“. . . scattered forever in the light of the impossible . . .” (Sulafa Hijjawi)

Residents of al-Walaje survey the destruction following the demolition of three homes in the village overnight on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. (Photo: +972 Magazine, April 14, 2016)
Residents of al-Walaje survey the destruction following the demolition of three homes in the village overnight on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. (Photo: +972 Magazine, April 14, 2016)

❶ Jerusalem demolishes Palestinian homes beyond the wall for first time
❷ EU Missions Concerned at Re-launching of Work on Separation Barrier
❸ ‘Peace Now’ and Israeli gov’t go head to head over new settler units
❹ Settlers Prevent Palestinian Farmer from Accessing his land near Bethlehem
❺ Opinion/Analysis:  DOES  ISRAEL  WANT  THE  PALESTINIANS  TO  THANK  HER  FOR  NOT  EXTERMINATING  THEM?
❻ POETRY by Sulafa Hijjawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ JERUSALEM  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  BEYOND  THE  WALL  FOR  FIRST  TIME
+972 Blog
Aviv Tatarsky
April 14, 2016
Israeli authorities destroy three homes in al-Walaje, a village that was partially annexed to Jerusalem, yet has been totally neglected by the municipality. . . .
___The demolitions in al-Walaja may have far-reaching consequences . . . . Ever since the beginning of the construction of the separation wall . . . Israel refrained from demolition homes there.      MORE . . .  

View of Ein Karem village, West Jerusalem, pre-1947. From BEFORE THEIR DIASPORA: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE PALESTINIANS 1876-1948. Commentary by Walid Khalidi. Washington, D.C. Institute for Palestine Studies, 2010.
View of Ein Karem village, West Jerusalem, pre-1947. From BEFORE THEIR DIASPORA: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE PALESTINIANS 1876-1948. Commentary by Walid Khalidi. Washington, D.C. Institute for Palestine Studies, 2010.

❷ EU  MISSIONS  CONCERNED  AT  RE-LAUNCHING  OF  WORK  ON  SEPARATION  BARRIER
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 16, 2016
The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed deep concern over the re-launching of works for the construction of the separation barrier in the Cremisan valley . . .  said a statement issued on Friday by the EU press office.
___The statement noted that once built, the barrier will severely restrict access of almost 60 Palestinian families to their agricultural land, profoundly affecting their livelihoods.
___“EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah recall the EU’s strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in this context, such as building the separation barrier . . . .      MORE . . .  
THE EU STATEMENT . . .

PEACE  NOW’  AND  ISRAELI  GOV’T  GO  HEAD  TO  HEAD  OVER  NEW  SETTLER  UNITS
Ma’an News Agency  
April 15, 2016
Israeli settlement watchdog ‘Peace Now’ has rejected Israeli government claims that more than 200 settler homes approved this week were already built, saying the approval will go toward new housing units.
___The watchdog reported Wednesday that the Israeli government had given the green light to another 267 homes in Israel’s Jewish-only settlements, bringing the total number of new units approved this year to 941.      MORE . . .   

❹ SETTLERS  PREVENT  PALESTINIAN  FARMER  FROM  ACCESSING  HIS  LAND  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 16, 2016
Israeli settlers Saturday denied a Palestinian farmer access into his farmland near al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, said security sources.
___A group of settlers from Neve Daniyyel, an illegal Israeli settlement to the southwest of Bethlehem, denied Ibrahim Salah access into his land and farmed it.
___Al-Khader is an agricultural town known for its grape vines. Israel has seized thousands of acres of the town’s land and uprooted olive trees for settlement, bypass road and wall construction.      MORE . . .   

❺ Opinion/Analysis: DOES  ISRAEL  WANT  THE  PALESTINIANS  TO  THANK  HER  FOR  NOT  EXTERMINATING  THEM?
The Palestinian Information Center
Khalid Amayreh
Like apartheid South Africa did to justify its repulsive approach toward its majority black citizens, Israel is making all sorts of similarly despicable arguments to justify its decades-old evil occupation and systematic persecution of Palestinians . . .  the apartheid South African regime had argued that black South Africans ought to be grateful to the White regime for giving them employment and enabling them to have a semblance of decent life. . . .
___What is wrong with this argument is that it doesn’t really distinguish between humans and animals. In the final analysis, humans, unlike animals, don’t live by bread alone. They are also entitled to freedom and dignity.      MORE . . .

Ein Karem as it is today, an upscale Jewish suburb nestled in the hills in southwest Jerusalem. An example of re-population of Palestinian villages. By Gila Brand, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4059455
Ein Karem as it is today, an upscale Jewish suburb nestled in the hills in southwest Jerusalem. An example of re-population of Palestinian villages.
By Gila Brand, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4059455

“DEATH  SENTENCE,”  BY  SULAFA  HIJJAWI  (b. 1934)

At night, orders came to the soldiers
to destroy our lovely village, Zeita.***
Zeita! Bride of trees,
of blooming tulips,
spark of the winds!

The soldiers came in the dark
while the sons of the village
the trees and field and flowerbuds
clung to Zeita
hugging her for shelter . . .

“Orders demand that all of you depart
Zeita will be destroyed before the night ends.”

But we held tight, chanting:
Zeita is the land, the heart of the land,
and we her people are its branches.

That’s how people fall―
a few moments of resistance,
so Zeita remains an eternal embrace across the nights
In moments she was rubble,
not a single bread oven remained.
Men and stones
were pasted and powdered by enemy tractors,
scattered forever in the light of the impossible.

Now in the evenings
in the song of our wind,
Zeita arises, igniting its scarlet spark
upon the plains
And by morning
Zeita returns to the fields
as tulips do.

Night is morning in Zeita,
Night is morning.
―Translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

*** Zeita was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, July 17–18, 1948. Its inhabitants became refugees, ending up the West Bank and Gaza Strip. All that remains of the village structures is the well that served as its main water source.

Sulafa Hijjawi, Palestinian poet and researcher, was born in Nablus, 1934. She lived in Iraq and married Iraqi poet Kazim Jawad. She has published several studies and translations, most importantly, Poetry of Resistance in Occupied Palestine (1982).
From: ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

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