“. . . into the shadow of the Holy Heights. . .” by Reja-e Busailah

News of the Day

Report: Israeli raids at Al-Aqsa reflect official tendencies to change status quo in Jerusalem

September 09, 2019
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) confirmed in a new report that the Israeli occupation forces escalated their attacks in the occupied city of Jerusalem, as party of a policy adopted by the highest Israeli political level, amid clear indications of Israeli tendencies to break the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The report, which examines human rights violations in Jerusalem in August 2019, explained that the most serious incident witnessed in the city was on the morning of Eid al-Adha, August 11, when hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque following a decision by the Israeli Prime Minister to perform their Talmudic rituals in commemoration of the so-called Tisha B’Av.  More . . . . 

31 violations against media freedoms in Palestine during August

September 9, 2019
August 2019 has witnessed a modest decline in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, which resulted from the decrease in the number of Facebook closures of Palestinian journalists and news websites claiming that “they have violated the criteria of Facebook”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms “MADA” has documented a total of 31 attacks during August 2019 (compared to a total of 38 attacks documented during July), 17 of which were committed by the Israeli Occupation while 6 violations were committed by Palestinian Authorities. Moreover, the Facebook has closed 8 pages for Palestinian journalist and news websites during this month, noting that Facebook has closed 16 pages belonging to Palestinian journalists and news websites during July.  More . . . .

Teenager Injured, Three Students Among 15 Detained By IOF

Days of Palestine
September 9, 2019
Israeli occupation forces shot and injured a teenager today and detained three students who were among at least 15 Palestinians detained in various raids in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Local sources said Israeli military stormed Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah city, where soldiers ransacked two houses and detained three children who were on their way to school. During ensuing confrontations, soldiers opened fire towards local youngsters injuring one in the neck with a rubber-coated steel bullet.  More . . . .

Medical Neglect Kills Palestinian Prisoner In Israeli Jails 

Days of Palestine
September 9, 2019
The Palestinian political prisoner Bassam al-Sayeh, 47, died on Sunday in the Israeli Assaf Harofeh hospital.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Israel Prison Service had rejected many Palestinian calls for the release of al-Sayeh, who was suffering from bone and blood cancer, despite his deteriorated health condition.  More . . . .

Poem of 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.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND, Ed. By Alicia Ostriker. Lost Horse Press, 2012.
REJA-E BUSAILAH, who has been blind since infancy, and who (along with his family) was forcibly evicted from his home in Lydda into exile. Educated in Cairo, he earned a PhD in English from NYU and taught for thirty years at Indiana University. His recent collection of poetry is POEMS OF A PALESTINIAN BOYHOOD, Smokestack books, 2019. You may hear Reja-e Busailah read one of his poems here.

“. . . Can a people be born on the guillotine? . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)


ISRAEL  TO  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  FOR  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION      The Israeli Civil Administration announced an expansion plan of the illegal Israeli settlement of Tina Omarim in the town of Dahriyeh, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.    ___A Palestinian research center, Land Research Center, released a report on Monday showing that the Israeli Civil Administration have published a detailed plan that would change the classification of the Palestinian-owned land from agricultural into urban, in order to justify expanding the illegal Israeli settlement.   ___The report said that the plan would lead to the seizure of 260 dunums (64 acres) of Palestinian-owned land in the al-Thahriyeh town.   More . . .

IMF  DRAWS  BLEAK  PICTURE  OF  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY,  SUGGESTS  WAYS  OUT   The International Monetary Fund (IMF) drew a bleak picture of the Palestinian economy as longstanding constraints continue to act as a brake to growth and suggested ways out from this impediment.   ___It said in a report on the West Bank and Gaza economy that will be submitted to the next ad hoc liaison committee meeting that several factors have contributed to worsening economic situation in the Palestinian territories.   ___The IMF cited the worsening situation in Gaza aggravated by a long Israeli blockade, division, violence and other factors have deemed the outlook “increasingly untenable.”    More . . .

EXCESSIVE  FORCE  REASON  FOR  DEATH  OF  DETAINEE,  SAYS  RIGHTS  GROUP    The Ramallah-based Addameer  human  rights  organization  said on Tuesday that excessive use of force by Israeli soldiers during the arrest of a Palestinian youth was the cause for his death.   ___Mohammad Zaghloul Rimawi, 24, died hours after he was detained by Israeli soldiers during an early morning raid at his home in Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah.   ___Addameer said . . . an Israeli army force raided the village at around 4 in the morning on Tuesday. . .  The soldiers assaulted Mohammad’s mother then forced all the family (the father, mother and three of their children) into a corner of the house while they took Mohammad to another room in the middle of the house where he was severely beaten . . .  After that the soldiers dragged him and took him to an unknown location. Two hours later, the family was informed by the Palestinian District Office that its son has died.   More . . .


Trump’s decision to revoke the presence of the PLO Embassy in Washington says a lot more about the future of the US order than about the future of Palestine.   ___US willingness to parley with the PLO was based on the PLO’s participation in a bi-partisan charade: the peace process. . .  The peace process was the name given to the game of geopolitical management the US used to maintain its relationships with client states in Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. . . The US secured arms markets, purchases of its treasuries, sowing of anti-Shia sectarianism, and socio-political containment . . .  of the largest Arab working class, the Egyptians, in exchange for supporting local elites.  [. . . .] Trump  has  ripped  the  veils  off  US  government  strategy. This portends little for Palestine, since the Democratic Party – Lobby or no Lobby – will disintegrate into a thousand fragments before it will push for even a whisper of justice for Palestinians. There is no hope there. However, larger shifts in turn speak to a larger question: where does Palestine and the struggles to which Palestine is increasingly linked fit into a long-term strategy for those of us who wish for a relatively more equal and just world – a world with room for many worlds?   More . . .
Richard Falk
You didn’t have to be a ‘never Trump’ loyalist to have qualms about proposing to bring peace to Palestinians and Jews by creating conditions that would produce ‘The Deal of the Century.’ And let’s be fair, if the game of nations is now played according to the rules of Madison Avenue, the phrase was a winner despite being a loser if evaluated from a problem-solving perspective. Even in the present degraded political atmosphere, to bet on an advertising slogan as a substitute for healing ideas may be a good formula for ensuring a large audience for a reality TV episode, but it is a cruel evasion when it comes to addressing the daily ordeal of the Palestinian people consigned to the victimization associated with living under the Israeli apartheid state.    More . . .


RESEARCHING  THE  AMERICAN-ISRAELI  ALLIANCE  (RAIA)   RAIA is a research initiative launched in 2017 dedicated to exposing the connections between American and Israeli state violence. Our work is grounded in the conviction that the ongoing dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people undermines the possibility of a viable homeland for both Palestinians and Israelis.  Website . . .   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


We are entitled to love the end of this autumn and ask:
Is there room for another autumn in the field to rest our bodies like coal?
An autumn lowering its leaves like gold. I wish we were fig leaves
…I wish we were an abandoned plant
To witness the change of seasons. I wish we didn’t say goodbye
…to the south of the eye so as to ask what
Our fathers had asked when they flew on the tip of the spear. Poetry
…and God’s name will be merciful to us.
We are entitled to dry the nights of lovely women, and talk
…about what
Shortens the night for two strangers waiting for the north to reach the
An autumn. Indeed we are entitled to smell the scent of this autumn,
…to ask the night for a dream.
Does a dream fall sick like the dreamers? An autumn, an autumn.
Can a people be born on the guillotine?
We are entitled to die the way we want to die. Let the land hide in an
…ear of wheat.

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