“. . . what can I call this rug of soil? is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

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Blockaded street in Hebron, preventing Palestinians from entering area controlled by Israeli illegal settlers, with Israeli soldiers guarding above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)

❶ Hebron is the next Israeli-Palestinian fight at UNESCO

Background: “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies

❷ Palestinian fires at Israeli soldiers during Jenin raid to remove memorial
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers change name of Damascus Gate-area street to ‘honor Israeli soldiers’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Europeans for Jerusalem warns of Israel’s practices in holy city
❸ Knesset begins deliberations on bill to cut funds to PA over ‘martyrs’ social program
❹ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ HEBRON  IS  THE  NEXT  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  FIGHT  AT  UNESCO   
+972 Blog
Yonathan Mizrachi
June 29, 2017.   In recent years, every time UNESCO convenes to discuss world heritage sites, Israel-Palestine is in the limelight.  Usually, tensions center around the Old City of Jerusalem, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger in 1982. Recently, however, the Israeli Foreign Ministry began a campaign against the Palestinian nomination of the city of Hebron as a World Heritage Site. Though Hebron is not Jerusalem, Israel’s claims to the place sound pretty much the same: a national and religious connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs which is based on the city’s status as a sacred site from Biblical times. Names such as Abraham and King David — who made Hebron his first capital for seven years before conquering Jerusalem — are proclaimed in connection to the city with requisite pathos.
___The discussion about recognizing Hebron as a World Heritage Site will take place during the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland from July 2 to 12. The Palestinians propose recognizing the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron as a World Heritage Site because of the city’s rich 6,000 year-old history. Like the Israelis, the Palestinians also revere the tombs of the Matriarchs and the Patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. They note that the present structure of the Cave of the Patriarchs dates to the time of Herod — a tradition accepted by all sides, but that is yet to be verified by archeologists.   MORE . . .              POSTED HERE    Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City    June 26, 2017

Masalha, Nur. “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 3-57.
Cartography and toponymy – the term derives from the Greek words topos (‘place’) and onoma (‘name’) – were central to European empire building in the nineteenth century. Place names (including human settlements such as villages, towns, cities, streets and countries and natural places such as mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, springs, and wadis) are meant ‘to provide clues as to the historical and cultural heritage of places and regions’. Yet in reality place names are not just spatial references; they are rooted in power relations and struggles over land and resources and the identities of the people that inhabit these places.
[. . . .] Since the rise of the Zionist settler movement in the late nineteenth century, and especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the struggle over toponymic memory and the renaming of sites has developed as an integral part of the political conflict in Palestine. The indigenous Palestinians have insisted on their own comprehensive set of Arabic place names through which they see their own social memory and deep-rootedness in the land of Palestine. On the other hand, since the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba and the creation of the Israeli state, a large number of Palestinian Arabic place names have been Judaised, Hebrewised. Indeed since 1948 the Israeli army and Israeli state have sought to rename systematically Palestinian Arabic place names, claiming priority in chronology and using modern archaeology, map-making, and place names as their proofs of Jewish roots in ‘the land of Israel’. In Israel the significance of place names lies in their potential to legitimize ‘historical claims’ asserted by the Zionist settler-colonial movement.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ PALESTINIAN  FIRES  AT  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  DURING  JENIN  RAID  TO  REMOVE  MEMORIAL       
Ma’an News Agency       
June 30, 2017.  An armed Palestinian opened fire on Israeli forces carrying out a raid in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Friday, causing no injuries.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian shot towards Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in Jenin, before dropping his weapon and fleeing.
___No Israelis were injured in the incident, the spokesperson said, adding that the army recovered the weapon on the scene.
___The spokesperson added that the soldiers were targeted as they were undertaking an operation to remove a memorial stone commemorating Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal.   MORE . . .

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Five fully armed Israeli soldiers detaining and searching a lone Palestinian young man, outside Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  SETTLERS  CHANGE  NAME  OF  DAMASCUS  GATE-AREA  STREET  TO  ‘HONOR  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS’ 
Ma’an News Agency      
June 23, 2017.  A group of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli police and border police forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area Sultan Suleiman Street in occupied East Jerusalem to Heroines Street, “in commemoration of killed Israeli soldiers.”     ___Hebrew-language media sites reported on Friday that a group of Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area street, in commemoration of two Israeli soldiers who were killed in shooting and stabbing attacks near Damascus Gate — including 23-year old Hadas Malka, an Israeli police officer who, along with three Palestinian assailants, was killed last week at the gate’s entrance.
___Israeli settlers, police and border guards lit candles at the site before putting a sign reading “Heroines Street” in Hebrew, Arabic and English over the original street sign, which read Sultan Suleiman Street.  MORE. . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) EUROPEANS  FOR  JERUSALEM  WARNS  OF  ISRAEL’S  PRACTICES  IN  HOLY  CITY    
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
June 21, 2017.   Europeans for Jerusalem foundation has warned against Israel’s persistence in its serious practices in Occupied Jerusalem in general and at the Aqsa Mosque in particular.
___In a statement, Europeans for Jerusalem described the exposure of the holy city in general and the Aqsa Mosque in particular to direct targeting, break-ins, desecration and assaults on worshipers under police protection as “a threat to regional stability.”
___The foundation voiced deep concern about acts of desecration and sabotage which Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque are being exposed to . . .    MORE . . .    FOUNDATION . . . 
❸ KNESSET  BEGINS  DELIBERATIONS  ON  BILL  TO  CUT  FUNDS  TO  PA  OVER  ‘MARTYRS’  SOCIAL  PROGRAM 
Ma’an News Agency    
June 29, 2017.   Israel’s parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee began discussing on Wednesday a bill aimed at slashing tax transfers to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) over its controversial “martyrs” compensation program, which provides financial support to Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, their families, and for relatives of those who have been killed by Israeli forces — whether during attacks against Israelis or in situations void of wrongdoing.
___The bill, which would see the Israeli government cut an estimated 1 billion shekels ($280 million) in tax transfers to the PA each year, was approved for a preliminary reading in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, earlier this month.
___Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in taxes yearly on behalf of the PA, according to a 2015 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), representing three quarters of the PA’s revenue.
___Israel has regularly withheld transferring taxes to apply pressure on the Palestinian government, despite rights groups saying such punitive measures amount to “collective punishment.”   MORE . . .

“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?
――Translated by Tom Pow

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . the Gaza Strip has historically been used by the Israeli occupation as a laboratory . . .” (Said Shehadeh)

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Palestinian paramedics lift the body of a man from the Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood, Gaza. (Photo: EPA/MOHAMMED SABER)

❶ Pushing Gaza to suicide: The politics of humiliation

Background: “The 2014 War on Gaza: Engineering Trauma and Mass Torture to Break Palestinian Resilience.”

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli jets target resistance sites across Gaza Strip
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Al-Hayya calls on Arabs not to mix between resistance and terrorism
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Haneyya reaches out to Arab League Secretary General, Tunisia’s Sibsi
❷ Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City
❸ POETRY by Basem El-Nabres
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PUSHING  GAZA  TO  SUICIDE:  THE  POLITICS  OF  HUMILIATION  
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO  
Ramzy Baroud
June 25, 2017.   Mohammed Abed is a 28-year-old taxi driver from the village of Qarara, near the town of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. He has no teeth.     ___Lack of medical care and proper dentistry work cost him all of his teeth, which rotted and decayed at a very young age. Yet, his dire financial needs prevented him from acquiring dentures. His community eventually pitched in, collecting the few hundred dollars needed for Mohammed to finally being able to eat.
[. . . .]  An Israeli military siege on Gaza has extended for over 10 years, and the situation continues to deteriorate.
___A Red Cross report last May warned of another ‘looming crisis’ in the public health sector, due to the lack of electricity.
___The energy crisis has extended from electricity supplies to even cooking gas. Last February Israel cut cooking gas supplies to the Strip to a half.
[. . . .]  With no access to the West Bank due to the Israeli siege, and with severe restrictions on movement via the Rafah-Egypt border, Gaza is living through its darkest days. Literally. Starting June 11, Israel began reducing the electricity supply to the impoverished Strip, as per the request of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.
___The results are devastating. Gaza households now receive 2 to 3 hours of electricity per day, and not even at fixed hours.   MORE . . .

Shehadeh, Said. “THE  2014  WAR  ON  GAZA:  ENGINEERING  TRAUMA  AND  MASS  TORTURE  TO  BREAK  PALESTINIAN  RESILIENCE.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, vol. 12, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 278-294.
[. . . .] In his insightful analysis, Darryl Li suggests understanding the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as “representing two different phases of a common process of segregation, confinement, and surveillance produced by the Zionist project”. He argues that the Gaza Strip has historically been used by the Israeli occupation as a laboratory, in which colonial policies of confinement, management and control of the Palestinian population are tested and refined, to be later replicated in the West Bank. The overarching principle of the Israeli colonial policies against the Palestinians, as Li puts it, is “continuously experimenting in search of an optimal balance between maximum control over the territory and minimum responsibility for its non-Jewish population”. Following the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2006, and the suffocating siege that followed, this policy appears to have been highly successful. In effect, 25 percent of the global Palestinian population currently lives under Israeli control, while confined to 1.4 percent of the territory of (Mandatory) Palestine (Li, 2006).
___The Gaza Strip enclosure was initially described as the world’s largest prison, but this metaphor no longer applies. As Li writes, Israel now treats the Strip more like a zoo. For running a prison is about constraining or repressing freedom; in a zoo, the question is rather how to keep those held inside alive, with an eye to how outsiders might see them. The question of freedom is never raised.
___Similarly, Jeff Halper describes the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as that of “warehousing,” which he claims is “worse than apartheid.” He adds, “It does not even pretend to find a political framework for ‘separate development,’ it simply jails the oppressed and robs them of all their collective and individual rights. It is the ultimate form of oppression before actual genocide”.     SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  JETS  TARGET  RESISTANCE  SITES  ACROSS  GAZA  STRIP
The Palestinian Information Center
June 27, 2017.   Israeli fighter jets have carried out multiple airstrikes overnight on a number of resistance sites throughout the Gaza Strip.    ___According to the PIC field reporter, several of the early Tuesday raids targeted Bader site belonging to the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas Movement, located to the west of the Strip.     ___No injuries were reported during the air raid; however, material damage was caused to the neighboring houses.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) AL-HAYYA  CALLS  ON  ARABS  NOT  TO  MIX  BETWEEN  RESISTANCE  AND  TERRORISM    
The Palestinian Information Center    
June 27, 2017.   Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), has called on the “Arab brothers” to end their differences and not to confuse Palestinian resistance with terrorism.
___Al-Hayya said during the Eid prayer at Al-Saraya Square in Gaza on Sunday, “We hope that all differences between Arab brothers will end, on the basis of brotherhood and contrary to what the Zionist enemy wants,” stressing the need to unite to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque.
___Al-Hayya denounced Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization, noting that “the Palestinian resistance is neither terrorism nor violence, but a legitimate right to resist the occupation, which all peoples have done before.”     MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) HANEYYA  REACHES  OUT  TO  ARAB  LEAGUE  SECRETARY   GENERAL,  TUNISIA’S  SIBSI 
The Palestinian Information Center      
June 27, 2017.   Political bureau chairman of Hamas Ismail Haneyya on Monday evening extended his warmest wishes to the Secretary General of the Arab League and the Tunisian President on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
___Reaching out to the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmad Abu al-Ghait, and the Tunisian President, al-Baji Kaed al-Sibsi, Haneyya congratulated his addressees on the advent of Eid and briefed them on the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territories and Jerusalem.
___Speaking to Abu al-Ghait, Haneyya stressed Hamas’s commitment to boost fraternity ties with Egypt and the other Arab states.   MORE . . .    

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MUSLIMS ATTEND Friday prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque, which Jews call the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron. (Photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA / REUTERS)

❷ ISRAEL  REFUSES  ENTRY  TO  UNESCO  GROUP  EXPECTED  TO  VISIT  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY
Ma’an News Agency  
June 26, 2017.   Israeli authorities have refused to grant entry visas for a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) investigative team scheduled to conduct a field visit to the Old City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron in advance of an upcoming vote next month to consider the area an endangered world heritage site, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
___While Palestinian authorities had planned to introduce the site for consideration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 2018, they decided to fast track the site’s application owing to routine Israeli violence in the Old City, which Palestinians have claimed threatens the integrity of the site, and instead propose the area as an endangered site.
___A Palestinian delegation to UNESCO had reportedly expressed the “alarming details about the Israeli violations in Al-Khalil/ Hebron, including the continuous acts of vandalism, property damage, and other attacks,” in a letter to the World Heritage Center.  MORE . . .

Excerpt  from  “HOUSE,”  BY  BASEM  EL-NABRES

Oh, father . . .   they went into the clouds, and I remained to
remember them. Neither women nor fortune smile to let me
forget, to take me out of the house of memories. Nothing.
Their things, within a breath’s reach. I almost feel them with
my hand, with my fingertips. I almost fill myself with them,
but am empty myself. Here they were. Here they lived. Here
the last died, leaving half a breakfast egg, leaving a rumpled
bed, leaving the door ajar and the air muted. I can almost
touch them, one by one, those who died a century ago in this
ancient house, those who died a year ago. Ah, how hard it is to
live, in good faith, in the house of memories.

Those who write after two o’clock each night, those who walk
among people occupied with an idea of being killed in Gaza
suddenly, those for whom an hour of music is enough to make
their tears fall, enough to let them know they are shadows
walking on a land unsafe for them or the waste collectors.
—Translated by John Peate
About Basem El-Nabres.  
From BANIPAL: MAGAZINE  OF  MODERN  ARAB  LITERATURE  45.  Winter 2012.

“. . . I vowed: I will not accept you occupied! . . .” (Yusuf Hamdan)

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The Arab identity of Jerusalem: Inside Al-Aqsa Mosque (Photo: Harold Knight, November, 2015)

❶ Israel spars with the world at UNESCO
❷ Israeli forces demolish East Jerusalem home, leaving 6 Palestinians homeless
❸ Jordan Rejects Any Attempt to Undermine Arab Identity of Jerusalem
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas both accomplished what they wanted to accomplish
❺ POETRY by Yusuf Hamdan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  SPARS  WITH  THE WORLD  AT  UNESCO
+972 Blog
By Talya Ezrahi and Yonathan Mizrachi
May 5, 2017
Israel’s success at UNESCO this week was a diplomatic coup. In a work of crafty diplomacy, Israel succeeded in undermining an agreement between the Arab states and 11 EU countries which softened the wording of a resolution that it believes disputes its claims to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, we are told that as a result of heavy pressure by Netanyahu and the Foreign Ministry, more countries opposed a UNESCO resolution concerning Israel than had in years.
___ Why did Israel invest so much effort into foiling a resolution it ought to have regarded as less objectionable?
___Unlike previous UNESCO resolutions, this one cannot be construed as a denial of the Jewish people’s religious and historical connection to Jerusalem. It omits any references to the Temple Mount by its Muslim name, Haram al-Sharif, or to al-Aqsa Mosque — references which had so outraged Israel in the past. The new resolution also includes a clause affirming the importance of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic religions.
___So why object? Because the resolution continues the tradition of calling Israel the “occupying power” in East Jerusalem and declares the Basic Law on Jerusalem (through which Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem) null and void.       MORE . . .

ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  EAST  JERUSALEM  HOME,  LEAVING  6  PALESTINIANS  HOMELESS
Ma’an News Agency
May 5, 2017
JERUSALEM  — Amid a spate of demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities Thursday demolished a home in the town of Sur Bahir, leaving six Palestinians homeless.
___Israeli bulldozers, escorted by crew from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality and armed Israeli forces, demolished a house Sur Bahir belonging to Ashraf Fawaqa.
___Fawaqa told Ma’an that forces raided his house without prior notice, and began emptying and evacuating the house in preparation for demolition. Authorities told Fawaqa that his home would be destroyed for lacking nearly impossible to obtain construction permits.
[. . . .] ___ According to UN documentation, as of April 17, 59 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished by Israel in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, displacing at least 135 Palestinians. A total of 190 Palestinian buildings were demolished in East Jerusalem in 2016.     MORE . . .

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Palestinian home demolished in Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, July 2008)

JORDAN  REJECTS  ANY  ATTEMPT  TO  UNDERMINE  ARAB  IDENTITY  OF  JERUSALEM       
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
May 4, 2017
Jordan’s King Abdullah II, on Tuesday, welcomed Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and reviewed the Kingdom’s efforts to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in addition to discussing the latest developments in the Middle East.
___The meeting, held at al-Husseiniya Palace and attended by King’s Personal Envoy and Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs, HRH Prince Ghazi bin Mohammad, touched on the key role of Arab Christians and their contributions in the region in its past, present and future.
___According to Al Ray, the meeting dealt with Israel’s unilateral actions in Jerusalem which threaten Islamic and Christian holy sites, with the King reiterating that Jordan totally rejects any attempt to undermine the Arab identity of the holy city.     MORE . . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis: DONALD  TRUMP  AND  MAHMOUD  ABBAS  BOTH  ACCOMPLISHED  WHAT  THEY  WANTED  TO  ACCOMPLISH
HumanRights Newsletter Email List
Mazin Qumsiyeh
May 5, 2017
Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas both accomplished what they wanted to accomplish from the meeting at the White House. I could only think of the statements of Martin Luther King Jr and of Edward Said as I watched the theater unfold in DC. Just a reminder of what MLK Jr said 50 years ago as leaders of South Vietnam trashed leaders of North Vietnam: Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.  This was one of his most analytical and important speeches which should still be read carefully today (full text)
___Little changed in those 50 years since then and Trump (like Obama and other presidents before him) gave green light to his military to bomb poor neighborhoods around the world (killing hundreds of civilians mostly children in Mosul alone) while hosting compliant leaders and speaking of “peace” (like fucking for virginity!?). Excuse my language.
___Let me step back into analytical mode. In meeting with Abbas, Trump wanted to get the aura of working for a peace process so that when he goes to Saudi Arabia and Israel later this month they can be more comfortable increasing the wars on Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran (the remaining axis of rebel states in an otherwise US/Israel dominated Middle East). This public  relations ploy worked historically. Trump and his advisors praised Abbas for the continued close security cooperation with Israel (the main function for keeping the Palestinian Authority in the past 24 years). Trump said that cooperation between “Palestinians” (the PA) and Israel is “working beautifully” and encouraged further emasculation of any potential future leverage for the Palestinians (I cringe when I hear terms like “incitement” used for native people who want their rights back).
____Oppressors and enablers of oppressors use the same language. Clinton used it 20 years ago for Arafat. This is the usual carrot and stick approach. Trump asked Abbas to stop the verbal acrobatics of appearing to support “terrorists” (resistance) pushing him strongly in private and nudging him gently in public. Husam Zomlot (PLO representative in Washington) tried his best to facilitate and get some productive outcome but the decks are stacked and the PLO has long been stripped by the PA of its original role as a “Palestine Liberation Organization” (it neither reflects all of Palestine nor Liberation and no longer an organization but a club). It cannot apply any pressure since it has been stripped of all such cards and there is little prospect of democratizing it now (I hope I am wrong).
___Abbas got what he came for: appearing “presidential” and relevant to the future, international visibility, and most importantly continuation of the status quo that guarantees continued “financial support” that allows the system to go on.
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“TO  JERUSALEM,”  BY  YUSUF  HAMDAN

You came to me, chained,
Carried forcibly.
You came
Flowing, like the tears of a wounded heart.
And yet, I will not meet you.
Forgive me,
For today, you are occupied!

Have you indeed come to me?
In my passion, I prayed often
Without a “Rock,”
And when I found no water,
I simulated the ritual ablution;
And when you finally came to me, I vowed:
I will not accept you occupied!

I want you to be a Kaaba for the people of the earth,
A spacious house,
Without guards;
I love you . . . a voice from a minaret,
The sound of horns
Mingled with church bells.
I love you, a jasmine in the open air,
But I have sworn, yes I have,
I will not accept you occupied!

  • 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.
    ___Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.

“. . . This special relationship with native lands is critical to formulating the status and rights . . .” (Yousef Jabareen)

wall-and-church-acre
Wall and church, Acre (Photo source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Akko_Walls_%26_Church.jpg ― Arkadi voller)

❶ . Israel is keen to evict Palestinians of Acre

  • Background: “The Arab-Palestinian Community In Israel: A Test Case For Collective Rights Under International Law.” George Washington International Law Review

❷ . Israeli forces deliver 13 demolition notices to Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem
❸ . East Jerusalem: Israeli Strategy Explored in New Video
❹ . West Bank demolitions displace 1,500 Palestinians in 2016
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶. ISRAEL IS KEEN TO EVICT PALESTINIANS OF ACRE
Days of Palestine
Dec 10, 2016
Jenny Nyman
Palestinians of the Old City of Acre in northern Israel face continuous, intensifying struggle against Israeli displacement plans.
___As the Palestinian identity and heritage of the Old City are gradually obscured, local residents are forced to leave in order to make way for wealthy investors and tourism projects.
___Located on the Mediterranean coast in northern Israel, the port city of Acre is one of the oldest in the region, with evidence of continuous settlement dating back as far as 4,000 years.
___Due to its rich history, combining Arab, Crusader and Ottoman heritage, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.   More. . .        Heritage site . . . 
Related: Shoval, Noam. “Street-Naming, Tourism Development And Cultural Conflict: The Case Of The Old City Of Acre/Akko/Akka.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 38.4 (2013): 612-626.  Article . . .

  • JABAREEN, YOUSEF T. “The Arab-Palestinian Community In Israel: A Test Case For Collective Rights Under International Law.” George Washington International Law Review 47.3 (2015): 449-480.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 13 September, 2007

[. . . .] Palestinians currently living in historical Palestine . . . live under three different legal and political systems. These groups are: (1) stateless Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza under a mixture of Israeli military rule and self-rule; (2) Palestinian Jerusalemites, or Palestinian residents of Israeli-occupied and annexed East Jerusalem; and (3) Palestinians living in Israel—minority citizens in Israel since the 1948 war. . . .
___Arab-Palestinians . . .  have consistently resided in three main geographical areas within Israel: the Galilee and Triangle regions in the north and center of the country and the Naqab in the south. . . in about seventy towns and villages, which are entirely Arab; the remainder reside in several mixed Arab-Jewish cities, primarily Haifa, Acre, al-Led, Ramleh, and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Legally, Israel defines itself as a “Jewish and democratic” state. However, nearly one-fifth of Israel’s citizens belong to the Palestinian national group, with their own ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic characteristics.
[. . . .] the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. . . supports . . . preservation and development of the groups’ identity, political participation, the right to autonomy and self-definition, and historical rights. . . . [It] emphasizes the additional need for land rights and similar historical rights. This parallels one of the defining features of indigenous peoples, as opposed to other minorities, in their connection to specific geographic regions. Indeed, they may view their indigenousness through their historical relationship with and attachment to these lands. . . . This special relationship with native lands is critical to formulating the status and rights of such groups, from both a moral and international legal perspective . . . .
___In addition, land use and the right to such lands . . .  are often prerequisites for the fulfillment of other rights including those of a cultural or religious nature. Therefore, one of the key factors motivating indigenous groups to fight for land rights and to gain access to traditional lands is to enable full realization of their group-based rights.
[. . . .] Land rights, as conceptualized by the 2007 Declaration, are closely intertwined with historical rights, past grievances, past compensation, redress, and restorative justice. Accordingly, land is the primary vehicle for addressing all of these issues . . .
[. . . .]  One of the defining features of indigenous peoples, as opposed to other minorities such as immigrants, is their connection to a specific geographic area . . .

❷. ISRAELI  FORCES  DELIVER  13  DEMOLITION  NOTICES  TO  PALESTINIAN  NEIGHBORHOOD  IN  JERUSALEM
Ma’an News Agency  
Dec. 10, 2016
Israeli Jerusalem municipality crews escorted by armed Israeli forces raided the al-Bustan neighborhood of the village of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday and delivered 13 demolition notices for several residential structures.
___Activist and member of the Committee for the Defense of Silwan Properties Fakhri Abu Diyab told Ma’an that municipality crews handed 13 demolition notices to several families in al-Bustan neighborhood.
___Abu Diyab noted that the houses slated for demolition were built tens of years ago, and are home to more than 100 Palestinians, including women and children.  More . . .

acre-mosque
Al-Jazzar Mosque, Old City and fortified Town of Acre (Photo: UNESCO Heritage Site web page)

❸ . EAST  JERUSALEM:  ISRAELI  STRATEGY  EXPLORED  IN  NEW  VIDEO  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Dec. 11, 2016
A new video released by the Negotiations Affairs Department, titled “East Jerusalem: Israel’s Colonial Project Unraveled,” declares that Israel’s policy in the city, since the 1967 occupation, is three fold: creating a Jewish majority, reducing Palestinian presence and isolating East Jerusalem and dividing it from its West Bank parts.
___According to WAFA, the 2:43-minute documentary describes the policy as one of “special colonial segregation enforced by Israel’s settlement enterprise.”   More . . .
❹ . WEST  BANK  DEMOLITIONS  DISPLACE  1,500  PALESTINIANS  IN  2016 
+972 Magazine      
Natasha Roth
Dec. 10, 2016
Israel ramped up its practice of demolishing Palestinian structures in the West Bank this year, destroying more than twice as many as it did in 2015.      More . . .  

 

“. . . Israeli settlements have gone beyond a mere breach of Article 49(6) by acquiring features of apartheid . . .” (Bianca Watts)

weekly-settlement-report-june-6-13-jun-2015
Illegal West Bank Israeli settlement and Apartheid Wall. (Photo: Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, June 19, 2015)

❶ Israeli forces confiscate Palestinian-owned residential barracks in Jericho
❷ British Consulate General launches initiative to support olive harvest
❸ UN Security Council holds meeting on illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in West Bank
. . . ❸ ― (a) ‘The occupation is sustainable because the world refuses to take action.’ Transcript of the prepared remarks B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad delivered to UN Security Council
. . . ❸ ― (b) Israel suspends ties with UNESCO

  • Background:  “Better Than A Thousand Hollow Words Is One Word That Brings Peace: Enforcing Article 49(6) Of The Fourth Geneva Convention Against Israeli Settlements In The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Pacific Mcgeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal
    ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

ISRAELI  FORCES  CONFISCATE  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  RESIDENTIAL  BARRACKS  IN  JERICHO
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 14, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday confiscated residential barracks in the Palestinian Bedouin residential area of Arab al-Mleihat in the occupied West Bank district of Jericho, according to a Ma’an reporter.
___The residential barracks belonged to Ali Suliman al-Mleihat and Mohammad Ali al-Mleihat.
___The mayor of Jericho Majid al-Fityani told Ma’an that Israel’s continuous demolitions and confiscations are “crimes against the Palestinian people,” and only “proves that Israel is unwilling to make peace.”
___Al-Fityani added that the world was responsible for ending Israeli violations against Palestinians, including the routine leveling of Palestinian lands, confiscations, demolitions, detentions, and killings.      More . . .

BRITISH  CONSULATE  GENERAL  LAUNCHES  INITIATIVE  TO  SUPPORT  OLIVE  HARVEST
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 15, 2016
British Consul General in Jerusalem Alastair McPhail announced on Friday that for the second year in a row, the British Consulate General will be supporting the Palestinian olive harvest in Area C and East Jerusalem.
___McPhail made the announcement during an olive picking event in the village of Yanoun, near Nablus.
___“I’m proud to launch our initiative to support Palestinian olive growers in vulnerable areas of the West Bank, for the second year in a row,” he said. “I hope that this exciting partnership with the Palestinian Authority Commission Against the Wall and Settlements will provide Palestinian farmers, in some of the most vulnerable areas, with the confidence and resilience to harvest their olives during these difficult times.”      More . . .

bedouin
Bedouin village of al-Arakib, one of the dozens Bedouin Arab communities in the Negev desert not recognised by the Israeli state (Photo: Reuters, Aug. 29, 2013)

UN SECURITY  COUNCIL  HOLDS  MEETING  ON  ILLEGAL  EXPANSION  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS  IN  WEST  BANK
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 14, 2016
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held a special meeting Friday regarding illegal Israeli settlement construction and expansion in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. . . .  the meeting was classified as an ‘Arria-Formula,’ which according to the UNSC, are informal gatherings which enable Security Council members to discuss “frankly” the topic at hand, and hear from guests whom the council deems would be beneficial to listen to.
[. . . .]
Among those presenting on the issue were Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem, an Israeli organization that monitors human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territory, and Lara Friedman, director of policy and government relations at the Americans for Peace Now, the sister organization of the Israeli human rights NGO.     More . . .
. . .― (a) ‘THE  OCCUPATION  IS  SUSTAINABLE  BECAUSE  THE  WORLD  REFUSES  TO  TAKE  ACTION.’ TRANSCRIPT  OF  THE  PREPARED  REMARKS  B’TSELEM  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR  HAGAI EL-AD  DELIVERED  TO  UN  SECURITY  COUNCIL
+972 Blog
Hagai El-Ad
Oct. 14, 2016
What does it mean, in practical terms, to spend 49 years, a lifetime, under military rule? When violence breaks out, or when particular incidents attract global attention, you get a glimpse into certain aspects of life under occupation. But what about the rest of the time? What about the many “ordinary” days of a 17,898-day-long occupation, which is still going strong?       More . . .  
. . .― (b)  ISRAEL  SUSPENDS  TIES  WITH  UNESCO
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Oct. 14, 2016
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced today that Israel is suspending all of its joint activities with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) after the organisation adopted a resolution that disregards the connection between Judaism and Al-Aqsa Mosque and casts doubt over the link between the religion and the Western Wall.
___In a message to UNESCO member states, Bennett said: “Your decision denies history and encourages terror. Those who give prizes to supporters of jihad in Jerusalem mere days after two Jews were murdered in the city, may very well be the next in line.”    More . . .

[NOTE: This article is a comprehensive discussion of the history of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the world’s response to it.]

  • Watts, Bianca. “Better Than A Thousand Hollow Words Is One Word That Brings Peace: Enforcing Article 49(6) Of The Fourth Geneva Convention Against Israeli Settlements In The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Pacific Mcgeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal 24.1 (2011): 443-472.  Source (Full) . . .

The illegality of Israeli settlement in the OPT is explained in the Fourth Geneva Convention (“Geneva IV” or “Convention”), which is the principal international treaty governing the law of belligerent occupation. Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Geneva IV (“Article 49(6)”) provides that “[t]he Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” High Contracting Parties (“HCPs”) are obligated to both respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances under Article 1 of the Convention. Today, 194 states are party to the Convention, including the United States and Israel, and none have fulfilled their obligation under Article 1.8. In fact, the United States consistently uses its veto power in the United Nations (“U.N.”) Security Council to block proposals to intervene and enforce the Geneva IV against Israel.
[. . . .]
Israel first inquired about the legality of settling in the OPT, specifically the West Bank and the Golan Heights, in the fall of 1967. On September 18, 1967, Israeli Foreign Ministry Officials received a top-secret memo that settlement in the West Bank and Golan Heights would violate Article 49(6). Israeli officials were advised that the prohibition of settlements under Article 49(6) was categorical, unconditional, and aimed at preventing colonization of a conquered territory by the conquering state. This memo confirmed that Israeli officials knew that building settlements in the OPT violated international law prior to beginning settlement construction. Yet, despite the memo’s unequivocal warning that settlements violated the Geneva IV, Israel forged ahead with plans that resulted in the settlement enterprise we see today.
[. . . .]
“The United Nations has issued scores of resolutions affirming the applicability of Geneva IV to the OPT and calling upon Israel to abide by its legal obligations as an Occupying Power.” For instance, in Resolution 3240, the General Assembly criticized Israel’s “continued and persistent” violation of the Geneva IV through the establishment of new settlements and expansion of existing settlements in the OPT.39 The General Assembly also demanded that Israel cease its settlement activity.
[. . . .]
After over forty years of occupation and settlement in the OPT, Israel was bound to engage in activity that would produce negative effects on Palestinians and subject the state to overwhelming criticism from its nationals and third states. However, Israeli settlements have gone beyond a mere breach of Article 49(6) by acquiring features of apartheid, and possibly rendering its entire occupation regime illegal. The United States, as Israel’s closest and most powerful ally, must change its approach. It cannot continue to shield Israel from both international and domestic calls for the government to comply with its obligation under Article 49(6) to cease settlement in the OPT and yet expect finality to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“. . . Is there a difference to tell between a soul and a wound to the body? . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

child
Yousef al-Shawamrah, 14, was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the southern West Bank, July 11, 2016. (Photo: Defense for Children International, Palestine)

❶ Israeli forces raid ‘mourning tent’ dedicated to slain Palestinian Misbah Abu Sbeih
. . . ❶― (a) Palestinians petition Israeli court to retrieve decades-held corpses
❷ PCHR Weekly Report: 2 civilians killed, 6 wounded by Israeli forces this week
. . . ❷― (a) PLO: Israel killed 248 Palestinians since September 2015, 74% under 26
❸ Palestinian authority welcomes passing of UNESCO resolution sharply criticizing Israeli policies
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  ‘MOURNING  TENT’  DEDICATED  TO  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  MISBAH  ABU  SBEIH
Ma’an News Agency  
Oct. 14, 2016
Israeli soldiers Thursday evening raided a “mourning tent” dedicated to Misbah Abu Sbeih, who was killed by Israeli forces Sunday after carrying out a deadly shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem, in the the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers ripped down pictures of Abu Sbeih and placards decorated with political slogans before leaving the area.      More . . .
. . . ❶― (a)  PALESTINIANS  PETITION  ISRAELI  COURT  TO  RETRIEVE  DECADES-HELD  CORPSES
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 14, 2016
Palestinians Thursday petitioned the Israeli High Court to retrieve bodies of Palestinians that Israel had been holding for decades.
___The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) petitioned the court on behalf of the National Campaign for Retrieving the Bodies of Martyrs (NCRBM) demanding that Israeli military hand over the bodies of 52 Palestinians buried in what is known as “numbers cemetery” for decades.
___The campaign said in a press statement that it would submit a petition to the court within the coming days demanding that the military releases 70 bodies, including the bodies of 19 Palestinians killed in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel since April.      More . . .

PCHR  WEEKLY  REPORT:  2  CIVILIANS  KILLED,  6  WOUNDED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  THIS  WEEK
IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
Oct. 14, 2016
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 06 – 12 October 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. 2 Palestinian civilians were killed in occupied Jerusalem. 6 civilians were wounded in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
___Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians in Jerusalem and wounded 6 others in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.     More . . .  

dead
20-year-old Ali Atef Shuyukhi Killed by Israeli Forces, Oct. 12, 2016 (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center)

. . . ❷― (a) PLO:  ISRAEL  KILLED  248  PALESTINIANS  SINCE  SEPTEMBER  2015,  74%  UNDER  26
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 13, 2016
Since September 2015, Israel killed 248 Palestinians, 74% of them were 25 years old or younger, a report prepared by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Negotiations Affairs Department said on Thursday.
___The report said Israel killed a total of 248 Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, injured 18,062, raided 6,536 homes, detained 6,911 Palestinians, temporarily detained 2,877, carried out 5,335 gunfire attacks, demolished 282 homes, destroyed or confiscated 1,290 property and allowed 795 terrorist attacks by Israeli settlers.
___It covered Israel’s violations, committed by its army forces and armed settlers, against Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem for over a year: between September 13, 2015 and September 30, 2016.     More . . .

PALESTINIAN  AUTHORITY  WELCOMES  PASSING  OF  UNESCO  RESOLUTION  SHARPLY  CRITICIZING  ISRAELI  POLICIES
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 14, 2016
Following a controversial UNESCO vote that saw the adoption of a draft resolution that sharply criticized Israeli policies around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, while supposedly rejecting Jewish ties to the holy site — referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount — was received warmly by the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement released Thursday.
___Meanwhile, the resolution also criticized Israeli policies at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, and strongly condemned Israeli military campaigns in the besieged Gaza Strip, while urging an end to the near decade-long Israeli blockade on the Palestinian enclave. More . . . 

“THE STRANGER,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

Child,
so many hands broke the bird’s wings inside you,
so many bullets are scattered inside you,
so many friends saw wisdom in the sadness of your letters.
So they made up an excuse to leave.
Everything that resembles the soul resembles us.
Is there a difference to tell
between a soul and a wound to the body?
At an early age you were singed with gray hair
and you learned that the world is a conversation
and you put up your tent at the earth’s end,
among more and more blood.
So how long will the sea amaze you when it arrives?
How long will songs amaze you, or the butterfly,
or women’s expensive perfumes, or their beautiful dresses,
or the rose that leans seductively against the wall
as a bird or a boy plucks it?
And with the countless deadly bayonets,
how will you number your wounds
so we may sing a little?

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

“. . . nations are modern constructs . . . and not the expression of organic entities . . .” (Peige Desjarlais)

Workers of Israel Antiquities Authority at excavation site of ancient house in Nazareth, Dec. 21, 2009. (Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)
Workers of Israel Antiquities Authority at excavation site of ancient house in Nazareth, Dec. 21, 2009. (Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)

❶ Knesset Member: Comparing Palestinian Citizens of Israel With Illegal Israeli Settlers Is Immoral, Irrational and Ahistorical
❷ Turning settlers into victims
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Annexing archaeology: Will UNESCO take on Israel?

  • Background: “Excavating Zion: Archaeology And Nation-Making In Palestine/Israel.” Totem: The University Of Western Ontario Anthropology Journal

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  KNESSET  MEMBER:  COMPARING  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  WITH  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  IS  IMMORAL,  IRRATIONAL  AND  AHISTORICAL      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Sept. 11, 2016
Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comparison of Palestinian citizens of Israel with its illegal settlers in Occupied Palestine is not only immoral, but a total departure from rationality, history and Israel’s obligations under international law, said an opinion piece published by the Israeli daily, Haartez.
___“He [Netanyahu] should realize that no matter Israel’s institutionalized system of discrimination, this is our homeland and we are here to stay.”
___The Knesset member stressed that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not foreign immigrants that came to Israel and applied for visas or citizenship, rather Israel went to them. They are the indigenous population of the country.”
___“They lived there way long before the Zionist movement was created. They are those who later survived the Nakba of 1948, where 85% o f the Palestinians living in what is now Israel were ethnically cleansed only because they were not Jews. Yes, they can tell Mr. Netanyahu about the meaning of ethnic cleansing on this land.”     MORE . . .    

❷ TURNING  SETTLERS  INTO  VICTIMS      
+972 Blog     
Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon
Sept. 12, 2016
Just a few weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he cares about the rights and lives of Palestinians in Gaza more than the Palestinian leadership does, he posted a new video message on his Facebook wall, arguing that any future dismantlement of Jewish settlements in the West Bank would amount to “ethnic cleansing.” He went on to intimate that [  ]  the U.S. and other western countries support the uprooting of Israeli settlements as part of an agreement with the Palestinians, they were, in effect, supporting the cleansing of Jews.
___“Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without Blacks,” he rhetorically asked, thus drawing a direct link between the settlers in the colonized Palestinian territories and racially discriminated citizens in the United States.
___Netanyahu’s description of any potential evacuation of the West Bank colonies reflects the ethics of settler colonialism in which any attempt to dislocate the settlers is now equated with injustice. [He is] Unwilling to acknowledge that Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948 and 1967, and that they continue to live under the constant threat of displacement as a direct result of his own government’s policies.      MORE . . . 
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ANNEXING ARCHAEOLOGY: WILL UNESCO TAKE ON ISRAEL?
Al-Jazeera via Jonathan Cook Blog
19 May 2016
Israel is stepping up its efforts to seize control of Palestinian heritage sites and antiquities in the occupied territories in violation of international law, Palestinian and Israeli archaeologists warned this week.
___The experts echoed criticisms levelled against Israel in a recent resolution passed by the United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, that accused Israel of interfering with major holy sites in occupied areas.
[. . . .]    Archaeologists, however, said the UNESCO resolution underestimated the scope of the problem facing Palestinian heritage sites. The Palestinian tourism and antiquities ministry is preparing to announce a list of 14 major sites in the occupied territories that are in urgent need of protection from Israeli activities.     MORE . . .  

  • Desjarlais, Peige. “Excavating Zion: Archaeology And Nation-Making In Palestine/Israel.” Totem: The University Of Western Ontario Anthropology Journal 21.1 (2013): 1-14.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .]    Indeed, the borders of Israel are made most obviously and violently through wars (in 1948 and 1967), conquest, and colonial settlement. However, nationmaking projects also come into being through a variety of social, cultural, and institutional practices, like archaeology, which not only help to maintain the “imagined community” of the nation, but also participate in the production of the national landscape . . .  it is within these practices of Jewish nationmaking that Israeli archaeology should be properly situated [. . . .]   
___Challenging conceptions of the nation as natural or primordial, scholars of nationalism . . . emphasize that nations are modern constructs, historical phenomenon, and not the expression of organic entities. Nations must be produced, brought into being, and then constantly reproduced through symbolic acts of nationhood. . . . [T]he rise of print colonialism made possible . . . a sense of belonging to an “imagined community.” [. . . .] Nations are also made through engagement with ideas, theories and knowledge produced outside the national boundaries. . . .
[. . . .]  
___The roots of modern Israel lie not in the Middle East but in Europe. Zionism, a political movement aimed at the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, was born and developed in Europe in the late 19th century, and was supported by Europe’s leading imperial power at the time: Britain. . . . [which promised] a Jewish state where, at that time, a mostly Muslim and Christian Arab population coexisted with a small Jewish minority.
___As evident in the historical record and numerous UN documents the Israeli national territory was established through military force and settler colonialism . . . [and] through an ongoing process of land expropriation and displacement . . . .  and through the idea and practice of “transfer” of the native population – all common tropes of European colonial discourse and practice.
[. . . .]  
___It is through these early archaeological excavations (and nationalist rituals like climbing the Masada), that material culture was reconfigured into objects of national significance and landscapes emerged as “historical locales” through which particular historical narratives of Palestine as the “land of Israel” were made visible. Thus archaeology was one of the means through which the nation began to emerge in concrete form, saturating the Palestinian landscape with symbols of Jewish-ness. . .  the sites together mapped the Jewish homeland onto the landscape as a whole, creating a “spatial biography” of Jewish past and future presence.

Israeli tourists, guarded by soldiers, visit the Roman site of Sebastiya, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Jonathan Cook)
Israeli tourists, guarded by soldiers, visit the Roman site of Sebastiya, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Jonathan Cook)

“. . . their dignity sets them free . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Israeli street blockade, Hebron, November 17, 2012. (Photo: marthiemombergblog)

❶ Israeli forces raid Yatta [Hebron] after more than 40 days of blockade
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli army bulldozers, jeeps, drones enter southern Gaza
❷ Netanyahu [inspecting new wall in Hebron]: Barrier in South Hebron Hills important for Israel’s security

  • background From Postcolonial Studies

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  WHAT  REALLY  DELAYED  UNESCO  VOTE  ON  JERUSALEM?
❹ POETRY by Samah Sabawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  YATTA  AFTER  MORE  THAN  40  DAYS  OF  BLOCKADE
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Israeli forces raided several homes in the southern occupied West Bank town of Yatta early Thursday, as the army maintained its weeks-long blockade of municipalities in the Hebron district.
___A coordinator of a popular committee in the southern West Bank, Rateb al-Jbour, said that Israeli forces raided central Yatta and searched the houses of two Palestinian security officer, identified as Majdi Moussa al-Shreiqi and Ahmad Moussa al-Shreiqi, the latter reportedly a former prisoner detained by Israel.     MORE . . .
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  ARMY  BULLDOZERS,  JEEPS,  DRONES  ENTER  SOUTHERN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Several Israeli army bulldozers entered the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, locals said.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers coming from the al-Matbaq Gate entered 50 meters into eastern Rafah City, escorted by four military jeeps as drones flew overhead [. . . .]
___Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence. MORE . . .

❷ NETANYAHU  [inspecting  new  wall  in  Hebron]:  BARRIER  IN  SOUTH  HEBRON  HILLS  IMPORTANT  FOR  ISRAEL’S  SECURITY
The Jerusalem Post
Herb Keinon
July 20, 2016
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspected the construction work being done on a new security barrier in the South Hebron Hills area on Wednesday, saying completing it was important for the country’s security.
___“We said that we will close the breaches,” he said. “We will prevent illegal residents and attackers from reaching Israel’s cities.”     MORE . . .
RELATED . . .   NETANYAHU  VISITS  CONSTRUCTION  SITE  OF  NEW  SEPARATION  BARRIER  IN  HEBRON.  Ma’an News Agency  

From Postcolonial Studies
The security barrier was a unilateral Israeli decision. The policy decision to build the barrier nonetheless entailed considerable internal negotiations involving competing political parties and leaders. The resulting compromise gained broad popular and institutional support. Palestinian and international opposition to the barrier has been firm, based in large part on Israel’s placement of sections of the barrier within the Green Line so as to protect Jewish Israel has stated repeatedly that the barrier does not represent a final political border, but it does suggest an initial bid. This was one reason that the Israeli government responded negatively to American president Barack Obama’s declaration of pre-1967 borders as an initial point of negotiation.
___While the international legitimacy of the barrier has not been recognized, its effectiveness has. Thus, it is unlikely that Israel will dismantle the barrier or place it wholly on its side of the Green Line. Legal challenges within Israel have led to a process of internal negotiation among the civil society, the judiciary, and the executive on the exact placement of the barrier — but not on its continued existence. It is unlikely that final status negotiations will include complete Israeli withdrawal from all the West Bank territory won in the 1967 War. The clause of Resolution 242 emphasizing Israel’s right to ‘‘live in peace within secure and recognized borders’’ strongly suggests that Israel will seek to incorporate the security barrier formula into any final status agreements.

  • Lee, Christopher J. “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life In The West Bank.” Postcolonial Studies 16.4 (2013): 374-387.
netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies plane over West Bank. (Photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  REALLY  DELAYED  UNESCO  VOTE  ON  JERUSALEM?
Mondoweiss
Daoud Kuttab
July 20, 2016
Despite the Israelis’ initial claims that their efforts have partially succeeded in shelving a pro-Palestinian vote at UNESCO, the story that is emerging now is quite different. Palestinian and Arab officials say the delay in the vote that had been planned for July 20 in Istanbul was postponed due to the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
___Omar Awadallah, the director of UN activities at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Al-Monitor that UNESCO had postponed voting on all resolutions, not just the one on extending the declaration that Jerusalem’s Old City meets UNESCO’s criteria for being endangered. “Due to the security uncertainty connected to the failed coup in Turkey, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee decided to postpone all decisions until it meets again in Paris in October,” said Awadallah.      MORE . . .   

“DEFYING THE UNIVERSE,” BY SAMAH SABAWI

Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall
Do they need the army’s permission
For their prayers to reach the sky
For their love to cross the ocean
And touch your thirsty heart
Are your loved ones trapped

Do you yearn to be in your family home
And when you call, do they always say
“we are fine, alhamdollelah”
Does it surprise you that they are whole
While you… are broken|
Must they always worry about you
Urge you to have faith in your exile
Must they always pity you
For not breathing the air
Of your ancestors’ land
Must they always comfort you
Even when the bombs are falling
Do you ever wonder who is walled in
Is it you…or is it them
And when it finally dawns upon you
That their dignity sets them free
Do you feel ashamed of your liberty

About Samah Sabawi  
From: Valentine, Douglas. “Poetry, Palestine and the Language of Resistance.” Counterpunch. September 20, 2013.