“. . . into the shadow of the Holy Heights. . .” by Reja-e Busailah

News of the Day

Report: Israeli raids at Al-Aqsa reflect official tendencies to change status quo in Jerusalem

WAFA
September 09, 2019
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) confirmed in a new report that the Israeli occupation forces escalated their attacks in the occupied city of Jerusalem, as party of a policy adopted by the highest Israeli political level, amid clear indications of Israeli tendencies to break the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The report, which examines human rights violations in Jerusalem in August 2019, explained that the most serious incident witnessed in the city was on the morning of Eid al-Adha, August 11, when hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque following a decision by the Israeli Prime Minister to perform their Talmudic rituals in commemoration of the so-called Tisha B’Av.  More . . . . 

31 violations against media freedoms in Palestine during August

Al-Hourriah
September 9, 2019
August 2019 has witnessed a modest decline in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, which resulted from the decrease in the number of Facebook closures of Palestinian journalists and news websites claiming that “they have violated the criteria of Facebook”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms “MADA” has documented a total of 31 attacks during August 2019 (compared to a total of 38 attacks documented during July), 17 of which were committed by the Israeli Occupation while 6 violations were committed by Palestinian Authorities. Moreover, the Facebook has closed 8 pages for Palestinian journalist and news websites during this month, noting that Facebook has closed 16 pages belonging to Palestinian journalists and news websites during July.  More . . . .

Teenager Injured, Three Students Among 15 Detained By IOF

Days of Palestine
September 9, 2019
Israeli occupation forces shot and injured a teenager today and detained three students who were among at least 15 Palestinians detained in various raids in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Local sources said Israeli military stormed Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah city, where soldiers ransacked two houses and detained three children who were on their way to school. During ensuing confrontations, soldiers opened fire towards local youngsters injuring one in the neck with a rubber-coated steel bullet.  More . . . .

Medical Neglect Kills Palestinian Prisoner In Israeli Jails 

Days of Palestine
September 9, 2019
The Palestinian political prisoner Bassam al-Sayeh, 47, died on Sunday in the Israeli Assaf Harofeh hospital.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Israel Prison Service had rejected many Palestinian calls for the release of al-Sayeh, who was suffering from bone and blood cancer, despite his deteriorated health condition.  More . . . .

Poem of 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.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND, Ed. By Alicia Ostriker. Lost Horse Press, 2012.
REJA-E BUSAILAH, who has been blind since infancy, and who (along with his family) was forcibly evicted from his home in Lydda into exile. Educated in Cairo, he earned a PhD in English from NYU and taught for thirty years at Indiana University. His recent collection of poetry is POEMS OF A PALESTINIAN BOYHOOD, Smokestack books, 2019. You may hear Reja-e Busailah read one of his poems here.

“Here we shall stay, sing our songs. . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Selected News of the Day

Israeli forces seal off main roads west of Ramallah following suspected attack

WAFA
August 23, 2019
Israeli forces today sealed off main roads leading to the western Ramallah district in the West Bank following a suspected attack that resulted in the killing of a settler, confirmed local sources.
· · · · Forces deployed heavily and blocked major roads leading to a cluster of Palestinian villages west of Ramallah, particularly the Wadi al-Dilb Road and Ein Ayyoub junction. They also blocked the roads leading to Kafr Ni’ma and Ras Karkar villages, where they ransacked several homes and stores.
· · · · Soldiers set up roadblocks at the northern entrance to Ramallah city and at Ein Siniya junction, north of Ramallah, inspecting Palestinian vehicles and inspecting the IDs of passengers. They also raided Beituniya and Ein Arik towns, west of Ramallah.
· · · · The closure is conducted as part of a manhunt for a Palestinian suspected of killing an Israeli settler and wounding two others in an attack at Ein Bunin natural spring near the illegal Israeli settlement of Dolev, near Ras Karkar village.  More . . . .

  • Al-Shoroq: The activist farmers resisting Israeli annexation in Beit Ummar. IMEMC News & Agencies. August 21, 2019. More . . . .
  • Jewish Settlers Rule the Roost in Israel, but at What Cost? The Palestine Chronicle. August 22, 2019. More . . . .   

Displacement In Gaza And Israel’s Demographic Obsession

Days of Palestine
August 22, 2019
The statements made by a senior Israeli political source, which is likely to be Prime Minister Netanyahu himself, published in Israeli media, including Haaretz on 20 August regarding Israel taking practical steps to displace Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, reminds us of what Israel calls the demographic threat. This involves ensuring a Jewish majority in the country, which has been a concern since the establishment of the Zionist colonial settlement project. Why displace Gazans? Why now? Is there a real possibility for its implementation?
· · · · Israel has used all forms of displacement, including ethnic cleansing, in order to reduce the number of Palestinians in Palestine as much as possible and achieve Zionism’s top goal, i.e. imposing a Jewish majority in Palestine, where its indigenous people have been living for many many years. This method on its own did not achieve the desired results, so Israel attracted tens of thousands of Arab and non-Arab Jews in order to successfully establish the state of Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948. However, the demographic danger continued to pose a threat to Israel after occupying and controlling the Palestinians in 1967.   More . . . .   

  • Living in fear of the bulldozers. Electronic Intifada, August 22, 2019. More . . . .

Israeli Police Kidnaps Seven Jerusalemites From Bab Al-Rahma

Two young girls and three children among the detainees
Days of Palestine
Aug 22 2019
The Israeli occupation police on Thursday afternoon kidnaped seven Palestinian citizens, including two young girls and three children, from the Bab al-Rahma prayer area of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
· · · According to eyewitnesses, police forces stormed the Bab al-Rahma area and rounded up Aqsa guard Bader al-Rajbi along with three children, two girls and one young man. More . . . .

Anti-Semitism’ vs. ‘Islamophobia’: How language creates hierarchies of discrimination and whitewashes bigotry

Mondoweiss
Timo Al-Farooq
August 22, 2019
From the ivory towers of academic knowledge production to the lowlands of cracker-barrel Stammtisch-culture, tactical language is omnipresent in everyday political discourse. . . . language manipulation is a key modus operandi for the powers that be in stifling critical thought and thus consolidating their grip on potentially subversive populaces.
· · · One such example of strategic linguistic flexibility, taken straight from our fiction-turned-fact and prophesy-fulfilled Orwellian times: someone who hates Jews is known as an “anti-Semite”, but someone who hates Muslims is merely an “Islamophobe”, a person afraid of Islam? . . . .
· · · · So my question is: why is an anti-Semite not called a “Semitophobe?” And an Islamophobe not an “anti-Muslim?” And what is that even supposed to mean, “afraid of Islam?” As if the heterogeneous beliefs of 1.8 billion people were a Freddy Krueger-like serial killer coming to murder you in your sleep. More . . . .

 Poem of the Day

“HERE WE SHALL STAY” by Tafiq Zayyad

In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain
like a wall upon your chest,
and in your throat
like a shard of glass,
a cactus thorn,
and in your eyes
a sandstorm.

***
We shall remain
a wall upon your chest,
clean dishes in your restaurants,
serve drinks in your bars,
sweep the floors of your kitchens
to snatch a bite for our children
from your blue fangs.

***
Here we shall stay,
sing our songs,
take to the angry streets,
fill prisons with dignity.

***
In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain,
guard the shade of the fig
and olive trees,
ferment rebellion in our children
as yeast in the dough.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND. ED. Joan Dobbie & Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press. 2002.

“. . . But what territory, exactly, is the ethnocratic state occupying . . .” (Blake Alcott)

World_Israel_Mar_Saba_Monas
Great Lavra of St. Sabas, Bethlehem. (Photo: St. Peter and Paul Serbian Orthodox Church of Atlanta, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY     
| ARMED  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAID  SAINT  SABA  MONASTERY  NEAR  BETHLEHEM    Hundreds of armed Israeli settlers raided Saint Saba Monastery (Mar Saba) area, near the al-Ubeidiya village east of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on predawn Tuesday.    ___Security sources told the Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News Agency that hundreds of armed Israeli settlers raided the Greek Orthodox monastery area and performed religious rituals, under armed security by Israeli soldiers.    More . . .
~~ SCORES  OF  JEWISH  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE
About 71 Jewish settlers, including soldiers, desecrated the Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday morning under security guard by police forces.    ___According to Quds Press, 71 settlers escorted by police officers entered the Mosque through al-Maghariba Gate and toured its courtyards.    ___Three of those settlers were identified as police officers wearing civilian clothing.    ___According to the Islamic Awqaf Authority in Occupied Jerusalem, the Israeli police, as always, closed al-Maghariba Gate. . .  More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  SETTLER  VANDALISM  OF  PALESTINIAN  PROPERTY,  WRITING  HATE  SLOGANS  CONTINUE  UNABATED
Vandalism by Israeli settlers of Palestinian property in the occupied West Bank continued unabated on Tuesday when settlers sneaked into the village of Yasouf, east of the city of Salfit in the north of the occupied West Bank, slashed tires of several vehicles and spray-painted racist graffiti in the village, witnesses said.    ___They said the settlers wrote graffiti in Hebrew on the wall of the village’s mosque such “I will not sleep when blood is shed here,” and “Jews wake up.”    ___Settlers’ raids into Palestinian villages and terrorizing the local population as well as attacks on West Bank roads has become almost a daily occurrence in light of the Israeli government and military’s sanctioning of these attacks and their failure to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.    More . . .
| PALESTINIAN  HOME  IN  OCCUPIED  JERUSALEM  DEMOLISHED  FOR  LACK  OF  BUILDING  PERMIT 
Bulldozers of the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Tuesday demolished a Palestinian-owned house in the neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukkaber, southeast of the occupied city of Jerusalem, under the pretext of lacking a building permit, according to witnesses.    ___Israeli police cordoned off the area before the bulldozers proceeded to demolish the house owned by Moath Aqil, which was in its last stage of construction.  More . . .
~~ ISRAEL  PLANS  TO  DEMOLISH  ANOTHER  PALESTINIAN  HOUSE  PART  OF  ITS  COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  POLICY
As part of its collective punishment policy against the Palestinian people, the Israeli military government informed the family of Khalil Jabarin on Tuesday that it intends to demolish its house in the town of Yatta, in the south of the occupied West Bank.    ___The military said Jabarin, 16, stabbed and killed an Israeli settler in the south of the West Bank in September before he was shot and killed by an Israeli passerby.    ___Local and Palestinian security sources told WAFA that the army informed the Jabarin family of its plan to demolish its home as a punishment for the act of its son.     More . . .
|  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  24  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  WOMAN,  FROM  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces detained 24 Palestinians from across districts of the occupied West Bank, including the wife of a former prisoner, on predawn Tuesday.    ___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said that Israeli forces detained one Palestinian from the southern West Bank district of Hebron; he was identified as Mutaz Abu Sil, 19, from the al-Arroub refugee camp.    ___In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians; PPS identified them as Muhammad Nassim Sbeih and Hadi Azab Salah. . . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
WHAT  DOES  ISRAEL  ‘OCCUPY’?  
By  BLAKE  ALCOTT 
In what is written and said about Israel and Palestine the word ‘occupation’ is ubiquitous. But what territory, exactly, is the ethnocratic state occupying? Is it just the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, or all of Palestine?    ___Everybody agrees that the territories Israel took over in 1967 are occupied. However, both pro-Palestinians and liberal Zionists routinely write of ‘the Occupation’ or ‘occupied Palestine’ to refer to these territories only. The demeaning acronym ‘OPT’ means only the West Bank and Gaza Strip only. But if those territories are ‘occupied’, then by the same token so is the 80% of historic Palestine called ‘Israel’. All of Palestine has been taken over.    ___When we demand freedom ‘from the river to the sea’ what are we demanding other than an end to rule, control, and occupation by a non-indigenous Power? When Palestinians use the term ihtilal they always distinguish between the ‘1948 occupation’ and the ‘1967 occupation’. Why, then, does the international discourse in Western languages ignore the 1948 occupation, in denial of the fact that Israel in 1948 merely took over from the British-Mandate occupation of 1917-1948?    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“FROM  THE  DOORSTEP  TO  HEAVEN,”  BY  MUHAMMAD  AL-MAGHUT **

Now,
With the sad rain
Drenching my sad face,
I dream of a ladder of dust,
Collected from hunched backs
And hands clinging onto knees,
To mount to highest heave
And discover
What becomes of our prayers and sighs.

O my beloved,
All the prayers and sighs,
All the laments and cries for help,
Springing from
Millions of lips and hearts,
Through thousands of years and centuries,
Must be gathered somewhere in heaven,
Like clouds.
And maybe
These words of mine
Are now close to those of Jesus.
So let us await the tears of heaven,
O beloved.

(**Sources disagree about Maghut’s birthplace. Some say he was Syrian. This poem, however, is appropriate regardless.)

–From AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY. Translated by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. University of California Press, 1974. Available from Barnes and Noble.

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

SILWAN-660x330
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

“. . . The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  GERMANY  ALLOCATES  €55  MILLION  TO  PALESTINIAN  DEVELOPMENT  PROJECTS
Germany allocated 55 million Euros to be dispersed to Palestinian development projects in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip in 2019.    ___Klaus Kramer, the Head of Division in the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, told reporters in Ramallah that it was agreed, in coordination with various ministries in the Palestinian government, that the money will go to mainly three sectors: sustainable economic development, infrastructure such as water projects and local governance, including projects with municipalities.    ___While the funds in form of grants will go mainly to these three areas, which are government-run projects, other development projects in other fields will also get part of the money, such as projects carried out by civil society organizations.     More . . .    ..
. . . . Related  PEA rejects Israeli threats against renewable energy projects
. . . . Related  Israel plans to turn settlements in Salfit into one large city
. . . . Related  Israel demolishes Palestinian school in southern Hebron
. . . . Related  US envoy Greenblatt: ‘We stand with Israel’
. . . . Related  Is the Israeli military operation along the border with Lebanon for real?
|  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  23  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK         
Israeli forces Wednesday detained 23 Palestinians, including three former prisoners and a 14-year-old minor, during multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS).    ___Israeli military jeeps raided Salfit city, where they detained two Palestinians. . .   ___Israeli forces also detained two other Palestinians in separate two raids into Iskaka and Qarawat Bani Hassan, east and west of Salfit city.    ___In Ramallah district, military jeeps raided Deir Nitham village, northwest of Ramallah, where soldiers detained three Palestinians. . . .   More . . .    ..
. . . .  Related  Over 2,000 Israelis break into 3rd holiest site in Islam in November
|  ISRAELI  COURT  RULES  AGAINST  GAZA  FATHER  WHO  LOST  3  DAUGHTERS  IN  2008  WAR
An Israeli court yesterday ruled against a Palestinian from Gaza whose three daughters were killed by the Israeli army during its 2008 war on the Strip, denying Israel’s responsibility for their deaths.    ___Izzeldin Abuelaish, a 63-year-old doctor from Jabalia in the north of the Gaza Strip, lost three daughters and a niece during Israel’s 2008-2009 war on the besieged enclave. His story was made famous after he discovered his children had been killed while speaking to an Israeli TV channel, with his suffering broadcast live across the country and later shared widely around the world.    More . . .
. . . . Related  MOFA demands ICC to try Israeli killers of Tulkarem martyr
. . . . Related  ‘Gender violence pushed Jewish, Palestinian women into a corner — together’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  PROFESSIONAL  SOLIDARITY  WITH  PALESTINE:  A  MENTAL  HEALTH  IMPERATIVE
By Dr. Samah Jabr
In the field of medicine, we often speak of the social determinants of health. In Palestine, not only social, but political determinants of health have a grave impact on the well-being and mental health of our community. I am not just talking about the political blackmail through recent blatant cuts of the US administration of millions of US dollars from East Jerusalem hospitals and defunding UNRWA educational and health services, but also through the daily realities of dismal work opportunities, a vacuum of leadership, the threat of political detention haunting our youth, and the pervasive experiences of loss and grief. Centuries of political oppression has created a cascade of damage to collective identity and individuals’ personalities.    ___The ongoing siege of Gaza is only a single dramatization of how the political realities of occupation deliberately destroy the quality of life for Palestinians.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOW  ARE  YOU?”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . a saddening symptom of the demise of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] . . .” (Ali Qleibo)

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Bethlehem Christmas Tree lighting (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 2, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| JERUSALEM  ANNOUNCED  PERMANENT  CAPITAL  OF  ISLAMIC  CULTURE
The Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, at the conclusion of its emergency session in the Bahraini capital, Manama, on Thursday, announced Jerusalem a permanent capital of the Islamic culture.    ___The conference adopted a document on a draft program of action on enhancing Islamic and international support for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Jerusalem.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hordes of Israeli settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Father Hanna warns of conspiracy targeting J’lem real estate
. . . . Related  New cameras set up by Israeli occupation around Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Israel prevented Muslim call for prayer [Hebron] 47 times in November
|  THOUSANDS  CELEBRATE  CHRISTMAS  TREE  LIGHTING  IN  BETHLEHEM
Only meters away from where baby Jesus is said to be born, thousands of people made their way to Manger Square and gathered around the gigantic Christmas tree, to welcome in the holiest month of the Christian year – December.   ___Locals and foreigners, wrapped up in their coats and beanies, listened to speeches from the likes of the Mayor of Bethlehem, and the Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, with others including top officials from the Catholic church, such as Father Francesco Patton.    More . . .
NEW  SETTLEMENTS  PLANNED  IN  THE  HEART  OF  THE  WEST  BANK
The Israeli government on Sunday approved a map of “national priority” areas, including a number of settlements in the heart of the occupied West Bank.    ___The map aims to promote Israeli migration to the towns on the map, as well as to grant larger budgets for building. The National Law will increase budgets to “strengthen the Jewish character of Israel.”    ___The settlements referred to are: Magron, Shvut Rahal and Kerem Re’em, usually referred to as “isolated settlements” because they are built outside major settlement blocs in the West Bank.  More . . .
. . . . Related  IOA resumes settlement expansion activities west of Salfit
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers spray paint ‘Death to Arabs’ in Palestinian village

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
JERUSALEM,  TWENTY  YEARS  LATER
By Ali Qleibo
More than twenty years after the Oslo Agreement, it has become evident that the slogan “Gaza and Jericho First” was a euphemism, preparing the ground for the Israeli takeover of our city. The Israeli Judaization of Jerusalem has escalated to an unprecedented level. In the systematic takeover of Jerusalem, most institutional Palestinian offices in Jerusalem have been driven out. The checkpoints and the arbitrary inclusion, or exclusion, of major Arab “suburbs” have created a great demographic change, leading to the total isolation of Jerusalem and of Jerusalemites. Through Israeli-manipulated bureaucratic procedures and unsurpassable barriers, families are broken apart. And as one walks the streets of the Old City, the blatant scarcity of rural peddlers in their colorful embroidered garments and of people in general is a saddening symptom of the demise of Al-Quds.    More . . .
. . . .  Related  Al-Quds: The Indigenous Jerusalem: Palestinian Tourism Organizations during the Past 20 Years, By Raed Saadeh
.  .  .  .  .  Also by Raed Saadeh
|  INTERNATIONAL  MEDIA  WATCH  FROM  ALRAY  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AGENCY (Dec. 2, 2018)

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TRAVEL  LIKE  OTHER  PEOPLE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if travelling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us
for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a metre of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the
prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopee’s beak or sing to while away the
distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on the
stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of
this travel.

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.

 

“. . . lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits . . .” (Walid Khazindar)

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Homes seen from main street in Shufat. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| EU  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  SHUAFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP
The  EUROPEAN  UNION  on Saturday evening condemned Israel’s demolition of around 20 structures in Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, as well as the continued Israeli settlement expansion in the city.    ___The demolitions were part of the Israeli municipality’s new policy of extending the reach of municipal enforcement to refugee camps in Jerusalem.    ___“The policy of settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JORDANIAN  initiative launched to highlight Gaza siege
. . . . Related  Al-Malki meets  JAPANESE  counterpart at the Mediterranean Dialogues
. . . . Related  Palestine and  TURKEY  sign agreement on women’s empowerment
.  .  .  .  .  Istanbul summit  seeks to empower family in age of self
. . . . Related RUSSIA  offers to mediate between Palestinians and Israel
|   COMMISSION  SOUNDS  ALARM  OVER  ISRAEL’S  JUDAIZATION  SCHEMES  AROUND  AQSA 
The Commission of Scholars and Preachers in Occupied Jerusalem has warned of the repercussions of Israel’s violations and Judaization schemes beneath and around holy al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The commission said in a statement that Israel’s so-called “biblical gardens”, “Holy Basin”, and “Biblical Paths” have dangerous upshots on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque.    ___The statement warned of an Israeli scheme of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians living in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, in Silwan, south of al-Aqsa Mosque, as part of the so-called “Biblical gardens” project.    More . . .

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Homes just outside wall of Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  JERUSALEM  GOVERNOR  FOR  2ND  TIME
Israeli forces detained the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, on Sunday morning, after raiding his home in the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.    ___Local sources confirmed that following Ghaith’s detention, Israeli forces transferred him to an interrogation center in Jerusalem City.    ___It is noteworthy that this is Ghaith’s  second detention  in less than a month.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Minors among 9  detained by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israeli forces surround, attack high school in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers uproot dozens of olive trees in West Bank village
. . . . Related  IOF causes damages to shops near Nablus

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
‘I  THOUGHT  I  KNEW  ABOUT  PALESTINE,  UNTIL  I  SAW  THE  OCCUPATION  FIRST  HAND’ 
Film director Toomas Järvet discusses  Rough  Stage  ahead of its screening at the London Palestine Film Festival on 27 November.    [. . . .] As far as director Järvet is concerned, the essence of the film is very simple; how to stay true to what you believe in and what you want to achieve no matter what the obstacles are in life. “The ideas and problems the film talks about are very common and universal,” he insists.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
THE  JERUSALEM  FUND  –  PALESTINE  DIABETES  INSTITUTE  APPEAL
[. . . .] Now that the US administration has withheld financial support to the Palestinian Authority, to Jerusalem hospitals, and to UNRWA, it has made an already tough situation much worse. The vulnerable diabetic patients may be facing more complications. Your donation at this time will ensure that the PDI will continue to provide valuable services to these patients.    ___Life in the West Bank and Gaza is challenging at every turn, and things have reached a crisis point. With the new developments, it is certain to get worse. Your contribution targeted to the PDI program will make a difference in the lives of these patients. Please contribute generously to the extent that you can, as your donation will help Palestinians stay healthier and productive.   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HOUSES,”  BY  WALID  KHAZINDAR

The cloud of migrations in his eyes,
and in the leather briefcase the book, the pencil, the family photograph
The rust of benches on his hands, the rust of bannisters and doorknobs,
the rust of handshakes on his hands.
The briefcase propped against the wall—
will he take out his souvenirs first, or will he
Like a magician take out a country:
a house,
a street,
a capital.
He closed his eye, lay back against the shoulder of familiar habits.
He will not make friends with another vase,
he will not confess to a bed that will blow up in the next war,
he will not make tea or sing,
He will pace back and forth for a long time between the porch and the kitchen
and he will listen hard for a sound coming from the garden gate.
But there is only the crunching of leaves under feet
passing
then
going on;
there is nothing but the hum of talk in the houses next door.

–Translated by Lena Jayyusi and W.S. Merwin

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . Do you remember your panic― at the reign of death . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israelis escorted through Al Aqsa Mosque courtyard, Jerusalem, by IOF soldiers (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
   DEFENSE  MINISTER  AVIGDOR  LIBERMAN  RESIGNS  OVER  HAMAS  CEASEFIRE
Claiming that the government has capitulated to terrorism, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced his resignation on Wednesday, one day after Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.    ___“I have tried to remain a faithful member of the cabinet and to make heard another view, even at a great electoral and political price,” Liberman said at a news briefing immediately following the faction meeting. However, Tuesday’s ceasefire with Hamas “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism,” he added. “This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.”    More . . .
|    PLO:  30  YEARS  AFTER  DECLARATION  OF  INDEPENDENCE,  OCCUPATION  STILL  LINGERING
Thirty years after the historic declaration of Palestine’s independence, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is still lingering, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Thursday marking Palestine’s Declaration of Independence Day.    ___The Palestinian National Council issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988 in Algiers, declaring an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.    [. . . .] PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on this occasion. . .   “Thirty years later, following this historic and painful compromise, the longest occupation in modern history still continues and holds an entire people captive, willfully stealing their land, resources, freedom, and rights with full impunity. . .     More . . .
. . . . Related  A  FAMILIAR  INVASION:  SETTLERS  TAKE  ANOTHER  MOUNTAIN  TOP,  SOLDIERS  FOLLOW,  AND  PALESTINIANS  DEMONSTRATE  FOR  THEIR  RIGHTS
|    ISRAEL  BANS  JERUSALEMITES  ENTRY  AS  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA     Israeli authorities banned six Jerusalemites, on Thursday, from entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, for one consecutive month. . .   [. . . .]  two days prior to the ban, the six Jerusalemites were detained by Israeli forces during predawn raids of their homes in East Jerusalem.     ___Meanwhile, about 35 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate and “provocatively” toured the compound, according to local sources.     More . . .
. . . . Related  GAZA  IN  PHOTOS:  CEASEFIRE,  MOURNING  AND  PROTESTS  OF  THE  DESTRUCTION  OF  A  TELEVISION  STATION

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ISRAEL’S  NEXT  ELECTIONS  WILL  BE  ABOUT  WHO  IS  MORE  VIOLENT  TO  PALESTINIANS 
Israel appears to be going to early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is resigning from his post, and that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, will leave the ruling coalition over what he called Netanyahu’s “surrender to terrorism.” The surprise resignation came just a day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the most violent flare-up the Gaza border has seen since the 2014 war.    ___Immediately following his announcement, the right-wing Jewish Home party . . .  released a statement that it too would leave the coalition unless party leader Naftali Bennett replaces Liberman as defense minister. It is unlikely Netanyahu will agree to such conditions, which means that his coalition will probably fall apart, ushering in early elections in the spring of 2019, instead of their original date in November 2019.    ___Liberman’s move makes perfect sense, if one considers that his party, which holds only five of 120 seats in the Knesset, might not make it past the election threshold, as several polls have indicated . . .  Liberman also used his podium to attack Netanyahu for backing down on the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, allowing Qatari cash and fuel into Gaza, and the latest cease-fire.    More . . .
. . . . Related POLL:  64%  OF  ISRAELIS  SEEK  TO  ESCALATE  AGGRESSIONS  ON  GAZA
. . . . Related  WHAT  NETANYAHU’S  IDEA  OF  PEACE  LOOKS  LIKE
. . . . Related   IN  BREACH  OF  HUMAN  RIGHTS,  NETANYAHU  SUPPORTS  THE  DEATH  PENALTY  FOR  PALESTINIANS

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

“. . . settlers sucking the breath from your lungs . . .” (Susan Abulhawa)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAEL,  GAZA  CLOSE  TO  CEASEFIRE:  ISRAELI  SOURCE
Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are close to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, a report said Saturday, citing a high-level Israeli source.    ___According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, an unnamed senior political figure leaked that a deal was in the making between Israel and the Gazan administration to allow Qatar to provide the enclave with funds to pay its civil servants as well as fuel.    ___The source added that the Israeli side would audit the funds to ensure they were not being used for “terror activities”.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAEL-HAMAS  GAZA  DEAL  REPORTEDLY  INCLUDES  PARTIAL  LIFTING  OF  SIEGE,  END  OF  VIOLENCE  BY  YEAR’S  END
|   TEENAGE  GAZAN  DIES  OF  INJURIES  SUSTAINED  IN  2014  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE
A Palestinian 14-year-old boy died, on Saturday morning, of wounds he had sustained in an Israeli airstrike that targeted his family home in the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014.    ___The al-Wafaa Hospital for Rehabilitation and Specialized Surgery announced that Muhammad al-Rifi, 14, died of his injuries on Saturday morning.    ___The hospital pointed out that al-Rifi had sustained a critical injury in his cervical vertebrae, which left Muhammad Quadriplegic and on ventilators for four years.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  MILITARY  INTENSIFIES  CRACKDOWN  ON  TULKARM
Israeli forces on Saturday evening raided many homes and terrorized their residents in the city of Tulkarm, northern West Bank, in a step seen as a collective punishment measure against the city’s population, according to witnesses.    [. . . .] For almost a month, the city has been a target of almost daily raids and searches by the Israeli army under the pretext of pursuing Ashraf Na’alweh, 23, the main suspect in killing two Israeli settlers in the illegal Israel settlement of Barkan on October 7.    More . . .
|    RESEARCHER:  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  THREATENED  WITH  COLLAPSE
Fakhri Abu Diab, a Palestinian expert in Jerusalem affairs, on Thursday said that al-Aqsa Mosque and all of its facilities and walls are on the verge of collapse.    ___Abu Diab said that the Israeli authorities have prevented the restoration of al-Aqsa Mosque’s eastern wall after damage and change in the colors of its stones appeared lately.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THIS  IS  JUST  THE  BEGINNING’:  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  JERUSALEM  FEAR  MUNICIPALITY  TAKEOVER  OF  UNRWA
It was a typical Tuesday morning in the Shufat Refugee Camp in occupied East Jerusalem. . .    The camp’s residents were surprised to find 15 sanitation workers from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, escorted by Israeli border police and garbage trucks, picking up trash in the streets. Among them was Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.    [. . . . ] The cleanup, largely regarded by locals as a power play by Barkat, was publicized by the right-wing Mayor as the first step in his plans to “end the refugee lie” and shut down UNRWA operations in Jerusalem — plans which he announced earlier this month.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 
(Susan Abulhawa is deported from Israel for second time in three years.   More . . .)

“WALA,”  BY  SUSAN  ABULHAWA     

It’s 3 am
In the cattle cage
The line is long
A jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Clutched in your callused laborer’s hand
Your wife prepared your breakfast and lunch
She was up before you
And together you prayed a predawn salat
She kissed your face and said
Allah ma’ak ya habibi
Allah be with you, my love
You kiss the faces of your sleeping babies
You haven’t seen them awake in months
And you wonder
Has Walid’s voice begun to crack yet?
Have Wijdad’s hips begun to flare?
How big was Suraya’s smile when she came home
with her report card?
It’s 4 am
In the cattle cage
Still, you wait
The line before you is so long
And behind you now, it is longer
Few speak
You’re packed so damn tight
That you hold one another upright
You see your own fatigue
Reflected in the weariness etched on
The faces all around you
You look away
Pine for a smoke
But who the hell can afford that?
You stare at the graffiti beyond the
Iron bars holding you in
Written just for you
Written
By zionist settlers sucking the breath from your lungs
You understand the meaning
Of their English words
“Die Sand Niggers”
Sometimes
You pine for that, too.
It’s 5 am
In the cattle cage
The soldiers arrive
The line loosens
You take one step forward
Propelled by the weight of bodies
Behind you
Your jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Is crushed.
It never survives
It’s 7 am
In the cattle cage
Now is your turn
You produce your papers
Unfold and refold
Eyes down
Heart dow
Your shoes are down on their luck
But
You’re out of the line
Fifteen men before you were pulled aside
And you tried not to look
Not to hear the one begging
Don’t hit me
It’s 7:30 am
On the cattle busYou ride
The country they stole from you
Seeds outside your window
And you imagine
The man you would have been
The man you should have been
Out there
Riding the family steed
The thoroughbred mares your grandfather
Raised and nurtured and love
In a Palestine
Un-raped
Un-stolen
It’s 8 am
You get off the cattle bus
Your crushed jibneh sandwich
With cucumberIn a plastic bag
In one hand
Your eyes down
Heart down
You put your toolbox down to knock
On the zionist settler’s back door
Where the help goes
But
The zionist settler boss-man yells
Wala
Mish hon el yom!
Not there today
Boy!
And all you can do is thank Allah that your
Wife and your babies are not
There to hear them call you

From  MY  VOICE  SOUGHT  THE  WIND.   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.