“. . . the stones of your streets grow sad, the towers of mosques downcast . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

Al Ahli Arab Hospital has been ministering in Gaza City since 1882. The institution was founded by the Church of England’s Church Mission Society. (Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service)

The Israeli Supreme Court yesterday rejected a petition submitted by 104 Palestinians against claims by a right-wing Israeli organization paving the way for 700 Palestinians to be forced from their homes, Haaretz reported.    ___The 700 Palestinians, who make up 70 families, have been going through a legal battle to protect their right to remain in their homes since 2002. Last June, lawyers for the occupation admitted that the process by which settlers organization Ateret Cohanim received rights to the land was flawed. In spite of this, the judge ruled in favor of the settlers’ rights to siege the area.    ___Ateret Cohanim aims to take over Palestinian properties in occupied East Jerusalem and transfer then to Israeli settlers. The ownership claims were based on arguments of the properties’ situation before the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Palestinian house deeds were transferred to the Benvenisti Trust by Israel’s Justice Ministry in 2002 claiming it purchased the land in the late 1800s to settle Jews arriving in Palestine from Yemen.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Experts:  Occupation  seeks  to  establish  a  50km  settlement  belt  in  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Palestinian family left homeless after demolition in LOD CITY
. . . . Related  Israel demolishes Palestinian family home in NEGEV
. . . . Related  Israeli forces demolish Palestinian carwash in HEBRON
  CABINET  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DECISION  TO  EXPEL  PALESTINIANS  FROM  THEIR  HOMES  IN  JERUSALEM     The Palestinian cabinet condemned on Thursday the Israeli decision to evacuate 28 dunums of Palestinian land in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, home to more than 500 Palestinians, despite all documents proving the Palestinian ownership of these lands.    ___It said in a statement issued at the conclusion of the weekly cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that the government also condemned the Israeli Supreme Court’s approval of the demolition of the  TAHADI  FIVE  SCHOOL  IN  BEI T TA’MUR  VILLAGE, near BETHLEHEM, the demolition of shops in SHUFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  JERUSALEM  and the forced break-in into dozens of houses and shops in DEIR  AL-GHUSOUN  TOWN,  NORTH  OF  TULKARM  in the north of the West Bank.    ___“The Cabinet emphasized that all such decisions are clear attempts to undermine the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the role of the Palestinian Government,” said the statement.    More . . .

By Sandy Tolan
[. . . .] if the Gaza Strip truly becomes “uninhabitable” by 2020, as the UN and humanitarian groups warn, it will be largely because of the utter collapse of the system for delivering safe drinking water and properly disposing of disease-causing sewage.    ___Because of Gaza’s water and sewage catastrophe, medical experts are now seeing sharp increases in waterborne and foodborne diseases . . .  [. . . .] And doctors in Gaza’s hospitals now report increased cases of paediatric cancer.    ___For years these torments seemed sealed off from the outside world by layers of fences, locked gates, patrolling Israeli drones and warplanes, and international disdain and indifference.    ___Now, finally, from Washington to European capitals, and even to the Israeli security infrastructure in Tel Aviv, alarm bells are going off, warning that something must be done to prevent the water catastrophe in Gaza. . .    More . . .

In the midst of a steady stream of news and photos from Gaza over the past ten days – bombed buildings, burning buses, terrified children, fragile cease-fire agreements – there was one story that didn’t get widely reported.    ___On November 9, the 25 year-old hot water system at Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City suddenly collapsed. This urgent situation caused an immediate shut down of the water supply to the entire facility.    ___The  result?  No  drinking  water,  no  pressurized  water  for  sterilization  of  medical  equipment  and  surgical  instruments,  no  laundry  services.  No  water,  period.  All  scheduled  surgeries  were  cancelled, and staff continued to treat patients under dire circumstances . . .    Your generosity gets Ahli Hospital through an emergency   Donate . . . 

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . people to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

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Shops along main street of Shufat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

Israeli-Palestinian peace plan being prepared by US President Donald Trump is “a waste of time,” extremist Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Wednesday.    ___Speaking before hundreds of ambassadors and attaches at the Jerusalem Post Diplomats’ Conference in Jerusalem, Shaked added that the differences between Israelis and Palestinians are too great.    ___”I want peace like everyone else,” she said, “but I do not believe an agreement can be reached. I would tell Trump: ‘Do not waste your time.'”   ___Shaked also spoke about the demand made by her party, the Jewish Home, to appoint party leader Naftali Bennett as defence minister – an ultimatum that threatened the stability of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel  refuses  to  sign  international  migration  pact (“Israel has to follow a special migration policy specified by its circumstances as a small state which aims to maintain its Jewish nationality.”)
. . . . Related  Ashrawi  of  PLO  urges  Slovenia  to  recognize  state  of  Palestine
Israeli bulldozers demolished dozens of Palestinian-owned shops in the Shufat refugee camp, in occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.   ___Israeli forces along with the Israeli Civil Administration staff stormed the Shufat refugee camp earlier and delivered demolition notices to more than 20 Palestinian shops, with only 12 hours to evacuate the premises before the demolitions commence.    ___Thaer Fasfous, spokesperson of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, said that hundreds of Israeli forces and Israeli Civil Administration staff members were deployed across the area, while bulldozers began to demolish the shops.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  Soldiers  Abduct  Two  Palestinians  In  HEBRON
. . . . Related  Army  Abducts  A  Legislator  In  RAMALLAH
. . . . Related  Israeli  Soldiers  Demolish  A  Residential  Shed,  Retaining  Walls,  Near  NABLUS
. . . . Related  Soldiers  Detonate  Doors  Of  Homes  And  Stores,  Before  Invading  Them,  Near  TULKAREM

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Home demolition by Israelis in Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|    KRAHENBUHL  APPLAUDS  INTERNATIONAL  EFFORT  FOR  KEEPING  UNRWA  AFLOAT    Addressing the delegates at the Advisory Commission of host governments and leading donors of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, applauded the resolve and creativity with which the agency and the international community addressed its “greatest financial predicament ever.”    ___Krahenbuhl thanked the many partners who “rose to the occasion” to help, collectively, to reduce the staggering shortfall of $446 million at the start of this year and said, “Today, I am very pleased to announce that, overall since January, donors contributed or pledged an additional $425 million, bringing our shortfall down to $21 million.”     More . . .
. . . . Related  Erekat: ‘Israel should be condemned at UN, not Hamas’

By Ray Hanania
One of Israel’s most powerful weapons against the voices of Palestinian rights has been the exploitation of Jewish history — the Holocaust included — to justify its own atrocities against non-Jews. The Holocaust is undeniably one of the worst human tragedies in human history, an evil horror in which Nazis sought to cleanse the world of Jews and their religion.    ___The hatred that fuelled Nazi atrocities before and during World War Two were undoubtedly driven by anti-Semitism. Since then, though, anti-Semitism has been weaponised by Israel, not just to confront the Holocaust deniers, the neo-Nazis and the hate filled anti-Semites, but also to undermine the righteous movement of justice to restore the inalienable rights of Christians and Muslims in Palestine.    ___Any criticism of Israel is now being denounced as “anti-Semitism”.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


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

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

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

between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only

time for peace

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

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Shufat neighbors explaining home demolition to members of Sabeel, Jerusalem, delegation (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

“. . . I am all that remains of our earth . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

❶ Israeli forces suppress protests marking Balfour Declaration centenary

  • Background: “The Framing of the Question of Palestine by the Early Palestinian Press: Zionist Settler-Colonialism and the Newspaper Filastin, 1912-1922.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Ashrawi condemns Israeli plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem
❸ More Illegal Israeli Settlements
❹ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 1, 2017 ― Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Bethlehem city on Wednesday following a march commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 document which supported establishing a Jewish state on what would become British Mandate Palestine, and paved the what for the to the establishment of Israel.
___Palestinian protesters marched from the southern to northern ends of the city, until they reached Israel’s separation wall. Protesters set up an effigy of Arthur Balfour, the author of the declaration, beating and throwing shoes at the figure while burning a copy of the declaration.
___Members of various Palestinian political factions had called for the march in protest of the 100 year anniversary of the declaration, and of recent comments by British Prime Minister Theresa May celebrating the centenary of the declaration.
___Israeli forces quickly suppressed the protest, using live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas, injuring one with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the foot, while several others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation.  MORE . . .

Pappe, Ilan.
Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies
, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 59-81.
[. . . .]  Settler colonialism depicts the Zionist movement as a project that had all the characteristics of a colonialist enterprise, initiated by people coming from Europe and settling in the rest of the world, but who developed their own, and new, national identity within the colony or the colonised area (as happened in Australia, the USA and elsewhere).
[. . . .] The settler-colonialism paradigm focuses on those who colonised, invaded and settled. The victims are the same whether they are the genocided indigenous population of the Americas or the colonised natives of South Africa and Palestine. As their fate proves they were not fighting only against classical colonial exploitation but against their physical or conceptual elimination as a nation in their own right. . . .  Palestine, if indeed one accepts even in part the applicability of the paradigm to this case study, offered a very articulate, documented and written response to ‘their’ settler colonialism. This local view is described in this article not as regular feature of national discourse or even liberation . . .   but as an existential angst, warranted by the very nature of settler colonialism. It was angst voiced in a very definitive period, just before and during the First World War and has impacted on the Palestinian very existence ever since, and in particular when the angst proved to be validated by the events of the 1948 war in Palestine.
[. . . .] In similar vein, Yusuf Diya Pasha al-Khalidi wrote [in 1891] to the Chief Rabbi of France appealing to him to halt Jewish colonisation, predicting it would lead to a violent conflict: ‘There were still uninhabited countries where one could settle millions of poor Jews. . . But in the name of God let Palestine be left in peace.’
[. . . .] Zionism became a central issue when Britain occupied Palestine and established a League of Nations’ Mandate there. Early suspicions of the pro-Zionist bias of the new rulers arose when the Zionist committee of delegates (Va’ad Hazirim) was invited by Britain in April 1918 to survey the country and examine the, still secret then, pledge by the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, to create a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. The committee transformed the Jews in Palestine from religious millet into a political movement with a representative body, claiming the right to own Palestine.   SOURCE.

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 31, 2017 ― PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi Tuesday condemned what she described as “the dangerous plan” proposed by Israel’s Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin aimed at ethnic cleansing Palestinians from Jerusalem by splitting off the Palestinian neighborhoods situated next to the Apartheid Wall from the so-called Jerusalem Municipality, placing them under a new Israeli jurisdiction.
___Elkin’s plan specifically targets Shufat refugee camp, Kufr Aqab, al-Walaja, and a small part of al-Sawahreh. The measure is expected to affect between 100,000 to 150,000 Palestinians living in these neighborhoods.
___“Should this be adopted, such a deplorable plan would forcibly displace thousands of indigenous Palestinian Jerusalemites and transform their status to ‘non-existence,’ depriving them of the most basic rights and services, including shelter, healthcare and education. It is beyond a doubt that Israel is deliberately working to erase the Palestinian presence from our occupied capital and to distort the demographic, cultural, religious, and political character of the city,” said Ashrawi.   MORE . . .
Palestine at the UN    
Oct. 18, 2017 ― Israel’s constant provocative declarations and advancement of plans to construct and expand Israeli settlements throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, in direct and grave contravention of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and in blatant defiance of the international community, continue to heighten tensions and to undermine any efforts to salvage the two-State solution on the 1967 lines and the prospects for peace.
___In this connection, yesterday, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office issued a press release announcing its plans to construct 3,736 more settlement units throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
[. . . .] It is clear that with each announcement of further Israeli settlement construction the Government of Israel reveals its true and unlawful intentions, which is to annex and colonize more and more Palestinian land and to persist with its half-century foreign occupation. The global consensus continues to be in support of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines as the only viable solution and foundation for a just and comprehensive peace. . . .  Israel’s provocative and inciteful rhetoric, decisions and actions are totally to the contrary of this global consensus and constitute grave breaches of international law . . .    MORE . . .


I am the land,
I am the land . . . do not deny me rain,
I am all that remains of it,
If you plant my brow with trees
And turn my poetry into vineyards
And wheat
And roses
That you may know me.
So let the rain pour down.

I, cloud of my life, am the hills of Galilee,
I am the bosom of Haifa
And the forehead of Jaffa.
So do not whisper: it is impossible.
Can you not hear my child’s approaching footsteps
At the threshold of your soul?
Can you not see the veins of my brow
Striving to kiss your lips?

Waiting for you, my poetry turned to earth,
Has become fields,
Has turned into wheat
And trees.
I am all that remains of our earth,
I am all that remains of what you love,
So pour . . . pour with bounty.
Pour down the rain.

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.  
About Rashid Hussein

“. . . The windows of the sky closed, And the city held its breath . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Demolished home in Shuafat neighborhood, East Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

❶ Israeli authorities demolish Palestinian-owned building in Issawiya

  • Background: “Whose Place? Emplaced Narratives and the Politics of Belonging in East Jerusalem’s Contested Neighbourhood of Silwan.” Space & Polity.

❷ EU Condemns Israel’s Illegal Settlement Plans
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) “The [Italian] Foreign Ministry expresses concern for the recent advancement in the plan to build new housing units in East Jerusalem.”
❸ PHOTO ESSAY: How Israel’s wall keeps Palestinian farmers off their land
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
July 11, 2017.   Israeli forces demolished a four-story, under-construction building in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Tuesday morning, despite its Palestinian landowner having a schedule meeting with Israeli authorities to postpone the demolition.
___Owner of the building Hanan Mahmoud told Ma’an that she and her family were caught by surprise when four bulldozers escorted by armed Israeli forces stormed the area at around 4 a.m. and began razing the building to the ground.
___Construction of the four-floor building — comprised of six apartments, with the ground floor planned to be used as shops — started about a year ago.   MORE . . .

[Blogger’s note: This article is complex but quite accessible to the lay person. It is a thorough and fascinating study of the conflicting claims to “ownership” of Jerusalem.]

Mannergren Selimovic, Johanna and Lisa Strömbom. “WHOSE  PLACE?  EMPLACED  NARRATIVES  AND  THE  POLITICS  OF  BELONGING  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM’S  CONTESTED  NEIGHBOURHOOD  OF  SILWAN.”  Space & Polity, vol. 19, no. 2, Aug. 2015, pp. 191-205.
[. . . .] . . .  a close reading of the neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem. This dense, urban area is a highly tangible place where several spatial and narrative practices collide in many regards epitomizing the larger Israeli–Palestinian conflict. . . interrelatedness of narratives and material structure . . . places as physical sites are embedded in and based on collective memories and metanarratives of societies. The neighbourhood of Silwan has been partly appropriated by an archaeological excavation site, which is managed and controlled by the Jewish settler organization Elad and sanctioned by the Israeli state. Elad’s stated aim is to increase the Jewish connections to Jerusalem . . .  The organization uses the archaeological findings to support a coherent historical narrative that underpins the Israeli autochthonous [“Originating where found; found where it originates”] claim of “having been here first”. In addition to the excavation site and its concomitant tourist centre, this narrative is materialized through about 40 Jewish microsettlements in Silwan . . .  Palestinian inhabitants strongly protest the development of the archaeological site and the Jewish settlements, as it has brought demolitions of homes and of shared urban spaces. They challenge the autochthonous claims of Elad through the Palestinian nationalist narrative of authentic belonging, centred around the principle of “Sumud”, which refers to the political project of “steadfastness” or “clinging to one’s land”. In opposition to these two claims of belonging, a counternarrative . . .  visualizes a fluid and fragmented past and attempts to fill the place of Silwan/City of David with an alternative material and symbolic meaning of inclusion. This counternarrative is articulated by critical archaeologists as well as parts of Israeli civil society that challenge Elad’s claims to the place in particular, and the Israeli heritage “industry” in general.   SOURCE . . .

The Palestine Chronicle  
July 7, 2017.    The European Union (EU) condemned Israel’s plans to advance some 1,500 new illegal settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem in a statement released Friday, which said the plans “undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace.”
___The spokesperson for the EU reiterated that Israel’s settlement policy was illegal under international law, adding that the move would “undermine” the two-state solution and the “prospect for lasting peace.”
___Israeli NGO Peace Now reported on Monday that Israeli authorities were planning to discuss the advancement of nearly 1,800 housing units for illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.   MORE . . .
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
July 11, 2017.   MORE . . .

Construction of Apartheid Wall extension through farmland at Cremisan – note the diminutive workman standing to the right of the wall. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

+972 Magazine/Activestills.org   
Ahmad Al-Bazz and Haidi Motola
July 11, 2017.   Approximately 100 Palestinian farmers protested on Sunday morning in front of an Israeli military gate in the northern West Bank, calling on the army to ease restrictions on their daily journey through the gate, which separates them from their land.
___Joined by some 10 anti-occupation Israeli activists and several international human rights observers, the farmers refused to cross through Military Gate 623, part of Israel’s separation barrier, instead calling on the army to renew expired entry permits for their family members, to issue permits for their workers, and to open the gate earlier than 7 a.m. on a daily basis, due to the recent heatwave.     MORE . . .

(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

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

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

“. . . City of sorrows, a huge tear/trembling on your eyelid . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

Israeli flags flying from buildings taken over from Palestinians in the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)

❶ Battle for Jerusalem taking a serious turn, says analyst
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Jerusalem Divided by Walls of Fear, Hatred, Experts Tell International Conference on Palestine Question
❷ PA calls on UN to intervene against latest Israeli plans to ‘Judaize’ East Jerusalem
Background: Cabinet Approves Building Cable Car To Western Wall
❸ Israel approves plan to teach Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools
❹ March of the Zealots: a report from ‘Jerusalem Day’
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) Triumphalist light show in Jerusalem weaponizes the city walls to celebrate 50th anniversary of Jewish conquest
❺ POETRY by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA       
May 30, 2017
The battle for control over East Jerusalem is taking a serious turn with Israeli plans to completely change its demographic character and culture, director of the Arab Studies Society’s Mapping Department Khalil Tafakji said on Tuesday.
___Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Tafakji said Israel is forcing Palestinian schools to switch to the Israeli curriculum, wants to displace its Palestinians residents and plans to implement several projects in an effort to turn the city into a Jewish one.
___. . . Israel wants to secede two densely populated East Jerusalem neighborhoods – Shufat refugee camp and Kufr Aqab . . . in order to change the demographic character of the occupied city.
___Israel also plans to build a cable car that goes over the old city of Jerusalem that is expected to change its historic and cultural character.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  JERUSALEM  DIVIDED  BY  WALLS  OF  FEAR,  HATRED,  EXPERTS  TELL  INTERNATIONAL  CONFERENCE  ON  PALESTINE  QUESTION: Addressing Occupation’s Legal, Psychological Aspects
United Nations  General Assembly Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People: International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem   
May 3, 2016
The International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem, which opened in Dakar, Senegal, this morning, held its first plenary session in the afternoon, examining life in East Jerusalem under Israeli occupation.
___Daniel Seidemann, Lawyer and Founder of the Israeli non-governmental organization Terrestrial Jerusalem, said the city today was divided by walls of fear and hatred.  It was seeing a popular uprising unprecedented since 1967, due in large part to the “horrendous and savage” murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014.  The incident had conveyed the message that “in the eyes of official Israel, Israeli blood is blood, and its red; Palestinian blood is water”, he said, adding that Palestinian youth felt themselves adrift, while Israeli society was in a state of clinical denial about the occupation.          MORE. . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
May 29, 2017
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the United Nation Security Council on Monday to uphold its responsibilities vis-a-vis international law and protect occupied East Jerusalem from the latest Israeli attempts to “Judaize” the city.
___The statement came a day after the Israeli security cabinet held a controversial meeting in tunnels located underneath the Old City of East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in 1967 in a move which was never recognized by the international community.
___During the meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu notably unveiled a 200 million-shekel ($56 million) plan to build a 1,400-meter long cable car linking western Jerusalem to the Western Wall in the Old City by 2021, Israeli news outlet Ynet reported on Monday.
___Such a project, which Netanyahu said would fall under the purview of the Israeli Tourism Ministry, would in effect limit tourists’ exposure to Palestinian-majority areas of East Jerusalem, and further use the industry as what critics have called a “tool” to enforce the perception of Jerusalem as a Jewish city.     MORE . . .
BACKGROUND: Cabinet Approves Building Cable Car To Western Wall. Times of Israel, May 28, 2017

Village of Lifta, Jerusalem. Depopulated in 1948, with Israeli developments on every side (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      
May 29, 2017
Israeli cabinet approved Sunday a plan to expand  teaching Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools in east Jerusalem for the next five years.
___The plan stated to increase the classes of first grade that will be taught the Israeli curriculum and increase the number of those eligible for the Israeli Bagrut certificate parallel to the Palestinian Tawjihi certificate.       MORE . . .
David Kattenburg
May 27, 2017
Ecstatic Zionists celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem, this past Wednesday, were greeted by equally passionate Jewish-American and Israeli protesters intent on blocking the zealots’ march through the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s old city, into the heart of the Arab quarter.
___The annual March of the Flags — commemorating the unification of east and west Jerusalem in the wake of the June 1967 war — is customarily accompanied by tribal chanting and acts of hooliganism, as young Israelis parade through the old city’s narrow alleyways chanting rousing slogans such as “Death to Arabs.” Israeli police ensure in advance that Palestinian shops are shuttered tight — a process referred to as ‘sterilization’. Hard to imagine a sensible shopkeeper doing otherwise.     MORE. . . .
Philip Weiss
May 26, 2017
Back in the States, I wondered whether the commemorations of the Six Day War in Israel would be marked by reflection and even expressions of misgivings, after 50 years of occupation, but when I got out here I saw how mistaken I was. They’re triumphalist!
___Below is a video I took of part of the light show/concert celebrating the conquest of Jerusalem on May 21, near Jaffa Gate outside the Old City. This segment was a dramatization of the history of Jerusalem, and about 30 seconds in, it announces “1967” on the wall, and then– well see for yourself! It seemed to me like they were weaponizing the Old City walls. A lot of smoke and guns and destruction, and rumbling tumbling stones. As for the music, well it’s like that old saying, justice is to military justice as music is to military music.  MORE. . . .


Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

Naim Ateek, Palestinian Christian theologian, leading a group through Arab East Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)

“. . . an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza . . .” (Aeyal Gross)

Flames engulf the fuel tanks of Gaza’s only power plant, hit by Israeli shelling, on July 29, 2014. (Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

❶ . Health Ministry: Gaza’s fuel shortage puts hospitals at serious risk

  • Background: “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal of International Law

❷ . Army blocks two roads near Hebron school, movement curtailed
❸ . Arresting 4 Jerusalemite children from Silwan
. . . ❸ ― (a) The Martyrdom of a Palestinian young man at Shu’fat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 26, 2016
The spokesperson of Gaza’s health ministry said in a statement on Friday that the health ministry would face a difficult situation if fuel is not provided to hospitals in the few upcoming hours.
___Ashraf al-Qadra called upon all competent authorities to quickly intervene and provide fuel for Gaza’s hospitals, noting that the fuel crisis in Gaza is expected to have severe effects on the besieged enclave’s hospitals.
___The plead came two days after health services in a children’s hospital were suspended due to a lack of fuel to its generators.         More . . .     Related . . .

Gross, Aeyal, and Tamar Feldman. “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal Of International Law 33.2 (2015): 379-441.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .] . . . the movement of goods and people into and out of the Gaza Strip was restricted to a so-called humanitarian minimum. . .  Although framed at first as “sanctions,” the policy was subsequently referred to as “economic warfare.” In essence, it was designed, according to Israel, to press the residents of the Gaza Strip to pressure Hamas . . .
___ . . .  Since its occupation of Gaza following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel has controlled the land crossings as well as Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. . . all border crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip have been shut except for the Erez Crossing . . .  and the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which is the sole passageway for consumer goods.
[. . . .]  ___In a September 2007 decision, the Israeli Security Cabinet stated, “The sanctions will be enacted following a legal examination, while taking into account both the humanitarian aspects relevant to the Gaza Strip and the desire to avoid a humanitarian crisis.” Hence, the closure policy was aimed at causing damage to the Gaza economy and bringing the population to the verge of a humanitarian crisis . . .  The underlying principles of this policy were challenged early on, in October 2007, in a petition brought before the Israel Supreme Court . . . which focused on the restrictions on the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip, the petitioners argued that the deliberate worsening of the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to a state of minimal existence for the sole purpose of putting pressure on Hamas constitutes collective punishment which is strictly prohibited under international law . . .  In its response, the state claimed that its closure policy is a legitimate form of “economic warfare,” and it presented a set of calculations it had used to establish the minimum humanitarian fuel needs in the Gaza Strip, including industrial diesel for the power plant. Yet this minimum was knowingly calculated based on figures below the average, but above the minimum need for electricity in the Gaza Strip and, therefore, reflected an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza.
___The Supreme Court ruled that Israel’s positive obligations towards the Gaza Strip are based on three factors: (1) its control over the land crossings and borders; (2) Gaza’s almost complete dependency on Israel to supply its electricity, which had developed over the course of the prolonged occupation; and (3) the ongoing state of belligerence in Gaza . . .  the Court authorized the electricity and fuel restrictions . . . In so doing, it gave its stamp of approval to the closure policy in its entirety and de facto accepted the “humanitarian-minimum standard” as a legitimate benchmark   [. . . .]  

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 26, 2016
The Israeli army Saturday blocked with cement cubes two roads in the vicinity of Tareq Ben Ziad school near the Ibrahimi mosque in the center of Hebron, south of the West Bank, according Rashad Muhtaseb, a local factory owner.
[. . . .]  The army put up cement cubes to close roads in the area, where several shops and factories are located, hampering as a result movement of people, mainly students.     ___Thousands of Israeli settlers are planning to converge on the Ibrahimi mosque and the old city of Hebron in the coming days to mark a Jewish event.      More . . .             Related . . . SETTLERS  TORCH  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  HOME  IN  HEBRON       Palestine News Network – PNN      Nov. 22, 2016

Children walking past soldiers on their way to school, May 7, 2016 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
Nov. 24, 2016
The occupation forces arrested on Thursday four Jerusalemite children from the village of Silwan.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center’s lawyer, Saleh Mheisen, explained that the Israeli forces arrested three children while heading home after school on charges of throwing stones. . . .
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the police released the three children after interrogating them for several hours on condition of house-arrest for 5 days and an unpaid bail of 5 thousand NIS for each.
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the forces also arrested 13-year old Jamal Mohammad Qaraeen and interrogated him for several hours on charges of throwing stones . . . .     More . . .
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan 
November 25, 2016
A young man passed away after being shot at Shu’fat Refugee Camp checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
___ Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said that the Martyr is 14-year old Mohammad Nabil Salam.
___Thaer Fasfoos, spokesman of Fateh movement in the Refugee Camp, said that the young men descended from a bus right before the checkpoint for unknown reasons before being shot by the occupation forces which led to his immediate Martyrdom.     More . . .


“. . . the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run . . .” (Robert O. Smith)

Israeli policemen stand guard during clashes that erupted after a house demolition in the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shuafat. Sep. 5, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

❶ The gruesome murder of five Arab boys refuses to disappear — 55 years on

  • Background: “Civilization, Savagism, And The Presence Of Burning Children.” Cross  Currents

❷ Palestinian Jerusalemite children sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison
❸ Minor injured, detained during clashes near Ramallah
❹ Conference: The Challenge of Jubilee
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Blog
Makbula Nassar
Nov. 5, 2016
Beaten, tortured, and shot to death: this is the story of five Arab boys who met a gruesome fate at the hands of Israel’s security forces in September 1961. Ben Gurion’s government refused to tell the truth of what really happened.   More . . . 
Makbula Nasser, active in political and feminist affairs, is a journalist and blogger for Local Call, where this article was first published in Hebrew. Read it here.    

  • Smith, Robert O. “Civilization, Savagism, And The Presence Of Burning Children.” Cross  Currents  66.2 (2016): 204-214.     Full article    

In the early morning hours of July 31, 2015, a Palestinian home was firebombed in the West Bank village of Duma. Flames killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabshe and severely injured his parents and 4-year-old brother. Two homes attacked that night in Duma were spray-painted with the Hebrew words “Revenge” and “Long live the king messiah,” alongside a Star of David.
[. . . .]  . . .  Israeli discourse in the days immediately following these attacks protected the unity of Israeli society by asserting distinctions between the civilized and the savage. In effect, this short-lived period of national introspection helped Israelis confirm the essential righteousness of their national project. Analysis of English language Israeli news media informed by the framework provided by Roy Harvey Pearce in Savagism and Civilization (1953) shows how this episode reproduces, in miniature, how white American society engaged with its own indigenous populations. This approach deepens recognition of the United States and the State of Israel do not just share parallels, but are somehow, in the words of Steven Salaita, “confederated” settler-colonial societies.
[. . . .]  Five days after the attacks, 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. For Grossman, the danger is that Israelis too could become savages.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network      
November 8, 2016
Two more Palestinian children were hit with lengthy sentences by an Israeli court on Monday, 7 November. The two Jerusalemite boys, Munther Abu Mayalah, 15, and Mohammed Taha, 16, were each sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison; each was also fined 50,000 NIS (approximately $13,000 USD).
__The two boys are Palestinian refugees from the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem. Monther and Mohammed were accused of “attempted murder” for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli settler youth at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on 30 January 2016. The 17-year-old in question was allegedly “lightly wounded.” They were also convicted of “possession of a knife.”
[. . . .] Palestinian children accused of “security” offenses are subject to sentencing equal to an adult for any offense carrying a potential sentence of greater than five years’ imprisonment. Such allegations include common pretexts for imprisoning Palestinian children, such as stone-throwing or affiliation with a prohibited organization.   More . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 10, 2016  A Palestinian minor was shot and injured Thursday when Israeli soldiers opened fire at protesters near Atara checkpoint, north of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___It said 15-year-old at Anas Mahmoud Zaid, from nearby Jalazoun refugee camp, was shot in the thigh during clashes between Israeli soldiers and school students near the checkpoint.       More . . .     

Sabeel Cornerstone Newsletter    
Naim Ateek
Nov. 10, 2016
The last fifty years have brought untold suffering upon our Palestinian people.  Our only crime was to say ‘no’ to the occupation of our country and to resist it as an aberration and which is illegal under international law. Since 1967, the Israeli government has been oppressing the Palestinians and denying them their human and political rights.
___In 2017, Palestinians will be marking 50 years since the loss of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.  It is a fitting time to lift up the biblical concept of Jubilee when all those who were deeply in debt to others, enslaved by others, had their land forfeited to the stronger others, and were driven out from their agricultural lands by the militarily powerful others – to all those, in a Jubilee year, God expects and demands justice to be done.  Their rightful ownership must be restored.  God is a God of truth and justice; and justice and righteousness must be done in the land.
10th Sabeel International Conference, March 7-13, 2017       

“. . . The eagles of this land will shield my open revolt . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

A thousand Palestinian children directed a message of peace to the world as they observe the International Day of Peace. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Sept. 21)

❶ Palestinian children commemorate International Day of Peace in Ramallah
❷ 23 Palestinians detained, dozens of houses ordered to be demolished in Jerusalem raids
❸ Secret Israeli Documents Reveal Violation of the Geneva Convention

  • Background article from Journal Of The Historical Society

❹ POETRY by Fouzi el-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency   
Sept. 21, 2016
A thousand Palestinian children directed a message of peace to the world on Wednesday as they convened in Ramallah to observe the International Day of Peace.
___In an event organized by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and the European Union (EU), the children released white pigeons and balloons marked with inscriptions reading “We want to live in peace” into the air.    ___Palestinian Minister of Education Sabri Saidam, Deputy Minister of Education Basri Saleh, EU representative Ralph Tarraf participated in the event, in addition to a number of representatives of international organizations.     MORE . . .   

Ma’an News Agency   
Sept. 22, 2016
Israeli forces carried out a massive detention raids into Palestinian communities in Jerusalem before dawn on Thursday for the second day in a row, detaining at least 23 Palestinians and assaulting locals — including a minor, while demolition orders were delivered to dozens of Palestinian homes during raids on Wednesday.
___Israeli forces raided the Shufat refugee camp in the Jerusalem district of the occupied West Bank as well as the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, located just south of Shufat beyond Israel’s separation wall.     MORE . . .     

Palestine Chronicle
Sept. 22 2016
Israeli officials have acknowledged systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, secret documents disclosed by Israeli newspaper Haaretz have revealed.
[. . . .]
The documents show how the Israeli government sought “to avoid application of the Geneva Conventions to the territories immediately after they were captured” and how “it tried to prevent international criticism of violations of the conventions.”
[. . . .]
One document, a “top-secret” cable sent in March 1968 to Israel’s then-ambassador in Washington, Yitzhak Rabin, states: “Our consistent policy has been and still is to avoid discussing the situation in the administered territories with foreign parties on the basis of the Geneva Conventions.     MORE . . .   

Blogger’s note: By excerpting this article, I do NOT mean to equate Israel with Nazi Germany. This is simply to show the parallels between the justifications for “ethnic cleansing” and forced evacuations of land, from the “Trail of Tears” in the United States, to South African Apartheid, to the Spanish destruction of the Aztec civilization, to Nazi Germany, to Palestine.

  • Piskorski, Jan M. “From Munich Through Wannsee To Auschwitz: The Road To The Holocaust.” Journal Of The Historical Society 7.2 (2007): 155-175.   SOURCE.

. . .  “spontaneous” events of the so-called Kristallnacht of November 1938, when synagogues were burned and Jewish shops demolished, are today viewed by most historians as elements of terror. At the same time . . . the mouthpiece of the SS, Das Schwarze Korps, declared on November 24 that there was no place for Jews in Germany. They must be distinctly marked, moved to separate town sections, and deprived of their assets—a step that will throw them into poverty.
[. . . .]
Regarding the “evacuation” of the Jews . . .  because they are Germany’s eternal, primeval enemy: “We have the moral right, and we have had the obligation toward our nation, to do this—to root out the nation that has wished to root us out.”
___In Himmler’s view, the strength of the SS consisted of the fact that its members had the capacity to conduct murderous operations—to withstand those operations psychologically, while at the same time retaining their own “decency”. . .This is because . . . the Germans are known for their gentle disposition and deep emotions. For example, they are the only nation on earth to be kind to animals and thus they might also treat with decency those “human animals,” the Slavs—since the Jews were outside of any such categorization—and yet, “it would be a crime against our race to be bothered on their behalf, and to impart our ideals to them, so that our children and grandchildren have more trouble from them later.”
[. . . .]

BACKGROUND:   Nazi Bands Raid Thousands Of Jewish Homes In Reich, Paris Hears, November 12, 1939
Jewish Telegraphic Agency   [. . . .] Nazi bands shouting “British Agents!” were reported to be pillaging and demolishing Jewish homes throughout the Reich.   MORE . . . 

House demolition in the Sur Baher neighborhood of East Jerusalem, January 2007. (Photo: The Electronic Intifada)

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970) 

From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.    Available from Amazon
About Fouzi El Asmar 

“. . . In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state. . .” (Oren Ben-Dor)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, “We’re both trying to kill the mosquito. . .” New York Times, May 21, 1996. (Photo: JP)

❶ PM Hamdallah: Israel is pushing for an apartheid state
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Czech Republic clarifies position on status of Jerusalem
. . . ❶― (ᴃ) Foreign Ministry seeks UN Security Council action against Israeli settlements

  • Background from: Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press). “. . . responding to different existential stakes, South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel. . .”

❷ Israeli forces kill young Palestinian man, injure another in Shufat refugee camp
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) PPS: “Underage Detainee Assaulted By Soldiers, Strip-Searched”
. . . ❷― (ᴃ) Soldiers Injure Three Palestinians in Nablus

  • Background from Third World Quarterly.  “ . . . ‘The Arabs are not a nation but a mole that grew in the wilderness of the eternal desert. They are nothing but murderers’. . .”

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 5, 2016
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Monday told visiting Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that Israel, by stepping up settlement construction and expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories, is pushing toward a one-state solution and an apartheid system.
___The prime minister expressed his government’s commitment towards a two-state solution of Palestine and Israel. . . .
___Hamdallah also expressed appreciation for Australia’s constant support to the Palestinian education and health sectors.  MORE . . .

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday. Photo: GPO / Amos Ben Gershom via Twitter.

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 5, 2016
The foreign ministry of the Czech Republic Monday clarified its position on the status of Jerusalem.
___It said in a statement delivered to its Palestinian counterpart that “[w]ith reference to some media reports on the status of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs about the following:
___“The State of Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital. The status of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel is not internationally recognized. Based on the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions, the Czech Republic, together with other EU Member States, considers Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, i.e. the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine. Tel Aviv is currently the seat of most foreign missions, including the Embassy of the Czech Republic.”      MORE . . .
Sep. 5, 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Sunday upon the United Nations Security Council to take immediate steps towards forcing Israel, the occupying power, to stop its settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
___The ministry called upon the UNSC to send a delegation to get information about what it described as “Israel’s theft and Judaization of Palestinian land”, including continuing settlement activities.     MORE . . .

  • From Ben-Dor, Oren. “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press) 12.2 (2013): 181-205.    SOURCE.

Why would one want to call Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, an apartheid state? Israel has no laws that explicitly limit the education and possibilities of its non-Jewish Arab citizens nor does it list certain professions they are forbidden to take up as was the case in South Africa.
___Looking at Israel you will see democratic elections and representation, occasional positive attempts at egalitarian investment in the country’s non-Jewish Arab sector, and some joint Jewish/non-Jewish-Arab ventures; and you will find a Supreme Court that prides itself on consistently upholding a Basic Law of Human (as opposed to Jewish) dignity and freedom.
___However, on closer look, apartheid in Israel is as constitutionally inbuilt as it was in South Africa and structurally limits, directly or indirectly, the ambit of possible egalitarian reforms. Central governmental investment turns out to be inherently biased in favour of the country’s Jewish population, and official property law regimes and land policies push towards the ‘Judaisation’ of the land, meaning the transfer to Jewish citizens or institutions of lands expropriated from non-Jewish Arab citizens and/or institutions while discouraging, or even actually forbidding, non-Jewish Arabs from taking up residence in Jewish areas.
[. . . .]
In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state, a sense of ‘separateness’ of Jews that has to be constantly rejuvenated and reinvented and reinforced by the state.
Because the Zionist ideological doctrine of ‘separateness’ led to the raison d’etre of the state, this separateness embodies a pathological denial that surrounds Israel’s apartheid, separateness which is disguised as ‘democratic’ practices. As such this denial is more entrenched in collective unconscious memory and thus more morally repugnant than the explicit apartheid of South Africa . . . . responding to different existential stakes, South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel.

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 5, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a young Palestinian man in the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem in the early hours of Monday morning following a raid in the camp, according to locals and Israeli police
___Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces “showered” a Palestinian car with gunfire, killing Mustafa Nimir and injuring another young man whose identity and health condition remained unknown to witnesses.
___Israeli authorities claimed the driver — who they did not identify as either Nimir or the other person who was injured — attempted to run over Israeli police and border guard officers before they fired at the car.    MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 5, 2016
The Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported, Monday, that a detained Palestinian teen has been subjected to repeated assaults during his abduction, and interrogation, including being strip-searched after the soldiers kidnapped him.
___The teen, Mazen Monther Ramadan, 17 years of age, was kidnapped from his home, in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, on August 22, 2016.
___A PPS lawyer managed to visit the teen in the al-Maskobiyya interrogation center. . . .    MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
September 5, 2016
Palestinian medical sources have reported that Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Monday at dawn, three Palestinians in the Balata refugee camp, and Sebastia town, in the northern West Bank district of Nablus.
___The sources said one Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Riyadh Saheli, was shot with a live round, and suffered a moderate injury, in Balata refugee camp, in Nablus.
___Several army vehicles invaded the camp, and opened fire on Palestinian youths, who hurled stones and empty bottles on the advancing military vehicles.   MORE . . .

  • Peteet, Julie. “Words As Interventions: Naming In The Palestine – Israel Conflict.” Third World Quarterly 26.1 (2005): 153-172.   SOURCE.

The notion of ‘epistemic violence’ refers to the process by which colonial thought shaped colonial subjects as inherently different. Over the course of much of the previous century rhetoric and words were selectively deployed, repeated, insisted upon and entered mainstream language to construct Palestinians discursively as beyond the pale of humanity. The moral lexicon deployed by Israelis and the Western media has cast them as irrational, terrorist demons unsuited for membership in the human community . . . .
___From the first decades of the century, when Zionists first encountered Palestinians . . . words used to describe the Palestinians have displayed both consistency and change. This discursive construction of the violent and primitive Palestinian underpins and legitimises his/her continued displacement, political exclusion and occupation. In a broader context, representations of the colonised often fall into a binary opposition between ‘inherently violent or innately peaceful’. The paradox between an imputed lack of attachment to place and yet the apparent willingness to fight for it was resolved by classifying Palestinian violence as irrational, without just cause. . . . ‘a gang of robbers, murderers, and bandits’, thus obstructing an understanding of manifestations of Palestinian nationalism and their discontent with colonisation.
___Coupled with a violent nature, Palestinians have been classified zoomorphically. Avraham Stern, founder of the Stern Gang or Lehi, precursor to the Likud Party, said: ‘The Arabs are not a nation but a mole that grew in the wilderness of the eternal desert. They are nothing but murderers.’ . . . More recently, Labor Party leader Ehud Barak told a New York Times correspondent, ‘You know, we are still living in a jungle’, which he characterises as ‘the dark and backward old Middle East’. He explained  the difference between the two major political parties in Israel, the Labor and the Likud: “We’re both trying to kill the mosquito. . .But at the same time we’re trying to drain the swamp, while Likud is saying the swamp is ours and we’ll never give it up. . . .”

“. . . I shall carve the record of my sufferings . . . On an olive tree. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Suspended in space: uprooting of olive trees for the expansion of Zufin, Jewish settlement in the Tulkarm district (Photo: B’Tselem/ Christoph Gocke – EAPPI)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Palestinian-owned structures in Nablus
. . . ―❶ (ᴀ) Israeli Occupation uproots 300 trees west of Hebron
. . . ―❶ (ᴃ) Israel demolishes multiple Palestinian structures in Jerusalem area
. . . ―❶ (ᴄ) Israeli forces uproot 50 olive trees as Palestinian farmer awaits court date to appeal

  • Background: “Uprooting Identities: The Regulation of Olive Trees in the Occupied West Bank.”

❷ Gaza Strip: Attacks in the Border Areas and their Consequences
❸ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished two rooms used for agricultural purposes and leveled stone walls in the villages of Khirbet al-Marajim and Qusra in the southern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli forces, demolished a room belonging to Tariq Dirawi in Khirbet al-Marajim.    MORE . . .  

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Hebron. ALRAY. Israeli military bulldozers uprooted about 300 olives trees on Wednesday morning and swept lands in Oula town, West of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank.
___Isa Al Omla, the activist in the wall and settlements resistance, said that the Israeli bulldozers broke into Al- Najar Valley area, near the apartheid wall, and swept away some lands ( 15 acres) owned by the family of Mohammed Khalil Abdul Aziz Al Omla.  MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli forces demolished multiple Palestinian structures in the Jerusalem area on Tuesday, the same morning that Israeli-enforced demolitions left more than 70 Palestinians homeless in the Hebron and Bethlehem districts of the occupied West Bank.
___In the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, bulldozers escorted by Israeli police officers and Jerusalem municipality inspectors demolished a single-room house and several outdoor walls, because the structures were built without licenses issued by the Jerusalem municipality.     MORE . . .  

Event marking Rachel Corrie's death, Qariyut, West Bank, 15.3.2
Israeli soldiers attack Palestinians during an olive tree planting commemorating (March, 2015). Corrie, an American, was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003, blocking the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip (Photo: Activestills.org)

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli bulldozers uprooted more than 50 olive trees on Tuesday morning in the Palestinian village of Shufa in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, Palestinian farmers told Ma’an, two weeks before a court hearing was scheduled to be held to appeal the Israeli-ordered confiscation of the land.
___One of the farmers, Abed Hamid, said he received a phone call from a neighbor notifying him that Israeli forces brought bulldozers to his olive tree orchard and started to uproot the trees, which were planted between 15 and 20 years ago.
___After Hamid rushed to his land, he said he witnessed Israeli forces “stealing” the majority of his trees, which were left intact.    MORE . . .    

  • Braverman, Irus. “UPROOTING IDENTITIES: THE REGULATION OF OLIVE TREES IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK.” Polar: Political & Legal Anthropology Review 32.2 (2009): 237-264.    FULL ARTICLE.   

Trees in general, and olive and pine trees in particular, perform a pivotal role in both the Zionist and the Palestinian national narratives. Since 1901, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) . . . has planted over 240 million trees in Israel, most of which are pines. This massive enterprise has fundamentally transformed the Israeli/Palestinian landscape. Indeed, over the years, the pine has come to be perceived as the quintessential symbol of the Zionist project . . .  If the Jewish tree is the pine, the Palestinian tree is the olive. As Ismat Shbeta, a refugee from the depopulated Palestinian village Miske, tells me in an Interview, “The olive is the Palestinian tree . . . . That’s the olive’s nationality”
[. . . .]  A fusion of humans and trees is thereby constructed: the olive embodies the Palestinian people, the green of its foliage is perceived as interchangeable with the red of their blood. However, the olive is not only a proxy witness; it also provides a model of survival for the Palestinian people. In this sense, the olive not only stands for but also speaks for the mute and uprooted Palestinian . . .
[. . . .]  Since its inception, and increasingly in the last two decades, Israel has been uprooting Palestinian olive trees. . . . . Israel’s central rationale for uprooting olive trees in the occupied territories has not been framed as punitive, or at least not explicitly so. Israel explains these uprootings, rather, as essential for its national security. First, Israel has been uprooting olives to make way for the recently built Separation Barrier. In the same vein, Israel’s Defense Forces have uprooted thousands of olive . . .  to secure roads, increase visibility, and make way for watchtowers, checkpoints. . . .
[. . . .]  In addition to the uprooting of Palestinian olive trees by the State of Israel, for the last decade or so Jewish settlers have also been targeting Palestinian trees. . . . The tree warfare conducted by the New Settlers adds another layer of meaning to the relationship between humans and trees in the occupied West Bank. . . .  the sabotage of olive trees is still an everyday occurrence in the West Bank. As a result, Palestinian access to agricultural land is frequently jeopardized.
[. . . .]   Although both the New Settlers and the human rights activists interviewed here have insisted that the Israeli/Palestinian war is not really about trees but about land, it is nonetheless clear that the emotional, cultural, ritualistic, and economic significance of the tree has been at the forefront of their actions. [Palestinians] would never have claimed that trees are unimportant in this battle. However, they also see clearly the connection between the trees and the overall power struggle over land, autonomy, identity, and power . . . .

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Aug. 16, 2016
Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip.
[. . . .]
Preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands and fishing areas violates numerous provisions of international human rights law, including the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Enforcing the “buffer zone” through the use of live fire often results in, inter alia, the direct targeting of civilians and/or indiscriminate attacks, both of which constitute war crimes.     MORE . . .

Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

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.
About Tafiq Zayyad.