“. . . No longer am I some firm-rooted tree . . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

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Residential street in Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter with homes taken by Israelis. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

| PALESTINE  FILES  LAWSUIT  AGAINST  US  AT  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COURT  OF  JUSTICE
The State of Palestine has filed a lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial body of the United Nations, for violating international law by moving its embassy in Israel to the occupied city of Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Saturday.     ___Malki added in a statement that the case was based on Palestine’s membership in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries, specifically the Optional Protocol concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes.     More . . .

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Commercial street in Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

| 7  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  2  CHILDREN,  KILLED  IN  GAZA  PROTESTS 
Seven Palestinians, including two children, were shot and killed by Israeli forces during protests across the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday afternoon.   ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 7 Palestinians were killed identifying them as 14-year-old boy Muhammad Nayif al-Hum . . . 12-year-old Nasser Azmi Musbeh, and Muhammad Ali Anshashi, 18, both shot and killed in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip . . .  Spokesperson of the ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that some 506 Palestinians were injured during protests, 90 of whom were injured with live bullets, including 3 critical cases.   ___Thirty-five children were among the injuries, in addition to four paramedics and three journalists.    More . . .
Related . . .   Gaza  is  the  Israeli  arms  industry’s  testing  ground
Related . . .   World  Bank:  Gaza  economy  in  ‘free  fall’
| MINISTERIAL  MEETING  ON  UNRWA  RAISES  REMARKABLE  US$122  MILLION
On 27 September, the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Sweden, Turkey, Japan and Germany, as well as the High Representative and Vice-President of the European Union, hosted a Ministerial Meeting in New York, with the aim of mobilising financial and political support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).   ___The Ministerial Meeting raised a remarkable US$122 million, with Kuwait, the European Union, Germany, Norway, France, Belgium and Ireland announcing additional funding commitments. This meeting represented a crucial step in the efforts to overcome the Agency’s remaining shortfall of US$186 million and sustain UNRWA operations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| WHAT  WAS  WRONG  WITH  BOTH  UN  SPEECHES?
Samia Khoury
On Thursday,  September 27, 2018, both the Palestinian President Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the United Nations  General Assembly.  ___Every time I listen to speeches like those, I keep hoping against hope that something new or fresh might come up to uplift our morale and truly give us reason to look forward to better days.  Of course it was necessary for president Abbas to draw the attention of the assembly that the USA has not been  an honest broker to the peace process, because they turned a blind eye to the violations of Israel to all the agreements signed with Israel.  He  announced that the Palestinians are not willing to continue  committing themselves to agreements that Israel has not kept. . .   ___On the other hand, Mr. Netanyahu’s  main  emphasis,  before responding to some of the points that  Mr. Abbas referred to, was on Iran.   More . . .
| AL-AQSA  INTIFADA:  THE  REVOLUTION  IS  STILL  GOING  ON  18  YEARS  LATER  
These days coincide with the anniversary of the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, which marked a turning point in the Palestinian cause, changing many equations.    [. . . .] The spark of the intifada broke out 18 years ago, after the Israeli war criminal, the leader of the Likud Party at the time, Ariel Sharon, along with Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and tried to desecrate its yards and its symbolic place through their provocative actions.   ___The Palestinian people faced this provocation with courage with their bare chests, providing examples of sacrifice and dignity, as they always did to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause as a whole.     More . . .
| ISRAEL’S  RETREAT  FROM  DEMOCRACY  CREATING  WIDENING  DIVISION  WITH  AMERICAN  JEWS
Allan C. Brownfeld
Israel’s steady retreat from democracy, as dramatically manifested by the Knesset passing in July a new nation-state law—and its 51-year occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem—is widening the division between American Jews and the self-proclaimed “Jewish state.”   ___An opinion poll published in Israel in June shows a growing gap between Israelis and American Jews. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey found that 77 percent of Israelis approved of President Donald Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while only 34 percent of American Jews did. Eighty-five percent of Israelis supported the decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, upending decades of U.S. foreign policy and an international consensus that the city’s status should be decided through peace negotiations. Only 47 percent of American Jews supported the move.    ___The poll also found that 59 percent of American Jews favor the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, compared to only 44 percent of Israelis. The two communities also differ sharply on matters of religion and state, particularly on the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over religious affairs in Israel.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“EXHAUSTION  OVERTOOK  ME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I’ve suffered from fatigue since an early age,
And my body crumpled in the presence of sickness.
Probably, my body also fell apart.
No longer am I some firm-rooted tree,
branches mingling with the clear blue sky.
Maybe I have never been that way.
Every cell in my body was shaken.
You saw so many thorny questions grown into my skin.
You saw that my eyes hurt with tears,
and I couldn’t tell from which cascade those tears fell.

You saw clouds that appeared in the minds of my poems
heading back in disappointment toward the river;
the river reverted to its headwaters of first longing.
The sea is too salty. Meanwhile my thirst surprised me
by coming at the wrong time. My thirst was stubborn,
and I am not stubborn with anyone, except myself.

Suddenly, I wanted the world to turn into a desert
without a sun above it. Without memories of the trees
or the river or the distraught young women.
I want myself to be a dead body
smoking a rotten cigarette, watching the emptiness.
I want myself to be a line inside a neglected book,
a line upon which the dust eats and drinks.
—Trans. Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

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.  

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