“. . . towards what remained of the heart . . .” (Majid abu Ghoush)


Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and olive harvesters in the Burin village, in southern Nablus City of the northern occupied West Bank, on Saturday.   ____Wafa News Agency reported that a group of Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian farmers while they were olive-picking in their lands in an attempt to force them to leave.    [. . . .] During the past week, Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian farmer while harvesting his olive trees in the Deir al-Hattab village in Nablus, and other farmers in Burin; settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees and stole harvest in the Tell village.  ____For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income. . .   More . . .
At least 130 Palestinians were injured with live Israeli ammunition, tear-gas suffocation and in airstrikes during protests along the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip under “The Great March of Return,” on Friday.    ____The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 130 Palestinians were injured during protests, including two critical injuries; one of whom is a 70-year-old woman.    ____The ministry added that a Palestinian journalist was among those injured.    ____A Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces heavily and randomly opened fire at protesters as several of them were able to cut through the Israeli security fence at the borders of the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  injured,  arrested  in  Khan  al-Ahmar  protests
. . . . Related  Arrests  reported  as  clashes  erupt  in  West  Bank
. . . . Related  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  off  Gaza  shore
Leaders of the largest three churches in Jerusalem have accused Israel of reneging on a previous agreement reached between them regarding taxing church property.   ____The French news agency, AFP, said on Friday that leaders of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches as well as a senior Latin Church official sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to block a draft legislation a ministerial committee is going to discuss on Sunday that aims at expropriating their property.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Jerusalem:  Christian  cemetery  vandalized,  graves  destroyed


Jeremy Salt
No state established on land seized by force from the people living on that land can claim moral legitimacy and a ‘right’ to exist.    ____A purported ‘right’ to exist is not central to the existence of states anyway, let alone colonial settler states established amidst the wreckage of the genuine rights of another people.   [. . . .] Israel understands this as well as anyone. It makes a lot of noise about its right to exist and its legitimacy but this is bluster. It knows why it exists and why it believes it will continue to exist. It has a strong military. It has nuclear weapons. It can destroy anyone who threatens to destroy it. These are the constituent elements of its existence, not morality and the ‘rights’ of which it endlessly talks.    More  . . .
. . . . Related   The  Apartheid  State  of  Israel  and  the  Palestinian  Resistance
. . . . Related   B’Tselem: World can no longer stand idly by regarding Israeli crimes

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson

MAJID ABU GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He 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.
A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . He renovates a memory demolished like a wall . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

Khan al Ahmar Village with illegal Israeli settlement Kfar Adummim in background. (Photo: Reuters, in The National, Sept. 23, 2018)


Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki strongly condemned on Thursday the recent US’ decision to close the US consulate in East Jerusalem, which mainly serves Palestinians, and merge it with the US embassy in the city.    ___“Closing of the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, which has operated independently since in 1844, and turning it into a unit in the illegally placed American Embassy in Jerusalem reflects the US administration’s determination to entrench its illegal embassy move and force its functions on the Palestinian side,” he said in a press release.    ___Al-Malki stressed that decision clearly “proves that the US administration has adopted the agenda of the far-right Israeli settler movement, treating the entire area of historic Palestine as one political unit under Israeli control.”    More . . .
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) dismissed on Thursday threats by the Israeli mayor of West Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, to close down its operations in occupied Jerusalem.    ___Barkat submitted to a parliamentary committee a plan to end UNRWA operations in Jerusalem and to turn over its services in health and education to his municipality.    ___UNRWA spokesman Sami Mshasha told WAFA that while these threats are worrying, they will not change facts on the ground since UNRWA exists based on international resolutions and binding bilateral agreements.    ___UNRWA was created in December 1949 by a United Nations resolution. . .    More . . .
|   122  DAYS  OF  DEMOLITION  THREATS,  ISRAEL  SEALS  OFF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR    Israeli forces assaulted protesters inside the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday.   ___Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas bombs and pepper-sprayed Palestinian and international protesters and activists as they attempted to protest at the main road leading to the village, preventing them from doing so.   [. . . .] Large numbers of Israeli forces surrounded Khan al-Ahmar and sealed off its main entrance, declaring it a closed military zone.   [. . . .] The seal off came as an attempt to prevent hundreds of protesters and journalists from reaching Khan al-Ahmar to show solidarity with the residents of the village after 122 days of being under threat of demolition. . .  as part of an Israeli plan to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim More. . .
. . . . Related   Theresa  May  Condemns  Israel’s  Planned  Demolition  of  Khan  Al-Ahmar  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related   Israel  demolishes  7  structures  in  Jordan  Valley


Ramzy Baroud
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has made her post a “more glamorous” position than her predecessors – as President Donald Trump [said] following her resignation announcement.    ___. . . we certainly know that, during her relatively brief stint, Haley has further diminished her country’s struggling reputation, entrenching US isolation in the world’s most vital international political body.    ___In her own words, Haley concluded that her mission at the UN was accomplished, commending herself on three achievements: the US has become more respected; it saved a lot of money and vigorously defended Israel against UN ‘bias.’   [. . . .] Nothing could be further from the truth and Haley, who is suspected of engineering a run for the White House in the future, has no evidence to back up her claim of new-found ‘strength’ and ‘respect’.   ___During his speech before the General Assembly on September 25, Trump’s outrageous claims were not met with thundering applause but humiliating laughter. So much for respect.    More . . .


Eyewitness  Palestine  PALESTINE  2.0  DELEGATION  WINTER  2019  For  Returning  Delegates  and  Previous  Travelers
___Co-sponsored by the Hebron Freedom Fund, this delegation is meant for alumni of previous Eyewitness Palestine delegations, as well as other delegation programs.   ___Delve deeper into the issues and spend more time with specific Palestinian communities. Explore the current realities for Palestinians, including the repression of Palestinian strategic organizing, the separation and segregation of the Palestinian population, and creative ways communities are continuing to resist.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


He renovates a tin window
to open it for the morning birds.
And renovates some stars that have burned out
in the streets, and a woman massacred in the neighborhood.
He renovates a memory demolished like a wall,
a bird’s scattered ashes,
light reflected off a blade in the dark,
a woman lost in a spacious bed
and a bellow.
He renovates a friend’s face as the sea breaks over it
and the singer who no longer resembles his songs,
the wind when it sleeps forgetting the immensity of an orbit,
the taste of words in conversation,
the taste of air and fruit
and two legs that have never carried a planet
while destruction prevails.
He renovates a womb, subdues horses
and poems that beg for livelihood in the shade
before slipping into a chicken coop or blowing by
like a steaming train.
He renovates pillars, neighs,
guns covered with moss from waiting.
He renovates a promise, roots, clouds,
and in the end he is slain alone like a lighthouse.

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning . . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

Israeli bulldozers enter Khan al-Ahmar in advance of demolition. (Photo: Al Jazeera, Oct. 16, 2018)


 PALESTINE  CINEMA  DAYS  PROMOTES  RESILIENCE  THROUGH  CINEMA          This year’s Palestine Cinema Days is focused on promoting Palestinian films and stories in the face of increasing pressure on Palestine and its people wherever they may be.    ___From the United States moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to cutting financial funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Palestinians have greatly suffered for seven decades since the start of the Israeli occupation.    ___Palestine Cinema Days brings to the Palestinian audience important stories of suffering, resilience and the human condition shared by us all.    ___The festival will open on October 17th with the screening of The Tower at the Ramallah Cultural Palace, with more than 60 films from Palestinian, Arab and international filmmakers.    More . . .
. . . . Related  What  it  takes  to  organize  a  film  screening  in  Gaza
|   AGREEMENT  SIGNED  FOR  BUILDING  LARGEST  INDUSTRIAL  CITY  IN  WEST  BANK     The Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) and the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority, represented by the Minister of Economy Abeer Odeh, signed on Tuesday the concession agreement for the development and operation of a multi-sector industrial area in Tarqumiya, in the south of the West Bank, a PIF statement said on Wednesday.    ___The Tarqumiya industrial city project is expected to be the largest among industrial cities and is planned to utilize a total area of 1542 dunums of lands in Tarqumiya and Beit Olla in the Hebron Governorate,  the largest part of which is located in areas designated as Area C, that is under full Israeli control. Cost is also estimated at about $160 million.    More . . .
Prosecutor of the International  Criminal  Court  Fatou Bensouda issued a stern warning to Israel officials on Wednesday, saying she will not “hesitate to take any appropriate action” should they demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar and forcibly transfer its residents.     ___Bensouda’s warning comes as Israeli authorities ramp up their attempts to destroy the village and remove its residents, who have lived in Khan al-Ahmar for over 40 years.     ___The ICC prosecutor also expressed concern about the continued violence at the Gaza-Israel border, several hours after a rocket fired from the Strip struck a home in the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva. In response, the Israeli Air Force struck 20 targets it said belonged to Hamas.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Everything  you  need  to  know  about  Khan  al-Ahmar


|   THE  US  MAINSTREAM  MEDIA  IS  IGNORING  THE  ISRAEL-SAUDI  ARABIA  DE  FACTO  ALLIANCE      Over the past week or so, Saudi Arabia has gotten more U.S. mainstream media coverage than at any time in decades. But conspicuously missing has been any reporting on the kingdom’s growing friendship with Israel — a de facto alliance that may help explain why Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman thought he could get away with ordering the murder of the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.    ___Madawi Al-Rasheed is a Saudi Arabian woman professor, presently at King’s College London, who has written or edited more than 13 books on her home nation. Particularly valuable is her recently edited (2018) collection about the kingdom’s new leadership, entitled Salman’s Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia.     ___In that book, she is clear about the growing Saudi rapprochement with Israel. She writes that the Crown Prince “has continued to clandestinely cooperate with Israel on security and economic matters”. . .   More . . .


|   International Solidarity Movement:  ISRAELI  AND  INTERNATIONAL  ACTIVISTS  JOIN  GAZAN  PROTESTERS  IN  THE  GREAT  RETURN  MARCH       On the morning of October 10, 2018, ten activists from around the world delivered messages of support to the Great March of Return in the Eastern Gaza Strip via Skype, as a part of a ‘virtual rally’ entitled “Words Over Walls.”     ___The speakers hailed from countries as diverse as the US, UK, Brazil, South Africa and Norway. They included authors Mike Peled, Denny Cormier, Robert Martin, Mike Farah, and Peter Cohen and International Solidarity Movement volunteer Kristin Foss. Participants expressed their solidarity with the Marchers, their tactics and their goals. Musician and composer Mike Farah then sang an original song about the Palestinian’s Right of Return.     ___“All people of conscience, all people who have a heart, regardless of nationality or religion, must stand with the brave people of Gaza and support their demand to be free and to return to their land and homes in Palestine. The siege on Gaza must be broken and the prison walls that surround Gaza must come down. Palestine must be free,” said author Mike Peled.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms—
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
Stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
――Translated by 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.  Available from University of Washington Press.

“. . . Our roots are entrenched / Deep in the earth . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

IMG_3349 - CopySt. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Beit Jala in Bethlehem Governate.
Priest greets parishioner after service.
Photo: Harold Knight, Sun. Nov. 8, 2015.


|   MYTHS  AND  FANTASIES  ABOUT  THE  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  AND  THE  UNITED  NATIONS     Andrew Whitley, former senior UNRWA official      The decision of the Trump Administration to halt all funding for UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for 5.4 million Palestinian refugees, and its attempts to redefine who qualifies as a “refugee” in this context, marks another egregious example of Washington’s disregard for international norms and humanitarian law in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    ___The ultimate fate of those refugees who fled their homes or were forcibly expelled in the war that led to the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 – and of their descendants, now into third and fourth generations – has long been one of the most contentious issues in the conflict.    ___The “right to return” is seen by Palestinians and their supporters worldwide as a matter of natural and historic justice. After all, this is exactly the same right as all other refugees – for whom UNRWA’s sister agency, UNHCR, is their guardian – enjoy.    More . . .
|   MAYOR  OF  BETHLEHEM:  NETANYAHU’S  STATEMENT  ON  BETHLEHEM  AND  PALESTINIAN  CHRISTIANS  IS  ANOTHER  ISRAELI  ATTEMPT  AT  DISTORTING  REALITY  OF  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION     Mayor of Bethlehem, advocate Anton Salman said in response to Sunday’s statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians, that such statement ‘is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948’.    ___“If Mr. Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem area, he would return the 22,000 dunums of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousand of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry,” said the mayor in a statement issued by the Bethlehem municipality.    More . . .
. . . . Related  New  Israeli  Laws  Enhance  Creeping  Annexation  Policy
|   ISRAEL  CONTINUES  AIRSTRIKES  OVER  GAZA    An Israeli warplane carried out an airstrike, on Tuesday, targeting a group of Palestinians east of Beit Hanoun in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___A Ma’an reporter said that an Israeli warplane fired one missile towards a group of Palestinian youths in northern Gaza; no injuries were reported.    ___The Israeli army said that a warplane targeted a group of Palestinians who were launching incendiary kites into southern Israel.    ___Meanwhile, locals reported that Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into south of Gaza City, razed and leveled lands.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  Navy,  Soldiers,  Injure  19  Palestinians  In  Northern  Gaza


For a few short minutes last week, a group of Israeli activists managed to have a face-to-face conversation with Palestinian activists in Gaza, albeit through a militarized fence.    ___On Wednesday of last week, for the first time since the Great Return March began in March, a small group of Israeli activists approached the fence to speak with Palestinian demonstrators, standing just meters from them on the other side.    ___The Palestinians who approached the fence had been taking part in a cultural event near the village of Khuza’a in one of the nearby tent encampments, which was established as part of the Great Return March.    ___The rare meeting lasted only a few minutes, until Israeli soldiers arrived and ordered the Israelis to leave the area.    More . . .
|   PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  IN  ISRAEL  FOR  33  YEARS  WARNED  OF  PUNISHMENT  IF  HE  PUBLISHES  BOOK     A Palestinian prisoner who served 33 years out of a 39-year prison sentence in Israeli jails for resisting the Israeli occupation was warned by the prison administration of severe punishment if he publishes a book he wrote in prison, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said on Tuesday.    ___It said Walid Dakka, a Palestinian from inside Israel, who previously was severely punished after publishing a book in Arabic called “The story of the secret of oil”, was told that he would be put in isolation if he goes ahead and publishes another book.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

It is a thousand times easier
For you to pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with you oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.

“. . . they come to burn the love in our hearts . . .” (Yousef al-Mahmoud)

Maale Adumim settlement, part of “E1 Corridor” threatening Khan al-Ahmar (Photo: Palestine Information Center, October 28, 2017)


|   KHAN  AL-AHMAR  FLOODED  WITH  WASTEWATER  FOR  2ND  TIME    Israeli settlers stormed the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, on Monday, and flooded the area with wastewater for a second time.    __Locals said that Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim stormed the village and flooded Khan al-Ahmar with wastewater, causing serious environmental and health hazard for residents.   ___Sources added that the wastewater from the Kfar Adummim settlement flooded large areas of the village, as Israeli settlers attempt to assist the Israeli government force the residents to leave the area.    More . . .
. . . . . . . Resource: What  is  the  E1  area,  and  why  is  it  so  important?
. . . . Related   Israeli  soldiers,  settlers  uproot  trees  in  East  Jerusalem  neighborhood
|   ISRAELI  [HEBRON]  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  ‘DECLARATION  OF  NEW  WAR  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’          The Palestinian government slammed, on Monday, the Israeli government’s approval of 22 million shekels ($6.1 million) in government funding to expand an illegal Israeli settlement inside the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.   ___The Palestinian government’s spokesperson, Youssef al-Mahmoud, said in a statement that the approval is a “literal translation of the occupation’s plans that is based on what became known as the ‘Deal of the Century.'”   ___He called it expansion of an Israeli settlement in the center of Hebron City is “a declaration of a new war against the Palestinian people, a blatant targeting of their existence, and an attack on international laws and resolutions.”   More . . .
|   EURO-MED  RIGHTS  GROUP  CALLS  FOR  PRESSURE  ON  ISRAEL  TO  END  TARGETING  PALESTINIAN  DEMONSTRATORS      The Geneva-based  EURO-MEDITERRANEAN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  MONITOR  (Euro-Med)  Monday said that Israeli forces caused injuries to one in every 100 Palestinians as Gaza protests conclude 200 days and called on the international community to exert serious pressure on Israel to end  its targeting of Palestinian demonstrators.   ___“The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the international community to exert serious pressure to put an end to the targeting of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip and to protect their right to peaceful assembly,” said Euro-Med in a statement.   ___It also called on “all parties concerned to exert pressure on Israel to lift its blockade affecting every aspect of Gaza’s largely civilian population.”   More . . .
|   AFTER  A  DAY  OF  PROTEST,  ISRAELI  ARMY  BACKS  DOWN  ON  DECISION  TO  CLOSE  WEST  BANK  SCHOOL     After a day of protest against an Israeli army order to close al-Lubban/al-Sawiyeh school in the north of the West Bank, the Israeli army backed down on its decision on Monday and allowed the school to reopen, according to Nablus Governor Akram Rajoub.    ___He told WAFA that the protest by the families and officials earlier today against the closure order seem to have forced the army to back down on its earlier decision.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  arrested,  homes  ransacked  in  dawn  sweep  by  Israel  army
. . . . Related  Israeli  forces  arrest  Khan  Ahmar  activists


|   A  PALESTINIAN  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  BRACES  FOR  FORCIBLE  TRANSFER  AS  ISRAEL  SEEKS  TO  SPLIT  THE  WEST  BANK  IN  HALF    RAYYAH HAS LIVED in Khan al-Ahmar all of her 47 years. . .  Her family and neighbors, members of a Bedouin community known as the Jahalin, found refuge on this scorched patch of rocks and dust in the 1950s, after they were expelled from the land they had inhabited for generations, in the Negev desert, following the establishment of the Israeli state. The land Khan al-Ahmar stands on was under Jordanian control when the Jahalin arrived. Today, this smatter of tin roofs and tarps sits on the side of a highway in the occupied West Bank, surrounded by a fast-growing ring of Israeli settlements . . .    ___The village, which is home to less than 200 people and where the only building with walls is a school made of mud and old tires, has become the latest front line in a conflict over land that for decades has determined the fates of Palestinians . . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like snakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . When the almond and the olive have turned to timber . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

20180213_burin - Copy
THE VILLAGE OF BURIN. PHOTO BY SALMA A-DEB’I. B’Tselem Website, March 27,2018.


|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  NABLUS       Video footage showed how several Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, on Saturday, while they were harvesting olive harvest on Palestinians lands belonging to the residents of the Burin village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.    ___According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Givat Ronin settlement attacked two Palestinian farmers by throwing rocks at them and chased them out of their own lands.    ___The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported that “Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by.    More . . .
|  VIDEO:  AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS     The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees. This chance only came twice a year: two days in the spring to cultivate their land, and two days in the fall to harvest the olives.     ___When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli forces chase Palestinian herders out of grazing land
. . . . Related  Settlers chop off olive, grape trees near Bethlehem
. . . . Related  Settlers attack civilians in Hebron
. . . . Related  Israeli army destroys water pipeline in Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers And Settlers Uproot Trees In Silwan
. . . . Related  PHOTOS: Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in West Bank villages
. . . . Related  Israeli fanatics break into Aqsa Mosque
|  ISRAEL ORDERS IMMEDIATE HALT OF FUEL DELIVERIES TO GAZA    Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to besieged Gaza in response to what he claimed attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.    ___The announcement on Friday follows the killing  of  seven  Palestinians  by  Israeli  forces  during the ongoing March of Return protests.   ___”Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” the statement from Lieberman’s office read.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim 
THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.

“. . . And the tyrant’s fear of songs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

unnamedThe Nessan Band performing at the Said al-Mishal Cultural Center in 2015.
(Photo: Tamer Institute for Community Education. Electronic Intifada, Oct. 10, 2018)


At least 7 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured on Friday when the Israeli occupation forces heavily opened fire at the peaceful protesters taking part in the GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN.   ___[. . . .] Gaza’s Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qedra said that 192 protesters were injured, 140 of whom by live ammunition and three are in critical condition. There are 45 children, eight girls, and two paramedics among the injured.    ___ Thousands of Palestinians marched in the afternoon along the border between the Gaza Strip and the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories to take part in the protests of the 29th Friday of the Great March of Return.  More . . .
. . . . Related  Egyptian  Al-Azhar  [University]  condemns  Israel’s  killing  of  Gaza  protesters
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Woman  Killed  as  Israeli  Settlers  Attack  Vehicle  in  Nablus 
The Israeli authorities are taking accelerated and unprecedented measures against Palestinian residents of occupied Jerusalem throughout September, reveals a New Report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.   ___The report concluded that Israel is punishing Al-Aqsa worshippers, and is following a number of policies to suffocate Palestinians through arbitrary detention, night house raids and searches, home demolitions, and orders to banish them from Al-Aqsa mosque, Euro-Med’s team has documented.    ___Titled “Banned: Expulsion, Displacement, and Arbitrary Prosecution of Palestinians in Jerusalem during September 2018,” the report shows the escalating Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the Holy City during last September, which are very much coinciding with the Jewish holidays.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  farmers  barred  from  harvesting  their  olive  crops  in  land  near  Jewish  settlement


|  A  CRIME  AGAINST  CULTURE  –  ”I  was  deeply  shocked  when  I  heard  that  the  Said  al-Mishal  center  had  been  bombed.  I  could  not  understand  why  a  place  that  was  so  important  to  me  had  been  destroyed.”
Mousa Tawfiq
I clearly remember the first time I learned about the Said al-Mishal Cultural Center.   ___“Haven’t you seen it yet?” asked Muhammad, a boy older than me. “It’s the most beautiful stage in Gaza. It has a shiny wooden floor with fancy red chairs. When the curtains open, the audience goes completely silent.”   ___The conversation took place in 2008. Muhammad and I both played oud. We were taking lessons at a summer camp run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees.  More . . .
In mid-July, a strange performance played out in the Military Court of Appeals at the Kirya, the defense establishment’s headquarters in Tel Aviv. The judge, an Israel Defense Forces general, called Meretz MK Esawi Freige, from the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Qasem, to the witness stand, and asked him just one question: Would publication of classified documents relating to the massacre in his village in 1956 be likely to stir up its residents?      [. . . .Brig. Gen. Issachar “Yiska”] Shadmi, the highest-ranking officer to be brought to trial after the event, lives. Shadmi told us that the trial, in which he was initially accused of murder but later acquitted, was intended to mislead the international community with regard to Israel’s ostensible pursuit of justice. For his part, Raz is convinced that the background to ostensibly staging the trial was pressure from above to conceal “Operation Mole” (Hafarperet), a secret program to expel to Jordan the population of the so-called Triangle of Arab towns, located southeast of Haifa – details of which have never been revealed.   (From Haaretz. Copied here )

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

We have on this land that which makes life worth living
We have on this land all of that which makes life worth living
April’s hesitation
The aroma of bread at dawn
A woman’s beseeching of men
The writings of Aeschylus
Love’s beginning
Moss on a stone
Mothers standing on a flute’s thread
And the invader’s fear of memories
We have on this land that which makes life worth living
September’s end
A woman leaving ‘forty’ behind
with all of her apricots
The hour of sunlight in prison
A cloud reflecting a swarm of creatures
A people’s applause for those who face their own erasure with a smile
And the tyrant’s fear of songs.
We have on this land all of that which makes life worth living
On this land
The lady of our land
The mother of all beginnings
And the mother of all ends
She was called Palestine
Her name later became Palestine
My lady….
Because you are my lady
I have all of that which makes life worth living.


“. . . We continue to strengthen the Jewish settlement in the West Bank with actions, not words . . .” (Avigdor Lieberman)


The Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced on Thursday that he expects the Israeli government to approve the construction of 31 new illegal settlement housing units in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.    ___Lieberman announced his intention to have the Israeli government approve the construction of 31 news illegal settlement housing units, in Hebron City, on Sunday.     ___He posted a tweet on his official Twitter account that the illegal settlement plan includes new housing units, kindergartens and public parks.     ___”We continue to strengthen the Jewish settlement in the West Bank with actions, not words.”   More . . .
Israeli forces declared the village of Khirbet al-Hadidiyeh in the northern Jordan Valley a closed military zone and sealed off several roads leading to the village, on Friday.    ___Local activist, Aaref Daraghmeh, said that Israeli forces sealed off entrance roads to Khirbet al-Hadidiyeh and prevented activists from reaching the area, where Israeli forces demolished Palestinian housing structures and steel structures used for housing sheep on Thursday.    ___Israeli forces declared the village a closed military zone . . .    More . . .
. . . . Related   Clashes  break  out  as  IOF  storms  Nablus  villages
. . . . Related   Illegal  Settlers  Attack  Palestinian  Cars  and  High  School  [Nablus  area]
Gaza unemployment has doubled since Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip 12 years ago, the General Federation of Palestinian Labor Unions said on Thursday.     ___It said that while unemployment rate has reached 27.2% before the blockade, it has now reached 50%, including 283,000 workers considered unemployed in 2018, which it described as “unprecedented.”     ___The poverty rate has reached 80%, which indicates critical deterioration in the standard of living and economic performance in the Gaza Strip, said the Federation, explaining that Gaza’s two million people have been living difficult and catastrophic conditions for over 12 years.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Thousands  of  Chronically  Ill  Gazans  Deprived  of  Medicine
. . . . Related   Weekly  Report  On  Israeli  Human  Rights  Violations  in  the  Occupied  Palestinian  Territory  (04  –  10  October  2018)


An entire Palestinian village is facing destruction. What follows will dictate the fate of Palestinian communities all over the West Bank.
Hagai El-Ad
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s recent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post – designed to whitewash the war crime of the destruction of an entire Palestinian community in the occupied West Bank – is riddled with lies and distortions.    ___ The very premise he posits in his opening sentence is untrue. Lieberman writes of “a judicial ruling for the relocation of a small group of squatters from Khan al-Ahmar.” The High Court of Justice’s ruling, however, actually addressed demolition orders, not “relocation.”     More . . .
Yumna Patel
The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees.   [. . . .]  When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.   ___The 40 olive trees belonged to 78-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud al-Araj, who had been tending to the trees since he was a boy.    [. . . .]  “I have been cultivating these trees, this land, since I was a boy. We helped our families and tired ourselves on this land so we could provide for our children and the future generations,” he said. “We give everything we have to our land and to these trees, and then the settlers come and destroy it all.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


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.
House of Poetry in Mafraq launches its fourth meeting in Amman
Under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, the House of Poetry – Mafraq – was opened four years ago on the initiative of the ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. In the presence of the chairman of the cultural authority in Sharjah Abdullah Al Owais with creative contributions by the poet Zuhair Abu Shaib. . .  
More . . .

“. . . one of the Chosen selected her heart for his anointed lead . . .” (Reja-e Busailah*)

Palestinian farmer from Qaryut village inspects destroyed olive trees. (Photo by AFP, Published Fri Aug 17, 2018 by PressTV)


Israeli military bulldozers razed Palestinian agricultural lands and uprooted olive trees in the al-Khader village, south of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday.    ___Locals said that Israeli bulldozers razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of agricultural lands, located between two illegal Israeli settlements of Elazar and Neve Daniel, both built on lands of the al-Khader village, and uprooted olive trees.    ___Sources confirmed that the razed and leveled lands belonged to Muhammad Moussa.    ___Locals added that razing of Palestinian lands and uprooting of trees is part of an Israeli plan to expand nearby illegal settlements.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  demolish  housing  structures  in  Jordan  Valley
. . . . Related  PA  cabinet  to  form  investigation  committee  into  Jerusalem  properties  issue
. . . . Related   Salfit:  Israel  to  confiscate  8  dunums  of  land  for  military  purposes
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a special situation report, on Wednesday, in which the latest figures showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___According to the WHO report, from March 30th, the start of “The Great March of Return” protests along the Gaza borders with Israel, until the 6th of October, 205 Palestinians were killed.    ___Out of the total killed, 190 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the mass protests, while 15 others were killed during various Israeli attacks.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Gaza’s  unemployment  doubled  since  start  of  Israeli  blockade  –  labor
. . . . (UNESCO) adopted on Wednesday by consensus two resolutions on Occupied Palestine in the framework of its 205th plenary meeting.     [. . . .] One resolution stated that, ”The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. . .  all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel . . .  are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”    [. . . .] It also deplored “the ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship.”    More . . .


Dorgham Abusalim
There have been attempts to shutter the PLO presence in the U.S. ever since it opened a Washington, DC-based Information Office in 1978. But it wasn’t until 1987 that such attempts began to gain steam when Congress adopted the Anti-Terrorism Act, in which it proclaimed the PLO a terrorist organization—this law is in effect to this day . . .  In all the commentary on the closure of the PLO office in Washington, little has been said about what it actually means . . .       [. . . .] Thirty-six years later, the closure of the PLO office in Washington . . .  echoes [Edward] Said’s sobering analysis: “To  reduce  Palestinian  existence  as  much  as  possible.”  Indeed, the closure of the PLO office is yet another reminder of the long assault by Israel and the U.S., its chief ally, on those elements that constitute the Palestinian narrative: institutions, culture, history, law, and language, to name a few.    More . . .


| KINDER  USA  PRESENTS  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA  (Dallas,  Texas,  October  21;  Anaheim,  California,  October  26)  For over thirsty years, Dr. Mads Gilbert has worked in conflict zones including volunteering in hospitals under siege in West Beirut, Lebanon during the 80s and Gaza for the last two decades. His perspective as a doctor and activist in such a conflicted time and area makes him the ideal person for our upcoming speaking events.  Tickets and Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


  •                 for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis
    at the age of 25, near Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them

*  Reja-e Busailah has been blind since infancy. At age 7, he and his family were forced marched by Zionist forces from their home in Lydda into exile. He was educated in Cairo and earned a PhD in English from New York University. He is the author of a collection of poetry, “We Are Human,” (1985). He taught at Indiana University for 30 years and is now retired. He recently published his memoir “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.”

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.  Available from B&N.

“. . . everyone had to face both the present moment and the future alone . . .” (Reja-e Busailah)

. . .

Israeli forces injured a number of Palestinian protesters, on Tuesday evening, east of the Deir al-Balah City in the central besieged Gaza Strip.   ___A Ma’an reporter confirmed that Israeli forces opened fire at dozens of Palestinian youths taking part in protests near the security border fence in central Gaza.   ___Five Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces, while a number of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs towards protesters to disperse them.   More . . .
October 7, 2018 | International Solidarity Movement
As-Sawiya. Occupied Palestine A group of Israeli soldiers, one Israeli policeman, and one Israeli settler harassed a group of Palestinian and international olive pickers in As-Sawiya village yesterday, demanding identification and threatening to expel the harvesters from the area. Soon after the group began work, they noticed security vehicles from the nearby.    More . . .


By James J. Zogby
I was provoked to write this discussion of what is and what isn’t anti-Semitism by an article in Haaretz on the “controversy” created by the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to George P. Smith. According to the reporting, Dr Smith is not only a brilliant scientist whose work has helped lead to the creation of new drugs that can treat cancer and a range of autoimmune diseases, but he is also an outspoken supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of Israeli policies.       [. . . .] As I read through the article looking for evidence of Smith’s sins, I found quotes saying that he “wished ‘not for Israel’s Jewish population to be expelled’ but ‘an end to the discriminatory regime in Palestine’”. At another point, Haaretz quotes from an op-ed written by Smith condemning Israeli policies in Gaza which he concludes by expressing his support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS)   More . . .


Today, as the world marks WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, we honor the tens of thousands of children in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank who suffer from psychological trauma and mental health concerns. Despite unprecedented financial challenges, UNRWA continues to exert every effort to ensure that Palestine refugees, both young and old, are provided the essential support and life skills to cope with the challenging environment.   Donate . . .
Houston, Texas, Gaza 5K Marathon . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

(The title of this post is a line from his autobiography quoted by Mondoweiss.)
REJA-E  BUSAILAH autobiography:  In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood
.  Institute for Palestine Studies (November 22, 2017).   In this remarkable book, Reja-e Busailah takes us on two parallel journeys. The first is to Palestine before the Nakba, which we discover with all our senses: smelling, touching, and feeling the place thanks to an autobiographical narrative laced with poetry and the memory of words rooted in the land. And the second is to the self, which the author has fashioned into a reflection of life: here, the young boy uses the light of words to help illuminate our own vision, enabling us to transcend the surface of things and plumb their depth. What Busailah has done is to make words into eyes with which to see what the seeing eye cannot. He makes the reader privy to secrets that only sightless poets, from Homer to Abu al-`Ala¿ al-Ma¿arri, glean, beholding with words what their eyes could not discern. With In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood, Busailah has given us what life denied him, and in his hands, the memoir is transformed from a personal story into the chronicle of a country whose memory others have sought to erase. In this way, the tapestry of Palestine is rewoven, its map redrawn, thanks to the actual experience of life. This book also enriches the corpus of Arab and Palestinian autobiographical literature. (Mondoweiss)