“. . . all that pain can be breached. . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli snipers kill two Gaza boys

The Electronic Intifada
Maureen Clare Murphy
September 6, 2019
Israeli occupation forces shot and killed two Palestinian children during Great March of Return protests, Gaza’s health ministry stated on Friday.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The ministry named one of those slain as Ali Sami Ali al-Ashqar, 17. He was reportedly shot in the head east of Jabaliya, northern Gaza. The second killed child was identified as Khalid Abu Bakr al-Rabai, 14, shot in the chest east of Gaza City. Sixty-six others were injured during Friday’s protests, 38 of them by live fire.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nearly 50 children are among the 210 Palestinians who have been killed during the protests since their launch in early 2018. Nineteen Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza so far this year, most of them during Great March of Return protests.  More . . . .

IOF launches fresh attack on Gaza Strip

Palestine News Network
September 7, 2019
The Israeli military has launched fresh attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, after Israeli troops killed two Palestinian teenagers during anti-occupation protests near the fence separating the coastal sliver from the occupied territories.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Palestinian media reported that an Israeli tank shelled an outpost purportedly belonging to the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement north of Beit Hanoun and a regime drone struck a Hamas observation post near Beit Lahia early on Saturday. More . . . .

Female university student kidnapped by IOF in Bireh city

The Palestinian Information Center
September 7, 2019
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday morning kidnapped a Palestinian female student from her home in al-Bireh city in the central West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to local sources, Samah Jaradat, a student at Birzeit University, was kidnaped after Israeli soldiers broke into and ransacked her home in the city.  More . . . . 

Netanyahu Corruption Case: State Witness Reveals New Details

Palestine Chronicle
September 6, 2019
A state witness in the corruption case against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed scathing details to investigators on Thursday.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Netanyahu is standing for his fifth term in upcoming 17 September elections. Shortly after the elections, he faces an October pre-trial hearing on the corruption allegations that have dogged him for months.  More . . . .

BACKGROUND

Shaping the Future, Skills and Competencies for Palestinian Youth: Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

This Week in Palestine
By: Michael Klode and Wissam Deeb
September, 2019
In the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, youth represent about one-third of the population. It is this young generation that constitutes the basis for developing the Palestinian society and economy amid rising unemployment and an unstable political situation. Every August is the time of year when the injaz (tawjihi) results are out, and the new cohort of young Palestinians prepares the next steps in their path through life. Even though the ratio of unemployed academic graduates is extremely high, most young people and their families dream of a future as medical doctors, engineers, or lawyers.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“BREATHING,” BY RAMZY BAROUD 

That distance
all that distance
can be bridged
by a touch

that pain
all that pain
can be breached
knowing you meant
every word even when
you ceased to talk

tomorrow
all tomorrows
can only happen if
I know you are breathing
just breathing
and I am yet to die

I heard nothing for so long
I wondered
are you really you
will you ever come back?

Sitting still I thought
maybe you never existed
poetry was just a cruel joke

and the music
all the music
shed crocodile tears
persistently

Words that were
or are yet to be
belong to a language
any language

I am destined
to dream shadows
on grey walls

From I REMEMBER MY NAME, ed. Vacy Vlanza. Novum Publishing, 2016.

‘. . . Call it home for all the living. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Mosque, house demolished in south of West Bank

WAFA
September 2, 2019
The Israeli military authorities demolished today a mosque and a house in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to local sources.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli army units used a bulldozer to destroy al-Ummah mosque in Jabal Jouhar south of Hebron city. The demolition included a water well used by the mosque, reported the head of the Hebron Waqf department Jamal Abu Arram, who said that the demolition came as a surprise to them and without a prior warning.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Waqf officials described the demolition of the mosque as an aggression against Muslim holy places ˙ and a provocation, as well as a crime against the right of Muslims to worship.   More . . . .

MoE: School demolition threats will never break the will of resistance & education

Palestine News Network
September 2, 2019
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in a statement on Monday said that the ongoing Occupation violations against Palestinian educational institutions will not break the will of resistance education, pointing out that the policy of notifying schools of demolition and stopping schools’ construction and confiscating their properties will not discourage our determination from educating generations and raising children with national and humanitarian values.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This comes as IOF handed a demolition threat to Ibzeeq School “Tahaddi 10,” in Tubas, ordering the School to remove the fence surrounding it. This step comes in the context of systematic and continuous attacks against the school, which was previously demolished under false military pretexts. More . . . .

IOF arrest university lecturer from Ramallah

Palestine News Network
September 1, 2019
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday morning launched a raid and arrest campaign in the West Bank, where they arrested four Palestinians including a university lecturer.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The detainees included a media lecturer at Birzeit University, Widad Barghouti (mother of the two prisoners Qassam and Carmel Barghouti) from Kobar village north of Ramallah.  More . . . .  

Palestinians slam Netanyahu pledge to annex West Bank settlements

Aljazeera
September 2, 2019
Palestinian officials denounce Israel PM’s reiterated pledge to annex occupied West Bank settlements as ‘unacceptable’.
Palestinian officials have denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reiteration of a pledge to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, warning such a move would not lead to “any peace”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Netanyahu’s announcement on Sunday was a “continuation of attempts to create an unacceptable fait accompli”.   More . . .

  • Knesset speaker: Netanyahu’s West Bank vow not merely election rhetoric
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 2, 2019
    Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex West Bank settlements is not merely an election campaign promise, but a real plan.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Speaking to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Edelstein – a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party – claimed that the movement to annex West Bank territory has made significant gains in recent years.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “For about a decade we have longed for sovereignty,” Edelstein said, using the language preferred by the Israeli right for annexation, “and have made significant progress”.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “From a situation in which a minister who referred to the idea of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] was considered delusional, we have reached a position where Netanyahu’s statement is taken for granted and legitimate,” the long-time Likud lawmaker added.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“HOLY LANDERS,” by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas [USA]

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.

They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!

Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.

Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead,
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

From Before There Is Nowhere to Stand. Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press, 2012.

“. . . She gazes at me like a little child. . .” (Muhammad al-Dhahir)

IMG_3697 - Copy - Copy - Copy
Neighborhood of Jericho (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .  
|  PRISONER’S  SOCIETY:  ISRAEL  DETAINED  OVER  900  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  SINCE  BEGINNING  OF  YEAR
Israel detained 908 Palestinian children under 18 years of age since the beginning of the year, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Tuesday.    ___It said in a statement marking  UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY, which coincides on Tuesday, that out of the 908 detained since January 2018 until the end of October, 270 are still held in detention in various prisons in Israel.   More . . .
|  THE  RIGHT  TO  EDUCATION  CAMPAIGN  CONDEMNS  ARBITRARY  ARREST  OF  BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY’S  HEAD  OF  STUDENT  COUNCIL
The Right to Education Campaign expresses its grave concern over the Israeli Occupying forces’ arrest of the head of Birzeit University student council Yehya Rabie’ at dawn on November 19, 2018, from his house in Al- Mazra’a Al Gharbiya near Ramallah. Rabie’ is a third-year student in the Faculty of Business and Economics.    ___ Such outrageous acts are categorical violation of international laws and norms, which all forbid any violation against the basic right of people to the right of education.   More . . .
|  ISRAEL  RAZES  PALESTINIAN  LANDS,  UPROOTS  500  PALM  TREES  IN  JERICHO
Israeli bulldozers razed and leveled Palestinian-owned agricultural lands, and uprooted about 500 palm trees, on Tuesday, in Jericho City, near road 90, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jericho.    ___Ibrahim Ahmad, the tenant of the razed lands, said that Israeli forces along with several bulldozers stormed the area and razed agricultural lands that belong to the ISLAMIC  ENDOWMENT  (WAQF)  DEPARTMENT.    ___No reason was given for the razing and leveling of the lands.  More . . .
. . . . Related  Netanyahu: KHAN AL-AHMAR to Be Demolished Very Soon
. . . . Related  Israeli  bulldozers  raze  lands  in  GAZA
. . . . Related  Israeli  bulldozers  demolish  Palestinian  structures  in  EAST  JERUSALEM 

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  WHY  IS  NETANYAHU  SO  DESPERATE  FOR  A  CEASEFIRE  WITH  HAMAS?
It was supposed to be a routine intelligence undercover operation whereby the Israeli agents would infiltrate into “enemy territory”, carry out the mission, and leave without being detected . . .  But the Israeli intelligence operation on November 11 in Gaza did not go according to plan. . .    [. . . .] Seven Palestinians were killed in the botched operation, including a prominent al-Qassam Brigades commander, Nour Baraka . . .    [. . . .] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had little space for manoeuvre: he was forced to settle for a ceasefire with Gaza armed groups, which prompted Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman to resign and plunged his government into a major political crisis.    ___This time, provoking a new conflict in Gaza in order to take attention away from the domestic political mess he has made is not an option for Netanyahu. He is cornered by a resurgent Hamas and his own geopolitical game in the Middle East, so he needs to keep Gaza quiet.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  LITTLE  GIRL,”  BY  MUHAMMAD  AL-DHAHIR

I tell her:

speak to me—she holds her breath
and draws a circle of suffering
a circle of soldiers
a circle of guns

She lets down her ropelike braids
I tell her:
Plough my body
travel in my palm
and give me a sign

She gazes at me like a little child
opens her album
pointing to the map of the big Arab homeland
writing in blood the names of the tribes

I tell her:
Draw a moon for proof
She slams her album shut
and enters me to sleep within my ribs
Out comes a troop of children,
a bouquet of wheatstalks,
And her voice, whispering:
—All others but you are enemies
and every god but you, an intruder.

–Translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye
From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

 

Noontime call to prayer, Jericho, November 10, 2015.

“. . . You did not leave me land to plow . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  US  WARNS  OF  ‘CONSEQUENCES’  AS  PALESTINE  JOINS  INTERNATIONAL  BODIES
The United States has threatened “consequences” as Palestinians step up efforts for statehood demanding accession to almost a dozen international bodies and conventions.    ___The threat came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed the documents on Thursday to join the Universal Postal Union, a UN agency that coordinates international postage, and 10 international protocols and conventions.    ___The move infuriated the US, Israel’s staunch ally, with a State Department official claiming that the Palestinian efforts to join international institutions were “premature” and “counterproductive.”    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  RAZES  LAND,  CONFISCATES  VEHICLES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
The staff members of the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality stormed the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, under the heavy protection of Israeli forces, on Monday.    ___A Ma’an reporter said Israeli bulldozers razed a land in the SILWAN NEIGHBORHOOD, which belonged to Palestinian resident, Khaled al-Zir.    ___ [. . . .] Israeli forces also confiscated several vehicles in the neighborhood under the pretext that the owners did not obtain an Israeli license.    ___The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution in July 2017 reaffirming the international body’s non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem, and condemned Israeli policies in the Old City.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  family  forced  at  gunpoint  [from]  their  land  in  BETHLEHEM
. . . . Related  Israeli  Army  Launches  Limited  Incursion  into  GAZA
. . . . Related  IOF  attacks  schoolchildren,  settlers  vandalize  property  in  URIF  [NABLUS]
. . . . Related  Dozens  of  Palestinian  students  injured  in  IOF  attack  [HEBRON]
|
  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCES  ARREST  22  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
The Israeli occupation forces arrested 22 Palestinian citizens from the West Bank on Monday morning.    ___IOF arrested the head of the student union council, Yahya Aqel Rabie at  Birzeit University  during raids in the village of Mazra’a al-Gharbiya, northwest of RAMALLAH, the center of the occupied West Bank.    ___Local sources report that military patrols stormed the village and began to raid houses. The Israeli occupation forces arrested Rabie during a raid on his family’s house and was taken to an unknown destination.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
THE  NEW  NEW  ANTI-SEMITISM
By Richard Falk
I along with many others am being victimized these days. They are being labeled anti-Semites, and in some instances, self-hating Jews as well. This is a Zionist and Israeli effort to shut down our voices and punish our non-violent activism, with special venom directed at the BDS Campaign because it has become so effective in recent years. This negative branding of the opposition is being called ‘the new anti-Semitism.’ The old anti-Semitism was simply hatred of Jews as expressed through negative images and attitudes. . .  The new anti-Semitism is criticism of Israel and Zionism. . .  The false premise is equating Zionism with Jews, automatically making criticism and opposition to the Zionist state of Israel as anti-Semitism. . .  [. . . .] we who are attacked as new anti-Semites are really trying to honor our human identity, and to reject tribalist loyalties or geopolitical alignments, in our commitment to the realization of Palestinian rights. . .  As Jews to hold Israel accountable under standards that were used to condemn Nazi surviving political and military leaders is to honor the legacy of the Holocaust, not to defile it.  More . . .
|  ‘WE  HOPE  THE  REGIME  LASTS’:  WHEN  ISRAEL  ENJOYED  COZY  TIES  WITH  BRAZIL’S  MILITARY  DICTATORSHIP
Just under a month ago, following an especially tumultuous election season, Brazilians elected Jair Bolsonaro as president of their country. Bolsonaro has been a member of the National Congress, Brazil’s parliament, since 1990, where he was part of a group of vocal, extreme-right backbenchers who longed for the days of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985.    ___His election was welcomed by the Israeli right, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu going so far as to announce he would attend Bolsonaro’s swearing-in ceremony in January.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| EYEWITNESS  PALESTINE    It is our pleasure to share this Annual Report detailing the recent accomplishments of Eyewitness Palestine. In the past year, we have:  Dispatched 4 delegations and 96 delegates to meet with peace-builders in Palestine/Israel . . .   Rolled out a Racial Justice and Equity curriculum . . .  Distributed $161,540 in financial aid . . .  Expanded our online network to more than 25,000 people . . .   Dramatically increased the diversity of Eyewitness Palestine delegations . . .    Information about delegations . . .  Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A  DIALOGUE  WITH  A  MAN  WHO  HATES  ME,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Rome was burnt, O crazy man
..Rome is more durable than Nero
Rome will not grasp your poems
..She can recite them by heart
Rome will slice your strings
..My tunes arise from my heart
Your voice echoes a miserable past
..My voice echoes a rocket rage
Your path is long
..I shall not tire
Yehuda** sold you
..I shall not be crucified
My ancestors were cremated in Auschwitz
..My heart is with them

..Pull out the wires from my skin

And the wounds of yesterday?
..A shameful scar―in the face of the executioner over there
What do you carry in your head
..A little wheat
What’s in your chest?
..A picture of a wound
Your face reflects a rancor color
..My face reflects the color of the earth
Then convert your sword into plowshare
..You did not leave me land to plow
You criminal!
..I did not steal―did not kill―didn’t oppress
You Arab! You are a dog!
..O man, may God cure your soul
..Why don’t you try the taste of love
..Why don’t you make way for the sun!!

** The Israeli town of Or Yehuda was established in 1950 on the lands of the depopulated Palestinian villages of Saqiya and Kfar ‘Ana. Jews from Iraq and North Africa settled there.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available.

“. . . when we are strong about our suffering, you call it ‘Resilience’ . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

Palestinians gather around the remains of a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinians gather at the ruins of a building destroyed by an Israeli air attack in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . 
|   7  AL-QASSAM  FIGHTERS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  SENIOR  MEMBER,  IN  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES     Seven members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, were killed late Sunday evening, including a senior member during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes over Khuzaa town, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Local sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting southern Gaza, attacking Palestinians, who exposed an Israeli undercover unit that entered Gaza in an apparent attempt to abduct al-Qassam fighters.    ___Hebrew-language news outlets reported that violent armed clashes broke out between the Israeli unit and the al-Qassam fighters, which resulted in killing one Israeli soldier and critically injuring another.    ___Israeli warplanes intervened by launching airstrikes over the area, immediately killing seven Palestinians and variously injuring more than seven others, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  UNDERMINES  ‘COMPLICATED’  ISRAELI  MILITARY  OPERATION  IN  GAZA
. . . . Related  GAZA  PROTESTS:  ALL  THE  LATEST  UPDATES    Since protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 214 Palestinians and wounded more than 18,000.
. . . . Related  IOF  KIDNAPS  PALESTINIANS  FROM  HOMES  IN  W.  BANK
   OFFICIAL:  ISRAEL,  US  BLOCKING  ATTEMPTS  BY  FRANCE,  RUSSIA  TO  MOVE  PROCESS  FORWARD          The United States and Israel are blocking attempts by France and Russia to move forward the Middle East political process, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday.    ___Nabil Shaath, advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas on Foreign and International Affairs, told the official Voice of Palestine radio that there are attempts by France and Russia to move the political process forward through a multilateral international framework in accordance with the initiative the President had presented to the United Nations . . .   [. . . .] He said that Israel is seeking to establish a state in Gaza that will be under continuous Israeli siege, threats and extortion, while it plans to keep the West Bank and Jerusalem under its control and prevent any attempt at establishing a Palestinian state.     More . . .
. . . . Related  PRIME  MINISTER’S  VISIT  TO  FRANCE  IMPORTANT,  SAYS  OFFICIAL
|    BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY  RECEIVES  PRESTIGIOUS  YASSER  ARAFAT  ACHIEVEMENT  AWARD      Birzeit University has won the prestigious Yasser Arafat Achievement Award for 2018 in a special ceremony commemorating the fourteenth anniversary of the passing of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.    ___The award honors institutions and personalities who are distinguished by their exceptional work and recognizes real achievements in national, cultural, social, economic, scientific, or academic work.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ISRAELI  TARGETED  KILLINGS  IN  GAZA  AND  BEYOND:  A  TIMELINE    The latest Israeli killing fits a pattern of targeted assassinations of Hamas commanders and affiliates.    ___Israeli forces killed at least seven Palestinians, including a high-ranking Hamas official, in the besieged Gaza Strip late on Sunday in a ground operation that is expected to significantly boost tensions.  [. . . .]  An Israeli soldier was killed when an exchange of fire erupted during the operation, the Israeli army said.    [. . . .] The latest killing fits a pattern of targeted assassinations of individual Hamas commanders and members of affiliated groups. . . .  Here is a timeline of key assassinations targeting Palestinian military commanders and individuals with ties to Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HASHTAG  GAZA,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

To the children who lost their lives, and the parents who had to bury them**

Bring your camera.
Bring your candles and spotlights to highlight.
Bring your focus to hashtag anniversary.

Everyday Gaza.

Bring your reporters, your journalists, your moving infographics.

Write:

“Abu Muhammad sits on the balcony, cradling the head of Muhammad.”
Sorry.
“The photo of the head of head of Muhammad.”

Talk about bomb shelters and war sirens in Siderot and Tel Aviv.
Call it, “Neutrality.”

Talk about your 5 dead and your iron dome.
Call it “Objective Reality.”

Bring your billion dollar pledges and your aid caravans
Your exel sheets, monitoring reports and donor requirements.
Call it “Accountability.”

Write:

“Abu Muhmmad sits on the balcony hopelessly, smokes a hope-
less cigarette talks about lack of hope.”

This one is a human interest story.

And when we invite you into our rubble homes for tea and bread
you call it “Generosity.”

And when we are strong about our suffering, you call it “Resilience.”

Write:

51 days.
2,000 dead.
10,000 wounded.

Abu Muhammad says:

My boys took a ball to the beach.
Came back bodies.

How can we remember what we can’t forget?

**Four Gazan cousins were killed on the beach by Israeli rocket fire, July 16, 2014. The poem imagines the father of one of the boys, Ismail Mohammed Bakr, age 9.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . watched him accept the silent homage of water . . .” (Tawfiq Sayigh)

❶ Arab League aims to nullify Trump’s Jerusalem move
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Egypt [news] hosts ‘told to convince viewers’ over Jerusalem
❷ Arrests, interrogation writs reported in dawn sweep by Israeli army
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian injured during clashes in Birzeit
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israel accused of using live ammunition against West Bank civilians

  • Background: “Jewish-Muslim Veneration at Pilgrimage Places in the Holy Land.” Religion & the Arts

Custos of the Holy Land marks baptism of Christ at Jordan River
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Sayigh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ARAB  LEAGUE  AIMS  TO  NULLIFY  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  MOVE   
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 7, 2018 ― Arab foreign ministers are calling for international recognition of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, aiming to nullify a controversial US decision on the holy city’s status.
___Ayman Safadi, the Jordanian foreign minister, hosted a committee of officials from Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Palestine in Amman on Saturday to discuss the Arab League’s response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last month.
___The committee – created at an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo on December 9, just days after Trump’s declaration – is hoping to reverse the decision and “to assert that it has no legal effect”, Safadi told reporters at the summit.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  EGYPT  [NEWS]  HOSTS  ‘TOLD  TO  CONVINCE  VIEWERS’  OVER  JERUSALEM
Al Jazeera English 
Jan. 7, 2018 ― A report by the New York Times has said that while Egypt’s government was publicly condemning a US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a state intelligence officer was asking influential TV hosts in the country to persuade their viewers to accept it.
___The newspaper reported on Saturday that it had obtained audio recordings in which Ashraf al-Kholi, the intelligence officer, can be heard telling the hosts that Egypt, like its “Arab brothers, are denouncing this matter”, but that “after that, this thing will become a reality”.
___”Palestinians can’t resist and we don’t want to go to war,” added Kholi, according to the New York Times. “We have enough on our plate as you know.”    MORE . . . 
❷ ARRESTS,  INTERROGATION  WRITS  REPORTED  IN  DAWN  SWEEP  BY  ISRAELI  ARMY  
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Sunday arrested a number of Palestinians and summoned others to questioning.
___Israeli army troops rolled into al-Arroub refugee camp, north of al-Khalil province, and kidnapped 22-year-old Palestinian youth Safi al-Titi from his family home.
___The occupation forces also ransacked the home of the slain Palestinian protester Khaled Jawabra, in al-Arroub camp, and seized cash from the home of prisoner Nidhal Shahada.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  INJURED  DURING  CLASHES  IN  BIRZEIT      Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 7, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers on Sunday injured one Palestinian and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, near the western entrance of Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, in central West Bank.
___Medical sources said the young man suffered a moderate injury, after the soldiers shot him with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his abdomen, while many others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.
___The soldiers installed a military roadblock near the western entrance of the university, and attacked many Palestinians, who protested the invasion.    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAEL  ACCUSED  OF  USING  LIVE  AMMUNITION  AGAINST  WEST  BANK  CIVILIANS
Palestine News Network – PNN    Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has accused the Israeli army of deliberately increasing the use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians through sniper attacks during peaceful demonstrations.
___“The number of casualties, including fatalities, proves that the Israeli forces are deliberately intending to have as many victims as possible from among Palestinian protesters,” the Centre said on Thursday.
___It cited the case of Musab Firas Al-Tamimi, aged just 17, from Deir Netham village north-west of Ramallah. The boy was shot by an Israeli soldier from a distance of 30 metres when he approached a military vehicle in an attempt to help a young man who was arrested earlier.     MORE . . .    ..

Berger, Pamela.
“JEWISH-MUSLIM  VENERATION  AT  PILGRIMAGE  PLACES  IN  THE  HOLY  LAND.”
RELIGION  &  THE  ARTS, vol. 15, no. 1/2, Mar. 2011, pp. 1-60.  

[. . . .] We do not know when the tradition of compiling un-illustrated accounts or “lists” of these holy sites began. Among Christians we have the fourth-century travel writings of an anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux, France. . . Among Muslims, one of the earliest is surely Al-Muqaddasi (c. 945–1000), who provides a good deal of valuable information about the places he visits. Starting in the twelfth century, Jewish travelers from the Arab lands write about numerous sacred tombs in their ziyara, “visits, or travelogues” in Arabic. These Jews, writing and speaking Arabic, were familiar with the local Arab residents’ mentality, since they spoke the same language. Un-illustrated “ziyara” lists of holy places, drawn up by Arabic-speaking Jews, are known from the thirteenth century; texts of western Jewish travelers have come down to us from the first half of the twelfth century. . .  Muslim illustrated itineraries, which are not the subject of this essay, have survived from around the same time.
___It is a normal human need to hope that a holy figure or sage can help one in times of trouble. The material gathered in this essay demonstrates how Muslims and Jews shared that hope, and indeed how, until the middle of the twentieth century, Jews and Muslims shared a reverence for so many of the same Biblical and Quranic figures, and must have felt comfortable venerating those figures at the same holy sites. Since for the most part the Muslims living on the land were in charge of the sites, we will see that many Jewish travelers comment on how the Arabs guarding the holy places treated the Jewish pilgrims with respect, allowing them to pray there without harassment. . . .
  SOURCE . . .

❸  CUSTOS  OF  THE  HOLY  LAND  MARKS  BAPTISM  OF  CHRIST  AT  JORDAN  RIVER 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Custos of Holy Land  Francesco Patton of the Latin Church, Sunday led the procession that commemorated what the denomination refers to as the baptism of Jesus Christ at the Jordan River, on the Palestine-Jordan border.
___The procession was received by local government figures, including Governor of Jericho Mjaed al-Fetyani, Mayor of Jericho Salem Ghrouf, head of the Jericho intelligence department Belal Hloub, as well as representatives of police and security services and Muslim clerks.    MORE . . .    ..

“THE  SERMON  ON  THE  MOUNT,”  BY  TAWFIQ  SAYIGH
I followed him,
married my frailty to his virtue, and
helped him reveal himself.

On the lisping hill, long waited for
by the dull arms of drowsy Kinnereth
(like a couple of tears the cheeks expect,
that cling to feeble eyes), I shared the meal
of the thick-necked multitude. Well-fed,
they hailed him Lord and rolled down after him.
Alone I lay upon the hill, watched him
accept the silent homage of water
amid the crow-like shrieks of his elect.
Alone I lay, waiting for his return.

I knew he would return.
Cold crumbs and fish (though by a mother’s hands
wrapped and with a mother’s blessings salted)
left me starved. Water-turned-to-wine
tasted water to my lips. The mud,
that cleared Bartimeus’ eyes of mud, made mine
unsatisfied with what they feasted on.
The call that once restored to life the lad
of Nain, left my mother in black. Upon
the fertile hill, and the candle-like
corn, by the lake, wherein the sleepless fish
make weary passes at the blushing corn
I starved.
I too was tempted, in no wilderness.

And he came.
Divinities of love spring out of sea.
He came and talked (some say he prayed, and some
he sang). Did others hear? I thought he talked
only to me. He called me not, and I
came forth. He broke no loaves, and touched no jars,
baskets were full again; the wedding guests,
unconscious, conscious sipped the better wine.

Tawfiq Sayigh 
From AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY. Selected, Edited, and Translate by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1974.   Available from Amazon.

 

“. . . in old age you have been crowned with humiliation . . .” (Tawfiq Sayigh)

❶ [Palestinian] Presidential spokesman: White House statements incorrect and rejected
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Rajoub: The President’s [ABBAS] speech at the Islamic Summit establishes for a national strategy

  • Background: “Israel or Occupation?.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israeli navy opens fire at Gaza fishermen
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers break into Solomon’s Pools site in Bethlehem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ)  Israel raids Birzeit University at dawn
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Did Trump’s Jerusalem decision revive support for Palestine?
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Sayigh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PRESIDENTIAL  SPOKESMAN:  WHITE  HOUSE  STATEMENTS  INCORRECT  AND  REJECTED
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina Thursday said the Palestinian leadership rejects and deems incorrect the latest White House statement saying President Mahmoud Abbas’ rhetoric prevents peace.
___He said, “These statements are entirely wrong, since President Abbas always reiterates that he is committed to a just peace on the basis of international legitimacy, Security Council resolutions and world’s recognition of the State of Palestine as an observer in the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, based on the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.”
___Abu Rudeina added that this was confirmed by the Arab peace initiative, and on these bases the Palestinian leadership has been involved in the Oslo accords based on the two-state solution, including resolutions 242 and 338. The previous US administrations have engaged in negotiations based on these rules.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  RAJOUB:  THE  PRESIDENT’S  [ABBAS]  SPEECH  AT  THE  ISLAMIC  SUMMIT  ESTABLISHES  FOR  A  NATIONAL  STRATEGY
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 15, 2017 ― Fatah Central Committee’s secretary general Jibril Rajoub, described the speech by President Mahmoud Abbas at the Islamic summit as bold and establishes for a national strategy, pointing out that the president’s decision to form a committee to formulate a steadfast resistance strategy in Jerusalem aims at people, land, holy places, dignity of citizens and their ability to remain steadfast and resist.
___Rajoub stressed that all Palestinians must realize the strategy to build full national partnerships that keep Palestine on the agenda of the world, pointing out that the president’s speech at the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation reflects the greatness of the Palestinian people and expresses their ambitions and aspirations.  MORE . . .

(NOTE: Apparently Mr. Bahour was mistaken.)

Bahour, Sam.
“ISRAEL  OR  OCCUPATION?.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 15-17.
[. . . .] Today’s Palestinian leadership is waging an uphill battle to achieve some form of appropriate reconciliation of the historical injustices done to Palestine and its people. Palestinians went to Madrid, Oslo and Camp David and put on the table the greatest concession ever voluntarily made by an indigenous people: to relinquish 78% of their ancestral homeland so the Jews of the world could fulfill their own dream of a homeland. In return . . . Palestinians received instead [ ] a package of Israeli aggression like never before: collective punishment, imprisonment, political assassinations, uprooting of trees, burning of schools, maiming of children, economic blockades, tanks, helicopter gunships, F-16s and much more. Today’s highly sophisticated military occupation . . .   suffocates and humiliates each and every Palestinian, day in and day out, in hopes that each individual and family will ultimately decide to leave voluntarily or turn to violence.
[. . . .]  It took the Palestinians, as victims of a prolonged 20th century colonization project, 45 years to absorb the fact that they had become objects in a history that was not theirs — and thus, to accept Israel’s political existence. If today or tomorrow all hope is lost, if Israel finally yields fully to its illegal settlers and Jewish extremists and remains bent on the obliteration of Palestinian national identity, no one ought to be surprised if it takes Palestinians perhaps 45 hours to reinstate a political platform anchored by their legitimate collective memory – call it “One State” or what you will. If 21st-century diplomacy and politics fail to serve justice and restore Palestinian dignity, however fractured by all that has occurred, the Palestinian collective memory can be expected to make its presence felt again, to provide at least the comfort of justice as a vision, as an oral tradition. Israel knows this, and none of its leaders dare to unilaterally rip up the Oslo peace agreements, not even hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. THE  PUBLIC  AND  DIPLOMATIC  LEADERSHIP  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES  KNOWS  THIS  EVEN BETTER  AND  DOES  NOT  DARE  TO  DISREGARD  THESE  AGREEMENTS,  NO  MATTER  HOW SHATTERED  THE  STATUS  OF  THEIR  IMPLEMENTATION,  AND  NO  MATTER  HOW  UNSCHOOLED THE  CURRENT  U.S.  ADMINISTRATION  MAY  BE  ON  THE  ISSUES.      SOURCE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  FIRE  AT  GAZA  FISHERMEN 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 15, 2017 ― Israeli naval boats Friday opened fire at fishermen’s boats while sailing in the Gaza waters; offshore Beit Lahia town to the north of the Gaza Strip, said sources.
___Fishermen were forced to return back to shore for fear of being detained, injured, or killed. No injuries were reported among the fishermen.
___Israeli navy and troops routinely open fire on fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone and farmlands along the border, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal that was reached in August 2014.
___The current six-nautical-mile fishing zone falls drastically short of the twenty nautical miles allocated to Palestinian fishermen in the 1993 Oslo Accords.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  SOLOMON’S  POOLS  SITE  IN  BETHLEHEM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 15, 2017 ― Israeli settlers Friday broke into Solomon’s Pools archaeological site, south of Bethlehem, and performed religious rituals there, said security sources.
___At least 40 settlers broke into the site under tight protection by Israeli forces, and carried out talmudic rituals there.
___Earlier in February, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stressed in a cabinet meeting that was held at the site in defiance to repeated attempts by Israeli settlers to take over it that the pools, ancient water reservoirs located south of Bethlehem, are an Islamic waqf (trust) and considered as an archaeological reserve since 1929.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)    ISRAEL  RAIDS  BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY  AT  DAWN  
Days of Palestine
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Israeli occupation forces raided on Thursday at dawn Birzeit University in occupied West Bank, ransacked campuses and student union offices.
___A statement released by the university said: “A large number of heavily armed Israeli forces stormed Birzeit’s campus at dawn, raiding the headquarters of the student council in Sheikh Rashid bin Said al-Maktoum Building, Kamal Nasir Hall and the Faculty of Science.”
___The statement added: “The Israeli occupation forces ransacked the campuses and the different offices they raided and damaged much of the furniture.”   MORE . . .
❸ Opinion/Analysis: DID  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  DECISION  REVIVE  SUPPORT  FOR  PALESTINE?
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse) 
Daoud Kuttab
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Without knowing or planning it, the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has resulted in renewed interest in Palestine and brought back to the top of the agenda the question of Jerusalem.
___George Irani, a social science professor at the American University of Kuwait, told Al-Monitor that Trump’s decision helped bring the world to Palestine’s side. “With his foolish decision, Trump has rallied the global community with Palestinians.”
[. . . .] Botrus Mansour, a Palestinian lawyer and citizen of Israel, told Al-Monitor that through his declaration, Trump “did put the Palestinian issue in the news again”. . .  However, Mansour, who is the director of the Nazareth Baptist School, questioned whether Palestinians can use this to their advantage. “The question is whether Palestinians will be able to leverage this opportunity, which I doubt, in light of the current political balance of power in the region.”
___Dozens of protests took place in Jordan when Deputy Prime Minister Mamdouh al-Abadi said Dec. 7 that people should go out in the streets to demonstrate, and the Jordanian parliament took the unusual step of revisiting agreements with Israel that had been untouchable before.     [. . . .] The unexpected nature of this “gift” from Washington has been reflected in many ways. Local, regional and international demonstrations have taken place, and emergency meetings of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have been held.  MORE . . .

“A  NATIONAL  HYMN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  SAYIGH
Is it true that you were young,
And that your wavy hips
Caused seduction among young men?
And that fashion magazines
Devoted their numbers to your dresses?
I do not believe.
Is it true that you turned your husband into a leader and he led
And built you hanging gardens,
O my country?

Is it true that he who sang you with burning love
Sang you with high esteem,
Is it true that you led the horses,
That your sons rode to them in distant pastures
And that they did not open their mouths to nibble
But opened them to emit a neigh like hymns of the minarets?
I do not believe
I do not believe, O my country.

Not because you have become old:
For there is dignity in gray hair
And wrinkles have an effect unequaled by soft skin.
Not because you have become secluded:
If only when limelights receded from you
You sponsored institutions,
Opened orphanages or collected donations.
No, my country:
For then I would have loved you
And sung for a beauty that gradually changes but does not die,
And I would have visited you
And would have done so in awe.

But in old age you have been crowned with humiliation
And you brushed off the memory of your husband and of youth
As if they were dust on your soiled body.
You have castrated your sons
And I saw them droop their heads for your memory;
You wallowed with this and that person of immoral character
(How would I believe what is said about your past
O my country
I who saw your house and its dim lights?)
If lovers turn away from you
You have been prostituting your daughters
O my country
O my country.

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 Tawfiq Sayigh

“. . . I’m unfamiliar with settlements. Are some of those people good? . . .” (Marwan Makhoul)

❶ European conference on settlement declares Israel ‘apartheid regime’

  • Background: “Spatial Changes in Palestine: From Colonial Project to an Apartheid System.” African & Asian Studies.

❷ Israel encourages settlers to move to Jordan Valley settlements
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Netanyahu is redefining ethnic cleansing not pursuing genuine peace
❹ POETRY by Marwan Makhoul
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ EUROPEAN  CONFERENCE  ON  SETTLEMENT  DECLARES  ISRAEL  ‘APARTHEID  REGIME’ 
Days of Palestine
Nov. 11, 2017 ― Representatives from 24 European countries, including parliamentarians, legal experts, journalists and activists, met in Brussels, have declared Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” in the West Bank.
___In a press release, the recommendations of the first European conference on Israeli settlement activity were named the Brussels Declaration, and included the following:
1. Israel, the occupying power of the Palestinian territories since 1967 continues its policy of confiscating and judaising Palestinian land and building settlements over it. These settlements have turned, with the passage of time, into an incubator for settler’s “terrorist organisations” such as HiiltopYouth, Paying the Price and Revenge.
2. With this premeditated policy of settlement expansion, it is, therefore, inappropriate to talk about dismantling political or security settlements, but rather, see this movement as a structure colonial policy that was able to colonize a large part of the West Bank not less than 60 percent of its size. This policy has, in fact, established an Apartheid regime, which violates the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 . . .        MORE . . .

Al-Rimmawi, Hussein.
“SPATIAL  CHANGES  IN  PALESTINE:  FROM  COLONIAL  PROJECT  TO  AN  APARTHEID  SYSTEM.”
African & Asian Studies,
vol. 8, no. 4, Nov. 2009, pp. 375-412.
[. . . .] After the 1967 war, Israel began to strip Palestinian land from its Palestinian owners . . . . settlements penetrated deeply inside the occupied land like spears, with the purpose of dividing the Palestinian land in the West Bank into three main Bantustans, north, and central and south.
___At present, Israel continues to construct its Apartheid Wall which would guarantee that the confiscated land be on the Israeli side of the border . . .  The Wall is planned and implemented in a way which results in residential and territorial discrimination. Palestinian workers may be allowed to work in Israel but will not be allowed to reside in the same place . . . .
___Palestinian cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is being destroyed by Israeli bulldozers. The Apartheid Wall is destroying archeological sites, shrines, monuments and historical buildings. The establishment of this wall is represented by ‘spatial and socio-side’. The Wall also has a significant impact on Palestinian wild life and biodiversity. For example, heavy equipment destroys plant coverage and degrades the soil. Flora and fauna are endangered and some species will disappear.
[. . . .] The whole Zionist plan evolved through different phases which reflected itself on the space through the settlements, the creation of the State of Israel, the evolution of Israel to become an occupying power in Arab lands and the present apartheid system. Through the acquisition of territory and the building of the Annexation Wall, Israel aims at eliminating the possibility of Palestine as a viable political entity. Palestinians cannot fully exercise their human rights, including their freedom of expression, travel from one place to another, and different laws are applied to them than those used for Israeli settlers. At present, they are prisoners inside their own cities, villages, and refugee camps. . .  It seems that Israelis are not capable of transferring the soul of settlement movement into a real and consolidated state.   SOURCE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  ENCOURAGES  SETTLERS  TO  MOVE  TO  JORDAN  VALLEY  SETTLEMENTS       
The Palestinian Information Center 
Nov. 11, 2017 ― The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement on Saturday said that the Israeli government is planning to double the number of Jewish settlers in the Jordan Valley area.
___The Office explained in its weekly report that the Israeli government plans to launch a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging settlers to move to the Jordan Valley, adding that it also has vowed to transfer funds to the settlement councils that host the newcomers. Preference will be given to the settlements that set fewer conditions to host settlers.
___Hebrew media sources have unveiled a plan presented by the Israeli Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, to strengthen the Jewish presence in the Jordan Valley, one-quarter of the West Bank.   MORE . . .
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  NETANYAHU  IS REDEFINING  ETHNIC  CLEANSING  NOT  PURSUING  GENUINE  PEACE   
The Palestinian Information Center
Kamel Hawwash    [ Kamel Hawwash is Professor in the School of Civil Engineering at Birmingham University, and Immediate Past President of the European Society for Engineering Education.]  
Nov. 11, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not known for missing an opportunity to push peace further into the distant future. [. . . .] Netanyahu took to the air to absolve Israel of any fault for the lack of progress towards peace. Israel is in a difficult neighbourhood and therefore its security needs are such that meeting these is almost incompatible with a Palestinian state.
___In an interview . . .  he trotted out the usual talking points. Israel, he said, “stands out as a beacon of democracy, a beacon of self-restraint in a sea of trouble”. As for the Israeli army, “there is no more moral army in the world,” he said. The settlements “are an issue but I don’t think they are the issue”. Instead he believes the issue “is the 100-year-old refusal of the Palestinian leadership to recognise a Jewish state in any boundary”.  Netanyahu took issue with Marr regarding the settlements, saying “the idea that Jews cannot live in Judea [the West Bank] is crazy”. When challenged that it is Palestinian territory, which the UN says is a flagrant violation of international law, he said that it is “disputed territory”.  MORE . . .

“IDENTITY,” BY MARWAN MAKHOUL
I’m unfamiliar with refugee camps.
Is that the ultimate in giving up?
Or are they tents I’ve been told are white
with guy ropes at the corners to hold them up
that hold me up?

I’m unfamiliar with tear gas.
Is it a weapon whose used bears the radiance of defeat?
Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears
when I cry

I’m unfamiliar with settlements.
Are some of those people good?
Sure, completely. Like I walk
on my hands,
and the sand sings?

I’m unfamiliar with my mother too.
Is she the one who suckled me?
Or is she the one bereft, standing in my doorway,
or a window on belonging?

I’m unfamiliar with UNRWA.
Is it a shipment I once chanced upon?
Or did I direct its driver
when he asked the way to Rafah?

I’m unfamiliar with the “cause”.
Is it a fiancée searching in the rubble
for her finger to put the ring on?
Or is half the whole of a fifth?

I’m unfamiliar with the truth.
Am I lacking something?
Or does my blood course within me
but not as my nerves would wish?

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with myself.
Am I the one now in my body?
Or am I that one I wrote about
the day I became my neighbor?
―Translated by Raphael Cohen   

From BANIPAL: MAGAZINE OF MODERN ARAB LITERATURE 45  Winter 2012.
Marwan Makhoul was born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother in 1979 in the village of Boquai’a in the Upper Galilee region of Palestine. He currently lives in the village of Maalot Tarshiha. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Mustaqbal College. His first book of poetry was published in 2007 in both Beirut and Baghdad by Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa by Maktabat Kul Shai’ Publishers. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in The Acre Theatre Festival for his first play. (An interview with Marwan Makhoul )

 

“. . . Access is a fundamental element of the right to health . . .” (Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub)

makassedmaternityinvasion
Oct. 28, 2015. Israeli soldiers Invade Maternity Ward of al-Makassed Hospital (Photo: Silwanic)

❶ . World Health Organization: Substantial Israeli restrictions on access to health

  • Background: “Attitudes Of Palestinian Medical Students On The Geopolitical Barriers To Accessing Hospitals For Clinical Training: A Qualitative Study.” Conflict & Health 

❷ . In Jerusalem, insurance becomes extortion
❸ . Teacher with Down syndrome breaks stereotypes for Gaza’s mentally disabled students
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ .  WORLD  HEALTH  ORGANIZATION:  SUBSTANTIAL  ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS  ON  ACCESS  TO  HEALTH  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 1, 2016
Marking the United Nations declaration of November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a 2-year report on health access for Gaza patients to highlight how the Israeli permit system and physical barriers obstruct health access for Palestinian patients, ambulances and health workers.
___The study “Right to health: crossing barriers to access health in the occupied Palestinian territory, 2014 – 2015,” was based on data provided by Palestinian Authority ministries and non-profit health providers, as well as patient interviews and field studies, said a WHO press release.     “Access is a fundamental element of the right to health. . . .   ” said Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub, the WHO head of the office in the West Bank and Gaza. “Yet the data indicates substantial restrictions for thousands of patients and their companions who are trying to travel to their places of referral.”    More . . . 

  • Shahawy, Sarrah, and Megan Diamond. “Attitudes Of Palestinian Medical Students On The Geopolitical Barriers To Accessing Hospitals For Clinical Training: A Qualitative Study.” Conflict & Health 10.(2016): 1-9.   ARTICLE.

[. . . .]  We designed a qualitative study using focus group discussions to explore the attitudes of Palestinian medical students at Al-Quds University on the barriers they face reaching hospitals for clinical training.
[. . . .] The findings from this study identify some of the hardships that Palestinian medical students face when undergoing their clinical training in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Living and studying in an occupied territory characterized by permit and checkpoint regulations significantly hindered the students’ ability to access high quality medical training.
___Medical students who had their permits to enter Jerusalem rejected were unable to train at Al-Makassed Hospital and were often forced to rely on clinical training in the West Bank, which they felt was less adequate.
[. . . .] Consistent with other literature on the challenges of receiving an education under occupation, focus groups highlighted how the emotional and psychological burden of the occupation specifically affected them as students, as it was hard to concentrate on their studies due to a stressful commute and surrounding political instability and violence. Their quality of life was impacted with little time for sleep or social activity. In the face of these challenges, Palestinian medical students exhibited extraordinary resilience, resourcefulness, and dedication to their education.
___Obstacles to accessing education in the occupied Palestinian territories are not limited to medical students. Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation, confrontation and tension surrounding Palestinian education has been pervasive at all educational levels.
[. . . .]  Conclusion:  Our findings suggest that medical students living and studying in the occupied Palestinian territories receive sub-optimal training due to ambiguous permit rules, barriers at checkpoints, and the psychological burden of the process. These results highlight the impact that military occupation has on the education and quality of life of Palestinian medical students in a setting in which there is regular violence and many health indicators are already poor. New transparent policies and a larger context of peace and sovereignty will be required to build an effective health care system in which Palestinian medical students can pursue adequate clinical training that will prepare them to care for their people in a resource-poor and war-torn setting.

❷ . IN  JERUSALEM,  INSURANCE  BECOMES  EXTORTION 
The Electronic Intifada
Joharah Baker
Nov. 28,  2016
Earlier this year, new regulations made it mandatory for all residents in Jerusalem with temporary family unification permits to obtain Israeli medical insurance.
___The law, which came into effect on 1 August, will cost those affected a monthly fee in addition to a large backdated one-time charge.
___It has caused an angry uproar among Jerusalem’s Palestinians, who see it as yet another attempt by Israeli authorities to target their community and make their precarious existence in the city even more challenging.       More . . .

hiba-04-001
Hiba Anis Mustafa Shurafa guides students in her Gaza classroom, Nov. 30, 2016 (Photo: Mondoweiss)

❸ . TEACHER  WITH  DOWN  SYNDROME  BREAKS  STEREOTYPES  FOR  GAZA’S  MENTALLY  DISABLED  STUDENTS 
Mondoweiss  
Mohammed Asad
Nov. 30, 2016
Hiba Anis Mustafa Shurafa guides students in her Gaza classroom, instructing them on the art of how to hold a pen and keep a steady hand when writing out letters. She understands the task is challenging because, like her students, Shurafa has Down syndrome.
___The 27-year old teacher at the Right to Life Society school in Gaza City was once a student at the institution where she now instructs pupils with mental disabilities. Researchers at Bir Zeit University found that among Palestinians with disabilities in the occupied territories and Lebanese refugee camps, more than one-third never attend school. A further 87 percent will never be employed, making Shurafa and the Right to Life Society all the more unique.       More . . .

“. . . For a human being: Only thirst! . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

birzeit
Birzeit University graduates (Photo: Birzeit University)

❶ Birzeit University Celebrates 41st Commencement
❷ Settlers are daily razing Palestinian lands in northern West Bank
❸ Israeli Navy kidnaps 10 Palestinian Fishers, Confiscates Five Boats
❹ Black Panthers and Diaspora Palestinians illuminate shared struggle on Nakba day [Oakland, CA, USA]
. . ❹ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian Art Court Al Hoash holds “WHAT’S NEXT” exhibition
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  COUP  AGAINST  ISRAEL’S  ARMY
. . ❺― (ᴀ) BARGHOUTHI:  NETANYAHU’S  GOV’T  GOES  FROM  EXTREMISM  TO  INSANE  EXTREMISM
❻ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY CELEBRATES  41ST  COMMENCEMENT
Birzeit University
May 21, 2016
Birzeit University continues the commencement ceremonies of the 41st cohort of students. University President Abdel Latif Abu Hijleh, members from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and the students families celebrated the graduation of the students from the faculties of Arts, Education and Science.
MORE . . .  
RELATED . . .

❷ SETTLERS  ARE  DAILY  RAZING  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  IN  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK
Palestine News Network – PNN
May 22, 2016
Israeli settler bulldozers on Sunday morning have razed Palestinian lands in areas south of Nablus and east of Salfit, northern West Bank.
___Eyewitnesses from Jalood nearby village said that the settlers have razed the lands where settlement units are being built outside of the Shvot Rahel settlement, without any media coverage.
___Eyewitnesses added that the bulldozers have been razing another land near the Ge’olat Zion illegal settlement which had already been approved by the Israeli government.      MORE . . .  
RELATED . . .   PALESTINIANS  CAPTURE  ISRAELI  EXTREMISTS  WHO  ATTACKED  FARMERS

settlers
Israelis from illegal settlement stealing Palestinian farm land (Photo: Palestine News Network)

❸ ISRAELI  NAVY  KIDNAPS  10  PALESTINIAN  FISHERS,  CONFISCATES  FIVE  BOATS
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
May 22, 2016
Israeli navy ships opened fire, on Sunday morning, at several Palestinian fishing boats near the shore in Gaza waters, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, kidnapped ten fishers, and confiscated five boats in two separate attacks.
___Zakariyya Abu Bakr, the head of the Fishers Committees of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees said the kidnapped fishers have been identified as . . . .
___They were all taken to an unknown destination, after the navy towed their boats.
___The attack is part of repeated Israeli violations against the fishers in the besieged coastal region, in addition to its attacks against Gaza farmers and workers, in Palestinian
lands close to the border fence.      MORE . . . 

❹   BLACK  PANTHERS [Oakland, CA, USA]  AND  DIASPORA  PALESTINIANS  ILLUMINATE  SHARED  STRUGGLE  ON  NAKBA  DAY
Palestine News Network
May 19, 2016
Arab Resources Organizing Coalition (AROC) and Art Forces on the 68th Nakba day presented George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine; a multimedia cultural event that expresses the interconnections between current and historic struggles against colonization from Palestine to the streets of Oakland.      MORE . . .
. . ❹ ― (ᴀ) PALESTINIAN  ART  COURT  AL  HOASH  HOLDS  “WHAT’S  NEXT”  EXHIBITION
Palestine News Network
May 17, 2016
On May 16th, community members, artists and art lovers gathered at Al Hoash gallery to attend the exhibition opening entitled WHAT’s NEXT. The exhibition supported by Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – SDC, featured a collection of art works by 12 Palestinian artists from across Palestine and the diaspora, under Al Hoash’s Creative Industry project.      MORE . . .  

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  COUP  AGAINST  ISRAEL’S  ARMY
Middle East Eye
Meron Rapoport
May 21, 2016
Replacing Ya’alon with Lieberman is another step in efforts by Israel’s new right-wing political elite to take over the state.
A military coup is a known political phenomenon in both ancient and recent history. The army storms the government’s palace and takes control. Yet what happened on 20 May in Israel, with the dismissal of defense minister Moshe “Bogy” Ya’alon and his replacement with Avigdor Lieberman, may be best described as a civilian coup by a right-wing political class against an army that stood in its way.       MORE . . .  
. . ❺― (ᴀ) BARGHOUTHI:  NETANYAHU’S  GOV’T  GOES  FROM  EXTREMISM  TO  INSANE  EXTREMISM
Palestine News Network
May 19, 2016
Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti today described the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman defense minister in the Netanyahu government as an Israeli transition from extremism to “insane extremism.”    MORE . . .

“LETTER TO A WOMAN,” RASHID HUSSEIN

I waited for you―but, you were not born yet!
And the train is tooting, ready to pull out.
The train has learned from Man:
Not to be patient and not to have time!
And you are not yet born,
And the train wants to start
I’m sorry,
I have to board!

But I’m leaving this letter
In the café near the station.
When you get here, take a seat and ask for coffee,
Black coffee with white milk,
They’ll make a strange combination, the two colors,
Like the color of a modern man’s heart.

Then ask the waitress:
“Didn’t he leave a letter for me?”
And she won’t understand―But perhaps she’ll answer crossly:
“Everyone leaves letters here for everybody!
And all the letters say the same thing:
‘I love you, because I love me’!”

Then go to the kitchen and see the cook;
My letter may have gone to her for cooking;
And she may well say to you:
“In the soup I once found
A slip of paper that said:
‘Darling,
They’ve sent me to die for my country;
You – you try and live for us’!”

Then go to the café owner:
It is possible that the letter was lost
Among his bills and receipts;
It is also possible that he will hand you
A menu saying:
For half a pound: You get a cup of coffee
For a pound: You get a bottle of beer
For a human being: Only thirst!

Then leave the café!
Look no further for my letter,
For selections of it have already reached you―
Each section from someone else!

I’m very glad that these sections
Will reach you after you’ve been born,
For I think that if my letter had reached you
Before you were born
You would have preferred not
To be born in this century
And that would be a loss.

From: 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 Rashid Hussein