Del aire al aire, como una red vacía,
iba yo entre las calles y la atmósfera, llegando y despidiendo,
en el advenimiento del otoño la moneda extendida
de las hojas, y entre la primavera y las espigas,
lo que el más grande amor, como dentro de un guante
que cae, nos entrega como una larga luna.
(Días de fulgor vivo en la intemperie
de los cuerpos: aceros convertidos
al silencio del ácido:
noches desdichadas hasta la última harina:
estambres agredidos de la patria nupcial.)
Alguien que me esperó entre los violines
encontró un mundo como una torre enterrada
hundiendo su espiral más abajo de todas
las hojas de color de ronco azufre:
más abajo, en el oro de la geología,
como una espada envuelta en meteoros,
hundí la mano turbulenta y dulce
en lo más genital de lo terrestre.
Puse la frente entre las olas profundas,
descendí como gota entre la paz sulfúrica,
y, como un ciego, regresé al jazmín
de la gastada primavera humana. read on
Ramzy Baroudis an internationally syndicated columnist, author, and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story.
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, seems to be championing a single cause: Israel.
When Haley speaks about Israel, her language is not merely emotive nor tailored to fit the need of a specific occasion. Rather, her words are resolute, consistent and are matched by a clear plan of action.
Along with Haley, the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is moving fast to cultivate the unique opportunity of dismissing the United Nations, and thus any attempt at criticizing the Israeli occupation.
Unlike previous UN ambassadors who strongly backed Israel, Haley refrains from any coded language or any attempt, however poor, to appear balanced. Last March, she told a crowd of 18,000 supporters at the Israel lobby, AIPAC’s annual policy conference, that this is a new era for US-Israel relations.
“I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement,” she told the crowd that was thrilled by her speech. “It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick ’em every single time.”
Trump’s new sheriff/ambassador, condemned UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which strongly criticized Israel’s illegal settlements. While still in its final days in office, the Obama administration did not vote for the resolution — but did not veto it, either — thus setting a precedent that has not been witnessed in many years.
The US abstention, according to Haley, was as if the “entire country felt a kick in the gut.”
What made Israel particularly angry over Obama’s last act at the UN was the fact that it violated a tradition that has extended for many years, most notably during the term of US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte during George W. Bush’s first term in office.
What became known as the Negroponte doctrine was a declared US policy that Washington would oppose any resolution that criticizes Israel and does not also condemn Palestinians.
But Israel, not the Palestinians, is the occupying power which refuses to honor dozens of UN resolutions and various international treaties and laws. By making that decision, and, indeed, following through to ensure its implementation, the US managed to sideline the UN as an “irrelevant” institution.
Sidelining the UN, then, also meant that the US would have complete control over managing the Middle East, but especially the situation in Palestine.
However, under Trump, even the US-led and self-tailored “peace process” has become obsolete.
This is the real moral, but also political, crisis of the Haley doctrine, for it goes beyond Negroponte silencing any criticism of Israel at the UN, into removing the UN entirely — thus international law — from being a factor in resolving the conflict.
In a talk at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council — which is made up of 47 member countries — Haley declared that her country was “reviewing its participation” in the council altogether. She claimed that Israel is the “only country permanently on the body’s calendar,” an inaccurate statement that is often uttered by Israel with little basis in truth.
If Haley read the report on the 35th session of the Human Rights Council, she would have realized that the rights body discussed many issues, pertaining to women rights and empowerment, forced marriages, and human rights violations in many countries.
But considering that Israel has recently “celebrated” 50 years of occupying Palestinians, Haley should not be surprised that Israel is also an item on the agenda. In fact, any country that has occupied and oppressed another for so long should also remain an item on the international agenda.
Following her speech, in which she derided and threatened UN member states in Geneva, she went to Israel to further emphasize her country’s insistence on challenging the international community on behalf of Israel.
Along with notorious hasbara expert, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Haley toured the Israeli border with Gaza, showing sympathy with supposedly besieged Israeli communities — while on the other side, nearly two million Palestinians in Gaza have been trapped for over a decade in a very small region, behind sealed-shut borders.
Speaking in Jerusalem on June 7, Haley said: “I have never taken kindly to bullies and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time and we are not going to let that happen anymore,” adding that “it is a new day for Israel in the United Nations.”
By agreeing to live in Israel’s pseudo-reality, where bullies complain of being bullied, the US is moving further and further away from any international consensus on human rights and international law. This becomes more pronounced and dangerous when we consider Donald Trump administration’s decision to pull out from the Paris accords on global warming.
Trump argued that the decision was of benefit to American businesses. Even if one agrees with such an unsubstantiated assertion, Haley’s new doctrine on Israel and the UN, by contrast, can hardly be of any benefit to the United States in the short or long run. It simply degrades US standing, leadership and even goes below the lowest standards of credibility practiced under previous administrations.
Worse still, inspired and empowered by Haley’s blank check, Israeli leaders are now moving forward to physically remove the UN from Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Two alarming developments have taken place on that front:
One took place early May when Culture and Sport Minister, Miri Regev, made a formal demand to the Israeli cabinet to shut down the UN headquarters in Jerusalem, to punish UNESCO for restating the international position on the status of Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem.
The second was earlier this month, when Netanyahu called on Haley to shut down UNRWA, the UN body responsible for the welfare of five million Palestinian refugees.
According to Netanyahu, UNRWA “perpetuates” refugee problems. However, the refugees’ problem is not UNRWA per se, but the fact that Israel refuses to honor UN Resolution 194 pertaining to their return and compensation.
These developments, and more, are all outcomes of the Haley doctrine. Her arrival at the UN has ignited a US-Israeli hate fest, not only targeting UN member states, but international law, and everything that the United Nations has stood for over the decades.
The US has supported Israel quite blindly at the UN throughout the years. Haley seems to adopt an entirely Israeli position with no regard whatsoever for her country’s allies, or the possible repercussions of dismissing the only international body that still serves as a platform for international engagement and conflict resolution.
Haley seems to truly think of herself as the new sheriff in town, who will “kick ’em every single time,” before riddling the bullies with bullets and riding into the sunset, along with Netanyahu. However, with a huge leadership vacuum and no law to guide the international community in resolving a 70-year-old conflict, Haley’s cowboy tactics are likely to do much harm to an already bleeding region.
Since the Negroponte doctrine of 2002, thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis were killed in an occupation that seems to know no ends. Further disengagement from international law will likely yield a greater toll and more suffering.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect Ma’an News Agency’s editorial policy.
Thousands of people have taken the streets across Morocco’s northern Rif region for an eighth night demanding the release of a prominent protest movement leader.
Nasser Zefzafi, the head of the grass-roots Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or Popular Movement, was taken into custody on Monday and transferred to Casablanca.
Thousands rallied in the port city of al-Hoceima on Friday for a eighth straight night where a strike has seen nearly all of the shops in the city centre shuttered.
Protests also gripped the town ofImzouren, where scores of protesters clashed with policemen after Friday prayers.
“The whole Rif believes in freedom and humanity and in social justice,” said Cilia Ziani, one of the two women who inherited the leadership of the Hirak movement after Zefzafi was jailed.
“If you imprison our leaders, we will resist until our demands are granted,” she added.
Al-Hoceima, a city of 56,000 inhabitants, is in the neglected Rif region, and has long had a tense relationship with Morocco’s central authorities.
“The people are convinced that a solution to this injustice, to the suppression, is needed,” Nawal Benissa, a member of Hirak, told Al Jazeera.
“The Rif is bleeding.”
While some anger in the Al Hoceima protests has been directed at “Makhzen” – the royal governing establishment, the demonstrations in northern Morocco, as in pro-democracies rallies in 2011, have not been directed at King Mohammed VI.
“The doors to dialogue remain open with civil society,” government spokesman Mustafa el-Khalfi was quoted as saying by the official MAP news agency.
Celeste Hicks, a freelance journalist reporting from Casablanca, told Al Jazeera that the protests stemmed from the death of Mouhcine Fikri, a 31-year-old who was crushed in a rubbish truck in October as he protested against the seizure of swordfish caught out of season.
“The protests have been going on in various shapes and sizes for a seven months now, but it’s not really clear what’s going to happen next,” she said.
“The government has tried to send a delegation to meet the leaders of the movement but they have not been able to meet any.”
Calls for justice for Fikri evolved into a grass-roots movement demanding jobs and economic development, with Zefzafi, himself unemployed, emerging as the leader of Hirak.
Zefzafi was detained along with others on Monday for “attacking internal security”, after a warrant for his arrest issued last Friday.
After going on the run for three days, he was taken into custody on Monday “along with other individuals”.
Out of around 40 people who were reported arrested last week, including core members of Hirak, 25 have been referred to the prosecution.
Their trial began on Tuesday but was pushed back to June 6 at the request of their lawyers, who have complained their clients were ill-treated during their detention.
Seven suspects were released on bail and another seven were freed without charge.