“. . . Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

Palestinian women shout slogans as Israeli police forces block Palestinians at an entrance of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city, after Israeli police and authorities limited access to one of Islam’s holiest sites, July 26, 2015, following clashes inside the compound. (Photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)
Palestinian women shout slogans as Israeli police forces block Palestinians at an entrance of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city, after Israeli police and authorities limited access to one of Islam’s holiest sites, July 26, 2015, following clashes inside the compound. (Photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)

(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

❶ PLO: Israel turning ‘question of Palestine into a religious war’
❷ Newspaper Review: Yeshiva Calls on Settlers to Enter al-Aqsa Site
❸ Israeli Police Demolish Stores Northwest of Jerusalem
❹ Review: Book of the Month, Four Cities, By Hala Alyan
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Why do they throw stones?
❻ Poetry by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PLO:  ISRAEL  TURNING  ‘QUESTION  OF  PALESTINE  INTO  A  RELIGIOUS  WAR’
Sept. 20, 2015
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat released a statement on Sunday accusing the Israeli government of “enthusiastically trying to turn the question of Palestine into a religious war,” through its actions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
____Erekat said in a statement that the PLO does not, and will not accept a religious narrative concerning the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.
____Erekat also added that the increase in Israeli attacks against “the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound” will not be accepted, and called on the international community “to assume its responsibility to protect the Palestinian people and their holy sites . . .
More . . .
Related . . .

PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
NEWSPAPER  REVIEW:  YESHIVA  CALLS  ON  SETTLERS  TO  ENTER  AL-AQSA  SITE
RAMALLAH, September 20, 2015 (WAFA) – The three Palestinian Arabic dailies Sunday focused on calls made by a yeshiva school for Jewish settlers to take part in a large-scale entry to al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, a move that will ultimately spark intense clashes between the Israeli police, settlers and Palestinian worshipers. [. . . .]
____On a different subject, al-Ayyam said the Israeli government is set to approve on Sunday an act that allows the Israeli police to use live ammunition against “stone-throwers” in Jerusalem.
More . . .

PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI  POLICE  DEMOLISH  STORES  NORTHWEST  OF  JERUSALEM
Sept. 20, 2015
JERUSALEM, (WAFA) – Israeli police Sunday demolished five Palestinian-owned stores in the town of Hezma, just northeast of Jerusalem, according to local sources.
____An Israeli army force broke into the town in the morning and demolished five tinplate-surfaced stores, including a stone-cutting workshop, under the pretext of construction without a permit. [. . . .]
____Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem are living in a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied citizenship and classified only as ‘residents’ whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city.
More . . .
Other IOF action . . .

REVIEW: THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
BOOK  OF  THE  MONTH:  FOUR CITIES,  BY  HALA  ALYAN
Reviewed by the TWIP Team
September, 2015
Black Lawrence Press, September 2015
Four Cities by Hala Alyan is a journey, on a heavy carpet, from New York to Damascus. Hala, who invokes elves and burning tires, is searching for home and love in places that everyone is trying to escape.
____In her second manuscript, which will be published this month by Black Lawrence Press, an independent publisher out of the United States, Hala brings to light Arabic words weaved with English in a way that only an Arab-American can.
More . . .

DANGEROUS TERRORISTS Palestinian youths throw stones towards Israeli border police during clashes at a checkpoint between the Shuafat refugee camp and Jerusalem November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly.
DANGEROUS TERRORISTS
Palestinian youths throw stones towards Israeli border police during clashes at a checkpoint between the Shuafat refugee camp and Jerusalem November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly.

❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
WHY  DO  THEY  THROW  STONES?
Samah Salaime
Sept. 18, 2015
This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.
Only in Israel can one speak about an intifada without mentioning the occupation. Only here can one change the IDF’s open-fire regulations without addressing what soldiers are doing on Palestinian land, with who sent them to walk around neighborhoods and cities, and for what purpose.
____Stone throwing has made headlines once again this week, and the entire establishment went into a craze over the question of “how do we deal with this?” Facebook was filled with creative answers, such as punishing judges who refrain from sentencing teenager stone-throwers to life. Any judge who shows mercy will not be promoted. The only thing lacking from this proposal was how to forcefully deal with these kinds of judges who also happen to be Arab. I suggest establishing a new investigative committee to look into how on earth these judges were appointed in the first place.
More . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring, in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.
Available from Palestine Online Store.
About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

The home of the renowned Arab novelist, poet, painter and translator Jabra Ibrahim Jabra was destroyed in an April 4 car bomb attack that also killed 17 people in Baghdad.  Photo:  Holly Pickett for The New York Times. MAY 21, 2010
The home of the renowned Arab novelist, poet, painter and translator Jabra Ibrahim Jabra was destroyed in an April 4 car bomb attack that also killed 17 people in Baghdad. Photo: Holly Pickett for The New York Times. MAY 21, 2010

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