“. . . my dreams took the night train and I did not know how to say goodbye . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ Geneva Human Rights Centre calls on international community to halt violations in Palestine
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) FM calls on ICC prosecutor to prevent crimes against Palestinian people

  • Background: Statement of the UNRWA Commissioner-General;  PRESS STATEMENT, UNRWA

❷ US backtracks on pledge of $45 million food aid to UNRWA
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Belgium pledges $23m to UNRWA after US aid cut
❸ Abbas’ security coordination challenge
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Al-Quds Int’l: Switching off light at Aqsa Mosque serious violation
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
GENEVA  HUMAN  RIGHTS  CENTRE  CALLS  ON  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  TO  HALT  VIOLATIONS  IN  PALESTINE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 19, 2018 ― The Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Idriss Jazairy appealed to the international community, and in particular the Arab and Muslim community, “to join forces and act in concert in order to halt the violations of Palestinians human rights.”
___Ambassador Jazairy said during a speech at the two-day Al-Azhar conference in Cairo on the situation in Jerusalem, that the international community has a “moral duty” to protect and to uphold the human rights of the Palestinian people in the wake of the decision of the US to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___”Al Quds is a textbook case of multi-faceted and cross-cutting violations of human rights,” said Jazairy.   MORE . . .        RELATED . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴀ)  FM  CALLS  ON  ICC  PROSECUTOR  TO  PREVENT  CRIMES  AGAINST  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates [Riyad al-Malki] called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, to exercise her statutory authority, without delay, to prevent the continuation and perpetuation of crimes against the Palestinian people. On the three-year anniversary of the opening of the preliminary examination in the situation in Palestine, the Minister dispatched a letter to Ms. Bensouda pointing her attention to the recent escalation of violence by Israeli occupation forces in their implementation of unlawful colonial policies and practices in the past month, including the unlawful killing of 16 Palestinians and the injury of approximately 3000 and detention of 720, including 184 children.   MORE . . .  

STATEMENT  OF  THE  UNRWA  COMMISSIONER-GENERAL
PRESS  STATEMENT,  UNRWA

Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner General
January 17, 2018 ― Not for the first time in its proud history, UNRWA faces a formidable challenge in upholding its mandate – an expression of the will of the international community – and preserving key services like education and health care for Palestine Refugees.
___Today, the US government has announced a contribution of $60 M, in support of our efforts to keep our schools open, health clinics running, and emergency food and cash distribution systems functioning for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. While important, this funding is dramatically below past levels. The total US contribution in 2017 was above $350 M.
___Since UNRWA began its operations in May 1950, every US administration – from President Truman onwards – has stood with and provided strong, generous and committed support to our Agency. The US has consistently been UNRWA’s largest single donor, something we sincerely thank the American people for, and countless American decision-makers – presidents, members of Congress, diplomats and civil servants, who embodied the commitment of assisting a vulnerable people through UNRWA.
___Funding UNRWA or any humanitarian agency is the discretion of any sovereign member state of the United Nations. At the same time, given the long, trusted, and historic relationship between the United States and UNRWA, this reduced contribution threatens one of the most successful and innovative human development endeavors in the Middle-East.   COMPLETE STATEMENT: Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza.

US  BACKTRACKS  ON  PLEDGE  OF  $45  MILLION  FOOD  AID  TO  UNRWA          The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 19, 2018 ― The US State Department on Thursday announced that Washington will not provide $45 million in food aid which it pledged last month for Palestinian refugees.
[. . . .] Spokeswoman for the US State Department, Heather Nauert, said in statements, “At this time we will not be providing that, but this does not mean that it will not be provided in the future.”
___Nauert claimed that the withholding of the funds was not intended to punish Palestinians who strongly criticized the US president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.
___”Other countries are required to do more,” she said, adding that the US does not have to be the chief donor to every organization around the world.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  BELGIUM  PLEDGES  $23M  TO  UNRWA  AFTER  US  AID  CUT
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Belgium has pledged to donate 19m euro ($23m) to UNRWA, the UN’s aid organisation for Palestinian refugees, after the US government announced it would slash its funding to the agency by half.
___Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in a statement on Wednesday that Brussels would allocate the funds over three years.
___The first annual payment is being disbursed immediately “considering the financial difficulties that UNRWA currently faces”, the statement said.      MORE . . .  
ABBAS’  SECURITY  COORDINATION  CHALLENGE
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
By Daoud Kuttab
Jan.18, 2018 ― In a fiery two-hour speech at the start of the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) meeting Jan. 14, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not once raise the issue of ending security coordination with Israel. Abbas did, however, mention, several times, the futility of continuing with the Oslo process . . . Despite this omission, however, the PCC resolved the matter in the final statement.
___This was not the first time the Palestinians have resolved to end the security arrangement, a step often demanded by Hamas and other opposition groups. In March 2015 . . .
[. . . .] An online survey by the leading Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds on the eve of the PCC session, revealed that an overwhelming 94% of Palestinians want the PCC to withdraw recognition of Israel and end security coordination . . .   Palestinian leaders are concerned that fully implementing the recommendation would mean the end of the Palestinian government . . .
[. . . .] Israel is unlikely to sit idly by if the recommendation were implemented. Its tolerance for the existence of the Palestinian government, with its security apparatus, is contingent on the Palestinians adhering to the minimum level of security coordination.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❸ ―  (ᴀ)  AL-QUDS  INT’L:  SWITCHING  OFF  LIGHT  AT  AQSA  MOSQUE  SERIOUS  VIOLATION
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)     Jan. 18, 2018 ― Al-Quds International Institution (QII) condemned on Wednesday Israeli attempts to cut power feeding the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
___“Switching off the light of the Dome of the Rock is an aggression against Muslims and their holy sites,” a statement by QII read.
___QII warned of Israeli attempts to control and obstruct reconstruction and maintenance works at al-Aqsa Mosque.
___QII’s director Yassin Hamoud said the fact that the Israeli authorities obstructed the entry of materials needed to fix power cuts at al-Aqsa is “a translation of Trump’s biased move into action.”   MORE . . . 

“I  HAVE  NO  PROBLEM,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
I look at myself:
I have no problem.
I look all right
and, to some girls,
my grey hair might even be attractive;
my eyeglasses are well made,
my body temperature is precisely thirty seven,
my shirt is ironed and my shoes do not hurt.
I have no problem.
My hands are not cuffed,
my tongue has not been silenced yet,
I have not, so far, been sentenced
and I have not been fired from my work;
I am allowed to visit my relatives in jail,
I’m allowed to visit some of their graves in some countries.

I have no problem.
I am not shocked that my friend
has grown a horn on his head.
I like his cleverness in hiding the obvious tail
under his clothes, I like his calm paws.
He might kill me, but I shall forgive him
for he is my friend;
he can hurt me every now and then.

I have no problem.
The smile of the TV anchor
does not make me ill any more
and I’ve got used to the Khaki stopping my colours
night and day.
That is why
I keep my identification papers on me, even at
the swimming pool.
I have no problem.
Yesterday, my dreams took the night train
and I did not know how to say goodbye to them.
I heard the train had crashed
in a barren valley
(only the driver survived).
I thanked God, and took it easy
for I have small nightmares
that I hope will develop into great dreams.

I have no problem.
I look at myself, from the day I was born till now.
In my despair I remember
that there is life after death;
there is life after death
and I have no problem.
But I ask:
Oh my God,
is there life before death?
――Translated by Radwa Ashour
From poem hunter.com
Interview with Mourid Barghouti 

“. . . our eyes full of dust That never clears in our ceaseless wandering . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

❶ OCHA says reduction in humanitarian aid to UN refugee agency worrying
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Fatah: U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) American Arab group condemns US cut in aid to UN agency
❷ After Jenin raid, Israeli army leaves behind devastation, both physical and psychological

  • Opinion:  “In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence.” The Palestine Chronicle.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli court indefinitely extends detention of Ahed Tamimi and her mother
❸ Israeli army considering taking control of Palestinian areas in Jerusalem
❹ PLO calls on EU to take effective political steps to salvage peace
❺ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  OCHA  SAYS  REDUCTION  IN  HUMANITARIAN  AID  TO  UN  REFUGEE  AGENCY  WORRYING
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The significant reduction in funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in recent years, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the oPt said on Wednesday.
___The United States announced this week that it has cut $65 million of its $125 million January installment to UNRWA . . .
___“I am deeply concerned about the significant reduction in funding for UNRWA, which is critical to the provision of humanitarian assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory. Some 2.5 million Palestinians in this area, or about half of the population, need humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million Palestine refugees, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the oPt,” Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Roberto Valent, said in a statement.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴀ) FATAH:  U.S.  ACTION  WILL  RESTRICT  THE  WORK  OF  UNRWA     Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  [. . . .] It is important to note that the U.S. contribution to UNRWA represents neither support nor assistance to the Palestinian National Authority . . .  It is to an agency of the United . . . .
___A statement by the Palestine National Liberation movement (Fatah) in a press release said that this U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA and threaten severe deprivation putting Palestinian refugees at even more serious risk.
[. . . .]  “We believe that the methods of extortion and pressure of the U.S. Administration on the United Nations, especially with regard to programs that do not suit Israel and rightwing extremists, are unacceptable to the international community and UN member states.”   MORE . . . 
 .  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴃ)  AMERICAN  ARAB  GROUP  CONDEMNS  US  CUT  IN  AID  TO  UN  AGENCY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemned on Wednesday the US cut of $65 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides education and healthcare to millions of Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
___“This abrupt cut in funding has created an existential crisis for UNRWA,” said ADC in a statement.
___At stake is the education of more than 525,000 students, primary health care for millions, and the provision of emergency relief, including food assistance to one million refugees in Gaza.    MORE . . . 
❷ AFTER  JENIN  RAID,  ISRAELI  ARMY  LEAVES  BEHIND  DEVASTATION,  BOTH  PHYSICAL  AND  PSYCHOLOGICAL 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
By Mohammad Najim
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  At about 11:00 pm (Jerusalem time) on a cold Wednesday night, Palestinian residents of Wad Burqin neighborhood in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, were awakened at the sound of gunfire. It was soon clear that a large Israeli military force has surrounded a number of Jarrar family buildings and opened heavy gunfire at the houses to force a member identified as Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, 26, to come out.     [. . . .] Army units used loudspeakers to call on the family to leave their house, and soon after Ahmad Nasr’s mother, her younger son, Mohammad, and her daughter were out in the cold the army asked them to remove their coats.
[. . . .]  She said the soldiers then asked her daughter to get back to the house and to open all of the windows and doors before their bulldozers approached the house and started to demolish it together with the house of her elder son, Sohaib . . . .   the residents were shocked to find out that three buildings for the Jarrar family had been demolished and a fourth was badly damaged.
___The Palestinian Ministry of . . . . identified the dead person as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, a cousin of Ahmad Nasr Jarrar.     MORE . . . 

OPINION:    IN  WORDS  AND  DEEDS:  THE  GENESIS  OF  ISRAELI  VIOLENCE 
The Palestine Chronicle
By Ramzy Baroud
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.
___Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.
[. . . .] Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed [Tamini] and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.
[. . . .] This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.
___Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett . . . are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.
___This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’
[. . . .] Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years [. . . .] Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.
[. . . .]  Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.
[. . . .] So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.     MORE . . .    ..

.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  COURT  INDEFINITELY  EXTENDS  DETENTION  OF  AHED  TAMIMI  AND  HER  MOTHER  
Ma’an News Agency   
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  An Israeli military court on Wednesday ordered 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed al-Tamimi to remain in custody indefinitely, until she faces trial for a number of charges relating to a video of her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier.
___The teenager was arrested on December 19, days after the video of her confrontation with the soldiers — who were raiding her hometown of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank, and had shot her 14-year-old cousin in the face moments before the video was filmed — went viral on social media.
[. . . .]  During the hearing, the judge reportedly said that they could not grant the teenager bail because she was “too dangerous.”
___The court also ruled to indefinitely extend the detention of Ahed’s mother, Nariman, who was detained a day after her daughter. Nariman is being charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the video.     MORE . . .  
❸ ISRAELI  ARMY  CONSIDERING  TAKING  CONTROL  OF  PALESTINIAN  AREAS  IN  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Israeli military forces are considering taking control over Shu’fat refugee camp and Kafr Aqab areas, according to information obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz.
___Whilst the proposed  plan is still unknown, army officials said the decision has been motivated by an increase in unrest and violence in East Jerusalem.     ___The two areas are currently under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality but are physically cut off from the city [by] the separation wall.     MORE . . .  
❹ PLO  CALLS  ON  EU  TO  TAKE  EFFECTIVE  POLITICAL  STEPS  TO  SALVAGE  PEACE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat Thursday called on the European Union to take effective political steps to save peace in the region.
___This came during a meeting with representatives of the EU countries at the PLO’s headquarters in Ramallah . . . .
___He called on the EU to protect the principles and the human rights’ system that it has built over the years, by translating and embodying its firm position on the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of a recognized State of Palestine.
___Erekat reiterated the PLO’s position that the United States’ has lost eligibility to play the role of peace broker after its illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel . .  MORE . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring, in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

About  Jabra Ibrahim Jabra      Related
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.

“. . . For it is the function of history To follow our dictates . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ PCHR: New attempts by Israel to legitimize killing of Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel’s attorney general says new laws will consider West Bank

  • Background: “International Law and the Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Palestinians kidnapped, homes ransacked in predawn sweep by IOF
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Detainees narrate how they were tortured during interrogation in Israeli centers
❸ Gov’t to supply Gaza with electricity following bank guarantee
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Gaza: Health Sector may collapse due to shortage of medicines
❹ Hanan Ashrawi to Trump: ‘We will not be blackmailed’
❺ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PCHR:  NEW  ATTEMPTS  BY  ISRAEL  TO  LEGITIMIZE  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIANS 
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Israeli Knesset is set to vote on Wednesday to amend the Penal Code in order to legalize the use of death penalty against those involved in murders while carrying out “terrorist operations”.
___The bill was presented before the Knesset on 30 October 2017 by three Israeli extremist parliamentarians: Robert Eltov, Oded Forer and Yuli Leminovsky.
___The bill stipulates that “the Minister of Defense orders the commander of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the division to give orders to: 1- the Military Court in the division to have the power to sentence death penalty without requiring the consensus of the Military Court, but only the ordinary majority; 2- No other court in the division has the right to commute a final death sentence issued by the military court in the division.”    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAEL’S  ATTORNEY  GENERAL  SAYS  NEW  LAWS  WILL  CONSIDER  WEST  BANK
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Israel’s Attorney General on Monday issued a decision stating that all new laws from now on will include the West Bank settlements.
[. . . .] Bennett stressed that they will no longer approve the passage of any law unless it is applied to the West Bank settlers.
___For her turn, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked hailed the decision and said that the Israelis living in the West Bank are not “second class citizens” and that she will work to develop new measures to make sure that the new legislations will be applied to them too.   MORE . . . 

Weiss, Peter.
“INTERNATIONAL  LAW  AND  THE  OCCUPIED  TERRITORIES.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL JOURNAL OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS & CULTURE, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 96-101.
[. . . .] There is virtually unanimous international agreement that Israel’s presence in the West Bank constitutes an occupation within the meaning of Section III of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilian persons in times of war. The United States, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all upheld the agreement. A number of important consequences flow from this fact:
* The settlements are illegal because, under Article 49, “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”;
* Under Article 3, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” are prohibited, as well as violence to life and person, in particular murder and torture”;
* Under Article 5, persons suspected of activity hostile to the occupying power shall be treated with humanity;
* Under Article 13, the provisions of the convention are to be applied “without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion or political opinion”;
* Under Article 16, the wounded, sick, infirm and expectant mothers “shall be the object of particular protection and respect”;
* Under Article 31, No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from their parties”;
* Article 32 prohibits the commission of murder, torture and corporal punishment against protected persons, as well as “any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents”;
* Under Article 33, “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or terrorism are prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”
[. . . .] It requires no evidentiary brief to demonstrate that these and similar provisions are, by the current occupying power, more honored in the breach than in the observance.
[. . . .] There are, of course, many principles of international law beyond those derived from the law of war. To take only one example: The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, to which Israel is a party, contains provisions dealing with, inter alia, the rights of self-determination, the right to work, an adequate standard of living and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Similar legal obligations flow from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, while not a treaty, is widely regarded as another source of basic rights applicable in occupied territories, as well as in the territory of the occupier.     SOURCE . . . 

PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED,  HOMES  RANSACKED  IN  PREDAWN  SWEEP  BY  IOF
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Wednesday in abduction sweeps launched across the West Bank and Jerusalem.
___Clashes burst out in Jenin’s southern town of Qabatiya shortly after the IOF stormed the area and ransacked civilian homes.
___The occupation forces showered residential neighborhoods with spates of bullet fire and teargas grenades, resulting in injuries.    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  DETAINEES  NARRATE  HOW  THEY  WERE  TORTURED  DURING  INTERROGATION  IN  ISRAELI  CENTERS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Omar Zuhour, from Beit Kahil village near Hebron, WAS ONLY 14 YEARS OLD when he was detained by Israeli soldiers who hit him on the head and knees with their bullet case, kicked him all over his body . . .
___This testimony from Zuhour was given to the Prisoners’ Commission and was distributed on Wednesday in a statement on the torture of Palestinians in Israeli detention and interrogation centers.  MORE . . . 
❸ GOV’T  TO  SUPPLY  GAZA  WITH  ELECTRICITY  FOLLOWING  BANK  GUARANTEE
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― After receiving a bank guarantee from the electricity distribution company in the Gaza Strip, the Ramallah-based consensus government decided to supply the besieged enclave with its power needs.
___An informed source told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) on Tuesday that the government took such decision after the distribution company provided it with a bank guarantee worth 10 million dollars.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  GAZA:  HEALTH  SECTOR  MAY  COLLAPSE  DUE  TO  SHORTAGE  OF  MEDICINES 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said it’s deeply concerned over the severe lack of medicines and medical consumables in the Gaza Strip Hospitals, warning that conditions of the Gaza Strip patients would deteriorate due to the shortage of medicine and periodic medications, which are not available in the Gaza healthcare facilities.
___PCHR called upon the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to guarantee the free and secure flow of all consignments of medicines and needed medical supplies for the health facilities in the Gaza Strip.    MORE . . .  
❹ HANAN  ASHRAWI  TO  TRUMP:  ‘WE  WILL  NOT  BE  BLACKMAILED’   
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 3, 2018 ― A senior Palestinian official has responded with defiance to Donald Trump’s threat via Twitter to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority.
___Hanan Ashrawi’s rebuke followed the US president’s tweet admitting that the Middle East peace process was in difficulty and warning Palestinians that they could lose US aid worth more than $300m a year.
___”We will not be blackmailed,” Ashrawi said in a statement on Wednesday.
___”President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!” MORE . . . 

“THE  FIRE  OF  THE  MAGI,  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I take my time!
I take my time!
I draw the first thread of light
From the deep darkness of night;
I tend the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of loved ones
With a kerchief of jasmine.
I plant the most verdant oases
Amidst the scorched sands,
And shape a life for the outlaws
From fragrance, plenty, and justice.
If someday, on the road, my foot should stumble,
My roots will uphold and support me.

I take my time
For I am unlike the match
That flickers once, then dies.
I am more like the fire of the magi, burning bright
From my cradle to my grave.
And from my forebears to my offspring.
My endurance is as limitless as the horizon,
And the skill of the ant I’ve mastered.

I take my time,
For it is the function of history
To follow our dictates.
We have prepared for the downfall of the giants of the earth,
We will pay them back in kind;
We will give them enough rope, not that they may live longer,
But that they might have enough to hang themselves.

About Tawfiq Zayyad.
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.

“. . . Isn’t it my simple duty to redeem my country? . . .” (‘Abd Al-Raheem Mahmoud)

❶ 4 killed in Gaza after “Day of Rage” against Trump’s Jerusalem announcement
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli Soldiers Injured Many Palestinians In Bethlehem

  • Background: “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Policy.

❷ Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 Nov. – 06 Dec. 2017)
❸ PLO thanks Security Council members for rejecting US decision on Jerusalem
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) UN fund releases $2.2 million to alleviate urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza Strip
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Is Jerusalem forcing a new direction for the Palestinian struggle?
❺ POETRY by ‘Abd Al-Raheem Mahmoud (1913-1948)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
4  KILLED  IN  GAZA  AFTER  “DAY  OF  RAGE”  AGAINST  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  ANNOUNCEMENT  
Ma’an News Agency     Dec. 9, 2017 ― As of the predawn hours on Saturday morning, four Palestinians had been declared dead in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian medical sources.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health released a statement saying that between Friday afternoon — when large clashes erupted along the border areas with Israel — and early Saturday morning — when Israeli airstrikes targeted alleged Hamas military posts — two Palestinian civilians, and two fighters had been killed.  MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  INJURED  MANY  PALESTINIANS  IN  BETHLEHEM 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC      Dec. 9, 2017 ― Israeli soldiers attacked, Saturday, dozens of Palestinians, who marched near the northern entrance of Bethlehem city, in the occupied West Bank, wounding dozens, including a journalist.
___The soldiers attacked the Palestinians, who marched from the center of Bethlehem city, and headed towards its northern entrance, before the soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated steel bullet, at them, and many surrounding homes and buildings.   MORE . . .

Slater, Jerome. “TERRORISM  AND  THE  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  CONFLICT.”
MIDDLE EAST POLICY,
vol. 22, no. 3, Fall2015, pp. 79-99.
[. . . .] …contrary to the standard mythology, especially in Israel, Israeli terrorism has been significantly worse than that of the Palestinians. A refutation of this mythology is important for a number of reasons. First, of course, ascertaining historical truth is important for its own sake. Second, the truth might make Israelis . . .  less intransigent in seeking a compromise settlement of their conflict with the Palestinians. In particular, the truth should make it clear that Israel has neither the moral legitimacy nor the national interest to refuse to negotiate . . .  Third, because the Israeli mythology is also widely accepted in the United States, the truth might . . .  lead the American Jewish community (of which I am a part) to rethink its views and . . . make it politically feasible for the U.S. government to end its nearly unconditional support of Israeli policies. . .  Finally, a refutation of the mythology should serve the principles not only of truth but also of justice . . .
[. . . .]   The argument is strong that, in light of centuries of murderous European anti-Semitism, in general, and the Holocaust, in particular, the establishment of a Jewish state was justifiable. On the other hand, the Zionist argument that such a state had to be in Palestine . . .  was far less persuasive . . .  the argument has been made . . . that the moral wrongs of Zionist and Israeli terrorism and ethnic cleansing during the 1947-49 period were at least mitigated by the need to establish a viable state with a large Jewish majority. It was a just purpose, the argument holds, although an unjust means.
___Even if one accepts that argument (a strong one, in my view), however, no such mitigation is available for Israeli terrorism since the end of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, during which Israel took over the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Not only have the continuing Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians and their institutions been unjust, so have their essential purposes: to maintain the occupation and prevent the Palestinians from reaching their just goal of an independent state.
___Such is the power of Israeli mythology that . . .  strong critics of those attacks typically argued that “of course, Israel has the right to defend itself” . . .   Such criticisms are far too weak. Aggressor states have no “right of self-defense” when it is their criminality that has provoked violent resistance — and this holds true if their response is aimed only at military targets and is somehow “proportionate.”    FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (29  NOV.  – 06 DEC. 2017)      
Palestinian Center For Human Rights   Dec. 7, 2017 ― Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) (29 November – 06 December 2017):
A Civilian was killed by Israeli settlers in Qasrah village, southeast of Nablus.
A child Succumbed to his wounds he sustained in the 2014 Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.
6 civilians, including a child, were wounded in protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.         MORE . . .
❸ PLO  THANKS  SECURITY  COUNCIL  MEMBERS  FOR  REJECTING  US  DECISION  ON  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     Dec. 9, 2017 ― PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi thanked on Saturday the 14 members of the United Nations Security Council who spoke on Friday against the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
___“We express our appreciation to all United Nations Security Council members who have taken a position of courage and principle and have rejected and condemned the irresponsible decision of the US Administration to unilaterally and illegally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy there,” said Ashrawi in a statement.
___“This reinforces the global assessment that the US Administration has undermined the chances of peace, forfeited its position as an honest broker and has become complicit in Israel’s crime of illegally annexing Jerusalem. “   MORE . . .        RELATED . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸ ―  (ᴀ)  UN  FUND  RELEASES  $2.2  MILLION  TO  ALLEVIATE  URGENT  HUMANITARIAN  NEEDS  IN  GAZA  STRIP 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     Dec. 9, 2017 ― The United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, released on Friday $2.2 million from the occupied Palestinian territory Humanitarian Fund (oPt HF) to cover urgent additional needs in the Gaza Strip in the areas of health and food security, according to a press release.
___The allocation comes in the context of an overall deterioration in conditions in the Gaza Strip in 2017 following the worsening of the electricity crisis that has left Gaza’s nearly two million, already suffering from 10 years of Israeli blockade and internal Palestinian divisions, with an average of only four to six hours of electricity per day, severely disrupting daily life and the provision of basic services.   MORE . . .
❹ Opinion/Analysis: IS  JERUSALEM  FORCING  A  NEW  DIRECTION  FOR  THE  PALESTINIAN  STRUGGLE?  
+972 Magazine.     By Samer Badawi.      Dec. 8, 2017 ― ‘This is the least expensive occupation in history,’ says one Palestinian resident. What he wants in return are equal rights in a democratic state. Could this be the future of the Palestinian national movement?
___When I first met Osama Essawi in the summer of 2014, Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” had claimed its 500th Palestinian child, displaced a quarter of Gaza’s population, and sparked demonstrations across the globe. I asked Essawi then why he thought Jerusalem had erupted in protest while the West Bank — with one notable exception — remained largely quiet.
___ “Easy,” he said. “We don’t have a Palestinian Authority to stop us.”
___On Thursday, one day after Donald Trump dubbed his city Israel’s capital, Essawi spoke with me from his home in Jerusalem. When I asked him what the mood was, the 33-year-old Palestinian went silent. Minutes later, he sent me a voice message, apologizing. The Israelis had clashed with a group of protesters, he said, and “there was commotion in the village.”
___The village is Issawiyeh. Like their name, Osama’s family is rooted here. Their home, where three generations now live, faces Mount Scopus to the south, the Jewish-only settlement of French Hill to the north, and, to the east, the Israeli-defined boundary of Jerusalem, which separates the city from the West Bank.   MORE . . .

“CALL  OF  THE  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
The slain motherland called for our struggle
and my heart leapt with joy.
I raced the winds, but did not boast.
Isn’t it my simple duty to redeem my country?
I carried my soul in my hands asking
any who feared death: do you hesitate
before the enemy?
Would you sit still when your country begs for your help?
Would you back away from facing the enemy?
If so, then go hide in your mother’s bedroom!
May your hesitation humiliate you!
The motherland needs mighty defenders
who meet aggression
but never complain;
true lions on the battlefield.

People of my country, our days of sacrifice have arrived;
they shine, radiant, across the hills of this holy land.
Redeemed by our young men too proud
to endure oppression,
what can we do but fight bravely
when the fire’s kindled?
March on, to the field! Pour fire
on the heads of the enemy everywhere.
Nothing’s humbler that a people who shun the fight
when their country calls for it.

Neighbors, brethren, arise from your sleep!
How can you sleep through this oppression?
Never stop even if the sky should grow dark.
Never retreat even if the sandstorms flare up behind you!
Don’t give up even if the world should face you
with weapons from every direction
unite, unite everywhere!
If Palestine should be lost while you still live,
I’ll say: our people have
abandoned the path.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye
From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.
Abd Al-Raheem Mahmoud

“. . . 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

“. . . Resist the colonialist’s onslaught . . .” (Dareen Tatour)

❶ Israeli bulldozers demolish structures northeast occupied Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ‘It took them 10 minutes to destroy what I built in a lifetime’

  • Background: “The Geopolitics of Neighbourhood: Jerusalem’s Colonial Space Revisited.” Geopolitics.

❷ Saudi Arabia warns of ‘serious implications’ should US recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Turkey to cut ties with Israel if Jerusalem is recognized as capital of Israel
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) IAF [Jordan] rejects US intent to relocate embassy to Occupied Jerusalem
❸ Israeli forces storm Palestinian cities and arrest 10 Palestinians
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) How Israel is digitally policing Palestinian minds
❹ POETRY by Dareen Tatour

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES  NORTHEAST  OCCUPIED  JERUSALEM 
The Palestinian Information Center
December 5, 2017 ― Israeli heavy bulldozers razed on Tuesday morning a number of Palestinian facilities under construction in Shufat refugee camp northeast of Occupied Jerusalem at the pretext of lacking construction permit.
___The spokesman of Fatah Movement in Shufat refugee camp, Thaer Fasfous, said that Israeli forces, in large numbers and escorted by four bulldozers, raided the refugee camp in the early morning, besieged an under-construction building and started knocking it down, according to Quds Press.  MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ‘IT  TOOK  THEM  10  MINUTES  TO  DESTROY  WHAT  I  BUILT  IN  A  LIFETIME’   
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
December 4, 2017 ― The path to the Rajbi family home in East Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood, or what was their home until two weeks ago, is difficult to find, even with the help of navigation apps such as Waze. After driving off the main road, the half-paved alleyways blend into one another in a maze of dirt tracks. Three of them bear the exact same name. After a few attempts to find the house, Samir, brother of Issam Rajbi whose former home we are looking for, comes to our rescue. In East Jerusalem, this is not an especially effective milestone; the dirt mounds and remains of demolished homes are pile up on the way, every few hundred meters.   MORE . . .

Yacobi, Haim and Wendy Pullan.
“THE  GEOPOLITICS  OF  NEIGHBOURHOOD:  JERUSALEM’S  COLONIAL  SPACE  REVISITED.”
Geopolitics, vol. 19, no. 3, Jul-Sep2014, pp. 514-539.
[. . . .] . . . significant spatial turning point in Israel’s geopolitical conditions started after June 1967 when Israel occupied East Jerusalem . . .  the Israeli government unilaterally annexed all of East Jerusalem, expanded the municipal boundaries on Palestinian territory, and applied Israeli law to all of the city . . .  beyond Israeli rhetoric representing Jerusalem as a unified city, the planning policies have contributed to the paradigm of a colonial city. Both state and city pursue . . .  Judaisation: the expansion of Jewish political, territorial, demographic, and economic control to all parts of the city. This has been explicitly manifested by Israeli leaders, including David Ben Gurion, whose revealing words were uttered a few days after the end of the 1967 war:

“Jews should be brought to East Jerusalem at any cost. Thousands of
Jews should settle soon. Jews will agree to settle in East Jerusalem,
even in shacks. We should not wait for the construction of proper
neighbourhoods. The most important thing is that there will be there Jews.”

Israel has used its military might and economic power to relocate borders and boundaries, grant and deny rights and resources, shift populations, and reshape the occupied territories for the purpose of ensuring Jewish control. In the case of East Jerusalem, two complementary strategies have been implemented by Israel; the massive construction of an outer ring of Jewish neighbourhoods . . .  and the containment of Palestinian development, implemented through housing demolition, the limited issuing of building permits. . .  and the prevention of immigration to the city. . . .  Palestinians have become isolated in their own neighbourhoods, cut off from each other as well as from Israelis.
[. . . .] Ideally, the urban sphere, in its density and diversity, could serve as a space that is “open to flows of people”. Such a liberal perspective relies heavily on the belief that the city has the potential for the production of an “enabling space” that might disrupt the existing hierarchies and boundaries of ethnic and class structures. Yet . . .  such a view is only partial in the context of Jerusalem, which is divided not only along the Jewish/Arab partition but also according to other ethnic divisions that stem from the nature of the Israeli settler society . . . .    SOURCE . . .

SAUDI  ARABIA  WARNS  OF  ‘SERIOUS  IMPLICATIONS’  SHOULD  US  RECOGNIZE  JERUSALEM  AS  ISRAEL’S  CAPITAL   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
December 5, 2017 – Saudi Foreign Ministry Tuesday warned of serious implications should the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to the Saudi Press Agency, WAS.
___It quoted an official source at the Foreign Ministry expressing Saudi Arabia’s “grave and deep concern” over media reports that US President Donald Trump plans to make such recognition and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
___The source added that Saudi Arabia “views the US step, if taken, to be in contradiction of the principle of not affecting final status negotiations, and contradicts international resolutions that emphasize the historical and firm rights of the Palestinian people regarding Jerusalem, which cannot be changed, nor can an attempt to impose a new reality upon it be made.”     MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  TURKEY  TO  CUT  TIES  WITH  ISRAEL  IF  JERUSALEM  IS  RECOGNIZED  AS  CAPITAL  OF  ISRAEL  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
December 5, 2017 ― Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Tuesday to cut ties with Tel Aviv if the US administration recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Erdogan said in a press statement that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will hold a meeting in Istanbul to mobilize the Islamic world through important activities in case US President Donald Trump proceeds with this step.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  IAF  [Jordan]  REJECTS  US  INTENT  TO  RELOCATE  EMBASSY  TO  OCCUPIED  JERUSALEM 
The Palestinian Information Center 
December 5, 2017 ― Jordan’s Islamic Action Front (IAF) party has voiced its rejection of the US intent to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem and called on the Jordanian government to intervene to prevent such a step.    MORE . . .
❸  ISRAELI  FORCES  STORM  PALESTINIAN  CITIES  AND  ARRESTS  10  PALESTINIANS  
Palestine News Network – PNN
December 5, 2017 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested 10 Palestinians from different West Bank areas at dawn and last night.
___According to local sources in Hebron, the occupation forces arrested a 22 years old Palestinian during an incursion of Deir Samt town west of Hebron.
___Israeli forces stormed five houses in Badras town, west of Ramallah. They also searched the village of Bani Zeid.  Israeli forces stormed a cafe in Beit Jala terrorizing people inside.         MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ― ❸ (ᴀ)  HOW  ISRAEL  IS  DIGITALLY  POLICING  PALESTINIAN  MINDS
Al Jazeera English  
Dalia Hatuqa
December 5, 2017 ― In recent years, Israeli authorities have been arresting and holding hundreds of Palestinians it accuses of fanning the flames of violence in the occupied West Bank and Israel.
___This incitement, they say, comes in various forms: Facebook posts, media articles, even songs and poetry – and in recent months, all have landed their authors in jail.
[. . . .] This heightened digital policing has left one Palestinian citizen of Israel embroiled in a legal fiasco. Dareen Tatour, a 36-year-old poet, spent three months in jail and remains – more than two years in – under house arrest over a poem she posted on Facebook in 2015 about Palestinian resistance.      MORE . . .   ..    RELATED . . .

THE  POEM  FOR  WHICH  DAREEN  TATOUR  WAS  ARRESTED
Resist, My People, Resist Them
Resist, my people, resist them.
In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows
And carried the soul in my palm
For an Arab Palestine.
I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”
Never lower my flags
Until I evict them from my land.
I cast them aside for a coming time.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist the settler’s robbery
And follow the caravan of martyrs.
Shred the disgraceful constitution
Which imposed degradation and humiliation
And deterred us from restoring justice.
They burned blameless children;
As for Hadil, they sniped her in public,
Killed her in broad daylight.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.
Pay no mind to his agents among us
Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.
Do not fear doubtful tongues;
The truth in your heart is stronger,
As long as you resist in a land
That has lived through raids and victory
So Ali called from his grave:
Resist, my rebellious people.
Write me as prose on the agarwood;
My remains have you as a response.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist, my people, resist them.

― You can follow Dareen Tatour’s case on Facebook

“. . . and the hell you trust does not exclude making shrines . . .” (Yousef El-Qedra)

shifa-hospital
Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza (Photo: BBC)

❶ Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian in Gaza Strip, injure 8 others
❷ Help ‘We Are Not Numbers’ break the isolation of Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ICRC: Still no news on Palestinians missing since 2014 Gaza war

  • Background: “The Vicious Cycle of Building and Destroying: The 2014 War on Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics

❸ Mushtaha: Gaza’s Hospitals Lack 30% of Laboratory Materials
❹ POETRY by Yousef El-Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  KILL  PALESTINIAN  IN  GAZA  STRIP,  INJURE  8  OTHERS      
Ma’an News Agency
June 9, 2017      Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian and injured at least six others in the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday after clashes broke out near the border between northern Gaza and Israel, while Israeli forces also injured two more Palestinians with live ammunition during clashes in central Gaza.
___Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians to the east of Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, when Israeli forces killed Aed Khamis Jumaa, 35, after shooting him in the head with live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___Six other Palestinians were also injured with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces and were rushed to Gaza’s Indonesian hospital to receive medical care, the ministry added.    MORE . . .

1593714504
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (Photo: Haaretz/AP)

❷ HELP  ‘WE  ARE  NOT  NUMBERS’  BREAK  THE  ISOLATION  OF  GAZA
Mondoweiss
Pam Bailey
June 5, 2017    Today is the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of what now is called the Palestinian territories. This shameful milestone is being marked with a plethora of pundit commentary about Trump’s potential role, the continuing division among the Palestinian leadership and—in the background—the ever-expanding Israeli settlements. But in addition to almost no mention of Gaza, there are two basic, alarming truths that are missing: 1) Despite the defiant face they typically show the world, a collective depression is becoming so pervasive in Gaza that the spirit of resistance is struggling to survive, and 2) it’s not war and the threat of it that should bring us out onto the streets but the daily structural violence.            MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ICRC:  STILL  NO  NEWS  ON  PALESTINIANS  MISSING  SINCE  2014  GAZA  WAR
Ma’an News Agency 
June 10, 2017    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not received any answers from Israel regarding Palestinians who have been missing since the Israeli offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014, a Gaza-based spokeswoman for the group said on Saturday.
___The 51-day offensive in 2014 left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead, including at least 1,462 civilians, a third of whom were children, according to the United Nations. Human rights groups reported that numerous Palestinians went missing during the war. Some were later found, either alive or dead, although the fate of 19 others has remained unknown.
___Spokesperson for the ICRC in Gaza Suhair Zakkout said in a statement that the ICRC had made efforts since 2014 to try and find the location of the missing Palestinians; however, the organization has not received any responses from Israel.        MORE . . .  

Bouris, Dimitris. “The Vicious Cycle of Building and Destroying: The 2014 War on Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics, vol. 20, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 111-117.
[. . . .] While Palestinians in the West Bank were given some hope that building their institutions would lead to the establishment of a state, the same was not the case with the Palestinians living under Hamas’ rule in Gaza. Since 2008 Gaza has witnessed three wars; Operation Cast Lead (December 2008–January 2009), Operation Pillar of Defence (November 2012) and more recently Operation Protective Edge (July–August 2014). The reasons and proclaimed goals of all three wars were the same: on the one hand Israel wanted to ‘teach Hamas a lesson’ and to stop rocket fire into its territory. On the other hand, Hamas was seeking to achieve through violence what it could not obtain through negotiations – namely the lifting of Gaza’s blockade. The mistakes made by the international community were also the same: (a) exclusion of Hamas and local groups from the reconstruction process; (b) money and pledges for the reconstruction were channelled through the PA and an unelected government in the West Bank without any strong control and transparency mechanisms (due to the absence of a functioning PLC); (c) pouring vast amounts of money, hoping that by this they would cover their inability to stop the war before it started; (d) no meaningful pressure on Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza or willingness to hold Israel accountable for its destruction.      SOURCE . . .

❸ MUSHTAHA:  GAZA’S  HOSPITALS  LACK  30%  OF  LABORATORY  MATERIALS
The Palestine Chronicle
June 9, 2017      Director of the Department of Laboratories and Blood Banks in the General Administration of Gaza hospitals, Amid Mushtaha, said the Gaza hospitals suffer from a shortage of laboratory testing materials up to 30%, a percentage that is likely to increase.
___Mushtaha explained, “The large hospitals in particular suffer from a lack of sodium blood tests, which are conducted only for urgent cases in the vital sections such as intensive care, burns, surgeries, and nurseries.”
___He added that the crisis affected all laboratories and blood banks in hospitals . . .      MORE . . .

“ON  THE  MARGIN  OF  A  WHIRLWIND,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL-QEDRA    
(January 29, 2009**)
Resurrection is crawling . . .
The beginning is all about horses of cloud
circling God’s sky over Gaza City.
These clouds descend on the ancient shores of the people
while a woman of a volcano erupts
in song on the waterline of the lazy blue beach.
Windmills of butterflies are making the whole world
dance to the dream lost behind dieletric walls.
The wind embraces twilight on an igniting sea.
My cytoplasms formed from blood and misbegotten
human beings are arrayed on a rose-colored glass plate.
She alone holds the book of love and combs the trees’ hair.
Anxiety is sailing on the margin of a whirlwind
leading to a window inside the book.
The topic is war . . .

Resurrection is rising to its feet . . .
Horses of fire and steel kneaded the flesh of a youngster
fleeing Gaza.
His terrified brother stole his broken arm and planted it
under a tree,
whose tears bewail the destruction. This tree as the boy understands it
is a dedicated guard, whereas the cemetery is far away
and the hell you trust does not exclude making shrines.

Resurrection is scaling the ladders of dissonance,
enters the room of a young woman to burn an album;
the woman was hiding smiles for her children
who would emerge from hope and a love story
never completed.
For fire broke out inside her lover’s heart.
And he could not defeat two fires, so he surrendered to oblivion.
Except that he told how the fire coming from her window
merged with the fire coming from his balcony
where he was waiting for her.
—Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin
(** The Gaza War, also known as Operation Cast Lead, also known as the Gaza Massacre was a three-week armed conflict between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel that began on December 27, 2008 and ended on January 18, 2009.)
About Yousef el-Qedra 
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.

“. . . The metallic eagles swept down . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

2186061_orig
Israeli forces, June 5, 1967 (Photo: No Right To Leave: The Struggle to Free Soviet Jewry)

❶ Knesset calls for permanent annexation on 50th anniversary of the occupation

  • Background: Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Tracking the trends of the Palestinian cause since 1967: Looking forward
❸ Palestinian presidency: Israel ‘destroying any chance of resuming peace process’
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ KNESSET  CALLS  FOR  PERMANENT  ANNEXATION  ON  50TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  OCCUPATION   
Ma’an News Agency
June 7, 2017     A number of far-right Israeli parliamentarians called for the permanent annexation of the occupied Palestinian territory during a Knesset plenary session on Tuesday to mark the 50-year anniversary of the Six-Day War.
[. . . .] Since 1967, Israel has stood accused of committing major violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including excessive and deadly use of violence; forced displacement; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; unjustified restrictions on movement; and the expansion of illegal settlements.
___“Fifty years on, and there are those who say the (1967) victory only complicated things for us; that the ‘occupation’ corrupts our society,” Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said . . . .   MORE. . .

Klug, Tony. A “NEVER-ENDING  OCCUPATION:  THE  END  OF  HOPE?” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 88-95.    [. . . .]  Adding to the despair is the anxiety that, in these times, the likely alternative to an indefinite occupation would appear to be annexation of all or part of the West Bank, an action that would not only be completely illegal under international law but would be politically explosive. It was for these reasons that the Israeli defense minister and war hero, General Moshe Dayan, reportedly retracted a proposal shortly after the 1967 war to extend Israeli law to the Occupied Territories.
[. . . .]  Israel’s immediate challenge on inheriting the West Bank was to quell any insurgency and restore order. Secondly, it had designs on chunks of the territory, including but not limited to East Jerusalem, which it promptly annexed along with an extensive hinterland.
[. . . .]___Many years later, following extensive changes on the ground, the pragmatic view among both Palestinians and Israelis is no longer wedded to two states alongside each other. Ominously, there is a common growing illusion that a deal based on reciprocal recognition is no longer necessary. Indeed, there are indications that both sides are reverting to the ingrained attitudes of an earlier era when each summarily rejected the national imperative of the other.
[. . . .] Sooner or later, Israel will have to face its moment of truth: Is it or is it not an occupation? If it maintains that its rule in the West Bank is not an occupation, Israel denies itself the only solid defense it has against the intensifying charge of apartheid. If it accepts it is an occupation, then it is way beyond time to bring it to an end. Sheltering behind a fictional peace process, after 20 years of hollow talks, is no longer a credible option even for the most resolute devotees of direct negotiations.    MORE . . .   

❷ TRACKING  THE  TRENDS  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  SINCE  1967:  LOOKING  FORWARD   
Ma’an News Agency
Nadia Hijab, Mouin Rabbani
June 7, 2017 (Part 1, Looking Back, June 5, 2017)    In some respects the situation today has come full circle since 1967. The broadly unified Palestinian national movement that predominated from the 1960s to the 1990s has disintegrated, perhaps terminally so. It is today split between Fatah and Hamas, with the latter, along with Islamic Jihad, as yet excluded from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), while splits within Fatah and the PLO are rife [. . . .]
___As for Israel, 1967 transformed it from a regional state into a regional power. It is eager to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states, using Iran as the bogeyman to nurture that relationship. In turn, it wants to use that alliance to impose a deal on the Palestinians that would effectively perpetuate Israeli domination, achieving a final peace treaty whereby it would keep security control throughout the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), maintain its settlements, and continue to colonize. MORE. . .  

IDF leadership enters Jerusalem, 1967
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin, Gen. Rehavam Zeevi, And Gen. Narkis in the old city of Jerusalem, June 7 1967 (Photo by Ilan Bruner, GPO)

❸ PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENCY:  ISRAEL  ‘DESTROYING  ANY  CHANCE  OF  RESUMING  PEACE  PROCESS’  
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
June 8, 2017        Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh accusing the Israeli government on Wednesday of “destroying any chance of resuming the peace process,” after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to “protect the settlement enterprise” on Tuesday.
___”No one will be uprooted from their home, I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise,” Netanyahu reportedly said, reassuring his extremist settler support base that the settlements would continue in “all parts of Judea and Samaria (West Bank)” and that Israel had continued to build “both inside and outside the settlements.”
___Netanyahu’s remarks were made in a speech given during a ceremony on Tuesday held to commemorate the 50th year of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.
___These statements “prove to the international community once again that Israel still lays obstacles and destroys any chance of resuming the peace process,” Abu Rudeineh said, adding that Netanyahu’s remarks directly challenged US President Donald Trump’s efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.        MORE . . .

“PSALMS  OF  THE  PALESTINIANS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
From here
From this purgatory
Of sorrow
In the Holy Land
The orphaned birds beseech
Mankind
From here
From Jeneen
From Old Jerusalem
Alleluia

Once
A Gaza tune of yearning
Played
Once
The sad refrain
Kindled tragedy
In refugee tents
Once
In Jerusalem
The little ones chanted
We shall return
We shall return
Alleluia

The birds nest on our roof
The sparrow flies
In the horizon
And in exile
Under the hot sun
In the wind
Hearts―eyes
Implored:
God of glory
Return us
Our trial
Has gone on too long!
Alleluia―Alleluia

And then it happened
The metallic eagles swept down
They did not bring the sons of Zion
To Zion
Not the remaining crowds
They did not bring
Pious psalms
To the wailing wall
God of Glory!
What did they bring?
Do not ask me
For in my voice a pagan flame
Burns
And listen O God of Glory
Listen to the outcry of a dispossessed people
We have been tested long enough
We have carried the weight of centuries
Long enough
―Why aren’t you convinced?
Our days of trial have been too long
So
Return us―Return us
Alleluia―Alleluia―Alleluia.

About Sami Al-Qasim
From 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

“. . . and grant you an Arab passport that has no return visa . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

IMG_3413
Fifty years of occupation. Apartheid Wall near Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)

❶ Half a century of occupation threatens our international legal order
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Marking 50 years of Israeli occupation, campaign launched to expose injustice

BACKGROUND: 50 Years of Occupation: Ongoing Colonial Economic Domination

❷ Palestinian leadership still left guessing on Trump’s vision for the peace process
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) About the Promised “Regional Solution”
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Trump’s visit to Israel: How Palestine disappeared from US media coverage
❸ POETRY by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ HALF  A  CENTURY  OF  OCCUPATION  THREATENS  OUR  INTERNATIONAL  LEGAL  ORDER     
+972 Blog
Gerard Horton
June 4, 2017         Israel’s policy . . .   undermines the credibility of our legal order established in the aftermath of World War II. This could have dangerous implications for the rule of law beyond the region.
On June 7, 50 years ago, Israeli military forces occupied the West Bank and imposed martial law over the Palestinian population living in the territory. . . .
___Once martial law was established, Major General Haim Herzog, the military commander in the West Bank at the time, started issuing military orders regulating the lives of Palestinians living in the territory. Fifty years on there are almost 1,800 orders. . . .
___At the same time as martial law was imposed the military authorities also established military courts to prosecute any infractions. As with the imposition of martial law . . . .       MORE . . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  MARKING  50  YEARS  OF  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION,  CAMPAIGN  LAUNCHED  TO  EXPOSE  INJUSTICE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
June 3, 2017
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, the Palestinian Task Force on Public Diplomacy launched Saturday a grass roots social media campaign in English and Arabic under the title:  #Occupationis  or الاحتلال_هو#.
___“The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the occupation and its injustices by presenting the human face of the Palestinian people and a series of narratives encapsulating the impact of the occupation on individual lives, and at the same time celebrating the Palestinian spirit of endurance and resilience,” according to a press release.   MORE . . . .       ON TWITTER . . . .

BACKGROUND:  50  Years  of  Occupation:  Ongoing  Colonial  Economic  Domination      
This Week In Palestine  
Nur Arafeh
June, 2017
This article examines the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) following the 1967 occupation within the analytical framework of settler-colonialism. Indeed, the occupation was only a continuation of the Zionist settler-colonial project. Israel’s control over the OPT has been colonial because it involves a foreign entity that is seeking to appropriate the land of the indigenous population and establish a new colonial society. It has also been based on the disarticulation of the OPT economy, making it heavily dependent on the Israeli economy and thus preventing Palestinian independence and sovereignty.
___What are the structural mechanisms of Israeli colonial control and how has the relationship between the Israeli economy and the OPT economy changed over the years?       MORE . . . .

❷ PALESTINIAN  LEADERSHIP  STILL  LEFT  GUESSING  ON  TRUMP’S  VISION  FOR  THE  PEACE  PROCESS 
Ma’an News Agency
June 4, 2017
The United States government has remained elusive regarding “the vision” of US President Donald Trump for Israel and Palestine, the re-launching of peace negotiations, and ending the 50-year Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, leaving Palestinian leadership guessing, according to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Wassil Abu Yousif.
___Abu Yousif told Ma’an on Satruday that Trump “hasn’t suggested any clarifications or solutions” regarding his vision of a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, noting that Palestinian leadership is still waiting for details of “the ultimate deal” that Trump has boasted of in the past.     MORE . . . .  
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ABOUT  THE  PROMISED  “REGIONAL  SOLUTION”
Al-Hourriah (Freedom)
Moatasem Hamada — Translated by Manal Mansour
May 23, 2017
In the next few hours, we will arrive at a very important political station, which is the visit of US President Trump to Riyadh.
___The agenda of the visit is unusual. It will not be limited to an American meeting with the leadership of the Saudi Arabia. Besides this meeting, there will be an American-Gulf summit, and an Arab-American summit . . .   and perhaps an Arab- American regional summit . . .
___In these summits several files will be discussed, one of them the US cooperation with Saudi Arabia, and with the Gulf cooperation Council (GCC), which will raise the issue of relations with Iran, as well as the issues of «terrorism», which will raise the issue of Hezbollah, and the most important, is that one of these meetings will discuss the Arab-Israeli «peace deal», that Trump has confirmed his intention to accomplish . . .  if we go back to the reports that were circulated in the US Congress; Iran is “the first state that sponsors the terrorism in the world.” The meaning of this regional cooperation against terrorism is therefore largely understood.
___But the important question that remains for us, without underestimating the other questions:   Why reaching to an Arab-Israeli deal in a “regional solution” paves the way for an Israeli-Palestinian solution.       MORE . . .

trump and liberace polar bear
Trump and Liberace, 1984 (Photo found on econospeak.blogspot.com, Oct. 16, 2016)

. . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) TRUMP’S  VISIT  TO  ISRAEL:  HOW  PALESTINE  DISAPPEARED  FROM  US  MEDIA  COVERAGE 
Ma’an News Agency
Ramzy Baroud
May 29, 2017
As if he has, overnight, been transformed into a master politician, Donald Trump’s 27-hour trip to Israel has left many analysts mystified.
___Quoting former Israeli political adviser Mitchell Barack The New York Times referred to Trump as the “Liberace of world leaders,” in reference to flamboyant piano player Wladziu Valantino Liberace. The latter, known as “Mr. Showmanship,” was, at times, the highest paid entertainer in the world and his successful career lasted over four decades.
___New York Magazine Online quoted former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro too, trying to decipher the supposedly complicated persona of Trump.
___”Either Trump’s visit was substance-free — or he ‘is being uncharacteristically subtle’ in planting the seeds for new round of peace negotiations,” NYmag quoted and paraphrased Shapiro’s tweets.       MORE . . . .

“AN  INVITATION  FOR  THE  FIFTH  OF  JUNE,” BY  NIZAR  QABBANI
-(on the fifth anniversary of the Arab defeat in June 1967)
You come back for the fifth year,
barefoot, a burlap sack slung on your back,
the sadness of the heavens mapped on your face –
so, too, the pain of Job,
and we’ll greet you at every airport
with bouquets, and drink your health with copious wine.
We’ll sing and recite insincere poems in your presence,
and you’ll get used to us
and we to you.

We ask you to vacation here in summer,
like all tourists,
and we’ll designate you the royal suite
prepared especially for you.
You may enjoy the night . . .  and the neon lights,
the rock and roll, the porno and the jazz –
here we know only felicity,
and in my country you’ll find what pleases,
furnished flats for lovers,
abundance of liquor,
and a harem for the caliph.

Why are you so curtailed in flight?
My sad-faced guest,
we have streams and grass and beautiful girls,
so why your diffidence?
We’ll help you forget Palestine,
and pluck the tear-tree from your eyes
and from the Qur’an erase the verses,
the “Compassionate,” and the “Conquest,”
and we’ll assassinate Jesus Christ
and grant you an Arab passport
that has no return visa.

Fifth year
sixth
seventh
eighth
ninth
tenth year
what do the years amount to?
All our grand cities, from the Euphrates to the Nile,
are now lost to memory.
We’ve forgotten the men who disappeared in the desert
and those who died are extinguished.
What do the years count for?
We’ve prepared the funeral wreaths and the scarves
and composed the orations,
and carved, a week before your arrival,
the marble of the tombstones.
O  East that feeds on the paper of communiques
and trails like a lamb behind posters
O East that writes the name of its fallen
on the faces of mirrors
on the waists of belly dancers –
what do the years count for?
What ever do they amount to?
――Trans. By Sharif Elmusa and Jeremy Reed.
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.
About Nizar Qabanni

“. . . the cement has diverted/ The ancient springs . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

EU HEADS
Visit of EU Heads of Cooperation, May 25, 2017 (Photo: EU and Palestinians‏ @EUpalestinians, Twitter)

[Israeli Education Minister Naftali] Bennett vows to press Netanyahu for more West Bank construction
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A Palestinian’s first-class seat next to Naftali Bennett
❷ Rights group demands Israel cancel tenders opened in illegal West Bank settlements
❸ Netanyahu: Temple Mount will forever remain under Israel’s control
❹ EU Heads of Cooperation visit Area C projects in Jordan Valley
❺ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
[ISRAELI EDUCATION MINISTER NAFTALI] BENNETT  VOWS  TO  PRESS  NETANYAHU  FOR  MORE  WEST  BANK  CONSTRUCTION    
The Times of Israel
Stuart Winer
May 24, 2017
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday that he would urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to approve more construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank so that Israel can consolidate its hold on the land.
___Bennett, the leader of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, told Army Radio that Israel should take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Trump administration, which, he claimed, recognized the Jewish claim to the West Bank. . . .
[. . . .] Noting that during his visit Trump did not mention the two-state solution, which has been the accepted formula of previous US administrations, Bennett asserted that “[Trump] also understood that achieving peace won’t necessarily be achieved by establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of [Israel].”      MORE . . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  A  PALESTINIAN’S  FIRST-CLASS  SEAT  NEXT  TO  NAFTALI  BENNETT   
+972 Blog  
Jamil Dakwar
May 25, 2017
Jamil Dakwar is a human rights lawyer and adjunct lecturer at John Jay College, New York.
A free airline upgrade left him sitting next to one of the Israeli government’s most right-wing nationalists — who went on to make some revealing comments about Trump, the peace process and his colleagues in the Knesset.
. . . .  [Dakwar’s comment] For far too long, Palestinian rights have been sacrificed in the name of maintaining Jewish supremacy in access to Israeli political power, land, natural resources, and economic prosperity. As long as Palestinians are denied justice and equality, and until their basic human rights are part of the equation, there will be little chance of reaching any “ultimate deal.” The best that Trump and Netanyahu can hope for is a short-term security and business deal to preserve the status quo, including the role of the Palestinian Authority as security sub-contractor.    MORE. . . .
❷ RIGHTS  GROUP  DEMANDS  ISRAEL  CANCEL  TENDERS  OPENED  IN  ILLEGAL  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS 
Ma’an News Agency     
May 26, 2017
Israeli authorities have been offering land tenders inside Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, in the occupied West Bank, according to Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
___According to Adalah, during 2016 and 2017 the Israel Land Authority (ILA) opened tenders offering “state lands” for available plots in at least seven West Bank settlements. . . .
___Adalah sent a letter to senior Israeli officials on Tuesday, demanding that the open tenders be canceled, as “the Israeli agency responsible for issuing these tenders has no legal authority in the 1967 Occupied Territories”. . . .        MORE . . .

settlement
Houses are seen atop a hill in the Israeli settlement of Givat Ze’ev, Feb. 8, 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

❸ NETANYAHU:  TEMPLE  MOUNT  WILL  FOREVER  REMAIN  UNDER  ISRAEL’S  CONTROL
The Times of Israel 
Marissa Newman
May 24, 2017
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog went head-to-head in the Knesset on Wednesday over Jerusalem, with the premier saying Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state and its capital in any borders is the root of the conflict, and pledging that the city, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty. . . .
___During a plenum session marking the passage of 50 years since the Six Day War and the reunification of the city’s western and eastern halves, Netanyahu pointed to the US president’s visit to the Western Wall as having “destroyed UNESCO’s propaganda and lies,” referring to a series of resolutions by the UN cultural body that ignored Jewish ties to the city and Israeli sovereignty.        MORE . . .
❹ EU  HEADS  OF  COOPERATION  VISIT  AREA  C  PROJECTS  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 26, 2017
European Union (EU) Heads of Cooperation in Jerusalem and Ramallah visited Thursday different localities and projects in Area C in the Jordan Valley, the Office of the EU Representative said in a press release.
___The Norwegian Head of Cooperation also joined the visit. The group was briefed on various humanitarian and developmental projects funded by the EU and its Member States supporting the Palestinian communities in the area.
___According to the press release, the EU Heads of Cooperation were briefed . . .  on the challenges facing the Jordan Valley area.
___The briefing focused on the obstacles that are blocking a sustainable social and economic development of the Palestinian communities in the area.       MORE. . . .  

“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.