“. . . the stars Like refugees scattered . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

(NOTE: A group of articles about the Partitioning of Palestine prompted by yesterday’s UNGA votes.)

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Palestinian Refugee Camp, c. 1948. (Photo: Institute for Palestine Studies, Journal of Palestine Studies)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  UNGA  VOTES  AGAINST  ANTI-HAMAS  RESOLUTION
The United Nations General Assembly failed to pass an anti-Hamas resolution, on Thursday, serving a crushing defeat to both the United States and Israel after weeks of diplomacy.     ___While the draft resolution, which was proposed by outgoing UN envoy, Nikki Haley, received 87 votes in favor, it fell short of the two-thirds super-majority needed to pass.     ___Additionally, 57 opposed it and 33 countries abstained and another 23 were not present.    ___Israeli leaders still praised the outcome as a “show of wide support” for their position against the Hamas movement.     More . . .
|   UN  VOTES  IN  FAVOR  OF  RESOLUTION  TO  END  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  OF  PALESTINE 
The UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution calling to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, current President of the UN General Assembly Maria Espinosa said in a statement.    ___The Comprehensive, Just and Lasting Peace in the Middle East resolution sponsored by Ireland urges to end the occupation of Palestinian territories by the state of Israel and reaffirms its support for the two-state solution.    More . . .   UN Press Release

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  THE  MYTH  OF  THE  U.N.  CREATION  OF  ISRAEL
By Jeremy R. Hammond
There is a widely accepted belief that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 “created” Israel, based upon an understanding that this resolution partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority or legitimacy to the declaration of the existence of the state of Israel. However, despite its popularity, this belief has no basis in fact, as a review of the resolution’s history and examination of legal principles demonstrates incontrovertibly.   More . . .
|   70  YEARS  LATER,  ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  IGNORE  WHAT  IT  DOESN’T  LIKE  IN  PARTITION  RESOLUTION   
By Ian Williams
IT IS NOW 70 years since the U.N. General Assembly voted for Resolution 181 to partition Palestine between an Arab and a Jewish state. . .    The partition of Mandatory Palestine and dispossession of its people are the original sins of the world organization when it collectively overrode the very principles it had just written into its charter.    ___The Arab side understandably boycotted the U.N.’s Special Committee on Palestine. After all, they were being invited to help map out the cuts for their own vivisection and did not agree with the process. . .   and the Palestinian absence allowed the Zionist side to shape the agenda and the details for the committee members—who, minutes show, were already predisposed to see the Jewish refugees and settlers in a very sympathetic light.    More . . .
|  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY’S  ROLE  IN  ISRAELI  HISTORY 
by Hillel Schenker
The fact that after over 20 years of fruitless negotiations the Palestinians have chosen an internationalization strategy to try to achieve national independence is considered by the current Israeli government and its supporters to be illegitimate “unilateral action” that bypasses the need for bilateral negotiations with Israel to resolve the conflict. What those opponents of internationalization are conveniently forgetting is the major role that internationalization has played in Israeli history.     More . . .
| THE  UNITED  NATIONS  AND  PALESTINE:  PARTITION  AND  ITS  AFTERMATH
By Phyllis Bennis  
[. . . .] The bi-polar U.S.-Soviet agreement on the partition of Palestine, and parallel efforts by Washington and Moscow to establish and maintain close ties with the nascent Israeli state, insured that neither the UN nor any other international institution was likely to respond to the Israeli capture of far more of 1947 Palestine than it was granted in Resolution 181. The partition agreement was ostensibly to include the creation of a Palestinian Arab state as well as a special international regime for Jerusalem under the UN Trusteeship Council. But those conditions were never met. Establishing UNRWA to alleviate some of the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians expelled from their homes was the primary response.    More . . .
|  THE  ORIGINS  AND  EVOLUTION  OF  THE  PALESTINE  PROBLEM  1917-1988 – Prepared for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – UNITED NATIONS, New York, 1990

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“TENT  #50  (SONG  OF  A  REFUGEE),”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
Tent #50, on the left, is my new world,
Shared with me by my memories:
Memories as verdant as the eyes of spring.
Memories like the eyes of a woman weeping,
And memories the color of milk and love!

Two doors has my tent, two doors like two wounds
One leads to the other tents, wrinkle-browed
Like clouds no longer able to weep;
And the second ― a rent in the ceiling, leading
To the skies,
Revealing the stars
Like refugees scattered,
And like them, naked.

Also the moon is trudging there
Downcast and weary as the UNRWA,
Yellow as if it were the UNRWA
Under a load of yellow cheese for the refugees.

Tent #50, on the left, that is my present.
But it is too cramped to contain a future!
And ― “Forget!” they say, but how can I?

Teach the night to forget to bring
Dreams showing me my village
And teach the wind to forget to carry to me
The aroma of apricots in my fields!
And teach the sky, too, to forget to rain.

Only then, I may forget my country.

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 abebooks.com

 

“. . . the international community decided to intervene negatively, and thus began the tragedy of Palestine . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

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The UN passing Resolution 181, Nov. 29, 1947 (Stock photo online)

❶ . Ashrawi: Partition is a historical concession, and solidarity should be an active engagement
❷ . Egyptian power line malfunctions, parts of southern Gaza left without electricity

  • Background:  “The Energy Poverty Nexus In The Middle East And North Africa.” OPEC Energy Review

❸ . Israeli forces enter southern Gaza Strip, level lands
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ASHRAWI:  PARTITION  IS  A  HISTORICAL  CONCESSION,  AND  SOLIDARITY  SHOULD  BE  AN  ACTIVE  ENGAGEMENT  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
Nov. 29, 2016
In marking on Tuesday the 69th anniversary of the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (the Partition Plan)  and the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “This anniversary marks an occasion in which the international community decided to intervene negatively, and thus began the tragedy of Palestine.”
___She said in a statement that “[a]lthough the Partition Resolution itself gives the international community the right and power to take action against any party that is responsible for attempts that constitute ‘any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression’ and alter ‘by force the settlement envisaged by [the] resolution,’ it has repeatedly failed to do so or to hold Israel to account.”       More . . .  
Related:  Jeremy R. Hammond. “The Myth of the Creation of Israel.” Foreign Policy Journal. Oct. 26, 2010.

❷ . EGYPTIAN  POWER  LINE  MALFUNCTIONS,  PARTS  OF  SOUTHERN  GAZA  LEFT  WITHOUT  ELECTRICITY     
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 29, 2016
Parts of the southern Gaza Strip were left without electricity on Tuesday morning, after a main Egyptian line feeding southern Gaza malfunctioned hours after it was reported as fixed.
___Spokesman for the Gaza Electricity Company Muhammad Thabet confirmed to Ma’an that an Egyptian electricity line known as ‘Gaza 2’ malfunctioned on Tuesday morning, causing outages across the southern besieged coastal enclave.
___He pointed out that the line was fixed on Monday evening after it, along with an Israeli power line, had been damaged on Wednesday.
[. . . .]  Even at full capacity, Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza’s sole power plant, fail to cover the Gaza Strip’s energy needs and only provide energy to Gaza’s inhabitants for eight hours each day.        More . . .

  • El-Katiri, Laura. “The Energy Poverty Nexus In The Middle East And North Africa.” OPEC Energy Review 38.3 (2014): 296-322.     SOURCE.

In part of the [Middle East and North Africa], the persistence of energy poverty does not stem from a lack of government attention, underinvestment, geographical factors or low incomes. Rather, it is driven by socio-political instability, whether short-term or ongoing. Little is known about the scope and duration of conflict-driven energy poverty, especially in the case of conflicts that result in years of instability and a lack of effective domestic institutions. The consequences must nevertheless be seen as severe for local populations, adding to socioeconomic neglect that in turn perpetuates and feeds into social conflict. The Arab–Israeli conflict is a case in point. The conflict caused hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees to settle in the Gaza strip and camps in Jordan and Lebanon, where many of them ended up spending decades in provisional housing, often with little if any access to electricity and sewage. There are no available data on electricity service rates in the West Bank and Gaza, but official Israeli reports estimated operating rates at the Gaza Strip’s sole power station’s 20 per cent of capacity at end of 2012, suggesting significant undersupply of Gazan households (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012***).
***Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012. The humanitarian situation in Gaza. 18 November 2012.

(A journal article justifying Israel’s economic and humanitarian treatment of Gaza.)
Meisels, Tamar. “Economic Warfare – The Case Of Gaza.” Journal Of Military Ethics 10.2 (2011): 94-109.

❸ . ISRAELI  FORCES  ENTER  SOUTHERN  GAZA  STRIP,  LEVEL  LANDS
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 29, 2016
Israeli military vehicles escorted several bulldozers into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, where they leveled Palestinian agricultural fields.     ___Witnesses told Ma’an that five military bulldozers escorted by military vehicles crossed the border fence in the eastern outskirts of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, “and carried out earthworks near the border fence.”        More . . . 

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The Egyptian power plant that provides electricity to parts of the southern Gaza, Jan. 29, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)