“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

1-Omar Barghouti-001
Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti (Photo: Electronic Intifada, Intal/Flickr, May 10, 2016)

❶ Many Injured As Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Protest In Kufur Qaddoum
❷ Senior Israeli minister: Make BDS activists in Israel ‘pay a price’
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner, endorses academic and cultural boycott of Israel
❸ Opinion/Analysis: BDS:  DISCUSSING  DIFFICULT  ISSUES  IN  A  FAST-GROWING  MOVEMENT.  INTERVIEW  WITH  OMAR  BARGHOUTI
❹ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MANY  INJURED  AS  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ATTACK  THE  WEEKLY  PROTEST  IN  KUFUR  QADDOUM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 18, 2016
Israeli soldiers attacked, on Friday, the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum town, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqilia, and fired gas bombs at the protesters and homes, causing scores of residents to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.
___Media coordinator of the Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum Morad Eshteiwy said several military vehicles invaded the town from various directions, before the soldiers stormed homes.     MORE . . .

❷ SENIOR  ISRAELI  MINISTER:  MAKE  BDS  ACTIVISTS  IN  ISRAEL  ‘PAY  A  PRICE’
+972 Magazine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 16, 2016
Israeli Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan says that BDS advocates inside Israel must be made to pay a price and that he is working to create legislation that would do just that.
___“The message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist,” the minister said at a panel on BDS at the Herzliya Conference on Thursday. “Anybody who works to delegitimize Israel, to bring an end to the Zionist enterprise, they should know that there will be a price.”       MORE . . .         RELATED.
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) VIET  THANH  NGUYEN,  2016  PULITZER  PRIZE  WINNER,  ENDORSES  ACADEMIC  AND  CULTURAL  BOYCOTT  OF  ISRAEL     MORE. . .

IMAGINE MY SURPRISE. For decades I have passively endured ritualistic sneering about the irrelevance of nerdy scholars in ivory towers . . . . Then, on December 16, 2013, the membership of . . . the American Studies Association (ASA), ratified a convention resolution to participate in an “academic boycott” of Israeli universities to bring to light discrimination against Palestinians. Starting with headlines in the New York Times and Washington and Washington Post the ASA decree became the vote heard round the world. . . .
[. . . .] Raging tantrums over the boycott haven’t been confined to the Right, either. Michael Kazin, a specialist on U.S. radicalism and editor of Dissent, decried the ASA proposal as “idiotic” . . . while the Chair of American Studies at Brandeis University . . .  ranted on the History News Network that the ASA “has completely gone off its rocker” with its “boneheaded boycott.”
[. . . .] What readers of the mainstream press may gain from the calibrated verbal assaults of the anti-ASA scholars . . .  is a lesson in how not to read texts; their “interpretations” of the ASA position provide repeated demonstrations of the use of language to obscure inconvenient truths from oneself as well as others.

  • Wald, Alan. “In Defense Of The ASA.” AGAINST  THE  CURRENT 39.1 (2014): 7-14.  Alan M. Wald is the H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor of English Literature and American Culture at the University of Michigan.      ARTICLE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  BDS:  DISCUSSING  DIFFICULT  ISSUES  IN  A  FAST-GROWING  MOVEMENT.  INTERVIEW  WITH  WITH  OMAR  BARGHOUTI
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.
June 14, 2016
Israel’s attacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and other human rights defenders living under occupation, such as Al Haq staff, have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, including the direct threats made by leading Israeli officials against BDS activists and in particular against the movement’s co-founder Omar Barghouti.
___Beyond the headlines, the work goes on [. . . .]
___Barghouti: “BDS of course recognizes that there are other strategies and approaches; we’re just saying that we chose to focus on the rights, not the solutions, because for any political solution – determined by the majority of Palestinians everywhere – to be just, comprehensive and sustainable it must accommodate our rights under international law. Moreover, to be effective you need to have something close to a Palestinian consensus, and to achieve that we had to stick to the most principled and strategic lowest common denominator, to the most significant and least controversial goals of the Palestinian people that hardly anyone can object to: Ending the 1967 occupation, ending the system of apartheid, and fulfilling the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and properties from which they were ethnically cleansed during and since the Nakba. And we adhere to these rights strictly.”      MORE . . . 

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

―Translated by Tom Pow

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank. and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

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