“. . . I stumbled across Solitude in my house. . .” (Yousef Abdul-Aziz)

(See “NEW: Calendar” above for listing of events of interest.)

Dr. Basel Ghattas, Member of Knesset, Israel (Timesofisrael)
Dr. Basel Ghattas, Member of Knesset, Israel (Timesofisrael)

From MA’AN NEWS ANGENCY
MK GHATTAS: THE FLOTILLA IS PEACEFUL, LET THEM REMOVE MY IMMUNITY
June 24, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Arab MK Basel Ghattas said this week that threats by fellow Israeli lawmakers to remove his parliamentary immunity will not affect his decision to take part in the Freedom Flotilla III.
____The Israeli Knesset Committee reportedly voted in favor Tuesday of stripping Ghattas. . . of his immunity from prosecution for joining the protest flotilla.
____The Flotilla is the third of its kind to attempt to access the Gaza Strip by sea since 2010 . . .
(More. . .)
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE CHRONICLE
THE DRONE EATS WITH ME: DIARIES FROM A CITY UNDER FIRE
Vacy Vlazna
Jun 23 2015

“We prepare the suhoor. We all sit around five dishes: white cheese, hummus, orange jam, yellow cheese, and olives. Darkness eats with us. Fear and anxiety eat with us. The unknown eats with us. The F16 eats with us. The drone, and its operator somewhere out in Israel, eat with us.”

____I read The Drone Eats With Me: Diaries from a City Under Fire by Atef Abu Saif in almost one sitting . . . . These beautifully written searing diaries recounting each of the horrific 51 days of Israel’s monstrous war on the people of Gaza sweeps the reader into Atef’s anguished experience. . . simultaneously personal and collective.
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
SONIC YOUTH FRONTMAN THURSTON MOORE CANCELS CONCERT IN ISRAEL IN SUPPORT OF BDS
June 24, 2015
Thurston Moore, founding member of the 90’s rock band Sonic Youth, has confirmed his support for the cultural boycott of Israel, following the cancellation of his performance in Tel Aviv earlier this year . . .
____The renowned singer-songwriter and guitarist made the remarks in an article written by British-Palestinian musician Samir Eskanda, and published this week by online music magazine The Quietus. The piece, ‘I’m One Of 1000 UK Artists Boycotting Israel. Here’s Why’, makes the case for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). . . .
(More. . .)

“. . . I eventually arrived at the personal conclusion that to perform with my band in Israel was in direct conflict to my values.” (Photo: Chris Owyoung)

From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
ISRAELI AUTHORITIES HALT VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT
June 24, 2015
Israeli authorities yesterday handed down an order to Menizel village council, near Hebron city, to halt all building work on pipes and water tanks feeding water into the village.
____Coordinator of Popular Resistence Committee, Rateb al-Jabour, told the official agency that the Israeli authorities presented . . . a notice of an order to halt the development of water pipes and tanks around the village.
(More. . .)

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
ISRAELI GOV’T SEEKS TO SEIZE PALESTINIAN LANDS NEAR BETHLEHEM
The Israeli government has submitted anew a request to the high court to officially take over private Palestinian lands in order to legalize an unauthorized settlement outpost near Bethlehem, according to Peace Now.
____The request was again in response to a Peace Now petition to demolish 17 settlers’ homes, which were built on Palestinian-owned lots in the illegal settlement of Derech Ha’avot near Bethlehem. . . is located within the illegal settlement block of Gush Etzion, which is now home for more than 54,000 Jewish settlers
(More. . .)

“THE BOOK OF DOUBT,” BY JOUSEF ABDUL-AZIZ
Tonight
I stumbled across Solitude in my house.
Not only wearing my best shirt
and drinking my coffee
but also
smoking my tobacco
it was thrashing about the pages
of what looked like my manuscript.
It sat in my chair like a queen
and from its hands
rose an enchanted fog. . .
Still cloaked in my dreams I stood close by
trembling like a branch of the night
raining down bitter
questions:
What is woman?
In which storm
may my heart play?
Where did I bury the fire?!
As though I were a ring on its finger
it didn’t give me much thought.
Unfazed by my stiff shadow at the door
Solitude went on
with a sneer
scrambling pages
tearing them out of the manuscript.
I saw myself cast out to blind lands
and I hollered;
I saw before me a sphere of water
rising up in the wind
and above, a cracked moon,
and slain butterflies
strewn around me.
I’m sure
you will wrap up this farce! I yelled.
Solitude glanced at me with its two eyes of a gazelle—
my own eyes.
And it handed me
the book of doubt—it was my own book.
— Translated by Juana Acock

— From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
— Yousef Abdul-Aziz was born in Jerusalem and studied in Amman and Beirut. He is a teacher, a committee member of the online journal Awraq, and recipient of literary awards, including the (Jordanian) Arar prize.

Activists aboard a flotilla of boats are set to sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel's blockade of the territory, five years after a similar attempt ended in a deadly raid by Israeli soldiers.
Activists aboard a flotilla of boats are set to sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel’s blockade of the territory, five years after a similar attempt ended in a deadly raid by Israeli soldiers.

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