“. . . imagine eleven thousand people in one square kilometer . . .” (Rabbi Rachel Barenblat)

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Bethlehem by night (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
PALESTINIANS  CHEER  AS  TOURISTS  THRONG  BETHLEHEM
Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, is experiencing a record flow of tourists. Israel says October figures were record-breaking.    ___The holy city is located in the occupied West Bank and the ongoing political tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have a direct effect on the tourism industry.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Where to Go? A House Worth Seeing
. . . . Related  A Day in Nablus
. . . . Related  How the tourism industry underpins illegal Israeli settlements
|  UNGA  ADOPTS  FIVE  RESOLUTIONS  IN  FAVOR  OF  PALESTINE
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favor of five resolutions regarding Palestine and a sixth resolution on the Golan Heights, on Friday evening.    __One of the most important resolutions adopted called upon member states not to recognize any measures taken by Israel in Jerusalem and to maintain the current status-quo in the holy city.    __Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that “by voting in favor of the five resolutions, the international community affirms its support of our national cause, despite the efforts made by the US administration in international forums to resist this.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  PM Hamdallah: The UN Should Recognize Palestine as A Full- Member State and Endorse President Abbas Peace Initiative
. . . . Related  Palestine  thwarts  efforts  by  US  to  question  its  membership  in  OPCW
. . . . Related  Hamas  politicos  make  rounds  internationally  to  gain  backing
|  ISRAEL  KILLS  345  PALESTINIANS  SINCE  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  ANNOUNCEMENT
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have killed 345 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital in October 2017, the Jerusalem Centre for Studies of Palestinian and Israeli Affairs revealed.    ___The body said 71 children and nine women were among the Palestinians killed, seven died in detention, 43 were killed in airstrikes and one – engineer Fadi Al-Batsh- was assassinated by the Israeli Mossad in Malaysia.    More . . .
. . . .  Related  28  Palestinians  injured  in  Gaza  border  protest

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| THIS  IS  HOW  TO  FIGHT  ISRAEL’S  JEWISH  NATION-STATE  LAW
By Said Zeedani
The Jewish Nation-State Law, a new law with the force of a constitutional amendment, enshrined Israel as the exclusive nation-state of the Jewish people, demoted the official status of the Arabic language, and gave the right of self-determination in Israel to Jews alone. Palestinian political leaders, Israeli opposition politicians, and dovish Jewish-American groups all lambasted the passage of the law earlier this year, with some saying the law amounted to apartheid and promoting Jewish supremacy.    [. . . .] a serious struggle . . . will need to take place both locally and internationally; it should be waged by civil society, in the legal system, and legislatively. There are many Israeli Jews, as well as many proponents of democracy and human rights worldwide, who are potential partners in such a struggle.    ___But the struggle must also acknowledge that Israel’s regime of racial superiority and discrimination, created in and sustained since 1948, will not end with the abolishment of the Jewish Nation-State Law.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“FIRST  VISIT  TO  THE  CAMP  D’HAISHA,  BETHLEHEM,”
BY  RABBI  RACHEL  BARENBLAT

There are no canvas tents.
The buildings don’t look
so bad, standard issue
developing-world
cement block structures

until I try to imagine
eleven thousand people
in one square kilometer
,
one in every minyan
an angry alumnus

of the Israeli jails.
What do I know
about settlers or rock-throwers,
one state, two state
impossibilities?

But our grandparents
didn’t escape the ghettos
of Europe’s worst era
only to create new ones
for somebody else.

When we depart
I’m saddened, troubled
but perfectly able
to order a cold beer
and make conversation.

The sorrow and the fury
dormant overnight
explode the next day.
Even Shabbat can’t soothe
my lacerated heart.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.
Rachel Barenblat was ordained a rabbi in January 2011 through the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the author of 4 chapbooks of poetry. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Texas Observer. She lives in western Massachusetts.

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