“. . . I have prepared my poems And reclaimed my hand . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

from MONDOWEISS
NETANYAHU FLAILS AGAINST INT’L CONSPIRACY, AS LIBERAL ZIONISTS SEEK ORANGE REVOLUTION AGAINST ‘FADING STRONGMAN’
Israel/Palestine
Philip Weiss
March 13, 2015
Israel’s illusion that it is at the center of the known universe is now shared by a lot of American commentators. The mood is even more intense because liberal Zionists sense a historic election in which Benjamin Netanyahu goes down and is replaced by the center-left. Haaretz’s Barak Ravid is mocking the prime minister’s statements about outside influence:

Netanyahu says “Scandinavia” is trying to topple him. Yes – you heard me – Scandinavia

Gershom Gorenberg explains that Netanyahu has accused European governments, especially Scandinavian ones, of funding campaign to depose him. Gorenberg:

Last refuge of the fading strongman: accuse outside agitators, foreign govts. (More. . .)

The Choir of the Custody of the Holy Land with members of the Sant Angela Choir of Budapest
The Choir of the Custody of the Holy Land with members of the Sant Angela Choir of Budapest

from THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
Artist of the Month
THE CHOIR OF THE CUSTODY OF THE HOLY LAND (Roman Catholic)
March, 2015
The Magnificat Choir of the Custody of the Holy Land was founded in 1850 by a number of clerics in Jerusalem. After the establishment of the Terra Sancta Boarding School in 1870, the choir expanded and graduates of the school began volunteering their services to the choir. These included Augustine Lama, a choir conductor and organist, and later, organist Salvador Arnita. During the late 1950s, the Franciscan priests took charge of conducting the choir. Among the most famous were Father Teofilo Ciardini and Father Antonio Foley, who developed the Parish Choir. Over the course of time, these two choirs combined and began singing both in Latin and in Arabic throughout the churches of the Holy Land. (More. . .)

from PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
‘ISRAEL’ PLANS TO BUILD NEW SEPARATION WALL ALONG JORDANIAN BORDER
PNN/Jerusalem
March 14, 2015
Following the completion of a security fence on the border with Egypt, ‘Israel’ plans to build a new separation wall on the border with Jordan to protect ‘Israel’ from a possible infiltration by “global Jihadists”, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

The Israeli government said that the first section of the wall will stretch for 30 km and will be equipped with security cameras and watch towers. The wall is part of a broader defence plan to secure the Timna region prepared by the Israeli army in the wake of the geo-strategic changes in the region.

The Israeli security forces fear the Iraqi and Syrian jihadists who were reported to have entered Jordan in huge numbers and it is possible that they’ll find their way to ‘Israel’. A senior Israeli officer said they do not have intelligence about the activities of ISIS elements in Jordan.
(More. . .)

from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
HAMAS LAUNCHES #ASKHAMAS INFORMATIONAL TWITTER CAMPAIGN
March 14, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas launched a campaign on Twitter Friday aimed at improving transparency and reaching out to English social media users.

The movement said its English-language initiative #AskHamas was designed so officials could answer questions from social media users.

The campaign was timed to coincide with the deadline for a European Union appeal against removing the group from the EU’s terror list, Hamas said.

A European court in December ordered the removal of Hamas from the bloc’s terror list, but the European Union said it would appeal the decision within three months.

“The #AskHamas campaign … will begin Friday and continue for five days,” said an Arabic-language statement posted on Hamas media official Taher al-Nunu’s Facebook page.
(More. . .)

from THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
KEEPING PALESTINIAN IDENTITY ALIVE IN HEBRON
Narjas Zatat
March 13, 2015
Once a thriving marketplace, Hebron’s Shuhada street has been closed to Palestinians for the past twenty-one years.

Israel used the 1994 massacre at the nearby Ibrahimi Mosque — during which the extremist American settler Baruch Goldstein killed 29 worshippers — as a pretext to tighten its control over the occupied West Bank city.

Today, Jewish-only settlements have surrounded Hebron and taken over parts of the city. These settlements are illegal under international law.

The closure of Shuhada Street is vigorously opposed by Palestinians. The organization Youth Against Settlements (YAS) both documents human rights abuses carried out by the Israeli military and takes direct action against Hebron’s suffocation.

In a symbolically important move, the group has succeeded in setting up a kindergarten on Shuhada Street. (More. . .)

Ibrahim Nasrallah
Ibrahim Nasrallah

“ABSENCE,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH
Who loves the winter as you do?
And is fascinated by trees that resist the wind as you do?
And who like you perfects life
With such innocent joy?
God!
If only you were with me now
I have prepared everything
The chestnuts and the fire,
I have pulled back the blinds
And raised my prayer to the gypsy rain
Pleaded that it persist in its discord
And eternal rites
God!
If only you were beside me now!
I have prepared my poems
And reclaimed my hand
From the combat of the street
From the merchants
And the brokers
And the guardsmen,
And a frost that has tried so often
To squeeze you out of my heart
From bullets that have repeatedly aimed
To swallow up the ring of your voice
As you commune with the buds
Or kindle the fire
God! Had you been with me
We would have sung our song now
The one which the wind almost uproots from my voice
Each time I sing it alone

–Translation by Ibrahim Muhawi
Ibrahim Nasrallah (born 1954 in Amman, Jordan, in Wihdat refugee camp) is a Jordanian-Palestinian poet, novelist, professor, painter and photographer.
He studied in the UN agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) schools and at the UNRWA Teacher Training College in Amman. He taught in Saudi Arabia for 2 years in the Al Qunfudhah region and worked as a journalist between 1978 and 1996. Nasrallah then returned to Jordan and worked at Dostur, Afaq and Hasad newspapers. He is in charge of cultural activities at Darat-al-Funun in Amman. He has published 14 books of poetry, 13 novels and two children’s books. In 2009 his novel The Time of White Horses was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Biography from “Poem Hunter.com.”

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