“. . . City of sorrows, a huge tear/trembling on your eyelid . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

Israeli flags flying from buildings taken over from Palestinians in the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)

❶ Battle for Jerusalem taking a serious turn, says analyst
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Jerusalem Divided by Walls of Fear, Hatred, Experts Tell International Conference on Palestine Question
❷ PA calls on UN to intervene against latest Israeli plans to ‘Judaize’ East Jerusalem
Background: Cabinet Approves Building Cable Car To Western Wall
❸ Israel approves plan to teach Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools
❹ March of the Zealots: a report from ‘Jerusalem Day’
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) Triumphalist light show in Jerusalem weaponizes the city walls to celebrate 50th anniversary of Jewish conquest
❺ POETRY by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA       
May 30, 2017
The battle for control over East Jerusalem is taking a serious turn with Israeli plans to completely change its demographic character and culture, director of the Arab Studies Society’s Mapping Department Khalil Tafakji said on Tuesday.
___Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Tafakji said Israel is forcing Palestinian schools to switch to the Israeli curriculum, wants to displace its Palestinians residents and plans to implement several projects in an effort to turn the city into a Jewish one.
___. . . Israel wants to secede two densely populated East Jerusalem neighborhoods – Shufat refugee camp and Kufr Aqab . . . in order to change the demographic character of the occupied city.
___Israel also plans to build a cable car that goes over the old city of Jerusalem that is expected to change its historic and cultural character.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  JERUSALEM  DIVIDED  BY  WALLS  OF  FEAR,  HATRED,  EXPERTS  TELL  INTERNATIONAL  CONFERENCE  ON  PALESTINE  QUESTION: Addressing Occupation’s Legal, Psychological Aspects
United Nations  General Assembly Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People: International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem   
May 3, 2016
The International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem, which opened in Dakar, Senegal, this morning, held its first plenary session in the afternoon, examining life in East Jerusalem under Israeli occupation.
___Daniel Seidemann, Lawyer and Founder of the Israeli non-governmental organization Terrestrial Jerusalem, said the city today was divided by walls of fear and hatred.  It was seeing a popular uprising unprecedented since 1967, due in large part to the “horrendous and savage” murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014.  The incident had conveyed the message that “in the eyes of official Israel, Israeli blood is blood, and its red; Palestinian blood is water”, he said, adding that Palestinian youth felt themselves adrift, while Israeli society was in a state of clinical denial about the occupation.          MORE. . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
May 29, 2017
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the United Nation Security Council on Monday to uphold its responsibilities vis-a-vis international law and protect occupied East Jerusalem from the latest Israeli attempts to “Judaize” the city.
___The statement came a day after the Israeli security cabinet held a controversial meeting in tunnels located underneath the Old City of East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in 1967 in a move which was never recognized by the international community.
___During the meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu notably unveiled a 200 million-shekel ($56 million) plan to build a 1,400-meter long cable car linking western Jerusalem to the Western Wall in the Old City by 2021, Israeli news outlet Ynet reported on Monday.
___Such a project, which Netanyahu said would fall under the purview of the Israeli Tourism Ministry, would in effect limit tourists’ exposure to Palestinian-majority areas of East Jerusalem, and further use the industry as what critics have called a “tool” to enforce the perception of Jerusalem as a Jewish city.     MORE . . .
BACKGROUND: Cabinet Approves Building Cable Car To Western Wall. Times of Israel, May 28, 2017

Village of Lifta, Jerusalem. Depopulated in 1948, with Israeli developments on every side (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      
May 29, 2017
Israeli cabinet approved Sunday a plan to expand  teaching Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools in east Jerusalem for the next five years.
___The plan stated to increase the classes of first grade that will be taught the Israeli curriculum and increase the number of those eligible for the Israeli Bagrut certificate parallel to the Palestinian Tawjihi certificate.       MORE . . .
David Kattenburg
May 27, 2017
Ecstatic Zionists celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem, this past Wednesday, were greeted by equally passionate Jewish-American and Israeli protesters intent on blocking the zealots’ march through the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s old city, into the heart of the Arab quarter.
___The annual March of the Flags — commemorating the unification of east and west Jerusalem in the wake of the June 1967 war — is customarily accompanied by tribal chanting and acts of hooliganism, as young Israelis parade through the old city’s narrow alleyways chanting rousing slogans such as “Death to Arabs.” Israeli police ensure in advance that Palestinian shops are shuttered tight — a process referred to as ‘sterilization’. Hard to imagine a sensible shopkeeper doing otherwise.     MORE. . . .
Philip Weiss
May 26, 2017
Back in the States, I wondered whether the commemorations of the Six Day War in Israel would be marked by reflection and even expressions of misgivings, after 50 years of occupation, but when I got out here I saw how mistaken I was. They’re triumphalist!
___Below is a video I took of part of the light show/concert celebrating the conquest of Jerusalem on May 21, near Jaffa Gate outside the Old City. This segment was a dramatization of the history of Jerusalem, and about 30 seconds in, it announces “1967” on the wall, and then– well see for yourself! It seemed to me like they were weaponizing the Old City walls. A lot of smoke and guns and destruction, and rumbling tumbling stones. As for the music, well it’s like that old saying, justice is to military justice as music is to military music.  MORE. . . .


Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

Naim Ateek, Palestinian Christian theologian, leading a group through Arab East Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)

One thought on ““. . . City of sorrows, a huge tear/trembling on your eyelid . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

  1. Thank you, Harold. Such sad and disgusting news! At the same time, I hear from Sabeel that the prisoner hunger strike is over with demands being me. At least some little spark of light. Joe Roos


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