“. . . Can the oppressed despise sharp swords and keep their pride. . .” (Diab Rabie)

Thousands in theMarch of Return  overlooking the Sea of Galilee
Thousands in theMarch of Return overlooking the Sea of Galilee

❶ from MONDOWEISS
SHAKEN BY THE WAR ON GAZA, PALESTINIANS IN ISRAEL GATHER FOR MARCH OF RETURN
Dan Cohen
April 24, 2015
Yesterday, an estimated 5,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jerusalemites participated in the March of Return in an open field overlooking the Sea of Galilee and above a valley where ruins of the village of Hadatha are scattered. Organized annually by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Displaced People, the March of Return commemorates the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by pre-state Zionist forces in 1947-1948 —the Nakba
(More. . .)

❷ from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL DENIES SOUTH AFRICAN EDUCATION MINISTER ENTRY TO PALESTINE
April 24, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The South African minister of higher education said late Thursday that he had been denied entry to Palestine by Israeli authorities in revenge for political stances against Israeli policies.
___”This is not only an act against him, but also an act against him as a member of the Cabinet, so by extension it’s an anti-government protest by Israel,” spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana told South African news website News24.
___Minister Blade Nzimande was due to travel to the West Bank for a six-day working visit to discuss collaborations between the University of Johannesburg and Palestinian universities, a follow up to an agreement signed when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited South Africa last year.
(More. . .)

❸ from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
FROM HEBRON, PALESTINIAN SCARF RESISTS CHINESE COMPETITION
April 24, 2015
HEBRON (AFP) — In the face of strong competition from China, the traditional, locally produced Palestinian headscarf has put up a show of resistance, successfully pulling itself back from the brink of extinction.
___Thanks to the business sense of two brothers from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, the traditional black-and-white keffiyeh headscarf has discovered a new lease of life.
___In 1961, their father Yasser Hirbawi, who sold keffiyehs he brought from Syria and Jordan, decided to set up his own production line.
___When the factory began, two employees managed two looms to produce the famous black-and-white patterned headscarf.
___Today, his sons are at the head of a business which employs 15 people and exports keffiyehs worldwide, all of them bearing the logo: Made in Palestine.
(More. . .)
hebron scarves❹ from PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
PALESTINIAN STATE IS VITAL FOR MIDDLE EAST STABILITY, SAYS FRANCE
April 23, 2015
NEW YORK, (WAFA) – France reaffirmed its commitment to the two-state solution and support to a new political perspective leading to the creation of a Palestinian State alongside Israel.
___In a statement by Francois Delattre, Permanent Representative of France at the United Nations, France noted that the two-state solution is about to disappear and ongoing illegal settlement activities compromise the viability of a Palestinian State on the field.
___Delattre said that the political vacancy increases the risk of an explosion, claiming that in Israel as well as in Palestine, public opinions are radicalizing and the number of those in favor of a two-state solution is decreasing.
___The urgency is to break the downward spiral we are witnessing, he said.
(More. . .)

Photo: Civilian Israeli security guards try to stop Palestinians from working their land in the West Bank village of Sinjil, near the Israeli outpost of Givat Haro’e , August 18, 2013. Three years after settlers invaded their land, landowners from the village of Sinjil arrive with a High Court injunction ordering them to have access to their land. (Photo: Activestills.org)
Photo: Civilian Israeli security guards try to stop Palestinians from working their land in the West Bank village of Sinjil, near the Israeli outpost of Givat Haro’e , August 18, 2013. Three years after settlers invaded their land, landowners from the village of Sinjil arrive with a High Court injunction ordering them to have access to their land. (Photo: Activestills.org)

❺ from +972
WEST BANK OUTPOSTS: AN ENTIRE SYSTEM OF DISPOSSESSION
At the core of Israel’s settlement outpost system lies the systemic violation of Palestinian human rights.
Yossi Gurvitz
April 22, 2015
If we had to look for a good example of the meaning of the outpost system – the unofficial settlements Israel builds in the West Bank – we could hardly expect a better one than that supplied by the minister of defense himself. Commenting on a legal appeal that — contrary to some reports, Yesh Din is not part of — tiredemands the removal of the Mitzpe Kramim outpost, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said (Hebrew): “This location was established legally, with the support of the prime minister and the defense minister. True, later someone appealed, an Israeli organization of course, a leftist organization that found some Arab who claims ownership.” As painful as it is that this is the level of understanding displayed by a senior government minister, the interesting part here is actually the where Ya’alon talks about “some Arab who claims ownership.”
(More. . .)

“SWEARING BY YOUR JERUSALEM,” BY DIAB RABIE

The nightingale stopped singing and mourned the lost land;
It wandered into spaces where winds held command.
Tired by many nights of flight, it took its rest,
But not at wondrous sites or near a female breast.
It once rejoiced in singing, now it merely cries
All night till morning, and it will not shut its eyes.
Memories with bleeding wounds cried out in disgust:
How could you leave the country and abandon your trust.
Your trees shade strangers who oppress and occupy.
Rise, throw off the veil of shame none can justify.
Can the oppressed despise sharp swords and keep their pride?
Face daily insults silently and step aside?
You will regain your land only by sword and spear;
With their help people will see justice reappear.
Youth came into this world to battle with their hands;
Brook no pollution in this holiest of lands.
I swear by “Your Jerusalem,” maimed Palestine,
That Arab flags will wave above you for all time.

Translated by George Khoury and Edward Morin.
This poem was published in the Arabic language newspaper, Sameer, in New York City one month after the UN resolution in 1947 to divide Palestine.
“Diab Rabie (1922-2010) was the last of a group of tive Diaspora poets which included Kahlil Gibran, Michael Naimeh, and Elie Abu-Madi.
A newspaperman assigned to New York, he was prevented by the Israelis from reentering his homeland and settled in North Carolina. His poems were published in major Arabic newspapers and magazines around the world throughout his life. His collected poems, Shetharat El-Rabie were edited by George Khoury and published before his death (The Birzeit Society, 2010).” Before there Is Nowhere to Stand. Palestine/Israel Poets Respond to the Struggle. Ed. Joan Dobbie & Grace Beeler. Sandport, Idaho: Lost Horse Press, 2012.)
Diad Rabie’s son Zaid Rabie is a  popular jazz musician in the Charlotte, NC, area.

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