“. . . Lay him in the sun; his face caressed By the winds . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Muhammad Youssef Rabba Nakhleh. Murdered by Israeli Occupation Forces. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 14, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .      
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  YOUTH  IN  AL-BIREH
A Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli forces and six others injured in clashes with Israeli forces at the north entrance to Al-Bireh city in the occupied West Bank.  More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KILL  60-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN  BUSINESSMAN,  SMEAR  HIM  AS  TERRORIST 
Israeli forces shot and killed 60-year-old Palestinian business-owner Hamdan Al-Arda yesterday, during a raid of Al-Bireh, in the central West Bank.    ___Al-Arda was driving in his car when soldiers opened fire, killing him.    More . . .

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Hamdan Al-Arda. Killed by the Israeli army on December 13. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle via Twitter)

~~ IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  BLOWS  UP  ABU  HMEID  FAMILY  HOME  IN  RAMALLAH
The Israeli army blew up the home of the Abu Hmeid family, in the al-Amaari refugee camp  south of Ramallah City, in the central occupied West Bank, after surrounding it for more than 5 hours.    ___More than 56 Palestinians were injured during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers around the building, as dozens of activists and supporters had gathered for a vigil to prevent the demolition of the family’s building.    ___The Israeli court had given the army the green light to demolish the building as a form of collective punishment, as Israel accuses one of the family’s sons, Islam, of having killed an Israeli soldier during an Israeli raid to the refugee camp.    More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  NAVY  KIDNAPS  TWO  GAZAN  FISHERMEN
The Israeli occupation navy on Saturday morning kidnapped two Palestinian fishermen during their presence off the coast of Gaza City.    ___Chief of the fishermen Nizar Ayyash told Quds Press that the brothers, Mohamed and Atef Abu Riyala, were kidnapped after Israeli naval forces opened machinegun fire near their fishing boat, which was also confiscated.    ___Ayyash added that the fishermen were working within four nautical miles from the shore of Gaza City.    More . . .
| ‘DETENTION  IS  AN  INSTRUMENT  OF  ISRAEL’S  OPPRESSION’
In the dead of night, Israeli forces knocked on the door of Salah Hamouri’s apartment in Jerusalem, he told me. “When I opened the door they told me they were looking for me and began to search the house. . . for something; I don’t know what. Of course, they found nothing, but they took me away anyway.”    ___That was on 22 August 2017. Over a year later – thirteen months to be exact – Hamouri was finally released from administrative detention, a status Israel uses to imprison Palestinians indefinitely with neither charge nor trial.    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  TO  LEGALIZE  2,000  UNAUTHORIZED  SETTLER  HOUSES
Israel is to authorize thousands of settler houses built illegally in the occupied West Bank, according to Haaretz.    ___The Hebrew newspaper said that Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, in coordination with Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, had approved the use of a legal tactic that would allow the legalization of about 2,000 illegally-built Israeli houses throughout the West Bank.    ___This move followed an earlier announcement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlining a series of measures he would take in favor of the settlement activity in the West Bank.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  THIS  DOESN’T  END  WELL 
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
One of the most depressing things about Israel-Palestine is just how predictable and cyclical the violence can be. The almost-war in Gaza, the new wave of shooting, ramming, and stabbing attacks in the West Bank, the nightly Israeli army raids deep into Palestinian cities, the clashes that will soon become a regular feature of the coming months, the vigilante settler violence — it’s almost identical to the year before and the year before and the year before.    [. . . .] So where do we go from here? There are only two things we can be sure of these days. The first is that, tragically, there will be more violence, from both sides. The second is that change is not going to come from an Israeli government which sees the status quo as an acceptable reality.    More . . .
| ‘ISRAELIS  DON’T  WANT  TO  HEAR  WHAT  I  HAVE  TO  SAY’ 
___Over the past few months, Israeli authorities, along with radical settlers, have turned Guy Hirschfeld into a public enemy of sorts for his activism in the Jordan Valley. In an interview, Hirschfeld talks about building solidarity with Palestinians, why his brash style has turned him into a target, and whether things are getting worse for left-wing activists.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil. 

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.

“. . . I loved life, from the bottom of my heart . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli Field executions: Ashraf Na’alwa, Saleh Barghouthi, Majd Mteir. (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, by Quds News, Dec. 13, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .    
PLO:  TIME  FOR  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  TO  PROVIDE  PROTECTION  TO  PALESTINIANS
Azzam al-Ahmad, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said that the leadership has reached several regional and international stakeholders “to put an end to the escalated violence by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank,” on Thursday.     ___Al-Ahmad spoke to Voice of Palestine radio and stressed, “The time has come for the international community to shoulder its responsibility to provide protection to our people from the (Israeli) violations, which include field executions of Palestinian citizens and incitement (by Israeli settlers) to kill President Mahmoud Abbas.”    ___He added “this incitement was met with international condemnation,” noting that the Palestinian people “will not stand idly, but will confront the Israeli occupation until they fulfill their rights.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  Assassinate  Three  Palestinians  They  Claim  Were  Involved  In  Anti-Israeli  Attacks
. . . . Related  Settlers attack in Nablus and Hebron
. . . . Related  2 Palestinians injured by Israeli  Forces in al-Mughayyar
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations In The Occupied Palestinian Territory (06– 12 December 2018)
| UPDATE  |  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  100  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces arrested more than 100 Palestinians, including lawmakers and former prisoners, during large-scale raids that targeted many areas across the occupied West Bank throughout the past two days, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).    ___Last night alone, the forces detained at least 46 Palestinians, including two lawmakers and a journalist, during a large-scale detention campaign across the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted multiple overnight raids in Hebron city in addition to the nearby towns of Idhna, Beit Kahel, Yatta and Adh-Dhahiriyya, ransacking civilian houses and interrogating families.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Ramallah City Sealed Off For Second Consecutive Day
. . . . Related  Entrance to Al-Arroub Refugee Camp Sealed by Israeli Forces
. . . . Related  Israeli army raids headquarters of Palestine Olympic Committee in Al-Bireh

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL’S  EXECUTIONS  CAN’T  KILL  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE:  REMEMBERING  ASHRAF  NA’ALWA,  SALEH  BARGHOUTHI,  MAJD  MTEIR  AND  HASAN  ARDA
On 13 December 2018, Israeli occupation forces shot down four Palestinians, including several resistance fighters who had evaded their pursuit for months.    [. . . .]  These killings were carried out in a coordinated fashion, alongside the arrest of dozens of Palestinians on the same night. Clearly, these were intended to be a deadly blow not only against these strugglers, but also the Palestinian resistance as a whole.    ___Nevertheless, ensuing events made clear that the military power of the occupation and its extrajudicial executions would only inflame Palestinian resistance further.    More . . .
|  PALESTINIAN  SOLIDARITY:  IS  SOUTH  AFRICA  IN  THE  DRIVER’S  SEAT?   Recent events in South Africa have had a profoundly positive impact on Palestine.    ___It may not be music for this country’s [UNITED STATES] pro-Israel lobby but certainly welcomed by the broad spectrum of solidarity movements active in pursuit of freedom and justice for the Palestinian cause.    ___These milestone events have provided Palestinian Resistance Movements, particularly Hamas, as well as solidarity activists, renewed hope that the pendulum is slowly but surely swinging away from the colonial settler regime Israel.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HE  WHISPERED  BEFORE  HE  TOOK  HIS  FINAL  BREATHS,”
BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Don’t honor me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm.

Don’t glorify me by giving my name
to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
(in my name)
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honor!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name.

Tell my mother―
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy.

From: Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

 

“. . . We are here within ourselves . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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“. . . architectural remains show that [the Mount of Ebal] was a Canaanite altar of idolatry, offering sacrifices to the Canaanite Gods.” (Photo: R. Hawkins, Biblical Archaeological Society, June 24, 2018)
SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .      
| PALESTINIAN  SHOT,  KILLED  AFTER  JERUSALEM  STABBING  ATTACK
A Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem after carrying out a stabbing attack, predawn Thursday.   ___Witnesses told a Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces opened fire at a Palestinian youth identified as Majd Jamal Mteir, 25, at around 5:00 a.m., critically injuring him, in the al-Wad Street of the Old City of Jerusalem.   [. . . .] Mteir stabbed two Israeli police officers deployed in the al-Wad Street, a female police officer whose injury was reported as moderate and a policeman whose injury was reported as light.     More . . .
. . . . Related  BREAKING:  ISRAEL  IMPOSES  FULL  MILITARY  CLOSURE  ON  RAMALLAH
. . . . Related  2 Israelis [SETTLERS]  killed, 2 critically injured in shooting attack in Ramallah
. . . . Related  2 months later: Israel executes Palestinian attack suspect
. . . . Related  Ashrawi: Israeli field executions and organized terrorism require international action
. . . . Related  Clashes erupt as Israeli forces assault family of Palestinian attacker
|  ISRAELI  MINISTER  TOURS  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS:  ‘WE  ARE  HERE  TO  WIN’ 
Israeli minister Ofir Akunis toured Israeli settlements yesterday and “declared his support” for the annexation of the so-called Gush Etzion settlement “bloc” and “Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] in general”, reported right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva.    [. . . .] Akunis described the Gush Etzion settlement bloc as, “One of the foundations of our people dating back thousands of years, and anyone who disputes this right is wrong”.  He declared:  “As we have been forced to leave here in the past, we are here to win, and here thousands of families will raise their children for generations to come.”   More . . .
. . . . Related  Fanatic Israeli settlers break into Jerusalem’s Aqsa Mosque
THE  EXPLOITATION  OF  MYTHS  TO  EXPAND  JEWISH  SETTLEMENTS
At a large plot of land located east of the top of the Mount of Ebal in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, stone chains that do not hold any archaeological significance exist, yet they are used by Israeli settlers as a self-claimed sacred archaeological site.    ___Israeli settlers’ attempts to seize the site they claim to be the altar of Joshua Ben Nun reveal how far settlers can go about exploiting myths and using them in their ongoing battle to control Palestinian lands.    ___ . . . the Israeli archeologist Adam Zeratal. . . confirms that the existing architectural remains show that it was a Canaanite altar of idolatry, offering sacrifices to the Canaanite Gods.    ___“. . .  assumption that the altar belongs to Joshua Ben Nun contradicts the historical and archaeological facts that prove that Joshua Ben Nun is a myth and not a historical figure,” he says.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Hamas: Sale of Jerusalem real estate to Jews “a national crime”

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
. . . .
| 8  WAYS  ISRAEL  TAKES  PALESTINIAN  LAND  (VIDEO)
Institute for Middle East Understanding ( IMEU )
Settlements on stolen land. Evicting Palestinians. Military checkpoints. Free-fire zones. We break down the eight ways Israel takes over land to erase Palestinian life and solidify apartheid.    More .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|  PLAYGROUNDS  FOR  PALESTINE
Help Us Build Playgrounds For Palestine
We believe Palestinian children deserve to thrive. They deserve a creative outlet for their instinct to play. With your support, we can help Palestinian children thrive.  More . . .   Donate . . .         ..

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  ARE  HERE  NEAR  THERE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We are here near there, the tent has thirty doors.
We are here a place between the pebbles and the shadows.
. . . A place for a voice.  A place for freedom, or a place
For any place fallen off a mare, or scattered by a bell or the
. . . muezzin’s call.
We are here, and in a moment we’ll explode this siege, and in a
. . . moment we’ll free a cloud,
And travel within ourselves.  We are here near there thirty
. . . doors for the wind, thirty “was”,
Teaching you to see us, to know us, to listen to us, to feel our
. . . blood safely,
Teaching you our peace, We may love or may not love the road
. . . to Damascus, Mecca or Qairwan.
We are here within ourselves.  A sky for the month of August,
. . . a sea for the month of May and freedom for a horse.
We seek the sea only to retrieve from it the blue rings round
. . . the smoke.
We are here near there thirty shapes, thirty shadows for a
. . . star.

–From Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . A spacious house, Without guards . . .” (Yusuf Hamdan)

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Contestants disabled by Israeli fire participate in the 5th annual Rachel Corrie Gaza Sport Initiative (Photo: Palestine Chronicle, Dec. 12, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .       
|  PALESTINE  TO  SUBMIT  PROTEST  NOTE  [TO  UN  SECURITY  COUNCIL]  OVER  SETTLERS’  INCITEMENT  AGAINST  PRESIDENT  ABBAS
Palestine is about to finalize a protest note to be submitted to the United Nations Security Council over Israeli settlers’ incitement against President Mahmoud Abbas, announced Palestine’s permanent representative to the United Nations Riyad Masnour. . . .   a protest note to be submitted to the UNSC over Israeli settlers’ threats to assassinate Abbas in addition to recent intrusion into the Dome of the Rock and raids into official institutions, particularly the Palestine News and Information Agency (WAFA), was nearing completion.    ___The note, he explained, would be delivered to the President of the UNSC and through him to both the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) María Fernanda Espinosa in order to call on the international community to shoulder its responsibility in this regard.     More . . .
  ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  AL-QUDS  UNIVERSITY 
Israeli forces raided the al-Quds University, on Wednesday, in Abu Dis village, southeast of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.    ___Local sources confirmed that a large number of heavily armed Israeli forces raided the campus, ransacking several faculties and offices, causing material damages.    ___Israeli forces searched student bloc offices, damaged the students’ personal belongings, and seized surveillance camera recordings.    ___Sources added that prior to the raid, violent clashes erupted among Palestinian youths and Israeli forces.    ___Al-Quds University, along with other Palestinian universities, has been subjected to numerous Israeli military raids in the past.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli forces detain Palestinian student in Nablus-area village
. . . . Related  20 Palestinians injured, four arrested in IOF campaign in Ramallah
DISABLED  ATHLETES  COMPETE  IN  GAZA  SPORTS  CONTEST
The Rachel Corrie Gaza Sport Initiative was held for the fifth time this year for Palestinians with special needs in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___The table tennis tournament held today was attended by nearly 50 players – both male and female – from a range of clubs.   The majority of the players had been injured by Israeli forces.    ___The Rachel Corrie Gaza Sports Initiative is an annual project, consisting of the Rachel Corrie Ramadan Football Tournaments and the Rachel Corrie Tournament for Athletes with Disabilities.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| PALESTINICIDE(S)
By Denijal Jegić
While apartheid, military occupation, and even ethnic cleansing, have at times surfaced in mainstream discussions, these phenomena are not Israel’s ultimate crimes. They are means to control Palestinian lives and, as such, symptoms of the ongoing Nakba. But they are effectively part of a structure that is rarely verbalized: Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian population.    ___Genocidal intent has been present in Zionist thought and practice. Like Jabotinsky’s fantasy of the iron wall, the early Zionists’ dreams of removing Palestinians physically and discursively have realized to a certain extent and continue to threaten Palestinian survival.    ___As the fulfillment of Zionism and the survival of Israeli ethnocracy necessitate the removal of the indigenous population, Palestinians are experiencing a confluence of settler-colonial inscription and indigenous erasure.  More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“TO  JERUSALEM,”  BY  YUSUF  HAMDAN

You came to me, chained,
Carried forcibly.
You came
Flowing, like the tears of a wounded heart.
And yet, I will not meet you.
Forgive me,
For today, you are occupied!

Have you indeed come to me?
In my passion, I prayed often
Without a “Rock,”
And when I found no water,
I simulated the ritual ablution;
And when you finally came to me, I vowed:
I will not accept you occupied!

I want you to be a Kaaba for the people of the earth,
A spacious house,
Without guards;
I love you . . . a voice from a minaret,
The sound of horns
Mingled with church bells.
I love you, a jasmine in the open air,
But I have sworn, yes I have,
I will not accept you occupied!

—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. 
___Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.

“The earth is closing in on us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
. . .

| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  HANG  POSTERS  CALLING  FOR  KILLING  PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENT   
Israeli extreme Jewish groups hung posters of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Huwwara crossroads in southern Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday, calling for his assassination.    [. . . .] The posters read “supporter of terrorists” and called for killing (assassinating) the Palestinian President.    ___The incident comes as member of the Likud party at the Israeli Knesset, Oren Hazan, had called for imposing closure on the Ramallah and al-Bireh district until the suspect of an attack carried out in the Ofra illegal Israeli settlement, two days ago, is detained.    [. . . .] Israeli forces raided several institutions in Ramallah, including the Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News and Information Agency, allegedly searching for the suspect.    More. . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian journalists, officials protest Israeli army raid of WAFA news agency office  
. . . . Related  Palestinians kidnapped, civilian homes ransacked by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israel shoots dozens of Palestinians in the 19th maritime march in Gaza
. . . . Related  Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in Hebron
RAMALAWI:  THE  OCCUPATION  HAS  ISSUED  A  DECISION  RESTRICTING  VACCINE  IMPORTS  TO  PALESTINE
The Israeli occupation authorities issued a decree banning the Palestinian Ministry of Health from importing vaccines, starting from the beginning of the year 2019, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Asaad Ramlawi.    ___In an interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio station, Dr. Ramlawi said that the Israeli decree put the supply of vaccinations at risk; the Ministry of Health has resources for just two months of vaccine provision, after which there will be a serious problem if the issue is not resolved.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Mizan Center: Eight patients died due to Israeli travel restriction
| OMAN  ALLOWS  ISRAELI  PLANES  TO  USE  ITS  AIRSPACE    More . . .
. . . . Related  Qatari envoy says Gaza airport was proposed, Israel unresponsive
. . . . Related  Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel
. . . . Related  World Zionist Organization Used Israeli Public Funds to Finance Illegal Outpost
. . . . Related  [American] Evangelical Christian Groups Invested $65 Million to Jewish Settlements

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  WHY  IS  ISRAEL  FORGING  SECRET  TIES  WITH  SUDAN?
The past two months saw Israeli official visits to several Arab countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Qatar Oct. 26 and met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said to discuss the situation in the region. On the same day, Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev touched down in Abu Dhabi as part of the Israeli judo team participating in international competitions there. Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz arrived Nov. 4 in Muscat for an international conference on global transportation.    ___Moreover, Bahrain invited Nov. 25 Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen for a visit in April to attend a technology conference. On the same day, Chadian President Idriss Debby visited Israel, in a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries, while Chad is hoping to obtain Israeli-made weapons and security assistance as well as benefit from Israeli technologies.    ____Amid these Arab-Israeli developments, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Nov. 25 that Netanyahu’s next Arab visit will be Sudan, without specifying a date. The visit comes within the framework of efforts to create short air routes from Israel to South America via Sudan.    More . . .    

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  EARTH  IS  CLOSING  IN  ON  US,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

The earth is closing in on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
. . . . we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
. . . . and live again. I wish the earth was our mother
So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our
. . . . dreams to carry
As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us
. . . . in the last defense of the soul.
We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll
. . . . throw our children
Out of the windows of this last space. Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds
. . . .fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will
. . . . write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood
. . . . will plant its olive tree.

–From Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“Have you forgotten your shame. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Esther Bejarano, Auschwitz survivor, 2015. (Photo: Uwe Zucchi DPA- German News Agency)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  TENTS,  SCHOOL  FURNITURE  SEIZED  IN  SOUTH  OF  WEST  BANK
Israeli soldiers raided a village in the south Hebron hills on Monday and seized tents and furniture brought for a local school the Israeli army had demolished last week, according to the local education department.    ___The Israeli army demolished the school built near the town of Samou, south of the West Bank, on Wednesday and seized its furniture after destroying the grounds.    ___Residents, along with the Ministry of Education and solidarity groups, brought tents and furniture to rebuild it, but an army force broke into the area during the night and seized everything.    [. . . .] The school, referred to as Challenge School 13, serves 35 students up to grade six from two Palestinian communities living in that area. Its construction had cost 40,000 euros.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF raids homes, kidnaps citizens in different W. Bank areas
. . . . Related  Thousands of settlers storm different West Bank sites for rituals
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers break into Palestinian archaeological site [Beita Town, Nablus]
. . . . Related  Israeli forces raid outskirts of Ramallah, seize surveillance cameras
. . . . Related  Farmer Mansour Marayta mourns his stolen land
. . . . Related  IOF storm Ramallah villages after shooting of Ofra settlers
|  SCORES  OF  AMPUTATIONS  IN  GAZA  AS  ISRAELI  TROOPS  AIM  AT  LEGS
Israeli forces deployed along the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip have fired live rounds at rock-throwing Palestinian protesters ever since demonstrations demanding the right to return began in March.    ___And for eight months, Israeli snipers have targeted one part of the body more than any other – the legs.    ___The Israeli army says it is responding to weekly assaults on its frontier by Palestinians armed with stones, grenades and firebombs. It says it opens fire only as a last resort and considers firing at the lower limbs an act of restraint.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Report: Palestinian Prisoners In Israel Jails Suffer Medical Negligence
. . . . Related  Palestinians injured after Israeli settlers break into Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
|  SENIOR  ISRAELI  LAWMAKER  CALLS  FOR  KILLING  ALL  PALESTINIANS
Chair of the Defence Committee at the Israeli Parliament Avi Dichter has called for killing all the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.    ___As he was commenting on the peaceful protests of the Great March of Return taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said: “The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.”    ___Dichter is a senior member of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, which is a right wing one. [. . . .] He later added: “The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
WHY  AUSCHWITZ  SURVIVOR  ESTHER  BEJARANO  SUPPORTS  BDS
Esther Bejarano learned to love music from her father Rudolf Loewy, a cantor in the Jewish community of the southwest German town of Saarlouis, where she was born in 1924.  That was lucky for her, because music literally saved her life.     ___Bejarano recently spoke to The Electronic Intifada at her home in Hamburg.  [. . . .] After the war, Bejarano emigrated to Palestine, but her aversion to Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians eventually led her to return to Germany.  [. . . .] But Bejarano knows no fear and continues to raise her voice, calling Israel’s government “fascist” and saying she supports BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – if it helps challenge Israel’s persecution of Palestinians.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| MEDICAL  AID  FOR  PALESTINIANS
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) works for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.  We provide immediate medical aid to those in great need, while also developing local capacity and skills to ensure the long-term development of the Palestinian healthcare system.  Donate

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From:  Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

 

“. . . An Arab who has protested at the suffering of his people . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

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Destruction of home of Murad Hushema in Wadi Qadum, East Jerusalem. (Photo: Palestine News Network, Dec. 8, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
OCHA:  ‘INCREASE  IN  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS,  VANDALISM  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’
Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 33 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including two structures provided as humanitarian assistance, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory confirmed in its report covering the period from November 20th to December 3rd.    ___OCHA’s biweekly “Protection of Civilians” report said that Israeli settler violence and vandalism in the West Bank have been on the rise since the beginning of 2018, with a weekly average of five attacks resulting in injuries or property damage, compared with an average of three in 2017.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Rain and Israeli tunnels [under homes] cause land cave-in in Silwan
. . . . Related  Israel commits 24 violations against journalists in November
. . . . Related  Settlers, led by the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, charge into Al-Aqsa Mosque
|  IOF  ARREST  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday overnight launched a campaign of raids and arrests in cities all over the occupied West Bank.    ___IOF raided Balata and Askar refugee camps in Nablus, northern West Bank, where they arrested four men, including ex-prisoners. Israeli army patrols also stormed Salem, Asira, Al-Lubban towns in the vicinity of the city.    ___In addition, Israeli settlers, under under the protection of the Israeli army, have stormed the area of ​​Sada Al-Fahs in Hebron [. . . .]    More . . .
. . . . Related  Citizens rally in al-Khalil in solidarity with female prisoners
|  GAZA:  19TH  MARITIME  RALLY  TO  KICK  OFF  MONDAY  
The National Committee for Breaking Gaza Siege has announced the launch of the 19th maritime rally on the coast and in Gaza waters on Monday.    ___A spokesman for the Committee told a news conference on Sunday morning that the rally would be staged under the slogan “Resistance to freedom” to confirm the Palestinian people’s adherence to all forms of resistance.    ___The spokesman called on all citizens in Gaza to participate in the rally in order to send a message to the international community, the US administration and the Israeli occupation state stating that “the Palestinian people’s resistance of the occupation is legitimate.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  Egyptian security delegation to visit Gaza
. . . . Related  Former Israel PM ordered targeting densely populated areas in 2008 Gaza war

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
  A  DECADE  AFTER  HOLY  LAND  CONVICTION [Dallas, Texas],  PALESTINE  ADVOCACY  IN  U.S.  STILL  UNDERMINED
Ten years ago, United States federal prosecutors shut down what was then the biggest Muslim charity in the country, a foundation supporting Palestinians refugees. Authorities seized all of the Holy Land Foundation’s assets and put five of its leaders in prison.    ___ Over the past decade, the case has set into motion a broad and powerful effort to criminalize and sanction Palestine advocacy in the United States. It created a chilling effect that forces many Americans to think twice before supporting Palestinian or Muslim charities to this day.    More . . .
| ON  THE  10TH  ANNIVERSARY
By  Imprisoned  Humanitarian  Activist  Shukri  Abu  Baker  of  The  Holy Land  Foundation (Dallas, Texas, USA)
Sick, is all I’d been feeling on that cold Monday night. Some hours earlier, the ominous air in that courtroom, the timid gestures, the awful anticipation, the dreadful verdicts… all was too much to stomach. I cringed every time the judge’s voice rang “guilty” in my head; his gloating only amplified by the claustrophobic compactness in my prison cell.    More . . .
. . . . And  Who  Is  Not  Special?   [. . . .] This is why it’s wrong to spew insults at others from a place of power just because one can. . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering
of his people
Who has carried with him the hope
of a just peace
Who has spoken out against death
at every corner
Who has called for and has lived
a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

From: El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from biblio.com

“. . .hate is not love and love is freedom . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

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Sunrise, The Great March of Return. (Photo: Palestinian Information Center, December 7, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
  ON  37TH    FRIDAY  OF  GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN  AND  BREAKING  SIEGE,  ISRAELI  FORCES  WOUND  72  CIVILIANS,  INCLUDING  11  CHILDREN,  1  WOMAN  AND  2  PARAMEDICS
On Friday evening, 07 December 2018, Israeli forces wounded 72 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children, 1 woman and 2 paramedics in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the sixth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 7 months ago.    ___According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the fifth week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, the demonstrators abstained from burning tires while the attempts to cross the border fence and throw stones and incendiary balloons were completely absent.     More . . .
. . . . Related   Palestinian Forced to Demolish his Home in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related   Child injured in settler attack on Palestinian family
. . . . Related   Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 November – 05 December 2018)
. . . . Related   41 violations committed against Palestinian content on social media
| PALESTINE  SIGNS  10  COOPERATION  AGREEMENTS  WITH  FRANCE;  PREMIER  APPRECIATES  FRENCH  SUPPORT
Palestine and France signed 10 cooperation agreements on Friday during a visit for Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Paris and his meeting with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe.    ___Hamdallah thanked France during a joint press conference with Philippe for its support for Palestine on all levels and its support for the two-state solution.    ___”As I expressed in our discussions with Prime Minister Philippe today, we are grateful for the French positions which demonstrate strong commitments to deepen and develop our partnership and cooperation and I would like to emphasize that this is also our commitment,” said Hamdallah.    More . . .
. . . . Related  FM Malki: France agreed in principle to cooperate in opening of the Paris Economic Protocol
. . . . Related  One year on: The political and human impact of Trump’s Jerusalem decision
DECEMBER  9  MARKS  31ST  ANNIVERSARY  FOR  OUTBREAK  OF  FIRST  UPRISING  –  THE  STONES  INTIFADA
On DECEMBER 8, 1987
, an Israeli settler identified as Herzel Boukiza rammed his vehicle into Palestinian workers returning home through Erez/Beit Hanoun checkpoint between Israel and Gaza. Four workers from Jabalya and Maghazi in Gaza were killed.    ___The next day, and following the funerals of the four, angry Palestinians took to the streets in Jabalya to protest the premeditated attack. The protests then quickly spread to the rest of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank where thousands of Palestinians took to the streets and engaged the heavily armed Israeli soldiers with stones in what has become to be known as the stones uprising or Intifada.   [. . . .] a total of 1550 Palestinians were killed, over 70,000 injured more than half of them suffered permanent disabilities, between 100,000 to 200,000 were detained. . .      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL  DISPLACES,  LOCKS  UP  AND  KILLS  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
By Mohammad Balawi
What does it take to make someone wield a screwdriver and attack a fully armed, well-trained, well-protected soldier, knowing that if he got injured no ambulance would take him to hospital, and if he is lucky he will spend the best years of his life behind bars?    [. . . .] Consider a 16-year-old who has lived all his life under occupation. . . Given how he has grown up, would it make sense for him to attack a fully grown man armed to his teeth with a screwdriver or a kitchen knife, or throw a stone at his tormentors?    ___Israeli occupiers have a peculiar way of explaining this situation. These teens, according to them, are no more than terrorists . . .  lured by money, instigated by terror organisations and encouraged by the leniency of Israeli democracy and the judiciary system, even though Israeli authorities demolish the attacker’s family home and in many cases leave him on the ground bleeding to death.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .   

“MY  NAME  IS  HERMAN  WALLACE,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD

I am a black Palestinian,
South African,
Vietnamese . . .
My name is Mohammed,
Fatima,
Wallace,
Mandela,
Durra,
King . . .
Resistance is my creed.
Prophets found their sanctuary when
they were shot on my soil.
By Israeli bullets
In the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
And just when you think I am defeated,
My fist will rise from the charred earth,
In a painting by Naji Ali,
Through the thick walls of Louisiana State Penitentiary
In the streets of Hanoi,
Amid the rubble of a Gaza mosque.
Even on my dying bed.
I speak many tongues,
And have many names.
But my face is always my face.
On my forehead stitched the memory of pain.
I smile still.
And teach my son never to hate
Because hate is not love
And love is freedom.
I am a Palestinian.
My name is Herman Wallace
And I will always die free.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . the stars Like refugees scattered . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

(NOTE: A group of articles about the Partitioning of Palestine prompted by yesterday’s UNGA votes.)

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Palestinian Refugee Camp, c. 1948. (Photo: Institute for Palestine Studies, Journal of Palestine Studies)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  UNGA  VOTES  AGAINST  ANTI-HAMAS  RESOLUTION
The United Nations General Assembly failed to pass an anti-Hamas resolution, on Thursday, serving a crushing defeat to both the United States and Israel after weeks of diplomacy.     ___While the draft resolution, which was proposed by outgoing UN envoy, Nikki Haley, received 87 votes in favor, it fell short of the two-thirds super-majority needed to pass.     ___Additionally, 57 opposed it and 33 countries abstained and another 23 were not present.    ___Israeli leaders still praised the outcome as a “show of wide support” for their position against the Hamas movement.     More . . .
|   UN  VOTES  IN  FAVOR  OF  RESOLUTION  TO  END  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  OF  PALESTINE 
The UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution calling to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, current President of the UN General Assembly Maria Espinosa said in a statement.    ___The Comprehensive, Just and Lasting Peace in the Middle East resolution sponsored by Ireland urges to end the occupation of Palestinian territories by the state of Israel and reaffirms its support for the two-state solution.    More . . .   UN Press Release

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  THE  MYTH  OF  THE  U.N.  CREATION  OF  ISRAEL
By Jeremy R. Hammond
There is a widely accepted belief that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 “created” Israel, based upon an understanding that this resolution partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority or legitimacy to the declaration of the existence of the state of Israel. However, despite its popularity, this belief has no basis in fact, as a review of the resolution’s history and examination of legal principles demonstrates incontrovertibly.   More . . .
|   70  YEARS  LATER,  ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  IGNORE  WHAT  IT  DOESN’T  LIKE  IN  PARTITION  RESOLUTION   
By Ian Williams
IT IS NOW 70 years since the U.N. General Assembly voted for Resolution 181 to partition Palestine between an Arab and a Jewish state. . .    The partition of Mandatory Palestine and dispossession of its people are the original sins of the world organization when it collectively overrode the very principles it had just written into its charter.    ___The Arab side understandably boycotted the U.N.’s Special Committee on Palestine. After all, they were being invited to help map out the cuts for their own vivisection and did not agree with the process. . .   and the Palestinian absence allowed the Zionist side to shape the agenda and the details for the committee members—who, minutes show, were already predisposed to see the Jewish refugees and settlers in a very sympathetic light.    More . . .
|  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY’S  ROLE  IN  ISRAELI  HISTORY 
by Hillel Schenker
The fact that after over 20 years of fruitless negotiations the Palestinians have chosen an internationalization strategy to try to achieve national independence is considered by the current Israeli government and its supporters to be illegitimate “unilateral action” that bypasses the need for bilateral negotiations with Israel to resolve the conflict. What those opponents of internationalization are conveniently forgetting is the major role that internationalization has played in Israeli history.     More . . .
| THE  UNITED  NATIONS  AND  PALESTINE:  PARTITION  AND  ITS  AFTERMATH
By Phyllis Bennis  
[. . . .] The bi-polar U.S.-Soviet agreement on the partition of Palestine, and parallel efforts by Washington and Moscow to establish and maintain close ties with the nascent Israeli state, insured that neither the UN nor any other international institution was likely to respond to the Israeli capture of far more of 1947 Palestine than it was granted in Resolution 181. The partition agreement was ostensibly to include the creation of a Palestinian Arab state as well as a special international regime for Jerusalem under the UN Trusteeship Council. But those conditions were never met. Establishing UNRWA to alleviate some of the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians expelled from their homes was the primary response.    More . . .
|  THE  ORIGINS  AND  EVOLUTION  OF  THE  PALESTINE  PROBLEM  1917-1988 – Prepared for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – UNITED NATIONS, New York, 1990

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“TENT  #50  (SONG  OF  A  REFUGEE),”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
Tent #50, on the left, is my new world,
Shared with me by my memories:
Memories as verdant as the eyes of spring.
Memories like the eyes of a woman weeping,
And memories the color of milk and love!

Two doors has my tent, two doors like two wounds
One leads to the other tents, wrinkle-browed
Like clouds no longer able to weep;
And the second ― a rent in the ceiling, leading
To the skies,
Revealing the stars
Like refugees scattered,
And like them, naked.

Also the moon is trudging there
Downcast and weary as the UNRWA,
Yellow as if it were the UNRWA
Under a load of yellow cheese for the refugees.

Tent #50, on the left, that is my present.
But it is too cramped to contain a future!
And ― “Forget!” they say, but how can I?

Teach the night to forget to bring
Dreams showing me my village
And teach the wind to forget to carry to me
The aroma of apricots in my fields!
And teach the sky, too, to forget to rain.

Only then, I may forget my country.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from abebooks.com

 

“. . . We go on dreaming oh, dream of ours . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees 
(UNRWA) educates more than 500,000 Palestinian children in 711 schools.
(Photo: UNRWA website)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  14  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces Thursday detained 14 Palestinians during multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS) in a statement.    ___Israeli forces detained six people during several raids in the Ramallah-district villages of al-Mughayyir, Kafr Ni’ma and Saffa.    ___This came as Israeli military jeeps raided the An-Nahda Street in Ramallah, where soldiers ransacked a printing shop and seized its equipment and publicity materials. . .  Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians after breaking into their homes in Hebron city. . . Forces carried out two similar raids in Halhul town and al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, detaining three Palestinians. . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  forces  set  up  iron  gate  at  entrance  of  Ramallah-district  village 
. . . . Related  Israeli  occupation  grabs  Palestinian  lands  to  expand  illegal  outpost
|  AL-MALKI  PRESENTS  COMPLAINT  TO  ICC  OVER  INVESTIGATION  IN  ISRAELI  WAR  CRIMES
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Malki, presented a complaint, on Wednesday, to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, for procrastination in opening an investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.    ___. . .  al-Malki expressed his disappointment, to Bensouda, with the initial study carried out by the prosecutor’s office on the situation in Palestine.    ___Al-Malki’s comments were made during a meeting with Bensouda on the sidelines of the 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC. . . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  Attorney  General  elected  to  ICC  committee
. . . . Related  Jordan:  Aqsa  Mosque  cannot  be  divided  or  shared 
. . . . Related  Resheq:  Int’l  community  in  front  of  real  test  at  General  Assembly
. . . . Related  Irish  Senate  approves  bill  criminalizing  goods  made  in  settlements
GAZA  YOUTH  LAUNCH  CAMPAIGN  TO  HIGHLIGHT  GROWING  POLLUTION  CRISIS
Hundreds of Palestinian youth in the occupied Gaza Strip formed a human chain along the blockaded enclave’s only seaport yesterday to draw attention to the growing pollution crisis.    ___According to CGTN, the initiative – named “It will come back to you” – was “part of a campaign aimed at protecting the basin of the Gaza harbor from growing levels of pollution . . .”    [. . . . ] According to Hilles, Israel’s blockade is preventing Palestinians in Gaza from “building waste recycling plants to get rid of the accumulating waste pumped into the sea every day.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  The  Environment  and  Development  in  Palestine  Harmony  or  Discord? By Ramzi Sansur

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| TWO  DECADES  OF  RESILIENCE,  ADDED  TO  THE  PREVIOUS  FIVE  DECADES
By: Sam Bahour
In 1976, a report on Palestine declared, “The Palestinian people today face problems of formidable proportions.” That was the understatement of the century! Here we are, about to enter 2019, facing a daunting reality and an even more daunting future. One could say, The Palestinian people face problems of formidable proportions every day.    ___In the nitty-gritty of the here and now in Palestine, one is consumed by what seems to be a never-ending series of challenges brought about by our military occupier, Israel, and to a lesser degree, our governing body, the Palestinian government.   [. . . .] All analysis aside, I can guarantee you this: Palestinians will not collectively vanish. We are here to stay, forever.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| UNRWAUSA – The United States government has said no to helping Palestine refugees. But we won’t.     .. Due to the United States government’s recent decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis.   ___It’s going to take all of us standing together to fund UNRWA’s work so the Agency can continue serving Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.    ___Our common humanity depends on it.   ..  Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  FEAR  FOR  A  DREAM,”  by  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We fear for a dream: don’t believe our butterflies.
Believe our sacrifices if you like, believe the compass of a horse, our
. . . need for the north.
We have raised the beaks of our souls to you. Give us a grain of
. . . wheat, our dream. Give it, give it to us.
We have offered you the shores since our coming to the earth born of
. . . an idea or of the adultery of two waves on a rock in the sand.
Nothing. Nothing. We float on a foot of air. The air breaks up within
. . . ourselves.
We know you have abandoned us, built for us prisons and called them
. . . the paradise of oranges.
We go on dreaming. Oh, desired dream. We steal our days from those
. . . extolled by our myths.
We fear for you, we’re afraid of you. We are exposed together, you
. . . shouldn’t believe our wives’ patience.
They will weave two dresses, then sell the bones of the loved ones to
. . . buy a glass of milk for our children.
We fear for a dream, from him, from ourselves. We go on dreaming
. . . oh, dream of ours. Don’t believe our butterflies!

– – – From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  Bilingual  Anthology  of  Arabic  Poetry.
Trans. by Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 1984 & 2005.