“. . . I asked about Mohammed and Christ Oh Jerusalem . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

1-Bentzi-Gopstein
Israeli Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein  said on Wednesday he does not mind burning mosques and churches. (Photo: Pa/dpa/EPA)

❶ Israeli rabbi: Christians are not welcome in Jerusalem
. ❶―(ᴀ) Jewish Extremist Group Calls for Torching Jerusalem Churches
❷ IOF break into Bethlehem, violent clashes break out
❸ Gaza Enters 10th Year of Israeli-led Blockade Gaza
. ❸―(ᴀ) PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (17 – 30 December 2015)
❹ Who’s to blame for deaths of children fighting in Palestine?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
❻ Poetry by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
DAYS OF PALESTINE
ISRAELI  RABBI:  CHRISTIANS  ARE  NOT  WELCOME  IN  JERUSALEM
Dec. 31, 2015
Israeli Jewish Rabbi said on Wednesday that Christians are not welcome in Jerusalem; he does not mind burning mosques and churches.
___Bentzi Gopstein told the Israeli TV Channel Two that Israeli Jewish practically prevent Christians from entering Jerusalem.  More . . .
. ❶―(ᴀ) PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
JEWISH  EXTREMIST  GROUP  CALLS  FOR  TORCHING  JERUSALEM  CHURCHES
The leader of the extremist anti-assimilation group Lehava recently renewed his calls to torch churches in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli media sources revealed.
___Lehava’s leader, Bentzi Gopstein . . . . has previously ‘called for a ban on Christmas celebrations in the country and the banishment of Christians, who he referred to as ‘blood-sucking vampires’, from the land,’ reported the International Business Times.  More . . . 
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
IOF  BREAK  INTO  BETHLEHEM,  VIOLENT  CLASHES  BREAK  OUT
Jan. 3, 2016
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday morning broke into Bethlehem, central Occupied West Bank, injured two and kidnapped two others in midst of intense clashes.
___At 10 AM this morning, IOF stormed Deheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, and spread snipers on the roofs of buildings. Clashes quickly broke out and IOF opened teargas inside the narrow camp, causing injuries.
___One child was reportedly shot in the leg, and another youth was kidnapped.  More . . .

1-ashdod-port-gaza-naval-blockade
Isael’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law, a panel of human rights experts reporting to a UN body said on Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2015. (Photo: Reuters, September 13, 2011)

PALESTINE CHRONICLE
GAZA  ENTERS  10TH  YEAR  OF  ISRAELI-LED  BLOCKADE  GAZA
Jan. 2, 2016
The start of 2016 sees the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip entering the 10th year of the Israeli-led and internationally-backed blockade . . . . The blockade started in the wake of the 2006 Palestinian elections, which the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won with an overwhelming majority.
___Local and international monitoring organisations described the Palestinian poll as one of the most transparent ever recorded. In Palestine, though, it is remembered with sadness as the election marked the internal political split and the start of the siege of Gaza.  More . . .
. ❸―(ᴀ)  IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (17 – 30  DECEMBER  2015)
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (17 – 30 December 2015).  More . . .
AL-MONITOR: PALESTINE PULSE
WHO’S  TO  BLAME  FOR  DEATHS  OF  CHILDREN  FIGHTING  IN  PALESTINE?
Aziza Nofal
Dec. 27, 2015
Taha al-Qatanani said he was expecting just an ordinary day as his daughter headed out the door early Nov. 22. He had no way of knowing she would never return.
___”I thought Ashraqat was going to school when she left the house,” he said of his 16-year-old daughter, who was killed that day at the Huwara checkpoint south of Nablus . . . .
___”It is hard to stop the youth from doing what they have in mind — even if their plan goes against the will of their parents. It is difficult to control them.”   More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
SUDDENLY,  COMPARING  JEWISH  STATE  TO  ISIS  IS  OK
Dan Cohen
Jan. 1, 2016
As the fallout continues after Jewish fundamentalists firebombed the sleeping Dawabshe family in their home in the occupied West Bank last June, Israeli commentators have begun to compare the Jewish State to ISIS.
___Liberal Zionist and Ha’aretz columnist Asher Schechter recently wrote a piece entitled “Meet Judeo-ISIS: The Inevitable Result of Israel’s Presence in the West Bank”. No major critic of Israel himself, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens wrote an article called “The Jewish Equivalent of ISIS.”
___But the comparison had been drawn more than a year before.  More . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI

I wept until my tears were dry
I prayed until the candles flickered
I knelt until the floor creaked
I asked about Mohammed and Christ
Oh Jerusalem, the fragrance of prophets
The shortest path between earth and sky
Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws
A beautiful child with fingers charred
and downcast eyes
You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet
Your streets are melancholy
Your minarets are mourning
You, the young maiden dressed in black
Who rings the bells in the Nativity
On Saturday morning?
Who brings toys for the children
On Christmas eve?
Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow
A big tear wandering in the eye
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?
Oh Jerusalem my town
Oh Jerusalem my love
Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom
And the olive trees will rejoice
Your eyes will dance
The migrant pigeons will return
To your sacred roofs
And your children will play again
And fathers and sons will meet
On your rosy hills
My town
The town of peace and olives.

“Jerusalem, Poem by Nizar Qabbani.” Poemhunter.com. Web.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

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