“. . . the shedding of blood cleanses nothing . . .” (Aftab Yusuf Shaikh)

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Palestine Circus Festival, Ramallah. (Photo courtesy Circus School)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

PALESTINE  CIRCUS  FESTIVAL’S  ‘UNITED  FOR  FREEDOM’  OPENS  IN  RAMALLAH
The second edition of the PALESTINE CIRCUS FESTIVAL, entitled “United for Freedom,” opened over the weekend in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, with the participation of about 200 local and international artists.    ___Palestinian officials, a representative of the European Union, representatives of international and local cultural and artistic organizations . . .   watched the opening ceremony, the Carnival and XY company show, held at the Istiklal Park.    ___The European Union Head of Cooperation, Alessandra Viezzer, said “Circus has long been a strong tool for self-expression, entertainment and storytelling around the world. It brings all people together, whether young or old. In Palestine, the EU is proud of being one of the main supporters of the Palestine Circus: the first to exploit the great potential of Palestinian youngsters in artistic productions.”   More . . .
PALESTINE:  1ST  ARAB  COUNTRY  TO  JOIN  INTERNATIONAL  CITY  ASSOCIATION
The Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) signed a partnership and cooperation agreement, on Saturday, with the International City Management Association (ICMA) to be the first Arab association to join the organization.    ___According to a press statement, Abdullah Anati of APLA and Mark Otte of ICMA, signed the partnership and cooperation agreement on the sidelines of the annual ICMA conference held in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States.    ___The agreement stated that the two associations will be committed to strengthening the relationship and partnership between them through specific activities, such as participating in the annual conferences of each association, hosting representatives and speakers from each association during the annual conferences . . .   More . . .
PERCENTAGE  OF  ELDERLY  IS  LOW  IN  PALESTINE,  SAYS  STATISTICS  BUREAU  The Palestinian society is considered a young society where the percentage of young  people is high and the percentage of the elderly is relatively low, said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on Sunday on the occasion of the World Elderly Day.    ___In 2017, the number of the elderly aged 60 and above reached 233,269 persons (5.0%), (152,443 persons  (5.4%) in the West Bank and 80,826 persons (4.3%) in Gaza Strip).     __PCBS said even though, the percentage of the elderly will be increasing during the coming years in Palestine, but their percentage will stay relatively low . . .     ___Palestine witnessed improvement in life expectancy . . .  Life expectancy has increased about 6-8 years during the last two decades.    More . . .

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Palestinian Circus School. (Photo: MIDDLE EAST REVISED, 2014)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHAT  VOX  GETS  WRONG  WITH  ITS  “11  BIGGEST  MYTHS  ABOUT  ISRAEL-PALESTINE”
Jeremy R. Hammond
I’ve written an article titled “Top Ten Myths about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” . . .  so when I learned that Vox has a feature called “The 11 biggest myths about Israel-Palestine”, I naturally took an interest. Unfortunately, while Vox gets some things right, what it gets wrong it gets badly wrong.  So, to set the record straight, here’s a quick examination of each of Vox’s eleven supposed myths and corrective for its egregious misinformation.   ___“Myth #1: The conflict is too complex to possibly understand”   Although I don’t include it on my own list of myths, I agree this is indeed false. In fact, I’ve written an article titled “The Simplicity of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” that starts with, “There is a general perception that the reason the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued for so long is because it is extremely complex. Nothing could be further from the truth.     More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  AFTAB  YUSUF  SHAIKH
If this city were a woman,
She must have earned a bad name by now,
For the number of swords unsheathed,
For the cauldrons of blood shed,
For the haunting silence that rings in wombs,
For the innocent childhoods weeded,

But, No!
This is a city, and a holy one!
Holy for whom? The ones who heap
unholiness on it.

O children of Abraham!
You are not pagans or witches,
You must remember very sharply,
That the shedding of blood cleanses nothing,
And nothing cleanses the shedding of blood,

Man remembers the Promises of God,
But very casually forgets
The Promise God took from him.

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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