“. . . I emerge from a wound opened by a shell in the heart of a wall . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

❶ Israeli forces storm al-Quds University, seize documents
❷ Palestinian shot dead, 3 Israeli soldiers injured in shooting attack
WHOSE  SECURITY?
❹ Israeli Occupation Force raids homes, arrests citizens in W. Bank
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  COST  OF  FREEDOM
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  STORM  AL-QUDS  UNIVERSITY,  SEIZE  DOCUMENTS
Jan. 29, 2016
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers stormed Abu Dis’ al-Quds Open University early Friday and confiscated equipment and documents belonging to its student union, staff members told Ma’an.
___Hassan Dweik, the university’s deputy head, said that up to 300 soldiers stormed the campus, holding six security guards in a room and preventing them from leaving for two and a half hours.
___He said the soldiers raided the university’s Islamic studies department, as well as its student union offices after smashing their way through their doors.   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  SHOT  DEAD,  3  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  INJURED  IN  SHOOTING  ATTACK
Jan. 31, 2016
A Palestinian was shot dead after shooting and injuring three Israeli soldiers at an Israeli military checkpoint around the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, witnesses told Ma’an.
___Witnesses said a Palestinian vehicle approached the Israeli checkpoint and stopped for inspection. When an Israeli soldier approached the driver’s window, the driver opened fire, immediately shooting the soldier.    More . . .
Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
WHOSE  SECURITY?
Gerard Horton
Representatives of the international community frequently describe a two-state solution as “a secure state of Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.” This terminology has become so commonplace that it is easy to overlook the inherent imbalance these words contain – words that appear to assume that either Palestinians already have security, or that security for Palestinians is simply irrelevant – “viability” being sufficient . . . .
___A good place to start when considering the security dynamic is a report published by UNICEF in 2013 on children held in Israeli military detention.    More . . .
THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCE  RAIDS  HOMES,  ARRESTS  CITIZENS  IN  W. BANK
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) carried out last night and at dawn Sunday arrests and raids on homes in some West Bank areas, mainly in al-Khalil province. Local sources in al-Khalil said that Israeli soldiers stormed and ransacked the house of Mahmoud al-Qawasmi, who works as a sports announcer at al-Khalil radio, before kidnapping him . . .
___The IOF also raided the house of ex-detainee Yusri al-Awiwi in al-Khalil . . . . Another house belonging to Fawwaz Qufaisheh was ransacked . . . .   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
THE  COST  OF  FREEDOM
Majed Bamya
Feb. 1, 2016
“Come on Majed, we do criticize Israeli behavior and ask for proportionate response and inquiries into allegations of misbehavior by Israeli soldiers and into settlers’ violence, but you know that when it comes to Israel’s right to security, our position will always be firm.”
___This is what a diplomat said to me as I was telling him about extra-judicial killings of Palestinians, these repeated filmed murders in the streets, and the collective punishment, including home demolitions and the massive arbitrary arrests. I had asked him why his country does not condemn such actions. . . .    More . . .

“DESCENT,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
I emerge in the rain
I emerge in the blue lightning
In the breeze, in the hurricane
I emerge from a wound opened by a shell
in the heart of a wall
I emerge from the unquenched thirst of the wells
I emerge from an arch solid
in the face of the wind
From an almond plant erect
in the face of the fire
I emerge from the governor’s signature
at the tail of a permit visa
From the shadow of the policeman’s billy club, I emerge
From a handkerchief that has only known tears
From the grass of the stolen land
From the hatred of burnt lips
From a spontaneous demonstration
From the throwing of bottles and stones
in the face of the blasting wind
I emerge from the anger of a friend
I have known in his hour of sorrow
From your skin . . . I emerge
From your fear . . . I emerge
In what god after today will you seek refuge?
(1969)

From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987. Trans. and ed. by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988. Available from Barnes and Noble.
About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . we will continue our prayers and conjure new seasons for our lives . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Analysis: The end of normalcy for Israeli settlements?
❷ Israeli forces seize Palestinian vehicles, equipment in Jordan Valley
❸ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers, shepherds in Gaza
❹ Jerusalem court slams police over arrests of left-wing activists
❺ Opinion/Analysis: The Israeli government is as responsible for Duma murders as those who threw the firebomb
❻ Poetry by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 MAGAZINE
THE  END  OF  NORMALCY  FOR  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS?
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
January 29, 2016
The United States appears to be following the European Union in taking symbolic steps to challenge the aura of normalcy with which Israel has cloaked its settlement enterprise for decades.
___United States Customs officials published a notice last week clarifying that U.S. law does not permit goods manufactured in the West Bank, including in Israeli settlements, to be labeled as “made in Israel.”   More
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  VEHICLES,  EQUIPMENT  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Jan. 30, 2016
Israeli forces late Friday confiscated trucks and equipment being used to build a new agricultural road in the Palestinian village of Khirbet al-Dir in the northern Jordan Valley.
___The head of a local council in the occupied West Bank village, al-Maleh Arif Daraghmah, told Ma’an that military forces had seized the equipment, without citing a reason for its removal.
___Daraghmah added that days before, Israeli forces had ruined dozens of acres of agricultural land and roads while carrying out military drills in the area.    More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  ON  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS,  SHEPHERDS  IN  GAZA
Jan. 30, 2016
Israeli forces deployed at the borderline between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at a group of Palestinian farmers and shepherds who were in nearby agricultural lands.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that the group was forced to leave the area after the forces opened fire east of the city of Khan Younis. No injuries were reported. . . .
___Israeli military forces have opened fire on Palestinian farmers near the border at least four times this month, one of whom was injured on Friday.    More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
JERUSALEM  COURT  SLAMS  POLICE  OVER  ARRESTS  OF  LEFT-WING  ACTIVISTS
Haggai Matar
Jan. 29, 2016
The Jerusalem Magistate’s Court freed Israeli left-wing activists Ezra Nawi and Guy Butavia from house arrest on Thursday, with Judge David Shaul Gabai Richter chastising police for not substantiating their suspicions against the pair.
___Nawi and Butavia, activists with anti-occupation direct-action group Ta’ayush, were arrested following the broadcast of a right-wing hidden camera “sting,” on suspicion of making contact with a foreign agent (Palestinian security services). . . .    More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
THE  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT  IS  AS  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  DUMA  MURDERS  AS  THOSE  WHO  THREW  THE  FIREBOMB
Dan Cohen
Jan. 29, 2016
Since the announcement of an indictment in the deadly firebombing in the occupied West Bank village of Duma, Israeli media outlets have analyzed the likelihood that the killers will be punished, given that the main suspect’s confession were extracted by torture.
___But they have not mentioned the elephant in the room: culpability for the murder of baby Ali Dawabshe and his parents lies not only with those who threw the firebomb, but with the Israeli government which promotes, subsidizes and protects their presence in the West Bank.   More . . .

“PRAYER,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

Farah, we will begin our prayers
amid this bloody sorrow
and among the lonely pine.
What makes the mountains this morning much kinder,
the sun more glamorous,
the wind a song that celebrates the heights?
What makes our beloved jasmine
more pure than we imagined
and more disobedient than we had thought?
What makes these mountains
and these trees that we allowed to be taller than us
much shorter than us now?
Farah, we will continue our prayers
and conjure new seasons for our lives,
new rivers to flow in our veins
and a new place for the world’s singing.
We will continues our prayers
and when love is total,
when our fingers shyly and tenderly come together
like beads of the fig’s milk,
we will climb the mountain to bless all creatures
and together whisper: Amen . . . amen.

About Ibrahim Nasrallah
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.

“. . . When cement has chocked the ancient springs . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Mohammed Abu Tair
Israeli occupation authorities deporting from his home in Jerusalem Palestinian member of parliament Mohammed Abu Tair to West Bank, Oct. 12, 2010. (Photo: Al Qassam Website, 2010)

❶ Israeli forces detain Palestinian lawmaker, at least 22 others
❷ Israel advances settlement plans despite international outcry
. . . . .❷―(ᴀ) The fraud of Gush Etzion, Israel’s mythological settlement bloc
❸ Qatar warns of Israel’s persistence in blockading Gaza [and expanding settlements]
❹ Israel to Evict Several Families in Nablus Locality
. . . . .❹―(ᴀ) Israel demolishes mosque in Negev Desert village
❺ Opinion/Analysis: AMONG  THE  SETTLERS
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  LAWMAKER,  AT  LEAST  22  OTHERS
Jan. 28, 2016
Israeli forces detained Palestinian lawmaker Muhammad Abu Tair and at least 22 others from across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during raids carried out early Thursday . . . .
___The Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights condemned Abu Tair’s detention, with the head of the center Fouad al-Khafsh calling the detention raid a “war crime.”
___The 65-year-old MP has spent at least 32 years in Israeli prison previously, and saw his permanent residency status in Jerusalem revoked on Oct. 8, 2010 after five months of detention.
___He joins at least six other members of PLC members held in Israeli prisons including Hatim Qafisha, a Hamas-affiliated MP who was detained on Sunday.   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  ADVANCES  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  DESPITE  INTERNATIONAL  OUTCRY
Killian Redden
Jan. 27, 2016
In defiance of mounting international criticism, Israel has started to formally approve a burst of new settler housing construction across the occupied Palestinian territory.
___Israeli media reported Tuesday that Israel’s Civil Administration had approved a further 153 settler units in settlements across the West Bank last week.
___The approval reportedly came through for 65 homes in the settlements of Etz Efraim and Rachelim in Nablus, 28 apartments in Carmel in the South Hebron Hills, and another 60 in Alon Shvut in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Bethlehem.   More . . .
. . . . .❷―(ᴀ) +972 MAGAZINE
THE  FRAUD  OF  GUSH  ETZION,  ISRAEL’S  MYTHOLOGICAL  SETTLEMENT  BLOC
Hillel Bardin and Dror Etkes
Feb. 1, 2015
Destroyed by Arab armies during the 1948 War, Gush Etzion was repopulated after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Since then, successive Israeli governments have done everything they can to expand the area of the mythological bloc, while settling Israelis on privately-owned Palestinian land.   More . . . 

watch tower
A watchtower peeks out over the road from Nablus to Ramallah, outside an Israeli settlement in Palestine. (Photo: Postcards from Palestine.com; Sep. 6, 2013)

THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
QATAR  WARNS  OF  ISRAEL’S  PERSISTENCE  IN  BLOCKADING  GAZA  [and  expanding  settlements]
Jan. 28, 2016
Qatar has warned of Israel’s persistence in blockading the Gaza Strip, expanding its settlements, and Judaizing the holy sites in Jerusalem, and committing many violations against the Palestinians and their land.
___Qatar demanded the UN Security Council to compel Israel to respect the international law, to express its rejection clearly of all Israeli illegal practices, and to necessarily take all measures to stop such violations, and provide the Palestinian people with international protection.   More . . .
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL  TO  EVICT  SEVERAL  FAMILIES  IN  NABLUS  LOCALITY
Jan. 28, 2016
Israeli forces overnight handed several Palestinian families eviction orders from Ein al-Rushrash, a locality southeast Duma village, south of Nablus, said a local activist.
___WAFA reported on Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in northern West Bank, that Israeli forces handed a number of Palestinian families orders notifying them of the intention to evict them from Ein al-Rushrash.
___Daghlas noted that there are about 85 Palestinians living in 30 residential structures in this locality.   More . . .
. . . . .―(ᴀ) THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  MOSQUE  IN  NEGEV  DESERT  VILLAGE
Jan. 28, 2016
Israeli forces on Thursday demolished a mosque in the Bedouin village of Rakhma in the Negev Desert under the pretext that it had been built without a permit, eyewitness said.  More . . . 
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
AMONG  THE  SETTLERS
Philip Weiss
Jan. 26, 2016
This is the first half of a piece about my tour of four Israeli settlements in mid-January. The second half is here. http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/the-world-the-settlers-made
On my first night in an Israeli settlement, David served chicken soup left over from Sabbath and told me an unsettling story about the birth of Israel. His great uncle had escaped Europe to come to a Jewish kibbutz called Ein Harod. On the next hill was a Palestinian village. When hostilities broke out between Jews and Palestinians in 1948, the Jews went up to the village and announced that the next day they were bringing bulldozers to level the place, the people should leave. The next day they went back and were surprised to find that the Palestinians had all fled– fearing a massacre like the one that took place in Deir Yassin. The Jews then leveled the village and used the stones to build a stadium in their kibbutz. David said his uncle had told this story “with a twinkle in his eye.” More . . .  

“A  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
What,
When in my country
Dies the swallow of starvation,
In exile and without a shroud,
While the earthworm is over-fed
On God’s food?

What,
When the yellow fields
Yield to their tillers
Nothing except their weary memories,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of their usurpers?

What,
When cement has chocked
The ancient springs
And caused them to forget
Their courses,
They cry in the face
Of their creator, “Who are you?”

What,
When the olive and almond
Have become timber
Decoration on the doorway of inns,
Idols,
Whose nudity charms halls and bars,
And souvenirs for tourists
To carry to the far corners of the world,
While nothing meets my eyes
But dry timber and yellow leaves.

From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon.
Samih Al-Qasim obituary

“. . . Her face is a wind in the shadows . . .” (Dalia Taha)

funeral
Dozens of Palestinians from Yatta attended the funeral of 13-year-old Ruqqaya Abu Eid in the cemetery of the village of al-Karmel east of Yatta. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ UN’s Ban: Violent response to Israeli occupation ‘human nature’
❷ Scores attend funeral of slain Palestinian girl
❸ Israel bars 3 sisters from visiting father due to Islamic dress
❹ Palestinian PM: The Israeli deputy FM uses fiction to whitewash Occupation
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHEN DO ISRAELIS CARE ABOUT DEAD PALESTINIANS
❻ Poetry by Dalia Taha
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
UN’S  BAN:  VIOLENT  RESPONSE  TO  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  ‘HUMAN  NATURE’
Jan. 26, 2016
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday lent his voice to mounting international criticism of key Israeli policies and said it was “human nature” for Palestinians to react violently to Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation.
___Speaking at the UN Security Council’s Middle East debate, Ban said the new year had begun as 2015 ended — “with unacceptable levels of violence and a polarized public discourse across the spectrum in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.”  More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
SCORES  ATTEND  FUNERAL  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  GIRL
Jan. 24, 201
Dozens of Palestinians from Yatta attended the funeral of 13-year-old Ruqqaya Abu Eid in the cemetery of the village of al-Karmel east of Yatta.
___Ruqayya Eid Abu Eid, originally from the city of Yatta south of Hebron, was shot dead on Saturday by an Israeli security guard after allegedly trying to stab him near the illegal settlement of Anatot.    More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  BARS  3  SISTERS  FROM  VISITING  FATHER  DUE  TO  ISLAMIC  DRESS
Jan. 25, 2016
Israeli authorities on Monday barred three Palestinian sisters from visiting their father in Israeli prison because of their conservative Islamic dress, a spokesperson with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies . . . said Israeli authorities would not allow the three sisters [to visit] their father, Yahya Shredah, 43, in Ramon Israeli prison because the three women were wearing the “al-niqab”. . .
___The three women were initially barred from visiting their father last year. . . .
___. . . Israeli forces also recently insulted other family members coming to visit Yahya with curse words, and made the male family members agree to a strip search before allowing visitation. . . . Yahya is serving a 22-year sentence.     More . . .

moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. (Agence France‑Presse/Photo)

PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
PALESTINIAN  PM:  THE  ISRAELI  DEPUTY  FM  USES  FICTION  TO  WHITEWASH  OCCUPATION
Jan. 26, 2016
In response to an op-ed written for The Wall Street Journal by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely accusing Palestinians of utilizing foreign aid to support terrorism, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said, “Israel’s Deputy FM is using fiction to whitewash Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and the crimes committed by Israeli Colonial Settlers” . . . .
___Hamdallah said that the latest attacks on the Palestinian government by Hotovely and others in the Israeli government “represent an act of desperation. . . .”   More . . .
The Wall Street Journal editorial
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
WHEN  DO  ISRAELIS  CARE  ABOUT  DEAD  PALESTINIANS
Orly Noy
Jan. 26, 2016
It seems that Israelis only pay attention to Palestinian lives when a left-wing activist is accused of sending Palestinians to their death.    More . . . 

“FACE,”  BY  DALIA  TAHA
A sky fell into
the braid
of the little girl who was killed.
Her face
is a wind in the shadows
of the garden,
blowing without colour
or blushing
when the air rushes through.

As if she knew,
when the jackals emerged
from her shadow and the river widened
in the disappointment
of whiteness.

As if she knew, when the sparrows
ate her eyes
and the sidewalk walked
in her blood.

The woman treads on dead
jasmine, searching
the minutes
for her hand.
She hides half her face,
and the air is filled with
the fingers of nothingness.

She pokes a hole in the poem
so the sidewalks can
wander into it.

The little girl’s hand withers and her blood
slumbers in
the lake.
When God passed over
her name,
she buried her hands in the heights of the jasmine
and covered her nakedness
with the corpses of the invaders.
―Translated by Allison Blecker

From Banipal  45:  Magazine  of  Modern  Arab  Literature. Winter 2012. WWW.banipal.co.uk
Dalia Taha is a Palestinian poet and playwright. She was born in Berlin 1986 but grew up in Ramallah-Palestine. Her first play “Keffiyeh/Made in China” was produced by the Flemish Royal Theater [and] was premiered in Brussels in 2012, then brought to Palestine where it toured 7 Palestinian cities across the west bank.    More . . .
An Interview with Dalia Taha

“. . . if our words are not heard echoing in the world . . .” (‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud)

dead boy
Muhammad Nabil Halabiya, 17 from Abu Dis, died Saturday night when a pipe bomb exploded prematurely. His unarmed grandfather was killed by Israeli soldiers in 2002. (MaanImages)

❶ Hundreds mourn teen killed in pipe bomb accident
❷ In the Jewish state, equality for Arabs is impossible by definition
❸ Sliman Mansour and the art of steadfastness
❹ ‘This is a totally political arrest, they will not thwart human rights!’ Guy Butavia tells the courthouse
❺ Opinion/Analysis: HOUSE  DEMOLITIONS  BACKFIRE  ON  THE  OCCUPATION
❻ Poetry by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud (1948)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
HUNDREDS  MOURN  TEEN  KILLED  IN  PIPE  BOMB  ACCIDENT
Jan. 24, 2016
Hundreds of mourners joined on Sunday the funeral procession of Muhammad Nabil Halabiya, 17 and from the occupied East Jerusalem town of Abu Dis, who was killed Saturday night by a pipe bomb that exploded prematurely. . . .
___Muhammad had been holding the bomb near an Israeli military site in the area when it exploded in his hands. . . .
___ Muhammad left behind a mother and two brothers Ahmad, 15, and Mahmoud 13. Muhammad’s father Nabil died in 2002 only 40 days after his grandfather, Darwish was killed by Israeli soldiers.    More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
IN  THE  JEWISH  STATE,  EQUALITY  FOR  ARABS  IS  IMPOSSIBLE  BY  DEFINITION
Umar al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz)
Jan. 24, 2016
This week the Israeli army radio, Galei Tzahal, conducted a survey . . . of Israeli Jews regarding full equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel. The results of the survey . . . revealed that the Jewish public in this country is almost equally divided on this issue. 45 percent oppose full equal rights for the state’s Arab citizens, 43 percent are in favor. . . .
___ . . . in a militaristic society like Israel, it is not surprising that an army radio station intervenes in the civil realm without question, reflecting the clear overlap between (Jewish) civil society and the military in Israel . . . only asked Jews, and are thus acting on the idea that Jews in this country have the sole authority to determine whether and how equal the Arab can be. . . .    More . . .

1-SLIMAN MANSOUR
Sliman Mansour. The Camel of Heavy Burdens, 1980. (Photo: The Palestine Poster Project, 2009)

THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
SLIMAN  MANSOUR  AND  THE  ART  OF  STEADFASTNESS
Linda Paganelli
Jan. 22, 2016
The history of modern Palestine can be traced through the work of its artists.
___After the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, what has become known as the Nakba, the theme of refugees — “hopeless, helpless and without homes” — dominated.
___But, as veteran artist Sliman Mansour explains, after the emergence of the armed struggle in the 1960s, “Palestinian art became proud.”    More . . .
Related . . .
MONDOWEISS
“THIS  IS  A  TOTALLY  POLITICAL  ARREST,  THEY  WILL  NOT  THWART  HUMAN  RIGHTS!”  GUY  BUTAVIA  TELLS  THE  COURTHOUSE
Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins
Jan. 23, 2016
This Activestills video records Guy Butavia greeted by supporters while being led through the halls outside the Jerusalem Magistate’s Court. Butavia is one of three activists, along with Ezra Nawi and Nasser Nawajah, who are being held in custody, their identities previously placed under a sweeping gag order in a “witch hunt” after a sting operation aired on Israel’s primetime show Uvda, set up by undercover activists from a rightwing group Ad-Kan. While investigators are scurrying around trying to drum up bogus trumped up murder charges against them, everyone already knows no murder has ever taken place!   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
HOUSE  DEMOLITIONS  BACKFIRE  ON  THE  OCCUPATION
Dr Hani Al-Masri
(Director General of Masarat, the Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies)
http://masarat.ps/en/content/home
Jan. 21, 2016
The wave of the intifada that has been ongoing for four consecutive months has not yet turned into a comprehensive popular intifada with a united leadership and specific goals for many reasons mentioned by me and others. The most important of these reasons is that the leadership did not adopt the intifada and remained content with its hesitant support . . . .
___. . . some actions that gave the intifada more popularity and we cannot diminish their importance, such as the popular gatherings . . . calling for the return of the martyrs’ bodies as well as forming human chains around their homes. This hindered and postponed the execution of demolition orders on several occasions.    More . . .

(This poem was written before 1948. The line “the martyr’s body sprawled on sands” are especially poignant in light of the way in which Muhammad Nabil Halabiya’s grandfather died, which he must have known.)

“THE  MARTYR,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)

I shall carry my soul on the palm of my hand,
tossing it into the cavern of death!
Either a life to gladden the hearts of friends
or a death to torture the hearts of foes!
An honorable man’ spirit has two aims:
to die fighting, or to achieve victory.
Otherwise, what is life? I want no life
if we’re not respected in our land;
if our response is not feared,
if our words are not heard
echoing in the world.

By your life, I see my own death,
but I hasten my footsteps.
No greater wish than to die defending stolen rights
and my country,
My ears love the clashing of swords,
my soul is proud of martyrs’ blood.
Behold the martyr’s body
sprawled on sands, attacked by vultures,
his blood tinting the earth crimson,
haunting northern breezes with its scent.
His radiant brow covered with dust
only seems more luminous.
The smile on his lips
mocks this earthly life,
and his dreams of eternity,
shape blissful visions.

I swear this is how men should die
for how can I tolerate the harm of my enemy’s malice,
how can I endure his aggression?
Would fear stop me if it is easy to sacrifice my life?
Am I humble? I simply can endure no scorn!
With my own heart I’ll fight the enemy;
my heart of steel, my ravenous flames,
I’ll stalk my land with the blade of this sword
so my people know I’m their defender.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

1-holy land 1 046
Israeli Home Demolition, Jerusalem, June 2008. (Photo: Harold Knight)

 

“. . . the maps of our planet have lied . . .” (Bisan Abu Khaled)

home demolition
Thirty-three percent of all Palestinian homes in the occupied city lack Israeli-issued building permits, potentially placing at least 93,100 residents at risk of displacement, the UN reported in 2012. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Palestinian family forced to demolish own home in Jerusalem
❷ WATCH: Ever wonder what a ‘settler takeover’ looks like?
❸ Oslo’s alphabet language of colonisation
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) What’s unknown about Oslo?
❹ Tension grows with EU, US over settlements
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  ZIONIST  DREAM  IS  OVER — LET’S  MOVE  FORWARD  TOGETHER
(First published in Hebrew on Local Call.)
❻ Poetry by Bisan Abu Khaled
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGNCY
PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  FORCED  TO  DEMOLISH  OWN  HOME  IN  JERUSALEM
Jan. 23, 2016
A Palestinian family in the occupied East Jerusalem village of Sur Bahir on Friday demolished their own home following an order from an Israeli court.
___Khalil Dabash, owner of the home, told Ma’an that a Jerusalem municipal court ordered the demolition on the grounds that it was built without proper permits. . . .
___Dabash is among many Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem who are forced to demolish their own homes in order to avoid paying the municipality high fees to carry out the demolitions.    More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
WATCH:  EVER  WONDER  WHAT  A  ‘SETTLER  TAKEOVER’  LOOKS  LIKE?
Edo Konrad
Jan. 22, 2016
Dozens of Israeli settlers with crowbars descend on two homes in the old city of Hebron. Israeli authorities remove them a day later.   More . . .
Analysis, Background
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
OSLO’S  ALPHABET  LANGUAGE  OF  COLONISATION
Professor Kamel Hawwash, University of Birmingham
Jan. 23, 2016
The first three letters of the alphabet A, B & C have come to mark the occupation and creeping colonisation of Palestine by Israel. The lines around these areas were drawn in the Oslo II agreement signed in Taba in 1995. This divided the West Bank into three areas, with Israel and Palestine enjoying varying degrees of administrative and security rights in each. The area covering all West Bank cities and most of the Palestinian population was labelled Area A . . .    More . . .Oslo-Handshake-Israel-palestine

The iconic handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and PA president Yasser Arafat.

. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ)  MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
WHAT’S  UNKNOWN  ABOUT  OSLO?
Dr Fayez Rasheed
Jan. 22, 2016
Twenty-two years have passed since the ill-fated Oslo Accords were signed . . . . 68 per cent of our people would like to abolish the agreements with Israel . . . .
___Joel Zenger, who was an adviser to Shimon Peres (and has authored several publications for Hebrew University Press and Oxford University Press), has stated that Oslo was meant to ensure the establishment of a military occupation.   More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
TENSION  GROWS  WITH  EU,  US  OVER  SETTLEMENTS
Sergio Yahni
Jan. 19, 2016
The European Union finalised its resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Israeli settlements Monday, confirming that the EU considers Israel’s borders to be on the 1967 Green Line, and that any agreement made between Israel and member countries would accordingly not apply to settlements.
___”The EU expresses its commitment to ensure that – in line with international law – all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967,” the resolution reads.   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
THE  ZIONIST  DREAM  IS  OVER — LET’S  MOVE  FORWARD  TOGETHER
Samah Salaime
Jan. 22, 2016
(First published in Hebrew on Local Call. )
The Zionist dream is disappearing due to the rise of the messianic Right. Jews who are worried must know there is an alternative: building a society based on equality and democracy.
___The end of the Zionist era is upon us. Perhaps it is time to close this chapter in the history of the Jewish people. The Zionist movement has succeeded, and now it is time to take down the monster before it goes too far.   More . . .
(See end photo.)

“WHAT  PUSHKIN’S  POEMS  NEVER  SAID,”  BY  BISAN  ABU  KHALED

Something that will startle Lenin ―
oh, love, confront your destiny ― don’t kill yourself.
Time will not slow down for lovers to tarry
after the first kiss
and the last time they met.
Passing minutes would slit the throats of the women
had they not already drowned themselves in nostalgia.

Shall no one bear witness or know
that the maps of our planet have lied
about the face of our star
which always used to show her name.

Her name is and always Palestine
My song. . . .
my homeland . . . .
my face full of sorrow.
― Translated by Magi Gibson

“NOT  CONSIDERED  IN  POEMS  OF  PUSHKIN”

Lenin thought the world could be a homeland
without boundaries for all. O loved one,
face bad things he did not foresee.
Minutes erode all women, even those
not first bled down to a dry ghost by
nostalgia, our vampire bat.
Will one day none see on a new faked map
the name of she who is mine,
my loved homeland, Palestine?
― Translated by Alasdair Gray

From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.
About the book, with short discussion of Bisan Abu Khaled

chief rabbi
Chief Israeli Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu calls for execution of Palestinians on Facebook. “Israeli army has to stop arresting Palestinians,” he posted on his Facebook wall, “but, it must execute them and leave no one alive.” (Photo: Palestine News Network file)

“. . . out of the darkness of my jail my dawn . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

arrest raid
Israeli troops on pre-dawn arrest raid. (Agence France‑Presse/Thomas Coex, File)

❶ Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians, injure two in West Bank raids
❷ Al-Qeq to Appear in Israeli Court after 56 Days on Hunger Strike
❸ These are the [Israeli] anti-occupation activists jailed under gag order
❹ Israeli police evict SETTLERS from Hebron homes
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  SHRINKING  MARGIN  OF  FREEDOM  FOR  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL
❻ Poetry by Fouzi el-Asmar (1937-2013)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  19  PALESTINIANS,  INJURE  TWO  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS
Jan. 21, 2016
The Israeli army detained at least 19 Palestinians and shot and wounded two others in overnight raids across the West Bank Thursday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.
___Two Palestinians were detained in the northern West Bank district of Nablus, Palestinian security sources told Ma’an. . . . Israeli soldiers raided several houses in the village of Tell, detaining . . . A raid in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus led to the detention . . . .
___Two Palestinians were injured during the raid in Tell.
More . . .
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
Reprinted from Middle East Monitor (MEMO)
AL-QEQ  TO  APPEAR  IN  ISRAELI  COURT  AFTER  56  DAYS  ON  HUNGER  STRIKE
Jan. 20 2016
The Israeli Supreme Court will hold a hearing regarding Palestinian hunger striking journalist Muhammed Al-Qeq’s detention on 25 February.
___The Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Authority said. . . “After the Ofer military court rejected the appeal to stop the arrest of prisoner Al-Qeq, a petition was raised before the Israeli Supreme Court after both his life and health were in serious danger, as he is languishing in the Afula Israeli hospital.”
___Head of the authority, Issa Qaraqe, described the date as “a faraway date that demonstrates the carelessness and casualness towards both the life and health of prisoner Al-Qeq as well as his fair and legitimate request to end his administrative arrest.”
More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
THESE  ARE  THE  [ISRAELI]  ANTI-OCCUPATION  ACTIVISTS  JAILED  UNDER  GAG  ORDER
Edo Konrad
Jan. 21, 2016
Israeli authorities arrest prominent activists Ezra Nawi, Guy Butavia, and Nasser Nawajah. At least one of them was barred from meeting with his attorney for days. In court, one activist says his interrogators used materials taken directly from a right-wing organization.
More . . .

soldiers hebron
Israeli forces walk through the streets of Hebron, in the West Bank. (Agence France‑Presse/Hazem Bader, File)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  POLICE  EVICT  [ISRAELI]  SETTLERS  FROM  HEBRON  HOMES
Jan. 22, 2016
Israeli forces on Friday morning evicted dozens of Israeli settlers from two buildings believed to belong to Palestinians in Hebron’s Old City, a day after the settlers forced their way into them.
___Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that Border Police had removed more than 80 settlers from the homes. “All the people that illegally entered the buildings have been removed,” he told Ma’an. . . the homes were afterward “sealed and closed off,” and that Israeli courts would determine their future status.
More . . .
Related . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
THE  SHRINKING  MARGIN  OF  FREEDOM  FOR  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL
Nadim Nashif and Raya Naamneh
Jan. 21, 2016
Israel still portrays itself as a Jewish and democratic state. Yet in practice, as its Palestinian citizens can attest, it functions as a Jewish ethnocracy, leaving small margins of freedom for its Palestinian citizens that have been steadily shrinking in the past few years. Now the Israeli state has come under the complete control of the far right wing, which sees no need even for such limited margins of freedom. This is evident in the wave of discriminatory legislation and the use of the Emergency Regulations against established non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and movements such as the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
More . . .

“I  SHALL  SING,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

I shall create
out of the darkness of my jail
my dawn out of the jaws of hatred
my destiny.
I shall sing
the wind
the sun
the flowers
the spring.
I shall sing
in spite of fences
in spite of jailers
in spite of hatred.

From: El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979. Available from Amazon.
For more than fifty years, FOUZI EL-ASMAR was one of the most important public intellectuals of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Born in Haifa in 1937, he grew up in a Palestinian area of present-day Israel. In 1958, he became a member of the editorial board of the literary monthly Al-Fajr and in 1966 he became editor of the Arabic magazine Hadha Al-Alam. In 1979, after attending university in the US and graduate school in the UK, he became the managing editor of the London-based international newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat. More . . .activisits

Israeli left-wing activist Guy Butavia greets supporters at the Jerusalem Magistate’s Court, January 21, 2016. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

“. . . even more proud of guns and treachery. . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

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Street of shops in Arab Quarter, East Jerusalem, in danger of losing all customers and becoming a ghost town (Photo: Harold Knight, November 9, 2015)

❶ Israel to confiscate vast tract of land in Jericho
❷ Israeli forces detain 25 Palestinians across West Bank
❸ Home demolitions in Jerusalem
❹ Analysis: Hebron: land, settlements and settlers
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli restrictions and escalating violence threaten to turn Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter into a ghost town
❻ Poetry by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  TO  CONFISCATE  VAST  TRACT  OF  LAND  IN  JERICHO
Jan. 20, 2016
Israel is set to declare 1,500 dunams (370 acres) of land in the occupied West Bank district of Jericho as “state land,” Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Wednesday.
___The plans were revealed earlier in the day by Israeli Army Radio, which said the land was located north of the illegal Israeli settlement of Almog and had been used by settlers over the past 20 years.
___COGAT confirmed the plans were in their “final stages,” and said they were in accordance with a political ratification.
___Israeli Army Radio reportedly said: “This is a very sensitive issue which will likely garner harsh critique from Europe and the United States, and of course from the Palestinian Authority.”    More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  25  PALESTINIANS  ACROSS  WEST  BANK
Jan. 20, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 25 Palestinians in predawn raids in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.
____In Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians from the city’s Thinaba neighborhood, Palestinian security sources said. . . .
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that Israeli forces detained five teenagers from East Jerusalem. . . .    More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  JERUSALEM
Jan. 21, 2016
Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided Jabal al Baba, situated east of the Jerusalem-area village of Al Ezarriya . . . Three families, those of Hajja Hamda Abu Kateba, Ali Abu Kateba and Ghassan al Jahaleen, were forced out of their homes, which were then demolished under the pretext of construction without Israeli-issued permits. . . .
___Just yesterday Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah slammed the displacement of Palestinian Bedouin communities. In a statement the prime minister said . . . “Israel’s systematic violation of international laws is no longer acceptable by the international community.”   More . . .

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Israeli guard tower and Apartheid wall, center of Hebron (Photo: Harold Knight, November 7, 2015)

Analysis
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
HEBRON:  LAND,  SETTLEMENTS  AND  SETTLERS
Sergio Yahni
Jan. 19,2016
For the last two weeks Palestinian and international activists have staged a sit-in at the entrance of Hebron’s Shuhada Street to protest new policies implemented in the city that oblige residents of Shuhada Street and the nearby Tel Rumeida neighbourhood to register with Israeli military authorities. . . .
___The checkpoint leads into the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, which Israeli authorities declared a closed military zone on November 1, 2015. This closure forced all local residents to register and be assigned numbers in order to travel to their homes. . . .
___Those measures allegedly come to protect a few hundred Israeli settlers living near Shuhada Street and in the Tel Rumeida area.
___Settlements are the most immediate problem faced by Palestinians in the West Bank. More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS  AND  ESCALATING  VIOLENCE  THREATEN  TO  TURN  JERUSALEM’S  MUSLIM  QUARTER  INTO  A  GHOST  TOWN
Allison Deger
Jan. 20, 2016
Green metal panels shutter recently out of business storefronts along al-Wad Street, a narrow stone road inside of Jerusalem’s Old City walls that links Damascus Gate to the holy sites of the Western Wall and the al-Aqsa mosque . . . . six stores on al-Wad Street alone have closed since October . . . .
___The famed “best hummus joint in Jerusalem,” Abu Shukri’s, has taken to half-days. . . . after the loss of Jewish-Israeli customers who no longer venture into Palestinian sections of the Old City. Even more business may shut their doors in the coming weeks, threatening to turn the Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter into a ghost town.
___“Palestinians are afraid to come and the tourists, if they come they don’t stop and they don’t talk to us,” said Jihad Rajabi who owns a t-shirt and souvenir store on al-Wad street. When Israeli police set up more than a dozen new checkpoints inside of East Jerusalem neighborhoods last October, Rajabi lost many customers. More . . .

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like sakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

Call to prayer, early afternoon, Jericho (Video: Harold Knight, November 8, 2016)

“. . . he doesn’t resemble a stranger in any way . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

workers wait
Palestinian workers wait in line at Checkpoint 300 near Bethlehem (Photo: Times of Israel, December 22, 2014, 10:29 am Screenshot: Channel 1).

❶ Palestinian workers banned from West Bank settlements
❷ Israeli forces demolish structures in Ramallah-area villages
. . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli bulldozers raze farmlands in Gaza
❸ EU to demand Israel pay for damages following demolition of Palestinian homes
❹ Analysis: Why Palestinians aren’t standing up for Israeli leftists
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Are Palestinian citizens of Israel banned from New York Times headlines?
❻ Poetry by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  WORKERS  BANNED  FROM  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS
Jan. 19, 2016
Palestinians have been banned from working in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank following recent attacks, Israel’s army said.
___“In light of the daily situation assessment following recent terror attacks, security measures have been taken,” an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.
___”As of today, Palestinian workers cannot enter Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria,” the spokesperson said, referring to the occupied West Bank.   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES  IN  RAMALLAH-AREA  VILLAGES
Jan. 18, 2016
Israeli forces on Sunday demolished several structures in two occupied West Bank villages in Ramallah district saying they had been built without the necessary permits, locals told Ma’an . . . .
___Under Israeli law, Palestinians are required to obtain building permits before they can build in land classified as Area C, which under the Oslo Accords falls under full Israeli control.
___However, the Israeli authorities refuse the vast majority of permit requests.  More . . .
. . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)  DAYS OF PALESTINE
ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  RAZE  FARMLANDS  IN  GAZA
Jan 19, 2016
Four Israeli bulldozers protected by a number of tanks and armoured vehicles invaded on Tuesday morning eastern farmlands in the south of the Gaza Strip.
___The Israeli invasion was launched from the Israeli military base of Kisufim in the east of southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.
___Eyewitnesses said that the invading Israeli occupation forces fired smoke bombs and razed wide swathes of the Palestinian farms.   More . . .

raze gaza
Eyewitness confirmed Israelis razed Palestinian farms and greenhouses in Gaza and that they destroyed a water well used to irrigate farms in the area. (Photo: Days of Palestine, Jan. 19, 2016)

THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
EU  TO  DEMAND  ISRAEL  PAY  FOR  DAMAGES  FOLLOWING  DEMOLITION  OF  PALESTINIAN  HOMES
Jan. 15 2016
The head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s European Organisation department, Avivit Bar Ilan, said: “We are aware that the EU is considering requesting compensation from Israel for the destruction of EU-funded projects and all other issues related to accusing Israel of violating humanitarian law with regard to the same matter.”   More . . .
Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
WHY  PALESTINIANS  AREN’T  STANDING  UP  FOR  ISRAELI  LEFTISTS
Sawsan Khalife
Jan. 18, 2016
The Israeli Left with which most Palestinians are familiar speaks the same language as the Right — of segregation and safeguarding a racist regime. The ‘other Left’ needs to develop a new discourse, and we should all hope it succeeds.  More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
ARE  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  BANNED  FROM  NEW  YORK  TIMES  HEADLINES?
Patrick Connors
Jan. 15, 2016
In his 1984 essay Permission to Narrate, the renowned Palestinian writer Edward Said explained that Palestinians were denied permission to narrate their existence . . . .
Sadly, more than 30 years later, US media outlets, including the powerful New York Times, remain a part of the “apparatus” that refuses to report basic elements of Palestinians’ experiences, including the perspectives of Palestinians living in Israel . . . .  More . . .

“THE  RETURNEE,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

Every day the emigrant comes home from death
to the shadows of his walls,
to his reading lessons,
he crawls to the shadows to rest under the quiet cinchona.

The emigrant comes home from death
to draw out breath from the chain of stone around his house,
from his milk-white feet,
from the rattling air.
He knows the trees,
the angles of the old houses,
the sound of his mother’s footsteps in the backyard,
the stories his great grandmother tells to put the mischievous young ones to sleep.
She plucks night stars as she wishes, after they have entered sleep.

He passes by like a stranger
though he doesn’t resemble a stranger in any way.
The people he sees standing now at his door
are the strangers. . .

About Ibrahim Nasrallah
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.

1-Sam_Bahour_(highres)
Sam Bahour is a Palestinian American businessman and entrepreneur who was born to a Palestinian father and Lebanese-American mother. He moved with his family to the Israeli-occupied West Bank in the 1990s following the signing of Oslo Accords to become involved in developing the economy of the future Palestinian state. See “The Returnee,” by Ibrahim Nasrallah.

“. . . Write down: Arab, a name with no friendly diminutive . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Israeli border guards detaining a Palestinian during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers, near the village of Asira al-Qibliya, West Bank. (Photo: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters)

❶ IOF rolls into O. Jerusalem, attacks Palestinians
. . . ❶―(ᴀ) Israel removes all Arab workers from Gush Etzion settlement
❷ Palestinian shot dead near Nablus after alleged attempted attack
❸ Israeli settlement security guards detain Palestinian shepherd
❹ Israeli Soldiers Kidnap 32 Palestinians in the West Bank
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHY IT’S SCARIER THIS TIME AROUND
❻ Poetry by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
IOF  ROLLS  INTO  O. JERUSALEM,  ATTACKS  PALESTINIANS
Jan. 18, 2016
A number of Palestinians choked on teargas on Sunday evening in a round of clashes that flared up shortly after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rolled into Occupied Jerusalem and cracked down on the Palestinian civilians.
___A PIC news correspondent said the IOF stormed Jerusalem’s eastern village of al-Issawiya and raked through its residential neighborhoods amid a heavy discharge of teargas canisters on the Palestinian protesters and civilian homes.   More . . .
. . . ❶―(ᴀ) PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
ISRAEL  REMOVES  ALL  ARAB  WORKERS  FROM  GUSH  ETZION  SETTLEMENT
Jan. 18, 2016
Etzion Brigade Commander Colonel Roman Gofman on Monday issued an order to remove immediately all Arab workers from the Gush Etzion settlement, including from stores and businesses, The Jewish Press said.   More. . . .
Related. . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  SHOT  DEAD  NEAR  NABLUS  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTEMPTED  ATTACK
Jan. 17, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man on Sunday following an alleged attempted stabbing attack in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, an Israeli army spokesperson said.
___The spokesperson said the “assailant” was shot and killed after attempting to attack and stab Israeli soldiers “securing the area,” adding that no Israelis were injured during the incident. . . .  Related . . .
___On Friday, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians during clashes along the border near al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, medical sources said at the time.  More . . .
Related . . . 
ISRAELI FORCES KILL 10 PALESTINIANS, WOUND 21, IN THE PAST WEEK

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Palestinian killed near Nablus after Israeli troops invade the city on Nov. 26, 2015. (Photo: Alternative Information Center)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  SECURITY  GUARDS  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  SHEPHERD
Jan. 17, 2016
Israeli civilian security guards from the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, detained a Palestinian shepherd on Sunday morning, locals said. . . .
___He was leading a herd of sheep near the settlement’s fence on a hilly area on the outskirts of the Palestinian village of Artas with his cousin when he was detained, relatives told Ma’an. . . . Efrat security guards arrived in a vehicle, handcuffed Ziyada and took him to an unknown location.
___There are more than 500,000 Israelis living in settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The settlements are illegal under international law.  More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  32  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
Jan. 18, 2016
Israeli soldiers have kidnapped overnight, and on Monday morning, 32 Palestinians in various invasions and extensive military searches of homes in different parts of the occupied West Bank, and occupied Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported.  More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
WHY  IT’S  SCARIER  THIS  TIME  AROUND
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Jan. 17, 2016
There is nothing particularly new about the wave of attacks against human rights and the anti-occupation Left in Israel taking place recently. There is nothing new about the increasingly hostile political atmosphere. Not at all. And yet something feels far worse, and scarier, this time around. . . .
___Firstly, there is nobody to stand in the way of this wave of political, legal and legislative attacks against those fighting to end the occupation or ensure equal rights for Jews and Palestinians. . . .
___Secondly, as Israel’s right-wing government becomes more unapologetic and cockier about the occupation, the prospects of real international pressure appear more and more real.  More . . .

[Note: Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in 1964 when he was 22 years old. He was imprisoned for it―his first imprisonment. The poem became rallying words for the Palestinians. Note, it was written before the 1967 War and before the First and Second Intifadas and remains germane in today’s Palestine.]

“IDENTITY  CARD,”  BY MAHMOUD  DARWISH  (1964)

Write down:
I am an Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your
door nor humble myself
on your threshold
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab,
a name with no friendly diminutive.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourished.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks―
Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down:
Arab.
The colour of my hair, jet black―
eyes, brown―
trademarks, a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as a rock.
My address is a weaponless village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children
leaving my grandchildren nothing but rocks.
Will your government take those too,
as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

About Mahmoud Darwish
From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.
Film biography of Mahmoud Darwish, Hot Docs Film Festival, Toronto, 2014

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Mahmoud Darwish in Beirut, Lebanon: photographer unknown, early 1970s, via The Guardian, 11 August 2008.