“. . . What do I know about settlers or rock-throwers . . .” (Rabbi Rachel Barenblat)

THE 'SMARTPHONE INTIFADA.' Palestinian women take pictures on smartphones during the funeral of a Palestinian man in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Feb. 24, 2015. (photo by REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
THE ‘SMARTPHONE INTIFADA.’ Palestinian women take pictures on smartphones during the funeral of a Palestinian man in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Feb. 24, 2015. (photo by REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

HAARETZ (Israel’s oldest daily newspaper)
Haaretz Editorial
Prime minister and his ministers would do well to act to calm things down and adopt a different policy, which regards Arabs as equal citizens, not a fifth column undermining the state.
Oct. 15, 2015
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Arab Knesset members of incitement against the State of Israel this week. He spoke of “the instigating leadership of the communist Balad party, behind whom are a train of ISIS flags.” Such statements, uttered by the prime minister of Israel in a speech from the Knesset rostrum, could have destructive implications for the relationship between the Arab citizens and the Jewish majority at a time when people on both sides feel threatened and are afraid to walk the streets.
____In addition to their dangerous timing, Netanyahu’s statements revealed his ignorance about Arab politics and society. Balad is a national-Arab party which has no connection to the communist party, even if some of its members were associated with that party in the past. There has been bitter political rivalry between the two parties for many years, and the fact that they are cooperating in the Joint Arab List faction in the Knesset does not mean that the differences between them have melted away.
____Moreover, at no march or rally of the Arab public have the black flags of the Islamic state been raised.
More . . .
Natasha Roth
Oct. 13, 2015
[Synopsis of Bergman film “The Seventh Seal,” 1957]
As I write this on Tuesday afternoon, three Israelis have been killed over the course of a few hours following a double attack in Jerusalem that involved shooting, stabbing and running over Israeli civilians with a vehicle. One of the alleged Palestinian attackers was shot dead at the scene.
____The incidents took place alongside two stabbing attacks in the central Israeli town of Ra’anana that left several Israelis wounded in an exceptionally violent morning, even by the standards of a gruesome fortnight that has seen dozens of Israelis injured and four more killed in stabbing and shooting attacks. Meanwhile nearly 30 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces either while demonstrating, following a stabbing attack or — in the IDF’s own words — “by accident.” The number of Palestinians injured since the beginning of October has passed the 1,000 mark.
____The terminology one applies to this latest spike in violence is academic. It also distracts from the underlying and fundamental issue: that successive Israeli leaders have, like the knight in The Seventh Seal, tried to cheat the inevitable, which in this case is the end of the occupation.
More. . .
Iqbal Jassat
Oct. 13, 2015
As the noose of resistance begins to take a firm grip around the neck of Israel’s apartheid regime, Netanyahu’s bewilderment must not be construed as an expression of ignorance.
___Equally, displaying shock and anger as his entire cabinet has been doing, is merely putting on a mask of hypocrisy for fellow Israelis and his western allies.
____The truth is eloquently captured by prominent Palestinian author and journalist Ramzy Baroud: “Palestinian youth are protesting because they experience daily humiliation and endure the unrelenting violence of the Occupation.”
____Israel’s suffocating policies of apartheid, administered ruthlessly by Netanyahu’s racist rightwing coalition, is responsible for the current wave of protests.
More . . .
HAARETZ (Israel’s oldest daily newspaper)
Asher Schechter (Haaretz staff writer)
Intifadas by definition have an ending. Recent events are merely a terrifying preview to a hellish reality: You can’t send a tank to fight a mother with a master’s degree wielding a knife.
Oct 15, 2015
[. . . . .]
____With violence in Israel and the West Bank steadily increasing, many are asking: Is this an intifada? Is this truly the beginning of yet another, years-long, bloody chapter in the saga of Israel-Palestine, or is this just another footnote [. . . . .]
____Based on the volume of violent incidents and, more importantly, the identity of the people behind them, it’s easy to say: this isn’t an intifada. It’s something far worse. [. . . . .]
____In a way, it’s easy to understand why Israeli politicians are confused. Intifadas usually end with a massive military campaign: Operation Defensive Shield ended the Second Intifada; or a massive peace effort – the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accords ended the First Intifada.
____But this time it isn’t a conflict for armies or diplomats. You can’t send a tank to fight a mother with a master’s degree wielding a knife.
More . . . 
Samah Sabawi
Oct. 15, 2015
History in the Holy Land seems stuck in a loop. In 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, at the time leader of the opposition, visited the al-Aqsa compound in a deliberate provocation that triggered the second Intifada. [. . . . .]
____Fast forward to 2015: The peace process is now dead and what hope Palestinians had during the early Oslo years has turned into bitter disappointment and despair. Jewish colonies, illegal under international law, have expanded on Palestinian land throughout the years of negotiations and now fully surround Palestinian communities. [. . . . .]
____At a recent press conference Netanyahu spoke in Hebrew about how there was a huge settlement drive during his years of leadership. At the same conference, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon assured reporters that there had not been a settlement freeze for one minute. [. . . . .]
____Palestinians in the grip of Israel’s military occupation have given up on any hope of a sovereign state. Palestinian youth are sending a clear message both to their occupiers and to their leaders. They are taking matters into their own hands and demanding their full human rights at any cost.
____Desperate Palestinian youth who have lived under occupation and siege their entire lives, with no hope of a future, risk their lives in their fight for freedom. But what are the Israelis fighting for? Having destroyed all chances of Palestinian statehood, Israel is fighting to maintain its occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people, creating an apartheid state throughout the lands where its rule holds sway.
More . . .

There are no canvas tents.
The buildings don’t look
so bad, standard issue
cement block structures

until I try to imagine
eleven thousand people
in one square kilometer,
one in every minyan
an angry alumnus

of the Israeli jails.
What do I know
about settlers or rock-throwers,
one state, two state

But our grandparents
didn’t escape the ghettos
of Europe’s worst era
only to create new ones
for somebody else.

When we depart
I’m saddened, troubled
but perfectly able
to order a cold beer
and make conversation.

The sorrow and the fury
dormant overnight
explode the next day.
Even Shabbat can’t soothe
my lacerated heart.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from B&N.
Rachel Barenblat was ordained a rabbi in January 2011 through the Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the author of 4 chapbooks of poetry. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Texas Observer. She lives in western Massachusetts.

An injured Palestinian protester carries a Palestinian flag during clashes Oct. 13, 2015 (MaanImages/Sheren Khalel)
An injured Palestinian protester carries a Palestinian flag during clashes Oct. 13, 2015 (MaanImages/Sheren Khalel)

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