“. . . He renovates a memory demolished like a wall . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

WEb-wo24-israel-demolition
Khan al Ahmar Village with illegal Israeli settlement Kfar Adummim in background. (Photo: Reuters, in The National, Sept. 23, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   AL-MALKI  ON  CLOSURE  OF  US  CONSULATE:  US  HAS  ADOPTED  THE  AGENDA  OF  FAR-RIGHT  ISRAELI  SETTLER  MOVEMENT 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki strongly condemned on Thursday the recent US’ decision to close the US consulate in East Jerusalem, which mainly serves Palestinians, and merge it with the US embassy in the city.    ___“Closing of the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, which has operated independently since in 1844, and turning it into a unit in the illegally placed American Embassy in Jerusalem reflects the US administration’s determination to entrench its illegal embassy move and force its functions on the Palestinian side,” he said in a press release.    ___Al-Malki stressed that decision clearly “proves that the US administration has adopted the agenda of the far-right Israeli settler movement, treating the entire area of historic Palestine as one political unit under Israeli control.”    More . . .
|   UNRWA  DISMISSES  ISRAELI  THREATS  OF  CLOSING  ITS  JERUSALEM  OPERATIONS
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) dismissed on Thursday threats by the Israeli mayor of West Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, to close down its operations in occupied Jerusalem.    ___Barkat submitted to a parliamentary committee a plan to end UNRWA operations in Jerusalem and to turn over its services in health and education to his municipality.    ___UNRWA spokesman Sami Mshasha told WAFA that while these threats are worrying, they will not change facts on the ground since UNRWA exists based on international resolutions and binding bilateral agreements.    ___UNRWA was created in December 1949 by a United Nations resolution. . .    More . . .
|   122  DAYS  OF  DEMOLITION  THREATS,  ISRAEL  SEALS  OFF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR    Israeli forces assaulted protesters inside the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday.   ___Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas bombs and pepper-sprayed Palestinian and international protesters and activists as they attempted to protest at the main road leading to the village, preventing them from doing so.   [. . . .] Large numbers of Israeli forces surrounded Khan al-Ahmar and sealed off its main entrance, declaring it a closed military zone.   [. . . .] The seal off came as an attempt to prevent hundreds of protesters and journalists from reaching Khan al-Ahmar to show solidarity with the residents of the village after 122 days of being under threat of demolition. . .  as part of an Israeli plan to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim More. . .
. . . . Related   Theresa  May  Condemns  Israel’s  Planned  Demolition  of  Khan  Al-Ahmar  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related   Israel  demolishes  7  structures  in  Jordan  Valley

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THE  UN  ‘SHERIFF’:  NIKKI  HALEY  ELEVATED  ISRAEL,  DAMAGED  US  STANDING
Ramzy Baroud
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has made her post a “more glamorous” position than her predecessors – as President Donald Trump [said] following her resignation announcement.    ___. . . we certainly know that, during her relatively brief stint, Haley has further diminished her country’s struggling reputation, entrenching US isolation in the world’s most vital international political body.    ___In her own words, Haley concluded that her mission at the UN was accomplished, commending herself on three achievements: the US has become more respected; it saved a lot of money and vigorously defended Israel against UN ‘bias.’   [. . . .] Nothing could be further from the truth and Haley, who is suspected of engineering a run for the White House in the future, has no evidence to back up her claim of new-found ‘strength’ and ‘respect’.   ___During his speech before the General Assembly on September 25, Trump’s outrageous claims were not met with thundering applause but humiliating laughter. So much for respect.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

Eyewitness  Palestine  PALESTINE  2.0  DELEGATION  WINTER  2019  For  Returning  Delegates  and  Previous  Travelers
___Co-sponsored by the Hebron Freedom Fund, this delegation is meant for alumni of previous Eyewitness Palestine delegations, as well as other delegation programs.   ___Delve deeper into the issues and spend more time with specific Palestinian communities. Explore the current realities for Palestinians, including the repression of Palestinian strategic organizing, the separation and segregation of the Palestinian population, and creative ways communities are continuing to resist.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“RENOVATION,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

He renovates a tin window
to open it for the morning birds.
And renovates some stars that have burned out
in the streets, and a woman massacred in the neighborhood.
He renovates a memory demolished like a wall,
a bird’s scattered ashes,
light reflected off a blade in the dark,
a woman lost in a spacious bed
and a bellow.
He renovates a friend’s face as the sea breaks over it
and the singer who no longer resembles his songs,
the wind when it sleeps forgetting the immensity of an orbit,
the taste of words in conversation,
the taste of air and fruit
and two legs that have never carried a planet
while destruction prevails.
He renovates a womb, subdues horses
and poems that beg for livelihood in the shade
before slipping into a chicken coop or blowing by
like a steaming train.
He renovates pillars, neighs,
guns covered with moss from waiting.
He renovates a promise, roots, clouds,
and in the end he is slain alone like a lighthouse.

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . a black city despising strangers . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

REACTIONS  TO  TRUMP’S  ANNOUNCEMENT  OF  DECEMBER  6,  2017
❶ UN Security Council called for urgent meeting on Jerusalem
❷ Trump’s move on Jerusalem: Is this the end of US diplomacy in the Middle East?
❸ Trump just ‘pushed the two-state solution over the cliff’
❹ LIVE: Palestinians continue protests against Trump decision
❺ British prime minister says US decision on Jerusalem ‘unhelpful’ for peace
❻ World Council of Churches concerned over US move on Jerusalem

  • Background: “Future Scenarios for the Old City of Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

OF  ANCILLARY  INTEREST 
❶ In article on Jerusalem, New York Times falsifies history of 1948, 1967
❷ Jared Kushner Omitted Leading a Foundation Funding Illegal Israeli Settlements
❸ ICC ‘Made Significant Progress’ in Prosecuting Israel For War Crimes
Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim

  • FURTHER  READING  ON  JERUSALEM  AND  THE  U.S.  (a list of additional recent publications)

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
UN  SECURITY  COUNCIL  CALLED  FOR  URGENT  MEETING  ON  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 6, 2017 ― Eight members of the 15-member United Nations Security Council called for an urgent meeting for the council to discuss US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, according to media reports.
___The two permanent Security Council members, Britain and France, along with Sweden, Italy, Egypt, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Senegal have called for the urgent meeting, which is expected to be held on Friday.     MORE . . .
TRUMP’S  MOVE  ON  JERUSALEM:  IS  THIS  THE  END  OF  US  DIPLOMACY  IN  THE  MIDDLE  EAST?
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 7, 2017 ― Finally, US President Donald Trump pulled the plug.
___The so-called peace process, two-state solution, “land-for-peace formula” and all the other tired clichés have been long dead and decomposing. But Trump’s announcement yesterday to officially recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel has also laid to rest the illusion that the US was ever keen on achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbours.
___What is left to be said by those who have placed the Palestinian national project of liberation on hold for nearly three decades, waiting for the US to fulfill its self-designated role of an “honest peace broker”?
___The Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared a “day of rage” in response to Trump’s announcement. Way to deflect attention from the real crisis at hand: the fact that the PA has miserably failed by leasing the fate of Palestine to Washington, and, by extension to Israel as well.   MORE . . .
TRUMP  JUST  ‘PUSHED  THE  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION  OVER  THE  CLIFF’
Mondoweiss Editors
Dec. 6, 2017 ― Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and getting architects busy on designing the new U.S. embassy represents a special new challenge for supporters of the two-state solution. While Trump gave lip service to such an outcome, his moves are such a rebuke to Palestinians and their Arab neighbors that they have destroyed any credibility the U.S. claimed to have as a broker and made it impossible for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate with the United States– even mainstream analysts said on the cable news networks today.
___The move is meant to “appease” big donors such as Sheldon Adelson as well as evangelical Christians, Marc Ginsberg, a former ambassador to Morocco, said angrily on MSNBC. Trump, he said, “pushed the two state solution over the cliff.” And put “a knife in the back of the Palestinian leadership.”  MORE . . .
LIVE:  PALESTINIANS  CONTINUE  PROTESTS  AGAINST  TRUMP  DECISION
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 7, 2017 ―  Following Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, Palestinians all over the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem carried out protests at contact points, while Israeli Occupation Forces responded with teargas and sound grenades.
___Palestinians took the streets of Bethlehem at the 300 military checkpoint, where hundreds carried out a protest and clashes broke out (VIDEO).   MORE . . .
BRITISH  PRIME  MINISTER  SAYS  US  DECISION  ON  JERUSALEM  ‘UNHELPFUL’  FOR  PEACE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 6, 2017 ― British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement late Wednesday that she views the decision by the United States President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as unhelpful to peacemaking in the region.
___“We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement. We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region. The British Embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it,” May said in a press statement.     MORE . . .
WORLD  COUNCIL  OF  CHURCHES  CONCERNED  OVER  US  MOVE  ON  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 6, 2017 ― World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed grave concern on Wednesday over US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.     ___“Such a step breaks with the longstanding international consensus, and almost seven decades of established American policy, that the status of Jerusalem remains to be settled,” stated Tveit. “It also pre-empts a negotiated resolution of this most difficult issue in any final peace agreement, which must be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians themselves.”     MORE . . .

Nasrallah, Rami.
“FUTURE  SCENARIOS  FOR  THE  OLD  CITY  OF  JERUSALEM.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 49-56.
[. . . .] The current Israeli approach to encroachment and domination of the Old City and its “Holy Basin” surroundings differs from the manner in which they have dealt with East Jerusalem neighborhoods outside the ancient walls. There they sought to consolidate certain neighborhoods and to divide others on demographic grounds in order to capitalize on the Clintonian principle: “Where there are Israelis belongs to Israel; where there are Palestinians belongs to the Palestinians.” In contrast, in the Old City the Israelis have had an unprecedented interest in centralization. They seek to make the ancient center the heart of the Israeli state and the Jewish people. This goal has been positioned by numerous Israeli governments, including the current administration, as beyond compromise. However, in order to move forward from this stalemate and the inherent risks of the worst case scenario, it is necessary to seek new ideas that draw concessions horn both parties. Of the many scenarios reviewed in this chapter, the one that proffers the greatest progress embraces Israeli and Palestinian cooperation and integration under an international regime.   COMPLETE ARTICLE . . .

OF  ANCILLARY  INTEREST
IN  ARTICLE  ON  JERUSALEM,  NEW  YORK  TIMES  FALSIFIES  HISTORY  OF  1948,  1967 
The Electronic Intifada
Michael F. Brown
Dec. 6, 2017 ― A New York Times article published Tuesday about the history of Jerusalem maintains, “It is perhaps fitting that President Trump appears to have chosen this week to announce that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
___The writers, Sewell Chan, Irit Pazner Garshowitz, Mona Boshnaq and Gaia Tripoli, base this outlook on the fact that in “December 1917 – 100 years ago this month – the British general Edmund Allenby seized control of Jerusalem from its Ottoman Turkish defenders.”
___President Donald Trump likely knows little to nothing of this history. He was not thinking about the past century, but about continuing his disruptive track record and enmity toward Muslims.
___The authors then make clear their own tenuous grasp of the region’s history.     ___They write: “The Arabs rejected the partition plan, and a day after Israel proclaimed its independence in 1948, the Arab countries attacked the new state. They were defeated. Amid violence by militias and mobs on both sides, huge numbers of Jews and Arabs were displaced.”     MORE . . .
JARED  KUSHNER  OMITTED  LEADING  A  FOUNDATION  FUNDING  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS 
Palestine Chronicle
Dec. 5 2017 ― Researchers from American Bridge and Newsweek have revealed Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser failed to mention to the Office of Government Ethics, during his March filings, that he was the co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation from 2006 and 2015, which was responsible for funding settlements that were deemed as illegal according to the international law.
___“The first son-in-law has repeatedly amended his financial records since his initial filing in March, along with three separate revisions to his security clearance application. Despite correcting his financial history on multiple occasions, he has yet to include his role as co-director to the family foundation,” Newsweek reported.     MORE . . .
ICC  ‘MADE  SIGNIFICANT  PROGRESS’  IN  PROSECUTING  ISRAEL  FOR  WAR  CRIMES
Palestine Chronicle
Dec. 5 2017 ― The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced that it has “made significant progress in its assessment” to determine “whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation” into war crimes committed by Israel.
___Yesterday’s announcement by the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, means that The Hague office will press ahead with its preliminary examination, which was launched nearly three years ago in January 2015.
___A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation under the principals of the Rome Statute.   MORE . . .

“STORY  OF  A  CITY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
There was a blue city
that dreamt of foreigners wandering
around and spending their money
day after day.

But it became a black city
despising strangers
with their rifles’ muzzles
making the rounds of its cafés …

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  NEW  AND  SELECTED  POEMS.   Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Available from Barnes and Noble
Samih Al-Qasim obituary, August 20, 2014.

ADDITIONAL  READINGS:

Trump Is Making a Huge Mistake on Jerusalem
Dec. 7, 2017
NEW YORK TIMES
Hanan Ashrawi
last straw
Dec. 7, 2017
POPULAR  RESISTANCE  BLOG
Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, Bethlehem University
A View From Israel on Trump’s Dangerous Gambit – with Gordon Levy
Dec. 6, 2017
BACKGROUND BRIEFING
with Ian Masters
Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, Says Final Borders Up to Israel, Palestinians
Dec. 7, 2017
HAARETZ
Noa Landau, Amir Tibon and Reuters
Corpus Separatum?
Dec. 6, 2017
PALESTINE SQUARE by the Institute for Palestine Studies
Mouin Rabbani
Trump’s Error on Jerusalem Is a Disaster for the Arab World… and the US Too
Dec. 6, 2017
PALESTINE SQUARE by the Institute for Palestine Studies
Rashid Khalidi