“. . . the stones of your streets grow sad . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

Selected News of the Day

Foreign Ministry summons Australian diplomat over remarks in favor of Israel

WAFA
September 23, 2019
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry today summoned an Australian diplomat over the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s remarks in favor of Israel.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Amal Jadou, stated that the Acting Director of the Australian Representative Office, Warren Hooy, was summoned following Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Malki’s instructions over Morrison’s remarks in favor of Israel.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Jado met with Hooy to express Palestinian “dissatisfaction and resentment” of Morrison’s remarks in which he underscored a shift by his government to take “an even stronger stand against the biased and unfair targeting of Israel in the UN General Assembly.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Morrison, who is currently on a visit to the US, made his remarks during his opening speech.  More . . . .

Arab MKs recommend Gantz for Israel prime minister

Middle East Monitor
September 23, 2019
In a rare move, the Arab dominated Joint List yesterday recommended head of the Blue White Benny Gantz to become Israel’s new prime minister, local media reported.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Commenting on the recommendation, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman said: “The Joint List are enemies.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Meanwhile, head of the Likud and incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the move and said that the thing which he had warned of has just happened.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Reports said that the Joint List’s bid was inline with their election promise of “bringing an end to Netanyahu and his government, who spread hate” against Arab citizens of Israel.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Injure Many Palestinians On Azzun Town

Days of Palestine
September 22, 2019
Scores of Palestinian citizens on Saturday night suffered injuries after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Azzun town in Qalqilya and attacked local residents.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Local sources said that a large number of Israeli soldiers raided the town, imposed a curfew in the central district, forced storeowners to close their businesses and fired a barrage of tear gas canisters at citizens to make them go home.   More . . . .

  • Soldiers Invade Sebastia Town Near Nablus
    IMEMC News
    September 23, 2019
    Several Israeli army jeeps invaded, Monday, the archeological area in Sebastia Palestinian town, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Azem, the head of Sebastia Town Council, said dozens of soldiers invaded the area and fired a barrage of gas bombs at the Palestinians to force them away.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He added that many Palestinians protested the invasion, and hurled stones at the soldiers who fired live rounds and more gas bombs.   More . . . .
  • 16 Palestinians Injured By IOF In Jerusalem
    Days Of Palestine
    September 22, 2019
    At least 16 Palestinian citizens suffered injuries on Saturday evening when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) assaulted local residents in al-Eizariya town, east of Jerusalem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Red Crescent said its ambulance crew provided medical assistance to 16 citizens in Eizariya after they suffered different injuries.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to local sources, Israeli police forces stormed Eizariya town and directly fired volleys of tear gas canisters at Palestinian homes, which provoked clashed with local youths.  More . . . .

Commentary

Israel’s Anti-Liberal Legislative Trends: A Guide for the Perplexed

Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture
By Frances Raday
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ [Frances Raday is professor of law, Elias chair, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem]
Israeli legislation has over the last decade been increasingly geared to entrench the ethnic-religious and nationalist ideology of Binyamin Netanyahu and his coalition government. This legislative trend is evident in some laws which have already been passed by a majority in the Knesset and is accentuated in the numerous legislative initiatives proposed by members of the Knesset belonging to parties in the governing coalition. The government’s drafting of its legislative initiatives has frequently exhibited the trademarks of an authoritarian hegemony with disregard for human rights implications. The persistent vigilance and activism of Israeli civil society, however, along with interventions of the Supreme Court and the media, both local and international, have frequently succeeded in nixing or toning down the early legislative drafts.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nevertheless, the final versions of these laws that do pass are blatantly anti-liberal, undermine democracy and, in some cases, constitute violations of international humanitarian or human rights law. The trend has four interconnected facets: validation of illegal settler colonization of the West Bank; deference to Jewish religion or ethnicity at the cost of unequal treatment of national minorities and of women; limiting freedom of expression through measures restricting NGOs; and restrictions on expression of ethical pluralism in education and the arts.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.

City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
——Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

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 Barnes and Noble.

“. . . Let the oppressor review his account . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    ISRAEL  APPROVES  20,000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  MAALE  ADUMIM
The Israeli government has approved the construction of more than 20,000 new housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.    ___Hebrew-language news outlets reported that the approval of the new housing units came after a long period of fear and political confrontation.     ___Sources mentioned the existence of a comprehensive development agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Maale Adumim Municipality to build thousands of housing units in the illegal settlement over the coming years.    More . . .
|    WORLD  BANK  INCREASES  ALLOCATIONS  TO  PALESTINE  TO  $90  MILLION
The World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza, Marina Wes, announced on Saturday that the World Bank has increased this year’s allocation to Palestine to $90 million, up from the previous $55 million.    ___Wes said a new assistance strategy for Palestine has been presented to the World Bank’s board of executive directors that focus on job creation and private sector development.    ___“In December 2017, we at the World Bank presented a new assistance strategy for the West Bank and Gaza at two of our board’s executive directors, and this new assistance strategy has a very strong focus on job creation and private sector development.”    More . . .
|    YOUNG  MAN  SHOT  AT  GAZA  PROTEST  SUCCUMBS  TO  INJURY
Another Palestinian young man has died of a serious injury he sustained during his participation in a March of Return rally staged east of central Gaza last Friday.    ___According to the health ministry, 37-year-old Yehya Hasnat died after he succumbed to a head injury caused by Israeli gunfire.    ___His death has raised the number of Gazans who were killed recently by the Israeli occupation forces during Friday’s protests on the Gaza border to seven.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  Airstrikes  Damage  Buildings,  Including  Hospital  in  Gaza
. . . . Related  IOF  Open  Fire  On  Gaza  Farmers
. . . . Related  Palestinians  Kidnapped  By  Israel  Army  In  Predawn  Sweep
. . . . Related  IOF  attacks  Palestinian  citizens  in  Azzun  town

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   UN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  EXPERT  URGES  ACTION  TO  STOP  ISRAEL’S  ANNEXATION  IN  WEST  BANK
A UN human rights expert said it was high time the international community takes firm action to stop Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank through settlement expansion and legislative initiatives. . .    ___“During five decades of the occupation, Israel has steadily entrenched its sovereign footprint throughout the West Bank,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory said. Michael Lynk, in a report to the UN General Assembly, highlighted settlement construction and expansion. . .    ____“The Israeli Knesset has adopted a number of laws in the past year that have become a flashing green light for more formal annexation steps,” he said. . .     ___“The  strict  prohibition  against  annexation  in  international  law  applies not only to a formal declaration, but also to those acts of territorial appropriation by Israel that have been a cumulative part of its efforts to stake a future claim of formal sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territory.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

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

“. . . At every closed door the passerby lays down his pain . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

Two photos of the same portion of Shuhada street – a thriving market before 1994, now an empty street where no Palestinians are allowed to enter (Photo: by B’Tselem)
Two photos of the same portion of Shuhada street – a thriving market before 1994, now an empty street where no Palestinians are allowed to enter (Photo: by B’Tselem)

❶ 16-year-old shot dead after attempting stabbing outside BLOCKADED  VILLAGE
❷ Ethnic cleansing of Shuhada Street in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron)
❸ Half of Israeli Jews back Palestinians’ ‘expulsion or transfer’ from Israel
❹ Israeli Forces Hand Demolition Notices in Qalqiliya Village
❺ Opinion/Analysis: GENOCIDE,  APARTHEID,  OCCUPATION  AND  THE  TRUTH!  Part I
❻ Poetry by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

16-YEAR-OLD  SHOT  DEAD  AFTER  ATTEMPTING  STABBING  OUTSIDE  BLOCKADED  VILLAGE
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 9, 2016
Israeli forces shot dead a 16-year-old Palestinian boy after he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at a military checkpoint outside the BLOCKADED VILLAGE OF AL-ZAWIYA in Salfit district on Wednesday morning.
___Al-Zawiya in the northern West Bank was placed under military blockade late on Tuesday after it is believed one of its residents carried out a stabbing attack near Tel Aviv.      MORE . . .

ETHNIC  CLEANSING  OF  SHUHADA  STREET  IN  OCCUPIED  AL-KHALIL  (HEBRON)
INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT, AL-KHALIL TEAM
6 Mar. 2016
Since the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre, the majority of Shuhada Street – once the thriving Palestinian market and main thoroughfare connecting north and south al-Khalil (Hebron) – has been closed to Palestinians. They are completely barred from accessing it, except for a small stretch in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood.      MORE . . . 

HALF  OF  ISRAELI  JEWS  BACK  PALESTINIANS’  ‘EXPULSION  OR  TRANSFER’  FROM  ISRAEL 
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 8, 2016
Nearly half of Israeli Jews believe that Palestinians with Israeli citizenship should be “expelled or transferred” from Israel, according to an authoritative survey published Tuesday.
___The Pew Research Center said its survey found evidence of “deep divisions” [. . . .]
___ The survey found that 48 percent of Israeli Jews agree — including 21 percent strongly — that Palestinian citizens of Israel ought to be expelled or transferred from Israel.       MORE . . .

A group of demonstrators near the city of Qalqilya in the West Bank protest the closure of the Azzun village road by Israeli security forces on February 26, 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)
A group of demonstrators near the city of Qalqilya in the West Bank protest the closure of the Azzun village road by Israeli security forces on February 26, 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)

ISRAELI  FORCES  HAND  DEMOLITION  NOTICES  IN  QALQILIYA  VILLAGE 
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY  
10 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces Thursday handed demolition notices for 13 Palestinian houses in Azzun village, east of Qalqiliya, in the northern West Bank, reported WAFA correspondent. Israeli troops handed notices to the homeowners of 13 houses in the village, ordering them to immediately halt construction. The homeowners were threatened that their houses would be demolished if they fail to immediately comply with the notices.      MORE . . . 

OPINION  ANALYSIS:  GENOCIDE,  APARTHEID,  OCCUPATION  AND  THE  TRUTH!  Part I
DAYS OF PALESTINE
9 Mar. 2016
The Occupation of Palestine did not begin in 1967, and neither did Occupation’s crimes against the Palestinian people. The Zionist Occupation Regime established their illegal state on the mass graves of the Palestinian people long before; Jew, Muslim and Christian alike.
___Genocide: the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.
___Let us go back further to the Nakba of 1948 . . . .      MORE . . .

“THE CITY,” BY JABRA IBRAHIM JABRA (1926-1994)

(The first and last sections of a much longer poem about the depopulation of a Palestinian city)

I
Look at the deserted city in the dark,
and the closed doors of the shops;
look at the street stretched in the morning.
Did you rest between the closing and opening of doors
in untroubled sleep?
Mine was burdened with dreams.
I live with shadows and lanterns.
I feel a twinge of pain for each and every light and still,
I see only shadows in the night and in the morning.

At every closed door the passerby lays down his pain,
a shadow that swells and stretches
for every unrealized desire.
At the doorways the shadows spring
from the desires of passersby;
between self and self,
between sterility and disease.
And into the crevices of sleep the night flings
ulcerated bodies, trees
whose fruits are spat up on the ground to rot.
Have you seen your fingers dry
hard as shiny nails?
Each nail is the worm from a carcass
sliding on the circle of lights in your brain,
so that you only see the swaying shadows
distend and crowd the doors and sidewalk.

IV
Look at the deserted street in the dark.
The shops are dressed in darkness
and the light never finds them―the doors are fitted
with forbidding latches.
The passerby bows under the paid
that grips him afresh at every door.

But when the storms blow
they sweep the dead from the sidewalk, obliterate
the lanterns and shadows,
and purge the eye and foot.
Blow, storms,
and pry
the fingers of death from us;
dismiss
the pain patrolling every door
and release
the scream of life in throats,
the hymns of cancers
in the road.

Descend
from the heights
pregnant with the tides of the sea, and efface
all rotting things from sight.
Open the doors of the city to the great sea;
turn angry waves into the shadow-houses
to scour the corners and the floors.
Sweep out
the iron chains; send the chains
of bones and worms
down to the black
rocks at the bottom of the sea.
Let fertility surge from its blue caves
into our land
and blood. . . .
and restore calm sleep to out nights.
Then will the sun burst forth
with blossoms and greenery for the city
and laughter will be heard from every
window, room, and house.
―(Spring 1958)

About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.
More . . .
Section II of this poem.
Section III of this poem
From:  WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987. Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988. Available from Amazon.
BDS FINAL LOGO_v5WEB_URL_side

 

 

“. . . Destroy the inhabited homes in their names . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Palestinian resident of Lydd, Amad Abu Sharah, after he was attacked in the early hours of the morning, allegedly by religious Jews. (photo ledawy.net)
Palestinian resident of Lydd, Amad Abu Sharah, after he was attacked in the early hours of the morning, allegedly by religious Jews. (photo ledawy.net)

❶ From: +972 NEWS MAGAZINE
PALESTINIAN  CITIZEN  ATTACKED  IN  SUSPECTED  HATE  CRIME
Samah Salaime
August 2, 2015
Amad Abu Sharah, a Palestinian citizen and activist from Lydd (Lod in Hebrew), was attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning at the entrance to his house on his way back from morning prayers at a nearby mosque.
____Activists in Lydd are planning to hold a meeting Sunday in light of the growing tensions between the settlers from the “Garin Torani” (a core group of national-religious Jews who often move into poor, mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhoods in order to strengthen its Jewish character) and the Arab residents of the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood in the north of the city. A protest denouncing the attack is also scheduled for Sunday evening.
(More. . .)

❷ From: PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
PLO  OFFICIAL:  IMPUNITY  GRANTED  TO  SETTLERS  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  SETTLERS’  BURNING  TO  DEATH  OF TODDLER
August 1, 2015 ― PLO Executive Committee Member Saeb Erakat, stressed that settlers’ Friday arson attack in Nablus, which claimed the life of a toddler and critically injured his entire family ‘is a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism.’
____Erekat held the Israeli Government fully responsible for the brutal assassination of the toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha and the injury of his mother, father and brother, who sustained third degree burns.
[. . . .]
____“We cannot separate the barbaric attack that took place in Duma last night from the recent settlement approvals by the Israeli government, a government which represents an Israeli national coalition for settlements and Apartheid,” he said.
(More. . .)

❸ From: INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISM  REPORT:  VILLAGE  OF  AZZUN  SUFFERS  FROM  CONTINUOUS,  TARGETED  ATTACKS  BY  ISRAELI  ARMY
International Solidarity Movement
August 02, 2015
On Tuesday, July 28, at 2:40 pm, the Israeli army arrived to the village of Azzun, located in the district of Qalqilya, to block 3 of the 4 existing entrance gates. . . . this situation left all the inhabitants trapped in their village.
[. . . .]
____This event should be seen in the larger context of violence, control and surveillance to which the village of Azzun has been subjected. The main road 55 that connects the village to Nablus, is fenced through 40 kilometers and includes three watchtowers. . . .the nearby illegal settlement of Maale Shomeron has a large number of watchtowers that constantly surveil the villagers’ movements within Azzun.
____In the course of the previous year, the village suffered from 385 attacks from the army. . . .
(More. . .)  

Israeli soldiers block a main road in the village of Azzun, during a protest for the opening of the eastern gate to the village, which has been closed by Israel since 1990, West Bank, February 14, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)
Israeli soldiers block a main road in the village of Azzun, during a protest for the opening of the eastern gate to the village, which has been closed by Israel since 1990, West Bank, February 14, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

❹ From: PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
SETTLERS  CONTINUE  TO  HARASS  PALESTINIANS  PASSING  THROUGH  JENIN-NABLUS  ROAD
August 2, 2015
JENIN – Israeli settlers Sunday continued their acts of harassment and attacks against Palestinians passing through Jenin-Nablus Road, according to security sources.
____Settlers raided the evicted Israeli settlement outpost of Tarsala, which was evicted in 2005, and attacked Palestinians passing through the Jenin-Nablus Road; settlers used anti-Arab words against Palestinians and drove their cars on the Road in a provocative manner, harassing Palestinians.
____Only last Week, Dozens of extremist settlers gathering near the evicted settlement to the south of Jenin, rioted and committed acts of violence against Palestinians.
[. . . .]
____Al-Haq human rights center said, “Attacks by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank against members of the Palestinian population and their property are an extensive, long-term, and worsening phenomenon.”
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion – mention of book, JEWISH TERRORISM IN ISRAEL
From: ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
SILENCE  IS  COMPLICITY
Mazin Qumsiyeh
August 2, 2015
A Jewish colonial settler attacked a village near Nablus, throwing Molotov cocktails and burning houses. Ali Dawabsheh, an 18 month old baby, was burned to death and three family members sustained severe burns.
____Jewish terrorism is not new and it accompanied Zionism from its foundations and accelerated under British rule (1919-1947) and got into a crescendo in 1948 and 1949 (dozens of massacres including Deir Yassin and Tantura) and then the attacks on civilians by the largest terror organization in the world (the Israeli army) including bombing refugee camps and villages in the 1950s until today. See book on “Jewish Terrorism in Israel” as example:

Pedahzur, Ami, and Arie Perliger. JEWISH TERRORISM IN ISRAEL. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. (From Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare Series)
(More. . .)

“THE GENERAL’S PSALM,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

Hear, O people, of Israel, the voice of the prophets!
Hear, ye people of Aaron, the call!
We issue the order to the wretched apostates,
to all good and God-fearing men:
Worship the graven images of Washington!
Rise, now, and worship them!
Mix with the murderous idols of Bonn!
Offer your children on petroleum’s altars.
And keep them in your hearts.
Destroy the inhabited homes in their names
and kneel at the feet of Canaan!
People of Judah,
It matters not if your mansions
are turned into desert sands.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

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