on August 7th in a written response, which the Israeli government had submitted to the Israeli Supreme Court. . .  More.
URI  AVNERY  –  1923-2018.  HIS  OPPONENTS  WILL  ULTIMATELY  HAVE  TO  FOLLOW  IN  HIS  FOOTSTEPS
Gush Shalom grieves and mourns the passing of its founder, Uri Avnery. Until the last moment he continued the way he had traveled all his life. On Saturday, two weeks ago, he collapsed in his home when he was about to leave for the Rabin Square and attend a demonstration against the “Nation State Law”, a few hours after he wrote a sharp article against that law.     ___Avnery devoted himself entirely to the struggle to achieve peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people in their independent state, as well as between Israel and the Arab and Muslim World.   More.

COMMENTARY  AND  OPINION    

HUMANITARIAN  AID  AND  RHETORIC  SERVE  INTERESTS  OF  THE  ISRAELI  OPPRESSORS
Ramona Wadi    
There has been yet another instance where the UN has preferred to try to predict the future instead of acknowledging the current deterioration in Gaza with the aim of permanently reversing colonialism. Israel has yet again refused the entry of fuel into the enclave which is needed to power emergency generators and provide some relief for the power cuts suffered by the Palestinian people.   ___The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (OCHAoPt) quoted Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick:   ___“The well-being of two million people, half of whom are children, is at stake. It is unacceptable that Palestinians in Gaza are repeatedly deprived of the most basic elements of a dignified life.”  More.

TRAFFIC  POLICEWOMEN,  A  FIRST  FOR  BETHLEHEM
Entsar Abu Jahal
Female police officers participated Aug. 5 for the first time in organizing traffic in the streets of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank alongside their male peers, to facilitate citizens’ movement.    ___This move comes as part of a program the West Bank police had launched earlier this year to promote women’s participation in the traffic police force and help ease the workload of traffic policemen. Women’s participation in managing traffic on the streets of Bethlehem confirms Palestinian women’s ability to work and confront male social perspective undermining them and prohibiting them from taking positions that men monopolize.  More.

THE  LEGAL  BARRAGE:  GAZANS  AND  THEIR  INDEFINITE  DETENTION
For the eleventh year, Gaza continues to be the world’s largest prison. Imports and entrance to the Strip are restricted; exports and exit permits are dependent on the political climate; and the people of Gaza are the ones who continue to pay the price. Sporadic attacks, and shellings have been ongoing since 2008, with the occupation forces demonstrating a clear disregard for the lives of these already impoverished civilians.[1] In addition to the death of 136 Palestinians in Gaza since March 30, as of 7 July 2018, there have been 81 individuals arrested since the beginning of the year.[2]   More.

ISRAEL  LOBBY  GROUP  J  STREET  WITHDRAWS  RASHIDA  TLAIB  ENDORSEMENT
Ali Abunimah  
The Israel lobby group J Street has withdrawn its endorsement from Rashida Tlaib.   ___“After closely consulting with Rashida Tlaib’s campaign to clarify her most current views on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that a significant divergence in perspectives requires JStreetPAC to withdraw our endorsement of her candidacy,” J Street announced on Friday. . . . Amid mounting controversy, Tlaib at first evaded giving a clear explanation of the J Street endorsement, which she herself had reportedly “sought out”. . .  But on Tuesday, Tlaib made a clear break with the Israel lobby group.  More.

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS

MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE,  WASHINGTON,  DC
–A Night of Palestinian Hospitality – Fundraising Dinner at the Tabard Inn, September 24
KINDER USADonate

“THE GLOBE II”, by SAMIH AL-QASIM

I stand for a moment of silence and mourning
In memory of the globe.
Or is it the globe that’s standing
In silence and mourning in memory of me?
That is the question . . .
So long.

From Sadder Than Water, Ibis Editions, 2006
(Posted to mark the death of Uri Avnery)

“. . . Do not bury him, while his wounds Proclaim his testament of love and suffering . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

DQohyu5W0AAsqhu
‘The honourable gentlemen of “the most moral army in the world” of “the only democracy in the ME” with their guns pointed at a “terrorist” Palestinian toddler!’ (photo and caption via @khanfarw)

❶ Israeli forces kill two 16-year-old Palestinians during clashes in Gaza, West Bank

  • “Israeli Civilians Versus Palestinian Combatants? Reading the Goldstone Report in Light of the Israeli Conception of the Principle of Distinction.” Leiden Journal of International Law.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Thousands attend funeral of slain teen in Nablus village
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israel ‘Accidentally’ Shoots Palestinian Toddler in the Head (VIDEO)
❷ Israeli forces suppress Jerusalem recognition rally, detain Fatah officials
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain 5 Palestinian family members during northern West Bank raid
❸ France condemns Israeli plans to build over 1,100 units in 20 West Bank settlements
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Irish Foreign Minister visits Gaza Strip
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  TWO  16-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIANS  DURING  CLASHES  IN  GAZA,  WEST  BANK
Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 12, 2018 ― Two Palestinian teenagers were shot and killed by Israeli forces, while three others were injured during clashes on Friday in the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank.      ___In the Gaza Strip, dozens of Palestinian youth took to the border fence with Israel, east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, in continued protest of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.      ___Israeli forces opened live fire on the protesters, who threw rocks towards the border fence, tens of meters away from Israeli forces.     MORE . . .    ..

KOT, JEAN-PHILIPPE.  “ISRAELI  CIVILIANS  VERSUS  PALESTINIAN  COMBATANTS?  READING  THE  GOLDSTONE  REPORT  IN  LIGHT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  CONCEPTION  OF  THE  PRINCIPLE  OF  DISTINCTION.”
LEIDEN  JOURNAL  OF  INTERNATIONAL  LAW , vol. 24, no. 4, Dec. 2011, pp. 961-988.
[. . . .] During the first phase of the Targeted Killing case [Israeli Supreme Court, Dec. 14, 2006], in response to the question presented by the applicant’s representative as to why Israel does not arrest rather than assassinate targeted people, Justice Cheshin said ‘my son, not yours, goes into that area and I do not want to endanger him’. In other words, the safety of ‘our’ soldiers takes precedence over the safety of ‘their’ civilians. Even if one should not overestimate the legal implications of such a statement, it reveals the close ties between Israeli society and its defence forces. The reasons are easy to understand. In the words of the president of Israel, pardoning GSS agents for beating to death a suspect under interrogation, ‘[i]n the special conditions of the State of Israel we cannot allow ourselves any relaxation of effort, nor permit any damage to be caused to the defence establishment and to those loyal men who guard our people’. It does not seem necessary to explore deeply what those special conditions are. Suffice it to recall that a majority of the Supreme Court justices were of the opinion that: The danger to the Israeli public, to its security and to its life is a clear and present danger “. . . . The SOURCE OF THE DANGER, it should be remembered, is not merely the Palestinian Authority but – and perhaps mainly – the terror organizations and THE PALESTINIAN PUBLIC IN ITS ENTIRETY.
___The Kasher and Yadlin doctrine must be understood in this context. In an endeavor to substitute a system of rights for a utilitarian pecking order of interests, this doctrine indeed offers a new ethical appraisal of the traditional principle of distinction between civilians and combatants, which turns this ‘us/them’ dichotomy into practical guidance for military action.     SOURCE . . .    ..

.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ―  (ᴀ)  THOUSANDS  ATTEND  FUNERAL  OF  SLAIN  TEEN  IN  NABLUS  VILLAGE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 12, 2018 ― Thousands of Palestinians Friday afternoon attended the funeral procession of a slain Palestinian teen in Iraq Burin village, south of Nablus.
___Thousands of mourners attended the funeral procession of Ali Qadous, 16, who was killed by Israeli forces near a makeshift checkpoint at the entrance of the neighboring village, which had been sealed off by Israeli troops with cement blocks.
___Mourners raised Palestine flag and flags of different Palestinian factions and shouted slogans condemning the Israeli occupation and threatening to avenge the killing. Among the mourners was Nablus governor Akram al-Rajoub.
___This came as Israeli forces violently suppressed Palestinian rallies that continued to rock the occupied territories for the sixth consecutive Friday in protest of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAEL  ‘ACCIDENTALLY’  SHOOTS  PALESTINIAN  TODDLER  IN  THE  HEAD  (VIDEO)  
Palestine Chronicle
Jan. 11, 2018 ―     A three-year-old Palestinian was shot in the head during an Israeli “military training” session in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tubas.
___According to a statement by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health, the child was hit in the head with live bullets. He was taken to Rafidia Surgical hospital in Nablus.   MORE . . . 
❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  SUPPRESS  JERUSALEM  RECOGNITION  RALLY,  DETAIN  FATAH  OFFICIALS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Jan. 12, 2018 ― Israeli forces Friday afternoon violently suppressed a rally protesting the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, detaining a senior Fatah official in Bethlehem city.
___Palestinians rallied from Jerusalem-Hebron Road to the northern entrance of Bethlehem city, chanting slogans condemning US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Israeli forces opened fire and cracked down on the protesters, detaining two and causing several others to suffocate due to tear gas inhalation.
___The detainee was identified as member of Fatah Revolutionary Council Hassan Faraj.   MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  5  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  MEMBERS  DURING  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  RAID    
Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 12, 2018 ― Israeli forces detained six Palestinians, including five members of the same family, during pre dawn raids on Friday in the northern occupied West Bank.
___In the Alar town in northern Tulkarem, locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the home of Muayyad Taqatqa and detained his son Yazan, 17.
___The family reported that soldiers stole 17,400 shekels ($5,105), 750 Jordanian Dinars ($1,057), and 600 USD from the house.      MORE . . .  
❸ FRANCE  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  PLANS  TO  BUILD  OVER  1,100  UNITS  IN  20  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 11, 2018 ― The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thursday condemned the Israeli authorities’ decision to allow more than 1,100 housing units to be built in 20 different West Bank settlements with some on private Palestinian lands.
___The ministry said in a statement that the country condemns allowing “the construction of more than 1,100 homes in 20 different settlements in the West Bank, and particularly that of seven structures in Nativ Haavot [a West Bank settler outpost] partly on private Palestinian land against the decision of the High Court of Justice, which had ordered its evacuation by March 2018.”
___The ministry added that settlements activities are contrary to international law as stressed in resolution 2334 of the UN Security Council.    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  . ❸ ―  (ᴀ)  IRISH  FOREIGN  MINISTER  VISITS  GAZA  STRIP
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 11, 2018   The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, arrived on Thursday to Gaza Strip and visited a number of projected funded by his country.
___The Irish Minister entered Gaza Strip via the Israeli-controlled Beit Hanoun crossing for a few hours visit.
___During the visit, Coveney met with officials of a number of international organizations working in the besieged Strip.     MORE . . .   

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

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

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

Samih al-Qasim 
From THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from   Palestine Online Store.

 

“. . . 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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
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 . . .   

Opinion/Analysis: HAASS  AND  KRISTOF  CAN’T  CROSS  THE  ZIONIST  RUBICON 
Mondoweiss  
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 
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 . . .   

“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.

“. . . Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ US freezes $125 million grant to UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Bennett slams reported Israeli call on US not to cut aid to Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) What would happen if Trump cuts UNRWA funding?

BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget (2017)

❷ Tzachi Hanegbi: Two-state solution is not dead
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Peace Now: Israel to approve more than 1,329 illegal settlement units
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians protest visit of Greek Orthodox patriarch accused of selling land to Israel
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ US  FREEZES  $125  MILLION  GRANT  TO  UNRWA
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The United States has frozen $125 million of its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
___Quoting three US officials, Reuters news agency reported that the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, informed the United Nations that it had frozen a $125 million grant that was due to be paid on 1st January.
___According to the three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, Trump’s administration is considering cutting $180 million from its aid payments to the UNRWA in an effort to pressure the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations with Israel.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  BENNETT  SLAMS  REPORTED  ISRAELI  CALL  ON  US  NOT  TO  CUT  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS:  Israeli officials call on US and all world countries to cut all aid to Palestinians.  
Days of Palestine
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Israeli Education Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, slammed reports on Friday reported Israeli call on US not to cut UN support for Palestinian refugees.
___Earlier this week, Donald Trump warned that his country would cut aid for Palestinians who he believes receive millions of US dollars without respecting America.
___According to Israeli Hadashot TV, though, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Foreign Minister, is opposed to any cut in such aid.
___ “UNRWA,” claims, Bennett, “is a terror-supporting organisation. Its very existence perpetuates the dire situation of Gaza’s population, who suffer under the rule of Hamas.” He insisted that the US decision to cut aid is the right choice.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  WHAT  WOULD  HAPPEN  IF  TRUMP  CUTS  UNRWA  FUNDING?
The Palestinian Information Center 
By Yara Hawari
Jan. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Information Center On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, delivered a rather ambiguous threat in response to a question on the maintenance of the US level of funding to the UN Palestinian refugee programme. She replied: “The president has said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding or stop funding until the Palestinians are agreeing (sic) to come back to the negotiating table.”
___President Trump himself tweeted the following threat to UNRWA: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
[. . . .] However, a total US funding cut would mean a serious reduction in services and the complete halt of many of the education and health programmes.
___In other words, schools and health clinics would close leaving hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees across the region without schooling, health care, jobs, making their situation even more dire.   MORE . . .  

  • BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget 
    The Jerusalem Post     
    By Michael Wilner
    Nov. 17, 2017 ― On Thursday Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation.
    ___Congress has resolved a budgeting dispute with the Trump administration by sourcing hundreds of millions of dollars in missile defense aid for Israel from its base budget– and not from a fund typically reserved for US wartime operations, as was initially proposed.
    ___The White House made clear over the summer that it was not opposed to adding hundreds of millions of dollars above its own budget for missile defense to Israel, but rather the vehicle for its delivery– an unprecedented use of dollars typically saved for US military readiness. Earlier this month, Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation, including $588 million over President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.     MORE . . . 

❷   TZACHI  HANEGBI:  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION  IS  NOT  DEAD
Al Jazeera English 
by Ali Younes
Jan. 6, 2018 ― An Israeli minister has said US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital does not signal the end of the two-state solution, with Israel willing to grant Palestinians their own independent state but with limited sovereignty.
___Tzachi Hanegbi, minister of regional cooperation, said Trump’s controversial decision on December 6 should not hinder Palestinian claims to have occupied East Jerusalem as their capital.
___”We claim that Jerusalem is our capital and should not be divided, but that’s only a claim, not a diktat,” Hanegbi, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Al Jazeera at his office in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
___Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  PEACE  NOW:  ISRAEL  TO  APPROVE  MORE  THAN  1,329  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  UNITS
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee is expected to approve the promotion of at least 1,329 housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___In a statement released on Friday, Peace Now said that the committee published its agenda, and is expected to approve the new settlement units next Wednesday, January 10.
___According to the group, two-thirds of the 1,329 units (883 housing units) “will be located in isolated settlements that Israel would probably have to evacuate under any two-state agreement.”      MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIANS  PROTEST  VISIT  OF  GREEK  ORTHODOX  PATRIARCH  ACCUSED  OF  SELLING  LAND  TO  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency  
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Palestinian Christians from around the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel came out in harsh opposition on Saturday to a visit by Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
___Theophilos III, along with several other religious and political figures, were visiting Bethlehem as part of celebrations for Greek Orthodox Christmas Eve.
___Despite an intense presence of Palestinian security forces who attempted to open roads near Bethlehem’s Manger Square for the patriarch’s car, angry citizens swarmed around his procession, holding signs, Palestinian flags, and chanting slogans against Theophilus III.   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
About Samih Al-Qasim. Obituary, August 20, 2014.

“. . . the [Israeli Police Investigations Division] continues to grant legitimacy to deadly police violence against Arab citizens of Israel . . .” (Adalah)

15_38_19_29_12_20174
Palestinians carrying a wounded person during the Friday clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Gaza borders. One person died . . . (WAFA Images, Dec. 30, 2017) NOTE THE LARGE NUMBER OF DEADLY WEAPONS IN PALESTINIAN HANDS.

❶ Probe into killing of math teacher closed, no officer was found responsible
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during clashes at Gaza border
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Red Crescent: 200 Palestinian wounded [Friday] by IOF in West Bank and Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ)  QB puts up huge placard of Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron in Gaza

  • Background: “The ‘Never Again’ State of Israel: The Emergence of the Holocaust as a Core Feature of Israeli Identity and Its Four Incongruent Voices.” Journal of Social Issues.  

❷ Israel withdraws from UNESCO
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) On Independence Day, UNESCO okays resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem (May 2, 2017)
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PROBE  INTO  KILLING  OF  MATH  TEACHER  CLOSED,  NO  OFFICER  WAS  FOUND  RESPONSIBLE  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA       
Dec. 30, 2017 ― The Israeli Police Investigations Division (PID) decided to close its probe into the January police killing of Ya’akub Abu-Al-Qi’an and to not hold any officers responsible for his death, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said on Thursday.
___Abu Al-Qi’an, a 50-year-old math teacher from Atir-Umm al-Hiran in the Naqab, Israel’s southern desert region, was killed on 18 January after Israeli police opened fire on his vehicle as he was driving through the Bedouin village during state preparations for a large-scale home demolition.
___That same day, Adalah filed a request demanding the PID open an investigation into the killing.
___“The closure of this investigation means the PID continues to grant legitimacy to deadly police violence against Arab citizens of Israel,” said Adalah in a statement responding to the PID’s decision to close the investigation without bringing any officers to justice.    MORE . . .
SEE ALSO : Israeli Knesset to vote on ‘death penalty’ for Palestinians (Dec. 27, 2017) 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  DIES  OF  WOUNDS  SUSTAINED  DURING  CLASHES  AT  GAZA  BORDER  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 30, 2017 ― A Palestinian identified as Jamal Mohammed Musleh, 21, from Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, died early Saturday of wounds sustained during clashes with Israeli soldiers the day before at the Gaza border with Israel, according to the Ministry of Health.
___It said Musleh was shot in the stomach by a live bullet and was reported in critical condition since his arrival at hospital in Deir al-Balah until he was pronounced dead hours later.
___The ministry said at least 45 people were shot by live bullets during the Friday confrontations at the Gaza borders, including four who remain in critical condition.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴃ)  RED  CRESCENT:  200  PALESTINIAN  WOUNDED  [FRIDAY]  BY  IOF  IN  WEST  BANK  AND  GAZA
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 30, 2017 ― More than 200 Palestinians were injured today Friday in clashes with Israeli occupation army  in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after marching for the fourth consecutive week, denouncing US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognition  Jerusalem as Israel capital .
___According Palestinian Red Crescent more that 130 palestinian were injured in clashes with IOF in the west bank, four of them with live bullets, 45 wounded metal bullets, and 77 inhalation of tear gas.     MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴄ)    QB  PUTS  UP  HUGE  PLACARD  OF  ISRAELI  SOLDIER  SHAUL  AARON  IN  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 30, 2017 ― Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has erected a huge poster of Israeli captive soldier Shaul Aaron at al-Saraya junction in Gaza.
___Aaron appears in the poster wearing a brown prison uniform, with remarks in Arabic and Hebrew saying, “As long as our heroes do not see freedom and daylight, this prisoner will never see freedom.”   MORE . . .        CONTEXT . . .  

Klar, Yechiel, et al.
“THE  ‘NEVER  AGAIN’  STATE  OF  ISRAEL:  THE  EMERGENCE  OF  THE  HOLOCAUST  AS  A  CORE  FEATURE  OF  ISRAELI  IDENTITY  AND  ITS  FOUR  INCONGRUENT  VOICES.”
JOURNAL  OF  SOCIAL  ISSUES, vol. 69, no. 1, Mar. 2013, pp. 125-143.
[. . . .] . . . despite this common background and misfortune, there was an unbridgeable divide between the veteran Israelis and the survivors. The Holocaust clearly “belonged” to the survivors and was alien to those who lived in Israel when it transpired. The survivors were . . .  were expected to go on with life, rehabilitate themselves, adopt the Israeli identity and become new Israelis. The Holocaust in those days was perceived as something that had happened to the passive and cowardly Jews of the Diaspora who had gone “like sheep to the slaughter.” It was seen as antithetical to the identity of the “new Israeli,” who was active, free, and daring.
[. . . .] Political scientists Liebman and Don-Yihya were among the first to observe the centrality of the Holocaust as the primary political myth of Israeli society, the symbol of Israel’s present condition and the one which provides Israel with legitimacy and the right to its land. Its memory is omnipresent, cutting across differences in age, education and even country of origin. This observation appears even more compelling today. The Holocaust is a predominant issue in all areas of Israeli social and cultural life . . .
[. . . .] How was Holocaust transformed from a Diaspora reality into an Israeli event? And how was it transformed from an event that was irrelevant and even contradictory to the new Israeli identity to one of the major components of the Israel heritage and identity? In the following we first discuss the internalization of the Holocaust, starting with the Eichmann trial, and continue with the impact of the survivors and their offspring on Israeli society.
[. . . .] Israelis (those who did not experience the Holocaust personally) very slowly and reluctantly acknowledged the Holocaust as . . .  the ultimate realization of the tragic Jewish destiny in the Diaspora, the destiny they had sought to break away from. The social and historical processes by which the Holocaust was gradually turned into a core feature in the Israeli identity are complex and multilayered . . .   Time was involved in several processes, such as the growing impact of the survivors on Holocaust awareness, and the role of second and third generations who were born in Israel yet unashamed in their Holocaust heritage. Israel’s difficult geopolitical situation and the recurring wars also had enormous effects on the continued impact of the Holocaust on Israeli collective identity. One dominant voice of the Holocaust is to “Never be a victim again,” which many Israelis learned to identify as a source of resilience and inventiveness. And there are also the other Holocaust voices urging group members to become better human beings and, even more difficult, to refrain from victimizing other groups. These different voices are often incongruent and disharmonic.     SOURCE . . .   ..

❷ ISRAEL  WITHDRAWS  FROM  UNESCO      
Al Jazeera English 
Dec. 30, 2018 ― Israel has filed notice to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) alongside the United States
___Israel has blasted UNESCO in recent years over the organisation’s criticism of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and its decision to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011.
___UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said on Friday that she deeply regretted Israel’s decision to withdraw.
___”A member of UNESCO since 1949, Israel has a rightful place inside the United Nations agency that is dedicated to education, culture and science,” Azoulay said.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ON  INDEPENDENCE  DAY,  UNESCO  OKAYS  RESOLUTION  DENYING  ISRAELI  CLAIMS  TO  JERUSALEM  (MAY  2,  2017)    
The Times of Israel 
May 2, 2017 ― The United Nation’s cultural body on Tuesday passed the latest in a series of resolutions that denies Israeli claims to Jerusalem, in a move both forcefully condemned by Israel and touted as a diplomatic feat due to the growing number of countries that opposed it.     MORE . . .  

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

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

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

Samih al-Qasim 
From THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.

“. . . Descendants of Ole Abe! My voice has become hoarse . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

triplets
Gazan names triplets ‘Quds’, ‘Assima’ and ‘Falisteen’ which means Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. (Photo: MEMO, Dec. 22, 2017)

❶ Christian leaders say there can never be peace without Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian in Gaza names triplets Jerusalem, Capital and Palestine

  • Background: “Mobile Cartographies and Mobilized Ideologies: The Visual Management of Jerusalem.”  Antipode.

❷ 2 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces during protests along Gaza border
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian Dies From Wounds Suffered A Week Earlier In Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces detain elderly man for owning two air, plastic guns
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Free at last:  a UN without US diplomatic blackmail
❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ CHRISTIAN  LEADERS  SAY  THERE  CAN  NEVER  BE  PEACE  WITHOUT  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 23, 2017    Christian leaders stressed on Saturday the centrality of Jerusalem to all three monotheistic religions, denouncing the United States for declaring it capital of Israel.
[. . . .] “Those who want peace in Jerusalem should know that power will not bring peace,” said former Latin Patriarch Michel Sabah. “Peace starts with Jerusalem. Power cannot impose unjust peace.”
[. . . .] Attallah Hanna, a Greek Orthodox archbishop, said that the Christians reject the US declaration on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. . . .   Hanna vowed to protect the Christian property in Palestine, “and this way we will defeat (US President Donald) Trump’s project that aims to abolish the Palestinian cause and not only the issue of Jerusalem.”
___Bishop Munib Younan of the Lutheran Church said the Christian leaders wrote Trump before he announced his decision on Jerusalem on December 6 urging him not to take any action that would prejudice the status of Jerusalem . . .
___He said that “there cannot be peace in the Middle East without peace in Jerusalem. It is time that our people gain their legitimate right in a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”   MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  IN  GAZA  NAMES  TRIPLETS  JERUSALEM,  CAPITAL  AND  PALESTINE 
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 22, 2017 ― A Palestinian from the besieged Gaza Strip’s southern village of Khan Yunis has named his three newborn triplets “Quds”, “Asima” and “Filisteen” – meaning “Jerusalem”, “Capital” and “Palestine” in Arabic – in protest against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Nidal Al-Siqli, 30, told the Anadolu Agency that he chose the names “to emphasise Jerusalem’s Palestinian, Arab and Muslim character”.   MORE . . . 

Hercbergs, Dana and Chaim Noy.
“MOBILE  CARTOGRAPHIES  AND  MOBILIZED  IDEOLOGIES  THE  VISUAL  MANAGEMENT  OF  JERUSALEM.”
ANTIPODE. Vol. 47 no. 4, Sep2015, pp. 942-962.
[. . . .] As the focus of religious and political yearnings throughout the ages, Jerusalem has been an object of changing depictions and gazes. The visual representation of the Old City —where the holy places of the Jewish prayer site of the Western Wall (“Wailing Wall”) and the Muslim Noble Sanctuary (Haram ash-Sharif, including al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock) are adjacently located—is central to today’s political struggles between Israel and the Palestinians.
___In this article we are interested in illustrating a particular turning point that . . . concerns a shift in the spatial and visual regimes of, and perspectives in, Jerusalem; namely from portraying the city for decades via a number of sites, most prominently the dual Western Wall/Dome of the Rock image—to promoting an exclusively Jewish-Israeli city . . .
[. . . .] Recent neoliberal policies augment and dovetail practices of urban ethnocracy in Jerusalem, amplifying social and economic divisions through further processes of spatial separation that are occurring in West Bank settlements and in other Israeli towns . . .  affluent gated urban communities have been cropping in Jerusalem since the 1990s . . .   These developments present a departure from the government-subsidized settlements built since 1967 on confiscated Palestinian land in and around Jerusalem, and a move towards a government–private sector partnership associated with neoliberal regimes and exclusionary forms of development . . . directed respectively at wealthy, diaspora Jewish visitors and/or buyers of properties in Jerusalem. . .
[. . . .]  What we have in this case is a twofold movement consisting of the denial of the Palestinian presence and history of Jerusalem, coupled with appropriation of its architectural, artistic and cultural motifs . . .  A surprising contradiction appears in relation to the traditional Jewish longing for Jerusalem: the contemporary Jewish viewer is still viewing the Old City from the pre-1967 position. This distance strikes us as a final warning against short-sighted attempts to actualize divine plan, the utopia-in-the now of ethnocratic urban planning.   FULL ARTICLE . . . 

❷  2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  DEAD  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  DURING  PROTESTS  ALONG  GAZA  BORDER
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 22, 2017 ― Israeli forces have shot and killed two Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip during clashes along the border fence with Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___The first Palestinian was identified as 24-year-old Zakariya al-Kafarne, who was killed after being shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during clashes in eastern Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.
[. . . .] Protesters had marched following Friday prayers and protested near the border fence in response to calls from Palestinian factions for a third “Friday of Rage” in protest of US President Donald Trump’s announcement earlier this month recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  DIES  FROM  WOUNDS  SUFFERED  A  WEEK  EARLIER  IN  GAZA 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC    
Dec. 23, 2017 ― The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that a Palestinian man died, Saturday, from wounds he suffered a week earlier, east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
___The Ministry said the young man, Sharif al-‘Abed Shalashel, 28, suffered a serious injury after the soldiers shot him with live fire, and remained in a critical condition until he succumbed to his wounds.
___He was injured on the same day when the soldiers killed four Palestinians, and wounded at least 367 others, in the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  ELDERLY  MAN  FOR  OWNING  TWO  AIR,  PLASTIC  GUNS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Dec. 23, 2017 ― December 22, 2017 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Friday detained a 67-year-old Palestinian man from the village of Ya’bad, in Jenin district, for owning an air gun and another gun made of plastic belonging to his grandchild.
___The Detainees Affairs Commission said Mahmoud Hamdan, 67, was detained by Israeli army after a military raid into his home.
___Israeli forces wreaked havoc into Hamdan’s home, destroying its contents and furniture, before detaining him and his son Hadi, 30.     MORE . . . 
❸ Opinion/Analysis: FREE  AT  LAST:  A  UN  WITHOUT  US  DIPLOMATIC  BLACKMAIL 
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO   
Dr Daud Abdullah     ..
Dec. 22, 2017 ― Not for the first time, the free world has stood up for truth and justice in Palestine. The General Assembly’s vote against President Trump’s decision on Jerusalem was a victory for the rule of law over the law of the jungle. It now leaves both the US and Israel isolated, disgraced and humiliated.
___Washington’s threat to cut aid to countries that voted not to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was an insult to the UN and a vicious assault on the sovereign rights of its members. In their customary delusional manner, Israelis believed the US threat was enough to force compliance. They were mistaken; people around the world are simply tired of their arrogance and unethical conduct.
___As it stands, Trump’s threat is consistent with a long-standing policy of US blackmail and intimidation exerted within the UN to further Israel’s illegal claims. It was no different from the threats issued to impoverished nations to extract the controversial UN Partition Resolution 181 in 1947.
[. . . .] Where does this crushing defeat leave Israel and its mercurial Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu? For sure, Israel will become more isolated among the community of nations. Instead of countries moving their embassies to Jerusalem many will now consider severing or curtailing diplomatic contact with the Zionist state. South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has taken the lead by adopting a resolution at its national conference to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office.   MORE . . .  

“THE  UNKNOWN  CONTINENT,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
How do we reach you
Slums of Chicago?
How is the spark to reach you?
How is the fire to be born?
Skyscrapers!
Stacked huts!
Stretch your arms out of the darkness―
For the big banner
Spreads its warmth, its light
Forever
Into the depths of night
And the big banner is
Forever
A sail for the drowning.

How are the storms to reach you
Jazzband Club in New York?
The black man is hungry and fearful
The wolves of the KKK roam the forest
―the current overpowering
And the conscience of the statue shaken
And the heart of night.
The wind is frozen,
And the waves of the sea unmoving?
How is the message to reach you
Deaf Washington,
With the humming of the machine?
In Vietnam you slaughter
And you export
Cokes and medicine to the sad moon!
And you sweep over the blood of victims.
How is the message to reach you?

Descendants of Ole Abe!
My voice has become hoarse
And the wind
Has become tired of my shouts!
Descendants of Old Abe!
Shake the marble of history,
Rise to the sky,
Rise above the band of stupid maggis
And halt ―for
The earth grumbles
Rivers of blood.

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 Samih Al-Qasim