“. . .what can I call this rug of soil. . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .

EGYPT  CONFIRMS  EFFORTS  TO  ACHIEVE  PALESTINIAN  UNITY
The Egyptian Presidency stressed that the country is keen to achieve Palestinian reconciliation and national unity.   ___Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s statement was made during a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, on Thursday.   ___According to spokesperson of the Egyptian Presidency, Bassam Radi, al-Sisi said that the Palestinian Authority must take over its responsibilities in the besieged Gaza Strip, pointing out that it would help revive the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.   More . . .

ISRAEL  KILLED  19  PALESTINIANS  IN  AUGUST,  REPORT  SAYS
Israeli occupation forces killed a total of 19 Palestinians, including four children, during August 2018, according to a report by Abdullah Horani Center of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).   The center said of those 19 Palestinians, 17 were killed by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border or in airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Another Palestinian was killed in the occupied West Bank and the last one was a Palestinian citizen of Israel.   More . . .    Related . . . ISRAELI FORCES OPEN FIRE NEAR GAZA RETURN CAMPS

ACTIVIST  SOUNDS  ALARM  OVER  SIMMERING  TERRORISM  BY  ISRAEL  SETTLER  GANGS        Extremist Israeli settlers have been raking through Palestinian lands in Nablus and Ramallah, paving the way for more attacks against Palestinians and their property, an activist has warned.   ___Ghassan Dughlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern occupied West Bank, said settler gangs have showed up on Palestinian land located between Yitzhar outpost, south of Nablus, and Shilo, north of Ramallah.   More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

HOW  ISRAEL  SPIES  ON  US  CITIZENS:  THE  TRUTHS  THAT  WON’T  BE  HEARD
Alain Gresh
An investigative documentary by Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera scheduled for broadcast earlier this year was expected to cause a sensation. Its four 50-minute episodes centred on the young and personable James Anthony Kleinfeld, British, Jewish, an Oxford graduate . . . – seemingly a natural fit for a western foreign ministry or a major thinktank.    ___The documentary showed Kleinfeld being enthusiastically recruited for his skills by The Israel Project (TIP), which defends Israel’s image in the media, and associating . . . [with] the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the powerful US lobbying group. . . .  ___Kleinfeld’s contacts told him they were spying on US citizens with the help of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, founded in 2006, which reports directly to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu . . .  ___At the end of Kleinfeld’s time at TIP, his boss there . . . wanted to hire “Tony” on a permanent basis . . .     ___Kleinfeld turned down the job. His qualifications were genuine, but he was, of course, an undercover reporter, sent by Al Jazeera to investigate the pro-Israel lobby.  More . . .

THIS  PALESTINIAN  LIFE:  UNCOVERING  THE  STORIES  OF  WOMEN  BEHIND  THE  WALL
Henriette Chacar

A mother in the West Bank struggles to explain to her child, on reaching a checkpoint, that no, they have not yet arrived at the zoo.   [This is one of] women’s stories featured on “Women Behind the Wall,” a new podcast which aims to “amplify minority perspectives in the Israel-Palestine conflict,” according to the project founder, Shadia Qubti. The show centers around the stories of Christian Palestinian women – a double minority group in terms of gender and religion – in an attempt to expose how the occupation impacts their lives.   ___According to Qubti, Palestinian society is very diverse and rich, but “in the media, we do not reach the average peoples’ stories.” She believes there is a humanizing power to storytelling, and “these moments, hopefully, will make the listener intrigued to understand more.”    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .    

Land of Canaan Foundation: Regenerative agriculture – what is it?  Regenerative farming goes beyond just organic agriculture. It naturally creates healthy soil which holds water and carbon better and will produce healthy crops at a higher yield.  More . . .   Donate . . .

“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?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. She has been a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. She has also been editor of the journal Awarq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014.

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