“. . . Right now this child is innocent . . .” (Philip Metres)

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Hundreds of Palestinians from Hebron marched in demand that the Israeli government immediately return the bodies of 21 Palestinians who were recently killed by Israeli forces. (Photo: Ma’an Images)

❶ Shin Bet: Jewish terrorists seek to ‘violently overthrow’ government
❷ Kerry: Israel shifting towards unitary state which is ‘impossible to manage’
❸ Hundreds in Hebron demand return of 21 bodies held by Israel
❹ Israeli gov’t builds more settlements in Jerusalem
❺ Opinion/Analysis: The American Jews prying open the conversation on the occupation
❻ Poetry by Philip Metres
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
SHIN  BET:  JEWISH  TERRORISTS  SEEK  TO  ‘VIOLENTLY   OVERTHROW’  GOVERNMENT
Dec. 18, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s domestic security agency Shin Bet on Thursday cautioned that a Jewish terror organization is seeking to “violently overthrow” the Israeli government . . . .
___Israeli media across the board described the public statement issued by the security agency as a rare response to actors who have slandered the Shin Bet in a campaign to defend Jewish extremists . . . .
___”A Jewish terror organization has been under investigation recently, whose activity is suspected to include serious terror attacks that endangered life and harmed religious sanctity and property,” the Shin Bet statement said, according to Israeli media. More . . .
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
KERRY:  ISRAEL  SHIFTING  TOWARDS  UNITARY  STATE  WHICH  IS  ‘IMPOSSIBLE  TO  MANAGE’
Dec. 16, 2015
The US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Israeli government doesn’t know how it wants to solve the conflict with the Palestinians and with its current policies it will turn into a “unitary state that is an impossible entity to manage”.
___In a lengthy interview with the New Yorker magazine, Kerry explained that he is particularly concerned that the Palestinian Authority could collapse causing its 30,000 security officers to scatter; adding that chaos and increasingly violent clashes with Israel would follow. More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
HUNDREDS  IN  HEBRON  DEMAND  RETURN  OF  21  BODIES  HELD  BY  ISRAEL
Dec. 17, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Hundreds of Palestinians from the Hebron district on Thursday marched in demand that the Israeli government immediately return the bodies of 21 Palestinians who were recently killed by Israeli forces.
___Families of those killed, Hebron governor Kamel Hmeid, and a number of Palestinian officials were among crowds that gathered to protest Israel’s policy of withholding the bodies of Palestinians who carried out attacks on Israelis, or who were suspected of doing so. . . .
___The [Israeli] decision [to hold bodies] — one among a series of stringent security measures — was reportedly taken in order to avoid mass funerals that Israeli leadership have termed “nationalistic” events that “incite” against Israel. More . . .
Related . . . ISRAEL’S  POLICY  OF  WITHHOLDING  PALESTINIANS’  BODIES  IMMORAL,  SAID  B’TSELEM
DAYS OF PALESTINE
ISRAELI  GOV’T  BUILDS  MORE  SETTLEMENTS  IN  JERUSALEM
Dec 17, 2015
Days of Palestine, West Bank –Israeli occupation government approved on Wednesday plans to build 891 new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem.
___Israeli Jerusalem planning committee approved the construction of the new housing units in the southern Jewish-only Gilo Settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, which lies beyond the green line.
___Initial approval for this plan was given in 2012, but was postponed due to some adjustments. More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
THE  AMERICAN  JEWS  PRYING  OPEN  THE  CONVERSATION  ON  THE  OCCUPATION
Tom Pessah
Dec. 18, 2015
The Jewish American establishment has been trying to dictate the confines of the conversation on Israel and Palestine on college campuses in the United States. One group of young Jews is trying to erase the red lines being drawn around them by leveraging communal pursestrings to ensure their voices are heard. More . . .

From ALONG  THE  SHRAPNEL  EDGE  OF  MAPS,  BY PHILIP  METRES
For Rabbi Erik (Arik) Asherman***

The midrash says, when Hagar and Ishmael were banished
into the desert, before God builds a well, the angels

say,―What are you doing? Don’t you know the tsuris
the Jewish people are going to suffer at the hands

of the children of Ishmael? & God, according to this midrash,
says,―right now, in front of me, there’s a child. Right now

this child is innocent. When I call on them, the parents waken
their children to introduce them to us. Our nation lives in a bubble

in which it claims every action is carried out according to law.
But I hold in my heart the looks of children who return home

to see their house destroyed, a book piercing through the rubble,
families sitting on packed suitcases, the words

of a Palestinian boy they’d tied to a windshield that I’d freed―
who said that a tall man in a kippa came to his aid.

(midrash―Bible commentary)
(tsuris―trouble or woe)
(kippa―another name for a yarmulke)

Philip Metres is of Lebanese-American descent. He teaches at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH. His faculty homepage says, “Were it not for Ellis Island, his last name would be Abourjaili.”
Metres’ Israeli/Palestinian Literature Project
*** Arik Ascherman (born 1959) is an American-born Israeli Reform rabbi, and co-founder and Director of Special Projects for Rabbis for Human Rights.
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 Barnes and Noble.

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