“. . . my country is the wave that froths and foams . . .” (Najwan Darwish)

Caption: An Israeli court has issued an order to demolish Palestinian village Susya and relocate its residents. The village was built even before the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967. (Photo by Guy Butiva.)
An Israeli court has issued an order to demolish Palestinian village Susya and relocate its residents. The village was built even before the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967. (Photo by Guy Butiva.)

❶ From +972 MAGAZINE
U.S. WARNS ISRAEL AGAINST EVICTING PALESTINIANS FROM SUSYA
Mairav Zonszein
July 18, 2015
While the Iran nuclear deal captured most of the attention . . . . this week, the tiny rural Palestinian village of Susya also managed to get the U.S. State Department’s attention. . . .
____According to Susya resident Nasser Nawaj’ah, who is also a B’Tselem researcher, the Israeli army’s Civil Administration . . . . notified residents of its intention to demolish about half of the village’s structures. . . .
____U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday . . . “we strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village. Demolition of this Palestinian village or of parts of it, and evictions of Palestinians from their homes would be harmful and provocative.”
(More. . .)

❷ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
TEEN KIDNAPPED AS SOLDIERS ATTACK NABI SALEH PROTEST
Saed Bannoura
July 18, 2015
Israeli soldiers attacked, on Friday, the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and settlements in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and kidnapped one teenager.
____Nabi Saleh television reported that the soldiers kidnapped Walid Dhifallah, 18 years of age, and took him to an unknown destination.
(More. . .)
(Further details)

❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ICC ORDERS PROSECUTOR TO RECONSIDER PROBING ISRAEL’S FLOTILLA RAID
July 17, 2015
THE HAGUE (AFP) — The International Criminal Court on Thursday ordered its chief prosecutor to review a decision not to probe Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010, saying “errors were made.”
____Fatou Bensouda late last year dropped the investigation leading to potential prosecution into the incident in which 10 Turkish activists were killed by Israeli forces, saying the incident was “not of sufficient gravity.”
____The case was first filed by the Comoros, where the activists’ ship the Mavi Marmara was registered.
____The tiny Indian Ocean island state in January asked the Hague-based ICC’s judges to review Bensouda’s decision.
(More. . .)

Caption: A boat escorts Turkish ship Mavi Marmara with Israeli forces near Ashdod on May 31, 2010, after the Israeli navy raided a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza. (AFP/ Menahem Kahana, File)
A boat escorts Turkish ship Mavi Marmara with Israeli forces near Ashdod on May 31, 2010, after the Israeli navy raided a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza. (AFP/ Menahem Kahana, File)

❹ From JADALIYYA–ARAB STUDIES INSTITUTE.
PLANNING UNDER OCCUPATION: ELASTIC GEOGRAPHIES AND ‘AREA C’
Lamya Hussain
July 16, 2015
In recent years there has been growing concern about Israel’s planning regime and its operations across the West Bank . . . the growing number of demolitions, eviction orders, and restrictions in Area C. . .
____Since 2005, the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) has initiated a number of “special outline plans” for Palestinian villages in Area C. These plans . . . set in motion a series of home demolitions and other civil-military orders that forcibly displace the local population . . . in order to maintain Israeli hegemony in Area C.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
KHADER ADNAN: A SYMBOL OF PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE
Ghada Ageel
June 26, 2015
(Ghada Ageel is a visiting professor at the University of Alberta Political Science Department [Edmonton, Canada], an independent scholar, and active in the Faculty4Palestine – Alberta. Her article was published in the Middle East Eye website.)
The body of Khader Adnan is again on the line and the very life of this Palestinian political prisoner is in great danger. Adnan. . . . has drastically deteriorated with his refusal to undergo medical tests and to take certain vitamins offered to hunger strikers. [Note: Adnan has been released.]
____According to Addameer organisation, Adnan is among an estimated 426 political prisoners currently locked up in Israeli jails as administrative detainees. His hunger strike throws a spotlight on some 5,800 Palestinian freedom fighters . . . .
____The strike also casts light on Israel’s use of administrative detention as a way of cracking down on any attempt by Palestinians to speak out against the occupation and its unjust practices.
(More. . .)

“A GLIMPSE IN THE MIRROR,” BY NAJWAN DARWISH

Sometimes I glimpse in the mirror and see
the ideal I strive for
the gallant savior I wait for
I see a thread of beauty rippling
like a river of nobility
But instantly I tell myself:
Shut up and look away
narcissus surrounded by Zionists’ lies
walls and checkpoints rising all around you
Shut up
and avert your gaze
from your so-called beauty

“AWAKE,” BY NAJWAN DARWISH

Awake for longer than forever
and since before eternity
my waking is the wave that froths and foams

Awake in hymns and the mailmen’s passion
Awake in a house that will be destroyed
in a grave that machines will dig up:
my country is the wave that froths and foams

Awake so that the colonizers might leave
Awake so that people can sleep
“Everyone has to sleep sometime,” they say
I am awake
and ready to die

Najwan Darwish (b. 1978) is one of the foremost Arabic-language poets of his generation. Since publishing his first collection in 2000, Darwish’s poetry has been translated into ten languages. . . . While his poetry is at times political, it embodies a universal message, reminiscent of the great mystical poets like Rumi. From Jerusalem (Palestine) where he works and lives, Darwish has become a distinguished voice for his nation’s struggle . . . .
(More. . .)

Caption: Clouds of tear gas in Nabi Saleh. (International Solidarity Movement, Nabi Saleh)
Clouds of tear gas in Nabi Saleh. (International Solidarity Movement, Nabi Saleh)

“. . . we appear to be nothing more than prisoners. . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

A Palestinian family walks on Aug. 27, 2014, past the collapsed remains of a building in al-Shujaiyya that was destroyed in fighting between Hamas and Israel. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)
A Palestinian family walks on Aug. 27, 2014, past the collapsed remains of a building in al-Shujaiyya that was destroyed in fighting between Hamas and Israel. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZAN RESIDENTS CELEBRATING EID REMINDED OF LAST YEAR’S LOSSES
July 17, 2015
Residents of the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip enter Eid al-Fitr celebrations this year reminded of the heavy losses sustained just before the holiday began last year.
____Gaza resident Um Mumen Skafi lost both her son and her home after an attack by Israeli forces took place shortly before the holy month of Ramadan came to a close last year, in what would later be known as the Shujaiyya massacre.
(More. . .)

❷ From MONDOWEISS
THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF MAPPING OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM
Dan Cohen
July 16, 2015
While Israel seeks to brand Jerusalem as its eternal and undivided capital, the existence of 300,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites lays bare the apartheid reality of the self-proclaimed Jewish State’s claim. For Israeli military and security firms, occupied East Jerusalem’s unique situation presents unique opportunities to develop new methods of enforcing occupation.
____Ofek Aerial Photography is one of these companies. This firm has sold a Google Street View-style mapping system to Israeli military and police agencies used to plan operations in occupied East Jerusalem to the smallest detail. Called mobile mapping, the technology can be used for anything from measurements for home demolitions to shooter-style video game simulations of full-force military invasions.
(More. . .)

❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN GAZAN TRAVELING TO WEST BANK FOR TREATMENT
July 11, 2015
Israeli forces on Friday afternoon detained a young Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip as he tried to pass through Erez crossing near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza strip.
____Ibrahim al-Shaer, 20, was attempting to travel to the West Bank for medical treatment when Israeli forces stopped him and took him into custody, Palestinian sources and family relatives told Ma’an. . . .
____Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip regularly attempt to travel outside of the blockaded coastal enclave for medical treatment.
____Seventeen hospitals, 56 primary healthcare facilities and 45 ambulances were damaged or destroyed by Israeli strikes during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas last summer, according to humanitarian group Medical Aid for Palestinians.
(More. . .)

Palestinians walk through the Erez border crossing with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip as they cross into Gaza, on June 9, 2010. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)
Palestinians walk through the Erez border crossing with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip as they cross into Gaza, on June 9, 2010. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)

❹ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
REPORT: AT LEAST 6,000 PALESTINIAN PRISONERS IN ISRAELI JAILS
July 17, 2015
At least 6,000 Palestinians are still prisoners in 18 Israeli jails and detention center, according to a report released by the Palestinian commission for detainees and ex-detainees on Thursday.
____480 of those prisoners are serving life sentences and 67 others are being jailed for prison terms exceeding 20 or 25 years.
____The detainees also include 24 women, 250 children and minors, and eight lawmakers.
(More. . .)
See also: FIVE PALESTINIAN MOTHERS SPEND EID AL-FITR IN ISRAELI JAILS

❺ Opinion
From MONDOWEISS
NAIM ATEEK’S MORAL ARC OF THE UNIVERSE
Marc Ellis
July 16, 2015
When we think of protest letters, Martin Luther King’s letter from a Birmingham jail comes to mind. But there’s a tradition of protest letters to the unjust powers-that-be. Written for immediate effect, they are preserved in history and studied. These letters change the way we view the world. They call us to act for justice in our time.
____Add another protest letter, from a Palestinian cleric, Reverend Naim Ateek. This one’s personal.
____I first met Naim in Jerusalem in 1987 when I presented my Jewish theology of liberation. He asked me to read his manuscript on a Palestinian theology of liberation. After reading the first pages, I knew a new theological day was dawning. A Jewish and a Palestinian theology of liberation could make an impact for justice.
(More. . .)
(Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of Burning Children: A Jewish View of the War in Gaza and Exile and the Prophetic: Images in the New Diaspora.)

“HOMELAND,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

Under the yoke of our mornings
the sun crumbles
and in the darkness of our steps
our panting breath is on fire
these incomplete homelands
in which we appear to be
nothing more than prisoners of war

“DAYS,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

On the first day
I held my hand as it drew a coffin
so they sent me a wreath
On the second day
I held my hand as it drew a flower
so they sent me a coffin
On the third day I shouted out
I want to live
so they sent me a killer

“IN THE BEGINNING,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

In the beginning
the horses said, we need plains
the eagles said, we need summits
the snakes said, we need lairs
but humans remained bewildered

About Ibrahim Nasrallah.
Nasrallah, Ibrahim. Rain Inside. Trans. Ibrahim Muhawi. Evanston, IL: Curbstone Books (Northwestern University Press), 2009. Available from Amazon.

Naim Ateek
Naim Ateek

“. . . His God-given rights are a grain of salt tossed into the sea. . .” (Taha Muhammad Ali)

Caption : Susiya Village (MaanImages/Charlie Hoyle, File)
Caption : Susiya Village (MaanImages/Charlie Hoyle, File)

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ORDERS PALESTINIAN VILLAGE TO BE DEMOLISHED AFTER RAMADAN
July 16, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of homes in a village south of Hebron to be carried out after Ramadan. . .
____Rabbis for Human Rights and B’Tselem said in a statement that pressure from Israeli settlers had led to the decision to carry out demolition orders in the village of Khirbet Susiya. . . .
____The Israeli Civil Administration, the Israeli army, and the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) office announced the demolition order to the villagers in a meeting on Sunday.
(More. . .) 

❷ From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
SHOOT AND LIE: ISRAELI FORCES ARE KILLING CIVILIANS WITH IMPUNITY
Ben White (see end note)
July 15, 2015
[. . . .]
According to the recently-published UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry, between June 12 and August 26, 2014, Israeli forces killed 27 Palestinians, including five children, and injured 3,100 others, including 460 children. Around a quarter of Palestinian injuries were sustained as a result of Israeli forces’ use of live ammunition.
____The Israeli soldiers who pull the trigger know there is almost no chance they will be held to account for the killing and maiming of Palestinian civilians. . . .
____ . . . . Indeed, the impunity enjoyed by Israeli armed forces in the killing of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank is significant in light of the preliminary examination being conducted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
(More. . .)

❸ From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
DAILY ARRESTS CONTINUE: ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN THREE FROM WEST BANK DISTRICTS
July 16, 2015
JENIN― Israeli forces early Thursday detained three Palestinians, including a minor, from multiple West Bank districts, said security sources.
____Israeli forces raided early Thursday Rummana, a village to the west of Jenin, where they proceeded to detain a Palestinian after breaking and wrecking havoc into his family’s house, sparking clashes with villagers.
____The detainee was identified as Mahmoud Abu Sayfin, 21, who is a student studying Shari‘a studies in a local college.
(More. . .)

❹ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK (PNN)
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS FAILED THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
July 13, 2015
PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Saeb Erakat today released a statement commemorating the 11th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s historic condemnation of the Israeli annexation wall.
____Erakat said that despite the ICJ’s opinion that the international community bears responsibility for putting an end to Israeli crimes in Palestine, countries around the world have not fulfilled their obligations. . . .
____He said that the international community has failed to put enough pressure on the Israeli government to end its policy of settlement expansion (illegal under international law), and in fact the settler population increased from 425,000 settlers in 2004 to around 600,000 today.
(More. . .)
taha-muhammad-ali
❺ Opinion
From THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
WHY PALESTINIANS FIGHT BACK: THE LOGIC OF LIFE AND DEATH IN GAZA
Ramzy Baroud
July 15, 2015
Another row is brewing between Israel and the Palestinian Resistance Movement, Hamas, over the release of Avraham Mengitsu. . . .
[. . . .]
Not only is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank the least costly of all illegal occupations in modern times, it is also the most profitable.
____Expecting Gaza not to resist is an invitation for Israel to complete its humiliation of the Palestinian people, to utilize the [Gaza] Strip for financial gains (for example, natural gas near the coast and racially segregated beach resorts, etc.), and to turn its men, women and children into cheap labor. . . .
____The failure of the international community to act following the last round of massacres in Gaza means that Palestinians there are on their own, at least for now. . .
____So, even if the math of Resistance does not add up – whether in unguaranteed prisoners swaps, or terrifying death tolls – Palestinians in Gaza will continue to resist.
(More. . .)

“ABD EL-HADI FIGHTS A SUPERPOWER,” BY TAHA MUHAMMAD ALI
In his life
he neither wrote nor read.
In his life he
didn’t cut down a single tree,
didn’t slit the throat
of a single calf.
In his life he did not speak
of the New York Times
behind its back,
didn’t raise
his voice to a soul
except in his saying:
“Come in, please,
by God, you can’t refuse.”

Nevertheless—
his case is hopeless,
his situation
desperate.
His God-given rights are a grain of salt
tossed into the sea.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury:
about his enemies
my client knows not a thing.
And I can assure you,
were he to encounter
the entire crew
of the aircraft carrier Enterprise,
he’d serve them eggs
sunny-side up,
and labneh
fresh from the bag.

From: Ali, Taha Muhammah So What: New and Selected Poems, 1971-2005. Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi, and Gabriel Levin, Trans. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2008.
Available from Amazon
Palestinian poet and short story writer Taha Muhammad Ali (1931–2011) grew up in Saffuriya, Galilee. During the Arab-Israeli war in 1948, he moved with his family to Lebanon for a year; he returned to Nazareth, where he owned a souvenir shop. Self-taught through his readings of classical Arabic literature, American fiction, and English poetry, Ali started writing poems in the 1970s. His collections in English include Never Mind: Twenty Poems and a Story (2000) and So What: New and Selected Poems, 1971–2005 (2006).
(More. . .)

Reporter Ben White. “Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. He has been visiting the region since 2003 and his articles have been widely published in the likes of The Guardian’s Comment is free, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada, New Statesman, Salon, Christian Science Monitor, Middle East International, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and others. He currently works as a writer and researcher for Middle East Monitor and Journal of Palestine Studies.”
(More. . .)

Blood for gas: Why Bibi is punishing Gaza. Smoke billowing from buildings following an Israeli air strike as a projectile falls in the background in Gaza City (AFP Photo / Jack Guez).
Blood for gas: Why Bibi is punishing Gaza. Smoke billowing from buildings following an Israeli air strike as a projectile falls in the background in Gaza City (AFP Photo / Jack Guez).

“. . . an ordinary man like others in my hometown who work only with their hands . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

515 Palestinian-owned structures WERE demolished in 2014, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
515 Palestinian-owned structures WERE demolished in 2014, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
JERUSALEM: 150 ARRESTED, 3 HOMES DEMOLISHED
July 5, 2015
150 Palestinians in Jerusalem were arrested by Israel in the month of June, according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
____Of those arrested, 60 were minors (under the age of 18) and six were under the age of 12. . .
____Three Palestinian homes were demolished by Israel in the month of June. The homes – two homes under construction in Silwan and one home on East Jerusalem’s main Salah Eddin Street – were demolished on 2 June under the pretext of construction without permits. . . .
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL TO DEMOLISH PALESTINIAN-OWNED STRUCTURES IN NORTHERN JORDAN VALLEY
July 15, 2015
Israeli authorities Wednesday ordered to stop the construction work on several Palestinian residents’ structures in the northern Jordan Valley as a prelude to demolish them, according to a local official.
____Head of Wadi Maleh village council, Aref Daraghmeh informed WAFA that military jeeps of the so called Israeli civil administration stormed the northern Jordan Valley area and handed out several demolition notices for several structures belonging to a local resident.
(More. . .)

From +972 MAGAZINE
WATCH: POLICE SHOOT PALESTINIAN MAN IN FACE WITH SPONGE-TIPPED BULLET
Natasha Roth
July 13, 2015
A Palestinian man in his 40s lost his right eye after Israeli security forces shot him with a sponge-tipped bullet on Sunday.
____Nafaz Damiri, of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, happened to be in the city’s Shuafat Refugee Camp when clashes broke out between Israeli police and Palestinian youth.
____CCTV footage shows Damiri, a bystander, running into a market to seek cover. . .
(More. . . including video)

Israeli police with black sponge-tipped bullets in East Jerusalem, November 12, 2014
Israeli police with black sponge-tipped bullets in East Jerusalem, November 12, 2014

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN TEN PALESTINIANS FROM WEST BANK DISTRICTS
July15, 2015
Israeli army detained overnight six Palestinians from across the West Bank, whereas Israeli police assaulted and arrested four family members during an arrest and search operation in East Jerusalem, said security sources.
____Israeli police raided early morning the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ath-Thuri, in search of Amjad Idreis, 20, provoking clashes with local residents.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ONE INCIDENT, TWO NARRATIVES
Jessica Purkiss
July 14, 2015
It was early Friday morning on the 3rd July and senior Israeli military officer Colonel Israel Shomer was driving in the West Bank city of al-Ram. . . when his vehicle was hit by a stone thrown by Palestinian youths and the windscreen was shattered. Shomer exited the jeep and proceeded to shoot 17- year old Mohammed Sami al-Kasbeh.
____Both the Israeli military and the Palestinian eye- witnesses agree to the above record of events. But after this, their narratives diverge.
(More. . .)

“HAMZA,” BY FADWA TUQAN

Hamza was just an ordinary man
like others in my hometown
who work only with their hands for bread.
When I met him the other day,
this land was wearing a cloak of mourning
in windless silence. And I felt defeated.
But Hamza-the-ordinary said:
‘My sister, our land has a throbbing heart,
it doesn’t cease to beat, and it endures
the unendurable. It keeps the secrets
of hills and wombs. This land sprouting
with spikes and palms is also the land
that gives birth to a freedom-fighter.
This land, my sister, is a woman.’

Days rolled by. I saw Hamza nowhere.
Yet I felt the belly of the land
was heaving in pain.
Hamza — sixty-five — weighs
heavy like a rock on his own back.
‘Burn, burn his house,’
a command screamed,
‘and tie his son in a cell.’
The military ruler of our town later explained:
it was necessary for law and order,
that is, for love and peace!
Armed soldiers gheraoed his house:
the serpent’s coil came full circle.
The bang at the door was but an order —
‘evacuate, damn it!’
And generous as they were with time, they could say:
‘in an hour, yes!’

Hamza opened the window.
Face to face with the sun blazing outside,
he cried: ‘in this house my children
and I will live and die
for Palestine.’
Hamza’s voice echoed clean
across the bleeding silence of the town.
An hour later, impeccably,
the house came crumbling down,
the rooms were blown to pieces in the sky,
and the bricks and the stones all burst forth,
burying dreams and memories of a lifetime
of labor, tears, and some happy moments.
Yesterday I saw Hamza
walking down a street in our town —
Hamza the ordinary man as he always was:
always secure in his determination.

About Fadwa Tuqan

Binyamin Brigade Commander Colonel Israel Shomer. Was he in a life-threatening situation?
Binyamin Brigade Commander Colonel Israel Shomer. Was he in a life-threatening situation?

“. . . within the ancient walls, I walk from one epoch to another without a memory . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Caption: Palestinians from the Gaza Strip visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound. (MaanImages/File)
Caption: Palestinians from the Gaza Strip visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound. (MaanImages/File)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ALLOWS 800 GAZANS TO PRAY AT AQSA FOR LAYLAT AL-QADER
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Israeli authorities permitted 800 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound.
____Laylat al-Qader, meaning the Night of Destiny, takes place toward the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and according to Muslim belief marks the night the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad.
(More. . .)
(Related)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELI AUTHORITIES TO BUILD OVER HISTORIC MUSLIM CEMETERY
July 14, 2015
Q-Press media center for Jerusalem and al-Aqsa affairs today said that the planning and construction committee in occupied Jerusalem, last week, has approved the construction of a huge project on land for the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery. . . .
____Haaretz newspaper said, according to the PNN, that Israeli occupation authorities pushed to execute the project on the land even though it is Islamic Waqf (property) that cannot be seized.
(More. . .)

Construction of huge project on land of the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery, Jerusalem.
Construction of huge project on land of the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery, Jerusalem.

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ISRAEL PREVENTS PALESTINIANS IN JERUSALEM FROM GETTING WATER
July 13, 2015
The Israeli water authority has discussed appeals against the new system for collecting water charges from “unlicensed” houses, including those not linked to the water system. . . . Even houses which do not consume any water at all will be subject to charges under the new system.
____The amount charged would be based on the amount of water consumed by the whole neighbourhood, with the total divided among the Palestinian residents of the villages behind the Apartheid (“Separation”) Wall.
(More. . .)

❹ Opinion
From +972 MAGAZINE
NO, BDS DOES NOT UNFAIRLY ‘SINGLE OUT’ ISRAEL
Dahlia Scheindlin
July 13, 2015
[. . . .]
But precisely because Israel has a democratic ethos, because it is part of the West and in dialogue with it, activists reasonably believe gains can be made. They’re right. If Israel wants to be more democratic toward all the people it controls, it surely has the political culture in place to do so. The claim to democracy also makes the nearly 50-year occupation so much more offensive.
____But there’s an even simpler reason why students, celebrities, academics, and some individuals call to boycott Israel instead of other places: Palestinians asked them to.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
THE JERUSALEM BLUES: A PORTRAIT OF THE CITY
Ali Qleibo
July, 2015 – Issue 207
I had arrived early for my daily walk with my friend Abed. I took a seat on the stairway leading to Damascus Gate and whiled away the time watching the hubbub below. . . .
____Jerusalem haunts me; sparks of light, images flicker, and a river of sadness flows, flooding the covered passageways embracing memories. Each of us carries an archetypal map of Jerusalem within our heart that corresponds to subjective visual imagery. The clarity, intensity, and proximity to the city determine our mood. Far from al-balad, its markets, alleys, mosques, and churches, one experiences a fall from grace: the Jerusalem blues. Jerusalemites, once severed from their city, languish in nostalgic melancholy (al-huzon). It is our burden, our joy, and our redemption. The vision of Jerusalem is a totalizing multifaceted experience of which each detail is a partial refraction of the whole: an open wound assuaged by its embrace once within the city walls.
(More. . .)

“IN JERUSALEM,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.

From Darwish, Mahmoud. The Butterfly’s Burden. Trans. Fady Joudah. Copper Canyon Press, 2008. Available.
About Mahmoud Darwish.

Palestinians inside Israel and in the West Bank have very little water and it costs a lot of money.
Palestinians inside Israel and in the West Bank have very little water and it costs a lot of money. (More. . .)

“. . . in the begging of the willow and in the river’s obstinacy. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

A Palestinian farmer from the village of Twaneih reacts after finding his olive trees destroyed in the southern West Bank village of Yata near Hebron on 08 September 2013. (EPA/ABED AL HASHLAMOUN
A Palestinian farmer from the village of Twaneih reacts after finding his olive trees destroyed in the southern West Bank village of Yata near Hebron on 08 September 2013. (EPA/ABED AL HASHLAMOUN

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES FREE PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKER KHADER ADNAN
July 12, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — The Israeli authorities released Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan on Sunday, two weeks after a deal was reached that ended his 55-day long hunger strike.
____Adnan, 37, went on hunger strike in June to protest the Israeli practice of administrative detention, under which Palestinians can be held without charge or trials for months or years. His release Sunday came after 11 months in Israeli custody, without charge or trial.
(More. . .)

From MONDOWEISS
LIES, SMEAR, AND TWO-STEPS — WHY DID ORGANIZERS REALLY CANCEL THE FEIS?
Annie Robbins
July 10, 2015
Now that the event has been cancelled, you’d think the drama surrounding the Irish campaign to encourage participants to boycott the first 1st Israel Feis, or Gaelic dance competition, would be over and that everything would die down, hush up, and go away. But that won’t happen, because of the way it was cancelled: organizers accused Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) activists of “attacking” them with threatening actions and behavior, and the press parroted those accusations in announcing the cancellation. So activists who organized the #DontDance4Israel/#Don’tShameOurName campaign are not ready to put it in the past, and why should they?
(More. . .)
(Background)

Caption: Palestinians on the West Bank appeal for the Feis to be cancelled Photo: Hamza Burnat
Palestinians on the West Bank appeal for the Feis to be cancelled Photo: Hamza Burnat

From MA’AM NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI DRONE CRASHES IN LEBANON FOR 2ND TIME IN 3 WEEKS
July 11, 2015
BERUIT (AFP) — An Israeli drone crashed in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli on Saturday, the military said, in the second such incident in three weeks.
____”At around 8:30 a.m., a drone belonging to the Israeli enemy went down in the port of Tripoli, and the army has taken the necessary measures,” the Lebanese military said in a statement, without elaborating.
(More. . .)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELI EXTREMISTS UPROOT 80 OLIVE TREES IN SALFIT
July 11, 2015
A group of colonialist Israeli settlers, driving a number of bulldozers, invaded earlier Saturday Palestinian orchards belonging to residents of Deir Estia village, northwest of the central West Bank district of Salfit, and uprooted more than 80 olive trees.
____Local villagers said the settlers uprooted the olive trees in order to expand a bypass road, leading to illegal Israeli settlements, built on Palestinian lands.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From MONDOWEISS
OREN MISREPRESENTS 1971 SYNAGOGUE BOMBING THAT CHANGED HIS LIFE
Philip Weiss
July 10, 2015
[The former Israeli ambassador to the United States] In his new memoir, Michael Oren makes out suburban New Jersey in 1971 to be as anti-Semitic as Odessa during the pogroms. To do so, he lies by omission about the facts behind a synagogue bombing. The Jewish terrorist Meir Kahane was due to speak there, and the speech was canceled. Oren doesn’t tell readers that part. –
(More. . .)

THE STAB,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
The moonlight said:
I am the first of the homeless,
the eternal wanderer;
you find me on the breakwaters,
on the soldier’s helmet,
on the false teeth of the party’s general secretary,
in the begging of the willow and in the river’s obstinacy,
on the woman’s brow
when pleasure lifts it,
on the executioner’s fingernails
and the robber’s key-ring,
on parliament’s oppressive dome,
on a deserter’s medals,
on the tilted surface of a bomber,
on the marble steps,
on a knife blade
which a friend takes from the front of his cloak
and points at your backbone.
And in my moment of agony,
I beg the clouds:
“Hide me!”

Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and Other Poems. Radwa Ashour, Trans. (Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008.)
Available from Amazon
About Mourid Barghouti

Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan (MaanImages)
Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan (MaanImages)

“. . . being caught―between the ugliest and the finest. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

A Palestinian Bedouin in front of the ruins of her family house demolished by Israel in the Negev on August 4, 2010. (AFP/David Buimovitch)
A Palestinian Bedouin in front of the ruins of her family house demolished by Israel in the Negev on August 4, 2010. (AFP/David Buimovitch)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI KNESSET TO ADDRESS SHELVED PLAN TO RELOCATE NEGEV BEDOUINS
July 11, 2015
BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) – Bedouin residents of the Negev are gearing up to take last minute measures as the Israeli Knesset is slated Sunday to discuss a plan to forcibly relocate tens-of-thousands of Bedouin Palestinians.
____The Prawer Plan was approved by the Israeli government in 2011 but shelved in 2013 amid widespread protest among Palestinians within Israel and international condemnation.
(More. . .)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
INJURIES REPORTED AS SOLDIERS ATTACK NABI SALEH PROTEST
July 10, 2015
Palestinian medical sources have reported, Friday, that many residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, after Israeli soldiers assaulted the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and settlements, in Nabi Saleh village. . .
____The Popular Resistance Committee in Nabi Saleh has reported that the protesters marched towards Palestinian orchards, illegally confiscated by the army, and isolated behind the wall. . .
____The soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets; scores of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
(More. . .)

The soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets; scores of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. (Photo IMEMC)
The soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets; scores of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. (Photo IMEMC)

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
WHEN THE OTHER ISN’T PERCEIVED AS HUMAN EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE
By Tamar Fleishman – Qalandiya
July 2, 2015
The ambulance was detained for about six hours and in it was a resident of Gaza, who had been discharged from a hospital in Nablus after undergoing heart surgery.
____For six hours the ambulance had waited on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint for someone to solve the bureaucratic mess. But apparently no one thought it to be an urgent matter. No one on the other side of the rifle or of the computer or of the phone thought that letting a person suffer like that for six hours was terrible.
(More. . .)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAEL OFFICIALLY SIGNS ORDER BARRING “PALESTINE 1948” TV
July 10, 2015
Israeli Police spokeswomen Luba Samri said, Thursday, that Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has signed an official order shutting down the “Palestine 1948 TV,” and barring all of its activities in the country.
____Erdan said “Israel will not allow anybody to harm its sovereignty, or to grant the Palestinian Authority any foothold in the country.”
____He alleged that the TV station never obtained any proper authorization to operate in Israel, and said “Palestine 1948” began broadcasting, a month ago, from Nazareth.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From +972 BLOG
IMPRISONED FOR INCITEMENT ON FACEBOOK? ONLY IF YOU’RE ARAB
July 10, 2015
John Brown* and Noam Rotem
Racist and inciting Facebook statuses by Israeli Jews have become commonplace on the Internet. Yet not a single Israeli has ever been sent to prison for publishing a status on social media.
____We do not live in a state where people are equal before the law. This is a fact that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Internet, on the other hand, has maintained a kind of facade where freedom and equality are set in stone. But no more. This week, 23-year-old Uday Biyumi from Jerusalem was sentenced to 17 months in prison for publishing Facebook posts “systematically and widely.”
____The sentence is not something out of the ordinary. . .
(More. . .)

*John Brown is the pseudonym of an Israeli academic and blogger. Noam Rotem is an Israeli activist, high-tech executive and author of the blog o139.org, subtitled “Godwin doesn’t live here anymore.” This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call.

palestinian poetry header

.

“THE UGLIEST OF WORDS,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
Foreigner?
The fiercest of French traits:
Etrangé?
The cruelest of German blows:
Ausländer?
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
Oivim.
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
Kuffar.
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What?
What should I do?

From Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.)
Available from Amazon
About Samih Al-Qasim

Censored,  shut down
Censored, shut down

“. . . We have carried the weight of centuries Long enough. . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

Bedouin Village near illegal Israeli settlement scheduled for demolition. (Photo i24news)
Bedouin Village near illegal Israeli settlement scheduled for demolition. (Photo i24news)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ISSUES MULTIPLE DEMOLITION ORDERS TO BEDOUINS NEAR JERUSALEM
July 9, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s Civil Administration on Thursday delivered dozens of eviction and stop-work orders to Palestinian Bedouins east of Jerusalem, a lawyer told Ma’an.
____Bassab Bahar, who chairs an East Jerusalem committee to protect Palestinian land, said Civil Administration officers accompanied by Israel’s military raided the Abu al-Nawwar dwellings, which house members of the al-Jahalin Bedouin community.
(More. . .)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
HUNDREDS PREVENTED FROM CROSSING TO JERUSALEM FOR FRIDAY PRAYERS
July 10, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces deployed at a main checkpoint in northern Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank prevented hundreds of Palestinians from crossing into Jerusalem Friday morning, due to recently enforced entry restrictions based on age.
____Israeli forces prevented women between the ages of 16 and 30 from crossing to Jerusalem without permits, as well as men from 30 to 50 years old.
____Children under 12 and men above 50 were allowed to enter without permits, in addition to women above 30.
____Men between the ages of 12 and 30 were reportedly barred entrance to Jerusalem.
(More. . .)

Checkpoint 300 in Bethlehem, occupied West Bank on July 10, 2015. (MaanImages/Mohammad Sbeih)
Checkpoint 300 in Bethlehem, occupied West Bank on July 10, 2015. (MaanImages/Mohammad Sbeih)

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAELI FACEBOOK USERS LAUNCH ‘DEATH TO ARABS’ CAMPAIGN
July 9, 2015
A number of Israeli activists have launched a racist campaign against Arabs on Facebook, calling it “Death to Arabs”, Quds Press reported on Wednesday.
____Quds Press said that the Israeli news website Walla had interviewed a number of the organisers, who added this phrase beside their names on Facebook.
____The Israeli website interviewed a 14-year-old Jewish Israeli named Ran. He said: “It is my full right to write whatever I want instead of my name on Facebook,” Ran told Walla. “I think it is time to disclose the truth,” he added, “all Arabs [in Israel] must not be here.”
(More. . .)
(Background. . .)

From MONDOWEISS
REPORT FROM RAMALLAH: HOW PALESTINE IS TODAY
Francesca Borri
July 9, 2015
Amid the shrubs you glimpse something black. You glimpse a rifle barrel. And you get it. Out your taxi window you notice smoke on your right, but it’s not the typical clearing of undergrowth burning in a distant field. It’s tear gas. In the middle of the white cloud there are 13-year olds with slings and keffiyehs. Slim. Fast.
____No, this isn’t traffic, it’s clashes. But you are the only one who looks. Everyone else is in their car, headphones on, texting.
____“Step away!” your driver shouts—not to a soldier though, to a kid. Palestinians honk. They are running out of patience. Their horns are saying, “Let’s go, yalla. It’s late.”
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From AL-MONITOR PALESTINE PULSE
WILL ISRAEL INVADE WEST BANK?
Adnan Abu Amer
July 9, 2015
In November 2014, Amin Maqboul, the secretary-general of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, revealed that an official Israeli threat was made to the Palestinian Authority of a total invasion and military control of Ramallah.
____Tension escalated between both parties and relations seem to have reached a dead end following the announcement of the Israeli elections’ results in March, which resulted in the formation of the most extreme right-wing coalition in Israeli history, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
____Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said March 10 that Israel had made a second threat to entirely occupy the West Bank again . . .
____The third Israeli threat was reported by Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper June 14, which quoted an anonymous source close to the Palestinian presidency stating that an anonymous high-ranking Israeli security official threatened to occupy the West Bank in 24 hours . . .
____Adnan Abu Amer is dean of the Faculty of Arts and head of the Press and Information Section at Al Ummah University Open Education as well as a lecturer there in the history of the Palestinian issue, national security, political science and Islamic civilization. He holds a doctorate in political history from Damascus University
(More. . .)

“PSALMS OF THE PALESTINIANS,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

From here
From this purgatory
Of sorrow
In the Holy Land
The orphaned birds beseech
Mankind
From here
From Jenin
From Old Jerusalem
Alleluia.

Once
A Gaza tune of yearning
Played
Once
The sad refrain
Kindled tragedy
In refugee tents
Once
In Jerusalem
The little ones changed
We shall return
We shall return
Alleluia.

The birds nest on our roof
The sparrow flies
In the horizon
And in exile
Under the hot sun
In the wind
Hearts―eyes
Implored:
God of glory
Return us
Our trial
Has gone on too long!
Alleluia―Alleluia

And then it happened
The metallic eagles swept down
They did not bring the sons of Zion
To Zion
Not the remaining crowds
They did not bring
Pious psalms
To the wailing wall
God of Glory!
What did they bring?
Do not ask me
For in my voice a pagan flame
Burns
And listen O God of Glory
Listen to the outcry of a dispossessed people
We have been tested long enough
We have carried the weight of centuries
Long enough
―Why aren’t you convinced?―
Our days of trial have been too long
So
Return us―Return us
Alleluia―Alleluia―Alleluia.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.

Obituary for Samih al-Qasim (August 20, 2014)

Tweeted by benwedeman @bencnn, July 1st [2014], ‘Mob on Jaffa Road, Jerusalem chanting “death to the Arabs.” (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)
Tweeted by benwedeman @bencnn, July 1st [2014], ‘Mob on Jaffa Road, Jerusalem chanting “death to the Arabs.” (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

“. . . We are a country of words. Speak speak. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Yarmouk Refugees Waiting for Humanitarian Aid / UNRWA
Yarmouk Refugees Waiting for Humanitarian Aid / UNRWA

From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES IN SYRIA
Emma Flesche
July 9, 2015
After the Nakba of 1948, approximately 90,000 Palestinians became refugees in Syria. The United Nations . . . estimates this number [has become] close to 560,000. Most of these Palestinians lived in one of the 15 refugee camps in Syria, the largest of which was al-Yarmouk. . .
____With the outbreak of the current war in Syria, attacks on Palestinian refugee camps . . . . created a wave of secondary mass displacement of Palestinian refugees within Syria. . . . attack on the Yarmouk camp led to a mass displacement of refugees that reduced the size of the camp from 160,000 to about 30,000.
____UNRWA estimates that more than 70 percent of the Palestinian refugees in Syria are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance, and that more than 50 percent have been internally displaced as a result of the conflict.
(More. . .)

From VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS
UN: 4 MILLION REFUGEES HAVE FLED SYRIA
Lisa Schlein
July 9, 2015
GENEVA— The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees fleeing conflict in Syria has topped 4 million, making Syria the world’s biggest refugee crisis in a generation.
____With no solution to the conflict in sight, the UNHCR said it expects the number of refugees to exceed 4.25 million by the end of the year.
____The U.N. refugee agency said this milestone comes barely 10 months after the 3 million refugee mark was reached.
(More. . .)

❸ Special Report
FROM KINDERUSA
THE INHUMANITY OF YARMOUK
Dalell Mohmed
April 16, 2015
Yarmouk is the largest refugee camp in Syria:
– As of April 2015, approximately 18,000 Palestinians remain trapped in Yarmouk, including 3,500 children
– People are living on just 400 calories a day–sometimes less with infants dying of malnourishment, mothers dying at child birth, and residents resorting to eating leaves and animal feed
– Residents have not had electricity since 2013 and with this, no running water.
KinderUSA is preparing emergency aid for Palestinian families from Yarmouk, but we need your support.
(More. . .)

caption: A photo from the Israel, Syrian border along the Golan Heights showing IDF soldiers conversing with Jabhat al Nusra fighters. By MintPress News Desk, May 4, 2015.
A photo from the Israel, Syrian border along the Golan Heights showing IDF soldiers conversing with Jabhat al Nusra fighters. By MintPress News Desk, May 4, 2015.

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
SYRIANS IN OCCUPIED GOLAN FURIOUS ABOUT ISRAEL’S ALLIANCE WITH AL-QAEDA
Asa Winstanley
June 30, 2015
Israel’s most unlikely alliance is that it currently engages in with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
____Despite a long history of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish rhetoric, the main victims of al-Qaeda’s horrible sectarian attacks have been Muslims in the Arab world, along with western civilian and military targets. The movement has rarely targeted Israel. . . .
____But now, on the smaller sector of the Golan which is under Syrian control, the civil war rages. And. . . rebels forces in that area are dominated by al-Qaeda. Yet there has been cooperation between the Israeli military and the rebels. . . .
(More. . .)

❺ Background essay
From AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES AND THE RIGHT OF RETURN
Updated 2015
Approximately 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and became refugees as a result of the 1948 war which led to the founding of Israel. None of these displaced persons were ever allowed to return to the homes or communities from which they were displaced and the Palestinian refugee population has continued to grow in the time that has passed since 1948. Today there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees scattered around the world. The reality of Palestinian forced displacement is at the core of the Palestinian experience and the Palestinian refugee issue is at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This paper provides background information on the history of the Palestinian refugee issue and the politics of the right of return.
(More. . .)

“WE TRAVEL LIKE OTHER PEOPLE,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if traveling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
. . darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives; go on giving birth to people like us
. . for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a meter of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tents of the
. . prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopoe’s beak or sing to while away the
. . distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
. . names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of
. . this travel.

From: Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY. Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Amazon.
Biographical sketch of Mahmoud Darwish.

A Palestinian relative salvages what he can from his family's belongings amid the rubble of the al-Akhras family home after it was hit by Israeli strike in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Two people were wounded in the airstrike on the house according Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
A Palestinian relative salvages what he can from his family’s belongings amid the rubble of the al-Akhras family home after it was hit by Israeli strike in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Two people were wounded in the airstrike on the house according Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

“. . . A people yearning for their usurped lands . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Destroyed buildings in front of a mosque in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun a year after the war began. (AFP)
Destroyed buildings in front of a mosque in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun a year after the war began. (AFP)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
‘WE HAVE NO HAPPINESS NOW’: PALESTINIANS RECALL HORROR OF GAZA WAR
July 8, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — “Conditions are really tough here,” said 12-year-old Shadi Barakeh. “It’s cold at night and I’m afraid when I hear dogs bark and the wind whistle.”
____”The clothes I have on are the only ones I have left. I go to school in them and wear them in the tent, too.”
____The child’s account is among several testimonies collected by ISRAELI RIGHTS GROUP B’TSELEM looking back on a year since Israel began a bloody offensive on the Gaza Strip that ultimately left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians.
____The testimonies paint a startling picture of the devastation wrought on ordinary Gazans’ lives during the 50-day conflict.
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
FOREIGN MINISTRY SLAMS ISRAEL’S DECISION TO EXTEND SEPARATION BARRIER INTO CREMISAN VALLEY
July 8, 2015
RAMALLAH (WAFA) – [Palestinian Authority] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement released on Wednesday, condemned the Israeli government’s decision to build a new section of the Separation Wall in the Cremisan valley near the town of Beit Jala.
____It said the decision allows the confiscation of large swathes of private and state land, undermines the potential of a viable Palestinian state and paves the way for further settlement activities.
____“The building [of the fence] is an ‘assassination’ of the principle of a two-state solution in the full view of the world and the different countries,” the statement said.
____In December 2014, the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL) called for taking immediate action against extending the separation barrier into the Cremisan Valley.
(More. . .)

Winery of the Cremisan Brothers Roman Catholic monastery in the Cremisan Valley
Winery of the Cremisan Brothers Roman Catholic monastery in the Cremisan Valley

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI COMMITTEE APPROVES EXPANSION OF JERUSALEM SETTLEMENT
July 8, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A researcher said Tuesday that an Israeli committee for zoning and planning has allocated private Palestinian land to expand the illegal French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem.
____Ahmad Sub Laban, a settlement affairs researcher, told Ma’an that 25 dunams (6 acres) of land from Shufat and al-Issawiya has been allocated to the the settlement area to establish a commercial zone.
____Palestinian residents of Shufat had been trying to obtain licenses to build on the land which was confiscated, but were denied permission by Israel’s Jerusalem municipality.
(More. . .)

❹ Opinion
From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
CHALLENGING DISCOURSE OF OCCUPATION
Emma Flesche
June 30, 2015
Under international law, occupation is not illegal. There are, however, a number of restrictions and duties placed upon the occupier to ensure the rights of the civilian population of the occupied territory. . . .
____[The] Fourth Geneva Convention. . . [states] that “Occupation is only a temporary situation, and the rights of the occupant are limited to the extent of that period.” Furthermore, the Convention prohibits the forced displacement of the occupied population and confiscation of private property. . . .
____. . . . Israel has violated the rules applying to an occupation power. The occupation is not temporary, protection of civilian rights is not upheld, and forced displacement as well as confiscation of private property occurs regularly.
____Because occupations are not illegal, it is impossible for human rights and legal organisations to end them – it is possible to take Israel to court for war crimes, but not to end the occupation.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From JADALIYYA (ARAB STUDIES INSTITUTE)
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES DESERVE TO LIVE IN DIGNITY
Chris Gunness
July 7, 2015
Allow me to introduce you to Baby Salma from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. She is dead. She died of hypothermia in January this year at just forty days old. Her body was drenched in freezing rainwater during the winter storm knows as Huda. Baby Salma was Huda’s youngest victim.
____I met Mirvat, Salma’s mother in Beit Hanoun along with sixteen members of her extended family living in what can only be described as an animal pen. Mirvat shares . . .
____ . . . to date not one single totally destroyed refugee home has been rebuilt. This is partly due to the lack of funds and partly because the residential stream of the mechanism – a simplified process for reconstructing houses — is yet to be finalized. Negotiations to deal with this are reportedly ongoing.
____They need a positive conclusion soon as today 120,000 people in Gaza are homeless – a figure that should shame the international system. It certainly hurts those of us who have advocated tirelessly for rapid steps to help the beleaguered people of Gaza move on in dignity.
(More. . .)

“CUBA,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD

1

My friends in the fertile sugar fields
My friends in the oil refineries in proud Cuba
From my village, my precious home
I send you greetings:
Scented kisses―delicious boxes of sweets
I have for you bouquets of flowers
And songs of magic―the chirping of the birds
I wish I had wings―like an eagle
To carry these gifts.

2

The people of my village tell of many stories
About you.
They tell them proudly―with glowing eyes
With hearts beaming with joy and jealousy
On the golden hills they gather, at high noon,
Under the trees, in the pastures, in the humble lanes
Their conversation is a medley of fire and May, a moving song.
The people in my land love the truly heroic.
My friends who have filled the world with the fragrance of struggle
Keep up the pressure on the imperialists
They have cut my wings.
Within me lies the vengeance of a wounded people
Thrown into the streets
A people yearning for their usurped lands
Press on―the wings of the eagle are stronger
Than the hurricanes,
The imperialists do not understand
The language of humility and tears
They only understand the people surge
To the arena of struggle.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.

Born in the Galilee, Ziad studied literature in USSR.[2] After returning home, he was elected mayor of Nazareth on 9 December 1973, as head of Palestine 48 Rakah, a communist party, a victory that is said to have “surprised and alarmed” Israelis. Elected to the Knesset in the 1973 elections on Rakah’s list, Ziad was active in pressuring the Israeli government to change its policies towards Arabs –
(More. . .)
A popular revolutionary song in Palestine, words by Tawfiq Zayyad

‘I call to you all:
I take your hand and hold it tightly.
I kiss the ground on which you place your feet.
I know that for you I would give my life.
My life I would give for you.

I offer you the light of my eyes,
The fire of my heart:
For this pain that I suffer
Is only a small part of your pain.

I never have sold my country
And I have been willing to serve,
To face the invader with steadfastness and courage,
An orphan willing to die.

Carrying my people on my shoulders,
You will see my flag raised high,
And a mountain clothed in the green of the olive branch
For those who will come after.

I call to you all!’

French  Hill Settlement in East Jerusalem
French Hill Settlement in East Jerusalem