“. . . But I do not die . . .” (Taha Muhammad ‘Ali)

ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT-DEMONSTRATION
Banner calling for the erasure of the Palestinian people at massive rally for Elor Azraya in central Tel Aviv, April 19, 2016. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse)

❶ If the Palestinians are guilty of incitement, then what does Israel’s 24/7 occupation amount to?
❷ Israeli forces injure 5 Palestinians in weekly Gaza protests
❸ Israel to Seize Hundreds of Dunums of Land for Benefit of Illegal Israeli Settlements
❹ Jerusalem at the center of Palestine-Israel naming dispute
❺ Opinion/Analysis: RELEASE  OF  A  COLD-BLOODED  KILLER  ILLUSTRATES  THE  RACISM  OF  ISRAELI  SOCIETY
❻ POETRY by Taha Muhammad ‘Ali
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ IF  THE  PALESTINIANS  ARE  GUILTY  OF  INCITEMENT,  THEN  WHAT  DOES  ISRAEL’S  24/7  OCCUPATION  AMOUNT  TO?
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Kamel Hawwash
April 22, 2016
Hardly a day goes by without Israel accusing Palestinian leaders of incitement against the state and its citizens.
___Incitement as far as Israel is concerned covers a wide spectrum, from calling those killed by Israel “martyrs” to objecting to repeated incursions by Jewish settlers into Al-Aqsa Mosque, and including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign . . . .
___ Israel has worked tirelessly to convince the so called “international community” to accept its definition of “terrorism”. . . .
___If the Palestinians are guilty of incitement, then what does Israel’s 24/7 occupation amount to? . . . . Israel’s deliberate daily provocation and humiliation of subjugated people in the hope of a reaction . . .  is the most significant incitement of young Palestinians.      MORE . . . 

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  5  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEEKLY  GAZA  PROTESTS
Ma’an News Agency
April 23, 2016
Five Palestinians were injured when clashes broke out across the Gaza Strip on Friday night after Israeli forces attempted to suppress weekly protests, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said.      MORE . . .  
RELATED . . .  ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  ON  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  SOUTHERN  GAZA    

❸ ISRAEL  TO  SEIZE  HUNDREDS  OF  DUNUMS  OF  LAND  FOR  BENEFIT  OF  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 23, 2016
Israeli occupation authorities Saturday notified the takeover of hundreds of dunums of land in the village of Jalood to the south of Nablus, as well as in the towns of Turmosayya and al-Mghayar to the north of Ramallah, to pave a new road that would serve illegal Israeli outposts and settlements, according to a local official. . . .
___The notice also included a plan to open a road, designated for the sole use of Israelis, that would connect the illegal Israeli settlement of ‘Shiloh’ with other settlement outposts to the east.      MORE . . .

❹ JERUSALEM  AT  THE  CENTER  OF  PALESTINE-ISRAEL  NAMING  DISPUTE
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Abu Amer
April 20, 2016
Shortly after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 it faced a problem in how to refer to Jerusalem in Arabic. Not wanting to use the Arabic name al-Quds, the Israelis came up with a compromise by inserting the biblical Jewish name Urashalim. . . . Combining the Jewish and the Arabic term reflected what then was the prevalent Israeli attitude of treating the holy city as a crucible of religions. . . .
___But over the years, Israelis lessened their pluralistic effort as they embarked on a strategic policy to make the city more Jewish. Arabic names were slowly changed to Hebrew ones.      MORE . . .

palestinian-girl-female-stone-throwing
Young Palestinians take matters into their own hands. (Photo: MEMO, April 22, 2016)

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  RELEASE  OF  A  COLD-BLOODED  KILLER  ILLUSTRATES  THE  RACISM  OF  ISRAELI  SOCIETY
International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team
April 23, 2016
Yesterday, Elor Azraya, a soldier in the Israeli army, infamous for the extrajudicial execution of Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), has been released to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Pessach with his family [. . . . ]
___The approval and support Elor Azraya has been receiving both from his comrades (that can be seen in the video with them not even flinching when he executes Abed al-Fattah) and settlers, mirrors the great support he enjoys from the majority of the Israeli population. Upon arriving home, Elor Azraya was received as a hero with a big celebration. MORE . . .  

(The “child” is a metaphor for Palestine. This poem is chosen to reflect the news of the day that Israel has once again confiscated Palestinian land, but Palestine does not die.)

“THROMBOSIS,”  BY  TAHA  MUHAMMAD  ‘ALI

A child I was
when I fell into the abyss
But I did not die
I was very young
when I drowned in the pond
But I did not die
Nowadays one of my habits―God preserve us―
is to knock against scores of land mines
on the frontiers
and for my songs to be dispersed
as the days of my youth are:
here a flower, there a scream
But I do not die.

They slew me upon the threshold
Like the lamb of the feast
―petroleum coagulated in my veins
―In God’s name―
Thousands of times they slit my throat
from ear to ear
yet each time my blood would swing
like the feet of a hanged man
and settle like a rose mallow
large and crimson, a mark
to warn ships
and point out the sites of palaces and embassies.

And tomorrow!
―God preserve us!―
A telephone will not ring
in palaces or in brothels or in one of the Gulf Emirates
except to offer a new prescription
for my extermination
But . . . .
Just as the rose mallow tells
and as the frontiers expect
I shall not die!
Shall not die!
I shall remain a splinter of shrapnel
the size of a penknife
lodged in their necks
I shall remain
a blood stain
the size of a cloud
on this world’s tunic!
―Translated by Lena Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs

About Taha Muhammad ‘Ali 
From: ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.
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“. . . For centuries I did not turn visitors Away from my door. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Israeli army arresting Palestinian youth for stone throwing. (File photo: Middle East Monitor. Oct. 22, 2015)
Israeli army arresting Palestinian youth for stone throwing. (File photo: Middle East Monitor. Oct. 22, 2015)

❶ Israeli occupation arrested 647 Palestinians in March
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Israel Detains Young Palestinian in Jerusalem, Sunday’s Arrests Hit 11
❷ Israeli forces shoot, injure 13-year-old Palestinian in Jerusalem
❸ Israel bans call to prayer in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque 51 times in March
❹ Decision to extend Gaza fishing zone to 9 miles takes effect
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  SOURCE  OF  PALESTINIAN  INCITEMENT
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  ARRESTED  647  PALESTINIANS  IN  MARCH
Days of Palestine
April 2, 2016
More than 400 Palestinian children inside Israeli jails, including 24 under administrative detention.
Israeli occupation arrested on March 647 Palestinian citizens from occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, report issued by Palestinian NGOs said.
___The report, which was issued by four Palestinian NGOs, said that the 647 arrests included 128 children and 16 women.
___It also said that the largest number of arrests was in the occupied Jerusalem and the least in the Gaza Strip.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) ISRAEL  DETAINS  YOUNG  PALESTINIAN  IN  JERUSALEM,  SUNDAY’S  ARRESTS  HIT  11
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 3, 2016
Israeli forces Sunday detained a young Palestinian in Jerusalem, as well as summoned three others from Bethlehem for interrogation.
___This brings the total number of Palestinian detained since early Sunday to 11.       MORE . . .

ISRAELI FORCES SHOOT, INJURE 13-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN IN JERUSALEM
Ma’an News Agency
April 2, 2016
Israeli forces shot a Palestinian teen in the back of the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet while he was walking to school in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Saturday morning, his family told Ma’an.
___Yasin Abu Mayyala said his son Hatim, 13, was taken from the Ras al-Amoud area in Silwan where he was shot to Hadassah Hospital in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Kerem, where medics said he suffered from a deep wound that required stitches.      MORE . . . 

ISRAEL  BANS  CALL  TO  PRAYER  IN  HEBRON’S  IBRAHIMI  MOSQUE  51  TIMES  IN  MARCH
Ma’an News Agency
April 2, 2016
Israeli authorities banned Palestinian mosque employees from playing the Muslim call to prayer through the speakers of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron 51 times in March, the Palestinian Ministry of Endowment said on Saturday.
___Minister of Endowment Sheikh Youssef Ideis slammed the restrictions as attempts by the Israeli occupation to give the impression that the mosque is Jewish property.      MORE . . . 

DECISION  TO  EXTEND  GAZA  FISHING  ZONE  TO  9  MILES  TAKES  EFFECT
Ma’an News Agency
April 3, 2016
An Israeli decision to extend the fishing zone off some parts of the Gaza Strip coast to nine nautical miles took effect early Sunday morning, the Palestinian civil administration said.
___Official sources told Ma’an that as of 2 a.m Sunday, Palestinian fishermen would be able to sail for nine nautical miles from Wadi Gaza southward. The fishing zone, the source added, would remain within six nautical miles north of Wadi Gaza.      MORE . . .

ibrahimi-mosque-maan
Israeli soldiers block entrance ro Hebron’s Ibrihimi Mosque, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo: Nidiya Fitriyah)

Opinion/Analysis:  THE  SOURCE  OF  PALESTINIAN  INCITEMENT
+ 972 Magazine
Rami Younis
April 2, 2016
The controversy over the Hebron shooter is the gift that keeps on giving.
___. . .  the star of last week’s show will not be charged with murder. . . municipalities will not hesitate to spend taxpayer money on organizing events in support of anyone who shoots a wounded Arab in the head. . . . Israelis . . .  put the spotlight — as well as part of the blame — on the victim, Abed al-Fatah Sharif, who was also incited by the “other side” . . . .
___Yes, there is incitement . . .  the proof is the hundreds of Palestinians who have been killed since October of last year. If only they would have listened to the Israelis and stopped the incitement, we would go back to the coexistence that was always here, even if it was disrupted here and there (by the Arabs, of course).
MORE . . .    
RELATED . . . THE  ONLY  WAY  TO  ENSURE  PALESTINIAN  LIVES  MATTER

“IN  THE  TWENTIETH  CENTURY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM  (1970)

For centuries
I did not hate
But now
I am forced to raise my untiring spear
In the face of the dragon,
To draw a sword of fire
In the face of Baal
To become Elijah in the twentieth century.

For centuries
I did not apostate
But now
I strike at the gods in my heart
The gods that sold my people
In the twentieth century.

For centuries
I did not turn visitors
Away from my door
Then one morning I opened my eyes
To find my food stolen
My wife strangled
And my child’s back a field of wounds.
I recognized my treacherous guests.
I planted mines and daggers at my door
And I swore by the traces of the knife
That none of these guests shall enter my house
In the twentieth century.

For centuries
I was only a poet
In the bands of the Sufis
But now
I am an erupting volcano
In the twentieth century.
――Translated by Naseer Aruri

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   About Samih Al-Qasim.
Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim.

 

“. . . my right to bear fruit . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

“The top 10 most amazing trees in Israel.” (Photo:  Yaakov Shkolnik, March 13, 2013)
“The top 10 most amazing trees in Israel.” Black mulberry tree on Mount Meron, Upper Galilee. See notes below. (Photo: Yaakov Shkolnik, March 13, 2013)

❶ Lifting Restrictions and Promoting Better Regulation to Unleash Potential of Digital Economy in Palestine
❷ The Slow Progress of Rebuilding Gaza
❸ Israel’s killing of Hadeel Hashlamoun, 18, is cited as possible ‘gross human rights violation’ by group of Congresspeople
❹ Israeli court rejects Palestinian role in Hebron ‘execution’ autopsy
. . . . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) Israeli Forces Destroy House of Palestinian Killed after Alleged Stabbing Attack in Hebron
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  TRAGIC  RESILIENCE  OF  ISRAEL’S  UNRECOGNIZED  ARAB  VILLAGES
❻ Poetry by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
LIFTING  RESTRICTIONS  AND  PROMOTING  BETTER  REGULATION  TO  UNLEASH  POTENTIAL  OF  DIGITAL ECONOMY  IN  PALESTINE
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 31, 2016
A new World Bank report estimates the Palestinian mobile sector revenue losses at more than US$1 billion in the last three years. The Palestinian Authority’s fiscal losses for the same period are as high as US$184 million, counting non-collected VAT alone, up to 3.0% of the GDP.
___The report, MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, highlights how the Palestinian telecom sector is suffering from several constraints, claiming heavy toll on the economy, the consumer, and the Palestinian Authority.      MORE . . . 

THE  SLOW  PROGRESS  OF  REBUILDING  GAZA
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
Courtesy of The Danish Representative Office in Ramallah
April, 2016
The 51-day armed conflict between Israel and Hamas in 2014 left Gaza with damaged or destroyed roads, water supply, hospitals, and many buildings and other infrastructure. This made it difficult for the local population to build a normal life after the ceasefire in August 2014. With many public and private structures affected, the reconstruction of Gaza required a considerable amount of prioritising.   MORE . . . 

ISRAEL’S  KILLING  OF  HADEEL  HASHLAMOUN,  18,  IS  CITED  AS  POSSIBLE  ‘GROSS  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATION’  BY  GROUP  OF  CONGRESSPEOPLE
MONDOWEISS
Philip Weiss
March 30, 2016
Update: The Netanyahu government has responded angrily to the congressional letter, and Sen. Patrick Leahy has defended it. See below.
The horrifying killing of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamoun at an Israeli checkpoint in occupied Hebron last September has at last become a public issue in the U.S. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has called on the State Department to determine whether the killing, and several other Israeli “extrajudicial killings,” violated the Leahy law against military assistance to gross human rights violators. The letter to John Kerry cites Egypt along with Israel, and is signed by ten members of Congress along with Leahy. They include Raul Grijalva, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chellie Pingree, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Sam Farr, Jim McGovern, Jim McDermott, and Andre Carson.     MORE . . .

ISRAELI  COURT  REJECTS  PALESTINIAN  ROLE  IN  HEBRON  ‘EXECUTION’  AUTOPSY
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 31, 2016
Israel’s top court on Thursday refused an appeal to allow a Palestinian doctor to participate in the autopsy of Abdul-Fattah al-Sharif, a Palestinian who was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier while he lay wounded on the ground in Hebron last week.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❹ ―(ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DESTROY  HOUSE  OF  PALESTINIAN  KILLED  AFTER  ALLEGED  STABBING  ATTACK  IN  HEBRON
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
Israeli forces early Thursday destroyed the interior walls of the family house of a Palestinian killed about five months ago following an alleged stabbing attack in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, said security sources.
___Israeli forces stormed the Hebron neighborhood of Jabal al-Sharif and cordoned off the family house of Ehab Miswada.
___The army gave the Miswada family 10 minutes only to leave their house. . .   MORE . . .

Saleh Abu Saleh, stands between homes in the unrecognized village of Ramiya. New luxury apartments in the Israeli city of Karmiel, just a few hundred meters away, are visible in the background. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Saleh Abu Saleh, stands between homes in the unrecognized village of Ramiya. New luxury apartments in the Israeli city of Karmiel, just a few hundred meters away, are visible in the background. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Opinion/Analysis:  THE  TRAGIC  RESILIENCE  OF  ISRAEL’S  UNRECOGNIZED  ARAB  VILLAGES
+972 MAGAZINE
Amjad Iraqi
March 30, 2016
Abu Saleh, a 73-year-old farmer, speaks with a raspy but strong voice as he points to his crops. “Everything you see around you is food grown from my own land. These carrots, this zucchini, these olives…they are all part of my survival.” . . .  “Now they want to tear down my home and remove me from my livelihood. They want to rip my heart from my land – just to put the heart of someone else.”
___Abu Saleh is a resident of Ramiya, an Arab community of 50 families nestled within the Jewish city of Karmiel in northern Israel. MORE . . .

“PASSING  REMARK,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD

When they ran over her,
the mulberry tree said:
“Do what you wish, but remember
my right to bear fruit
will never die.”

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 Barnes and Noble.
About Tawfiq Zayyad. 

ABOUT  THE  PALESTINIAN  MULBERRY  TREE
[From the Bible] Sycamine tree is mentioned only in Luke 17:6.  It is rendered by Luther “mulberry tree” which is most probably the correct rendering. It is found of two species, the black mulberry (Morus nigra) and the white mulberry (Mourea), which are common in Palestine. The silk-worm feeds on their leaves. The rearing of them is one of the chief industries of the peasantry of Lebanon and of other parts of the land. It is of the order of the fig-tree.

The photo above. (Note the absence of any mention of Palestine.)
Shkolnik swears this tree bears the most tasty fruit in the world. “It was planted by Rabbi Yisrael Beck in the early 19th century. Among other things, Rabbi Beck had a printing house in Safed and managed to get some land in Mount Meron, and was maybe the first modern Jewish farmer in Israel. You can enjoy this tree’s fantastic fruit in the summertime — it’s in a nature reserve, but it’s okay to pick the fruit.”
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“. . . Before I was swallowed by the prison dark . . .” (Khalil Hawi)

The occupation municipality’s bulldozers demolished on Tuesday morning a private playground. (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan)
The occupation municipality’s bulldozers demolished on Tuesday morning a private playground. (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan)

❶ Five Detainees Begin Hunger Strike in Israeli Jails
❷ Israeli Forces Detain Seven Palestinians from West Bank
❸ PICTURES: The occupation forces demolish a playground and a room and sweep an agricultural land in Silwan
. . . . . ❸―(ᴀ) Israeli forces level Palestinian playground in ongoing Silwan demolitions
❹ Jordan Valley village at risk of ‘forcible transfer,’ warns UN
OPINION/ANALYSIS:  HOW  IMPUNITY  DEFINES  ISRAEL  AND  VICTIMIZES  PALESTINIANS
❻ Poetry by Khalil Hawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
FIVE  DETAINEES  BEGIN  HUNGER  STRIKE  IN  ISRAELI  JAILS
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA  
March 29, 2016
Four Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails have entered into a hunger strike in protest of being detained without a charge or trial, while a fifth started a hunger strike in protest of being held in solitary confinement, according to the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission.
___Kareem Ajwa, an attorney with the Commission, said the four detainees . . .  recently entered a hunger strike in protest of being held under administrative detention, without a charge or trial.       MORE . . .  

ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  SEVEN  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 29, 2016
Israeli forces Tuesday detained seven Palestinians during predawn raids into Qalqiliya, Ramallah and Bethlehem districts, said the Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS). . . .
___Two Palestinian minors were detained during a predawn raid into Beit Liqya town, southwest of Ramallah city.      MORE . . .

PICTURES:  THE  OCCUPATION  FORCES  DEMOLISH  A  PLAYGROUND  AND  A  ROOM  AND  SWEEP  AN  AGRICULTURAL  LAND  IN  SILWAN
WADI HILWEH INFORMATION CENTER – SILWAN
The occupation municipality’s bulldozers demolished on Tuesday morning a private playground, a room and several walls in the neighborhood of Abbasyeh in Silwan.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that joint crews of occupation municipality, Nature and Parks authority and Special Forces raided the neighborhood of Abbasyeh in Silwan and surrounded a land owned by Khaled Al-Zeer which was turned into a playground few months ago by placing toys for children such as a swing, a slide and other toys.      MORE . . .

. . . . . ❸―(ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  LEVEL  PALESTINIAN  PLAYGROUND  IN  ONGOING  SILWAN  DEMOLITIONS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 29, 2016
The Israeli authorities on Tuesday levelled a privately-owned playground and uprooted several trees in ongoing demolitions in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, locals said.      MORE . . . 

March 2, 2016. Israeli forces demolished most of Khirbet Tana, and conducted mass arrests. (Photo: Alternative Information Center―AIC)
March 2, 2016. Israeli forces demolished most of Khirbet Tana, and conducted mass arrests. (Photo: Alternative Information Center―AIC)

JORDAN  VALLEY  VILLAGE  AT  RISK  OF  ‘FORCIBLE  TRANSFER,’  WARNS  UN
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 28, 2016
A UN official warned Monday that the village of Khirbet Tana in the Jordan Valley was at risk of “forcible transfer” after a wave of Israeli demolitions left more than a third of its residents homeless.
___”It’s hard to see how demolitions like the ones in Khirbet Tana are about anything other than pushing vulnerable Palestinians out of certain parts of the West Bank,” Robert Piper, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, said in a statement.      MORE . . .  
BACKGROUND . . .

OPINION/ANALYSIS:  HOW  IMPUNITY  DEFINES  ISRAEL  AND  VICTIMIZES  PALESTINIANS
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
Ramzy Baroud
Mar 28 2016
Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif was killed. In the style typical of Israeli aggression . . .
___He lies on his back, his arms stretched across the road, and his head moving about. A soldier confers with his superior officer, before moving to “confirm the kill” . . . .
___The soldier walks to Abed . . . and, in full view of onlookers, shoots him in the head.
___The incident once more highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army which is not a new phenomenon . . . .     MORE . . .
RELATED . . .

“THE  PRISONER,”  BY  KHALIL  HAWI

My fear is gone now: are my senses mad?
Have the echoes returned–is my head whirling?
Who has shaken the prison night from my chest,
And that nightmarish wall?
For an age the blind stovepipe hole has been clogged with dust.
But what is this?
Now it is split by daylight,
And an echo invites me to escape!
The sun through the opening, the children’s laughter,
Remnants of life in a wasted field
That knew my shadow, my toil,
My hand singing to the grain–
All invite me to escape.
Is that delirious echo back?
Is it the whirling in my head?
How often has that echo beguiled me,
How often have my nails
Combed and scraped the prison wall,
And split on the deceiving stones?
Close the prison door to daylight;
It was long ago
I dreamt of amnesty and escape
Before the seconds rusted in my heart,
Before there was an echo to compute them, before the feverish waiting,
Before I was swallowed by the prison dark,
Before the dust gnawed at my eyelids,
Before my cramped limbs dropped
Into dust and decay, the bones scattered
By mice-feet, to rot over the years.
–How can they draw together again, grow supple, and live,
Or dream of a return?
What return would death make to the feeble creature?
What visions die in the smoke of the cafe,
And what escape is there from one hiding place to the next?
The jailor’s foul tongue
Stirs poison in my wounds.
The desire of the phoenix has died in the ashes,
And she and the world conceal their mutual hatred;
How will she draw together again, grow supple, and live?
What nonsense does that insolent jailer mutter?
He has brought me amnesty for punishment
Now that my bones have been rotting for years.
Shall I leave them here and go my way,
Faceless, with hollow limbs,
A wind-whipped ghost
Disgraced by the sunlight
And the children’s laughter,
Dodging between the walls?
Close the prison door to daylight:
It was long ago
That I dreamt of amnesty and escape.    (1957)

About Khalil Hawi
Hawi was Lebanese, not Palestinian. However, “His suicide (June 6, 1982) in protest against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was perhaps his greatest metaphor, completing the circle of his life and his poetry. It is as if his end was the direct translation of the symbols of rebirth that he so often used in his poetry. His symbols had failed him, just like his nation had done. He was forced to become a symbol himself “to die for himself and everyone,” in the words of the Syrian critic, Muhammad Jamal Barout.”
From: WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Trans. and ed. by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario: Cormorant Books, 1988.   (John Mikhail Asfour, Department of English, McGill University, Montreal)
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