“. . . It doesn’t matter what you had planned . . .” (Lena Khalif Tuffaha)

holy-land-1-139-003
The Sea of Galilee, photo taken by Harold Knight in 2008. The beauty, like that of Palestine itself, is fragile and deceptively calm.

A (too) personal note from the blogger: 

As you can see from the dates on the news items, I meant this post for yesterday. However, I could not continue. The news is simply too horrendous day after day. If I am overwhelmed from this distance, it is impossible to imagine what the Palestinian people experience and feel every day, even though I have traveled to Palestine three times.
___Americans especially, and most citizens of Western nations, do not understand that this situation is not a matter of politics (no matter what Hillary and Donald say). It is not a matter of religion (no matter what Bibi says). And it most certainly is not a “conflict.” It is a simple matter of morality and of the so-called American dreams of freedom, equality, and self-determination.
___So I am back after three days of being distressed by the news. These postings simply have to be done, no matter who does or does not read them. This bungling record of events with supplementary scholarly and poetic works must be here in cyberspace.
___My friend Samia Khoury in Jerusalem brought me back by emailing me today’s poem for which I am grateful.

Harold Knight, Dallas, Texas, USA

❶ Killing Jordanian an act of terror by Israel, Jordan says
❷ Democratic front condemns adding Hammad to [United States] terrorist list
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) [United States] Florida mosque arsonist shared extreme pro-Israel propaganda
❸― (ᴀ) Army Kidnaps Four Palestinians In Hebron
. . . ❸― (ᴃ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Four Palestinians in Tulkarem And Nablus
. . . ❸― (ᴄ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Three Young Men In Jerusalem
. . . ❸― (ᴆ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap A [13-year-old] Child In Jericho
❹ Poetry by Lena Khalif Tuffaha
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ KILLING  JORDANIAN  AN  ACT  OF  TERROR  BY  ISRAEL,  JORDAN  SAYS
Days of Palestine
Sep 18, 2016
Jordanian foreign ministry described on Saturday Israeli murder of Jordanian citizen in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday “an act of terror,” a statement said.
___The Israeli occupation police murdered on Friday the Jordanian national Sayid Amro in at the Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem’s Old City.
___Israeli media reported Israeli officials claiming that the Jordanian citizen had two knives and attempted to stab an Israeli policeman.
___However, the Jordanian foreign ministry did not believe the Israeli claims, stressing that the deceased citizen had no extremist views and he travelled to Palestine just to perform prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.      MORE . . .

❷ DEMOCRATIC  FRONT  CONDEMNS  ADDING  HAMMAD  TO  TERRORIST  LIST
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sept. 18, 2016
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemned Sunday the US administration step of adding senior Hamas official, the former interior minister Fathi Hamad, to its “global terrorist” list.
___The Democratic front explained in a statement that US administration decision is a creator of terrorism in the region, denouncing its deafening silence towards Israeli violations of human rights.
___It called the free world to condemn such decisions and to stand by the just Palestinian rights. It stressed that Palestinian people will go on with their struggle against Israeli occupation and for regaining the right of return, self-determination and their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.      MORE . . .   
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) [UNITED STATES]  FLORIDA  MOSQUE  ARSONIST  SHARED  EXTREME  PRO-ISRAEL  PROPAGANDA
The Electronic Intifada
Rania Khalek
Sept. 18,2016
[. . . .]
[American] Media outlets were quick to publicize Schreiber’s anti-Muslim postings, but few mentioned his promotion of pro-Israel propaganda or his admiration for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, two great champions of the anti-Muslim far right.        MORE . . .    

❸― (ᴀ) ARMY  KIDNAPS  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, Beit Ummar and Ethna towns, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, searched homes and kidnapped four Palestinians. One of the invaded homes belongs to the family of a teen who was killed by the army on November 27, 2015.     MORE . . .  
. . . ❸― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  IN  TULKAREM  AND  NABLUS
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Many Israeli military vehicles invaded, earlier Monday, Kufur Abboush village, south of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, in addition to Tal village and Balata refugee camp, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped four Palestinians.      MORE . . .
. . . ❸― (ᴄ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  THREE  YOUNG  MEN  IN  JERUSALEM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening, a number of neighborhoods, in the Old City other parts of occupied East Jerusalem, and kidnapped three young men. The soldiers also invaded a home in Bethlehem.       MORE . . .
. . . ❸― (ᴆ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  A  [13-YEAR-OLD] CHILD  IN  JERICHO
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening, the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho city, in the occupied West Bank, kidnapped a child, and took him to a detention and interrogation center, near Jerusalem. The army also invaded Marda village, near Salfit.
___The WAFA Palestinian News Agency has reported that the soldiers kidnapped Mohammad Ahmad Maharma, 13, after stopping him at the southern entrance of Jericho.     MORE . . .

“FROM GAZA,”  BY  LENA  KHALIF  TUFFAHA

They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David”.
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
Run.
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
Run.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha  

 

 

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