“. . . It’s said there was a village, a very small village . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

HOME DEMOLITION
Israeli forces on Sunday issued a demolition order for two houses in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus’s Yitma village. (Photo: Ma’an Images)

❶ Israel demolishes Palestinian homes in Nablus-area ‘firing zone’
❷ Gaza patients battle cancer and Israeli siege
❸ BDS movement faces attack in six U.S. state legislatures
❹ Palestinians don’t need incitement to know they are occupied
❺ Opinion/Analysis: NEXT  ONSLAUGHT  IN  GAZA:  WHY  THE  STATUS  QUO  IS  A  PRECURSOR  FOR  WAR
Related: NETANYAHU’S  THREATS  RECALL  GAZA’S  LAST  WAR
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  NABLUS-AREA  ‘FIRING  ZONE’
Feb. 9, 2016
Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished more than 10 Palestinian homes and structures in the village of Khirbet Tana east of Nablus, where residents have lived in an area declared as an Israeli military “firing zone” for decades.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activity, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers demolished the structures claiming they were built illegally, adding that the forces had notified several Palestinians in the nearby Beita village of the demolition orders over the past two days.    More . . .
THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
GAZA  PATIENTS  BATTLE  CANCER  AND  ISRAELI  SIEGE
Isra Saleh el-Namey
Feb. 9, 2016
Umaimah Zamalat assumed her papers were in order.
___The 52-year-old woman from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip had already undergone one radiation session at the Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem for her aggressive breast cancer.
___But when she got to the Erez checkpoint at the boundary between Gaza and Israel, ready to go for a second treatment, she was stopped.
___“My permit allows me to travel to Jerusalem until I finish four [radiation therapy] sessions. But when I tried to cross Erez for my second session they told me I am no longer allowed.”    More . . .

Palestinian Cancer patients take part in a protest to demand for their treatment, in front of the headquarters of the Council of Ministers
Palestinian Cancer patients take part in a protest to demand for their treatment, in front of the headquarters of the Council of Ministers, Gaza December 9, 2014. Photo by Ashraf Amra

MONDOWEISS
BDS  MOVEMENT  FACES  ATTACK  IN  SIX  U.S.  STATE  LEGISLATURES
Alex Kane
Feb. 8, 2016
Advocates of boycotting Israel are under attack in a number of states across the country. State legislatures in California, New York, Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida are debating anti-boycott measures. Most of them would penalize people or businesses that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel over human rights violations. Some of the bills would also hit those who only advocate for boycotting products made in Israeli settlements.    More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
PALESTINIANS  DON’T  NEED  INCITEMENT  TO  KNOW   THEY  ARE  OCCUPIED
Rami Younis
Feb. 8, 2016
Israelis refuse to understand what drives Palestinians to violence. After all, it is far more convenient to dehumanize them than face reality.
___There’s something self-righteous about calling Palestinians who violently resist occupation “terrorists,” while referring to the ones occupying them, also violently, as mere “soldiers.” It becomes even more grotesque when the people committing these desperate acts are minors, or even children. Even at the tender age of 11 and 13 they are still terrorists, even in so-called “liberal” newspapers like Haaretz.    More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
NEXT  ONSLAUGHT  IN  GAZA:  WHY  THE  STATUS  QUO  IS  A  PRECURSOR  FOR  WAR
Ramzy Baroud
Feb. 8, 2016
It is not true that only three wars have taken place since Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. . . . Operation Returning Echo in March 2012, for example, killed and wounded over 100 people. But since the death toll, relative to the other major onslaughts seemed trivial, it was not cited as ‘war’, per se.
___According to this logic, so-called operations Cast Lead (2008-9), Pillar of Defense (2012) and the deadliest of them all, Protective Edge (2014) were serious enough to be included in any relevant discussion, especially when the prospective new Israeli war on Gaza is considered.    More. . .
Related . . . NETANYAHU’S  THREATS  RECALL  GAZA’S  LAST  WAR  

“THERE  WAS  A  VILLAGE  CALLED  SIREEN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

(“A Palestinian village whose feudal owner sold it for a kiss through a pane of glass…”)

Nothing remained of Sireen after the auction
apart from you, little prayer rug,
because a mother slyly stole you
and wrapped up her son who’d been sentenced to cold
and weaning – and later to sorrow and longing.

It’s said there was a village, a very small village,
on the border between sun’s gate and earth.
It’s said that the village was twice sold ―
once for a measure of oil
and once for a kiss through a pane of glass.

The buyers and sellers rejoiced at its sale,
the year the submarine was sunk,
in our twentieth century.

And in Sireen ― the buyers went over the contract ―
were white-washed houses, lovers, and trees,
folk poets, peasants, and children.
(But there was no school ―
and neither tanks
nor prisons.)
The threshing floors, the colour of golden wine,
and the graveyard
were a vault meant for life and death,
and the vault was sold!

People say that there was a village,
but Sireen became an earthquake,
imprisoned by an amulet
as it turned into a banquet―
in which the virgins’ infants
were cooked in their mothers’ milk
so soldiers and ministers
might eat along with civilization!

“And the axe is laid at the root of the tree…”
And once again at the root of the tree,
as one dear brother denies another
and existence. Officer of the orbits…
attend, O knight of death,
but don’t give in ―
death is behind us and also before us.
Knight of death, attend,
there is no time to retreat ―
darkness crowds us and now has turned
into a rancid butter,
and the forest too is full,
the serpents of blood have slithered away
and the beaker of our ablution has been
sold to a tourist from California!
There is no time now for ablution.

People say there was a village,
but Sireen became an earthquake,
imprisoned by an amulet
as it turned into a banquet―
in which the virgins’ infants
were cooked in their mothers’ milk
so soldiers and ministers
might eat, along with civilization!

From Al-Qasim, Samih.  Sadder  Than  Water:  New  &  Selected  Poems, translated by Nazih Kassis. Ibis Editions, 2006.

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