“. . . our days of sacrifice have arrived; they shine, radiant. . .” (‘Abd Al-Raheem Mahmoud)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [JERUSALEM]
Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes in the Anata village in northeastern the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, on Tuesday evening.    ___Local witnesses told Ma’an that a large number of Israeli forces stormed the village escorting staff members from the Jerusalem Municipality and several bulldozers, and surrounded the neighborhood in which the two homes are located. [. . . .] . . .both of the demolished homes were built long before the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.  [. . . .] More . . .
IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  BEGIN  DEMOLITION  CAMPAIGN  IN  AL-WALAJA  [between  Jerusalem and Bethlehem]    More . . .
ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  189  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [Bethlehem]   More . . .

ISRAELI  HIGH  COURT  RULES  TO  DEMOLISH  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  COMMUNITY        The Israeli High Court gave on Wednesday the green light to the Israeli military to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem, paving the way for removing it, displacing its 180 residents and replacing it by a Jewish settlement.    ___According to Walid Assaf, head of the anti-wall, anti-settlement commission in the Palestinian Authority, the court gave the army one week to remove the village and said that its residents will not be allowed to return to it and live there again.   More . . .

US  AMBASSADOR:  JERUSALEM  MADE  ISRAEL’S  CAPITAL  ‘UNDER  GOD’S  DIRECTION’  3,000  YEARS  AGO
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has praised President Donald Trump’s administration for putting US-Israeli relations on “more solid [ground] than ever before”, reported the Jerusalem Post.   ___Speaking at a pre-Rosh Hashanah reception in his Herzliya residence, Friedman singled out for praise the US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.   ___“Now, the United States did not make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. That was done by King David some 3,000 years ago under God’s direction,” Friedman declared.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  IDEOLOGY  LEADS  TO  DESTRUCTION:  HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
Home demolitions that target the Arab population of East Jerusalem is an issue that deserves attention and further exposure, as it is often overlooked in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and ignored by the international community. While several key organizations within Israel are working hard to expose the unjust policies behind many of the demolitions of Arab homes, there is very little that civil society is actually able to achieve. In fact, driven by an ideological motive, the Israeli authorities have developed strategies to preserve the Jewish population’s demographic and geographic advantage over the Palestinians, thus protecting the interests and stability of the Jewish state. There is much to consider when analyzing this topic: the motivations and mechanisms used by the Israeli authorities to carry out home demolitions, the effects of such policies on the Palestinian population and the international community’s response.
Dimova, Nicoletta. “When Ideology Leads to Destruction: Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 15, no. 3, Sept. 2008, pp. 92-98.  (NOTE: this article is not yet available online but may be accessed through any EBSCO database.)

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  PRESENTS  THE  JERUSALEM  CONFERENCE,  HOUSTON,  TX    Featuring Rev. Jim Winkler, President of National Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon of Churches for Middle East Peace, Sojourners’ Founder and President Jim Wallis, and Bright Stars of Bethlehem President, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.  As part of the Room for Hope festival, The Jerusalem Conference is a one-day conference on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 that brings together scholars, ecumenical theologians, and peace-doers around the topic    Register . . .

PLAYGROUNDS  FOR  PALESTINE  ANNUAL  GALA          SATURDAY,  SEPTEMBER  22,  2018  |  5PM  –  9PM  | Bodek  Lounge  |  Houston  Hall  |  University  of  Pennsylvania  |  PHILADELPHIA      Tickets  .  .  .

“CALL  OF  THE  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
The slain motherland called for our struggle
and my heart leapt with joy.
I raced the winds, but did not boast.
Isn’t it my simple duty to redeem my country?
I carried my soul in my hands asking
any who feared death: do you hesitate
before the enemy?
Would you sit still when your country begs for your help?
Would you back away from facing the enemy?
If so, then go hide in your mother’s bedroom!
May your hesitation humiliate you!
The motherland needs mighty defenders
who meet aggression
but never complain;
true lions on the battlefield.

People of my country, our days of sacrifice have arrived;
they shine, radiant, across the hills of this holy land.
Redeemed by our young men too proud
to endure oppression,
what can we do but fight bravely
when the fire’s kindled?
March on, to the field! Pour fire
on the heads of the enemy everywhere.
Nothing’s humbler that a people who shun the fight
when their country calls for it.

Neighbors, brethren, arise from your sleep!
How can you sleep through this oppression?
Never stop even if the sky should grow dark.
Never retreat even if the sandstorms flare up behind you!
Don’t give up even if the world should face you
with weapons from every direction
unite, unite everywhere!
If Palestine should be lost while you still live,
I’ll say: our people have
abandoned the path.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye. From 
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  1992. 

 

“. . . with nothing left but a graceful farewell . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY  

ISRAELI   SOLDIERS   KILL   A   PALESTINIAN   IN   NORTHERN   GAZA
Israeli soldiers killed, on Monday morning, a young Palestinian man near the parameter fence, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.     ___The Israeli army said its opened fire at a Palestinian, who reportedly opened fired at the soldiers in northern Gaza, and killed him. The army said no soldiers were injured.    More.
PPS:   “ISRAELI   SOLDIERS   ABDUCT   14   PALESTINIANS   IN   THE   WEST  BANK”
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday at dawn, fourteen Palestinians, including a former political prisoner who was imprisoned for 15 years, in several parts of the occupied West Bank.   ___The PPS office in Nablus, in northern West Bank, said the soldiers invaded the al-Ein neighborhood and Younis Street, on the western entrances of the city, searched homes and abducted Wafa Damouni, a former political prisoner, who was detained for 15 years.   More. . .
ISRAELI   FORCES   REMOVE   TENT,   ASSAULT   PALESTINIAN   IN   HEBRON
Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli soldiers, removed a tent and assaulted a Palestinian man in the Masafer Yatta village, in southern Hebron in the southern West Bank.   ___Rateb al-Jbour, coordinator of the National and Popular Committee in southern Hebron, told the Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News Agency that Israeli soldiers and settlers raided Masafer Yatta where a Palestinians identified as Youssef Abu Arram had set up a tent to shelter his family until a wooden room, that he was building to replace the tent, was ready, took down the tent and confiscated his construction material and wood.   More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION  

FIGHTING  THE  DOUBLE  STANDARD:  PALESTINIANS  FILE  CASE  TO  DEMOLISH  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  HOMES
Yumna Patel
As the long-fought battle to save the village of Khan al-Ahmar from demolition continues, another fight is taking place on the sidelines — one that could have life changing effects on the fate of the Bedouins in Khan al-Ahmar, and the future of the occupied West Bank.  ___Two Ramallah-area Palestinian villages — Deir Dibwan and Anata — have filed a case in the Israeli High Court, asking Israeli authorities to demolish illegal structures in the Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim — the same settlement which has ceaselessly pushed for the state’s decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar.   ___The villagers are arguing for the demolition of some 120 homes and structures and four outposts in Kfar Adumim which were built without permits from Israeli authorities and lie outside of the planned borders of the settlement.   More. . .

DETERIORATION    OF    ECONOMIC    AND    LIVING    CONDITIONS    FOR    AROUND    4000    FISHERMEN;    ISRAELI    AUTHORITIES    CONTINUE    ITS    NAVAL    BLOCKADE    AND    ATTACKS    AGAINST    THE    GAZA    STRIP    FISHERMEN       
For the fifth week, Israeli authorities continue its naval blockade on the Gaza Strip, through reducing the fishing area to 3 nautical miles adjacent to the Gaza Strip shores. As a result, the economic and living conditions of fishermen were deteriorated and they suffered great losses, due to restricting their movement and denying them access to areas where fish breed.   ___Decreasing the fishing area caused great losses to about 4000 fishermen and 1500 workers in professions that are associated with fishing in the Gaza Strip. The fishermen were banned from sailing for more than 3 nautical miles and practice their normal profession, while a limited number of fishermen practiced their profession in the distances that were set by the Israeli authorities where the fish don’t not breed.   More. . .

ASSOCIATED  PRESS  DOUBLE  STANDARD  IN  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  REPORTING
Kathryn Shihadah and Alison Weir
Associated Press is one of those news sources we expect to be objective and reliable. But when it comes to the subject of Israel-Palestine, things are not always as they seem. . . .   But a study of news reports so far in 2018 indicates that this trusted news source has been presenting the deaths of Israelis at the hands of Palestinians, and of Palestinians at the hands of Israelis, in two completely different ways.   ___This pattern may be a factor in how readers perceive the players in this decades-old issue. It is also, quite likely, a factor in how editors all over the U.S., who read AP stories daily, view the conflict.  More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS
[Note:
The following is about, not from, an organization. The piece is used partly as an opportunity to include a link to the way pro-Israel groups discredit Palestinian organizations.]
WCLAC  MEETS  WITH  THE  AUSTRALIAN  HEAD  OF  THE  MISSION    (WOMEN’S  CENTRE  FOR  LEGAL  AID  AND  COUNSELLING)     On August 2nd, WCLAC’s General Director Miss. Randa Siniora and WCLAC’s Programmes Director Ms. Amal AbuSrour met with the Australian Head of the Mission Mis. Marcia Pius at WCLAC’s Ramallah office and briefed her on WCLAC’s general work. The aim of the visit is to learn more on the overall human rights and humanitarian situation in the oPt, the lives of Palestinians, and the impact of the Israeli occupation on women especially in Gaza and East Jerusalem.  
 More
. . .
SUPPLEMENTAL  INFORMATION:  A PRO- ISRAEL  ANALYSIS  OF  THE  CENTRE      More. . .

“IT’S  ALSO  FINE,”  by  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

It’s also fine to die in our beds
on a clean pillow
and among our friends.
It’s fine to die, once,
our hands crossed on our chests,
empty and pale,
with no scratches, no chains, no banners,
and no petitions.
It’s fine to have a clean death,
with no holes in our shirts,
and no evidence in our ribs.
It’s fine to die
with a white pillow, not the pavement, under our cheek,
with our hands resting in those of our loved ones,
surrounded by desperate doctors and nurses,
with nothing left but a graceful farewell,
paying no attention to history,
leaving this world as it is,
hoping that, someday, someone else
will change it.
—From MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS, Arc Publications, 2008

“. . . stand in Manger Square And mimic the dance-steps of Zorba the Greek . . .” (Samih Mohsen)

IMG_4498
Israeli side of the wall in Northeast Jerusalem between Anata and Pisgat Ze’ev, 2010

❶ Palestinians tear down Israeli iron gate in protest of separation wall
. . . . . ❶ ― In Photos: Daily struggle of Palestinian workers at Checkpoint 300

  • Background: “Young Palestinian Voices from East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture. 

❷ Dar al-Kalima hosts conference on demographic changes in Arab world
❸ Video: Bethlehem museum decorate Olive tree to reflect city suffering caused by Israeli occupation
❹ POETRY by Samih Mohsen
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PALESTINIANS  TEAR  DOWN  ISRAELI  IRON  GATE  IN  PROTEST  OF  SEPARATION  WALL    
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 2, 2017 ― A group of Palestinian youths allegedly managed to bring down an iron gate that was set up by Israeli forces as part of Israel’s illegal separation wall, running through the village of Anata in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.
___Spokesperson of the Fatah movement in the nearby Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, Thaer Fasfous, told Ma’an that several youth used hand tools to bring down the gate on Friday as an act of protest against Israel’s separation wall.
___Fasfous pointed out that the gate is located in the middle of the separation wall that runs through Anata, and separates it from the nearby illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― IN  PHOTOS:  DAILY  STRUGGLE  OF  PALESTINIAN  WORKERS  AT  CHECKPOINT  300
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 24, 2017 ― In the early hours of the morning, typically before dawn, hundreds of Palestinians in the southern occupied West Bank must endure long waits at the 300 checkpoint, one of the only access points Palestinians from the southern West Bank have to Jerusalem and Israel.
___Palestinians crowd into the cement- and metal-barred walkways, push through turnstiles, pass a metal detector, and show their IDs and permits to Israeli soldiers in order to travel to Israel for work. The process can at times take hours and cold winter temperatures coupled with hours of waiting time means frustrations are high.  MORE. . .

Zayyad, Ziad Abu, moderator.  “YOUNG  PALESTINIAN  VOICES  FROM  EAST  JERUSALEM.”
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE
,  vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 90-103.  October 24, 2015 ― a roundtable discussion in East Jerusalem on the topic of “Young Voices from Jerusalem.
[. . . .] Participant: There are several reasons behind the recent escalation in the situation: Partly the youth are frustrated with the internal Palestinian situation and frustrated with the failure of reconciliation process between Hamas and Fateh . . .  the Jerusalemite youth are directly or indirectly affected by the Israeli authorities, and they are being treated as enemies, not as citizens or residents: They are not allowed to build, East Jerusalem villages and neighborhoods are isolated, high taxes, fines, racist treatment they receive at the Israeli municipality authorities, racist treatment at Israeli courts, besides the attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque.
[. . . .] Participant: Feelings of insecurity and being in danger existed before, and in most times, but the recent incidents increased the level of danger. The Israelis are randomly executing Palestinians in cold blood, and afterwards they frame them with accusations. Some of us here at this roundtable discussion were attacked by the Jewish terrorist group Price Tag. . .
[. . . .] Participant: The main problem with the wall is that it divided the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem and tore the Palestinian social fabric. From an economic perspective, each divided area developed its commercial center. East Jerusalem’s Old City and city center seem like a ghost town after 5 pm, but the surrounding neighborhoods behind the wall and checkpoints developed after the construction of the wall are full of people and busy commercial areas that are open until late at night. Many Jerusalemites opened businesses in these areas with the advantage that they don’t have to pay taxes. Palestinian East Jerusalem residents do their shopping in these areas. The economic crisis is that the city center is being emptied and marginalized. The Palestinian Jerusalemites are not allowed to enter al-Aqsa Mosque; only a certain age group can enter the mosque. The situation in East Jerusalem has changed dramatically in recent years; the landscape of East Jerusalem has changed dramatically.     FULL ARTICLE. . .  ..

DAR  AL-KALIMA  HOSTS  CONFERENCE  ON  DEMOGRAPHIC  CHANGES  IN  ARAB  WORLD   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 2, 2017 ― The issue of migration, displacement and demographic changes in the Arab world was the subject of an international conference hosted by the Bethlehem-based Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW).
___A Century of Migration, Displacement and Diaspora: Demographic Shifts in the Arab World – 1917-2017” was the title of the conference that convened in Limassol, Cyprus, according to a press release by Dar al-Kalima.
___The Reverend Mitri Raheb, president of Dar Al Kalama University, opened the conference with a speech in which he discussed the most important challenges facing the Arab world today –    MORE . . .
❸ VIDEO:  BETHLEHEM  MUSEUM  DECORATE  OLIVE  TREE  TO  REFLECT  CITY  SUFFERING  CAUSED  BY  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 2, 2017 ― In a ceremony attended by a group of Palestinians and Internationals to initiative by Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation “HCEF” as part of Bethlehem Heart of Christmas, Bethlehem Museum celebrated lighting its Christmas tree which was decorated with gas bombs and live bullets fired by the Israeli occupation army on the Palestinian.
___The tree was decorated with dozens of teargas and stun grenades which were painted with Christmas decorations, and child of the cave was placed in a suitcase surrounded by barbed wire and walls to express the suffering of the city of and its people because of Israeli occupation.    MORE . . .    ..

“LAMENTATION,”  BY  SAMIH  MOHSEN 
At Manger Square, at midday,
The chairs outside the cafes
Are taken by Western tourists, in September
They sip at their longing for God
The streets teem with passers-by
And foreign languages
We tread on the shadow
Of an old man stretched out on the pavement
With his arm and a tattered shoe for a pillow
His mattress was a story. . .
We pass by his wounds without seeing
Beer tickles our bellies to laughter
And telling inane anecdotes
We try to release the child within us
We stand in Manger Square
And mimic the dance-steps of Zorba the Greek
We step
We laugh
We step into the ring of lamentation.
―–translated by Henry King

Samih Mohsen was born in the village of Naqour in Nablus, Palestine (Occupid Territories) in 1953, and has published two collections of poetry, Exiting the Narrow Rooms and Kingdoms & Peril.       From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.