“Jerusalem, the luminous city of prophets the shortest path between earth and sky. . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

East Jerusalem, 2008. Palestinian neighborhood in foreground, illegal
East Jerusalem, 2008. Palestinian neighborhood in foreground, illegal “settlement” on hill at right (Photo by Harold Knight)

❶ from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
JOURNAL: HOUSE DEMOLITION IN EAST JERUSALEM
April 27, 2015
Team Al Khalil (Maja, Siggy and Jenny)
This has been hard to write down. The three of us put off again and again the thoughts and fears of that day, to remember them and to finally write them down. We have been avoiding it, because it is easier to simply try and forget. But then at the same time, for us it was just this one night, whereas for the families living in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz this is everyday life.
___An illegal demolition of the majority of the Amro-family home on the 31st of March, 2015 left all the families in Wadi al-Joz scared for the future.
(More. . .)

❷ from PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
PALESTINIANS INJURED DURING CLASHES IN EAST JERUSALEM VILLAGE
Jerusalem
April 25, 2015
Dozens of Palestinians were shot and injured on Saturday and others suffocated during clashes that erupted with Israeli forces in the East Jerusalem village of al-Tur, following the Israeli soldiers’’ shooting and killing of a teenager earlier on Saturday.
. . . Seventeen-year-old Ali Abu Ghannam was shot dead by Israeli forces stationed at the checkpoint around 1:00 a.m. following a scuffle.
(More. . .)
ISM❸ from MA’AN NEWS
THOUSANDS ATTEND FUNERAL FOR PALESTINIAN ACCUSED OF STABBING SOLDIER
HEBRON (Ma’an)
April 26, 2015
Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of Mahmoud Abu Jheisha on Sunday, after the 20-year-old was shot dead by Israeli forces outside the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron when he allegedly stabbed an Israeli soldier.
___The funeral procession began at the Amari Mosque in Abu Jheisha’s hometown of Idhna, west of Hebron, where family and friends paid their final respects, before he was taken to be buried in the town cemetery.
___Participants reportedly chanted slogans condemning Israeli crimes and calling for an end to Israeli practices as part of the occupation.
(More. . .)

❹ from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
IN PHOTOS: DEMONSTRATION IN NABI SALEH
April 26, 2015
ISM is bringing the story of Friday’s weekly demonstration in Nabu Saleh, 20 kilometers northwest of Ramallah, the Occupied West Bank, in photos.
___Israeli forces shot one Palestinian teenager in the head with live ammunition and fired stun grenades at the press.
(More photos. . .)

❺ Scholarly article of history
from JERUSALEM QUARTERLY of the Institute for Palestine Studies
YARA AND THE WANTED EIGHTEEN
Khalid Farra
JQ 60 ( 2014)
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reacted to spiraling events in Jerusalem and elsewhere in October and November with a predictable, if dangerous, formula: force and more force. The slew of directives from his right-wing government includes a 2 November cabinet-proposed amendment to the penal law increasing the punishment for stone-throwers (peculiarly, even if there is no evidence of intent to harm) from ten to twenty years in prison. Most recently, in the wake of protests erupting after the 8 November police killing of a young man in the Galilee village of Kafr Kanna, Netanyahu threatened to strip Palestinian protestors of Israeli citizenship.
___An alarming number of Palestinian children have been arrested since the “silent intifada,” as Jerusalemites like to call it. . .
(More. . .)

“JERUSALEM,” BY NIZAR QABBANI

Oh Jerusalem, the luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between earth and sky

Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws
A beautiful child with fingers charred
and downcast eyes
You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet
Your streets are melancholy
Your minarets are mourning
You, the young maiden dressed in black
Who rings the bells in the Nativity
On Saturday morning?
Who brings toys for the children
On Christmas eve?
The city of sorrow
A huge tear trembling on your eyelid
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?
Oh Jerusalem my town
Oh Jerusalem my love
Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom
And the olive trees will rejoice
Your eyes will dance
The migrant pigeons will return
To your sacred roofs
And your children will play again
And fathers and sons will meet
On your rosy hills
My city, city of peace and olives.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

Jerusalem 2008.
Jerusalem 2008. “Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?” (Photo Harold Knight 2008)

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