“. . . started a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing, totally transforming the character, history and culture of the city. . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

hanan ashrawiMiddle East Eye INTERVIEWS VETERAN PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR HANAN ASHRAWI
David Hearst
Friday, February 13, 2015
. . . ASHRAWI: “One of the fatal flaws of the Declaration of Principles (DOP or Oslo Accord) is that they left the Jerusalemites at the mercy of Israel and then the international community allowed Israel to treat the Jerusalemites as residents of the city and totally control their lives, their lands, and their resources. From day one, Israel treated Jerusalem as if it were annexed de facto, even before they annexed it illegally, and started a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing, totally transforming the character, history and culture of the city. Siege and division is a microcosm of what Israel did to the West Bank, where you besiege it, control entrances and exits, and then fragment it internally. They planted settlements and settlers inside Jerusalem, then surrounded it with three rings, a triple siege: the settlements which it started early, the military checkpoints and the apartheid wall. . .” (More. . .)

L.A. Times Arts & Entertainment Television Show Tracker
PRO-PALESTINIAN GROUP CRITICIZES TV SERIES OVER JERUSALEM SCENES

Meredith Blake
Friday, March 6, 2015
The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, A Group that Objects to American Support for Israel, Is Criticizing USA Network over its new event series “Dig,” which premiered Thursday. USA declined to comment.

The archaeological excavations and underground tunnels in East Jerusalem depicted in the series have also been controversial because critics say the projects, which residents have blamed for damage to Palestinian homes and schools, are a way to expand Jewish settlements in predominantly Palestinian areas. “Dig” was the first large-scale television production to be filmed in the Israeli capital, according to the Times of Israel(More. . . )

Palestine News Network
HCEF AND AWU CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF BETHLEHEM MUSEUM FOR CULTURE AND HERITAGE

Sunday, March 1, 2015
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, in participation with Arab Women Union, under patronage of the Palestinian ministry of tourism on Saturday February 28th celebrated the opening of Bethlehem Museum to preserve about 3000 exquisite art crafts of the Palestinian heritage and culture.Musuem2
The opening ceremony started at the Jacir Palace Hotel, then continued to the museum building where the official opening took place. The Museum tells personal stories and shares them with million of tourists and pilgrims visiting the Holy Land annually. (More. . . )

Al-Araby al-Jadeed English
WHAT ABOUT THE ROCKETS?
Ben White
Thursday March 5, 2015
During the last couple of weeks, Westminster lobby group Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) has been pushing its new publication on Gaza, the key message of which is that the reconstruction of the fenced-in enclave should be contingent on its demilitarization.

My intention here is not to set out the clear, legal and moral, arguments against LFI’s ‘disarmament for development’ approach – indeed, leading NGOs have already done so. Rather, I would like to make a different point with regards to Israel advocacy in Western capitals.  (More. . .)

The Electronic Intifada
GAS DEAL WITH ISRAEL IS “KNIFE AT JORDAN’S THROAT,” SAY CAMPAIGNERS
Patrick O. Strickland
Thursday March 5, 2015
Jordanian campaigners are demanding that an agreement on importing gas from Israel be scrapped. At least 26 organizations, including trade unions and political parties, have joined the Jordanian Campaign to Stop the Zionist Gas Deal.

The state-owned National Jordanian Electric Power Company (NEPCO) has signed a $15 billion agreement to buy 300 million cubic feet of natural gas from Israeli-controlled parts of the Mediterranean Sea over a 15 year period. The gas will be extracted from the Leviathan gas field situated in the eastern Mediterranean. The extraction project is being led by the US giant Noble Energy.

The Israeli government stands to make $8.4 billion from the deal because of clauses relating to taxes and royalties, according to a report published by the campaigners. (More. . .)

“The More I Love You,” by Abu Salma

The more I fight for you, the more I love you!
What land except this land of musk and amber?
What horizon but this one defines my world?
The branch of my life turns greener when I uphold you
And my wing, O Palestine, spreads wide over the peaks.

Has the lemon tree been nurtured by our tears?
No more do birds flutter among the high pines,
Or stars gaze vigilantly over Mt. Carmel.
The little orchards weep for us, gardens grow desolate,
the vines are forever saddened.

Whenever your name waves above me, my words grow more poetic.
Planting desire for you on every stoop.
Is it possible these words could be torches
lighting each desert and place of exile?
O Palestine! Nothing more beautiful, more precious, more pure!.
The more I fight for you, the more I love you.
—translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

Abu Salma was born in 1907 in Haifa. He studied law and worked in Haifa until April 1948 when the Israelis occupied the city. He then moved to Akka. Shortly he left Akka to Damascus. Abu Salma kept the keys to his house and office in Haifa hoping to return. He was a friend of Ibrahim Tukan. Their love of poetry and Palestine built their friendship. Abu Salma wrote about his love and yearning for Palestine. He was awarded The Lotas International Reward for Literature in 1978 by The Association of Asian and African Writers. He was also given the title “The Olive of Palestine.” Abu Salma died in 1980.

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