“. . .accept these rinses, they are tedious / they will come again. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

Rizka Abu Rujeila, 70 years old, holds her grandson outside the hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on 24 July.
Rizka Abu Rujeila, 70 years old, holds her grandson outside the hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on 24 July.

❶ From THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
GAZA’S GRANDPARENTS ENDURE ONE TRAUMA AFTER ANOTHER
Anne Paq
June 4, 2015
Most of Gaza’s population is very young: the median age is 18, and nearly 45 percent of the Strip’s 1.8 million residents are 14 years old or younger.
____Attention was rightly paid to the plight of Gaza’s children during Israel’s 51 days of bombing last summer. But elderly Palestinians are also among the population’s most vulnerable, and have been subjected to repeated trauma during their lifetime.
____The eldest among them survived the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, when they were forced from their homes and into refugee camps. The Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) was followed by Israeli invasions and massacres in the 1950s, military conquest and occupation in 1967, the imposition of settlement colonies, two popular uprisings and their subsequent crackdowns. And, most recently, nearly a decade of siege and closure and three major military offensives in the span of six years.
____Gaza’s elderly have been subjected to destruction of homes and businesses — the destruction of a life’s work. In some cases they have had to become caretakers again, taking in grandchildren orphaned by Israeli violence and playing a crucial role in keeping families together following profound loss.
(More. . .)

❷ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL CLOSES GAZA BORDER CROSSINGS FOR ‘SECURITY REASONS’
June 7, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) –The Israeli authorities closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings into Gaza on Sunday morning citing “security reasons.”
____Only a limited supply of humanitarian aid and medical cases will be allowed to cross through, an Israeli army spokeswoman said.
____The closure came shortly after Israeli airstrikes hit Hamas military targets in the coastal enclave, following a rocket attack on Saturday night that a Salafist group claimed responsibility for. No injuries were reported on either side.
(More. . .)

❸ From HA’ARETZ
LET THE PEOPLE OF GAZA GO
Haaretz Editorial
May 28, 2015
Some 15,000 people who have asked to leave the Gaza Strip are still trapped there since last summer’s war. These people are imprisoned in the Strip without being able to return to their work or family abroad. Thousands of them need medical treatment and more than 1,000 others are students who couldn’t leave for their studies overseas and stand to lose their visas and scholarships and miss a year’s studies (as reported by Jack Khoury on Wednesday). . .
____“We feel like cattle in a pen. But even cattle are allowed sometimes to go out into an open space. In Gaza we’re forbidden to do so and we don’t even know why,” Mayasem Abu-Mer, a 25-year-old Gazan resident, said Tuesday. Abu-Mer was denied passage through the Erez checkpoint to the West Bank and from there to the Allenby checkpoint.
(More. . .)

❹ From IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS KIDNAP A PALESTINIAN FROM BEIT UMMAR
IMEMC & Agencies
June 06, 2015
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Saturday morning, a young Palestinian man from Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after stopping him on the Tunnel Roadblock; soldiers also handed a resident of Hebron a military order for interrogation, and installed roadblocks.
____ In addition, soldiers invaded Hebron city, searched and ransacked several homes, and handed Samer Yosri a military order for interrogation in the Gush Etzion base.
(More. . .)

A demolished Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, march 14, 2009
A demolished Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, march 14, 2009

❺ From MONDOWEISS
TWO PALESTINIAN FAMILIES ARE BRUTALLY ATTACKED IN JERUSALEM AS THEIR HOMES ARE TAKEN FROM THEM
Kate
June 6, 2015
Video: Israeli forces attack Palestinian elder while demolishing Jerusalem homes
Electronic Intifada 3 June by Charlotte Silver — This video shows Israeli occupation police and border guards brutally attacking members of the family of Nidal Abu Khalid early Tuesday morning, as they arrived to demolish two homes in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.
(More. . .)

“THE CLEAN RINSE,” BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

Each time you go through this
you lose a little less color

the water is less
pink, blue, or gray

this is what i try to say:
don’t let them wring it out of you

because they like starch,
don’t let that apply to your neck

you are real, 100% cotton
you can wrinkle, accept that as gift

and accept these rinses,
they are tedious

they will come
again and again

after awhile, you will have
nothing more they can take

From Nye, Naomi Shihab. 19 Varieties of Gazelle. New York: GREENWILLOW/Harper (2005).
Naomi Shihab Nye was born on March 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Palestinian father and an American mother. During her high school years, she lived in Ramallah in Palestine, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received her BA in English and world religions from Trinity University.
(More. . .)

The Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip (photo credit: Tsafrir Abayov)
The Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip (photo credit: Tsafrir Abayov)

2 thoughts on ““. . .accept these rinses, they are tedious / they will come again. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

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