“. . . I shall carve my sighs . . . on the tombs of my dead . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

cancer
The condition of Hind Shahin, a breast cancer patient, has been deteriorating ever since she was denied exit from Gaza for treatment (Photo: Feb. 5, 2017, Mersiha Gadzo/Al Jazeera)

❶ NGO mourns 2 Palestinians after Israel denied them exit from Gaza for treatment
❷ Executing Palestinians is Israeli policy
❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • “Lack of Security for Palestinians.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.  
  • “Calls for Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinian Suspects Proliferate.” Human Rights Watch.   
  • “From Colonization to Separation: Exploring the Structure of Israel’s Occupation.” Third World Quarterly.

❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ NGO MOURNS 2 PALESTINIANS AFTER ISRAEL DENIED THEM EXIT FROM GAZA FOR TREATMENT  
Ma’an News Agency 
May 11, 2017
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Health non-profit Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) mourned on Wednesday the recent deaths of two Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, including a five-year-old girl, after Israeli authorities denied them permission to leave the besieged territory for treatment. . . .    [The NGO] reported in April the death of five-year-old Aya Khalil Abu Mitalq, who passed away waiting for Israeli authorities to grant her a travel permit to a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem to treat a metabolic disorder. . . .
___Earlier this month, [the NGO] also reported the death of 59-year-old Walid Muhammad Muhammad Qaaoud . . .  on May 2 after cancer metastasized all over his body, following more than a year of Israeli authorities rejecting his requests for a travel permit to receive life-saving treatment in a hospital in East Jerusalem.
[. . . .] ___MAP quoted the World Health Organization . . .  that Israeli authorities had denied or delayed 40 percent of requests to leave Gaza for medical reasons in February, in a stark increase from 2012, when the rejection rate was 8 percent.      MORE . . .   
❷ EXECUTING PALESTINIANS IS ISRAELI POLICY  
The Electronic Intifada      
Maureen Clare Murphy
May 10, 2017
By now, no one can deny that extrajudicially executing Palestinians who pose no immediate lethal threat is Israeli policy.
___Not the 100 US Senators who signed a shameful letter decrying efforts to hold Israel accountable for its rights abuses at the United Nations, parroting Israeli talking points claiming that the state is being unfairly singled out. . . .
___Nor Israel lobby groups in the US, which are fretting that the latest Israeli move to codify state discrimination against indigenous Palestinian citizens will make it harder to sell Israel as a liberal democracy. . . .
___There is no denying this policy of execution – long obvious to Palestinians and human rights observers, and admitted to by a settler security chief in an Israeli court – after police were shown on video demonstrating how to confirm a kill to a crowd of fifth-graders in the city of Ramat HaSharon . . .       MORE . . . .  

killing
Mourners carry the body of 17-year-old Qusay al-Umour out of the Beit Jala hospital on Jan. 17, 2017. (MaanImages/Yumna Patel)

❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • Amira Abd Elrahim. “LACK  OF  SECURITY  FOR  PALESTINIANS.”
    Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 28-35.
    Palestinians who were accused of attacking Israelis were shot directly, either by Israeli military forces or by settlers who may have just felt insecure or threatened with or without reason. Most of the martyrs would not be liable for a death sentence in a state of law. The homes of these Palestinian martyrs are being demolished in violation of international law, and their families are threatened with loss of residency. While raids on Palestinian homes and schools continue, the theft of Palestinian land and spree of barbaric extrajudicial killings are all being buoyed by the cheers of the masses, media incitement and the encouragement of the Israeli government and the Zionist far-right extremists.
    ____Israelis have a government and weapons. They are protected by an army that stands behind them. Recently the Israeli government set up metal detectors at the entrances of the Old City of Jerusalem so that Palestinians aren’t allowed to go through with any metal objects, while Israeli settlers pass through with their guns!! The Israelis are asked to keep their weapons with them at all times!!! Could you think for yourself what do Palestinians have, who is there to protect them or care about their lost livelihoods. They are paralyzed and fed up with injustice, racism, the denial of rights practiced by the Israeli government and the ignorance of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians are the only people on this earth who are asked to guarantee the security of their occupier, while Israel is the only country that calls for defense from its victims. Are you still wondering why this is happening? Palestinians chose to resist and express their anger in their own way.      MORE . . .
  • “ISRAEL/PALESTINE:  SOME  OFFICIALS  BACKING  ‘SHOOT-TO-KILL.’  CALLS  FOR EXTRAJUDICIAL  KILLINGS  OF  PALESTINIAN  SUSPECTS PROLIFERATE.”  Human Rights Watch
    January 2, 2017
    Some senior Israeli officials have been encouraging Israeli soldiers and police to kill Palestinians they suspect of attacking Israelis even when they are no longer a threat, Human Rights Watch said today in an analysis of those statements. Other Israeli officials have failed to repudiate the calls for excessive use of force.    ___Human Rights Watch has documented numerous statements since October 2015, by senior Israeli politicians, including the police minister and defense minister, calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.
    ___“It’s not just about potentially rogue soldiers, but also about senior Israeli officials who publicly tell security forces to unlawfully shoot to kill,” said Sari Bashi, Israel advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.    MORE . . .
  • Neve Gordon. “FROM  COLONIZATION  TO  SEPARATION:  EXPLORING  THE STRUCTURE  OF  ISRAEL’S OCCUPATION.”
    Third World Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2008, pp 25 – 44.
    In the second intifada, the suspension of the law became the norm. One example of this suspension is Israel’s pervasive employment of extrajudicial executions. The fact that not one Israeli soldier has been tried for these killings and that they are part of an overt policy suggests that some of the occupied inhabitants have been reduced to what the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben has called homo sacer, people who can be killed without it being considered a crime.
    ___Another example of how the law has been suspended involves the massive destruction of Palestinian homes. . . .     MORE . . . 

“ON  THE  TRUNK  OF  AN  OLIVE  TREE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come.

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

From  THE   PALESTINIAN   WEDDING:   A   BILINGUAL   ANTHOLOGY   OF   CONTEMPORARY   PALESTINIAN   RESISTANCE   POETRY.   Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
About Tawfiq Zayyad.

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