I Don’t Want This Poem to End: Early and Late Poems

The first impression that sprang to mind upon reading the first few pages of this collection of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry is the impossibility of quantifying the sense of nostalgia that knows its roots in love.  There is no need to search for Palestine’s mention in this collection – the omniscience pervades in every word chosen by the poet to impart Palestine and love as inseparable. In the context of the poet and his poetry, to exclude one is to annihilate the other. “I Don’t Want This Poem To End” is a collection of Darwish’s poetry translated into English and published for the first time. It facilitates an understanding of the poet who was claimed by the Arab world as a […]

The PA shapes facts on the ground, for Israel’s benefit

Since US President Donald Trump’s declaration regarding Jerusalem it has become clear that the Palestinian Authority (PA) remains committed to reacting to, rather than acting on, political developments which in the long run could contribute to additional forced displacement and colonial expansion. If it were not for the genuine reaction of Palestinians the issue of Jerusalem would have already been relegated to another political gamble. Try as he might, PA President Mahmoud Abbas cannot lay any claims to the current uprising – Palestinians would have resisted without the initial calls for demonstrations. Jerusalem, therefore, is also being fragmented by the Palestinian leadership. There is no protection for protesters and other than the initial call to oppose Trump’s declaration, the PA […]

Israel, the US and the PA are complicit in normalising colonialism

Two recent news reports about Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and his role in the diplomatic negotiations have conveyed the absence of leadership in reclaiming Palestinian rights. The White House statement blaming Abbas for wasting decades of negotiations is accurate up to a point, although the context given by the US is misleading. Meanwhile, a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research reveals 70 per cent of respondents demanding the resignation of Abbas. The poll also shows that 90 per cent view US President Donald Trump’s decision regarding Jerusalem “as a threat to Palestinian interests.” To focus upon the Palestinian narrative requires an analysis of Abbas’s actions as part of the collaborative system which required […]

Israeli security interests dominate EU diplomacy

The EU Foreign Policy Chief has told Benjamin Netanyahu that there will be no mass relocation of embassies to Jerusalem. Federica Mogherini insisted that this will be the case in response to the Israeli Prime Minister’s comment that most European countries would follow Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv. However, there was no recognition from the EU regarding the shift in political dynamics, particularly with regard to the negotiations and the two-state paradigm. On the contrary, Mogherini exposed the EU’s intent to persist in diplomatic engagement within the obsolete framework, for the sake of Israel’s security interest. As quoted in the Times of Israel, Mogherini stated: “We believe it is in Israel’s interest, especially […]

Trump’s declaration is a reflection of the UN’s earlier colonial impositions on Palestine

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 […]

Palestinian leaders should stop discussing Jerusalem within the context of negotiations

US President Donald Trump has embarked upon a strategy that incorporates even more delays for Palestinians than those of his predecessors. Previous presidencies were marked by obvious support for Israel’s security narrative which in turn led to increased dispossession and violence against Palestinians. Trump has projected ambiguity in the form of promises for a solution while playing a game of incitement, particularly when it comes to Jerusalem. On the periphery, the previous insistence of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem remains the subject of occasional debate. The news that US President Donald Trump might unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has prompted Palestinian Authority leaders to issue statements of objection. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas stated that such […]

Palestinian leaders should stop discussing Jerusalem within the context of negotiations

US President Donald Trump has embarked upon a strategy that incorporates even more delays for Palestinians than those of his predecessors. Previous presidencies were marked by obvious support for Israel’s security narrative which in turn led to increased dispossession and violence against Palestinians. Trump has projected ambiguity in the form of promises for a solution while playing a game of incitement, particularly when it comes to Jerusalem. On the periphery, the previous insistence of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem remains the subject of occasional debate. The news that US President Donald Trump might unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has prompted Palestinian Authority leaders to issue statements of objection. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas stated that such […]

The international community’s emulation of Moshe Dayan’s strategy

The recently released transcripts of Israeli cabinet meetings following the 1967 war contain important information regarding the colonial state’s approach to negotiations. Israel does favour negotiations, or the concept of negotiations, which plays into the diplomatic tangles preferred by the international community. However, for Israel, negotiations are a means of delay to manipulate circumstances in favour of colonial expansion. The international community cannot claim to be unaware of the dynamic and has acquiesced to it, rather than repudiate Israel’s duplicitous methods. As published partially on Ynet News, references to negotiations and a hypothetical Palestinian state were characterised by the intent to preserve an illusion of discussion, as opposed to implementation. Israeli minister Haim Moshe Shapira, also leader of the National […]

Gaza – preparing for dawn

Against a modified backdrop of Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, altered to evoke symbolism of the political differences between Hamas and Fatah, journalist Donald Macintyre notes the absence of reconciliation. The prologue to “Gaza – preparing for dawn” (OneWorld Publications, 2017) is deftly constructed to give the reader insights into the social, political, economic and humanitarian aspects of life in the besieged enclave. From the early attempts at Zionist colonisation, to the present circumstances, Macintyre has woven historical information, political manipulation and the repercussions of Israeli violence against Palestinians into a fast-paced narrative. The timeline followed by the author allows the reader to place Israeli aggression within the political context, highlighting aspects which also portray international complacency when it comes […]

The UN’s Peace Process Coordinator is misleading us on Palestine

If in the past there were attempts to disguise political collusion against Palestine, it is no longer the case. Whether the topic is reconciliation or the two-state compromise, Israel blatantly stands out as the prime concern for the UN. A reading of UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov’s comments, which were included in a UN press release regarding the recent reconciliation talks in Cairo, is testimony of such a dynamic. Amid admissions that so far there has been no alleviation with regard to Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, no discourse of accountability for the situation was included. Descriptions of Palestinians living without access to basic services were concluded with notifications that a meeting in Ramallah discussed “how […]