“. . . to restore even a bit of our dignity. . . ” (Sakher al-Kafarneh in Gaza)

Jericho seen from Jebel Quruntul (Mount of the Quarantine or forty days.) Photo by Malak Hasan.
Jericho seen from Jebel Quruntul (Mount of the Quarantine or forty days.) Photo by Malak Hasan.

The Electronic Intifada
Rami Almeghari, March 6, 2015

Sakher al-Kafarneh used to have 3,000 chickens, 35 sheep, 5 cows and a horse. That was before Israel attacked his farm in the summer of 2014.

“We have lost everything,” he said. “Only two cows are still alive.”

Ever since the attack al-Kafarneh and his family have been living in a school run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees. They make trips to their home in the Beit Hanoun area of Gaza so they can use the toilet. It remains intact, although their house was mostly destroyed.

Al-Kafarneh estimates that it would cost $50,000 to repair the damage inflicted on his home and farm. He desperately wants the house to be made habitable again “to restore even a bit of our dignity.” (More. . .)

from +972
Salam Fayyad
Salam Fayyad is former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority and was first Prime Minister of the State of Palestine.
March 5, 2015

Irrespective of who wins in Israel’s elections, Palestine will have to deal with the marginalization of its quest for statehood. That process must start by reintegrating Gaza into the Palestinian fold.

For Palestinians the quest for statehood begins with Gaza. But wait, is there still active regional or international interest in the cause of Palestinian statehood? I submit that whatever residual interest remains in the possibility of making yet another attempt at reviving the “peace process” finds expression these days largely in the phrase “let’s first see what March 17 brings,” a reference to the upcoming Israeli elections. (More. . .)

from This Week in Palestine

St. George Monastery
St. George Monastery

Malak Hasan
March, 2015 (Issue titled “Spiritual Tourism”)

I still remember the day when I sat at the edge of a rocky cliff in Wales overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world, feeling envious that we do not have similar places in Palestine. . . . In January, the Birzeit-based Rozana Association invited me to hike in Wadi Qelt, a valley located between the holy city of Jerusalem and the oldest city in the world, Jericho. . . . I didn’t expect to have an adventure that would change my attitude towards the tourism potential of Palestine. I took the familiar road to Jericho, but this time turned off from the highway following the sign reading Wadi Qelt in Arabic, English, and Hebrew. We kept driving for another fifteen minutes . . . . The gate stood on its own like a portal that vowed to send us back into the past, to an era where miracles were a possibility. (More. . .)

A link to this blog film about St. George Monastery near Jericho, which Malak Hasan visited (be sure to read her comments about her time as a Muslim woman in a Hijab with the Christian monk). It is an excellent video showing the beauty of the land around Jericho.

from The Palestine Chronicle
Monday, March 09, 2015

Israel is suffering the “worst crisis since its creation” under Netanyahu’s leadership, a former Mossad director told a crowd of up to 50,000 in Tel Aviv. The anti-government rally was orchestrated and funded from abroad, said the ruling Likud party.

Delivering his keynote speech, Meir Dagan, the former Mossad director spoke of the government’s lack of vision and inability to properly direct the country surrounded by enemies.

“I am frightened by our leadership. I am afraid because of the lack of vision and a loss of direction. I am frightened by the hesitation and the stagnation [of Israel’s government]. And I am frightened, above all else, from a crisis in leadership. It is the worst crisis that Israel has seen to this day”. . . (More. . .)

from History Commons
(a timeline of some of Netanyahu’s early rhetoric)

(The History Commons timelines are expandable to include more information from the time included. They are excellent sources for understanding background of any event in recent history.) (More. . .)

A POEM FOR GAZA. By Najwan Darwish
Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid.

Fado, I’ll sleep like people do
when shells are falling
and the sky is torn like living flesh
I’ll dream, then, like people do
when shells are falling:
I’ll dream of betrayals

I’ll wake at noon and ask the radio
the questions people ask of it:
Is the shelling over?
How many were killed?

But my tragedy, Fado,
is that there are two types of people:
those who cast their suffering and sins
into the streets so they can sleep
and those who collect the people’s suffering and sins
mold them into crosses, and parade them
through the streets of Babylon and Gaza and Beirut
all the while crying
Are there any more to come?
Are there any more to come?

Two years ago I walked through the streets
of Dahieh, in southern Beirut
and dragged a cross
as large as the wrecked buildings
But who today will lift a cross
from the back of a weary man in Jerusalem?

The earth is three nails
and mercy a hammer:
Strike, Lord
Strike with the planes

Are there any more to come?

July 11, 2014. Originally published in Split This Rock.
Najwan Darwish, one of the foremost Arabic-language poets of his generation, was born in Jerusalem in 1978. He has worked as the editor of two cultural magazines in Palestine and was a cultural critic for the prominent Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar from 2006 to 2012. Darwish has been an organizer and advisor for many public arts projects, among them the Palestine Festival of Literature. In 2009, he was on the Hay Festival Beirut’s list of the “best 39 Arab authors under the age of 39.” He currently resides in Jerusalem.

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