“. . . but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain . . .” (Samih al -Qasim)

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A Meme from FaceBook. Perhaps it should read “recognizes Tel Aviv as the capital of the United States.”

❶ PPS: 490 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since Trump decision on Jerusalem

  • Background: “A Letter from the Editors: The Longest Occupation.” Against the Current

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain cousin of Ahed Tamimi, extend detention of Ahed and her mother
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians injured as Israeli army suppresses rallies against US decision on Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Palestinian teen remains in a coma after being shot in head by Israeli forces
❷ President Abbas meets Saudi King Salman in Riyadh
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) UNGA to vote on withdrawing US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinian delegations holding talks in Russia and China on future of peace process
❸ POETRY by Samih al -Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PPS:  490  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  SINCE  TRUMP  DECISION  ON  JERUSALEM 
Ma’an News Agency    
Dec. 20, 2017 ―Israeli forces detained at least 28 Palestinians overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to official Palestinian and Israeli sources.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) . . .   said that as of Tuesday, the total number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since the beginning of the protests that followed US President Donald Trump’s’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was 490, including 148 minors and 11 women.  MORE . . . 

“A  LETTER  FROM  THE  EDITORS:  THE  LONGEST  OCCUPATION.” 
AGAINST THE CURRENT, vol. 32, no. 189, Jul/Aug2017, pp. 2-44.
DONALD TRUMP’S SPEECH to the regional potentates and dictators assembled for the occasion in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was generally acclaimed as eminently presidential, and rightly so. That is to say, it was firmly in the tradition of U.S. presidential addresses on Middle East policy: utterly cynical, dripping with deceit, and above all, irreversibly tied to the United States’ leading role as the chief arms merchant to some of the world’s most brutal regimes.
___Unlike some of his predecessors, of course, Trump paid no lip service to human rights or democracy, both of which he despises — as do his Saudi royal hosts, who understood perfectly that the way to treat him is with limitless pomp and flattery . . .
[. . . .] Trump’s performance in Riyadh . . .  was in some ways as breathtaking as it was presidential. He assured the assembled rulers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain etc. that “we are not here to lecture you,” and declaimed the absence of democracy — in Iran. In fact, Iran just held an election. The population didn’t get to choose the candidates. . .  But given the choices presented to them, Iranians voted overwhelmingly for the “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani who promised openness and social relaxation.
[. . . .] Whatever happens to Trump’s presidency won’t be decided by his antics in Riyadh, Jerusalem or Brussels. It will end if, and at whatever point, he becomes a liability rather than an enabler of the savage rightwing Republican political agenda. But it’s important that the resistance to the Trump regime — which has only intensified after his withdrawal from the international climate agreement — take up the issues of war in the Middle East, Palestine in particular.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  COUSIN  OF  AHED  TAMIMI,  EXTEND  DETENTION  OF  AHED  AND  HER  MOTHER 
Ma’an News Agency   
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained the cousin of Palestinian teenage actvist Ahed al-Tamimi during predawn raids on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank.
___Locals in the central West Bank village of Nabi Saleh told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained 21-year-old Nour Naji al-Tamimi, the cousin of 17-year-old Ahed al-Tamimi who was detained . . . after a video went viral of her slapping an armed Israeli officer during a raid on Nabi Saleh.
___Nour, who appeared in the video next to Ahed as the two attempted to push the soldiers out of their property, was reportedly arrested for reasons relating to the video.
___Ahed’s mother, Nariman, was also detained on Tuesday . . .  According to Arabic media, both Ahed and Nariman’s detentions were extended.  MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  AS  ISRAELI  ARMY  SUPPRESSES  RALLIES  AGAINST  US  DECISION  ON  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Israeli forces responded with force on Wednesday shooting live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse thousands of Palestinians who rallied across the West Bank districts of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarm and Bethlehem against the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital causing dozens of suffocation cases and at least one injury from live bullet.
___The Palestinian national and Islamic forces called for mass rallies in all the Palestinian cities after which participants would march to contact points with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴄ)  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  REMAINS  IN  A  COMA  AFTER  BEING  SHOT  IN  HEAD  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Fourteen-year-old Muhammad Fadel al-Tamimi remains in a medically-induced coma as of Tuesday, days after he was hot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet by Israeli forces.
___The Palestinian teenager, a resident of the central occupied West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, was injured during clashes in his village on Friday.    MORE . . . 
❷  PRESIDENT  ABBAS  MEETS  SAUDI  KING  SALMAN  IN  RIYADH 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 20, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas met in Riyadh on Wednesday with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and briefed him on the latest developments and efforts to protect Jerusalem from the dangers facing it following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel earlier this month.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  UNGA  TO  VOTE  ON  WITHDRAWING  US  RECOGNITION  OF  JERUSALEM  AS  ISRAELI  CAPITAL 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 20, 2017 ―Palestine’s Permanent Observer at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said the United Nations General Assembly is going to vote on Thursday on a draft resolution that calls for withdrawing the United States’ recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Voice of Palestine radio reported Wednesday.
___He told the Voice of Palestine radio that the UN General Assembly will hold a session named “United for Peace” on Thursday to vote on the draft resolution which asks the US to back down on its recent decision on Jerusalem, after the US vetoed a similar UN Security Council resolution last Monday.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIAN  DELEGATIONS  HOLDING  TALKS  IN  RUSSIA  AND  CHINA  ON  FUTURE  OF  PEACE  PROCESS  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Two official Palestinian delegations are in Russia and China to discuss the future of the peace process, PLO Executive Committee member Saleh Rafat said on Wednesday.
___He told the official Voice of Palestine radio that the visit by the two Palestinian delegations is part of efforts to garner support for the Palestinian position that strongly opposes the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
___He said Moscow had confirmed its support for the Palestinian position and would stand by Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly when it meets on Thursday with a goal to denounce the US decision.   MORE . . . 

“A  SPEECH  IN  THE  UNEMPLOYMENT  MARKET,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
If you like, I will forfeit my wages
and put up my clothes and bed for sale.
I’ll work as a stonecutter, porter or street-sweeper,
and search for grain in the dung of cattle
and languish, naked and hungry
but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

Though you steal the last foot of my land
and feed my youth to the prison,
seize my grandfather’s inheritance
of furnishings, dishes and pots,
burn my poems and books,
throw my flesh to the dogs
and dwell as a dream of horror over my village
with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

You may smother my flame in the night,
withhold my mother’s kiss
and let children curse my kinfolk.
You may slip past the guardian of my sorrows
and settle my history between a coward and a senseless god.
You may deny my children holiday clothes
and fool my friends with a borrowed face,
hedge me around with all your walls
and sacrifice my days on some humble spot
but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

Enemy of the sun,
in the port there is feasting, a flood of good tidings,
shrills and shouts and a cry of joy;
heroic anthems burst from every throat!
On the horizon, a boat
challenges the wind and boundless sea, and passes out of danger.
It is Ulysses’ return
from the lost seas―
the return of the sun, and of the exiled―
and by her eyes,
and by his eyes,
I swear I will not bargain!

I will resist.
― (1967)

An interview with Samih Al-Qasim.
From WHEN THE WORDS BURN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY: 1945-1987. Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.

“. . . The crowd has scattered and the guests are gone . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

❶ FM Malki says ‘United for Peace’ will be invoked at UN General Assembly
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Abbas signs 22 int’l treaties to boost legal status of Palestine
❷ Nablus: Qusra village sees no end to settler violence
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israel settler who killed Palestinian farmer acted in ‘self-defense’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israel army exonerates itself over killing of Palestinian wheelchair-user

  • Background: “Freedom of Expression and Social Media in Palestine.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❸ Video: Israeli forces detain 17-year-old Palestinian girl in overnight raid
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces arrest Palestinian mother hours after detaining her teenage daughter
❹ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
FM  MALKI  SAYS  ‘UNITED  FOR  PEACE’  WILL  BE  INVOKED  AT  UN  GENERAL  ASSEMBLY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Foreign and Expatriates Minister Riyad Malki said on Tuesday that Palestine is going to call for an extraordinary session for the United Nations General Assembly under the term “United for Peace” to transfer the powers of the Security Council to the General Assembly in order to vote on the same draft resolution that the United States has vetoed the night.
___Malki said in an interview with Voice of Palestine radio that the General Assembly is going to meet on Tuesday to vote on a draft resolution affirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
___He said he expects that most of the member states are going to vote in favor of this resolution, which will constitute a slap in the face of the US and a strong response to its use of veto power to kill the Arab-sponsored draft resolution on Jerusalem.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ABBAS  SIGNS  22  INT’L  TREATIES  TO  BOOST  LEGAL  STATUS  OF  PALESTINE 
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 18, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday signed 22 agreements and international treaties that are believed to strengthen the legal status of the State of Palestine on a global scale.
___These important agreements would make the State of Palestine a key partner in discussing and addressing the fundamental issues facing the whole world, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.   MORE . . .
❷  NABLUS:  QUSRA  VILLAGE  SEES  NO  END  TO  SETTLER  VIOLENCE   
Al Jazeera English 
by Farah Najjar & Shatha Hammad
Dec. 19, 2017 ― The killing of a Palestinian farmer by Israeli settlers in a northern West Bank village last month has left his family in mourning, while fighting an ongoing legal battle to save their home, which is slated for demolition.
___Mahmoud al-Zaal’s eight-member family live in Qusra, a village encircled by illegal settlements and outposts south of the city of Nablus.
___An Israeli settler from a nearby outpost shot Zaal, 48, while he was ploughing his farmland. “He saw them approaching and when they began to pester him, he called out for me,” Awad, Zaal’s son, told Al Jazeera.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAEL  SETTLER  WHO  KILLED  PALESTINIAN  FARMER  ACTED  IN  ‘SELF-DEFENSE’    
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Israeli military prosecution yesterday charged Palestinian Mohamed Wadi with attempted murder after he threw stones at settlers, while Israel Police are expected to accept a settler’s claims that he killed a Palestinian in “self-defence”, Arab48 reported.
___Requesting an extension to his detention, the prosecution said Wadi had entered a cave where settlers were hiding and threw stones at them at close range.
___The Palestinian from Nablus in the occupied West Bank had allegedly thrown a stone at one of the settler’s heads injuring him.
___This came after a group of illegal settlers raided Palestinian farms in the village of Qusra, near Nablus, and shot 48-year-old farmer Mahmoud Ahmad Zaal Odeh while he was working on his land.      MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAEL  ARMY  EXONERATES  ITSELF  OVER  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIAN  WHEELCHAIR-USER
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 19, 2017 ― The Israeli military announced yesterday evening that an internal investigation into the killing of Ibrahim Abu-Thurayya in protests on Friday found no wrongdoing by occupation forces.
___Wheelchair-user Abu-Thurayya, 29, was shot in the head during anti-occupation demonstrations by the Gaza Strip perimeter fence, one of four Palestinian fatalities the same day.
___“The initial investigation indicates that no moral or professional failures were identified,” said the Israeli army statement.   MORE . . . 

AbuZayyad, Ziad Khalil.
“FREEDOM  OF  EXPRESSION  AND  SOCIAL  MEDIA  IN  PALESTINE.”
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 40-42.
[. . . .] According to Saed Karzoun, a well-known Palestinian activist and digital media expert, 67.5% of Palestinians use computers, while about 24.3% of them use the Internet on a daily basis. There are more than 1,039,700 Facebook users in Palestine. . . . It is accurate to say that social media is seen more as a tool to address non-Palestinians than as an effective tool for any kind of dialogue within Palestinian civil society. Nonetheless, Palestinians have witnessed great success on several occasions when social media was used to organize political or social events.
[. . . .] The greatest challenge that Palestinians face while trying to use social media as a tool for freedom of expression is the change in Israeli policy toward those who dare to express themselves on Facebook or Twitter. Recently Facebook posts have been used as grounds for possible imprisonment when used to express political opinions. Israel has sent dozens of Palestinians to jail for several months, asserting that they expressed extreme points of view on Facebook. Internationally, the discourse has always been that freedom of expression should be maintained on the Internet and that regulations should not allow digital expression to be used as a pretext to hunt down political activists. At the same time, many countries, including Israel, justify their control of the flow of Internet content by stating that this is done for national security and high-priority national interests.
___Palestinian activists clearly need to be given support and training that will help them face the political challenges presented by the censure of digital expression.   FULL ARTICLE . . . 

❸ VIDEO:  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  17-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN  GIRL  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAID       
Ma’an News Agency   
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained a 17-year-old Palestinian girl from the Nabi Saleh village in northwestern Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Tuesday morning before dawn.
___Israeli forces raided the home of the al-Tamimi family, well-known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, and detained Ahed al-Tamimi, 17.
___Israeli forces also confiscated computers, mobile phones and cameras from the house during the raid. According to locals, Ahed was arrested over a video went viral on social media of her slapping an armed Israeli officer during a raid on Nabi Saleh.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  ARREST  PALESTINIAN  MOTHER  HOURS  AFTER  DETAINING  HER  TEENAGE  DAUGHTER   
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 19, 2017 ― The mother of a Palestinian teenage girl, who was detained from her home by Israeli forces before dawn on Tuesday, was reportedly detained at an Israeli police station when seeking information about her daughter’s whereabouts.
___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that Nariman al-Tamimi was detained by Israeli officers on Tuesday morning at the Benyamin police station, north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.  MORE . . .

“BEYOND  GALILEE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
When I lived with Christ,
died with him and was resurrected
my voice was still shouting in the wilderness,
a voice unlike my own
burning with an unfamiliar fire.

Whose fire?
Give me shade and cold water,
and I will hang my memories on
a wall in some deserted room.
The crowd has scattered and the guests are gone;
the voice shouts in vain
like the voice of all that came before
death and Galilee.
On my lips are traces of honey
and hemlock.
Have I come after death to hear my voice
pulling me toward a long-deserted void?
Give me shade! And you, woman,
put a chunk of ice in your water.
The sun is burning. Life after death
is tiresome. And still my voice is drawn by the fire.
For whom? For whom
have I closed my eyes, while on my lips were
those traces of honey and hemlock?

From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.
About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.

“. . . My country is a desire in chains . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Ministry of Information: The occupation’s crimes require urgent international intervention
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) The EU already recognises Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, just more quietly than Trump
❷ Coming period is very critical, says Abu Rudeineh
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Group: Occupation constantly violating Palestinian rights, including freedom of expression
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Army  shuts  down  main  road  to  the  north  of  Ramallah
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Trump’s decision a reflection of the UN earlier colonial impositions
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MINISTRY  OF  INFORMATION:  THE  OCCUPATION’S  CRIMES  REQUIRE  URGENT  INTERNATIONAL  INTERVENTION 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 11, 2017 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Information in a statement said it considers the terrorism spree that the Israeli occupation army continues to commit against Palestinian people and journalists, a crime that requires urgent protection for the people, as it considers silence on such crimes suspicious.
____“The Ministry affirms that Israel and its gangs and settlers won’t stop their brutal crimes by their own, but rater require urgent international intervention to end the occupation and bring lead the criminals the International Criminal Court,” statement said.
___“The Ministry considers that the struggle of our people and their quest for freedom and self-determination is based on our natural right and cultural heritage and right to statehood with Jerusalem as our capital, noting that our people will not be intimidated by the injustice that the occupation has resorted to, and that our people will have East Jerusalem as our eternal capital, with its Islamic and Christian shrines, as we historically and righteously did in the past,” it added.  MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  THE  EU  ALREADY  RECOGNISES  ISRAELI  SOVEREIGNTY  OVER  JERUSALEM,  JUST  MORE  QUIETLY  THAN  TRUMP    
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 11, 2017 ― Viewers watching the televised emergency session of the United Nations Security Council on Friday may be forgiven for thinking the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) representative to the UN was trying to bore the Israeli ambassador into submission with his speech.
[. . . .]  In it he listed decades worth of UN resolutions and declarations stating that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state with the Israeli capital in West Jerusalem – the long promised two-state solution.
[. . . .] . . . the US government has always sided with Israel. This alignment has been particularly strong since the 1967 war when Israel attacked its neighbours and swallowed up the remaining 22 per cent of Palestinian land, leading to a new wave of refugees and the fifty-year military occupation (of the West Bank – including East Jerusalem – Gaza, and Syria’s Golan Heights) which endures till this day.
[. . . .] …the disquiet currently being expressed against Trump by those European leaders who are lamenting damage to the non-existent peace process is entirely hypocritical. And in fact, the new Trump policy in Jerusalem is only a more open form of the same malign policy the European Union has been carrying out in practice for many years.
___Despite repeated expressions of “concern” by the EU over Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, the EU in practice encourages the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
___It supports and even bankrolls Israel to the tune of millions of Euros with programmes like Horizon 2020, which funds Israeli high-tech research, giving EU tax-payers’ money over to the apartheid regime and the arms firms who “battle test” their weapons on Palestinian civilians.    MORE . . .
❷  COMING  PERIOD  IS  VERY  CRITICAL,  SAYS  ABU  RUDEINEH
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 11, 2017 ― The coming period is very critical and requires bold Palestinian and Arab decisions, Presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said on Monday, stressing once again Palestinian rejection and denunciation of the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
___“Our message to the entire world is that Jerusalem is a Palestinian city and the US decision is rejected and denounced,” he told WAFA. “What is required now are bold Palestinian and Arab decisions for the coming stage, which is very important and very critical. The Palestinians and Arabs should stand together.”
___He said President Mahmoud Abbas is going to meet on Monday with his Egyptian counterpart Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo to discuss various issues, mainly those relating to the Palestinian cause and other common Arab concerns, as well as the agenda of the upcoming Islamic summit.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  GROUP:  OCCUPATION  CONSTANTLY  VIOLATING  PALESTINIAN  RIGHTS,  INCLUDING  FREEDOM  OF  EXPRESSION 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 11, 2017 ― Sunday (10-12-2017) marked the 69th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, through which the United Nations established the foundations of the protected rights of all people. However, the rights of the Palestinian people have been flagrantly violated since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories 50 years ago and all international resolutions on Palestine have remained dead on paper and on top of all that the president of United States a few days ago recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; in clear breach of several resolutions issued by the UN and the security council.
___The past few day’s four people were killed and hundreds of wounded Palestinians demonstrators who came out to protest against this decision, is only another chapter in the series of Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  ARMY  SHUTS  DOWN  MAIN  ROAD  TO  THE  NORTH  OF  RAMALLAH
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 11, 2017  – The Israeli army used cement blocks to cut off the main road connecting Ramallah to Jalazoun refugee camp and the northern West Bank, according to local sources.
___They said closure of the road forced Palestinian cars commuting on that road to search for alternative longer routes, causing traffic jams and long delays.     MORE . . . 
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  TRUMP’S  DECISION  A  REFLECTION  OF  THE  UN  EARLIER  COLONIAL  IMPOSITIONS  
The Palestinian Information Center 
Ramona Wadi
Dec. 11, 2017 ―   Since 1967, the UN regularly adopted resolutions concerning the status of Jerusalem, most of them dealing with withdrawing military forces, condemnation of land confiscation and settlement expansion, as well as requesting that Israel refrains from holding military activities in the city. A recurring warning was that no action should be taken to change the status of Jerusalem.
___US President Donald Trump exposed the fallacy behind international recommendations yesterday with his unilateral declaration of recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Away from the outpouring of indignation from Palestinians who have resisted the Zionist colonial project, the opposition to Trump’s declaration has been mostly diluted by statements that simply acknowledge the action taken as reprehensible, instead of focusing upon responsibility, accountability and ramifications – all of which should lead directly to the UN.
___The hype generated by Trump on previous occasions, which illustrated his administration’s support for Israel, is becoming a convenient tool for Israel, the PA and the UN, due to such tactics generating a fragmented response and one that strengthens reliance upon symbolism. Trump’s statement goes against UN resolutions. However, it is a known fact that UN resolutions are a façade for the allowance of international law violations.    MORE . . .    ..

“SOFT  RAIN  IN  A  DISTANT  AUTUMN,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Soft rain in a distant autumn
and the birds are blue, blue
and the earth is a festival.
Don’t say that I am a cloud over the airport.
I want nothing
of my country that has fallen from the window of the train
except my mother’s scarf
and reasons for a new death.

Soft rain in a strange autumn
and the windows are white, white
and the sun is an orange grove in setting,
and am I a stolen orange.
Why do you run from my flesh?
I want nothing
from the home of knives and birds
except my mother’s scarf
and reasons for a new death.

Soft rain in a sad autumn
and the trysts are green, green
and the sun is clay.
Don’t say that we’ve seen you in the withering of jasmine,
saleswoman of death, and aspirin.
My face is a dusk,
my death is a fetus
and I want nothing
from the country which has forgotten the accent of its evacuees
except my mother’s scarf
and reasons for a new death.

Soft rain in a distant autumn
and the birds are blue, blue;
the earth is a festival;
the birds have flown into a time of no return.
Do you want to know my country
know what is between us?
My country is a desire in chains,
the kiss that I’ve sent in the mail
and I want nothing
from the country which has slain me
except my mother’s scarf
and reasons for a new death.

— From WHEN THE WORDS BURN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY: 1945-1987. Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988. Available from Amazon

“. . . 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