“. . . as, on his way, God passes me by . . .” (Abdel Rahim Al-Sheikh)

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Main pulpit of Al-Aqsa restored after 1969 fire. American group touring upon invitation. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

❶ Right-wing Israelis tour Al-Aqsa, Palestinians denied entry
❷ Will Israel’s ban on the Islamic Movement lead to further restrictions?
❸ Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in Duheisha camp
❹ Gazans’ dark secret? They’ve become chocoholics
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israel  and  Judaism:  Will  a  Freed  Pollard  Become  a  Hero  and  Role  Model  for  Israel  and  its  American  Friends?
❻ Poetry by Abdel Rahim Al-Sheikh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
RIGHT-WING  ISRAELIS  TOUR  AL-AQSA,  PALESTINIANS  DENIED  ENTRY
Dec. 8, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — More than 40 right-wing Israelis toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday morning, while Israeli police denied entry to a large number of blacklisted Palestinians, Palestinian officials said.
___The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Endowment said that the group of Jewish worshipers toured the compound from 7:30 to 10 a.m. under heavy police escort.
___Meanwhile, around 60 Palestinian men and women were denied entry to the holy site. They were reportedly blacklisted by Israeli police as “trouble makers.”
More . . .
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WILL  ISRAEL’S  BAN  ON  THE  ISLAMIC  MOVEMENT  LEAD  TO  FURTHER  RESTRICTIONS?
Aziza Nofal
Dec. 1, 2015
EAST JERUSALEM — Supporters of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch in Israel are trying to counter the country’s recent ban on the group — a ban one former Arab Knesset member called “a preamble for racist resolutions to come.”
More . . .

paestinian duheisha
Israeli forces shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian, Malik Akram Shahin, during a predawn detention raid into Duheisha refugee camp to the south of Bethlehem on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2015. (Ma’an Photo)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  IN  DUHEISHA  CAMP
Dec. 8, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian during a predawn detention raid into Duheisha refugee camp to the south of Bethlehem on Tuesday.
___Medics identified the Palestinian as Malik Akram Shahin and said he had been shot in the forehead, where the bullet remained lodged.
___Witnesses said he was “left bleeding for long before he was evacuated to the public hospital in Beit Jala, where medics pronounced him dead.”
___He was killed when large numbers of Israeli forces stormed Duheisha camp in the early hours of Tuesday, detaining a number of local residents and delivering summons to others
More . . .
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
GAZANS’  DARK  SECRET?  THEY’VE  BECOME  CHOCOHOLICS
Hana Salah
Dec. 6, 2015
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — In 2008, when Samia was a college student, she could not find chocolate in the Gaza Strip’s shops because chocolate was placed on the Israeli list of banned items after the imposition of the blockade in 2007.
___But when the tunnel smuggling via the border with Egypt started in late 2007, chocolate, food and many products such as fuel and construction material found their way to the stores, albeit at high prices. When the number of tunnels increased, reaching into the hundreds, the price of chocolate dropped. But not all types of chocolate were available.
___In 2010, chocolate was removed from the Israeli list of banned items, and the Gaza market almost drowned in chocolate.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
ISRAEL  AND  JUDAISM:  WILL  A  FREED  POLLARD  BECOME  A  HERO  AND  ROLE  MODEL  FOR  ISRAEL  AND  ITS  AMERICAN  FRIENDS?
Allan C. Brownfeld
November/December 2015
Jonathan Pollard, the convicted American spy for Israel who has served 30 years of his life sentence, is scheduled to be released from prison on Nov. 21. It seems likely that, upon his release, he will be hailed as a hero in Israel as well as by many of Israel’s friends in the U.S., particularly those who have worked actively for his release and argued that, despite his own guilty plea. . . he was the victim of religious discrimination.
___What Pollard did is not open to question.
[. . . . ]
___Shortly after Pollard’s sentencing, a strange campaign was launched calling for his immediate release, suggesting that he was a “political prisoner,” and a victim of anti-Semitism.
More . . .

“SINGLE  ADDRESS  FOR  THE  POST,”  BY  ABDEL  RAHIM  AL-SHEIKH

On my way to them, I pass Him by,
(as, on his way, God passes me by)
for as we go our separate ways
we see no one but those on high.

The beds are allotted before the violet dawn.
The black and endless night is spent alone
and then the cataclysm comes

that will seed them from the borders of Palestine
the Great Thorn.
They are the only roses that grow.

From where they stalk the edge of paradise
the first paradise.

From where the children use thorns
to draw maps of this paradise.

From this spot.

We raise in the sky a glorying arc
the first milestone to Mecca
and we leave a kiss for those who left
with neither luggage nor papers for their passage.

This is the way the journey will always be.
They leave their bags for the postman to deliver

He takes them from the hands
of those who follow

And those who follow leave their packages
as the first ones do.

It’s hard for the post to make it to paradise.
There is no address
neither here nor there.
――Translated by Rachel McCrum

Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh from Jerusalem, teaches philosophy, history, and creative writing at Bir Zeit University and the Qattan Centre in Ramallah, and is the author of many literary and academic books.
He has won an advanced Fulbright Fellowship for this academic year.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY  (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

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Not Gaza, but a sweet shop in Bethlehem. A Palestinian and an American wait impatiently to be served. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

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