“. . . Don’t ask me to empty the sea . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

ramallah christmas
Palestinians attend the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec. 13, 2011. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)

❶ The Grinch who stole Palestinian Christmas
❷ Israel releases Palestinian journalist held without trial or charge
❸ Israel releases suspect of Dawabsha arson murder on house arrest
❹ ‘Jews can’t be terrorists,’ Jewish Home MK says
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Letter From An Israeli Activist
❻ Poetry by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
REPORT: LIST  OF  116  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  SINCE  OCTOBER  1ST

AL-MONITOR: THE PULSE OF PALESTINE
THE  GRINCH  WHO  STOLE  PALESTINIAN  CHRISTMAS
Aziza Nofal
Dec. 10, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Activist Hekmat Bessiso recently wrote on her Facebook page, “If the birthplace of Jesus Christ does not celebrate Christmas, who in the world will? I hope Palestine remains full of lights every December. Our struggle is enduring, and this is why we should preserve our joy.”
___Bessiso’s comments were in protest of a Nov. 23 declaration by the Council of Churches of Ramallah city and municipality to cancel the annual Christmas tree lighting and limit Christmas celebrations to religious rituals because of the current unrest. It said the decision had been made out of respect for victims and the wounded. As of Dec. 8, the number of Palestinians killed during the two-month-old intifada stood at 117.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  RELEASES  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALIST  HELD  WITHOUT   TRIAL  OR  CHARGE
Dec. 10, 201
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities released a well-known Palestinian rights activist and journalist on Thursday after being held for 18 months under administrative detention, locals told Ma’an.
___Nidal Abu Aker, who has served a total of 14 non-consecutive years in Israeli prison, was released to his family in Duheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem.
___Most of Abu Aker’s total internment in Israeli prison had been under Israel’s policy of administrative detention, or imprisonment without trial or charge.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  RELEASES  SUSPECT  OF  DAWABSHA  ARSON  MURDER  ON  HOUSE  ARREST
Dec. 11, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel on Thursday released an Israeli settler arrested for suspected involvement in a fatal arson attack on a Palestinian family in July, Israeli media reported.
___The settler, connected to a Jewish extremist organization, was arrested along with several others as a suspect in an arson that killed three members of the Dawabsha family in Duma village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
___The suspect was reportedly released and transferred to house arrest for five days at his home in the illegal Israeli settlement of Benyamin, east of Ramallah city.
More . . . 

real terrorists
Riham Dawabsha has died of injuries she sustained during an arson attack on her home in the West Bank that killed her husband and infant son on July 31, 2015.

+972 MAGAZINE
‘JEWS  CAN’T  BE  TERRORISTS,’  JEWISH  HOME  MK  SAYS
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Dec. 10, 2015
‘When you push an entire population up against the wall, when you demonize them and trample their rights, [the situation] will explode in the end,’ the Israeli parliamentarian writes with no sense of irony.
More . . .
Related . . . WATCH:  BARBECUE  AT  THE  CHECKPOINT?  WHY  NOT
Opinion/Analysis
IMEMC NEWS
LETTER  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  ACTIVIST
Matan Kaminer – Alternative Information Center
Nov. 30, 2015
I read your open letter to Israeli activists with great shame. I do not know you personally but from your letter and your background I gather that you are one of the many Palestinians who hold a real belief in human decency, and have not entirely lost hope of finding that decency in Jewish Israelis. For many years, people like you have searched all channels of information to garner knowledge about Israeli acts of resistance against the occupation, and it used to be that such acts could be discovered. Not many, perhaps. But now it seems to me that you perk up your ears and hear nothing but a deafening silence. The least I can do is to break that silence by answering your letter, though I cannot say I bring good tidings.
More . . .

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country. (March 1971)

El Asmar, Fouzi.  POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available at Google Books.
About Fouzi El-Asmar 

pal ofer
Ofer Prison, Occupied Territories run by the Israel Prison Service. It holds 1,100 Palestinians, those under administrative detention and those who have been tried and sentenced. Among them are children. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

 

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