“. . . the day is impudent and selfish. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Gaza4
Palestinian children at the Great Return March, near  Gaza City, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/Activestills.org)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY 
ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION  UNDERWAY  AT  COST  OF  A  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE
The Israeli army razed land in Dhar al-Maleh village, southwest of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, in order to expand an illegal Jewish settlement, the village’s head of council Ahmad Khatib said on Tuesday.    ___He told WAFA that bulldozers started to work on 120 dunums of the village land and in the process destroyed a paved road as the military was working on expanding the illegal settlement of Shaked, built on expropriated village land.     More . . .
~~  Israel  plans  new  settlement  units  in  Bethlehem    More . . .
~~  Israeli  settlements  threaten  to  engulf  West  Bank  communities    More . . .
QATAR  DEAL  EXPECTED  TO  BOOST  PALESTINIAN  TRADE
Qatar and Palestine are working to boost their bilateral trade, taking steps that one expert says will double their exchange over five years.    ___The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade) to increase partnership efforts between the two countries. During a Dec. 12 meeting in Doha that was also attended by Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar Amir Ghannam as well as Qatari and Palestinian businesspeople, the two sides agreed to allow nine Palestinian food and agriculture companies to export their products to the Qatari market.    More . . .
~~  Palestinian  Poverty  Level  Almost  Double  Israel  Average    More . . .
|   EIGHT  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  BY  IOF  IN  W.  BANK
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday kidnapped at least eight Palestinian citizens during campaigns in the West Bank.    ___The Israeli army claimed in a statement that its forces arrested eight wanted Palestinians overnight in the West Bank.    ___According to local sources, the IOF kidnapped a number of citizens in Beit Ummar town. . .    More . . .
~~  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  in  Gaza  waters    More . . .
~~  Israeli  army  opens  fire  at  Palestinians  south  of  besieged  Gaza    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
|  THE  GRASSROOTS  MOVEMENTS  IN  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  THAT  WON  2018
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
+972 Magazine’s story of the year for 2018 is the protest movements that managed to beat the odds by forcing governments to revisit and even change their policies. The story of African refugees stopping their deportation from Israel, and Gazans using popular protests to make sure the world doesn’t forget about them.   ___The global rise of nationalist and right-wing governments has not been particularly good for progressive movements over the past year. But two grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine, respectively, managed to push back against oppressive policies and, at least temporarily, achieve real victories on the ground. These stories are not only impressive, against-the-odds wins — they are also a reminder that the work of organizers and activists on the ground does stand a chance facing down governments, armies, and immensely powerful economic interests.   More . . .
|  THE  UN’S  VISION  OF  ‘PEACE’  FOR  PALESTINE  EXCLUDES  ORDINARY  PALESTINIANS
Ramona Wadi
The UN is now adamant that the Palestinian Authority should return to govern the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, this hypothesis was raised by the US and has seldom been questioned, ostensibly due to other pressing factors such as delivering the necessary humanitarian aid to displaced and injured Palestinians in the besieged enclave.    ___Since the Palestinian cause has become fragmented into separate issues to prevent national unity, the PA — through decisions taken by its leader Mahmoud Abbas — has slowly imposed its own sanctions on Gaza, bizarrely in the name of unity. Ths facade was dropped swiftly, though, to reveal the real reason for the sanctions; the Fatah-led PA wants to force Hamas to relinquish its political power in the enclave. Hamas, remember, won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, but has never been allowed to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.     More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

Excerpt from “MIDNIGHT,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

The new day does not ask your permission to enter,
it does not ask if you are ready to receive it.
The day is impudent and selfish,
it insists on arriving every day.
You hear dawn climbing the stairs
before it breaks into your house,
the same way you hear them coming to arrest you
before they break down the door,
before you rub your eyes,
before you’re asked to have a cup of coffee
with the hyena
with the gold tooth
and heavy makeup.

As for the birds,
don’t they know that this is not the time for singing?
Here they are, singing
as usual,
twittering melodies you do not understand.
May be they echo the refrain:
nothing equals
one more hour with you.

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . Prison did not turn him into a desert . . .” (Ahmed Dahbour)

❶ PSCC: Smear campaign targeting popular struggle activists

  • Background: “Conceptualising and Theorising Antisemitism and Racism: The Structural Context of Israel-Palestine.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Israeli forces suppress Friday rallies over Jerusalem recognition
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain former Palestinian prisoner during raid on Hebron-area town
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces open fire at fishermen, detain 2 in northern Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) Israeli forces detain four Palestinians from West Bank
❸ Israeli interrogation tactics lead to false confessions, Israeli court says
❹ POETRY by Ahmed  Dahbour
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PSCC:  SMEAR  CAMPAIGN  TARGETING  POPULAR  STRUGGLE  ACTIVISTS        Palestine News Network – PNN   
Dec. 29, 2017 ― The Israeli occupation has been escalating its systematic intimidation of Palestinians since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on the 6th of December 2017, The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said in  a statement.
___Since Trump’s statement, 15 Palestinians were killed, including disabled Gaza activist Ibrahim Abu Thoria. Moreover, Israeli Forces continue to escalate their wave of arrests.
___As of Wednesday morning, the coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, Munther Amira, 48, has been arrested by the Israeli occupation forces while participating in a demonstration at the northern entrance of Bethlehem city.
___Munther is currently facing charges of incitement and he is still under investigation. However, Munther is not the the only case. In the last few days, more than 8 activists have been arrested from Aida Refugee camp, and another 6 from the village of Bilin.   MORE . . .  

Shaw, Martin.
“CONCEPTUALISING  AND  THEORISING  ANTISEMITISM  AND  RACISM:  THE  STRUCTURAL  CONTEXT  OF  ISRAEL-PALESTINE.”
JOURNAL OF HOLY LAND & PALESTINE STUDIES, vol. 14, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 149-164.
[. . . .] From its beginnings, Zionism shared common European assumptions about the inferiority of non-European peoples, and often portrayed Palestinian Arabs in classically racist terms . . .  the project of colonisation set up a structural conflict, in which . . .  racism was fostered. After 1948, this was reinforced by the process of dispossessing Palestinians, and the continuing conflict which this set up. While Palestinians inside Israel became citizens, they were manifestly second-class, since they were not members of the ‘Jewish nation’ to whom the state belonged. Palestinians outside Israel were perceived as more dangerous for Israel, with their responses to dispossession seen as a source of violent threats. In this context, the potential for racism could be said to have become structural for Israeli Jews . . .
___On the Palestinian side, too, a structural potential for racist characterisations of Jews was created. Israel had expelled or oppressed all Palestinians, in different ways, in the name of ‘the Jewish nation’. Nearly all Jews whom most Palestinians encountered were involved in and benefited from relations of oppression and exploitation towards them. The Jewish state encouraged a homogenous view of ‘Jews’ and ‘Israel’: it is not surprising that some Palestinians also identified the two, extending hostility from the state to Jews as such, even if many Palestinians and organised currents in Palestinian life have always recognised a distinction. This ‘subaltern’ anti-Jewish sentiment may be called ‘antisemitism’, and sometimes borrowed anti-Jewish stereotypes from classical repertoires, but its causes were the structural situation in which Palestinians found themselves.
[. . . .] . . . new manifestations of antisemitism in Europe are misunderstood if they are presented as separate not just from Israel’s violence in 2014, but from the wider pattern of racism which that violence stimulated. Yet no official or academic study of this antisemitism has simultaneously problematised the anti-Palestinian racism which has been produced in Israel, despite the fact that this has been on a much larger scale and has had much more serious consequences than the expressions of antisemitism in Europe. [. . . .] Even the most sophisticated academic attempts to assimilate antisemitism to the larger field of racism have raised only one side of the significance of Israel for racism, namely the ‘new antisemitism’ involved in some opposition to Israel. They have neglected the larger complex of racism of which contemporary antisemitism is a part . . .  an adequate conceptualisation of antisemitism as racism will lead us to examine the general field of racism in and surrounding the structural context of Israel- Palestine. Such an examination should explore the relationship between antisemitism in Europe . . .  and the more extensive and deepening anti-Palestinian racism in Israel-Palestine . . .  SOURCE . . . 

ISRAELI  FORCES  SUPPRESS  FRIDAY  RALLIES  OVER  JERUSALEM  RECOGNITION 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces Friday afternoon violently suppressed Palestinian rallies that continued to rock the occupied territories for the fourth consecutive Friday in protest of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Israeli forces cracked down on several rallies in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, injuring three Palestinians.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  FORMER  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  DURING  RAID  ON  HEBRON-AREA  TOWN  
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained a former Palestinian prisoner and fired tear gas at locals during a raid early Friday morning into the Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the town early Friday morning and searched several homes in the town. . .   Soldiers allegedly ransacked homes and broke the glass of doors and windows during the raid.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  FISHERMEN,  DETAIN  2  IN  NORTHERN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 28, 2017 ― Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning.
___Locals said that Israeli naval ships chased down fishing boats off the coast of northern Gaza and opened fire at them. No injuries were reported.
___Israeli naval forces detained two fishermen . . .   the boats of the fishermen were confiscated.
___The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen, shepherds, and farmers along the border areas if they approach the so-called ‘buffer zone’, as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.   MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴄ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces Friday detained four Palestinians in multiple predawn raids across the West Bank, said security sources and an activist . . . Faqqua village, northeast of Jenin . . .  Fandaqumiya village, northwest of Jenin . . . Qalqiliya city . . .  Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron.    MORE . . . 
❸ ISRAELI  INTERROGATION  TACTICS  LEAD  TO  FALSE  CONFESSIONS,  ISRAELI  COURT  SAYS  
Days of Palestine
Dec. 29, 2017 ―  An Israel judge ripped into the Shin Bet, an Israeli intelligence service, for its interrogation tactics, saying they could lead people to confess crimes they did not commit.
___The panel of Be’er Sheva District Court judges has issued the opinion blasting the security service as part of a ruling explaining their acquittal last month of Khalil Nimri, a Palestinian accused of terrorism.
___Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that the court found that Nimri, who had been charged with planning an attack on Eilat hotel, had confessed under interrogation to acts that it was doubtful that he committed.
___”The Shin Bet needs to take a good look at itself so that interrogation techniques, which do indeed sometimes uncover dangerous acts of terrorism, aren’t also liable to induce innocent people to admit to acts that they did not commit,” the judges wrote.    MORE . . .

“THE  PRISON,”  BY  AHMAD  DAHBUR 
(To Abu Faris. . . who has been there)

Prison teaches that the heart is a desert,
That light is a desert.
It curses the fire and the land of the commandos.
Prison teaches that water is a chameleon,
That the landscape is a snake,
That echo is treacherous, and the wind an enemy.
Prison teaches that the guide’s sight grows dim,
And that the homeland departs.
Prison is a black kingdom in the sand;
Prison is a sword guarding the eyelids;
Prison . . . not the homeland!
So how, my beloved homeland, will the beloved ones survive?

Here we are, no complaints and no regrets,
We never say: an aimless wandering!
Blood gushes forth from the depths of our love.
Prison assaults but does not hit the mark;
Our wounds hit back,
Reaching out like water . . . like the wilderness,
Promising the light with a new light.
From deep within us, signaling twice!
Our cub child,
And the fire of salvation.
We see it, yes we do.
We are not dreaming,
We almost step into his joyous landscape
We almost do.
This is the moment of travail in our difficult labor,
We hug the newborn―
He who springs from our very ecstasy,
Whose kicks we feel in our guts,
Who teaches the hungry what he knows
And declares in words well understood:
Revolution, revolution . . . till life.

The inmate has not lost his features in the sand,
Prison did not turn him into a desert.
From his hunger, water and vegetation sprang.
When silence wounds him,
He can break it with a sigh,
But he endures.
His testimony:
Near death, there were exhaustion and fatigue,
His executioner pressing him to promise
A word . . . a groan, or to divulge his secret,
But all in vain.
His countenance was radiating in the sand
Like an oasis,
For prison had not turned him into a desert.

About Ahmad Dahbur. And here.
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY.  Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store. 

“. . . Let the oppressor review his account Before the turn of the wheel . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

orphanage-001
Dar al-Aytam al-Islamiyya dates back to the Circassian Mamluk and Ottoman periods, and includes an Islamic orphanage and  secondary school. (Photo: Archnet)

❶ Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in Beit Ummar, Hebron for alleged rock-throwing

  • Background: “International Law And The Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces raid Palestinian orphanage for 5th time
❸ Israeli Soldiers Open Fire On Farmers In Southern Gaza, Navy Attacks Fishers In Northern Gaza
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  IN  BEIT UMMAR,  HEBRON  FOR ALLEGED  ROCK-THROWING
Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 20, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday evening shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian near the Beit Ummar junction in the northern part of the village of Beit Ummar in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron. Israeli authorities have claimed an Israeli soldier shot the teenager dead in response to a rock-throwing incident.
___Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that he saw the body of a young Palestinian on the ground near the entrance of Beit Ummar. The young Palestinian, later identified as Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr, 15, was reportedly shot by Israeli forces in the back, with the bullet exiting through his chest.     More . . .       

  • Weiss, Peter. “International Law And The Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 96-101.   Source.

There is virtually unanimous international agreement that Israel’s presence in the West Bank constitutes an occupation within the meaning of Section III of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilian persons in times of war. . .
* The settlements are illegal because, under Article 49, “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”;
* Under Article 3, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” are prohibited, as well as violence to life and person, in particular murder and torture”
[. . . .]
As with international law generally, the law of war [is] based on moral principles rather than formal treaty. . . .
* Article 1: “A place, district, or country occupied by an enemy stands, in consequence of the occupation, under the Martial Law of the invading or occupying army. . . .”
* Article 4: “Martial Law is simply military authority exercised in accordance with the laws and usages of war. Military oppression is not Martial Law . . . it is incumbent upon those who administer it to be strictly guided by the principles of justice, honor, and humanity
[. . . .]
All Palestinians living in the West Bank are protected persons under the law of occupation. They do not lose that status by killing settlers or committing other war crimes; they only become protected persons who remain entitled to due process and humanitarian treatment.
[. . . .]
The difference between a war crime and a crime against humanity is that the former can be committed as an isolated act constituting a serious violation of the law of war, while the latter requires that it be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against the civilian population. . . . . The most recent definition of both types of crimes is found in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which entered into force in 2002.
[. . . .]
Article 7 lists the following as crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment in violation of international law, torture and other sexual crimes, persecution, enforced disappearance, apartheid, other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
___The situation is paradoxical: Israel, not being a party to the ICC, may not, as a matter of international law, be bound by certain crimes enumerated in the Rome Statute, such as rape, while Palestinians are. Many of these would, of course, be crimes under domestic or military law or under customary humanitarian law. However, it is troubling that, when Israeli officials speak about these non-treaty obligations, they do so in terms of Jewish values or IDF values, rather than universal values, as if the universal values . . .  do not necessarily apply to Israel.

ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  PALESTINIAN  ORPHANAGE  FOR  5TH  TIME
Days of Palestine
Oct 20, 2016
Israeli forces kidnapped teen orphan following fifth raid on  Palestinian orphanage   in Old City of occupied Jerusalem.
___Seventeen-year-old orphan Mp’az Khalil was kidnapped after the orphanage was raided for the fifth time in ten days. He had been interrogated after being accused of throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces.
___The orphanage’s administrative board evacuated it before the end of the day to prevent any clashes with the Israeli occupation forces, sources said.
___On Monday, the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped the Director of the Palestinian Ministry of Education Samir Jibril.   More . . .    
Related . . .   HEAD  OF  JERUSALEM  EDUCATION  ADMINISTRATION  ARRESTED 

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  OPEN  FIRE  ON  FARMERS  IN  SOUTHERN  GAZA,  NAVY  ATTACKS  FISHERS  IN  NORTHERN  GAZA
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 21, 2016
Israeli soldiers opened fire, on Friday morning, targeting Palestinian farmers in their own lands, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships opened fire on fishers in northern Gaza.
___Eyewitnesses said the soldiers, stationed on military towers across the border fence, fired many live rounds into Palestinian agricultural lands, forcing the farmers out in fear of additional army fire.
___They added that the attack was carried out while military vehicles were seen heavily driving across the border fence, while many army sharpshooters were deployed across the border fence.   More. . .

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD  – 1970

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 the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
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 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, 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, in 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.
About Tawfiq Zayyad 

“. . . It doesn’t matter what you had planned . . .” (Lena Khalif Tuffaha)

holy-land-1-139-003
The Sea of Galilee, photo taken by Harold Knight in 2008. The beauty, like that of Palestine itself, is fragile and deceptively calm.

A (too) personal note from the blogger: 

As you can see from the dates on the news items, I meant this post for yesterday. However, I could not continue. The news is simply too horrendous day after day. If I am overwhelmed from this distance, it is impossible to imagine what the Palestinian people experience and feel every day, even though I have traveled to Palestine three times.
___Americans especially, and most citizens of Western nations, do not understand that this situation is not a matter of politics (no matter what Hillary and Donald say). It is not a matter of religion (no matter what Bibi says). And it most certainly is not a “conflict.” It is a simple matter of morality and of the so-called American dreams of freedom, equality, and self-determination.
___So I am back after three days of being distressed by the news. These postings simply have to be done, no matter who does or does not read them. This bungling record of events with supplementary scholarly and poetic works must be here in cyberspace.
___My friend Samia Khoury in Jerusalem brought me back by emailing me today’s poem for which I am grateful.

Harold Knight, Dallas, Texas, USA

❶ Killing Jordanian an act of terror by Israel, Jordan says
❷ Democratic front condemns adding Hammad to [United States] terrorist list
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) [United States] Florida mosque arsonist shared extreme pro-Israel propaganda
❸― (ᴀ) Army Kidnaps Four Palestinians In Hebron
. . . ❸― (ᴃ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Four Palestinians in Tulkarem And Nablus
. . . ❸― (ᴄ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Three Young Men In Jerusalem
. . . ❸― (ᴆ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap A [13-year-old] Child In Jericho
❹ Poetry by Lena Khalif Tuffaha
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ KILLING  JORDANIAN  AN  ACT  OF  TERROR  BY  ISRAEL,  JORDAN  SAYS
Days of Palestine
Sep 18, 2016
Jordanian foreign ministry described on Saturday Israeli murder of Jordanian citizen in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday “an act of terror,” a statement said.
___The Israeli occupation police murdered on Friday the Jordanian national Sayid Amro in at the Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem’s Old City.
___Israeli media reported Israeli officials claiming that the Jordanian citizen had two knives and attempted to stab an Israeli policeman.
___However, the Jordanian foreign ministry did not believe the Israeli claims, stressing that the deceased citizen had no extremist views and he travelled to Palestine just to perform prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.      MORE . . .

❷ DEMOCRATIC  FRONT  CONDEMNS  ADDING  HAMMAD  TO  TERRORIST  LIST
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sept. 18, 2016
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemned Sunday the US administration step of adding senior Hamas official, the former interior minister Fathi Hamad, to its “global terrorist” list.
___The Democratic front explained in a statement that US administration decision is a creator of terrorism in the region, denouncing its deafening silence towards Israeli violations of human rights.
___It called the free world to condemn such decisions and to stand by the just Palestinian rights. It stressed that Palestinian people will go on with their struggle against Israeli occupation and for regaining the right of return, self-determination and their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.      MORE . . .   
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) [UNITED STATES]  FLORIDA  MOSQUE  ARSONIST  SHARED  EXTREME  PRO-ISRAEL  PROPAGANDA
The Electronic Intifada
Rania Khalek
Sept. 18,2016
[. . . .]
[American] Media outlets were quick to publicize Schreiber’s anti-Muslim postings, but few mentioned his promotion of pro-Israel propaganda or his admiration for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, two great champions of the anti-Muslim far right.        MORE . . .    

❸― (ᴀ) ARMY  KIDNAPS  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, Beit Ummar and Ethna towns, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, searched homes and kidnapped four Palestinians. One of the invaded homes belongs to the family of a teen who was killed by the army on November 27, 2015.     MORE . . .  
. . . ❸― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  IN  TULKAREM  AND  NABLUS
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Many Israeli military vehicles invaded, earlier Monday, Kufur Abboush village, south of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, in addition to Tal village and Balata refugee camp, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped four Palestinians.      MORE . . .
. . . ❸― (ᴄ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  THREE  YOUNG  MEN  IN  JERUSALEM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening, a number of neighborhoods, in the Old City other parts of occupied East Jerusalem, and kidnapped three young men. The soldiers also invaded a home in Bethlehem.       MORE . . .
. . . ❸― (ᴆ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  A  [13-YEAR-OLD] CHILD  IN  JERICHO
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening, the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho city, in the occupied West Bank, kidnapped a child, and took him to a detention and interrogation center, near Jerusalem. The army also invaded Marda village, near Salfit.
___The WAFA Palestinian News Agency has reported that the soldiers kidnapped Mohammad Ahmad Maharma, 13, after stopping him at the southern entrance of Jericho.     MORE . . .

“FROM GAZA,”  BY  LENA  KHALIF  TUFFAHA

They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David”.
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
Run.
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
Run.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha  

 

 

“. . . suddenly to become an opening to nothingness . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

Artists of Yes Theatre (Hebron) in performance. (Photo: International Solidarity Movement. April 3, 2016)
Artists of Yes Theatre (Hebron) in performance. (Photo: International Solidarity Movement. April 3, 2016)

❶ Israel Punitively Demolishes Family Homes of Killed Palestinian Attackers
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Israel Demolishes Store near Hebron
. . . . . ❶―(ᴃ) Israel Demolishes Five Homes in West Bank, Jerusalem
❷ Israel blocks construction of 50 schools in besieged Gaza
❸ Palestinian on the run from Israeli soldiers for a week — is 12 years old
❹ Yes Theatre: Resisting occupation through theatre and socially engaged art practice
❺ Opinion/Analysis: EXECUTION  OF  PALESTINIAN  EXPOSES  ISRAEL’S  MILITARY  CULTURE
POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  PUNITIVELY  DEMOLISHES  FAMILY  HOMES  OF  KILLED  PALESTINIAN  ATTACKERS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 4, 2016
Israeli occupation forces Monday punitively demolished the family homes of three killed Palestinians, whom Israel accused of carrying out a fatal attack against an Israeli soldier, in Jenin’s Qabatiya town.      MORE . . .  
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ)  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  STORE  NEAR  HEBRON
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 4, 2016
Israeli forces on Monday demolished a Palestinian-owned store in the town of Beit Ummar, to the north of Hebron, according to local sources.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―(ᴃ)  ISRAEL DEMOLISHES FIVE HOMES IN WEST BANK, JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 4, 2016
Israeli authorities Monday demolished five Palestinian-owned homes in the West Bank district of Nablus and Hebron, as well as in East Jerusalem, according to local sources.      MORE . . .

ISRAEL  BLOCKS  CONSTRUCTION  OF  50  SCHOOLS  IN  BESIEGED  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
April 4, 2016
The construction of over 50 schools in Gaza has been blocked due to the tough Israeli siege, Assistant Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Education, Anwar al-Bar’awi said Sunday. Al-Bar’awi raised alarm bells over the need to construct more schools in the blockaded Gaza Strip due to overcrowding.
___He said serious efforts have been underway to maximize pupils’ academic output, improve assessment strategies, and develop pedagogical policies.     MORE . . .

Ramzi Abu Ajamia has been on the run from Israeli soldiers for the past seven nights (Photo: Middle East Eye/Abed al Qaisi)
Ramzi Abu Ajamia has been on the run from Israeli soldiers for the past seven nights (Photo: Middle East Eye/Abed al Qaisi)

PALESTINIAN  ON  THE  RUN  FROM  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  FOR  A  WEEK  — IS  12  YEARS  OLD
Mondoweiss
April 2, 2016
Sheren Khalel & Abed al-Qaisi
The father of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy on the run for a week from Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank has told Middle East Eye that he fears his son will be killed if caught. Ramzi Abu Ajamia has been in hiding for the past seven nights, the boy’s father, Nasir Abu Ajamia said from their family home in Bethlehem’s Dheisha refugee camp. Israeli forces first showed up at the family’s home on 24 March, raiding the house and detaining Ramzi’s older brother. Ramzi said he had no idea why Israel was seeking to detain him. He says he attended protests against Israeli occupation, where rocks were thrown.    MORE . . .

YES  THEATRE:  RESISTING  OCCUPATION  THROUGH  THEATRE  AND  SOCIALLY  ENGAGED  ART  PRACTICE
International Solidarity Movement
Al-Khalil Team
April 3, 2016
The Yes Theatre in Al-Khalil works with dedication, for a brighter future for the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank through a diverse set of cultural activities. Roughly eight new productions every year reach an audience of over thirty thousand Palestinians . . . . Additionally, the Yes Theatre continually searches for new ways to share and develop its decade-long artistic practice, by engaging in dialogue with its local community, sharing their stories, hosting workshops, providing youth education, and internships with a job-guarantee. Their projects include Yes 4 Future, Yes 4 Kids, workshops that support women speaking in front of an audience, along with several plays that include female actors – something which is not a standard feature in Palestinian theatre.       MORE . . .

Opinion/Analysis:  EXECUTION  OF  PALESTINIAN  EXPOSES  ISRAEL’S  MILITARY  CULTURE
Palestine Chronicle
Jonathan Cook
April 3, 2016
It might have been a moment that jolted Israelis to their senses. Instead the video of an Israeli soldier shooting dead a young Palestinian man as he lay wounded and barely able to move has only intensified the tribal war dance of the Israeli public.
___Last week, as the soldier was brought before a military court for investigation, hundreds of supporters protested outside. He enjoys vocal support too from half a dozen cabinet ministers, former army generals, rabbis and – according to opinion polls – a significant majority of the Israeli Jewish public.
___It is worth reflecting on this generous act of solidarity.      MORE . . .

“THE  MOUTH  OF  THE  WELL,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA

[During the massacre of Deir Yassin, the enemy flung the bodies of its victim in the village well.]
Mouth of the well,
Where the hands of playful young maidens
Met in friendship, pouring
Spring water into the jugs,
Amidst merriment and song.
Was it suddenly to become an opening to nothingness,
That opening of a grave, stuffed with young maidens
And bleeding pregnant women,
Their blood mixed with gunpowder?
Did the clusters of grapes around it shrivel up and dry?
Was the wheat scorched, and did the oilskins
Spill their contents on the scattered stones,
And was Jesus crucified there once more?
The mouth of the well will be our second Golgotha.
From its bloodied opening will pour forth
Black lava, smoldering and sizzling,
Mixed with the flesh of young women and pregnant women.
To destroy
Those who sowed death
And fed the eagles of our land.
Then, from its sacred and abundant fertility,
Life will flow, surely it will flow
Into all our villages anew.

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.
Available from Palestine Online Store.
About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
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“. . . a land watered with the blood of the murdered . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

park-canada-sign-Tania
Park Canada donor recognition sight [sic]. (Photo: Tania Susskind.)
❶ PA criticizes Israeli bill calling to ban Muslim call to prayer
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Palestinian rights group warns of ‘real escalation’ of situation in Israeli prisons
. . . . . ❶―(ᴃ) More than 7,700 Palestinians inside Israeli jails
❷ Israeli troops raid orphan aid center in Beit Ummar
❸ Indonesian FM: Stop Israeli oppression of Palestine
❹ IOF kidnap 19 Palestinians including 6 children, West Bank & Jerusalem
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  IS  MARTIN  LUTHER  KING’S  NAME  DOING  IN  THE  RUINS  OF  A  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGE?
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PA  CRITICIZES  ISRAELI  BILL  CALLING  TO  BAN  MUSLIM  CALL  TO  PRAYER
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
7 Mar. 2016
The Palestinian Authority (PA) yesterday criticized an Israeli bill calling to ban the Muslim call to prayer, Quds Press reported.
___The information ministry considered the bill, which was discussed yesterday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, a “violation of all borders, aggression on the sanctity of God’s houses, harming Muslims’ feelings and violation of the simplest of religious freedoms.”      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) PALESTINIAN  RIGHTS  GROUP  WARNS  OF  ‘REAL  ESCALATION’  OF  SITUATION  IN  ISRAELI  PRISONS
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
7 Mar. 2016
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has warned that the state of tension in various Israeli prisons is likely to significantly escalate as a result of violations against prisoners.
___The group said in a statement released on Sunday that prisoners belonging to Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine had been on hunger strike for one day to protest sanctions imposed on them and as a “warning step”.     MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―(B)  MORE  THAN  7,700  PALESTINIANS  INSIDE  ISRAELI  JAILS
DAYS OF PALESTINE
Mar 6, 2016
More than 7,700 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israeli occupation authorities, Military Court Watch (MCW) reported on Sunday.
___According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 January 2016, there were 7,766 Palestinians, from the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
___MCW said that 423 Palestinian children are included in this number.      MORE . . .
ISRAELI  TROOPS  RAID  ORPHAN  AID  CENTER  IN  BEIT  UMMAR
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
7 Mar. 2016
Dozens of Palestinians suffered from severe tear gas inhalation on Monday after Israeli troops raided an aid organization serving orphans in the southern occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar, seizing equipment and assaulting staff.
___Activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that “Israeli troops seized files from the institution, three computer devices, and stormed the institution before they tied up the guard, Kareem Ikhalyel, in a room.”      MORE . . .

minaret
The Dome of the Rock and the minaret of the Women’s Mosque at sunset, East Jerusalem (Photo: Stefano Baldini)

INDONESIAN  FM:  STOP  ISRAELI  OPPRESSION  OF  PALESTINE
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
7 Mar. 2016
The Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi has called for halting Israeli oppression of Palestine and its people on Sunday before the fifth extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Palestine in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
___“Israel’s intransigence towards Palestine and Jerusalem continues along with its occupation of the Palestinian territories which is illegal. Your support will lay the foundations for stability and peace in Palestine,” Marsudi said.     MORE . . .
IOF  KIDNAP  19  PALESTINIANS  INCLUDING  6  CHILDREN,  WEST  BANK  &  JERUSALEM
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday morning have kidnapped 19 Palestinians, six of them children under the age of 15.
___The Palestinian prisoners’ club stated that IOF kidnapped five Palestinians from the East Jerusalem area, four of them aged between 13-15 years.     MORE . . . 
Opinion/Analysis
WHAT  IS  MARTIN  LUTHER  KING’S  NAME  DOING  IN  THE  RUINS  OF  A  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGE?
+972 MAGAZINE
Umar Al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz)
6 Mar. 2016
Martin Luther King’s name appears on the donors wall of Ayalon Canada Park in the Latrun area, which Israel conquered in 1967 before it carried out an ethnic cleansing of the area. The site of the donors wall includes many stone panels on walls that were erected on the ruins of the Palestinian village Imwas, which Israel flattened in 1967. Imwas is identified with Roman-Byzantine town Emmaus-Nicopolis.      MORE . . .

(Blogger’s Note: This poem was written around the time of the 1967 War when Israel conquered the territories of Palestine that were not included in the 1948 “Partition.” It is an imaginary conversation between the poet and a black sailor from America “a ship of the Dollar”. The poet’s words are italicized and the sailor’s in quotes. The similarities of their situations in 1967 are obvious. The similarities have again become obvious with the racist and pro-Israel rhetoric of the US Presidential campaign.)

“IN  ENEMY  LINES,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Yesterday, he stopped me in the street, asked about a bar
Where he could pass the evening.
He was a black sailor,
A deck-hand in a ship of the Dollar,
We talked, and I liked him
Would you like a drink, friend?
At a secluded table in the noisy café
My friend drank heedlessly
This black man wanted to forget
Why? From what depths does this man spring?
Tell me of your life in America the free,
Of the white man’s school, of his church, and his hotel
Speak to me of the fluorescent signs:
no dogs, Jews, or Negros allowed!

“Oh, leave me alone for Satan’s sake
Is there a woman around? Before dawn
We’ll be sailing and leaving this port!”

Very well! Tell me of the black fire
Have you heard of a hunted lion?
Of the forests becoming ashes in the night
Of a field planted with martyrs
Of a people grown in a land
Watered with the blood of the murdered
Of a sun born pregnant with bread, dreams, and freedom?
Have you heard of Africa?

“I hear, I hear, the rolls of the Simbas’ drums
I see a black beauty
Writhing like an angry fire
In a dance of bloodied love.”
Very well! Speak to me of Cuba.
What do you know of a people that are
No longer a crucified Christ.
“Cuba? If I had a guitar tonight
If I sing a song
A curtain would move and reveal
A sensuous body in the window.
Waitress!
Damn you, my glass is empty.
And my senses are still clear, and the entertainer
What silenced his tunes?”

Yesterday he stopped me in the street
Searching for a bar
This morning the news told of
A white American who died,
As his lips quivered with a cry:
Down with the words
Written in blood, in anguish,
Down with the shame of man
Raised by the Fascists waving mud-stained banners
Those words that say:
No dogs, Jews, or Negroes allowed. 

About Samih Al-Qasim
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.
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“. . . I confronted my oppressors, carrying my blood in my palms . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Mohammed Alawna, 21, Jenin, announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces
Mohammed Alawna, 21, Jenin, announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES WOUND 8 AT FUNERAL OF 53-YEAR-OLD KILLED THURSDAY
July 23, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces injured eight Palestinians in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar Thursday as clashes erupted after the funeral of Falah Abu Maria, who was shot dead in his home at dawn during an Israeli arrest raid, witnesses said.
____Spokesman for a popular committee in the Hebron-area town, Mohammad Ayyad Awad, said that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at funeral attendees.
____The mourners received light to medium injuries, and three were transferred to hospitals in Hebron for treatment, he said.
(More. . .)
(Background) ISRAELI FORCES KILL 53-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN NEAR HEBRON, INJURE SONS. July 23, 2015.
(More. . .) PALESTINIAN FACTIONS DECRY STRING OF KILLINGS BY ISRAELI FORCES
(More. . .) MARTYR ABU MARIA, SUMMED UP THE SUFFERING OF HIS PEOPLE

❷ From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL ARRESTS 20 PALESTINIANS IN WEST BANK, JERUSALEM
July 24, 2015
HEBRON, July 23, 2015 (WAFA) – At least 20 Palestinians were arrested on Thursday by the Israeli army during predawn and night raids across the West Bank districts and in Jerusalem, according to local and security sources.
____In Hebron district, Israeli forces stormed the town of Dahiriya at night and arrested three Palestinians, identified as Khalil Jabarin, 30, Mujahed Jabarin, 45, and Ayesh Awaysah, 42.
____Israeli soldiers also raided the village of al-Majd, west of Hebron, and arrested Majed Amr, a local Palestinian, and his two sons, Amjad and Ashraf.
(More. . .)

❸ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK (PNN)
YOUTH DIES OF WOUNDS AFTER SHOT BY ISRAELI SOLDIERS
July 22, 2015
Mohammed Alawna, 21, this morning was announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during clashes in Burqin village near Jenin.
____According to security sources, Mohammed was shot in the chest. He was rushed to the Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital for treatment, underwent surgery, and was later announced dead of his wounds.
(More. . .)

Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Falah Abu Maria, 53, who was shot dead by Israeli forces
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Falah Abu Maria, 53, who was shot dead by Israeli forces

❹ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ADVANCES 1,065 SETTLEMENT HOUSING UNITS
July 24, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s Civil Administration advanced plans for the development of 1,065 housing units in eight different settlements throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a settlement watchdog announced Thursday.
____The civil administration — Israel’s governing body for the occupied West Bank — approved 15 plans for various planning stages in the settlements at hand, Peace Now said.
____Approved plans included legalizing 228 already existing housing units that have been completed in settlements, as well as 541 new housing units yet to be constructed.
(More. . .)

❺ From +972 MAGAZINE
COURT DENIES EQUAL RIGHTS TO PALESTINIAN WORKERS IN ISRAELI INDUSTRIAL ZONE
Haggai Matar
July 23, 2015
Israel’s National Labor Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian workers from the Nitzanei Shalom Industrial Zone this past Sunday, ruling that they will continue to be subject to the Jordanian labor laws of 1967, rather than Israeli laws.
____The three appellants — Abdel Hamid Yahiye, Ahmed Shayib and Mujhad Harsha — sued their former employers in Tel Aviv’s Regional Labor Court in 2010 after they were fired for demanding retroactive payment from their employer.
(More. . .)

❻ Opinion
From JADALIYYA (ARAB STUDIES INSTITUTE)
PLANNING UNDER OCCUPATION: ELASTIC GEOGRAPHIES AND ‘AREA C’
Lamya Hussain
July 16, 2015
In recent years there has been growing concern about Israel’s planning regime and its operations across the West Bank. In particular, organizations have expressed their apprehension towards the growing number of demolitions, eviction orders, and restrictions in Area C. According to the 1995 Oslo Accords, Area C of the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) amounts to an estimated sixty-two percent of the West Bank. It is rich in land and water, and critical to the sustainable long-term development of a future viable Palestinian state. Israeli restrictions on planning and development in Area C have created systemic poverty and instability across local Palestinian communities, undermining developmental possibilities. Additionally, Israel has tightened its military control of Area C of late, and increased restrictions on the delivery of international aid and humanitarian assistance. This process has produced new threats for an already vulnerable population, and brings into question both the legitimacy and responsibility of Israel as an occupying power.
(More. . .)

“I CLASP YOUR HANDS,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but mu share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

From THE PALSESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994 in a dreadful car crash while on his way to meet Yasser Arafat in Jericho after the Oslo agreements. He participated in Palestinian political life in occupied Palestine, was elected mayor of Nazareth, and served as a member of the Israeli Knesset.
(More. . .)

A view of the Beit El settlement with Ramallah in the background. Photo by Michael Omer-Man.
A view of the Beit El settlement with Ramallah in the background. Photo by Michael Omer-Man.