“. . . the remains of a forgotten village and a cross . . .” (Sami Al-Jundi)

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The forgotten Jerusalem Palestinian village of Lifta, one of the few villages where the buildings remain. It is about to be “restored” to a fashionable Jewish district. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❶ EU expresses ‘deep concern’ over Israeli demolitions in Area C
❷ 2 Palestinians shot dead near Ramallah after alleged attacks
❸ Soldiers Injure Seven Palestinians in Jerusalem, Kidnap One Child
❹ Analysis: SPATIAL  DEVELOPMENT  OF  BETHLEHEM  AND EAST  JERUSALEM:  A  BLEAK  FUTURE?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  DOES  IT  SAY  WHEN  THE  IDF  IS  THE  SANEST  VOICE  IN  ISRAEL?
❻ Poetry. “Take Me to AL-QASTAL,” by Sami Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
EU  EXPRESSES  ‘DEEP CONCERN’  OVER  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  AREA C
Dec. 4, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — European Union missions on Friday reiterated a call for Israel to meet its obligations to Palestinians living in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where several demolitions have taken place in recent weeks.
___The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed “deep concern, once again” for the violations in the Israeli-controlled area, a statement said.
___On Thursday, Israeli authorities confiscated 10 tents donated to residents of al-Hadidiya village by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
___The tents had been donated after Israel’s civil administration and military forces demolished Palestinian structures in the in the northern Jordan Valley.  More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  DEAD  NEAR  RAMALLAH  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACKS
Dec. 4, 2015
BETHLEHEM ― Two Palestinians were shot dead near Ramallah on Friday after separate alleged attacks targeting Israeli military forces in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s army and Palestinian officials said.
___A Palestinian was shot and killed near the illegal Ofra settlement north of Ramallah after ramming his car into a group of Israeli soldiers, according to the Israeli army.
___The army confirmed that two soldiers were injured in the incident. Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said that paramedics treated two Israelis around 20 years of age who sustained minor injuries. More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS  INJURE  SEVEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  JERUSALEM,  KIDNAP  ONE  CHILD
Dec. 04, 2015
Palestinian medical sources in occupied Jerusalem have reported, Friday, that Israeli soldiers shot and injured seven Palestinians, while dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, in Jabal al-Mokabber town, in the city. The army also kidnapped one child in Silwan, and handed five demolition orders of residential and commercial structures.
___The soldiers used excessive force against dozens of Palestinians, holding a nonviolent protest, demanding the Israeli authorities to transfer the bodies of Palestinians, who were killed by the military, back to their families for proper burial ceremonies.
[. . . . ]
___On Friday evening, the soldiers kidnapped a child, identified as Mohammad Sufian al-Atrash, 15, after repeatedly beating and kicking him, in the Central Neighborhood in Silwan. More . . .

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Demonstration in East Jerusalem fired on by Israeli soldiers. (Photo: Silwan IC, Dec. 4, 2015)

Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
SPATIAL  DEVELOPMENT  OF  BETHLEHEM  AND  EAST  JERUSALEM:  A  BLEAK  FUTURE?
Ahmad El-Atrash
December 2015
Bethlehem, like Jerusalem, is considered a sacred city for the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Until 1967 – before the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory that included the occupation of East Jerusalem – Bethlehem was developing and spatially growing, maintaining an organic connection with Jerusalem city. Since the occupation . . . the Bethlehem City-area has witnessed an ever-changing flexible frontier with Jerusalem and thus, the long established socio-cultural, economic, and above all spiritual lifeline between the Bethlehem City-area and Jerusalem has been undermined by the Israeli matrix of control . . .  More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+ 972 MAGAZINE
WHAT  DOES  IT  SAY  WHEN  THE  IDF  IS  THE  SANEST  VOICE  IN  ISRAEL?
Yoni Mendel
Dec. 4, 2015
“A nation in uniform,” “an army that has a state,” “a democracy of army bases.” In academic research of the critical kind, Israel is understood as a militaristic state.
[. . . . ]
___This past month has seen a great number of examples that show how . . . the IDF, has begun to be viewed by the Israeli leadership . . . as outdated, irrelevant, ignorant, and deceitful.
[. . . . ]
___This began with the violence and stabbings in October 2015. The propagandists of the Israeli government announced openly that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ incitement was behind the uprising. The demagoguery quickly became the prominent message, with the media quickly adopting the words “incitement” and “Abbas” as inseparable. . . .
___The [IDF’s Intelligence] Corps released the following two professional assessments: “Abbas is not inciting in order to harm Israelis,” and “Abbas is considered a very moderating force in Judea and Samaria.” How did Education Minister Naftali Bennett respond? “The security establishment is wrong.”  More . . .

“TAKE  ME  TO  AL-QASTAL,”  BY  SAMI  AL-JUNDI

There, in the cradle of yearning
Where the birds circle in cheerless skies
in the pine forests,
There rest the souls of the ancients
Did you ask the Swallow, my friend,
About Al-Qastal?

From a hill looking over Deir Yassin
Where love was first born
Thousands of years ago
Before the birth of Christ
Before the budding of jasmine
By the cradle of the goldfinch
Be sure to ask about Al-Qastal.

A deep valley
A mystifying magic and a nectar of secrets
A flock of pigeons and a nightingale
And the remains of a forgotten village and a cross
Ruins of a Babylonian minaret
There, where the moon is near
And our first concern is
Love and Al-Qastal.

Take me to Al-Qastal
Take me to the beautiful grave
Take me to my last home
And load me up with the tragedies of the Arabs
And all the fragrance of the ancestors
My home is the prettiest
My grave is the largest
My path is to Al-Qastal.
—Translated by Amal Eqeiq

About Sami Al-Jundi, author of The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker.
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes and Noble

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Christmas Lutheran Church in the busy city center of Bethlehem. Not an “historic” landmark, but part of the cultural life of the city that is in jeopardy. (Photo: Harold Knight, Aug. 2008)

 

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