‘ . . . “Does this rock have a story?” . . .” (Ghassan Kanafani)

Several large eagles inhabit the Middle East. This is the White-tailed Eagle, a fairly common eagle in Palestine. (Photo: Birding Is Fun Blog.) See short story excerpt below.
Several large eagles inhabit the Middle East. This is the White-tailed Eagle, a fairly common eagle in Palestine. (Photo: Birding Is Fun Blog.) See short story excerpt below.

❶ Palestinian prisoners have the will to persevere in the face of the oppressor
❷ VIEW! Israeli occupation of Hebron
❸ Israeli exports hit hard by Palestinian boycott, World Bank says
❹ Solar power pays off for enterprising Palestinians
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Oslo has become a tool for Israeli expansionism — it’s time to let go
❻ Short story excerpt by Ghassan Kanafani (1936-1972)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS  HAVE  THE  WILL  TO PERSEVERE  IN  THE  FACE  OF  THE  OPPRESSOR
Dr Fayez Rasheed
Oct. 2, 2015
There are 17 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Altogether, almost 5,000 Palestinians are being held by Israel, including 20 women, 230 children and a number of elderly men. They are all subject to the worst types of cruelty and torture in prison. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society in Ramallah, 95 per cent of Palestinian prisoners are suffering from a form of torture . . . . Over 1,000 of the Palestinians in Israeli jails are ill; 160 have chronic illnesses, including cancer. Eighty are being held under arbitrary administrative detention, based on a law left over from British Mandate days.
____Israel is still holding 30 “old prisoners”, the term describing those who were imprisoned prior to the Oslo agreement . . . .
More . . .
CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS
VIEW!  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  OF  HEBRON
Oct. 1, 2015
See a week of Israeli occupation in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. [Weekly series of photographs from Christian Peacemakers Teams.]
More . . .
ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
ISRAELI  EXPORTS  HIT  HARD  BY  PALESTINIAN  BOYCOTT,  WORLD  BANK  SAYS
Maureen Clare Murphy
Oct. 2, 2015
The Palestinian campaign to boycott Israeli goods has exacted a major cost on Israel’s exports to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
____This victory is quietly acknowledged in a World Bank report released this week.
____Palestinian imports from Israel dropped by 24 percent during the first quarter of 2015, the report states.
____The World Bank explains that the drop “is the result of reduced economic activity, but also a growing trend among Palestinian consumers to substitute products imported from Israel by those from other countries, as a result of which non-Israeli imports were up 22 percent.”
More . . .
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
SOLAR  POWER  PAYS  OFF  FOR  ENTERPRISING  PALESTINIANS
Aziza Nofal
October 2, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Three years ago, Rabia al-Rabi stopped purchasing electricity from the Jerusalem Electricity Company, the official power provider in the city of Ramallah.
____The Palestinian woman actually started selling electricity to the very same company for 800 shekels (about $200) per month after she started a renewable energy generation project at her home.
____Rabi had carefully studied the economic feasibility of the project. Despite the high cost of installing the solar cells, she decided to run the risk and make her house one of the first in Ramallah to generate electricity from solar energy. Solar cells are installed on rooftops. . . .
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
OSLO  HAS  BECOME  A  TOOL  FOR  ISRAELI  EXPANSIONISM — IT’S  TIME  TO  LET  GO
Nathan Hersh
Oct. 3, 2015
(Nathan Hersh served in the Israel Defense Forces from 2009 to 2011. He has an MA in Conflict Resolution from Tel Aviv University. He was managing director of Partners for Progressive Israel.)
The Oslo Accords are the banner accomplishment of the Israeli peace movement. But their impact on the West Bank is no longer to orchestrate a phased withdrawal of Israeli forces, which they intended to do. Instead, the leadership in Israel has become increasingly populated by settlers and their sympathizers, and it has used the Oslo Accords for its own ideological pursuits.
____The lasting accomplishments of the Oslo Accords—the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C; the cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces and the creation of the Palestinian Authority—have different uses under Netanyahu’s premiership. . . . The Oslo Accords have been manipulated to strengthen the occupation, not dismantle it.
More . . .

(Note: The following departure from poetry is intended to spotlight more of the vast tradition of Palestinian literature. These excerpts will appear with regularity.)

FROM  “SIX  EAGLES  AND  A  CHILD,”  A  SHORT  STORY  BY  GHASSAN  KANAFANI
. . . I put up with all of this grudgingly. . . but the one thing that could really break down all my dignified reserve, was when a peasant would give me a nudge in that old car rocking and hurtling over the rough mountain road. . . then I was expected to take part in the conversation and show interest for the rest of the way.
____“Do you see that rock, professor?” said an old peasant one day, pointing through the window to a tall tapering stone standing on a small hill. . .
____“Yes, in fact I see it three times a week.”
____His fingers remained extended in the direction of the rock and he asked again: “Do you know its story?”
____“Does this rock have a story?” I asked out of curiosity, since even though I knew full well that everything in the villages had a story, I didn’t know that this rock, way out here on this desolate road, had its story too. Nonetheless, my question had a certain grumbling to it, and raising the newspaper in front of my eyes, I began to read it desultorily.
____“It began a long time ago . . .”
____I ignored him and went on reading, certain that the old peasant wasn’t looking at me, but was gazing at the rock as it slowly disappeared from the window’s range of vision.
____“I used to travel this way every other day . . . and always when I passed this rock I would see a grey eagle perched on top of it as if it were some kind of stuffed eagle . . . it was in the morning . . . spreading its enormous wings, it would fly to the top of the rock and then alight quietly. It remained there like that until evening when it would fly off again to return to the mountains . . .”
[ . . . . ]
____“Love . . . love does that to everyone . . . .”
[ . . . . ]

Kanafani, Ghassan. PALESTINE’S  CHILDREN:  RETURNING  TO  HAIFA  AND  OTHER  STORIES. Trans. Barbara Harlow and Karen E. Riley. Boulder, CO: Lynne Riener, 2000.
Available from Amazon.
About Ghassan Kanafani
(From the introduction to the collection: “There is, in addition, a certain dissonance in Kanafani’s imagery that serves to highlight no only the violence of 1948, but also its brutal abruptness and the powerlessness felt by the Palestinians in the face of it” (Riley and Harlow)).

A Palestinian laborer installs solar panels at a photovoltaic plant in the West Bank city of Jericho, March 27, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
A Palestinian laborer installs solar panels at a photovoltaic plant in the West Bank city of Jericho, March 27, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

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