“. . . one of the Chosen selected her heart for his anointed lead . . .” (Reja-e Busailah*)

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

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  ISRAEL  RAZES  LANDS,  UPROOTS  OLIVE  TREES  IN  AL-KHADER  VILLAGE
Israeli military bulldozers razed Palestinian agricultural lands and uprooted olive trees in the al-Khader village, south of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday.    ___Locals said that Israeli bulldozers razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of agricultural lands, located between two illegal Israeli settlements of Elazar and Neve Daniel, both built on lands of the al-Khader village, and uprooted olive trees.    ___Sources confirmed that the razed and leveled lands belonged to Muhammad Moussa.    ___Locals added that razing of Palestinian lands and uprooting of trees is part of an Israeli plan to expand nearby illegal settlements.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  demolish  housing  structures  in  Jordan  Valley
. . . . Related  PA  cabinet  to  form  investigation  committee  into  Jerusalem  properties  issue
. . . . Related   Salfit:  Israel  to  confiscate  8  dunums  of  land  for  military  purposes
|  WHO:  14  GAZANS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  IN  TWO  WEEKS
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a special situation report, on Wednesday, in which the latest figures showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___According to the WHO report, from March 30th, the start of “The Great March of Return” protests along the Gaza borders with Israel, until the 6th of October, 205 Palestinians were killed.    ___Out of the total killed, 190 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the mass protests, while 15 others were killed during various Israeli attacks.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Gaza’s  unemployment  doubled  since  start  of  Israeli  blockade  –  labor
|  UNESCO  ADOPTS  BY  CONSENSUS  DECISIONS  ON  PALESTINE
. . . . (UNESCO) adopted on Wednesday by consensus two resolutions on Occupied Palestine in the framework of its 205th plenary meeting.     [. . . .] One resolution stated that, ”The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. . .  all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel . . .  are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”    [. . . .] It also deplored “the ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| WHAT  THE  CLOSURE  OF  THE  PLO  OFFICE  IN  WASHINGTON  REALLY  MEANS
Dorgham Abusalim
There have been attempts to shutter the PLO presence in the U.S. ever since it opened a Washington, DC-based Information Office in 1978. But it wasn’t until 1987 that such attempts began to gain steam when Congress adopted the Anti-Terrorism Act, in which it proclaimed the PLO a terrorist organization—this law is in effect to this day . . .  In all the commentary on the closure of the PLO office in Washington, little has been said about what it actually means . . .       [. . . .] Thirty-six years later, the closure of the PLO office in Washington . . .  echoes [Edward] Said’s sobering analysis: “To  reduce  Palestinian  existence  as  much  as  possible.”  Indeed, the closure of the PLO office is yet another reminder of the long assault by Israel and the U.S., its chief ally, on those elements that constitute the Palestinian narrative: institutions, culture, history, law, and language, to name a few.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

| KINDER  USA  PRESENTS  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA  (Dallas,  Texas,  October  21;  Anaheim,  California,  October  26)  For over thirsty years, Dr. Mads Gilbert has worked in conflict zones including volunteering in hospitals under siege in West Beirut, Lebanon during the 80s and Gaza for the last two decades. His perspective as a doctor and activist in such a conflicted time and area makes him the ideal person for our upcoming speaking events.  Tickets and Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

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

  •                 for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis
    at the age of 25, near Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them

*  Reja-e Busailah has been blind since infancy. At age 7, he and his family were forced marched by Zionist forces from their home in Lydda into exile. He was educated in Cairo and earned a PhD in English from New York University. He is the author of a collection of poetry, “We Are Human,” (1985). He taught at Indiana University for 30 years and is now retired. He recently published his memoir “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.”

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

“. . . He’s wearing a white t-shirt with red and green writing that says, ‘There is no such thing as Palestine’. . .” (Liz Rose)

1-Jaffa_Gate_and_Tower_of_David
Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem

❶ ‘Waiting is the worst part’: Families of slain Palestinians withheld by Israel continue their fight

  • Background from Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly.

❷ Israeli settlers destroy vine trees, uproot plants south of Bethlehem

  • Background from Against The Current

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  O  JERUSALEM —  PLEASE  FORGET  ME 
❺ POETRY by Muin Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ‘WAITING  IS  THE  WORST  PART’:  FAMILIES  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIANS  WITHHELD  BY  ISRAEL  CONTINUE  THEIR  FIGHT
Ma’an News Agency
Jaclynn Ashly
July 5, 2016
“We are hopeful,” Muhammad Elayyan said, as a few dozen Palestinians trickled into the quiet halls of Israel’s Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Monday. “These days, we have to see the glass as half full. We must stay hopeful.”
___Elayyan is the father of one of seven slain Palestinians whose bodies are currently locked inside refrigerators in Israel’s mortuary in Jaffa, withheld from their grieving families since they were killed by Israeli forces after carrying out or allegedly carrying out attacks on Israelis.      MORE . . .  

From Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

[NOTE: the account of the difficulties encountered in launching in the West Bank of a special edition of Biography, “Life in Occupied Palestine” last year.]

Our Palestine launches were held without physical copies of the special issue, which did not make it through on time. In part this was the result of run-of-the-mill production delays. Another reason owed to the difficulty and expense of getting the books into Palestine [. . . .]
___As anyone at all familiar with Palestine will know, these stories [of the restrictions on the entry of books into Palestine] are commonplace. Taken together, they cannot be dismissed as a consulate worker’s idiosyncratic malice or as a postal employee’s juvenile pranks. The systemic allowance for these individually aimed and invasive acts, especially when combined with their affective excess, provide clues about how Israel maintains its practices of land theft and ethnic cleansing. Certainly, these instances of mail tampering are more “benign” than the terrorizing actions of Israeli soldiers who admit to shooting Palestinians for fun and even take photos while doing so, or the “price tag” attacks Jewish Israelis commit against their Palestinian neighbors (most recently, the “revenge” killing of baby Ali Sa‘ed Dawabshe, burned alive when settlers gas-bombed his home), which they sometimes share on Facebook. Nonetheless, along with accounts of such war and hate crimes, these mail-related micro-aggressions provide insights into the affective structures that sustain individuals’ support for the Zionist project and anti-Palestinian violence that is part and parcel of it.

  • Franklin, Cynthia G. “The Afterlife Of The Text: Launching ‘Life In Occupied Palestine.’” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 38.3 (2015): 395-424. SOURCE.
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Palestinians inspect their destroyed olive trees at the village of Qaryout near Nablus, October 19, 2013 (Photo: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

❷ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  DESTROY  VINE  TREES,  UPROOT  PLANTS  SOUTH  OF  BETHLEHEM
Palestine News Network – PNN
July 5, 2016
A group of Israeli settlers on Monday destroyed grapevines, a shed and uprooted plants, belonging to a Palestinian farmer in Al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, central West Bank.
___Ahmad Salah, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in al-Khader, said the assailants broke the main gate leading to the Palestinian land, uprooted grapevine shrubs and cut their arbors, IMEMC reported.     MORE . . .  

From Against The Current
Roots of Dehumanization
Anwar’s [Anwar Za’aneen of Al Mezan Center For Human Rights, killed August 8, 2014] story is but one among thousands that we will never hear. His name is one on the never ending list of the daily dead, a list that began long before the latest assault and that will continue long after it. His death means nothing to the killers who fire their missiles from above or blast them from gunboats stationed in the Mediterranean.
__Anwar’s life has no value because his people have been systematically dehumanized over the decades of ignorance and prejudice from a complacent West. His status as a refugee was long ago dismissed by the settlers of a colonial state impervious to the suffering of any other people. For many, he does not exist because “there are no Palestinians” according to former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and countless others.
___If we knew the stories, recognized the names, or saw the faces of all the women and men, children and elderly lying frozen in the morgues or waiting for burial by grieving and stunned families; by mothers hysterical with pain from the loss of their babies and preschoolers, school children and youth maturing into adulthood in such a difficult land, perhaps people living in the countries responsible for these outrages would finally wake up and demand a halt to this butchery.

  • Loewenstein, Jennifer. “Will Israel “Finish The Job”? Death In The Eagle’s Shadow.” Against The Current 29.4 (2014): 11-13.  THE ARTICLE.
    RELATED. “Israel’s Genocidal Killing Machine.” thepeoplesvoice.org  

❸ Opinion/Analysis: O JERUSALEM — PLEASE FORGET ME
Mondoweiss
Liz Rose
July 4, 2016
It’s 25 years since I was a student at Hebrew University and I’ve just arrived to do some research on how West Jerusalem has changed.  I’ve come with my husband, Kyle, who has never been here.  He’ll be with me for a week and then I’ll stay another week on my own to work.  My last two visits here were organized as Palestinian solidarity trips all over the West Bank; I haven’t seen West Jerusalem in years.  A friend tells me I must show my husband Tel-Aviv and West Jerusalem as I research the changes, “so he can see the apartheid society they have made for themselves.”
[. . . .]
When I’m on Jaffa Road once again, after exiting Mamilla Mall and walking a bit, a young man approaches me.  He’s holding a map of Jerusalem.  He’s wearing a white t-shirt with red and green writing that says, “There is no such thing as Palestine.”    MORE . . .  

“NO!”  BY  MUIN  BSEISO

His wounds said: “No!”
His chains said: “No!”
And the turtledove which shielded his wound with her feather
Said: “No!”
“No!” for those who sold and bought
Gaza’s silver anklet.
They sold the bullets and bought a goose.

Quaking goose!
Stop for a moment.
And listen to him
Saying: “No!”
Pity him; he did not die under neon lights,
Between the candlestick and the moon.
Pity him; there was no formal announcement
or a dumb funeral.
No moaning poem nor song.
Stones!
Let me compose, if only one line of verse,
That I may recite it to all the men with long and false beards.

Stop quaking for a moment
And listen to him saying: “No!”
Like the solid fence of a house in Gaza.
Every day, he gets killed one thousand times,
Quaking goose!

From: A Lover from Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon.

Muin Bseiso
(1926 – January 23, 1984) was a Palestinian poet who lived in Egypt . . . He finished his primary and secondary education in Gaza in 1948. He started publishing his work in the Jaffa-based magazin Al-Hurriya (“Liberty”), where he published his first poems in 1946. In 1948, he enrolled in the American University in Cairo and subsequently graduated in 1952. On January 27, 1952 he published his first work titled Al-Ma’raka (“The Battle”). Imprisoned in Egyptian jails twice: 1955 to 1957 and 1959 to 1963. He died London in 1984.

“. . . Will you become . . . an ordinary country? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

bedouin
A demolished house in an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev, December 2010 (photo: Times of Israel)

❶ Bethlehem: Settlers Raze Lands in Al-Khader
❷ 1,000 civilian structures demolished by Israeli authorities in Negev
❸ Israeli police to ban burial of Jerusalemite martyrs in their areas
❹ Opinion/Analysis: AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
❺ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BETHLEHEM:  SETTLERS  RAZE  LANDS  IN  AL-KHADER
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 8, 2016
Israeli settlers, Wednesday, razed Palestinian-owned lands in the village of al-Khader, to the south of occupied Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Hasan Burajeya, of the Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, told WAFA that a group of illegal Israeli settlers, accompanied by a military escort, proceeded to raze about 15 dunams of land near al-Khader. The razed land belongs to local Palestinians from the village.
___Burajeya asserted that the razing of said lands comes as part of Israeli plan to construct a yeshiva (Jewish school) at the site.      MORE . . .  

LATE THIS past June [2012], a group of Israeli settlers in the West Bank defaced and burned a mosque in the small West Bank village of Jabaa. Graffiti sprayed by the vandals warned of a “war” over the planned evacuation, ordered by the Israeli Supreme Court, of a handful of houses illegally built on private Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Beit El. The torching of the mosque was the fourth such attack in 18 months and part of a wider trend of routine violence committed by radical settlers against innocent Palestinians, Israeli security personnel, and mainstream settler leaders — all aimed at intimidating perceived enemies of the settlement project.
___This violence has not always plagued the settler community. Although many paint all Israeli settlers as extremists, conflating them with the often-justified criticism of Israeli government policy in the West Bank, the vast majority of them oppose attacks against Palestinian civilians or the Israeli state. In the past, Israeli authorities and the settler leadership often worked together to prevent such assaults and keep radicalism at bay. Yet in recent years, the settler movement has experienced a profound breakdown in discipline, with extremists now beyond the reach of either Israeli law enforcement or the discipline of settler leaders.

  • Byman, Daniel, and Natan Sachs. “The Rise Of Settler Terrorism.” Foreign Affairs 91.5 (2012): 73-86.      Complete Article.     

❷ 1,000  CIVILIAN  STRUCTURES  DEMOLISHED  BY  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  IN  NEGEV
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli authorities demolished 1,041 Bedouin structures in Negev between 2013 and 2015, with a further 1,711 structures being destroyed by their owners after receiving demolition orders. According to a new report by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), in 2015 alone, nearly 1,000 structures were demolished in Negev — 365 by the Israeli authorities, and 617 by the homeowners themselves.
___The waves of demolitions have displaced thousands of Bedouins over the past three years, according to Michal Rotem, the author of the report.      MORE . . . 

The Negev/Naqab region in southern Israel is a socially segregated landscape rent by clashes between Bedouin and Jewish residents and government bodies over access to land for farming and homes and over the status of Bedouin villages. Though Bedouin residents once migrated within the region and bordering grazing areas, they have been struggling for the past half-century to gain a firm and recognised place within the Israeli state. Approximately half of the Negev’s 180,000 Bedouin Arab residents live in villages and family clusters that the government deems illegal. The other half live in government-planned townships, which hold legal legitimacy as residences.
[. . . .]
However . . . formal citizenship does not guarantee the equal distribution of political rights and economic resources. Rather, ‘differentiated citizenship’ means that social goods are distributed unequally along racial or class-based social divisions. Such is the case for a Jewish–Arab differentiation in Israel. Whereas Israel’s Basic Laws promise equal rights to all citizens . . .  rights are systematically denied to non-Jews (e.g., land purchases and the benefits accruing to military service).
___How does this differentiation happen? Of critical importance for the case of land rights, socially privileged citizens have more influence in defining legitimate and illegitimate land uses. An examination of the media campaigns, protests, court cases and Knesset debates involved in Negev struggles against eviction reveals  the  importance  of  leveraging  cultural  recognition.  Residents in both these cases lived dispersed, agro-pastoral lifestyles that were initially prohibited by the Israeli government. Jewish residents were able to gain legal recognition for their land-use practices, while Bedouin residents were not.

  • McKee, Emily. “Demolitions And Amendments: Coping With Cultural Recognition And Its Denial In Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples 19.1 (2015): 95-119.  Available.

❸ ISRAELI  POLICE  TO  BAN  BURIAL  OF  JERUSALEMITE  MARTYRS  IN  THEIR  AREAS
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli occupation police on Wednesday decided not to allow funerals and burials for Palestinian martyrs from east Jerusalem in their neighborhoods or town and to choose the Muslim cemeteries they would be buried in.
___Yedioth Ahronoth website said this decision was taken following the funeral of martyr Alaa Abu Jamal several weeks when about 200 persons gathered at the Jabel Mukaber cemetery and chanted incitement slogans against Israel and support for the deceased, whom it described as a “terrorist”.
___After reporting what happened at that funeral, minister of public security Gilad Erdan ordered a freeze on returning the bodies of “terrorists” to their families until the incident could be investigated and new conditions could be imposed to ensure funerals would not contain incitement.       MORE . . .

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Reporter’s notebook: Scenes from the Tel Aviv terror attack – Arab-Israeli Conflict – (Photo: Jerusalem Post)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
972 Magazine
Mairav Zonszein
June 9, 2016
I was out last night in Tel Aviv at a poetry book launch for a good friend when the news flashed on my phone that there was a shooting in the Sarona Market . . . .
___Life does go on here despite the violence. That’s just the reality. But when I read the statement by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai that Israelis cannot let such terror “disrupt our lives” and that we should “return to business as usual” tomorrow, I become enraged. Why shouldn’t this disrupt our lives? [. . . .]
___The word “disruption” here also dismisses the fact that the lives of so many Palestinians are “disrupted” all the time. The entire city of Yatta, where the two murderers are from — a population of about 65,000 people in the occupied West Bank — is now under military lockdown. This is collective punishment, a mass “disruption.”
MORE . . .  

“IF ONLY,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

My homeland, an earring dangling

from the ear of the earth;

my homeland . . . a woman

whose thighs are opened by the western wind;

my homeland, the oars of the boat;

my homeland, the absent son:

Will you one day rouse what is in me?

Will you become . . . an ordinary country?

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. New and Selected Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Samih Al-Qasim  Obituary, August 20, 2014   
About Ibis Editions.  Available from Amazon.  

 

“. . . this purgatory Of sorrow In the Holy Land. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

1-DEMOLITION
Palestinian homes demolished in Beit Sahour by Israeli Occupation Forces, January 31, 2006. (Photo: The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem)

❶ Israeli Military Vows Collective Punishment against Bethlehem Village
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Collective Punishment [Geneva Conventions]
❷ Netanyahu, Lieberman discuss death penalty for Palestinian prisoners
❸ Nakba without end: Memories of shattered Palestinian communities in Syria
❹ Hundreds of academics call for boycott of genocide conference in Israel
❺ Opinion/Analysis: SOWING  STEADFASTNESS,  HARVESTING  HOPE
❻ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  MILITARY  VOWS  COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  AGAINST  BETHLEHEM  VILLAGE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 23, 2016
The Israeli military last night threatened to consider collective punishments against the Palestinian residents of al-Khader, a village located south of Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Witnesses told WAFA that Israeli troops distributed sheets warning the entire village about potential collective punishments, IN CASE LOCAL YOUTHS CONTINUE TO ATTACK WITH STONES ISRAELI VEHICLES passing outside the village.      MORE . . .  
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  [GENEVA  CONVENTIONS]
Crimes of War
Daoud Kuttab
For 14 years, George Qumsieh [built a home] in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour. . . . [In February 1981] Israeli soldiers arrived at the home [near Bethlehem] to arrest their youngest son, Walid, age 15. The army accused Walid of having thrown stones . . . .
___The following day . . .  Members of an Israeli engineering brigade placed the explosives and blew up the Qumsieh stone house. . . .
___Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishments are a war crime.
MORE . . .
RELATED (UN REPORT OF QUMSIEH INCIDENT)  

❷ NETANYAHU,  LIEBERMAN  DISCUSS  DEATH  PENALTY  FOR  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS
Middle East Monitor
May 23, 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of Yisrael Beitenu Avigdor Lieberman are nearing a deal to execute Palestinians involved in fighting the occupation, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported yesterday.
___Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that Israelis who carry out deadly attacks against Palestinians would not be subject to this law because the law would only be enforced by military trials, settlers and Israeli nationals are tried in civil courts.
___If this happened, tens of Palestinians could be sentenced to death. . . .     MORE . . .
BACKGROUND . . .   

❸ NAKBA  WITHOUT  END:  MEMORIES  OF  SHATTERED  PALESTINIAN COMMUNITIES  IN  SYRIA
Middle East Eye
Tom Rollins
May 17, 2016
On 15 May 2011, thousands of Palestinian refugees from Syria are marching towards Syria’s long, quiet border with Israel. Even though the protests are not as big as the organisers promised, it is both a symbolic and physical statement [. . . .]
___Palestinian-Syrian displacement, memory and loss is not history, it is happening right now. In recent weeks and months, Yarmouk camp, the beating-heart of the Palestinian-Syrian diaspora, has seen some of its fiercest clashes . . . .      MORE . . .

❹ HUNDREDS  OF  ACADEMICS  CALL  FOR  BOYCOTT  OF  GENOCIDE  CONFERENCE  IN  ISRAEL
Palestine News Network
May 23, 2016
In a letter to the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS), 270 academics from 19 countries have called for the cancellation of the 5th Global Conference on Genocide taking place on 26-29 June at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
___The letter sent to the organizers of the conference on the 3rd of May points at the hypocrisy of having the conference in Israel at a time when Israel’s actions are “increasingly being viewed through lenses of ethnic cleansing and genocide linked to settler colonialism”. The signatories call on scholars and professionals to boycott the conference should it go ahead.      MORE . . .

daoud nassar
Daoud Nassar stands near a lone fig tree, the only tree remaining standing after Israeli authorities bulldozed his family’s grove of some 1,500 fruit trees near the West Bank village of Nahalin, June 3, 2014. (Photo: Activetills.org)

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  SOWING  STEADFASTNESS,  HARVESTING  HOPE
The Electronic Intifada
Claire Thomas
May 19, 2016
The view from Daoud Nassar’s farm southwest of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank is very different from what it was when he was a child.
___Pointing to the five Israeli settlements that surround the farm, he asked, “People come from outside and they can build houses and here I’m not allowed to build one house.”
___Daoud’s family has farmed and lived on their 100 acres of land ever since his grandfather purchased it a hundred years ago this month. The Nassars marked the centennial with a week of celebrations.      MORE . . . 

“PSALMS OF THE PALESTINIANS,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

From here
From this purgatory
Of sorrow
In the Holy Land
The orphaned birds beseech
Mankind
From here
From Jenin
From Old Jerusalem
Alleluia.

Once
A Gaza tune of yearning
Played
Once
The sad refrain
Kindled tragedy
In refugee tents
Once
In Jerusalem
The little ones chanted
We shall return
We shall return
Alleluia.

The birds nest on our roof
The sparrow flies
In the horizon
And in exile
Under the hot sun
In the wind
Hearts―eyes
Implored:
God of glory
Return us
Our trial
Has gone on too long!
Alleluia―Alleluia

And then it happened
The metallic eagles swept down
They did not bring the sons of Zion
To Zion
Not the remaining crowds
They did not bring
Pious psalms
To the wailing wall
God of Glory!
What did they bring?
Do not ask me
For in my voice a pagan flame
Burns
And listen O God of Glory
Listen to the outcry of a dispossessed people
We have been tested long enough
We have carried the weight of centuries
Long enough
―Why aren’t you convinced?―
Our days of trial have been too long
So
Return us―Return us
Alleluia―Alleluia―Alleluia.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE.  Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
Interview with
Samih al-Qasim (August 20, 2014)

“. . . tired of minds that have become hotels . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

Caption: Father Ramiz Baker, with Muntaser [left] and Sayid [right] (Photo, The Middle East Monitor)
Father Ramiz Baker, with Muntaser [left] and Sayid [right] (Photo, The Middle East Monitor)
❶ From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAEL APPROVES 800 NEW SETTLEMENT UNITS IN BETHLEHEM
July 15, 2015
Israeli Public Prosecution has revealed an Israeli settlement plan consisting of 800 new settlement units in Bethlehem, south of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported yesterday.
____The plan was approved by the Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Ori Ariel, during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous government at the end of last year.
(More. . .)

❷ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELI EXTREMISTS UPROOT VEGETABLE CROPS IN BETHLEHEM
July 19, 2015
Several fanatic Israeli settlers invaded, on Saturday evening, Palestinian farmlands in the town of al-Khader, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and uprooted hundreds of tomato and cauliflower plants and seedlings, in addition to destroying an entire field planted with Okra.
____Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in al-Khader, said the Israeli extremists came from the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat, built on stolen Palestinian lands.
(More. . .)
(Background)
(Background)

Caption: Israeli settlers uprooted hundreds of olive trees from the lands of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, March 20, 2013 (Photo flotillahyves.com).
Israeli settlers uprooted hundreds of olive trees from the lands of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, March 20, 2013 (Photo flotillahyves.com).

❸ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
ISRAELI VANDALS ATTACK PALESTINIANS IN AL-KHALIL
July 19, 2015
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– A horde of Israeli extremist settlers, residing in the illegal Ma’un settlement, attacked on Saturday Palestinian passers-by and shepherds in al-Khalil’s town of Yatta, in the southern West Bank.
____ . . . the Israeli settlers, ESCORTED BY ARMY OFFICERS, attacked shepherds and unarmed citizens.
(More . . .)

❹ From AL-MONITOR: THE PULSE OF THE MIDDLE EAST
WEST BANK COMMUNITY WELCOMES KHADER ADNAN HOME FROM ISRAELI PRISON
Aziza Nofal
July 17, 2015
JENIN, West Bank — Cries of joy were heard at the home of administrative detainee Sheikh Khader Adnan after he was released and carried on the shoulders of supporters into his town of Arraba, near Jenin . . . .
____After his release July 12, Adnan stepped out to the rostrum in front of his house and addressed hundreds of people who came from the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem to welcome him. He said Israel made a mistake by detaining him and has paid a high price.
(More. . .)

❺ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN YOUTHS STUCK AT CAIRO AIRPORT
July 18, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Several Palestinian youths from the Gaza Strip heading to Saudi Arabia and European countries have been stuck at the Cairo International Airport for a month.
_____Three young men and two young women were reportedly taken by Egyptian authorities from the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt to the airport where they were prevented from travelling due to expired residency permits for their destination countries.
(More. . .)

❻ OPINION
From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ONE YEAR ON FROM THE ISRAELI OFFENSIVE, GAZA’S CHILDREN ARE UNABLE TO FORGET
Motasem A Dalloul
July 16, 2015
During the 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip . . . a group of Palestinian children fled to the beach to escape from the harsh and extensive bombing of houses, hospitals, healthcare centres and playgrounds; they went there to play football.
____They thought that the beach, an open area, was a safe place because it has never been used by the Palestinian resistance. Although the seven of them arrived on the beach safely, minutes later, four had been killed and three were wounded after being targeted by shells apparently fired from an Israeli warship.
(More. . .)

“WITHOUT A PASSPORT,” BY RASHID HUSSEIN (1936-1977)

I was born without a passport
I grew up
and saw my country
become prisons
without a passport

So I raised a country
a sun
and wheat
in every house
I tended to the trees therein
I learned how to write poetry
to make the people of my village happy
without a passport

I learned that he whose land is stolen
does not like the rain
If he were ever to return to it, he will
without a passport

But I am tired of minds
that have become hotels
for wishes that never give birth
except with a passport

Without a passport
I came to you
and revolted against you
so slaughter me
perhaps I will then feel that I am dying
without a passport

From Rashid Hussein, Al-A`mal al-Shi`riyya (al-Taybe: Markaz Ihya’ al-Turath al-`Arabi, 1990), Translated by Sinan Antoon.
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He was the first celebrity poet to appear on the Arab-Israeli stage; other poets called him “the star“. He showed them it was possible to write about “human things“ – bread, hunger, anger.
(More. . .)
(Another poem by Rashid Hussein)

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