“. . . Enemy of light I shall not compromise . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

1-120904-gaza-sufi-concert
Palestinian Sufi artists perform mystic songs about peace, brotherhood and love during a celebration in Gaza City, 28 August, 2012. (Photo: Majdi Fathi/APA Images)

❶ Israeli army carries out explosions in central Gaza Strip
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) On anniversary, 900 Gazans remain in need of care for injuries sustained in 2014 war

  • background from Criticism

❷ Sufism in Gaza: healing the soul

  • background from Global Governance

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  WOMEN  SAIL  TO  BREAK  THE  SIEGE  ON  GAZA
❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  ARMY  CARRIES  OUT  EXPLOSIONS  IN  CENTRAL  GAZA  STRIP
Ma’an News Agency
July 14, 2016
Israeli warplanes carried out air raids in the central Gaza Strip late on Wednesday night, with conflicting reports on the nature of the strikes.
___Palestinian sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out two airstrikes targeting lands east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the besieged Palestinian territory.
___They added that at least two missiles hit an unknown target south of the Camera military site.     MORE . . .    
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ON  ANNIVERSARY,  900  GAZANS  REMAIN  IN  NEED  OF  CARE  FOR  INJURIES  SUSTAINED  IN  2014  WAR
Ma’an News Agency
July 7, 2016
Some 900 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continue to require medical attention as a result of permanent disabilities they sustained during Israel’s devastating 51-day assault on the small territory that began on July 8, 2014, according to UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.
___On the second anniversary of the war, the Gaza Strip’s Shifa hospital had 3,839 registered patients waiting for scheduled operations, more than half of which were classified as major surgeries, according to a statement published Monday by UNRWA, adding that surgical appointments were being scheduled for as far away as 2018. MORE . . .

From Criticism
. . . . working through the implications and particularities of genocides needs to be separated from a discursive sacralization of the Holocaust that legitimates a politics of absolutism. Such a sacralization has become so powerful and simultaneously so empty of meaning that it seems to exert a magnetic force even on those who seek to oppose the politics it legitimates.
___But it need not be so. . .  we can also take inspiration from the most prominent spokesperson from the Palestinian diaspora, the late and sorely missed Edward Said. Said repeatedly refused “morally to equate mass extermination with mass dispossession.” He also frequently referred to Palestinians as “the victims of the victims.” Although this formulation sounds at first like a pure example of equation and symmetry, I do not think he was suggesting that victimization leads inevitably to further identical forms of victimization. Rather, Said meant that Israelis and Palestinians have been brought together by the contingencies of history, by logics only partly in their control. They occupy a shared, yet divided place—both a geographic territory and a geography of memory. This place is not, today, a site of symmetry and peace—it is a site of asymmetry and violence, and Gaza is a resonant symbol of that condition. Transforming that condition will take more than the work of multidirectional memory, but without changing the way we think about the past it will be difficult to imagine an alternative future.

  • Rothberg, Michael. “From Gaza to Warsaw: Mapping Multidirectional Memory.” Criticism 53.4 (2011): 523-548.

❷ SUFISM  IN  GAZA:  HEALING  THE  SOUL
The Electronic Intifada
Yousef M. Aljamal
July 6, 2016
Nabhan al-Babili assembles his followers every night in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza. The 62-year-old is the head of Gaza’s al-Rifaiya order of Sufi Islam, a position that was held by his father, Abdullah, and his grandfather, Abdulqader, before him.
___It is at such nightly gatherings, in a space richly decorated in green and Islamic calligraphy, and the larger weekly hadrat gatherings, that al-Babili leads his followers, or murids, in a spiritual journey of revelation [. . . .]
Sufi orders generally do not have political agendas and in Palestine have maintained good relations with different political parties.
___“We focus only on celebrating religious occasions,” said al-Babili.     MORE . . .  

From Global Governance 
. . . . the Goldstone Report is not as significant as it seems in relation to either establishing the criminality of Operation Cast Lead or in creating prospects that those Israelis (or Hamas officials) will be held accountable for their gross departures from the law of war. . .  The enduring significance of the Goldstone Report concerns the weakening of the state system and the United Nations to uphold basic human rights, the rise of global civil society, and the essential connections between peace and justice. Specifically, the Goldstone Report has stoked a storm of controversy in the United States and Israel while contributing a validating pat on the back to those engaged in the legitimacy war that the Palestinians are winning on a symbolic global battlefield, and increasingly pinning their hopes on. This legitimacy war has become the leading moral struggle of our time, a sequel to the antiapartheid campaign waged so effectively throughout the world in the late 1980s. Whether it ends in the sort of political victory that unexpectedly and nonviolently transformed South Africa from a racist regime to a multiracial constitutional democracy cannot be foretold. . . .  unless this multifaceted relevance of the Goldstone Report is acknowledged, neither its limits nor its contributions can be properly appreciated, and it is then likely to be misremembered as a failed yet valiant challenge to the impunity of the strong. My hope is that, through dialogue and experience, the Goldstone Report will eventually be appropriately appreciated for its contribution to the struggles of the weak and oppressed, specifically of the Palestinians, and become integrated into a growing confidence in the transformative impact of the theory and practice of nonviolence.

  • Falk, Richard. “The Goldstone Report: Ordinary Text, Extraordinary Event.” Global Governance 16.2 (2010): 173-190.

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WOMEN  SAIL  TO  BREAK  THE  SIEGE  ON  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
Dr. Aayesha Soni
June 24, 2016
The Gaza strip is a piece of land 41 km long and 6-12 km wide, with a total area of 365 square kilometers. Situated on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it has a strong population of 1, 8 million people. . .  [It] is also the world’s largest open air prison, being under complete siege by land, air and sea since 2007. Its neighbors, Israel and Egypt, have been complicit in the persistent and debilitating strangulation of the people of Gaza, with the limitation of all basic goods from entering the region.
___2016 is going to be a momentous occasion as the Freedom Flotilla Coalition sends out its first ever Women’s Boat to Gaza later this year. These well-known women from all over the world intend to break the siege in a bid to awaken the globe to the dire humanitarian crisis that Israel has imposed on Gaza. Their aim is to stand in solidarity with the women of Gaza who are renowned for their strength, courage and unconquerable spirit of resistance.      MORE . . .

“I  MAY  LOSE  MY  DAILY  BREAD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
I may lose my daily bread, if you wish
I may hawk my clothes and bed
I may become a stonecutter, or a porter
Or a street sweeper
I may search in animal dung for food
I may collapse, naked and starved
Enemy of light
I will not compromise
And to the end
I shall fight.
You may rob me of the last span of my land
You may ditch my youth in prison holes
Steel what my grandfather left me behind:
Some furniture or clothes and jars,
You may burn my poems and books
You may feed your dog on my flesh
You may impose a nightmare of your terror
On my village
Enemy of light
I shall not compromise
And to the end
I shall fight.

“Poems of Resistance: 7 Poems for Palestine.” SCOOP  WORLD  INDEPENDENT  NEWS. January 2011. Web.
About Samih Al-QasimIsrael-Bombs-Gaza-Strip-In-Response-To-Palestinian-Rocket-Fire-Hamasindialivetoday

Israel Bombs Gaza Strip In Response To Palestinian Rocket Fire, July 2, 2016. (Photo: India Live Today)

 

“. . . We’ll make you forget Palestine . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

Israeli navy ships opened fire, on Monday at dawn, on a number of Palestinian fishing boats near the Sudaniyya shore, northwest of Gaza city, Feb. 2, 2015 (Photo: File – Felesteen – Gaza newspaper)
Israeli navy ships opened fire, on Monday at dawn, on a number of Palestinian fishing boats near the Sudaniyya shore, northwest of Gaza city, Feb. 2, 2015 (Photo: File – Felesteen – Gaza newspaper)

❶ Israeli Navy Opens Fire at Gaza Fishermen, Sinks Boat
❷ Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian in Gaza clashes
❸ Secondhand boom for Gaza traders with no alternative
❹ Jordan prepares to install surveillance cameras at Al-Aqsa
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHY  THIS  HAMAS  LEADER  WILL  NOT  TELL  YOU  WHAT  YOU  WANT  TO  HEAR
❻ Poetry by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  FIRE  AT  GAZA  FISHERMEN,  SINKS  BOAT
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
April 2, 2016
Israeli navy early Saturday opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip, setting fire to a boat and causing it to sink.
___. . . . No injuries were reported among the fishermen, who apparently fled the sea for fear of being detained, injured, or killed.
___This came as Israeli forces stationed at borderline watchtowers opened fire at farmers as they attempted to access their farmlands to the east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, causing them to flee fearing for their lives.      MORE . . .
MORE . . . 
(The Jerusalem Post slant on the sinking) ISRAELI  NAVY  SINKS  SUSPECTED  SMUGGLING  BOAT  OFF  OF  GAZA  COAST  

ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  INJURE  PALESTINIAN  IN  GAZA  CLASHES
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
April 2, 2016
Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian with live fire when clashes broke out east of al-Buriej refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip Friday, medics said.
___Medical sources told Ma’an that a Palestinian youth was shot and taken to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment, without specifying the youth’s condition.
___. . . . Palestinians in the Gaza Strip crowd near the borders with Israel every Friday to show solidarity with what Palestinians in besieged coastal enclave have termed the “Jerusalem Intifada” taking place in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.      MORE . . . 

SECONDHAND  BOOM  FOR  GAZA  TRADERS  WITH  NO  ALTERNATIVE
THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
Isra Saleh el-Namey
March 28, 2016
Samer Abu Ziada’s secondhand clothes shop in al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip attracts a lot of customers. . . .
___People in the impoverished strip are increasingly turning to shops like Abu Ziada’s. It is a response, said the merchant, whose store has been open six years, to need. Most Palestinians in Gaza, he told The Electronic Intifada, can no longer afford luxuries — and new clothes are now a luxury.      MORE . . .

The increasing popularity of secondhand shops is an “inevitable result” of Gaza’s growing poverty, says a government minister. (Photo: Electronic Intifada, Majdi Fathi)
The increasing popularity of secondhand shops is an “inevitable result” of Gaza’s growing poverty, says a government minister. (Photo: Electronic Intifada, Majdi Fathi)

JORDAN  PREPARES  TO  INSTALL  SURVEILLANCE  CAMERAS  AT  AL-AQSA
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
April 2, 2016
Jordan has begun preparations to install 55 cameras at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after months of contentious arguments over their installation appeared to be resolved. . . .
___The cameras are expected to be mounted on walls around the compound in order to document violations and raids carried out by the Israeli authorities, [Jordanian Minister of Endowment Hayil] Daoud said.
___The minister said the cameras would help Jordan politically, diplomatically and legally by providing material documentation of Israeli violations that could potentially be presented in court.      MORE . . .
RELATED . . . .  WHY  JORDAN  IS  INSTALLING  CAMERAS  AT  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE

Opinion/Analysis:  WHY  THIS  HAMAS  LEADER  WILL  NOT  TELL  YOU  WHAT  YOU  WANT  TO  HEAR
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
Asmaa al-Ghoul
March 30, 2016
Ahmed Yousef, a member of Hamas’ Shura Council and former political adviser to former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, has always sung a different tune, owing to his honesty and moderate positions on political and social issues. His academic background includes a master’s degree in media and a doctorate in political science. . . .
___Yousef regularly writes articles for local websites criticizing Hamas’ performance, such as his piece published in 2014 headlined, “Have mercy on Gaza and return favor to its residents.” In this article, Yousef held both Fatah and Hamas responsible for the ongoing Palestinian division . . . .      MORE . . .

“AN  INVITATION  FOR  THE  FIFTH  OF  JUNE,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI 
(On the fifth anniversary of the Arab defeat in June, 1967)


For the fifth year you come to us
lugging a burlap sack on your back, barefoot,
on your face the sadness of heavens
and the pain of Hussein.
We’ll receive you at every airport
with flower bouquets,
and drink — to your health — rivers of wine.
We’ll sing
and recite insincere poems in your presence,
and you’ll get used to us
and we to you.

II
We ask you to spend here your summer vacation,
like a tourist,
and we’ll offer you a royal suite
we’ve prepared — for you.
You may enjoy the night and the neon lights
and the rock and roll and the porno and the jazz —
here we know of no grief, nor the ones who grieve.
You’ll find in my country all that pleases you,
furnished flats for lovers,
liquor for drinkers,
and harem for the caliph.
Why are you so broken-winged?
Sad-faced guest,
we have water streams and gross and fair maidens —
why are you so diffident?
We’ll make you forget Palestine
and from your eyes pluck the tree of tears,
and from the Qur’an erase the verses,
the Compassionate and the Conquest,
and we’ll assassinate Jesus Christ and grant you an Arab passport
that has no exit visa.

III 
Fifth year
sixth
seventh
eighth
ninth
tenth year
what do the years count for?
All our grand cities, from the Euphrates to the Nile,
are bereft of memory, of remembrance.
We’ve forgotten the men lost in the Sinai
and our dead are dead.
What do the years count for?
We’ve prepared wreaths and the scarfs
and composed all the speeches
and carved, a week before you arrive,
the marble of the tombstones.
O Orient that feeds on the paper of communiqués
and walks — like a lamb — behind all banners.
O Orient that writes the names of its fallen men
on the faces of mirrors on the waists of belly dancers —
what do the years count for?
what do the years count for?
— —Translated by Sharif Elmusa

From MIDDLE  EAST  RESEARCH  AND  INFORMATION  PROJECT  17  (May/June 1987). Web.
About Nizar Qabbani

 

 

“. . . a splinter of shrapnel the size of a penknife lodged in their necks . . .” (Taha Muhammad ‘Ali)

1-1-Swamp-Rose-Mallow-Hibiscus-Moscheufos
“Only once is the Palestine rose mallow mentioned in the Bible, and then as food for the most abject and despised poor (Job xxx. 4)” (Photo and quote from ChestofBooks.com. “Swamp Rose-Mallow.”)

❶ Thousands of Palestinians attend funeral of slain youth in Sair
❷ Two protesters killed by Israeli forces during Gaza protests
❸ List of 158 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Troops Since October 1st
❹ EU Provides €12.5M to Support West Bank, Gaza Families Living in Extreme Poverty
. . . . ❹―(ᴀ) Rethinking Palestine: settler-colonialism, neo-liberalism and individualism in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
❺ Opinion/Analysis: PALESTINE-ISRAEL: EUROPE DROWNING IN AMERICA’S FAILURES
❻ Poetry by Taha Muhammad ‘Ali
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
THOUSANDS  OF  PALESTINIANS  ATTEND  FUNERAL  OF  SLAIN  YOUTH  IN  SAIR
Jan. 15, 2016
Thousands of Palestinians in the village of Sair attended the funeral of 20-year-old Muayyad al-Jabbarin on Friday, a day after he was shot dead at the nearby Beit Einun junction after attempting to stab Israeli soldiers.
___The funeral procession set off from al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron and made its way to Sair’s center, where Jabbarin was laid to rest in the “martyrs'” cemetery.
More . . .
MONDOWEISS
TWO  PROTESTERS  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS
Isra Saleh El-Namy
Jan. 15, 2016
Israeli forces opened fire at different fronts on the Gaza boundary fence today, killing two young Palestinians during today’s clashes.
___Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman of Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that Mohammed Qeita, a 26-year old protester, was shot in his abdomen by an Israeli live bullet. Qeita came with his cousin from Khan Younis to participate at the Friday’s protest at al-Bureij’s border fence, located near the overcrowded al-Bureij Palestinian refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Dozens of protesters carried his bleeding body before he died of his critical injury which he sustained during the protest.
More . . .

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Thousands of Palestinians in the village of Sair attend the funeral of 20-year-old Muayyad al-Jabbarin. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
LIST  OF  158  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  TROOPS  SINCE  OCTOBER  1ST
Saturday January 16, 2016
The following is a list of names of all Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, including one in the Negev, in the period between Thursday October 1st and Friday January 15th, as confirmed by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
More . . .
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
EU  PROVIDES  €12.5M  TO  SUPPORT  WEST  BANK,  GAZA  FAMILIES  LIVING  IN  EXTREME  POVERTY
Jan. 16, 2016
The European Union is making a contribution of €12.3 million to the Palestinian Authority’s quarterly payment of social allowances to poor Palestinian families living in the West Bank and Gaza, Friday said ‏a press release issued by EU representative office in Jerusalem.
___Beneficiaries of the contribution are households living in extreme poverty and registered in the cash transfer programme of the Ministry of Social Affairs, noted the release . . . .
___The EU maintained that, “The steady deterioration of the socio-economic conditions in Palestine is a matter of concern. “One out of four Palestinians live in poverty.”
More . . .
. . . . ❹―(ᴀ)  RETHINKING  PALESTINE:  SETTLER-COLONIALISM,  NEO-LIBERALISM  AND  INDIVIDUALISM  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  AND  GAZA  STRIP
Contemporary Arab Affairs 8.3 (2015)
Opinion/Analysis
THE PALESTINIAN POLICY NETWORK
PALESTINE-ISRAEL:  EUROPE  DROWNING  IN  AMERICA’S  FAILURES
Jan. 14, 2016
Sam Bahour, Mousa Jiryis
On Monday, January 18, 2016, the monthly meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels is expected to discuss and decide on next steps to be adopted by the EU on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Policy-makers in Israel are worried . . . .
___As it discusses next steps, Europe must recognize that “the US leads” approach to resolving the conflict is doomed to never-ending failure:
More . . .

“THROMBOSIS,”  BY  TAHA  MUHAMMAD  ‘ALI

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

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

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

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

1-gaza poverty
Gaza Poverty: UNICEF says four children have died in 2015, as of Feb. 23, due to hypothermia caused by poor living conditions among displaced families [Photo: Belal Hasna/Al Jazeera]