“. . . I’d rather a grapevine be planted (in my name) . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Jakarta, 14 Jul 2014, demonstration in support of Gazans. (Photo: Rifat Iqbal @rifat00009)
Jakarta, 14 Jul. 2014, demonstration in support of Gazans. (Photo: Rifat Iqbal @rifat00009)

❶ Palestinian companies protest Israeli decision to ban their products
❷ What’s behind Israel’s call for ‘economic peace’?
❸ PLO’s Ashrawi meets with US officials in DC visit
❹ Israel is holding sixteen Palestinian journalists behind bars
❺ Opinion/Analysis: SEND  THEM  TO  GAZA,  ISRAEL’S  PENAL  COLONY
. . . . . ❺― (ᴀ) Israel denies entry to Indonesia’s foreign minister visiting Palestine
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIAN  COMPANIES  PROTEST  ISRAELI  DECISION  TO  BAN  THEIR  PRODUCTS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 13, 2016
Israeli troops used tear gas to suppress a march held by five Palestinian food production companies on Sunday near the Israeli Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank.
___The companies protested by parking their trucks near the prison, after Israeli authorities banned their products from entering Jerusalem and Israel. . . .
___Israel informed the companies on Wednesday that their products were banned from entering Jerusalem through the Beitunia commercial crossing.      MORE . . . 
WHAT’S  BEHIND  ISRAEL’S  CALL  FOR  ‘ECONOMIC  PEACE’?
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
Uri Savir
6 Mar. 2015
Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the Israeli military chief of staff, gave the Israeli Cabinet a periodic security briefing Feb. 21. According to press reports, Eizenkot expressed concern over the deteriorating political situation within the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the continuation, for six months by now, of almost daily terror attacks by individual Palestinians. He recommended to the Cabinet that the economic situation in the West Bank be ameliorated, primarily by allowing a greater number of Palestinians to work in Israel.      MORE . . .  
PLO’S  ASHRAWI  MEETS  WITH  US  OFFICIALS  IN  DC  VISIT
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 12, 2016
Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi conducted a series of meetings this week in Washington, D.C., to discuss the latest political developments in the occupied Palestinian territory and the escalation of Israeli violations of international law, a PLO press release said on Saturday.
___In a meeting with US officials working on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ashrawi called for the United States to support an initiative to organize an international peace conference launched by the French foreign ministry in January.
___She provided a briefing on the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip . . . .     MORE . . . 
ISRAEL  IS  HOLDING  SIXTEEN  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALISTS  BEHIND  BARS
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
12 Mar. 2016
Sixteen Palestinian journalists are currently being detained by the Israeli occupation authorities, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club has revealed.
___In a statement to Anadolu, the organisation said that the Israelis arrested Farouq Aliyat, the director of Palestine Today TV . . .  The correspondent of Al-Fajr Al-Jadid TV, Sami Al-Sa’e, was arrested. . . .
___ According to the prisoners’ group, nine journalists are serving prison terms inside Israel, three are being held without charge or trial under administrative detention and four, including Aliyat, are still being detained on remand.      MORE . . .  

Palestinians in Gaza read books as they stage a demonstration called 'Gaza reads' against Israeli violations in West Bank and Jerusalem, on 3 March, 2016 (Photo: Middle East Eye―AA).
Palestinians in Gaza read books as they stage a demonstration called ‘Gaza reads’ against Israeli violations in West Bank and Jerusalem, on 3 March, 2016 (Photo: Middle East Eye―AA).

OPINION/ANALYSIS:  SEND  THEM  TO  GAZA,  ISRAEL’S  PENAL  COLONY
MIDDLE EAST EYE
Gideon Levy
8 Mar. 2016
By deporting Palestinians to Gaza, Israel would officially be admitting, for the first time, that the besieged Strip is a prison, the largest in the world.
___An hour’s drive from Tel Aviv: a ghetto. Possibly the largest ghetto in the world, with about two million people. The latest figures from Gisha, Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement (an Israeli NGO): Gaza unemployment is at 43 percent; 70 percent of Gazans need humanitarian assistance; 57 percent live in the shadow of food insecurity.      MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❺― (ᴀ) ISRAEL  DENIES  ENTRY  TO  INDONESIA’S  FOREIGN  MINISTER  VISITING  PALESTINE
THE NEW ARAB
13 Mar. 2016
The Israeli authorities have denied entry to Indonesia’s foreign minister, who was scheduled to visit the occupied Palestinian territories. . . .
___”The Israeli occupation authorities prevented today morning the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia Ms. Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi and her delegation from entering Palestinian territories,” said a statement by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Sunday.
___The Indonesian official was set to make an official visit to Ramallah . . . .
___ Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian struggle for nationhood and has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel.      MORE . . .

“HE WHISPERED BEFORE HE TOOK HIS FINAL BREATHS,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
Don’t honor me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm.

Don’t glorify me by giving my name
to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
(in my name)
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honor!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name.

Tell my mother―
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy.

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Amazon
Samih Al-Qasim
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