“. . . they come to burn the love in our hearts . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

PLEASE NOTE: With this posting the form and content of this blog will slightly change. It will present fewer news items and give more background for those items. This is in hopes of providing the reader (and the blogger) with deeper understanding of the issues that shape the news. I will soon find a means to provide direct links to these articles.
Thank you. H.K.

1-bedouin boy
A Palestinian Bedouin boy feeds camels in a poverty-stricken quarter of the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis. (Photo: Getty Images, January 20, 2016)

❶ Video: Hebron settlers steal wooden furniture from Palestinian home for Lag BaOmer bonfire
❷ Israel steps up war on Palestinian culture
❸ Why camels mean more than just money to Gaza’s Bedouin
❹ Opinion/Analysis: TIME  TO  END  THE  ‘HASBARA’:  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AND  THE  SEARCH  FOR  A  COMMON  STORY
❺ NOTES – Writings related to above news stories
❻ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ VIDEO:  HEBRON  SETTLERS  STEAL  WOODEN  FURNITURE  FROM  PALESTINIAN  HOME  FOR  LAG BAOMER  BONFIRE
Ma’an News Agency
May 24, 2016
A group of right-wing Israeli settlers broke into an uninhabited Palestinian house in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday and stole wooden furniture, presumably to be burned during bonfire celebrations for the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer.
___A spokesperson for Hebron-based activist group Youth Against Settlement, Issa Amro [said] the families have been banned from accessing their homes in Hebron’s Old City since Israeli forces sealed the area around al-Shuhada Street in 1994.     MORE . . .
(Note below)

❷ ISRAEL  STEPS  UP  WAR  ON  PALESTINIAN  CULTURE
The Electronic Intifada
Alia Al Ghussain
May 18, 2016
The Palestinian community in Haifa enjoyed a small victory in March when a theater successfully challenged the Israeli government to win reinstatement of official funding cut after controversy over the staging of a play about prisoners last year.
___But the reinstatement also threw into focus the constraints on Palestinian artistic expression in present-day Israel and some saw the resumption of official funding as a double-edged sword.    MORE . . .     RELATED FROM THE NEWS . . .   
(Note below)

❸ WHY  CAMELS  MEAN  MORE  THAN  JUST  MONEY  TO  GAZA’S  BEDOUIN
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Rasha Abou Jalal
May 22, 2016
Despite the difficulties that hinder camel breeding in the Gaza Strip, such as the scarcity of green pastures and ongoing urban sprawl, Bedouin families continue to breed camels as part of their heritage. To them, camels are a source of income and livelihood [. . . .]
___ . . . Arabs used to praise camels in poetry, and the Quran gives the example of camels in Surat al-Ghashiyah, verse 17, to show the greatness of God’s creation: “Do they still not look at the camel, how it had been created?”       MORE . . .    

1-destruction Hebron-001
The Israeli demolition of Palestinian structures in central Hebron. (Photo: Ahmed A. Rjoob, Conservation and Management of Archeological Sites 11: 3–4, 2009)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  TIME  TO  END  THE  ‘HASBARA’:  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AND  THE  SEARCH  FOR  A  COMMON  STORY
Middle East Monitor
Ramzy Baroud
May 24, 2016
Merely being in the company of hundreds of Palestinian journalists and other media professionals from all over the world has been an uplifting experience. For many years, Palestinian media has been on the defensive, unable to articulate a coherent message, torn between factions and desperately trying to fend off the Israeli media campaign, along with its falsifications and unending propaganda or ‘hasbara’ [ . . . . ]
___ Not only are Palestinians expected to demolish many years of Israeli disinformation, predicated on a make-believe historical discourse that has been sold to the world as fact, but also to construct their own lucid narrative that is free from the whims of factions and personal gains.       MORE . . .  
(Note below)

NOTES –  WRITINGS  RELATED  TO  NEWS ITEMS
(complete writings are available online through EBSCO databases from most libraries)

DEMOLITION  OF  PALESTINIAN  CULTURE  IN  HEBRON
In 2000, during the al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinian heritage was destroyed by the military operations of the Israeli army. They deliberately demolished the historic centres of Nablus and Hebron, and subsequently constructed the separation wall inside the OPTs, causing unprecedented and irreversible damage to Palestinian heritage. The separation wall also cuts off hundreds of archaeological sites annexed to Israel or to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
__From:  Rjoob, Ahmed A. “The Impact of Israeli Occupation on the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The Case of ‘Salvage Excavations’.” Conservation & Management of Archaeological Sites 11.3/4 (2009): 214-235.

RESISTING THE WAR ON PALESTINIAN CULTURE
Writing is an act not only of preserving history and human experience, but also of resistance to intruders and colonizers. Although we do not write only because there is occupation and injustice, we write the kind of literature we do because there is occupation. . . .  We know we belong here in Palestine. We write not to beg for our rights and for a better life, but to fulfill our obligations to ourselves, to others, and to the generations to come.
__From: Alareer, Refaat R. “Gaza Writes Back: Narrating Palestine.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 37.2 (2014): 524-537.

REGARDING  THE  ‘HASBARA’
So these assumptions are reinforced. You know, the Jews are the good people; Arabs are the bad people. Jews are like us. They’re white people creating a Western-style state in a savage untamed region of the world. So after ’67, there was this move towards making uncritical support of Israel the cornerstone of being a good Jew. Being a Jew and a Zionist are now merged, and Israel is the religion. Christian Zionists marched up and embraced the idea. We all got to return so we can have an apocalypse. So they embraced this settler movement. Liberal Christians then bought the mythology. The U.S. government developed our huge military industrial complex. With this framing, the history and trauma and aspirations of Palestinians become more and more invisible.
___So this manipulation happens by controlling the message. How is that done? We have Birthright trips, which are basically brainwashing. We have students that have been recruited and, I’ve heard, paid to use social media to compliment Israel. They call this public diplomacy. There are a ton of free junkets for all kinds of people, ranging from academics to food and wine critics, to go to Israel. We have all the academic collaborations. We have our Israeli ambassadors in all sorts of Jewish settings and forcing what the message is. So there is this multimillion-dollar industry to brand Israel with pink washing, green washing, faith washing, and all those kind of things.
___From: Rothchild, Alice, and Askia Muhammad. “Silencing Voices That Question Israeli Actions.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (2015): 21-25.

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like sakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From: A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s