“. . .hotels for wishes that never give birth. . .” (Rashid Hussein)

Has the Pilgrimage been hijacked?
Has the Pilgrimage been hijacked?

from THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
ISRAEL’S ARAB POLITICAL PARTIES UNITED FOR FIRST TIME
March 11, 2015
A coalition of once fractious Arab parties is suddenly emerging as Israel’s newest power bloc, forcing the Jewish state to pay attention to its large Arab minority as never before.

If polls taken ahead of next week’s general election are accurate, Arab Israelis could end up heading the third-largest political faction in Israel’s next parliament, giving a voice to the often-sidelined Arab population.

It’s a remarkable of twist of fate for Israel’s 1.7 million Arabs, who make up roughly 20 percent of the country’s population and have never had much political clout. (More. . .)

from THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
THE FRAT BOYS WHO SLANDER PALESTINE SOLIDARITY
Rania Khalek and Nora Barrows-Friedman
March 10, 2015
Last month the student court at the University of California at Davis overturned a recently approved resolution to divest from companies that profit from Israeli violations of Palestinians’ rights.

Determining that the resolution was “unconstitutional,” the student court’s ruling was based on a complaint made by Jonathan Mitchell, a former student body senator and former board member of the campus chapter of a right-wing Jewish fraternity.

The fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), has close ties to Israel lobby groups intent on crushing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. (More. . .)

from MONDOWEISS
ISRAEL’S FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS FOR BEHEADING ARAB CITIZENS AND IT’S NOT ANYWHERE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
Scott Roth and Phil Weiss
March 10, 2015

Two days ago Israel’s foreign minister called for beheading Arab citizens of Israel who are “against us.” Haaretz did the story yesterday. So did Newsweek.

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that Arab citizens who are not loyal to the state of Israel should have their heads “chopped off with an axe”.

The minister, leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party and an outspoken critic of Israel’s Arab population, made the controversial remarks on Sunday in a speech to an election rally held in the western Israeli city of Herzliya ahead of the March 17 vote.

“Those who are with us deserve everything, but those who are against us deserve to have their heads chopped off with an axe,” the ultra-nationalist politician said. (More. . .)

from THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
HAS THE PILGRIMAGE BEEN HIJACKED?
Richard LeSueur
March 2015
The travel industry has discovered a new word, “pilgrimage.” What was commonly marketed in previous years as a “Tour to the Holy Land” is today promoted as a “Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.” Has anything changed? Not really. The itineraries read the same: the frenetic pace, glossy hotels, air conditioned coaches, sumptuous meals, ample shopping opportunities, and the blur of sites. One might ask then, what do these tours have to do with the ancient practice of pilgrimage? Is this simply a marketing scheme to add sticker value and appeal to religious clients? Has the pilgrimage been hijacked for consumerist ends? Is there a difference between tourism and pilgrimage?

For more than twenty-five years I have been facilitating programs of Christian pilgrimage primarily in the Middle East. Pilgrimage is not tourism. Pilgrimage may involve elements of tourism common to all travel, but it is an ancient, soulful way of approaching a land, its peoples, and its story. Pilgrimage is different from tourism in its intention, design, collective rituals, and the principles that underlie the day-to-day experience. (More. . .)

Print
INTRODUCING THE BDS MOVEMENT
The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007. BDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice.

. . . On July 9 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice’s historic advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel’s Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), a clear majority of Palestinian civil society called upon their counterparts and people of conscience all over the world to launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives, and to demand sanctions against Israel, until Palestinian rights are recognized in full compliance with international law. (More. . .)

“WITHOUT A PASSPORT,” BY RASHID HUSSEIN

I was born without a passport
I grew up
and saw my country
become prisons
without a passport

So I raised a country
a sun
and wheat
in every house
I tended to the trees therein
I learned how to write poetry
to make the people of my village happy
without a passport

I learned that he whose land is stolen
does not like the rain
If he were ever to return to it, he will
without a passport

But I am tired of minds
that have become hotels
for wishes that never give birth
except with a passport

Without a passport
I came to you
and revolted against you
so slaughter me
perhaps I will then feel that I am dying
without a passport

Translated by Sinan Antoon. From Rashid Hussein, Al-A`mal al-Shi`riyya (al-Taybe: Markaz Ihya’ al-Turath al-`Arabi, 1990)
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He participated in founding the Land Movement in 1959. He left in 1966 and lived in Syria and Lebanon and later in New York City where he died in February, 1977. He was buried a week later in Musmus. His funeral was attended by thousands of Palestinians.

A view "Pilgrims" never see.
A view “Pilgrims” never see.

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