“. . . 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)

“. . .They work tanks, but we know stones . . .” (Mohammed Al-Kurd)

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Poet Mohammed El-Kurd. (Photo by Dave Leins, from Middle East Eye)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

| 70%  OF  JERUSALEMITES’  SHOPS  WERE  CLOSED  DUE  TO  ACCUMULATED  ISRAELI  TAXES
Director of the Jerusalem Center for Economic and Social Rights Ziad Hamouri said that the occupation authorities continue to impose taxes and accumulating debt to the owners, for the goal of displacing them from their city,  adding that  it has already damaged 70% of shops and real estate in Jerusalem.    ___Over 250 shops were closed in the Old City of Jerusalem because of Israeli taxes on Jerusalem property, as well as the siege, closures and tax evasion of Jerusalemites, Hamouri told Voice of Palestine radio on Sunday.    More . . .
Related . . .   Jerusalem:  25  years  after  Oslo  –  A  UN  perspective
Related . . .   World  Bank:  Cash-Strapped  Gaza  And  An  Economy  In  Collapse  Put  Palestinian  Needs  At  Risk
Related . . .   Israel  confiscates  children’s  clothes  heading  to  Gaza
| ISRAELI  FANATICS  GO  ON  A  RAMPAGE  IN  PALESTINIAN  AREAS  IN  JERUSALEM
Israeli fanatics went on a rampage late Sunday early Monday in Palestinian areas inside and outside Jerusalem’s Old City as they marked the end of the Jewish Succot holiday, according to local Palestinian sources.    ___They said the extremist Israeli went on a hate rampage in Musrara neighborhood, just outside Damascus Gate, one of the main gates to the Old City, resulting in injury to five Palestinians.    ___The extremists assaulted Palestinians inside the Old City as well, smashed parked Palestinian cars and damaged shops as they marched inside the narrow Old City streets in all Palestinian areas.    ___Israeli police forces, which were present in large numbers, did not stop the extremist vigilantes but instead fired stun grenades at the Palestinians who tried to defend themselves, their homes and their property.    More . . .
Related . . .   Hordes  of  Israeli  settlers  break  into  al-Aqsa  Mosque
Related . . .   Turkey  condemns  Israel’s  use  of  excessive  force  against  Gaza  civilians
Related . . .   Palestinian  injured,  seven  arrested  in  West  Bank  campaigns

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ADALAH:  15  YEARS  SINCE  THE  OR  COMMISSION  RESULTS,  ISRAEL  STILL  USING  SNIPERS  TO  DISPERSE  CROWDS
Eighteen years since the October 2000 Israeli police murder of 13 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Israel and the findings of the  Or  Commission  of  Inquiry  in 2003 into the murders which concluded that:  “It should be unequivocally clear that live fire, including by snipers, is not a means for the police to disperse crowds,” the Israeli military continues killing unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters with snipers . . .   Just this past Friday . . .  troops killed seven people, including two boys ages 11 and 14, and wounded another 257 in Gaza, including 163 shot with live ammunition.    ___Adalah demanded in a statement marking 18 years for the murder of the 13 Palestinians in Israel that Israel immediately halts the shooting of civilian protesters with live ammunition.   More . . .
|  PCBS:  5%  OF  PALESTINIAN  POPULATION  ARE  ELDERLY      On the occasion of the World Elderly day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) released a report, on Sunday, that the Palestinian society is considered a young society, where the percentage of young people is high and the percentage of the elderly is relatively low.   ___PCBS confirmed that in 2017, the number of the elderly aged 60 and above reached 233,269 persons (5.0%), with 152,443 persons (5.4%) in the West Bank and 80,826 persons (4.3%) in the Gaza Strip.   ___PCBS said that even though, the percentage of the elderly in Palestine will increase during the coming years, their percentage will stay relatively low . . .   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THIS  IS  WHY  WE  DANCE,”  BY  MOHAMMED  EL-KURD
Mohammed El-Kurd is a 20-year-old from East Jerusalem, now living and studying in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
HE READS HIS POEM.

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

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As a guest at Al-Aqsa, November 5, 2015. Photo: by Harold Knight.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WHO:  10  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  WERE  KILLED  BY  ISRAELIS  IN  GAZA  IN  2  WEEKS 
The latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicate that during the demonstrations between 10th and 22nd September, 10 Palestinians including four children were killed and 1,193 were injured by the Israeli forces, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a special situation report on Gaza published on Thursday. Most of the killings and injuries occurred during protests as part of the March of Return on the Gaza border with Israel.    ___Out of the total 1,193 injured, 690 patients required transfer to the MoH hospitals or NGO clinics, including 127 children and 37 females. Of the hospitalized injured, 19 cases were critically life threatening, 275 moderate, 386 mild . . .  More . . .

OVER  500  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  ON  4TH  DAY  OF  SUKKOT
Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Thursday, through the Moroccan Gate on the fourth day of their Jewish holiday of Sukkot.   ___The Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) confirmed that 509 Israeli settlers stormed the compound via the Moroccan Gate that was opened at 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and the numbers are expected to increase throughout the day.   ___Israeli forces and police were deployed across the compound, by the Moroccans Gate and by the Chain Gate, in addition to Israeli police being deployed by the doors of the mosque and into the streets leading up to the compound in the Old City.   More . . .
Related . . .Fanatic  Israeli  settlers  perform  provocative  rituals  in  Samou
Related
. . .Israeli  forces  injure  20  Palestinians  as  settlers  visit  Joseph’s  Tomb     

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

EREKAT:  WHAT  TRUMP  SAID  IS  A  REWARD  FOR    AGGRESSORS  FOR  THEIR  CRIMES
PLO Executive Committee Secretary Dr. Saeb Erekat  said in  his response to President Trump’s Speech at the UNGA today that President Trump has confirmed that his administration has closed the doors to peace and cannot play a role in peacemaking by stating that his decision to move his embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, in violation of Security Council resolution 478, was a “recognition of reality”. Rather, what his administration did, and continues to do, is to reward and incentivize violations of international law, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.    ___His rejection of the International Criminal Court is a rejection of international law. It should be noted that Israel, the occupying power, did not implement any of the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions Erekat said.   More . . .
Related . . .Officials  address  Palestine  at  UNGA

“PREVENTING  PALESTINE”:  A  MUST  READ  HISTORY  OF  FAILED  PEACE-MAKING
James J. Zogby
Seth Anziska’s “Preventing Palestine: A Political History From Camp David to Oslo” is a deeply insightful and profoundly disturbing book that traces the tortuous path of Middle East peace-making during the past four decades. It was quite painful to read.     ___Having been a close observer and sometimes participant in many of the developments that have unfolded since the end of the 1973 War, Anziska opened old wounds while shedding new light on the painful events and acts of betrayal that have shaped recent Palestinian history.     ___Through all of the twists and turns of this period, the brutal wars and the diplomatic initiatives, the one constant that emerges is the Israeli determined refusal to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood and the self-serving acquiesce to their intransigence by successive American administrations and key Arab leaders.  More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .   

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

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.

 

“. . . We know you have abandoned us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Israeli settlers storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN  HOME  AS  PUNISHMENT
Israeli forces raided the family home of 17-year-old Khalil Youssef Ali Jabarin, on predawn Monday, in the southern occupied West Bank city of Yatta. . . .  thoroughly searched the house, destroyed the family’s belongings and damaged most of the furniture.    ___Jabarin had carried out a stabbing attack on Sunday near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion, in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, due to which one Israeli settler died and another sustained serious injuries.   ___Jabarain was shot and injured by Israeli forces and immediately detained.   More . . .
Related . . .    ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  19  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  MINORS

INJURIES  AMONG  PALESTINIANS  AS  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAID  JOSEPH’S  TOMB  IN  NABLUS
At least 10 Palestinians were injured on Monday during clashes with Israeli forces who were providing cover for extremist settlers during the latter’s raid of Joseph’s Tomb, to the east of the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank  . . .    More . . .
Related . . .   114  EXTREMIST  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  AQSA  MOSQUE
Related . . .   DOZENS  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BLOCK  MAIN  ROAD,  DAMAGE  VEHICLES

ASHRAWI  CONDEMNS  US  ADMINISTRATION’S  DECISION  TO  REVOKE  VISAS  OF  PLO  ENVOY  AND  HIS  FAMILY
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the Trump administration’s decision to revoke the visas of the family of Head of the PLO General Delegation to the U.S. as ‘being vindictive and cruel’.   ___On Tuesday, the U.S. administration informed staff at the PLO General Delegation Office in Washington D.C. of the guidelines for closing down the office.  [. . . .] On this most recent outrageous development, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “As if the announcement that the U.S. would close our office in Washington D.C. was not enough, this vindictive action by the Trump administration is spiteful. The U.S. has taken its attempts to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians to a new level.”   More . . .
Related . . .   US  CUTS  AID  TO  ‘PALESTINE-ISRAEL’  CONFLICT  RESOLUTION  PROGRAMS

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  SUPPORT  FOR  ISRAEL  MEANS  ABANDONING  UNIVERSAL  VALUES
Udi Aloni
On a recent trip to Germany, Jewish Israeli filmmaker Udi Aloni finds himself defending the Palestinians’ right to resist Israeli apartheid and occupation. Before pledging unconditional loyalty to Israel, he says, people should ask themselves what values they are helping promote.  [. . . .] ___In a time of weakness and confusion, in which the right wing appropriates our human rights discourse, political correctness and identity politics are crucial to refresh the stagnant left. How is it that crucial strategies become perversely transformed, only to be thrown back in our face as racist ideologies while the white-supremacist crowd applauds? And how can I stand up to these brutal attacks and not fall into them?  More . . .

ON  THIS  DAY:  THE  JERUSALEM  INTIFADA  (SEPT.  15,  2015)
Rebecca Stead
On 13 September 2015, the eve of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), a number of Jewish Israelis visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, entered Al-Haram Al-Sharif escorted by heavily armed Israeli soldiers. Palestinians gathered in the compound to protest the visits, since Israelis are prohibited from praying on the site under the status quo agreement. Israeli forces dispersed the protesters with violence, using tear gas and rubber bullets.  [. . . .] According to the UN’s OCHAoPt, “2015 recorded the highest number of casualties among West Bank Palestinians since 2005, when OCHA began documenting incidents”. Hundreds of Palestinians died from tear gas inhalation, rubber bullets and from live ammunition shot by Israeli forces. Thirty children were killed by Israeli forces and settlers, the highest number recorded since 2006.   ___Some commentators believe that this “third intifada” never really ended.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

UNRWA USA is an independent nonprofit that supports the humanitarian and human development work of the  UNITED  NATIONS  RELIEF  AND  WORKS  AGENCY  for Palestine Refugees through fundraising, education, and advocacy.  UNRWA USA aims to promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees. Due to the United States government’s recent decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis.  HELP FUND UNRWA’S WORK.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  FEAR  FOR  A  DREAM,”  by  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We fear for a dream: don’t believe our butterflies.
Believe our sacrifices if you like, believe the compass of a horse, our
. . . need for the north.
We have raised the beaks of our souls to you. Give us a grain of
. . . wheat, our dream. Give it, give it to us.
We have offered you the shores since our coming to the earth born of
. . . an idea or of the adultery of two waves on a rock in the sand.
Nothing. Nothing. We float on a foot of air. The air breaks up within
. . . ourselves.
We know you have abandoned us, built for us prisons and called them
. . . the paradise of oranges.
We go on dreaming. Oh, desired dream. We steal our days from those
. . . extolled by our myths.
We fear for you, we’re afraid of you. We are exposed together, you
. . . shouldn’t believe our wives’ patience.
They will weave two dresses, then sell the bones of the loved ones to
. . . buy a glass of milk for our children.
We fear for a dream, from him, from ourselves. We go on dreaming
. . . oh, dream of ours. Don’t believe our butterflies!

– – – From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  Bilingual  Anthology  of  Arabic  Poetry.
Trans. by Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 1984 & 2005.

 

“. . . I plant the names of my loved ones in the streets . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .   

PALESTINIAN  SUCCUMBS  TO  WOUNDS  SUSTAINED  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS      A 19-year-old Palestinian succumbed to his wounds, on Friday morning, that he had sustained several weeks ago during  “The Great March of Return”  protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Medical sources identified the Palestinian as Amjad Fayez Hamduna, 19, and confirmed that he had succumbed to his wounds.    ___Hamduna was wounded by Israeli forces’ live fire during protests on July 14th in northern Gaza.   More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE INJURES 2 PALESTINIANS IN GAZA
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  FIVE  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  RAMALLAH

PALESTINIANS  PREVENT  ISRAELI  SETTLERS’  RAID  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR   
A group of Palestinians prevented a group of Israeli settlers from raiding the Khan al-Ahmar village east of occupied Jerusalem City, on Friday morning.    ___Locals said that Israeli settlers attempted to raid the Bedouin village, threatened with demolition that is expected to take place in less than a week, to provoke residents and activists carrying out a sit-in at the village.    ___Palestinian youths prevented Israeli settlers from raiding the village and forced them to leave back to the nearby main street.   [. . . . ] Earlier this week, the Israeli High Court had rejected an appeal against the demolition of the village . . .    More . . .

ISRAEL  ORDERS  FIVE  JERUSALEMITES  TO  STAY  AWAY  FROM  JERUSALEM
An Israeli court ordered five Palestinian youth from occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday to stay away from the city and its holy Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for one month, as a precondition for their release from Israeli custody.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

THE  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION:  DECLINE  OR  DEATH?  [MINISTER]  OF  THE  RIGHT-WING  LIKUD  PARTY  SAID,  “THE  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION  IS  DEAD”.
This is the latest of a slew of Israeli statements related surrounding the revival of the so-called Confederacy solution with Jordan.     ___This statement also refers somehow to the development of this solution, as it comes over a decade after another announcement was made, i.e. the “decline of the two-state solution”, which was reiterated after the Palestinian division in 2007 . . .   More . . .

SHUBLAQ:  ELECTRICITY  CRISIS  IN  GAZA  LEADS  TO  WATER,  SEWAGE  CRISES  (VIDEO)      General Director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) Munther Shublaq warned yesterday of a near water and sewage crises in Gaza due to the continuous electricity crisis, Safa news agency reported.   ___In a press release, Shublaq said that the situation in Gaza deteriorated as the fuel offered by OCHA, which is needed to run the water and sewage plants, is running out.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

KINDERUSA – DALLAS:  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA.
A  FUND  RAISING  EVENT

Dr. Mads Gilbert, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Tromso, Norway, gives his first hand account of the horrors that took place during 51 day war in Gaza. Dr. Gilbert has authored two books about the last two wars in Gaza. Both will be available for purchase at the close of the program.
Sunday, October 21, 2018, 3:00 – 6:00 PM
Angelika Film Center, Plano, TX, USA
Admission: $45  Register . . .

“RESISTANCE,”  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
I plant my poetry
in the streets,
in every quarter
and every alley,
a poem…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my fingers
in the streets,
in every hole,
in every flower pot:
a finger…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my blood
in the streets,
on every sidewalk,
on every roadsign:
a drop of blood…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my dreams
in the streets,
in the heads of passers-by:
an infant dream…resisting the conquerors!
I plant the names of my loved ones
in the streets,
on every tree, on every wall:
the name of a martyr resisting the conquerors!
I plant the colors of the flag
in the streets,
on every house,
and every window and door:
a color…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my children’s luggage
in the streets
at every roadblock,
at every checkpoint:
a suitcase…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my hands
in the streets,
on every corner:
a firm hand resisting the conquerors!

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine. Abu Ghoush reading one of his own poems.
From: University of Massachusetts DartmouthMiddle East Affairs
Special Programs, 
Commemorating the Intifada’s Tenth Year, April 10, 1998
Prof. Naseer Aruri

“. . . In Gaza, There is no legacy under the rubble . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

[Note: Please see the page “Other Sources” for a list of the sources used that are not specifically “news” sites, the location of many of the opinion pieces here.]

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The Apartheid Wall, Shuafat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem. Photo, Harold Knight, November 5, 2015.

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY

2  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  270  OTHERS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS.
Two Palestinians were killed and 270 others were injured by Israeli forces alongside the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip during the 21st Friday of “The Great March of Return” under the slogan “Revolution for Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa.”  More.
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM. A Palestinian youth was killed after being shot by Israeli forces under the pretext of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.  More.
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHUT  DOWN  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  COMPOUND.  Israeli forces have shut down the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following an alleged stabbing attempt by a Palestinian on a group of Israeli policemen in Jerusalem’s Old City.   ___The attacker, a 30-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel from the town of Umm al-Faham, was shot dead by the Israeli forces. . . .  More.

OPINION AND COMMENTARY

AS  ISRAEL  ENSHRINES  JEWISH  SUPERIORITY,  WHAT’S  NEXT  FOR  ITS  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS?
Henriette Chacar (August 15, 2018)
. . . the Jewish Nation-State Law, which enshrined a superior set of rights for Jewish Israelis last month, and the direction in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government is headed.  . . . . ___ Members of the Palestinian community in Israel launched a campaign to repeal the law — headed by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee — an umbrella organization that represents the country’s Arabs, which make up 20 percent of Israel’s population. Tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens, together with Jewish supporters, demonstrated against the law in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square over the weekend, a week after the Druze community held their own mass protest in the same square.  More.

THE  DRUZE  AND  THE  NATION-STATE  BILL.
Yara Hawari (August 16, 2018)
The passing of the “nation-state” bill last month, affirming the Israeli state’s Jewish character and downgrading the Arabic language, has reignited a conversation among the Palestinian citizens of Israel especially with regards to their precarious position within the state. In particular, it has sparked intense conversations among the Palestinian Druze community in Israel. In addition to several resignations from Druze officers currently serving in the Israeli military.   More.

ONE  STATE:  A  VIEW  FROM  GAZA
Ahmed Abu Artema  (August 17, 2018)
There are those who believe that Israel’s recently-passed Nation-State Law represents a failure of the one-state option, as it formalizes the exclusively Jewish nature of the dominant state in Palestine and with it, the disenfranchisement of the non-Jewish population.   ___The new law could also be viewed, however, as betraying a fear on the part of the occupying power that the de facto imposition of one state on the ground holds within it the seeds of the dismantling of the colonial project from the inside. Seen in this way, all of the decisions, laws and actions taken by the occupying power to insist upon the specifically Jewish character of the state are but desperate attempts to go against history and legitimize an order that is both unfair and unsustainable.  More.

INTERVIEW:  BENJAMIN  LADRAA:  ‘YOU  DON’T  HAVE  TO  BE  PALESTINIAN  TO  CARE  ABOUT  THE  INJUSTICE  IN  PALESTINE’.
(August 18, 2018)
Benjamin Ladraa is a Swedish human rights activist, who walked 4,800 km through 13 countries over a span of 11 months to raise awareness about the Palestinian cause.   ___Ma’an News Agency interviewed Ladraa after Israeli authorities banned him from entering Palestine upon his arrival at the Allenby Bridge, the Jordanian-Palestinian borders, in July.   Video.

“CEASEFIRE,” by  Jehan Bseiso.

Little men, cross legged, trade war stories like boys trade baseball cards.

These are times ripe and full with want and promise never fulfilled.

This much is true:
Lost boys become lost men.

Too much water, too much blood dilutes history and
We always end up with less than what we started.

In Gaza,
There is no legacy under the rubble, no pride in long fires
Burning.

There is a face at the window, sallow.

One woman sighing, her body bears the marks of all their trudging,
thighs transformed to gallows and trenches.

Her hair shrouds the dead from both sides and her lap
cradles aporias generations can’t understand.

—from I Remember My Name. Novum Pro Publishers. 2016.

 

“. . . a land that can fit, with wilderness to spare, in the Panhandle of Texas . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Abu Rudeineh responding to US ambassador: Occupation is reason for violence
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Amid rising tensions, US troops in Israel for missile defense drill
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) 44 Settlers, 33 US soldiers storm al-Aqsa Mosque plaza

  • Background: “The Gold Standard: U.S.–Israel Military Relations.” American Foreign Policy Interests.

❷ Israeli forces shower Palestinian school with tear gas, sending several students to hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian teen from Halhul, clash with locals
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Teen critically injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers north of Jerusalem
❸ PCHR: IOF continue systematic crimes in the oPT
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ABU  RUDEINEH  RESPONDING  TO  US  AMBASSADOR:  OCCUPATION  IS  REASON  FOR  VIOLENCE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Responding to statements by the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman criticizing the Palestinian Authority, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said on Wednesday that the Israeli occupation and the settlement policy are the main reason for violence in the region.
___Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements and settlers who regularly donates money and support for the illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied territories, which are in violation of international law, lashed out at what he said in a tweet as “Palestinian leader” not speaking out against the killing of  settlers in the West Bank.
___“The statements by the US ambassador lead us to wonder about the ambassador’s relationship with the occupation: Does he represent the US or Israel?” wondered Abu Rudeineh.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  AMID  RISING  TENSIONS,  US  TROOPS  IN  ISRAEL  FOR  MISSILE  DEFENSE  DRILL
The Jerusalem Post
Feb. 4, 2018 ― With tensions high on both the northern and southern fronts, US troops are in Israel and have deployed anti-missile defense systems across the country ahead of the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise.
___The large-scale, five-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from both fronts and will be led by the Israel Air Force, the IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)    44  SETTLERS,  33  US  SOLDIERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  PLAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 8, 2018 ―  Some 44 Jewish settlers escorted by 33 American soldiers on Thursday broke into al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas amid protection by Israeli police.
___Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said the American soldiers stormed the holy site in civilian uniform with the company of an Israeli officer.  MORE . . .

Holt, Blaine D.
“THE  GOLD  STANDARD:  U.S.–ISRAEL  MILITARY  RELATIONS.”
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY INTERESTS, vol. 36, no. 2, Mar/Apr2014, pp. 111-118. ‘‘The Gold Standard’’ may well be one of the most cliche´d and overused phrases used to communicate any field’s leading program or effort. However, in considering the military-to-military relationship between the United States and Israel, this trite descriptor may be more than appropriate. . . .
[. . . .] At present, the bilateral relationship in the military sphere is the envy of strategists and planners around the world. Joint and combined exercises, staff colleges and fellowships, interoperability training, and joint research and development are some of the jewels in the crown that suits both countries well. . . .   Today’s relationship boasts robust intelligence cooperation in addition to all the measures that yield two very capable, ready forces that have confidence in their ability to meet the bilateral challenges posed by leaders in Washington and Tel Aviv. And, while U.S.–Israeli bonds at the political level have ebbed and flowed, military-to-military relations have grown steadily, while remaining pragmatic and professional, over the last 50 years.
[. . . .] Irrespective of the level at which U.S. foreign aid settles as the political leadership in both countries engage in dialogue and debate domestically, the relationship between militaries forged over five decades is valuable. A way to safely shepherd this evolving and dynamic military alliance through any political, economic, or diplomatic climate is to deepen the roots of the existing programs while looking at innovative options to form new initiatives. In other words, rather than looking for ways to sustain the status quo, the timing is optimal to move the relationship to the next level . . . version 2.0.     SOURCE . . .  

ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOWER  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOL  WITH  TEAR  GAS,  SENDING  SEVERAL  STUDENTS  TO  HOSPITAL 
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinian school students in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron were exposed to high levels of tear gas on Thursday morning as Israeli forces showered their school with tear gas canisters.
___Several students were transferred to the Muhammad Ali al-Muhtaseb Hospital for treatment.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  FATHER  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  FROM  HALHUL,  CLASH  WITH  LOCALS
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Clashes erupted in the Hebron-area town of Halhul in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday during an Israeli raid into the town, just shortly after an Israeli security guard had shot and killed Halhul resident Hamzeh Youssif Zamaareh, 19.
[. . . .] After the alleged attack, Israeli forces raided Zamaareh’s family house and detained his father, Youssif.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴃ)  TEEN  CRITICALLY  INJURED  IN  CLASHES  WITH  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  NORTH  OF  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers Wednesday critically injured a 16-year-old Palestinian in Kafr ‘Aqab, north of Jerusalem, said medical sources.
___The Palestinian Red Crescent told WAFA the teen, who remains unidentified until the moment, was hit in the face, chest, and thigh areas during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . .  
❸  PCHR:  IOF  CONTINUE  SYSTEMATIC  CRIMES  IN  THE  OPT
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 7, 2018 ― The Gaza based Palestinian Center for Human Rights in its weekly report during the reporting period of (01 – 07 Feb. 2018) has recorded ongoing systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, which include:

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • Two Palestinian civilians were killed in peaceful protests that did not pose any threat to the Israeli soldiers’ life.
  • Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar in a crime of extra-judicial execution.
  • [. . . .] Israeli forces conducted 74 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 into Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. He attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications,

“. . . We have a brother in the dust . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Israeli settlers attack northern West Bank school
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Scores of settlers and police forces defile Aqsa Mosque
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Settlers conduct land survey south of Nablus
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Rabbi: Israeli settlement incubates worst violence against Palestinians

  • Background: “Childhood: A Universalist Perspective for How Israel Is Using Child Arrest and Detention to Further Its Colonial Settler Project.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❷ Two boys lose eyes to Israeli fire
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli occupation forces abduct 4 Palestinian children in Jenin
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinian child abducted by 21 Israeli soldiers returns home
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  SCHOOL  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Dec. 28, 2017 ― Jewish settlers attacked on Thursday students at the Burin High School in the northern West Bank district of Nablus prompting local residents to confront them and push them back, according to the school principal Ibrahim Omran.
___Israeli soldiers, who provided protection to the settlers who came from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar, fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the Palestinians causing several cases of suffocation from gas inhalation and rubber bullet injuries.
___Omran said the students were sitting for their mid-term exams when some 15 settlers attacked the school under army protection.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  SCORES  OF  SETTLERS  AND  POLICE  FORCES  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 28, 2017 ―  Dozens of Jewish settlers on Thursday morning desecrated the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards under tight police guard.
___According to local media sources, about 112 settlers entered the Mosque in groups through al-Maghariba Gate, while several police troops were deployed throughout the Mosque’s plateaus and among Palestinian worshipers.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶―  (ᴃ)  SETTLERS  CONDUCT  LAND  SURVEY  SOUTH  OF  NABLUS
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 28, 2017 ―  A group of Jewish settlers escorted by soldiers on Wednesday surveyed a vast tract of land in an area between the towns of Duma and Qusra, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
___Local sources said that several settlers and soldiers were seen using maps in their land survey, expressing fears of Israeli intents to annex lands in their area for settlement projects.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴄ)    RABBI:  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  INCUBATES  WORST  VIOLENCE  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS 
Days of Palestine 
Dec. 27, 2017 ―  Toxic environment of radical Israeli settlements incubates violence, while Israeli occupation forces has miserable record of bringing those who attack Palestinians to justice, Rabbi Arik Ascherman said. 
___In an opinion article published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Tuesday, Ascherman said he was attacked with a knife by a masked settler from the illegal settlement of Itmar in 2015 while he was leading Israeli occupation forces to a FIRE SET BY SETTLERS in a Palestinian olive grove.
___The attacker, Ascherman ironically said, was taken to court and then was sentenced, but to 150 hours of community service.   MORE . . .  

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera.
“Childhood: A Universalist Perspective for How Israel Is Using Child Arrest and Detention to Further Its Colonial Settler Project.”
International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
, vol. 12, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 223-244.
[. . . .] . . . the general trend of settler colonialism is based on “a sustained institutional tendency to supplant the indigenous population” and a cultural logic of elimination that “reconciles a range of historical practices that might otherwise seem distinct” (Wolfe, P. (2006). Settler colonialism. p. 396). Furthermore, settler colonialism is located in programs of control, removal, and termination, and the invasion of the world of colonized people is a structure, not an event. Children who are maltreated in such a context suffer ongoing structural violence at the hands of the colonizer. . .  In the settler colonial project, settlers regard the new territory as theirs and conceive the birth and development of native children as contributing to a “demographic threat” that compromises their dominance over the territory. . .  demographic and social modes of control are  connected to structural preconditions that dispossess land and dominate movement and life. Controlling, subjugating, and abusing children enhances such dispossession.
[. . . .] Within this context, Palestinian children are viewed as security threats and therefore thrust outside of acceptable and established human rights framework and into a discriminatory structure of analysis. Mohammed Zine al-Majid, for example, was only four years old when an arrest warrant was issued in his name . . . Mohammed’s father recalled asking the armed officers who raided his home in search of his toddler son, “Are you sure you have an arrest warrant? A legal one?” . . .  Mohammed’s father could not believe that such a young boy could be considered a threat. Although the authorities left once they realized they had made mistake, the damage was already done.
___Legally, Mohammed was not treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention or the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child . . . Mohammed’s case calls for an analysis of how, in the context of the military occupation of the Palestinian territories, arrest warrants for children are considered “legal,”“acceptable,” and “normal,” and not seen as child abuse.    SOURCE . . . 

❷ TWO  BOYS  LOSE  EYES  TO  ISRAELI  FIRE 
The Electronic Intifada     
Maureen Clare Murphy
Dec. 28, 2017 ―  With Israel’s crackdown on protests over Jerusalem has come a spike in violations of Palestinian children’s rights.
___Since 6 December, when President Donald Trump announced that the US recognized the city as Israel’s capital and pledged to move the country’s embassy there, Palestinian children have been among the hundreds injured and arrested by Israeli forces.
___Several children have suffered potentially irreversible head injuries, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine.
___Two have lost eyes.
___Two boys were hit in the face with tear gas canisters fired by Israeli soldiers from a watchtower near Erez checkpoint during an 11 December protest at the Gaza-Israel boundary.   MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCES  ABDUCT  4  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  IN  JENIN    
Days of Palestine     
Dec. 27, 2017 ―  Israeli occupation forces abducted on Wednesday evening four Palestinian children from Kafr Dan Neighbourhood in West Bank city of Jenin.
___Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli occupation forces raided a Palestinian farm in the area, attacked the farmers and abducted the four children.
___The eyewitnesses identified the four children as Hamza Sabah, Mohamed Salah, Mustafa Mer’e and Ahmed Salah.
___All of them were taken by a military jeep to the Israeli military camp in the area referred to by mass media as Salem Military Camp.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)    PALESTINIAN  CHILD  ABDUCTED  BY  21  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  RETURNS  HOME
Days of Palestine
Dec. 28, 2017 ― The 16-year-old Palestinian teen, Fawzi al-Juneidi, who was recently arrested by Israeli soldiers, returned to his family late Wednesday.
___The boy was abducted on December 7 in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil after being dragged on the ground and blindfolded by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers.
___A photo of the blindfolded youth quickly became a symbol of ongoing Palestinian protests sparked by US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.    MORE . . .    ..

“BROTHER,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
I have a brother in the dust
who has been waiting thirty years for his toys.
How did we not wait for him, he will ask us.
How did age take us by surprise?
How did we grow up?
And how is it, just like that, we’ve never invited him to join us?
Not once did we invite him
into our games in the mirror, in our dreams,
just like that!
One of our games is:
We have a brother in the dust.
When winter comes he waves with the grass.
He beguiles us with intense whiteness―that’s his habit―
then dwells close to our father, over there, inside mother.

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble.
About Ibrahim Nasrallah.

“. . . with their dyed hair and Italian shoes, they play prophet on golf courses . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ Abbas spokesman: We will not accept changes to 1967 East Jerusalem borders
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ashrawi to foreign diplomats: The situation needs real action from int’l community

  • Background: “Narratives of Jerusalem and Its Sacred Compound.” Israel Studies.

❷ Israeli Forces Kill 4 in Palestine During Clashes
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli security forces raid East Jerusalem neighborhood, detain young Palestinians
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Night clashes erupt in Qalqilia town
❸ Rafah crossing [Gaza] with Egypt reopens for four days, students urged to travel to their colleges
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) UN says half a million Gaza Palestinians at risk of displacement due to flooding
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Israel Has No Right to Establish Its Capital in an Occupied City
❺ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ABBAS  SPOKESMAN:  WE  WILL  NOT  ACCEPT  CHANGES  TO  1967  EAST  JERUSALEM  BORDERS  
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 16, 2017 – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, released a statement [on Saturday] saying that Palestinians “will not accept any changes to the 1967 border of East Jerusalem,” as tensions surrounding the Israel-occupied Palestinian territory continue to rise in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Abu Rudeinah’s speech . . . . was allegedly in response to statements attributed to a White House official saying that the US considers the Wailing or Western Wall – which Muslims refer to as Al-Buraq Wall — as part of Israel.
___“This American position proves once again that the current US administration is completely out of the peace process,” he said.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ASHRAWI  TO  FOREIGN  DIPLOMATS:  THE  SITUATION  NEEDS  REAL  ACTION  FROM  INT’L  COMMUNITY 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 16, 2017 ― PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi told foreign diplomats that the current situation  in Palestine needs real action from the international community.
___Ashrawi said US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unilaterally undermined peace opportunities and efforts . . . .
___“Trump’s announcement has led to a change in all conditions,” Ashrawi said, stressing that the United States is no longer suitable to be a mediator in the political process as the American decision led to the impossibility of returning to the bast stage she said.
___“US President Donald Trump move leads us to a new stage and Palestinians can not go back to past stages. Everything that is said about peace deals is now frozen, and all options is open after the American announcement.”   MORE . . .

Reiter, Yitzhak. “NARRATIVES  OF  JERUSALEM  AND  ITS  SACRED  COMPOUND.”
ISRAEL  STUDIES,
vol. 18, no. 2, Summer2013, pp. 115-132.
[. . . .] The Temple Mount/al-Aqsa compound. . . .  is a central symbol of national and religious identity for both sides, and therefore the element of greatest conflict. The battle over the myths and narratives surrounding this compound . . . serve as a vehicle to support the meta-narrative of both Israelis and Palestinians . . .  the right to the Holy Land, to Palestine/Eretz Israel. Within the struggle over public awareness of Jerusalem’s importance, one particular site is at the eye of the storm—the Temple Mount and its Western Wall—the Jewish Kotel—or, in Muslim terminology, the al-Aqsa compound (alternatively: al-Haram al-Sharif) including the al-Buraq Wall. From both the Jewish and the Muslim points of view, the Foundation Stone, the Rock adorned with the golden dome, is the “Rock of our existence”—a symbol of religious-national identity . . .
___The site’s status as a sacred space makes it the natural focal point of the power struggle, including claims to sovereignty, efforts to exclude the opposing group and to claim recognition and inclusion. This situation is all the more true when the site in question lies at the center of a national conflict between two peoples who also represent, to a great extent, two essentially different religions and cultures. “Al-Aqsa” for the Palestinian-Arab-Muslim side is not merely a mosque mentioned in the Qur’an within the context of the Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous Night Journey to al-Aqsa which, according to tradition, concluded with his ascension to heaven (and prayer with all of the prophets and the Jewish and Christian religious figures who preceded him); rather, it also constitutes a unique symbol of identity, one around which various political objectives may be formulated, plans of action drawn up and masses mobilized for their realization.
[. . . . ] The current Jewish and Muslim historical narratives of Jerusalem are mirror images of each other. In pre-modern time they were developed independently, reflecting the religious and collective identity and outlook of each of the two peoples. Since the nineteenth century they have crystallized to respond to national challenges. The historical debate was intensified after 1967, when the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the holy shrines, was conquered by Israel.   SOURCE . . . 

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  4  IN  PALESTINE  DURING  CLASHES 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Israeli Occupation Forces Kill four Palestine During Clashes in the West Bank and Gaza strip in additions of hundreds wounded on Friday.
___According local reports the clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces left four dead and hundreds wounded Friday by live ammunition and rubber coated steel bullets.
___Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are continuing mobilizations against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Six more have been killed during clashes this week, bringing the total death toll to 10.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  SECURITY  FORCES  RAID  EAST  JERUSALEM  NEIGHBORHOOD,  DETAIN  YOUNG  PALESTINIANS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Israeli security forces raided early Saturday the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh and detained at least seven of its young residents, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center based in Silwan, another East Jerusalem neighborhood.
___It said, according to attorney Mohammad Mahmoud, that the seven Palestinians ranging in age between 17 and 21 years, were taken to the Russian compound interrogation center in West Jerusalem.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  NIGHT  CLASHES  ERUPT  IN  QALQILIA  TOWN
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Violent clashes broke out Friday evening in Azzun town, east of Qalqilia, when Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) stormed the town amid heavy firing of teargas bombs.
___Local sources told the PIC reporter that angry protesters attacked Israeli patrols with Molotov cocktails while storming the town.     Several youths suffered breathing problems after inhaling teargas fired by IOF.     MORE . . . 
❸ RAFAH  CROSSING  WITH  EGYPT  REOPENS  FOR  FOUR  DAYS,  STUDENTS  URGED  TO  TRAVEL  TO  THEIR  COLLEGES
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Egypt reopened on Saturday its border crossing with the Gaza Strip at Rafah, in southern Gaza, as the Ministry of Education urged Gaza students enrolled in colleges abroad to take advantage of the opening and travel to their colleges.
___The Palestinian border authority said Rafah terminal will be open in both directions for four days, starting Saturday.
___Nathmi Muhanna, director of the border authority, said Egypt informed them that the crossing will be open for four days to allow humanitarian cases to leave Gaza or return to it.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  UN  SAYS  HALF  A  MILLION  GAZA  PALESTINIANS  AT  RISK  OF  DISPLACEMENT  DUE  TO  FLOODING
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 16, 2017 ― The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to the occupied Palestinian territories said on Friday that over 560,000 Palestinians in Gaza residing in areas prone to flooding are at risk of temporary displacement due to the precarious state of infrastructure.
___It said in its Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin for November that poor infrastructure and lack of funding put over 560,000 people at risk of flooding in the Gaza Strip.  MORE . . .
❹ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  ISRAEL  HAS  NO  RIGHT  TO  ESTABLISH  ITS  CAPITAL  IN  AN  OCCUPIED  CITY
Palestine Chronicle
Richard Falk
Dec. 13, 2017 ―
(Richard Falk  is Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University. He was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.)
Those who speak on behalf of Israel like to defend Donald Trump’s provocative decision of December 6th to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with this contention: “Israel is the only state in the world that is not allowed to locate its capital in a national city of its choice.”
[. . . .] a more thoughtful formulation of the issue would be: “Israel is the only state in the world whose government dares to locate its capital in a city located beyond its sovereign borders and subject to superior competing claims.” Granted, Israel has declined to date to define its borders for purposes of international law, presumably to leave room for its own further territorial expansion [. . . .]   MORE . . . 

EXCERPT FROM “MIDNIGHT” [2005], BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
[. . . .] You, whose mother gave birth to you
in the homestead of the Orient,
surrounded by miracles and ballads
and hillsides wet with dew;
the sound of flutes,
the bustard’s feathers
and across a copper-colored sky
flashes the appetite of the hawk,
you’ll keep seeing in the sand
the footprints of bare-foot prophets
chasing the devils of metaphor
and you will see the devils of your own times
as, with their dyed hair and Italian shoes,
they play prophet
on golf courses, and in the corridors of banks
and on CDs.

You’ll hear promises tailored to be neglected,
like a wedding dress, the day after.

You’ll hear the discourse of your long-gone ancestors
pedants whose graves
have long since been engulfed by desert mounds,
announcing the weather forecast for tomorrow
and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow [. . . .]

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.  A biographical essay about Mourid Barghouti.

 

“. . . I plant my dreams in the streets . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Erekat : we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Arab league approaches US over PLO’s Washington office closure
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Dr. Ashrawi: U.S. is disqualifying itself as a peace broker in the region

  • Background: “The Concept of Palestine: The Conception of Palestine from the Late Bronze Age to the Modern Period.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Israel to demolish residential structures near Hebron
❸ Dozens of Jewish settlers defile Aqsa Mosque
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush

Special notice: Museum of the Palestinian People  (Please make a contribution. Thanks to a generous donor, any gift you make will be matched up to $25,000 by the end of November. This amount will count toward our 2018 budget of $168,000.)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EREKAT  :  WE  WILL  PUT  ON  HOLD  ALL  OUR  COMMUNICATIONS  WITH  THIS  AMERICAN  ADMINISTRATION       
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Saeb Erekat , secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, said that if the American administrations close PLO offices in Washington, D.C., we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration.”
___Erekat added that “the US State Department notified us with an official letter that they cannot certify the continuance opening of the PLO office in Washington D.C. due to the fact that we are pursuing and encouraging the ICC (International Criminal Court).”
___“This is very unfortunate and unacceptable. This is the pressure being exerted on this administration from the Netanyahu government.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ARAB  LEAGUE  APPROACHES  US  OVER  PLO’S  WASHINGTON  OFFICE  CLOSURE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ―The Arab League Sunday announced that its Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has approached the US administration after the latter announced it will close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington.
___The league said in a press statement that Aboul Gheit and Minister of foreign affairs Riyad al-Malki met and discussed the latest developments on the ground and possible means to resume the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
___Al-Malki briefed Aboul Gheit on the official position of the Palestinian Authority regarding the closure of the PLO’s Washington office, saying it will harm the peace process and the role of the US as peace broker.
___Aboul Gheit’s spokesman said the league is working to maintain official communication channels between the Palestinian Authority and the US administration. . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) DR.  ASHRAWI:  U.S.  IS  DISQUALIFYING  ITSELF  AS  A  PEACE  BROKER  IN  THE  REGION    
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Nov. 19, 2017 ― In response to media inquiries concerning the U.S. administration’s refusal to extend the waiver of statutory restrictions on the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States in Washington D.C., PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned such a move and said:
___“Instead of holding Israel liable for its persistent violations of international law and conventions, the U.S. administration and Congress are threatening to punish the Palestinian people because of statements made by President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations and other leaders pertaining to ICC accountability for Israel and for its war crimes in Palestine.   MORE . . .

Masalha, Nur. “THE  CONCEPT  OF  PALESTINE:  THE  CONCEPTION  OF  PALESTINE  FROM  THE  LATE  BRONZE  AGE  TO  THE  MODERN  PERIOD.”
Journal  of  Holy  Land  &  Palestine  Studies
, vol. 15, no. 2, Nov. 2016, pp. 143-202.
The celebrated English historian Edward Gibbon, writing in 1776, noted that ‘Phoenicia and Palestine will forever live in the [collective] memory of mankind’. . . Palestine is the collective watan (homeland) of the Palestinian people —the indigenous people of historic Palestine. The Palestinian people have a multi-religious and multicultural ancient heritage and a multi-layered identity deeply rooted in ancient history. Palestinians often speak of Biladuna Filastin: ‘Our Country, Palestine’ (colloquially: Bladna Falastin). The country of Palestine as a distinct political geography-with its own distinct and diverse traditions and a mélange of styles —is deeply rooted in the indigenous psyche and consciousness; the toponym (place-name) of Palestine is deeply rooted in the ancient past from the Late Bronze Age onwards. . . . For a millennium and a half of Classical Antiquity and Byzantine Christianity as well as under Islam in the Middle Ages the term Palestine also acquired official administrative status.
[. . . .] For over 1200 years the name Palestine was used most commonly, consistently and continuously throughout Classical Antiquity, from the highlight of classical Athenian civilisation . . . [until] the occupation of Palestine by the Muslim armies in 637 AD.
___To substitute the vague and semi-mythical term Cana’an for the real historical and official toponym Palaestina for a spectacular classical period lasting over one millennium would be tantamount to the elimination of the actual history of this important region . . . [and] eliminate the possibility of any real historical knowledge of one of the most important periods in the ancient history of the region, namely: early Christianity and Byzantine greater Palaestina. Greek-speaking Byzantine Christianity in Palestine began in the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (306—337 AD) and lasted until the beginning of Islamic rule in Palestine in 637 AD.
[. . . .] Furthermore, when referring to the ancient history of this region modern European scholarship (and even early Zionist scholarly societies such as the ‘Jewish Palestine Exploration Society’, founded in 1914) universally and unanimously talk about ‘Palestine’, even when referring to Jewish history. [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  RESIDENTIAL  STRUCTURES  NEAR  HEBRON 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Israeli authorities notified Palestinians about a decision to demolish residential structures and animal barns in Masafer Yatta area, to the south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
___Rateb Jabour, who monitors settlement activities in the area, said Israeli forces handed a written notice to locals informing them about their intention to demolish a number of residential structures and a barn used for raising livestock in Kherbet Shaab al-Butum, a village in Masafer Yatta area. The barn was built with funding from the European Union.   MORE . . .
DOZENS  OF  JEWISH  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE  
The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Dozens of Jewish settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning under Israeli security protection provided by special police forces.     ___The PIC reporter said that 86 settlers entered the holy Islamic site via the Maghareba Gate in six separate groups and roamed its plazas.     ___He added that 35 Israeli students toured the Aqsa Mosque compound along with guides, who explained to the students the history of the alleged Jewish Temple.     MORE . . .

“RESISTANCE,”  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
I plant my poetry
in the streets,
in every quarter
and every alley,
a poem…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my fingers
in the streets,
in every hole,
in every flower pot:
a finger…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my blood
in the streets,
on every sidewalk,
on every roadsign:
a drop of blood…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my dreams
in the streets,
in the heads of passers-by:
an infant dream…resisting the conquerors!
I plant the names of my loved ones
in the streets,
on every tree, on every wall:
the name of a martyr resisting the conquerors!
I plant the colors of the flag
in the streets,
on every house,
and every window and door:
a color…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my children’s luggage
in the streets
at every roadblock,
at every checkpoint:
a suitcase…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my hands
in the streets,
on every corner:
a firm hand resisting the conquerors!

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine. Abu Ghoush reading one of his own poems.  See also. 
From: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Middle East Affairs
Special Programs,
Commemorating the Intifada’s Tenth Year, April 10, 1998
Prof. Naseer Aruri