“. . . do we not count as people? . . .” (Shahd Abusalama)

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Harvesting olives in Bruqin village, October 22, 2018 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    “THEY  TAKE  EVERYTHING,”  EXPLAINS  BRUQIN  FARMER  DURING  2018  OLIVE  HARVEST       ISM [International Solidarity Movement] volunteers spent the day harvesting olives with farmers in Bruqin village, a day that began with Israeli soldiers confronting the farmer and his family and ordering them to leave their land no later than 5 p.m.  Since the harvest workday typically concludes around 4 p.m., this did not prove an obstacle for the harvesters.  But it was a potent reminder that the residents of Bruqin, a primarily agrarian village located in the fertile Salfit governorate area, continue to lose control over and access to their land due to ongoing Israeli military occupation.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  FORCES  ASSAULT  COPTIC  CHRISTIAN  PRIEST  DURING  PROTEST  IN  JERUSALEM  (VIDEOS)          Tensions between Coptic Christians of Jerusalem and Israeli occupation forces poured into the streets today during a protest against the Israeli government’s decision to deny the church the right to conduct needed renovation work inside the holy site.    ___Local sources reported the incident saying Israeli forces and police assaulted several Coptic Orthodox priests in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, and forcefully detained one of them.    ____The assault by Israeli occupation forces started after the Church organized a peaceful protest near Deir Al-Sultan Monastery, located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, against an Israeli decision denying the church the right to conduct essential repair work and renovation.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Erekat  condemns  Israeli  aggression  against  Coptic  priests
|    PALESTINIAN  MINOR  SHOT,  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  IN  GAZA     A Palestinian minor succumbed to his wounds, late Tuesday, after he was shot and critically wounded by Israeli live ammunition during protests in the eastern Gaza Strip.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 17-year-old Muntaser Ismail al-Baz was shot and wounded in the head by Israeli forces during protests near the Gaza borders, east of Deir al-Balah.    ___The ministry said that al-Baz was transferred to the al-Shifa Hospital, where he had succumbed to his wounds shortly after.    ___According to a report by the Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med), as Gaza protests exceeded 200 days “one Palestinian is killed every single day” by Israeli forces, noting that “in every 100 Gazans, one injury was recorded.”    More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  injure  7  Palestinians  in  Gaza  protests
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  detain  12  Palestinians  in  West  Bank
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  hold  5  Palestinian  students  at  Hebron  checkpoint

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|    PALESTINIANS  ARE  AS  WORTHY  AS  CHILDREN  OF  HOLOCAUST  SURVIVORS  FOR  DIGNITY     Shahd Abusalama     Palestinians’ legitimate claims continue to be silenced at the expense of sustaining Israel’s longstanding myths of being the safe haven for world Jewry and a democracy with the world’s most moral army. As if we are not as worthy as the children of Holocaust survivors of freedom, security, justice and dignity.    ___As I write this, I recall the many times I had to sit in a room where Europeans discuss their deep-felt guilt over the atrocities committed against their Jewish communities. I recall the many deeply painful times I felt completely unseen during discussions over racism, colonialism, social justice and refugee and migrant rights. . . .    Why is there no guilt felt towards us as European countries fuel and enable more Israeli terrorism against Palestinians? Or do we not count as people? How about Palestinians’ most longstanding refugee problem in our modern history?    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“AT  THE  ISRAELI  CHECKPOINT  –  A  POEM,”  BY  SAM  HAMOD 
(In memory of Mahmoud Darwish, the greatest of Arab Poets)
At the checkpoint, the
Israeli private asked me my name, I told
her, my name is
Zaitoun, she asked, what does that mean,
I told her 4,000 year old trees, she laughed,
asked for my real name, I told her, “Dumm,” what?
I said, it means blood, she said, that’s no name, I told her
blood of my grandfather, my father, my uncle
and even mine if necessary, she bridled, called the corporal,
he came running up, said, what kind of threat is that,
I said, it’s no threat, it’s just a fact,
he called the sergeant, he came up and hit me before he spoke,
my mouth  bled,  I told him, this is the blood I mean, that same
blood, you are afraid of, it’s over 4000 years old, see how dark it is
he called the lieutenant, who asked why my mouth was bleeding,
the sergeant said I had threatened him, the lieutenant asked me
if that was the truth, I told him, I had only stated facts, that
they would be true, after they conferred, he called the
colonel, the colonel came over and asked why I’d been provocative,
I said,all I was doing was stating facts; he asked what I did,
I told him, I was a farmer, he asked what kind, I told him
a farmer with words, what some call a poet—
he asked me if I knew the work of Amichai, I told him yes,
that I’d met him, that he knew what I meant, that Amichai was
sorry for what he’d felt he “had to do”—the colonel shrugged
dismissed the others and told me, “pass on,
I understand, but they don’t, they are not Jews, I am Jew,
not a Zionist”
I pulled the qhubz arabi from my pocket, pulled some zaitoun
from another, some jibbin from my bag and gave it to him–
we laughed, he split the bread in half—
we ate together, we laughed at how sad and foolish all this was  

-Sam Hamod is a poet who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, has published 10 books of poems, the winner of the Ethnic Heritage Prize for Poetry, taught at The Writers Workshop of The U. of Iowa, Princeton, Michigan, Howard and edited THIRD  WORLD  NEWS  in Washington, DC. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.

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