“Subside, tempests! Abashed by his boldness. . . ” (Ibrahim Tuqan)

18 Kidnapped overnight
18 Kidnapped overnight

Tuesday March 10, 2015

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, Teqoua’ town, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and kidnapped eighteen Palestinian youths, including several siblings, after storming dozens of homes and detonating the front doors of some of them, and assaulted many residents. (More. . .)

By Rachelle Marshall
March/April 2015

Only in a Kafka-esque world would it be a punishable offense to seek justice before a court of law. Yet that is the world that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live in. For nearly half a century Israel has controlled their land and water, restricted their every movement, and taken steps to cripple their economy. For years they were forbidden to hold political gatherings.

Today, Palestinians in the West Bank live at the mercy of trigger-happy soldiers. The U.N. reported that Israeli forces killed 50 Palestinians in the West Bank in 2014, including a 55-year-old Palestinian official, Ziad Abu Ein, who was grabbed around the neck and butted in the chest by a helmeted Israeli soldier while taking part in a peaceful demonstration. Scores of Palestinians were wounded last year by gunfire, including several members of the International Solidarity movement, who are pledged to nonviolence.

Soldiers make no distinction between Palestinian children and adults. More than a thousand children in the West Bank were injured last year, among them 5-year-old Muhammed Ubeid and 11-year-old Saleh Mahmoud, both of whom were shot in the face with rubber-coated steel bullets. Saleh was permanently blinded. Amira Hass concluded in her Dec. 15 Haaretz column: “The violence of the Israel Defense Forces has become normal, an obvious routine.” (More. . .)

(NOTE: A subscription to WRMEA is necessary in order to read the full article. WRMEA is one of the most reliable sources of information about Palestine/Israel and is well worth the subscription. Contact me for a “fair-use” copy of this article.)

Eyal Weizman, Nick Axel, Steffen Kraemer, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Jacob Burns
March 10, 2015

Denial is an important and often underemphasized dimension of Israel’s violence toward Palestinians. Israel equally denies historical crimes and daily incidents. Denial has become, in fact, a constant and almost instinctual official reaction to any accusation of wrongdoing. This is not only an offence against truth, but also enables the ongoing perpetration of crimes. If one has done no wrong, one may, of course, continue doing it.

Israel’s denial of the Nakba—the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948—has been legally sanctioned since 2011. The “Nakba law” now imposes harsh fines on public organizations that refer to Israel’s official Independence Day on the 15th of May as a day of mourning. The Nakba is, however, not just a historical fact: it is a daily reality for many Palestinians living under Israeli domination. Despite Israel’s attempt to expunge the Palestinian disaster from memory, every May 15th in the West Bank Nakba denial is countered by protests that often lead to clashes with Israeli security forces. (More. . . )

Allison Deger
March 8, 2015

Palestinian leaders decided Thursday night they will “end all forms of security coordination with Israel,” a much-criticized practice of shared policing across the West Bank and a staple of Israeli-Palestinian relations over the last two decades. The announcement included one loophole that would allow Israel to salvage the security arrangement, a signal that the Palestinian leaders could be seeking to leverage Israel’s security concerns in order to get funds due to the Palestinian Authority that Israel has frozen.

In their statement, Palestinian leaders left open the possibility that security coordination could continue so long as Israel enforces all “signed agreements” with the Palestinians. Moreover, ending security coordination would not go into effect until at least three months from now, said Xavier Abu Eid, spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). (More. . .)

March 6, 2015

Israeli forces fired on Palestinians in Gaza every day during the month of February, particularly in the so-called Access Restricted Areas along the Gaza-Israel boundary, the United Nations monitoring group OCHA reported.

Raeda al-Abeed mourns her four-year-old son Jihad, who suffered from quadriplegia, in their shack in Gaza City on 2 February. The child died after his family was unable to travel for medical treatment due to the closure of Rafah crossing with Egypt.
Raeda al-Abeed mourns her four-year-old son Jihad, who suffered from quadriplegia, in their shack in Gaza City on 2 February. The child died after his family was unable to travel for medical treatment due to the closure of Rafah crossing with Egypt.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt — the sole exit and entry point for the vast majority of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents — remained closed throughout the month. According to OCHA, an estimated 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza were waiting to cross into Egypt, including medical patients and students. (More. . .)


Do not consider his safety—
He bares his life on the palms of his hands.
Worries have substituted
A pillow for his shroud
As he waits for that hour
That ushers in the terrible hour of his death.
His bowed head disturbs
All who glance his way.
Within his breast there is
A throbbing heart afire with its purpose.
Who has not seen night’s charcoal blackness
Set on fire by his spark
Hell itself has touched
His message with its fire.

There he stands at the door:
Death is afraid of him.
Subside, tempests!
Abashed by his boldness.

Silent he is, but should he speak
He would unite fire with blood.
Tell whoever faults with his silence
Resolution was born mute
And in the man of resolution
The hand is quicker that the word.
Rebuke him not for he has seen
The path of righteousness darkened
The foundations of a country
He loves demolished
And enemies at whose injustice
Heaven and earth cry out!
There was a time when despair
Almost killed him… but

There he stands at the door
And death is afraid of him.
Subside tempest!
Abashed at his boldness!
——Translated by Lena Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs

Jayyusi, Salma Khadra, ed. Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature. New York: Columbia University Press (1992) 317-318.

“. . . 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.

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

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

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
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
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.

“Marathonic circus of stirring eye-rubbing, evoking optical transgression. . .” (Shukri Abu-Baker)

Dr. Polly Coote
Dr. Polly Coote

Professor Polly Coote, San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA

Phrases from the Bible you’ve heard all your life can strike you in disconcerting new ways when you set eyes for the first time on the “Holy Land” as it is today. Take, for example, the Jericho Road: the way Isaiah urged the exiles to take from Babylon back to Jerusalem, the road Jesus took on Palm Sunday, the route of the Good Samaritan . . . After participating in a Keep Hope Alive olive harvest trip, Polly Coote imagines how a present-day crowd might riff on Jesus’ parable.

Dr. Coote is an Associate Professor of Greek and Associate Dean (retired) at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. In the fall of 2014, she and six others joined an international team organized by the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the YMCA and YWCA in East Jerusalem, to assist Palestinian farmers with the annual olive harvest in an on-going gesture of support and solidarity against Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. (More. . . )

For more on the JAI-PAL Olive Tree Campaign see. .  and see. . .

Annie Robbins
March 4, 2015
Have you heard of PalAd yet? Otherwise known as the Palestine Advocacy Project? While it may seem there’s a new kid on the block who just burst on the scene launching major ad campaigns in seven major U.S. cities protesting Netanyahu’s historic assault on Congress and the minds of Americans that would not be the case. Ads have appeared in public transit systems, billboards, and mobile billboard trucks in Washington, DC, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, and San Antonio synchronizing with AIPAC’s annual D.C. conference. Take a look: (More. . .)

—U.N. News Service, Jan. 27, 2015
The United Nations agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees across the Middle East has announced that a major fund- ing shortfall has forced the suspension of its cash assistance pro- gram that would have helped families in Gaza repair their homes and provide rental subsidies to people left homeless after last year’s conflict in the enclave.

Announcing the suspension, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said in a press release “virtually none” of the funds pledged by donors at an international conference in Cairo last year has reached Gaza, and that it will need some $100 million in the first quarter of 2015. (More. . .)

Stephanie Westbrook
2 March 2015
Ilan Pappe, the outspoken Israeli historian, has criticized an Italian university for succumbing to “Zionist intimidation” by canceling a debate in which he was scheduled to take part.

Just days before the 16 February debate was due to take place, the University of Rome III denied the event’s organizers use of its prestigious Center for Italian and French Studies for the debate. The event — dealing with the use and abuse of identity in Europe and the Middle East — did go ahead, but at a different venue.

The last-minute cancelation is another case of preemptive muzzling by an institution of higher learning. “It is very disturbing to see how freedom of speech is framed in Europe,” Pappe told The Electronic Intifada. “Ridiculing the prophet Muhammad in cartoon is the litmus test for a society that cherishes freedom of speech; however an open candid conversation about Israel and Palestine is disallowed as an incitement.” (More. . .)

This Week In Palestine, Issue 203, March 2015
By: Ahmad Damen
The Occupation of Palestine, Al-Nakba, and the expulsion of the Palestinian people did not only affect our material world but also our spiritual culture, a culture that is still under constant threat by imperialist ideology. Although this is not a problem solely affecting Palestine, this land still represents a unique and critical case. First, it is a land with religious significance for the three largest Abrahamic faiths, which all originated in this region. Second, the Palestinian people were faced with drastic external changes more than sixty-five years ago, which left them scattered in different locations and incapable of creating a collective spiritual identity. For example, there are some spiritual traditions that have been preserved in some Palestinian towns beyond the Green Line due to their solitude. These villages are disconnected from the Arab world on one end, and marginalized by the Western world on the other end. This is despite the fact that many Palestinians on the other side of the Green Line are still Christian like most of those in Western countries, but as the article discusses later, spiritual and religious identity are not the same. (More. . .)



Night was tightly tailored to embody the day of reckoning.
A few hours of deliberation over coffee, freshly brewed,
Black. More cream, less sugar. No cream, just sugar.
Marathonic circus of stirring, eye-rubbing, evoking optical transgression.
Give it more time. Not sixty-five years. Just a couple more weeks.
Amazingly, no one seems to have tired of addressing
A conundrum relentlessly pressing: A two-tone CRISIS.
Tweets in millions. Push more buttons. Circulate. Percolate discussions.
Tune in: CNN, Fox News, Sucks News, All News.
It’s all about the hotly brewed, freshly viewed CRISIS.
What configuration? O God! What colors?
What order? What shade? What hue?
Are we up against in the perplexed woman’s DRESS?
Lord! Was it white and gold, or was it black and blue?
Lord of all colors and the colored and the non-colored.
Have mercy on this color-divided nation; obsessed with the Truth,
The holes in the truth, the ‘ifs and the buts’ in the truth. A nation
Where, by virtue of color, unarmed men are shot front and back.
Freshly delivered bullets enamored with the skin that’s born black.
And on the grayish walls of their sun-famished cells,
Five men, not quite white, not quite black. Non-quiet Arabs,
In decomposed justice, brushless they paint their pain.
However, we must not digress, lest the truth is lost in vain.
For, on the imminent Day of Reckoning,
After all the living, from the grave, have risen,
Only one question shall be addressed:
What colors didn’t the blinded see in the woman’s DRESS?

Information on Shukri Abu-Baker here. . . and here. . .

Palestine In Sight, or Insight into Palestine – A New Blog

This blog replaces https://sumnonrabidus.wordpress.com/ as a source of current news and information about Palestine.

The blog will be a compendium/collection/assortment of pieces from other sources (blogs, online news sources, academic journals, websites, organizations)  pertaining to Palestine or presenting issues related to Palestine.

Each post includes work by a Palestinian poet or a poet of Palestinian heritage.

I will begin by reposting some material from Sumnonrabidus in order to provide a context for what I am continuing here.

Thank you for your interest in news from and about Palestine.
Here We Will Stay,” by Tawfiq Zayyad

النص العربي: لا يوجد

In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain
like a wall upon your chest,
and in your throat
like a shard of glass,
a cactus thorn,
and in your eyes
a sandstorm.
We shall remain
a wall upon your chest,
clean dishes in your restaurants,
serve drinks in your bars,
sweep the floors of your kitchens
to snatch a bite for our children
from your blue fangs.
Here we shall stay,
sing our songs,
take to the angry streets,
fill prisons with dignity.
In Lidda, in Ramla, in the galilee,
we shall remain,
guard the shade of the fig
and olive trees,
ferment rebellion in our children
as yeast in the dough.

“Like puppets orchestrated by a cue. . . ” (Samia Khoury)

Samia Khoury
Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury puts the Netanyahu/Boehner circus into proper perspective.
(About Samia Khoury)

In his speech to the American Congress today, the prime minister of Israel , Benjamin Netanyahu,  said: “ Alliance between the USA and Israel should be above Politics.”

Really Mr. Netanyahu!!!! It is all about politics. When the prime minister chose to address the American Congress two weeks before the Israeli elections, and when his main focus in the speech was Iran , and the negotiations going on between it and the USA , he is indeed making a political statement. The mere fact that the invitation to Mr. Netanyahu to address the congress was not coordinated with President Obama is again a political statement. It is ironic that the Prime Minister whose country could not have been established or could have survived without the support of the USA and its presidents, including Mr. Obama, finds it fit to barge into this  controversial scene and split the congress and the administration. (Entire post)
Fadwa Tuqan
Fadwa Tuqan
“The Deluge and the Tree,” by Fadwa Tuqan
When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge
of dark evil
onto the good green land
‘they’ gloated. The Western skies
reverberated with joyous accounts:
“The Tree has fallen!
The great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree
Had the Tree really fallen?
Never! Not with our red streams flowing forever,
not while the wine of our thorn limbs
fed the thirsty roots,
Arab roots alive
tunneling deep, deep, into the land!
When the Tree rises up, the branches
shall flourish green and fresh in the sun
the laughter of the Tree shall leaf
beneath the sun
and birds shall return
Undoubtedly, the birds shall return.
The birds shall return.
(About Fadwa Tuqan)