And so the Trump/Friedman assault begins

PLEASE NOTE: This blog will resume its coverage of news from Palestine shortly. However, today it is important to begin to make clear the drastic shift in American policy toward Israel that will take place on January 2o. Thank you.

Senators Threaten to Cut Worldwide Embassy Security If U.S. Doesn’t Move Its Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem

___In 1995, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all campaigned on relocating the embassy and executing this law. But once in office, every one of them invoked a waiver in the law that allows them to hold off on the move if they deem it necessary to the national security interests of the United States to do so.       ___Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be seen as a green light to some Israeli government officials, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who seek to make Jerusalem the undivided capital of the state of Israel. That, in turn, would preclude the Palestinians from establishing a state that includes East Jerusalem. Most international observers believe that this would render the two-state solution impossible and thus be damaging to peace.       More . . .
________________________________
Call to direct action for [American] readers

Act Now

PUSH BACK AGAINST ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS – ACT NOW TO STOP HOUSE/SENATE RESOLUTIONS
We need you to ACT NOW to push back against illegal Israeli settlements! Congress has spent its first two days in session trying to back away from decades of U.S. policy on illegal settlements.
___Yesterday, the House and the Senate introduced legislation that would object to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 “as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.” H.R. 11 & the yet un-numbered Senate companion bill are unfounded and unwise criticisms of the Obama administration for abstaining from the UNSC resolution which condemned Israel for its settlements in the occupied West Bank.
___Contrary to what these bills (H.R. 11 & S.R. X) say, they do NOT aim to support the peace process. That was made even more clear when Rep. Peter King [R-NY-2] introduced an amendment that would DELETE any reference in the House bill to a two-state solution, which is a shocking abandonment of core U.S. policies. Simply put, these bills are about Congress trying to protect Israel from any criticism of illegal settlements.
More-including form for contacting members of Congress.
(Please forward to your American friends.)
__________________________________

Trump’s Pick for Israel Ambassador Is No Diplomat

THE ATLANTIC
David A. Graham
Dec. 16, 2016
David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer, believes Israel can annex and settle in the West Bank, wants to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and called a liberal American Jewish group “worse than kapos.”
___There was a time when Donald Trump’s statements on Israel rattled hardliners who were concerned he would be too friendly to Palestinians. In February, when Joe Scarborough asked him who was to blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Republican candidate replied, “I don’t want to get into it for a different reason, Joe, because if I do win, there has to be a certain amount of surprise, unpredictability. Let me be sort of a neutral guy, let’s see what—I’m going to give it a shot. It would be so great.”     ___Those days are long gone, a fact made clear by President-elect Trump’s decision to appoint David Friedman, an extreme hard-liner on the right, as his ambassador to Israel. Friedman, like many of Trump’s picks for Cabinet jobs, does not have any directly relevant experience, and the two men previously worked together when Friedman, a bankruptcy attorney, represented him in past bankruptcy proceedings.
___But Friedman advised Trump on Israel policy during the campaign and has left behind a long trail of statements indicating his views, including equating liberal Americans Jews to “kapos” who assisted Nazis in ghettos; labeling President Barack Obama an anti-Semite; and suggesting Israel should annex the West Bank.    More . . .

 

 

Yousef el Qedra, “. .Time has grown up on its own without me. . ” [A special post of news analysis]

Israeli troops shower protesters with tear gas in Bethlehem on Wednesday - Photo by WAFA Israeli troops shower protesters with tear gas in Bethlehem on Wednesday - Photo by WAFA
Israeli troops shower protesters with tear gas in Bethlehem on Wednesday – Photo by WAFA

MONDOWEISS
ON  BRET  STEPHENS’  HATE  SPEECH
Dorgham Abusalim
Oct. 14, 201
For Israel and her allies it seems that panic mode is on, and Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, who somehow manages to pass himself for a psychologist in his latest column, is freaking out.
____His article “Palestine: The Psychotic Stage” bears the subtitle, “The truth about why Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust.” In typical desperate fashion of the pro-occupation ilk, Stephens manipulates the tragic deaths of Israelis reported over the past two weeks. Meanwhile, he conveniently pretends that Palestinians are immortal. They don’t die. Hence, not one mention of a Palestinian death is worth his words — never mind that one of the world’s strongest armed forces is flexing its muscles against them. The issue is not so much with reporting on who died. Stephens’ dangerous propagation in this regard is that a Jewish death is a tragic one and worth reporting, while a Palestinian death is just not worth it because a Palestinian is a psychotic blood thirsty terrorist. Stephens writes:

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

More. . .
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PALESTINE:  THE  PSYCHOTIC  STAGE
THE  TRUTH  ABOUT  WHY  PALESTINIANS  HAVE  BEEN  SEIZED  BY  THEIR  PRESENT  BLOOD  LUST.
Bret Stephens
Oct. 12, 2015
If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed as Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”
____Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. [. . . . .]
____The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized . . . Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves. [. . . . .]
____Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due.
____Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.
More . . .
OPENDEMOCRACY. FREE THINKING FOR THE WORLD
PALESTINIANS  MUST  NOT  FALL  INTO  THIS  TRAP,  AGAIN!
Sam Bahour
Oct. 14, 2015
To cover up its crimes, Israel needs to feed all the western stereotypes of Palestinians as violent and subhuman rather than hungry for freedom and equal rights.
____The lid on the powder keg of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, has been rattling for years now. Palestinians from all walks of life have lost their voices making the case that Israel’s right-wing government . . . is pursuing policies bound to lead to exactly what we are witnessing today, violence. [. . . . .]
____Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has built his entire political career on a platform of violence against Palestinians.. . . . Netanyahu prides himself on being the leader who stopped the peace process in its tracks. To make sure peace would never have a chance, he accelerated settlement building in the West Bank, attacked Gaza multiple times, demolished more Palestinian homes, arrested Palestinians, including minors, often without charges, and failed to bring to justice the Jewish settlers who recently burned alive a Palestinian family while they slept in their home.
____But why does Israel seemingly seek violence? The answer is elementary to anyone following this conflict: Israel has a single gamebook against the legitimate Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence, that of using their well-oiled military machine to squash any Palestinian who attempts to resist occupation. Israel since 1948 and 1967 has routinely used war and violence to seize more land, all the while pushing Palestinians to either turn violent or emigrate.
More. . .
CBS/AP
U.S.  CONDEMNS  PALESTINIAN  ATTACKS  AGAINST  ISRAELI  CIVILIANS
Oct. 13, 2015
Video of the CBS coverage. No mention of settler terrorism. No mention of the International treaty that gives the Palestinians sole right to administer Al-Aqsa mosque. Palestinians are “terrorists.” The Israelis are afraid to go out, to ride buses. No mention of the complete control of Palestinian society by Israel.
More. . .
+972 MAGAZINE
ISRAEL’S  SCAPEGOAT  PROBLEM
Talal Jabari
Israeli governments always found someone to blame for whatever violence came their way, and then they bombed them. This time around there’s nobody to blame. Except for that one thing.
Oct. 14, 2015
This current wave of “lone-wolf” attacks by Palestinians against Israelis poses a threat to the Israeli government unlike any other. Obviously I am not referring to the security risk they pose — after all, Israel has far more deaths and injuries from car accidents. Nor am I referring to the fear this onslaught of attacks may be causing Israelis. No, the real threat is that for the first time since the First Intifada, almost 30 years ago, the Israeli government has nobody to blame. [. . . . .]
____Clearly the Israelis haven’t found anyone to blame, but that’s only because they’re not looking in the right place. Here’s a short list of where they should be looking.
____Let’s start with the obvious. No Palestinian under 50 living in the West Bank, and to an extent the Gaza Strip, has known a day of freedom in his or her entire life. No freedom of movement, no freedom of worship, no sense of personal safety or stability.
More. . .

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA (June 22, 2009)
I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms―
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.
I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISREL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.
Available from Barnes and Noble.
Yousef el Qedra is a young poet and playwright living in Gaza, Palestine. He has a B.A. degree in Arabic literature from al Azhar University, Gaza. His poems have been published in local, national and international magazines, newspapers, and internet websites. More. . .

“. . . The reckless playfulness of childhood . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

Fassuta is an Arab town on the northwestern slopes of Mount Meron in the Northern District of Israel, south of the Lebanese border. In 2005, the population of Fassuta was 2,900. Photo Shiham Abu Ayoub (Shayoub). Photo by Shiham Abu Ayoub.) See no. 4 below.
Fassuta is an Arab town on the northwestern slopes of Mount Meron in the Northern District of Israel, south of the Lebanese border. In 2005, the population of Fassuta was 2,900. Photo Shiham Abu Ayoub (Shayoub). Photo by Shiham Abu Ayoub.) See no. 4 below.

❶ Israeli forces shoot, kill teen in Jerusalem after 2nd alleged attack
❷ Israeli authorities issue 48-hour ban on Palestinian entry to Old City
❸ WATCH: Settlers hurl burning tires, boulders at Palestinians
❹ One Border, Two Worlds
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Searching for hope on days of unconscionable tragedy
❻ Poetry by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  KILL  TEEN  IN  JERUSALEM  AFTER  2ND  ALLEGED  ATTACK
Oct. 4, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli police officers shot dead a Palestinian teen near the Damascus gate of Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday morning after he allegedly attempted to stab a 16-year-old Israeli boy, an Israeli police spokesperson said.
____An Israeli police spokesperson said Israeli forces “identified the suspect who still had knife in his hand, and Israeli forces then neutralized and shot” the man.
[. . . . .]
____Alloun is the second Palestinian to be shot dead after allegedly stabbing Israelis in the Jerusalem’s Old City in the past 24 hours. [. . . . .]
____However, Alloun’s father has denied claims that his son tried to stab anyone before he was shot dead in the street, citing a video of the incident that has been circulating the internet.
More . . . (including video of event)
Corresponding Israeli reporting . . .
Continuing . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  ISSUE 48-HOUR BAN ON PALESTINIAN ENTRY TO OLD CITY
Oct. 4, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have issued a 48 hour ban on Palestinians from entering the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, following two stabbing attacks in which two Israelis were killed, and three injured at the site, an Israeli police spokesperson said.
____The two Palestinians who allegedly committed the stabbing attacks were shot dead on the scene during separate incidents, hours apart.
____Micky Rosenfeld told Ma’an that the ban on Palestinians entering the Old City was put in place in order to “prevent any further incidents or attacks.”
More . . .
+ 972 MAGAZINE
WATCH:  SETTLERS  HURL  BURNING  TIRES,  BOULDERS  AT  PALESTINIANS
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Oct. 4, 2015
Hundreds of settlers launch dozens of attacks against Palestinians across the West Bank, in the wake of two Palestinian attacks that left four Israelis dead. Rights groups demand the army intervene to protect Palestinians from settler violence.
More . . .
More news . . .
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
ONE  BORDER,  TWO  WORLDS
Fida Jiryis
Oct. 2015
I stand in the long line of cars waiting to leave Qalandia Checkpoint, my anger and frustration still boiling over, even after six years. I’ve never been able to get used to it, and I don’t think anyone does, really. We just grit our teeth and go through the motions.
[. . . . .]
____It’s one of the most depressing spaces I’ve ever had the misfortune to frequent. . . The road is battered, the passengers weary, the Israeli soldiers smug and insolent. We hope and pray that the line will move forward uneventfully and that the teenagers imprisoning us will see nothing wrong in our ID cards and let us through.
____I cross, and within a few minutes, the entire reality changes. About two kilometers is all it takes to be transported to a different world. Suddenly, dust and dirt are replaced by green and cleanliness.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
+ 972 MAGAZINE
SEARCHING  FOR  HOPE  ON  DAYS  OF  UNCONSCIONABLE  TRAGEDY
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Oct. 4, 2015
The only thing that can stop the killing, that can turn desperate people from violence, that can stop the creation of new orphans, is hope. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere to be found.
____The most tragic part about the violence that strikes civilians in Israel and Palestine is that it is largely preventable. That is not to say that the victims are in any way to blame for their own murders — of course not. But political violence is a direct result of the political conflict, of the occupation, incitement on both sides, and an utter lack of vision being offered to both Israelis and Palestinians.
More . . .

“FUNERAL,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH
He bequeathed his soul…to horses’ foreheads
His feet…to a dance that makes the earth want to
Be green
His voice…to the cockerels of morning
His little ensnaring toys… to the old men
His hands, with the cold dignity of wisdom, …to
The reckless playfulness of childhood
His heart…to a woman who stopped him in his
Tracks when she loved him
She said: don’t be domestic, like pots and; pans
And departed
And so
When we walked in his funeral procession
The coffin was empty

From PoemHunter.com. Web. http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/funeral-31/
About Ibrahim Nasrallah 

Israeli soldiers accompany Israeli settlers as settlers carry out vigilante attacks against local Palestinians and their land in the West Bank village of Bur’in, October 3, 2015. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)
Israeli soldiers accompany Israeli settlers as settlers carry out vigilante attacks against local Palestinians and their land in the West Bank village of Bur’in, October 3, 2015. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

“. . . and every night the same portraits form. . .” (Mohammed Lafi)

Israeli Patrol watching Gaza fishermen along Gaza's border. Photo by Rosa Schiano.
Israeli Patrol watching Gaza fishermen along Gaza’s border. Photo by Rosa Schiano. (See #4 below)

❶ From +972 MAGAZINE
PERPETRATOR UNKNOWN: THE SYSTEMIC FAILURE TO INVESTIGATE SETTLER VIOLENCE
Yossi Gurvitz
May 30, 2015
At the center of a new Yesh Din report, “Mock Enforcement,” is a depressing piece of data: the Israel Police fail in 85.3 percent of investigations into Israelis who harm Palestinians in the West Bank. The report, which deals with Israel’s continued failure to enforce the law on Israeli civilians in the West Bank, examined 996 cases closed by the police, and found that the main reason cited for closing them is “UP” – unknown perpetrator. . .
____The UP clause is the official reason police give explaining their decision to close the cases. Israel Police directives allow for nine reasons for closing an investigative case, among them: lack of criminal culpability, inadequate evidence, the suspect is a minor, and, of course, unknown perpetrator.
____Every time a case is closed due to UP, the question arises: just how hard the did the police search for the guilty party . . .
(More. . . )

❷ From +972 MAGAZINE
HOW AN ALLEGED WAR CRIME GOES AWAY — AND RESURFACES A YEAR LATER
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 2, 2015
How does an apparent war crime, recorded and reported in real time disappear from the public realm and the radar of military investigators for almost a year? The fog of war? Hiding in plain sight? It’s not quite clear.
. . . in the middle of one of the deadliest battles of last summer’s Gaza war, in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood, where some 100 Palestinians and over a dozen Israeli soldiers were killed. On July 22, IDF Cpt. Dima Levitas was killed by Palestinian fire. Levitas was laid to rest the next day in Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery. . .
___One day later, on the NRG news site, formerly the website of Ma’ariv and now owned by Israel Hayom, an audio clip was published. According to the NRG report, the clip is a recording — over the army two-way radio — of Lt.-Col. Neriya Yeshurun eulogizing Levitas, and ultimately ordering a barrage of tank fire, “in his honor,” directed at a medical clinic.
(More. . . )
(Original report)

Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza
Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza

❸ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
E1 PROJECT AIMS TO ELIMINATE PALESTINIANS FROM C AREAS
June 2, 2015
IMEMC News & Agencies
The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) today warned from the Israeli civil administration’s project E1, which aims to conduct six structure plans annexed to each other, forming a new settlement, after they relocate the Bedouin Palestinians from their homes near Jerusalem and Nuway’imah . . . to expand illegal Israeli settlements.
____According to the PNN, the report showed that about half a million dunams of lands will be evacuated. . . These areas will be converted into settlements, military training zones, in addition to nature reserves, making it impossible for the Bedouins to return to their homes, in addition to the catastrophe of ripping the occupied West Bank into two halves.
____The director of UAWC’s Development and Operations department, Fuad Abu Seif, said that the project was a flagrant violation of all the international treaties, including the fourth Geneva Convention, in which article 49 quotes:

Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.

(More. . .)

❹ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
OCCUPATION TARGETS FARMERS AND FISHERMEN, INJURES 1, IN INCURSION EAST OF RAFAH
PNN/Gaza/
June 3, 2015
A farmer was wounded Wednesday morning as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire on the border of Khuza’a town east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
____IOF targeted farmers and opened fire in their direction, prompting dozens of farmers to leave their lands due to the continuation of the indiscriminate shooting.
____Meanwhile, Israeli military boats targeted fishermen in a number of areas off the coast of the Strip. No injuries were reported.
____This comes after 3 fishermen were injured on Monday morning by Israeli occupation naval soldiers.
____Israeli naval boats regularly open fire on Palestinian fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone and farmlands along the border, clearly violating the ceasefire deal, reported IMEMC.
(More. . .)

❺ From WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS (WRMEA)
Special Report
KILLING IN GAZA, SAVING IN NEPAL:  ISRAEL’S MORAL HYPOCRISY
By Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy is a columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz.
June-July, 2015
THE UNIFORM IS THE same uniform. It’s the uniform whose wearers blew up hundreds of homes and schools and clinics in Gaza last summer. It’s the uniform whose wearers periodically shoot teenagers and children throwing stones and peaceful demonstrators in the West Bank. It’s the uniform that every night invades homes and brutally pulls people out of bed, often for needless and politically motivated arrests. It’s the uniform that blocks people’s freedom of movement in their own land. It’s the uniform that’s been abusing an entire people for decades.
____Now its wearers are saving lives for the cameras. The evil army in Palestine has become the salvation army in Nepal. . .
(More. . .)

“portraits and paintings,” by Mohammed Lafi
(for Ahmad Abū Salim)

every night
and for some time now
they spread across the walls of my room
across sea-fronts .  lighthouses .  oceans and ships
across known and unknown faces
public spaces
and our forgotten homeland’s fallen balconies
for some time now
and every night the same portraits form, but
-always .  in the far right-hand corner of each
resides. . . a coffin and a shroud!

every night her foot-steps
echo through the house anew
and say: believe me . the dwellers in the tombs
do not eliminate
the boundaries
between the cycle of life and death

Translated by Jim Ferguson
Mohammed Lafi is a Lecturer in English and Translation at Al-Aqsa University, Gaza, and works as a freelance translator for local and international organizations in his free time.His master’s degree was in Theory and Practice of Translation at SOAS and UCL,London, in 2004-2005. He has a BA in English and a postgraduate diploma in Education, both from the Islamic University, Gaza, Palestine. His main areas of interest are linguistics and translation studies, in particular how translation can be used to represent and misrepresent Arabic literature.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

Israeli settlers, from the Maaon settlement, take pictures of an elderly Palestinian shepard after he was pushed on the ground near the village of Umm el-Kheir in the southern hills of the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on January 25, 2014.
Israeli settlers, from the Maaon settlement, take pictures of an elderly Palestinian shepard after he was pushed on the ground near the village of Umm el-Kheir in the southern hills of the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on January 25, 2014.