“Why I Had to Leave Israel’s Foreign Ministry” (Ilan Baruch)

A Palestinian child stands in front of his destroyed home in the Tuffah neighboorhood of Gaza city, Gaza Strip, February 9, 2015. Six months after the Israeli military offensive, tens of thousands of Palestinians are still displaced. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org) SEE #3 BELOW.
A Palestinian child stands in front of his destroyed home in the Tuffah neighboorhood of Gaza city, Gaza Strip, February 9, 2015. Six months after the Israeli military offensive, tens of thousands of Palestinians are still displaced. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org) SEE #3 BELOW.

❶ Israeli forces detain 33 Palestinians in overnight raids
❷ Welcome Peace, Farewell Fear
❸ Israelis can only ignore Gaza for so long
❹ In Photos: Palestinians face daily humiliation at Damascus Gate
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHY I HAD TO LEAVE ISRAEL’S FOREIGN MINISTRY
❻ Poetry by Muin Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  33  PALESTINIANS  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAIDS
Feb. 25, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 33 Palestinians overnight Wednesday during raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.
___Locals were able to identify at least 25 of those detained.
___In the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli forces detained six Palestinians identified by locals . . . .
___In Hebron’s al-Majd village, Israeli forces raided the home of Mamdouh Amr and took measurements for a future punitive home demolition.      More . . .
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
WELCOME  PEACE,  FAREWELL  FEAR
Samar Al Dreamli
Feb. 1, 2016
Peace brings about serenity, security – and complacency.
___THE TINY GAZA STRIP HAS MUCH TO TELL. It teems with contradictions and uncertainties. Here we live in perpetual fear and insecurity. Serenity, peace, and security are synonyms that fail to describe the prevailing conditions in Gaza. Here every living thing that pulsates with life also trembles with fear and anguish over death. How we long for peace of mind, for tranquility, for a calm outlook on life! How we long for security when we deal with each other! For more than a decade Gaza has been a land forsaken by God and humanity. Malaise, fear, and constant vigilance pervade the atmosphere.     More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
ISRAELIS  CAN  ONLY  IGNORE  GAZA  FOR  SO  LONG
Mairav Zonszein
Feb. 24, 2016
This week marks exactly one and a half years since the last Gaza war, although most of the time the tiny strip of land barely exists in the Israeli public consciousness. Now that the possibility of another round of fighting has emerged, Gaza is back in the headlines.
___Recent weeks have seen multiple reports by the Israeli military on Hamas’s attempts to re-build its tunnel infrastructure, with some tunnels already projected to have been dug into Israeli territory. Israeli satirical comedy show Eretz Nehederet recently poked fun at the situation.     More . . .

Israeli Soldiers stop and search young Palestinian man while a member of a Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology delegation looks on. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)
Israeli Soldiers stop and search young Palestinian man while a member of a Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology delegation looks on. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
IN  PHOTOS:  PALESTINIANS  FACE  DAILY  HUMILIATION  AT  DAMASCUS  GATE
Feb. 24, 2016
Palestinians have described undergoing daily humiliation during Israeli police searches at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, following a spate of deadly encounters at the landmark site.
___”Israeli forces force me to take off my shoes and almost take off my pants and t-shirt as a daily procedure,” 17-year-old Muhannad told Ma’an. “They threaten to detain and beat us if we do not obey them” . . . .
___ He said the searches demonstrated that Israel was “delusional.”     More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
WHY  I  HAD  TO  LEAVE  ISRAEL’S  FOREIGN  MINISTRY
Ilan Baruch
Feb. 24, 2016
It has been five years since I . . . left Israel’s Foreign Ministry building. No more would I represent the Netanyahu government’s hasbara as a diplomat and attorney. In my farewell letter to the Ministry I wrote: “The government leaders have endorsed policies that outrage me… I have a hard time explaining them honestly.” I did not expect that after five years. . . Israel’s situation would deteriorate beyond recognition.
___Not only did the prime minister ridicule his constituents and the world in his famous Bar Ilan speech: the vision of “two states for two people” was never really on his agenda. Netanyahu is pushing Israeli democracy to the brink.     More . . .

“TO  A  LADY  TOURIST,”  BY  MUIN  BSEISO  (Mu’in  Basisu)

Sorry, my lay, you came to us on a day
when the hands of the poets are being cut off.
What is for sale in the East?
We’ve sold to an old lady tourist before you
Sala al-Din’s tomb **
and the City of Hittin; ***
we’ve sold the gardens of Babel, bud and flower
in markets all over the world.
We’ve sold the fingers and the rings.
Nothing remains but the pyramids,
and consider how heavy their stones are!
Abu al-Hawl is stabbed; ****
it will kill him to leave this land―
to have the knife pulled from his forehead.
Sorry, my lady, we’ve sold the last coffin,
thrown the last inkwell into the river
and slain the last rooster that crowed.
Nothing remains now but God,
who runs like a green deer chased by hounds
and galloping lies.
Yes, we’ll pursue, we’ll hunt God for you!
Those who sell out the poet, my lady,
will sell Him too.

** Sala Dalin – First Sultan of Egypt who conquered Palestine. Modern spelling: Saladin.
*** Hittin—Palestinian town where Sala Dalin conquered Palestine
**** Abu al-Hawl—Arabic for “Sphinx”

MUIN BSEISO (1926 – January 23, 1984) was a Palestinian poet who lived in Egypt, having fled Palestine during the Nakba . . . He finished his primary and secondary education in Gaza in 1948. He started publishing his work in the Jaffa-based magazin Al-Hurriya (“Liberty”), where he published his first poems in 1946. In 1948, he enrolled in the American University in Cairo and subsequently graduated in 1952. On January 27, 1952 he published his first work titled Al-Ma’raka (“The Battle”). Imprisoned in Egyptian jails twice: 1955 to 1957 and 1959 to 1963, he died in London in 1984.
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.

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