“. . . an impossible burden weighs down on eyelids and chest . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Major initiative launched to support human rights in Palestine
❷ Israeli Violations’ Activities in the oPt

  • Background: “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies

❸ Analysis: Pessoptimistic reflections from besieged Gaza
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 21, 2017 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, together with the European Union (EU) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), launched on Thursday a project which aims at making the rights contained in the human rights treaties acceded by the State of Palestine in 2014 a reality for all Palestinians, according to a joint statement by the three groups.
___The commitments under these treaties complement and enhance the Government’s political obligations within the National Policy Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
___The project will provide capacity building to assist the Palestinian government in promoting and protecting all human rights for all Palestinians. The project will also work with the Independent Commission for Human Rights and selected civil society organizations to strengthen their ability to promote accountable governance through national dialogue and advocacy. It will empower Palestinians as rights-holders to better understand and claim their rights.     MORE . . .
POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories 
Oct. 17, 2017   (NOTE: these daily reports become available as they are translated.)
The daily report highlights the violations behind Israeli home demolitions and demolition threats in the occupied Palestinian territory, the confiscation and razing of lands, the uprooting and destruction of fruit trees, the expansion of settlements and erection of outposts, the brutality of the Israeli Occupation Army, the Israeli settlers violence against  Palestinian  civilians  and  properties, the erection of checkpoints, the construction of the Israeli segregation wall and the issuance of military orders for the various Israeli purposes.    MORE . . .

Masalha, Nur.
Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 3-57.
[. . . .] Since the rise of the Zionist settler movement in the late nineteenth century, and especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the struggle over toponymic memory and the renaming of sites has developed as an integral part of the political conflict in Palestine. The indigenous Palestinians have insisted on their own comprehensive set of Arabic place names through which they see their own social memory and deep-rootedness in the land of Palestine. On the other hand, since the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba and the creation of the Israeli state . . .  the Israeli army and Israeli state have sought to rename systematically Palestinian Arabic place names, claiming priority in chronology and using modern archaeology, map-making, and place names as their proofs of Jewish roots in ‘the land of Israel’. In Israel the significance of place names lies in their potential to legitimize ‘historical claims’ asserted by the Zionist settler-colonial movement.
[. . . .] The social and cultural importance of toponymic memory and geographical rendering of sites and terms in historical writing is evident in many histories from antiquity, medieval and modern Palestine. One classical example of listing place-nations of ancient Palestine in ‘Histories’ (or The History, 1987) of Herodotus, written from the 450s to the 420s BC. Herodotus is believed to have visited Palestine in the fifth decade of the fifth century B.C. The ‘Father of History’ refers to ‘Palaistine’, Syria, or simply ‘Palaistine’ five times, an area comprising the region between Phoenicia and Egypt. . . .  Although Herodotus’s Histories is now considered a founding work of history in Western literature, and serve as a key record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various powers that were known in Greece, Western Asia and North Africa, when it comes to Palestine and toponymic memory Western Christian writing relies not on Herodotus’ Histories but on the myth-narratives of the Bible. Interestingly however the Greek toponym for Palestine and Ascalan were preserved in indigenous Palestinian Arab tradition and by medieval Arab historians and travellers . . . .    SOURCE.   (Available through libraries with EBSCO databases.)

Haidar Eid
Oct. 20, 2017    One cannot understand the deadly, medieval siege imposed on Gaza apart from Israel’s settler-colonialism in Palestine. The horror inflicted on Gaza is, in fact, rooted in the political fragmentation caused by Apartheid Israel, reinforced by the Oslo authority, and sparked by factional struggles over access to power in a Bantustan turned into a concentration camp.
___The rationale behind this genocidal blockade imposed by Apartheid Israel, and supported by a complicit ME Quartet is that we, 2 million Gazans, are expected to recognize Israel’s right to exist on our ethnically cleansed villages from where we were expelled in 1948 and renounce our resistance as a form of violence. This is how this Crime of Collective Punishment is justified! The international community is basically telling us that we must collaborate with the occupiers in order to be accepted, that we must normalize apartheid and settler colonialism. If we don’t do that, we are doomed then and must pay a heavy price with the lives of our children.  MORE . . .   .

Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014). Available from Barnes and Noble.

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