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

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

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   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

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   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. . . . 

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
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)

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

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  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. . . . 

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
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 
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.

“. . . 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)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .  

|  ISRAELI  ARMY  KILLS  7  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA  PROTESTS
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 
|  NEW  REPORT:  ISRAEL  PUNISHES  AL-AQSA  WORSHIPPERS,  ESCALATES  HARASSMENT  OF  PALESTINIANS  IN  OCCUPIED  JERUSALEM
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

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  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 . . .
|  GENERAL’S  FINAL  CONFESSION  LINKS  1956  MASSACRE  TO  ISRAEL’S  SECRET  PLAN  TO  EXPEL  ARABS
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. . . . 

“ON  THIS  LAND”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
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.

(Source)

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

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

LIEBERMAN  TO  APPROVE  31  SETTLEMENT  HOUSING  UNITS  IN  HEBRON  CITY
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 . . .
|  ISRAEL  DECLARES  TUBAS-AREA  VILLAGE  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE
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]
|  283,000  UNEMPLOYED  INDIVIDUALS  IN  GAZA  STRIP 
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)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THE  AUDACITY  OF  UNCHECKED  POWER  IN  KHAN  AL-AHMAR 
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 . . .
AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS
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. . . . 

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB

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.
From 
A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014.
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*)

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

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  ISRAEL  RAZES  LANDS,  UPROOTS  OLIVE  TREES  IN  AL-KHADER  VILLAGE
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
|  WHO:  14  GAZANS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  IN  TWO  WEEKS
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  ADOPTS  BY  CONSENSUS  DECISIONS  ON  PALESTINE
. . . . (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 . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| WHAT  THE  CLOSURE  OF  THE  PLO  OFFICE  IN  WASHINGTON  REALLY  MEANS
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 . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

| 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. . . . 

“IN  THE  SHADOW  OF  THE  HOLY  HEIGHTS”  BY  REJA-E  BUSAILAH 

  •                 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)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
. . .

|  ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA
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 . . .
|  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS,  POLICE  HARASS  OLIVE  PICKERS  IN  AS-SAWIYA  VILLAGE
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 . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

CRITICISM  OF  ISRAELI  POLICY  IS  NOT  ANTI-SEMITIC
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 . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

UNRWA USA
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  GUEST,”  REJA-E  BUSAILAH
READ  BY  THE  POET
(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)

“. . . The gates of my heart Are wide open to misery . . .” (Abdul Karim Sabawi)

Nasser_Sept_28Israeli forces killed Nasser Musbeh with live ammunition on September 28, 2018.
(Photo: From Defense for Children Palestine, Courtesy of Musbeh family)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  QATARI  FUNDED  FUEL  PUMPED  TO  ONLY  POWER  PLANT  IN  GAZA
Fuel trucks funded by the Qatari government on Tuesday morning began entering the Gaza strip through Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, southeast of the Strip.    ___Six fuel trucks funded by Qatar are scheduled to enter the strip today, pumping fuel for the only power plant in the Gaza Strip.    [. . . .] The agreement came within the framework of the donor conference held recently in New York and with Israeli approval,  under which Qatar was allowed to finance part of the Gaza Strip’s electricity by providing the necessary fuel, which is expected to double the electricity hours, ie eight hours.   More . . .
| NETANYAHU  SAYS  ARMY  PREPPING  FOR  POSSIBLE  MILITARY  CAMPAIGN  AGAINST  GAZA 
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly informed his cabinet that the army is preparing for a possible military campaign against the blockaded Gaza Strip in case the situation was not improved, according to Israeli media.    ___“If the reality of civil distress in Gaza is diminished, that is desirable, but that is not certain to happen, and so we are preparing militarily — that is not an empty statement,” Netanyahu said.    More . . .
|  12  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  WOMEN,  KIDNAPPED  IN  W.  BANK  IOF  CAMPAIGNS
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning kidnapped 12 West Bankers, including relatives of Ashraf Abu Sheikha, who recently carried out a deadly shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone near the illegal settlement of Ariel.    ___Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the IOF stormed at dawn Shuweika suburb in Tulkarem and raided homes belonging to Abu Sheikha’s family.    ___Israeli soldiers maltreated and rounded up the mother of Abu Sheikha and his two sisters, and said they would remain in detention until Abu Sheikha turned himself in, according to the sources.   More . . .
. . . .Related  Israeli  Forces  Detain  Palestinian  Family  In  Aida  Camp
. . . .Related  Israeli forces detain Palestinian siblings in East Jerusalem
. . . .Related  Israel  Court  Sentences  Anti-Occupation  Protester  To  7  Years  In  Jail

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THAT  SINGLE  LINE  OF  BLOOD:  NASSER  MUSBEH  AND  MUHAMMAD  AL-DURRAH 
By Ramzy Baroud
As the frail body of 12-year-old Nasser Musbeh fell to the ground [in Gaza] on Friday, September 28, history was repeating itself in a most tragic way.  [. . . .] Almost 18-years to the day separates Nasser’s recent murder and the Israeli army killing of Muhammad Al-Durrah, also 12, on September 30, 2000. Between these dates, hundreds of Palestinian children have perished [in Gaza] in similar ways.    ___. . . 954 Palestinian children were killed between the Second Intifada in 2000 and Israel’s war on Gaza, the so-called Operation Cast Lead in 2008. In the latter war alone, 345 child were reportedly killed, in addition to another 367 child fatalities reported in Israel’s latest war, ‘Protective Edge’ of 2014.    ___But Muhammad and Nasser . . .  have more in common than simply being the ill-fated victims of trigger-happy Israeli soldiers.    __In that single line of blood that links Nasser Musbeh and Muhammad al-Durrah, there is a narrative so compelling, yet often neglected. The two 12-year-old boys . . . whose families were driven from villages that were destroyed in 1948 to make room for today’s Israel.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“WRITTEN  ON  THE  FIRST  MORNING  WHEN  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI
WOKE  UP  TO  FIND  HIMSELF A  REFUGEE  IN  EXILE,”
BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI

When you were parched
We quenched your thirst with our blood
Now…
We carry your burden
Disgraced we cry in shame when asked
Where do you come from?
Dishonored we die
If only the stray bullets
From the occupier’s guns
Were merciful
And pierced through our legs
If only they tore through our knees
If only we sunk into your fields
Deep to our necks
If only we got stuck
And became the salt of your earth
The nutrients in your fertile soil
If only we didn’t leave
The gates of my heart
Are wide open to misery
Don’t ask me where this wind is blowing
Don’t ask me about a house
Or windows
Or trees
The Bulldozers were here
And the houses in our village
Fell like a row of decayed teeth
They haven’t colonized Mars yet
And the moon is barren
Uninhabitable
So carry your children
Your memories
And follow me
We can live in the books of history
They’ll write about us,
“The wicked Bedouins
Landed in Baghdad
The wicked Bedouins landed in Yafa
They landed in Grenada
Then moved on
They packed their belongings
And rode their camels
Leaving no trace on the red clay
All their artifacts
Faded
With the passing of the years.”
What does it really mean to this world?
What does it really mean?
To be Arabs
Native Americans
Or Dinosaurs
(Refugee Camp, Jordan 1968)

Abdul Karim Sabawi was born in 1942 in the Toffah District in Gaza city. He has been a refugee in Australia most of his life.   –From BLOOD  FOR  FREEDOM:  POETRY  FROM  PALESTINE,  BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI.   Editor: Biblioteca de las Grandes Naciones. Library of the Great Nations. Oiartzun, Basque Country: August, 2014. PDF online.
The poet reads.

“. . . What sacred verses can explain Sniper fire . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

Soldiers
Israeli snipers seen on the border with Gaza during the Great March of Return, March 30, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  UNRWA  DEPLORES  PALESTINE  REFUGEE  FATALITIES  AND  THE  DETERIORATING  HUMANITARIAN  CRISIS  IN  GAZA
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) deplored in a statement on Sunday the rise in fatalities among refugee students killed in the Israeli army crackdown on March of Return . . .  and the deteriorating humanitarian crisis.        [. . . .] This latest death brings to 13 the total number of UNRWA students who have been killed since 30 March . . .   Between 31 March and 30 September, UNRWA’s 22 health centers across the Gaza Strip have provided 4,104 consultations for injuries . . .  more than 770 of which related to children. The majority of these (86 per cent) have been gunshot injuries. . . for casualties of such violence and all involved in their care, the effects are lasting; rehabilitation is often long, costly and uncertain, said the UNRWA statement.   More . . .
. . . .Related:   PCHR:  “Two  Fishermen  Arrested  and  One  of  Them  Wounded”
. . . .Related:  Egypt  opens  Rafah  crossing  after  3  days  of  closure 
. . . .RelatedPalestinians  protest  high  unemployment  in  Gaza
|  WB:  IOF  ARREST  19  PALESTINIANS,  CONTINUE  COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  POLICY
Israeli occupation forces have launched a large-scale campaign of arrests, taking at least 19 Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, including raids on dozens of Palestinian homes.     ___The arrests were concentrated in Tulkarm, Nablus and Qalqiliya, where the Israeli occupation forces launched raids and searches and closed roads as a form of collective punishment, in response to the operation in Barkan settlement on Sunday, in which two Israeli settlers were killed.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Settlers  destroy  40  olive  trees  in  village  near  Ramallah
. . . .Related:  Settlers  say  they  plan  to  take  over  Palestinian  land  to  open  a  road  for  themselves
. . . .Related: Israeli  army  prevents  farmers  from  harvesting  their  olive  crops  in  Tulkarm  area

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ISRAELI  PM  SHOULD  KNOW,  ‘IT  TAKES  TWO,  NOT  THREE,  TO  TANGO!’
By Mahmoud el-Yousseph, Retired US Air Force Veteran
They say it takes two to tango, but if one of them is Benjamin Netanyahu, then you need three. . .  the Israeli Prime Minister saw fit few days ago to plead with the UN Secretary General to urge the international community to put pressure on Hamas in order to release the remains of two IOF soldiers killed in Gaza during the 2014 assault . . .  [. . . . ] Israel is currently holding the remains of 261 Palestinians. Those were people who were killed during the fighting, killed during midnight raids or at checkpoints.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development  presents “THE  HISTORICAL  ROOTS  OF  CHRISTIAN  ZIONISM,  ITS  THEOLOGICAL  BASIS  AND  POLITICAL  AGENDA.”
October 24, 2018 12:00 PM.  Reverend Dr. Stephen Sizer is the founder and director of Peacemaker Trust, a charitable organization dedicated to peacemaking . . .   The Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20037 USA   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“GOD  FORSAKEN,”  By  SAMAH  SABAWI

  • In the aftermath of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, codenamed Cast Lead in 2009, in which 1400 Palestinians were killed, some IDF soldiers wore t-shirts depicting a pregnant Palestinian woman with her belly in the crosshairs of a rife with the caption, “1 SHOT TWO KILLS.

What is a life worth?
A grain of earth
A drop of oil
A flag on a hill of holy soil
A cross…a star…a crescent moon…
Is it worth ending a life too soon?

What sacred verses can explain
Sniper fire. . .
And white phosphorus rain?
What Holy Scripture gave the command
“Thou shall wipe out they villages
And scorch their land”

And after the massacre
Did they lament?
Did they seek forgiveness?
Did they repent?
Did they try to sanctify their burdened souls
While besieging a people behind their walls
Or did they wear with pride their murderous skills:
A pregnant woman with a caption “1 SHOT 2 KILLS”

No rest for the less sacred, no safety, no light
No benediction no prayer no end in sight
No bread, no medicine no shelter no salvation
No angels can survive this holy Occupation

TELL ME THIS:
What is the life of a Palestinian worth,
In your God forsaken earth?

—From Palestine Chronicle.

“. . . Searching for a home between Haifa and Eternity . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

354825C
“. . . minors. . . were held at Ofer military camp, near Ramallah, of whom four were detained during night raids from their homes, 20 taken from the streets . . .” (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 5, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

DESPITE  HIGH  HOPES,  MERKEL  CALLS  VILLAGE’S  DEMOLITION  AN  ‘ISRAELI  DECISION’ 
Ever since Israel’s Supreme Court gave its final stamp of approval to demolish the village of Khan al-Ahmar last month, residents of the hamlet . . . have been hoping that international pressure . . . will delay or prevent the demolition. . .   [. . . .] Angela Merkel’s visit over the past two days provided some clarity regarding the possibility of German pressure on Israel on Khan al-Ahmar, and from the perspective of the villagers, things seem gloomy.     ___In a meeting held Thursday . . . [Merkel said] “This is an Israeli decision” . . .  in line with the Israeli government, which insists that foreign countries should not intervene in matters relating to the occupation.  More . . .
|  NETANYAHU  BANS  PUBLICATION  OF  ARCHIVE  MATERIAL  ON  DEIR  YASSIN  MASSACRE
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to sign an order extending the secrecy of the information stored in the security services’ archives from 70 to 90 years, including the Deir Yassin massacre carried out by Zionist gangs in the Nakba.     ___This came at the request of security agencies and other bodies to extend the confidentiality of this information to prevent the publication of part of the information during the current year.      More . . .
. . . Related . . .  The  Sabra  and  Shatila  Massacre:  New  Evidence

2016-635958137777584713-758
From PHOTO GALLERY: Deir Yassin. (Ahram Online, 2010)

|  THREE  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  CHILD,  KILLED  AT  GAZA  BORDERS 
Three Palestinians were killed and dozens of others were injured, on Friday evening, as Israeli forces suppressed protests at the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 12-year-old Fares Hafeth al-Sarsawi was shot and killed by Israeli forces in eastern Gaza City.    More . . .
. . . Related . . .   Committee:  Israel  Detained  35  Palestinian  Minors  In  September
. . . Related . . .   Israeli  forces  shoot,  injure  13-year-old  Palestinian  in  Kafr  Qaddum 
. . . Related . . .   Five  Palestinians  injured  during  Ramallah-area  clashes

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  ARE  THE  ULTIMATE  BATTLEGROUND  FOR  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY
Through U.S. diplomatic sanctions and dramatic cuts of financial aid to Palestine, Palestinians are being punished because the Palestinian Authority (PA) broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S.—in response to the illegal U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its objections to Trump’s peace prospects for the region, referred to as the “deal of the century.” This retaliatory fury has not spared Palestinian refugees or . . .  (UNRWA), the agency that has served them for seventy years.     ___In fact, cutting U.S. support for the Agency ($125 million USD) is no more than a side effect of the retaliation against the PA, UNRWA, and Palestinian refugees, the intended targets of a campaign aiming to stop calling 5.5 million Palestinians “refugees” and annihilating the entities that support them. The goal is political: helping Israel resolve . . .  one of the most intractable issues in its dealings with the Palestinians: the right to return.     More . . .
. . . Related  US  WANTS  TO  ANNUL  THE  LEGITIMATE  PALESTINIAN  RIGHT  TO  RETURN

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“NAKBA,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD

The bones of my ancestors are the foundation
On which the mountains of Galilee stand.

Our ruggedness might not suit your taste
But we inherited the language of trees.

I am the root of a thousand olive trees
A legacy that will grow through my children

I will fight to preserve my essence until my son
Is old enough to inherit his grandmother’s Thoub*

She lost her childhood amidst dying peasants
Before walking the beaten road of exile and hope

Pleading at every checkpoint, she was the face in her photo
Searching for a home between Haifa and Eternity.

So, don’t talk to me about the Pharaoh: My
Father’s blood drenched the skin of Jesus

After the Romans caught him at a checkpoint
Hiding a recipe for revolution, and a love poem

And all the love letters of refugee women
Sent to men suspended on crosses

Overlooking the Martyrs Graveyard
Echoing the battle cries of Jaffa.

From I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME, ed. Vacy Vlanza. London: Novum Publishing, 2016.
*Dress, garment