“. . . one she met on the way asked her: why are you going back. . .” Majid Abu Ghoush

1948, Palestine/2015, Gaza?
1948, Palestine/2015, Gaza?

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
POLL: HALF OF GAZA RESIDENTS CONSIDERING EMIGRATION
June 10, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Half of Gazans say they are considering emigration from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research reported Tuesday.
____The 50 percent of those polled in Gaza thinking of leaving the coastal enclave is the highest percentage ever recorded, amidst decreasing satisfaction of achievements attained by Hamas last summer’s war.
____Increasing frustration comes the IMF reported last month that reconstruction since the most recent war between Israel and Hamas has been significantly lower than expected, while the World Bank reported that the strip was facing a “dangerous fiscal crisis.”
____Unemployment in Gaza increased in 2014 “to reach 44 percent — probably the highest in the world,” the World Bank reported, with the poverty rate in the occupied Palestinian territory reaching 39 percent, despite the fact that nearly four of every five Gazans receive “some aid.”
(More. . .)

❷ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN FARMER’S LAND LEVELED NEAR BETHLEHEM
June 11, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces leveled private Palestinian agricultural land in southern West Bank village west of Bethlehem, non-profit organization says which defends Palestinian agricultural land says.
____Bulldozers protected by Israeli military vehicles leveled 17 dunums (4 acres) of land belonging to Palestinian farmer Sabri Rashad Manasra from Wadi Fukin, according to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, a Palestinian organization dedicated to supporting Palestinian farmers.
____The local council of Wadi Fukin explained that Manasra’s land is located between the illegal Israeli settlements of Beitar Illit and Tzur Hadassah, which together house over 50,000 Jewish residents.
(More. . .)
farmland leveled❸ From WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
MK HANEEN ZOABI: ISRAEL’S RACIST SYSTEM IS THE ENEMY
Jane Adas
June-July 2015
[Zoabi is the first Palestinian woman member of the Israeli Knesset, to which she was initially elected in 2009 on the Balad list. She spoke on April 24 at an event sponsored by Students for Justice-NYU on April 24.]
Zoabi began by saying she is not used to such a warm welcome, and went on to describe herself as “not an exception. That would be a catastrophe.” All Palestinians “lost their homeland, but not their sense of dignity as human beings,” she said, and that is what leads them to seek justice and full equality. . . .
____Zoabi then explained that what threatens Israel is not Palestinians, but democracy itself, and how Israel is no democracy for the 1.5 million of its citizens who are Palestinian—the ones Israel failed to expel in the Nakba of 1947 and ’48 and their descendents. “We did not immigrate to Israel,” she pointed out, “it was Israel that immigrated to us. We have the historical memory of the indigenous.”
____In Europe and the United States, Zoabi noted, it is usually the immigrants who struggle for democracy and equality, but in Israel it is the opposite. “We must perceive ourselves either as invaders or guests. I must thank Israel for not expelling me.” Freedom of speech for Israeli Palestinians is: “We stole your homeland, but allow you to scream.”
(More. . .)

❹ From THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
WHERE DO ISRAELI WEAKNESSES LIE?
Hasan Afif El Hasan
[Hasan Afif El-Hasan, is a political analyst. His latest book, Is The Two-State Solution Already Dead? (Algora Publishing, New York), now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.]
June 11, 2015
By the late 1960s, former colonial empires were moving away from occupation and colonization, Israel has been marching in the opposite direction. The relationship between the occupier and occupied is always based on fear and violence, humiliation and pain, suffering and oppression, and a system of masters and slaves. The Palestinians in the occupied lands and in the besieged Gaza are on the receiving end of the Israeli occupation and oppression. Israel changed the names of both the land and the people. Palestinian lands Israel seized in 1967 go by many different names in Israel: “the liberated territories”, “Judea and Samaria”, “the Administrative territory”, “the territories”, and “beyond the Green Line.” Very few if any call it what it is, “the occupied territories”, and the Palestinians are referred to only as “Arabs.”

Israel continues its occupation and the brutal pressure its army put especially on the Gaza Strip, where nearly two million Palestinians, mostly refugees, live in appalling conditions. And despite the Western media claim that Israel is a democratic civilized society, it seems there are very few individual Israelis who do not agree with their government inhumane policies that they are asked to execute. When the Palestinians launched the first uprising twenty years after 1967 war for obvious reasons, or when the besieged, starved, bombed and abused Palestinian refugees in Gaza had no choice but to fight back with the limited means they have, the Israelis and the Western media claim the Palestinians’ reactions came as surprise. They dehumanized the Palestinians!
(More. . .)

❺ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
THE NAKBA: ISRAEL’S CATASTROPHE
[Dr. Vacy Vlazna is an Australian humanitarian scholar and activist and Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters]
Vacy Vlazna
“By military force, the Jewish forces conquered 78% of Palestine in 1948 and depopulated 675 towns and villages, leaving only 15% of its Palestinian citizens under the rule of the Jewish forces. This area of Palestine was called Israel.” — Salman Abu Sitta [See biography here.]
____The Palestinian Nakba is a catastrophe for the Jewish colonists and their descendants: it transformed the once decent surviving victims of European anti-Semitism and the Holocaust into terrorists, killers, thieves, racists, and liars – into the mirror image of their persecutors. And the same perverted brush tainted the UN and Western governments as collaborators of the sickest and most sadistic society in the world.
____The 1947- 48 Nakba or ‘Catastrophe’ was the execution of the systematic and savage terrorism set out in Plan Dalet with the clear purpose of ethnic cleansing Palestine of indigenous Palestinians in the Zionist quest for Lebensraum. This land expansionism extends from the Nile to the Euphrates Rivers for the benefit of Yahweh’s chosen racists (Genesis 15:18). In reality, it is a Zionist imperial policy of racial restructuring of the Middle East (supplanting Arabs with Europeans) beginning with a Jewish state of Israel.
____Over 700,000 terrified Palestinians stripped of belongings, money, homes, orchards, livestock, land, fleeing massacres by the merciless Jewish militia were forcibly expelled and rendered. . . .
(More. . .)

“RETURNING,” BY AMJID ABU GHOUSH

the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson
MAJID ABA GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
The book’s blog.

Haneen Zoabi at New York University
Haneen Zoabi at New York University

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