“. . . the splendor of life is being born within the walls of my prison . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

david m. gordis
David M. Gordis, as president of Hebrew College, has overseen major changes in his 15 years leading the Newton school near Boston, MA. (Boston Globe Staff Photo / Suzanne Kreiter)

❶ ‘In every important way Israel has failed’– leading American Zionist says No mas
❷ Palestinian families in Silwan receive evacuation notices
❸ Report reveals ‘systematic’ torture in Israeli prison
❹ Having a settler for neighbor in Hebron
❺ Analysis-Opinion: ISRAEL’S ETHNIC CLEANSING OF ITS PARLIAMENT
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
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MONDOWEISS
‘IN  EVERY  IMPORTANT  WAY  ISRAEL  HAS  FAILED’–  LEADING  AMERICAN  ZIONIST  SAYS:  NO  MAS
Philip Weiss
Feb. 24, 2016
Israel is “a failure,” the Zionist dream has curdled into Jewish selfishness, a major Jewish leader writes in an important article published yesterday. “After a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in every important way Israel has failed to realize its promise for me,” David Gordis states.
___Gordis is a former executive at the American Jewish Committee, a central organization of the Israel lobby, and former president of the Hebrew College and a former vice president of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He published his article yesterday at Tikkun under the title, “Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind about Israel.”   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  IN  SILWAN  RECEIVE  EVACUATION  NOTICES
Feb. 24, 2016 7:45 P.M.
A Palestinian family in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Tuesday received a court notice for eviction following efforts by right-wing group Ateret Cohanim to take over their land, according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
___The Silwan-based center said in a statement that Ateret Cohanim brought to court their claim over land belonging to the Awad Abdul-Fattah al-Rajabi and Abdul-Fattah Jaber al-Rajabi families.
___Ateret Cohanim — an organization that aims to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem at the expense of Palestinian communities — claims the land was owned by three Yemenite Jews prior to 1948.     More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
REPORT  REVEALS  ‘SYSTEMATIC’  TORTURE  IN  ISRAELI  PRISON
Feb. 24, 2016
A joint investigation launched by Israeli rights groups into practices in Israel’s Shikma prison has revealed — once again — that “systemic” violations are taking place against Palestinian detainees.
___Representatives of B’Tselem and HaMoked reported in a press hearing Tuesday routine abuse and torture of Palestinian prisoners in Shikma’s interrogation center in the southern city of Ashkelon.
___Affidavits and witness accounts documented by the Israeli rights groups showed that nearly all of 119 Palestinians interrogated at the facility experienced either physical violence, sleep deprivation, threats, or solitary confinement, with a number of detainees subjected to a combination of degrading treatments.     More . . .

1-hebron
Synagogue tent built on the Jabari’s land between Givat Ha’avot and Kiryat Arba settlements (Photo: EAPPI/Sabrina Tucci)

MONDOWEISS
HAVING  A  SETTLER  FOR  NEIGHBOR  IN  HEBRON
Sabrina Tucci
Feb. 23, 2016
The Jabari family lives in the Hebron neighborhood of Wadi Al Hussein, between the illegal Israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and the Giva Ha’avot. Since 2001, the family has been fighting a legal battle to regain control of their land after settlers illegally built a “Synagogue Tent” on it. “Problems started very early but increased after the second intifada. Settlers tried to convince my father to sell the house. My father said no, they threatened him. They said this is Israeli land, not Palestinian. But this is my father’s land, for many generations”, Ayat, one of the Jabari daughters says.
___On four occasions since 2008, Israeli courts have ordered the tent to be removed, but after each time the settlers have rebuilt it. The family’s case is still going through the court system.     More . . .
Analysis-Opinion
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
ISRAEL’S  ETHNIC  CLEANSING  OF  ITS  PARLIAMENT
Jonathan Cook
Feb 24 2016
Benjamin Netanyhu’s government is drafting legislation that ought to resolve in observers’ minds the question of whether Israel is the democracy it proudly claims to be. The bill empowers a three-quarters majority of the parliament to oust a sitting MP.
___It breathes new life into the phrase “tyranny of the majority”. But in this case, the majority will be Jewish MPs oppressing their Palestinian colleagues.
___Netanyahu has presented the bill as a necessary response to the recent actions of three MPs from the Balad faction of the Joint List, a coalition of parties representing the often-overlooked fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian citizens.     More . . .

“LETTER  FROM  A  PRISON  CAMP,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Mother, it grieves me,
That because of me, throughout your night of agony,
You shed silent tears, anxiously awaiting the return
Of my beloved brothers from their chores;
That you are not able to eat
While my seat remains empty, and there is no talk or laughter.
How it pains me, Mother,
That tears rush to your eyes
When friends drop by to ask about me.
But I believe, Mother,
That the splendor of life
Is being born within the walls of my prison,
And I believe that the last of my visitors
Will not be an eyeless bat, coming to me by night.
Surely, the light of day will dawn,
And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled.
He will fall to the ground . . . broken,
Shattered, burnt by daylight.

―Translated by A. M. Elmesseri

Samīh al-Qāsim (1939-2014) was a Palestinian Druze whose Arabic poetry is well known throughout the Arab World. His poetry is influenced by two primary periods of his life: Before and after the Six-Day War. He joined the Communist Hadash political party in 1967. Al- Qāsim has published several volumes and collections of poetry.
More. . .
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.

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