You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards and the land I once plowed . . . (Mahmoud Darwish)

Selected News of the Day

Palestinian events banned in East Jerusalem

Al-Monitor — Palestine Pulse
Ahmad Melhem
August 25, 2019
Israeli forces in East Jerusalem prevented a lecture on the Israeli demolition of Jerusalemite homes from being delivered Aug. 17 at the Burj Luqluq Social Center Society. The lecture had been organized by Burj Luqluq in cooperation with the Palestinian Bar Association.
· · · The same forces stopped a ceremony from being held Aug. 6 in honor of the late athlete Ahmad Adilah at The East Jerusalem YMCA because the ceremony was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority. They also prevented a memorial service for the Palestinian writer Subhi Ghosheh from taking place Aug. 5 at the Yabous Cultural Center. They stormed the center and assaulted participants. Four randomly selected participants were summoned by the Israeli intelligence for interrogation at the Al-Maskobiyya Interrogation Center in Jerusalem.
· · · These actions come from Minister of Internal Security Gilad Ardan’s Aug. 5 order to extend the closure of Palestinian institutions in the city and prohibit any cultural or political activities held by Palestinian organizations. The decision deems such events terror activities that violate Israeli sovereignty and laws in the city.   More . . . .

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08– 21 August 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
August 22, 2019
●   2 Palestinians killed, including a child, under the pretext of carrying out stab and run-over attacks in the West Bank
●   Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 85 civilians injured, including 25 children and 6 women.
●   West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 73 civilians injured, including a Korean activist.
●   
86 civilians, including 4 children and a woman, arrested during 189 incursions into the West Bank.   More . . . .

Israeli forces demolish Bethlehem-district house, restaurant

WAFA
August 26, 2019 – Israeli forces today demolished a  house and a restaurant in Beit Jala city, located to the west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem . . . . Hasan Breijeh,  a local anti-settlement and wall activist, told WAFA that a bulldozer arrived in Wadi al-Makhrour, a valley that stretches between Battir village and Beit Jala city, protected by Israeli soldiers.
· · · Israeli soldiers sealed off the area and surrounded the house and restaurant before the heavy machinery demolished them purportedly for lacking rarely-granted Israeli building permits. . . .
· · · Wadi al-Makhrour is a popular hiking spot for Palestinians. It is best enjoyed during the late afternoon in the summer when the sun is about to set.
· · · According to the online portal for Palestinian tourism, http://www.visitpalestine.ps, the area encompasses both natural and agricultural landscapes and is well known for its ancient terraces and stone towers called qusur, built of neatly placed rocks that used to serve as storage rooms for various crops planted in the wadi.  More . . . .

I’m Palestinian. Like Rashida Tlaib, I Am Barred From Seeing My Family.

Rep. Tlaib’s experience is familiar to many Palestinians.
Adalah Justice Project
By Sandra Tamari
August 20, 2019
Israel’s treatment of U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has made Israel’s complete control over Palestinian lives clear. Rep. Tlaib, a Palestinian-American with family in the occupied West Bank, was forced to make a choice between her right to visit her grandmother and her right to political speech against Israeli oppression. She ultimately chose the collective over the personal: She refused Israel’s demeaning conditions that would have granted her a “humanitarian” exception to enter Palestine, so long as she refrained from advocating for a boycott of Israel during her visit. Rep. Tlaib explained in a press conference in Minneapolis on August 19, “My grandmother said it beautifully when she said I am her dream manifested. I am her free bird, so why would I come back and be caged?”
· · · Rep. Tlaib’s experience is familiar to many Palestinians, including myself. I, too, was barred from seeing my family in Palestine because of my advocacy for freedom and justice for Palestinians. In May 2012, I traveled to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to participate in an interfaith delegation and to attend my cousin’s wedding in Ramallah. I presented my U.S. passport to Israeli authorities. At least five Israeli interrogators asked for the names of my father and grandfather; the names likely sounded too “Arab” for the interrogators, who asked me numerous questions about where my father was born. I was taken aside and questioned at least five times.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“IDENTITY  CARD,”  BY MAHMOUD  DARWISH  (1964)

Write down:
I am an Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your
door nor humble myself
on your threshold
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab,
a name with no friendly diminutive.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourished.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks―
Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down:
Arab.
The colour of my hair, jet black―
eyes, brown―
trademarks, a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as a rock.
My address is a weaponless village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children
leaving my grandchildren nothing but rocks.
Will your government take those too,
as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.

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