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

489791CSettlers break into homes in Hebron. Note the wire mesh over the street
installed to catch garbage that illegal Israeli settlers throw at Palestinians.
(Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 29, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    PCC  DECIDES  TO  SUSPEND  RECOGNITION  OF  ISRAEL 
The Palestinian Central Council (PCC) decided on Monday, a day after meeting in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, to end all commitments in agreements the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has signed with Israel, suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine, end security coordination and end the Paris Economic Protocols.    ___The PCC said in a statement “In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements, the PCC, in confirmation of its previous decision and considering that the transitional phase no longer exists. . .     More . . .

The  wording  from  the  Final  Statement:
. . . . In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements and the ensuing obligations, the Palestinian Central Council reaffirms its previous decision considering the transitional phase no longer exists, decides to end the obligations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority towards its agreements with the occupation authority (Israel), mainly suspending recognition of the State of Israel until its recognition of the State of Palestine on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, the cessation of security coordination in all its forms, and economic disengagement on the grounds that the transitional phase, including the Paris Protocols, no longer exist, and on the basis for identifying practical pillars and steps to continue the process of transition from the stage of Authority to the embodiment of the independence of a sovereign an independent state. . . Complete . . .

|    PALESTINIAN  KILLED,  DOZENS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA’S  14TH  NAVAL  MARCH  (VIDEOS)
A 27-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Monday, during the 14th naval march at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___A Ma’an reporter confirmed that Muhammad Abed Abu Ubada, 27, was killed by Israeli forces during the 14th naval march, which set off from the Gaza seaport, in protest against the 12-year Israeli siege.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JEWISH  SETTLERS  BLOCK  TRUCKS  FROM  ENTERING  GAZA
     IOF  UPROOT  200  OLIVE  TREES,  RAZE  LANDS  NEAR  HEBRON 

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday uprooted 200 olive trees, and uprooted 13 dunums of agricultural land in the town of Beit Ula, west of Hebron.    ___Head of the Farmers Services Department at the Hebron Agricultural Department Hashim Badarin said that the occupation forces stormed the Khirbet Kharouf area west of the town of Beit Ula, uprooted 200 olive trees planted ten years ago, and destroyed the fence and chains surrounding the targeted land.    ___The farmer and landowner Hijazi al-Tarshan said that the occupation forces are pursuing a policy of uprooting of trees and trying to prevent farmers from working in their lands in this area near the wall of racist expansion in preparation for the seizure.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  HEBRON
|    PMA  BUSINESS  CYCLE  INDEX  SHOWS  DECLINE  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  AND  SLIGHT  IMPROVEMENT  IN  GAZA  STRIP
The PMA has released the results of its extended Business Cycle Index (extended PMABCI) for October 2018. The results revealed that the overall index fell during October due to the decline in the West Bank’s index, despite the slight improvement in Gaza Strip’s index. As such, the overall extended PMABCI dropped from -3.2 points in September to around -5.9 points in this October. However, it remained slightly higher than the index of October 2017 (-7.6 points).    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| 
   THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY  IS  A  RESISTING  ECONOMY
By Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah
The State of Palestine constantly confronts critical economic and social obstacles due to the policies the Israeli occupation limitlessly imposes on the Palestinian people and their land.  Speaking unconditionally, these policies target all factors of production including land, resources, and labor. Nonetheless, this noble nation has always strived to live and coexist. The creative Palestinian citizen fulfilled significant achievements and left fingerprints on all disciplines and sectors.  In this context, I will present, with numbers and statistics, a series of changes in the economic reality in Palestine.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|    BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  –  DAR  AL-KALIMA  UNIVERSITY2019 Leadership Program in the Holy Land.  March 25-April 8, 2019.
This program offers new and creative ways to understand and respond to the context of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It raises the possibility of different strategies for resisting the power of empire and supporting those who both struggle against it and suffer its daily injustices and violence. This is an in-depth program during which new insights, experiences and strategies will be explored.  Information and Registration.

POEM  FOR  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.

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:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

“. . . In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Art-8bisCanaanite teacher from a school at the archaeological site Tell Balata
near Nablus asks for his salary in a letter dated to around 1400 BC
(Photo, This Week In Palestine, October 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  EMBRACING  THE  RIGHT  TO  EDUCATION:  A  STORY  OF  HOPE,  DETERMINATION,  AND  SUCCESS
It all started 25 years ago when Mr. Heikki Kokkala, a senior education specialist from Finland, and the late Mr. Khalil Mahshi, then director general of external relations at the Ministry of Education in Palestine, met at a UNESCO conference on education.   . . .  work had already started on developing the first-ever unified national curriculum which would replace the Jordanian and Egyptian curricula used in the West Bank and Gaza, respectively.    [. . . .] the Finnish government was looking for ways to support the newly established Palestinian Authority and decided to direct its support to the education sector.   ___Thus, Mr. Kokkala and Mr. Mahshi, with their many colleagues, began to design the first cooperation project between Finland and Palestine.   More . . .
|  SPREAD  THE  WORD:  PALESTINE  HAS  ONE  OF  THE  WORLD’S  HIGHEST  LITERACY  RATES
Palestine ranks among countries with the world’s highest literacy rates, with only 3.3 percent of Palestinians aged 15 and over in the West Bank and Gaza Strip unable to read, according to a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report released on [September 6, 2018].    ___The report . . .  shows that the illiteracy rate in Palestine has fallen by 10 percent over the past decade. This leaves Palestine with one of the lowest rates of illiteracy in the world . . .     [. . . .] The figures come despite the difficulties faced by thousands of Palestinian students to reach their schools in the West Bank, including having to cross Israeli military checkpoints or the separation wall that disconnects their hometowns from where they attend school.   More . . .

Dar al-Kalima 2017 graduation. Photo by Ben Gray / ELCJHL
Dar al-Kalima 2017 graduation. (Photo by Ben Gray / ELCJHL)

|  ISRAEL  TO  REMOVE  UNRWA  TO  ‘END  LIE  OF  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  PROBLEM’
Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, announced on Thursday that he plans to remove the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees from occupied East Jerusalem, which he accused of “operating illegally and promoting incitement against Israel.”  ___Following the announcement on Thursday, the Jerusalem Municipality confirmed that UN schools, which serve about 1,800 students enrolled, would be closed .   ___[. . . .] He claimed that these schools, clinics and sports centers were “illegal” and “operate without an Israeli license.”  . . . the decision . . . was triggered after the United States administration decided to end all funding to UNRWA.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ANCIENT  SCHOOLS  IN  PALESTINE
Early forms of writing emerged gradually from pictorial representations of nature and human activities, [. . .  including] early alphabets (such as the Proto-Canaanite script, Phoenician consonantal alphabet and Greek alphabet that also indicated vowels). The invention of writing necessitated the obvious need to learn it, and human history consequently witnessed the advent of a new profession: teaching. Palestine and Mesopotamia were among the early showplaces of this emerging skill . . .   ___Early sources include . . . a Canaanite teacher from a school at the archeological site Tell Balata near Nablus asks for his salary in a letter dated to around 1400 BC . . .     More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

|  JERUSALEM:  WHAT  MAKES  FOR  PEACE?  Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Conference in Houston
, Texas, on October 11.    Part of the week-long Room for Hope festival.
|  DAR  AL-KALIMA  UNIVERSITY.  BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  GROWS  HOPE  AND  HELPS  BUILD  A  FUTURE  FOR  COLLEGE  STUDENTS  IN  PALESTINE. 
In a country with limited natural resources, Palestine’s human resources are its most valuable capital. Dar Al-Kalima University, through a comprehensive system of human resource development that reflects Palestine’s emerging needs, equips its students with vital skills for the 21st century job market. Bright Stars of Bethlehem envisions that most of the country’s future artists, musicians, actors, journalists, IT professionals, film-makers and the leaders of tomorrow are alumni of the University.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  ROSES  AND  THE  DICTIONARY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

Be that as it may,
I must . . .
The poet must have a new toast
And new anthems.
Traversing a tunnel of incense
And pepper and ancient summer,
I carry the key to legends and ruined monuments of slaves.
I see history an old man
Tossing dice and gathering the stars.

Be that as it may,
I must refuse death
Even though my legends die.
In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry.
Did you realize before today, my love,
That a letter in the dictionary is dull?
How do they live, all these words?
How do they grow? How do they spread?
We still water them with the tears of memories
And metaphors and sugar.

Be that as it may,
I must reject roses that spring
From a dictionary or a diwan.
Roses grow on the arms of a peasant, on the fists of a laborer,
Roses grow over the wounds of a warrior,
And on the face of a rock.

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.

“. . . the shedding of blood cleanses nothing . . .” (Aftab Yusuf Shaikh)

PCF-WAFA
Palestine Circus Festival, Ramallah. (Photo courtesy Circus School)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

PALESTINE  CIRCUS  FESTIVAL’S  ‘UNITED  FOR  FREEDOM’  OPENS  IN  RAMALLAH
The second edition of the PALESTINE CIRCUS FESTIVAL, entitled “United for Freedom,” opened over the weekend in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, with the participation of about 200 local and international artists.    ___Palestinian officials, a representative of the European Union, representatives of international and local cultural and artistic organizations . . .   watched the opening ceremony, the Carnival and XY company show, held at the Istiklal Park.    ___The European Union Head of Cooperation, Alessandra Viezzer, said “Circus has long been a strong tool for self-expression, entertainment and storytelling around the world. It brings all people together, whether young or old. In Palestine, the EU is proud of being one of the main supporters of the Palestine Circus: the first to exploit the great potential of Palestinian youngsters in artistic productions.”   More . . .
PALESTINE:  1ST  ARAB  COUNTRY  TO  JOIN  INTERNATIONAL  CITY  ASSOCIATION
The Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) signed a partnership and cooperation agreement, on Saturday, with the International City Management Association (ICMA) to be the first Arab association to join the organization.    ___According to a press statement, Abdullah Anati of APLA and Mark Otte of ICMA, signed the partnership and cooperation agreement on the sidelines of the annual ICMA conference held in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States.    ___The agreement stated that the two associations will be committed to strengthening the relationship and partnership between them through specific activities, such as participating in the annual conferences of each association, hosting representatives and speakers from each association during the annual conferences . . .   More . . .
PERCENTAGE  OF  ELDERLY  IS  LOW  IN  PALESTINE,  SAYS  STATISTICS  BUREAU  The Palestinian society is considered a young society where the percentage of young  people is high and the percentage of the elderly is relatively low, said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on Sunday on the occasion of the World Elderly Day.    ___In 2017, the number of the elderly aged 60 and above reached 233,269 persons (5.0%), (152,443 persons  (5.4%) in the West Bank and 80,826 persons (4.3%) in Gaza Strip).     __PCBS said even though, the percentage of the elderly will be increasing during the coming years in Palestine, but their percentage will stay relatively low . . .     ___Palestine witnessed improvement in life expectancy . . .  Life expectancy has increased about 6-8 years during the last two decades.    More . . .

circus_081211-269_0
Palestinian Circus School. (Photo: MIDDLE EAST REVISED, 2014)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHAT  VOX  GETS  WRONG  WITH  ITS  “11  BIGGEST  MYTHS  ABOUT  ISRAEL-PALESTINE”
Jeremy R. Hammond
I’ve written an article titled “Top Ten Myths about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” . . .  so when I learned that Vox has a feature called “The 11 biggest myths about Israel-Palestine”, I naturally took an interest. Unfortunately, while Vox gets some things right, what it gets wrong it gets badly wrong.  So, to set the record straight, here’s a quick examination of each of Vox’s eleven supposed myths and corrective for its egregious misinformation.   ___“Myth #1: The conflict is too complex to possibly understand”   Although I don’t include it on my own list of myths, I agree this is indeed false. In fact, I’ve written an article titled “The Simplicity of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” that starts with, “There is a general perception that the reason the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued for so long is because it is extremely complex. Nothing could be further from the truth.     More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  AFTAB  YUSUF  SHAIKH
If this city were a woman,
She must have earned a bad name by now,
For the number of swords unsheathed,
For the cauldrons of blood shed,
For the haunting silence that rings in wombs,
For the innocent childhoods weeded,

But, No!
This is a city, and a holy one!
Holy for whom? The ones who heap
unholiness on it.

O children of Abraham!
You are not pagans or witches,
You must remember very sharply,
That the shedding of blood cleanses nothing,
And nothing cleanses the shedding of blood,

Man remembers the Promises of God,
But very casually forgets
The Promise God took from him.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.   

“. . . Do you remember your panic―at the reign of death? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

IMG_2862 - Copy
As a guest at Al-Aqsa, November 5, 2015. Photo: by Harold Knight.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WHO:  10  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  WERE  KILLED  BY  ISRAELIS  IN  GAZA  IN  2  WEEKS 
The latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicate that during the demonstrations between 10th and 22nd September, 10 Palestinians including four children were killed and 1,193 were injured by the Israeli forces, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a special situation report on Gaza published on Thursday. Most of the killings and injuries occurred during protests as part of the March of Return on the Gaza border with Israel.    ___Out of the total 1,193 injured, 690 patients required transfer to the MoH hospitals or NGO clinics, including 127 children and 37 females. Of the hospitalized injured, 19 cases were critically life threatening, 275 moderate, 386 mild . . .  More . . .

OVER  500  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  ON  4TH  DAY  OF  SUKKOT
Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Thursday, through the Moroccan Gate on the fourth day of their Jewish holiday of Sukkot.   ___The Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) confirmed that 509 Israeli settlers stormed the compound via the Moroccan Gate that was opened at 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and the numbers are expected to increase throughout the day.   ___Israeli forces and police were deployed across the compound, by the Moroccans Gate and by the Chain Gate, in addition to Israeli police being deployed by the doors of the mosque and into the streets leading up to the compound in the Old City.   More . . .
Related . . .Fanatic  Israeli  settlers  perform  provocative  rituals  in  Samou
Related
. . .Israeli  forces  injure  20  Palestinians  as  settlers  visit  Joseph’s  Tomb     

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

EREKAT:  WHAT  TRUMP  SAID  IS  A  REWARD  FOR    AGGRESSORS  FOR  THEIR  CRIMES
PLO Executive Committee Secretary Dr. Saeb Erekat  said in  his response to President Trump’s Speech at the UNGA today that President Trump has confirmed that his administration has closed the doors to peace and cannot play a role in peacemaking by stating that his decision to move his embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, in violation of Security Council resolution 478, was a “recognition of reality”. Rather, what his administration did, and continues to do, is to reward and incentivize violations of international law, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.    ___His rejection of the International Criminal Court is a rejection of international law. It should be noted that Israel, the occupying power, did not implement any of the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions Erekat said.   More . . .
Related . . .Officials  address  Palestine  at  UNGA

“PREVENTING  PALESTINE”:  A  MUST  READ  HISTORY  OF  FAILED  PEACE-MAKING
James J. Zogby
Seth Anziska’s “Preventing Palestine: A Political History From Camp David to Oslo” is a deeply insightful and profoundly disturbing book that traces the tortuous path of Middle East peace-making during the past four decades. It was quite painful to read.     ___Having been a close observer and sometimes participant in many of the developments that have unfolded since the end of the 1973 War, Anziska opened old wounds while shedding new light on the painful events and acts of betrayal that have shaped recent Palestinian history.     ___Through all of the twists and turns of this period, the brutal wars and the diplomatic initiatives, the one constant that emerges is the Israeli determined refusal to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood and the self-serving acquiesce to their intransigence by successive American administrations and key Arab leaders.  More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .   

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.

 

“. . . [our teacher] locates our current colonizers on a continuum of violence . . .” (Lena Khalaf Tuffaha)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ACTIVISTS  BUILD  ‘WADI  AL-AHMAR’  VILLAGE
Palestinian and international activists built, overnight, wooden and steel houses constructing what they referred to as the “Wadi al-Ahmar” village in the KHAN AL-AHMAR VILLAGE in challenge to the Israeli authorities attempting to uproot Bedouin communities off the area.     ___During night hours, dozens of Palestinian and international activists built substitute homes for residents of Khan al-Ahmar using wood and steel.     __Head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Committee against the Wall and Settlements, Minister Walid Assaf, announced the “birth” of the “Wadi al-Ahmar” village, dozens of meters away from the illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim that is built on lands of Khan al-Ahmar.     ___Assaf stressed that building the village comes as a challenge to Israeli procedures of attacking Palestinian villages and to confirm that Palestinians are ready to keep on building and holding on to their lands.     More . . .
Related . . .  EU:  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  DEMOLITION  COULD  HAVE  SEVERE  CONSEQUENCES
Related . . .  MALAYSIA  LAUNCHES  CAMPAIGN  TO  SUPPORT  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES
Related . . .  KHAN  AL-AHMAR:  FRANCE,  GERMANY,  ITALY,  SPAIN,  UK  ISSUE  JOINT  STATEMENT
Related . . .  ITALY  APPROVES  ADDITIONAL  FUNDING  TO  UNRWA

ARMY  ABDUCTS  FOUR  PALESTINIANS,  SUMMONS  THREE  OTHERS,  IN  WEST  BANK
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday at dawn, four young Palestinian men, and summoned three others for interrogation, during extensive and violent military invasions, in the occupied West Bank.    ___The soldiers abducted a young man, identified as Mohammad al-Hilo, from Hizma town, east of Jerusalem, after stopping him near al-Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin community, facing Israeli demolition and displacement.    ___Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Safa village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, searched several homes and abducted Hasan Karaja, 33, Haitham Siyaj and Saif al-Idrisi.   More . . .

ISRAELI  POLICE  ARREST  SENIOR  PALESTINIAN  OFFICIAL
Israeli police on Tuesday arrested a senior Palestinian official in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories after searching his house and confiscating some of his belongings.    ___According to his family, Raja Eghbariya, member of the political bureau of Abnaa el-Balad Movement, was arrested from his house in Umm al-Fahm on Tuesday morning.    ___The family said in a press statement that Israeli police seized all computers in the house as well as Eghbariya’s cell phone.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

US  DECISION  TO  SHUT  PLO  OFFICE  ‘DENIES  PALESTINIANS  AS  PEOPLE’
Ola Salem
The Trump administration’s decision to shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, DC, is “denying the Palestinians as people” and further jeopardising the peace process, analysts warn.   ___White House National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the administration’s decision in a speech on Monday, saying the PLO had “not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel”.   [. . . .] Palestinian officials have described the decision as a “declaration of war on efforts to bring peace … to the region”.   ___PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said the decision was “yet another affirmation of the Trump administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people”.   More . . .

THE  VEILED  DANGER  OF  THE  ‘DEAD’  OSLO  ACCORDS
Ramzy Baroud
Yossi Beilin is back. This unrepentant Israeli “peacemaker” is like the mythical phoenix, constantly resurrecting from its own ashes.    ___In a recent article in Al-Monitor, Beilin wrote in support of the idea of a confederation between Israel and Palestine.    ___A confederation “could prevent the need to evacuate settlers and allow those interested to live in Palestine as Israeli citizens, just as a similar number of Palestinian citizens could live in Israel,” he wrote.    ___Bizarrely, Beilin is promoting a version of an idea that was promoted by Israel’s extremist Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. [. . . .] Oslo is not a specific legal document that can be implemented or rejected. It is a spectrum in which the likes of Beilin, Lieberman and Pipes have more in common than they think, and in which the fate of the Palestinian people is left to inept leaders, incapable of thinking outside the permissible space allocated to them by Israelis and the Americans.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  JERUSALEM  CONFERENCE—HOUSTON,  TEXAS
As part of the Room for Hope festival, The Jerusalem Conference is a one-day conference on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 that brings together scholars, ecumenical theologians, and peace-doers around the topic JERUSALEM: WHAT MAKES FOR PEACE?  Register. . .

POEM FOR THE DAY. . . . 

“GLORIA,”  BY  LENA  KHALAF  TUFFAHA

In the late eighties, in the middle
· · · of middle school we break from studying our ancestors,
pass on the Phoenicians for a while, leave the terraced fields

of Canaan and the hanging gardens of Babylon
· · · for European History. Miss Magda
is our guide and she contextualizes

the continent, intertwines it with our own lives, the shapes
· · · of our maps, the narrowing of our family names. She has
no patience for girls who are charmed by France,

even though a veil of Chanel No 5 unfurls
· · · over our heads as she enters the room, nor for adults
who praise London’s museums. She narrates

a list of our possessions housed there. Miss Magda speaks
· · · many languages: the queen’s English, impeccable
French, some Greek, maybe others? Her Arabic

an elegant Cairene, her eyeliner distinctly Cleopatran. She speaks
· · ·
مش فارقة معها
her mind, she names conquerors, and the servile
regimes they birthed. She liberates the word احتلال

from its quotidian presentation, locates our current colonizers
· · · on a continuum of violence, sends us asking
our grandparents for stories. She enacts her name

as she towers over our desks and asks rhetorical questions
· · ·
كثر خير العرب
who translated Aristotle? Who filled libraries
with books that would later make الرينيساس بتاعهم possible?

In the middle of middle school we are devotees
· · · of American pop songs, they trickle into our lives
months after they top the charts, our childhoods are museums

housing the no-longer hits of the Reagan era. Miss Magda’s
· · · class coincides with our Laura Branigan phase.
Miss Magda barely tolerates our tastes. When she cannot find

a way to escape playground duty and we are perfecting
· · · our hair flips, passing the Walkman around and singing
“Gloria,” she raises a perfect eyebrow and turns toward us

and I think maybe even smiles. In class, ever the historian,
· · · she remarks على فكرة that’s originally an Italian song.
و كانت مش بطالة بس خربوها الأمريكان

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is an American poet of Palestinian, Jordanian and Syrian heritage. Her poems have been published in American and international journals including Blackbird, The Boiler, and Borderlands. She is the author of Water & Salt (Red Hen Press, 2017). She lives in Redmond, Washington.

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

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

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

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

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

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

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

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

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

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

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

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

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

 

RIGHT OF RETURN JEOPARDIZED BY TRUMP

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .

US  TO  ANNOUNCE  REJECTION  OF  PALESTINIAN  RIGHT  OF  RETURN      The United States Donald Trump administration will announce a suspension of funding to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and the rejection of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.   ___According to Hebrew-language news outlets, the US administration is expected to announce its new policy early September, which would effectively cancel the right of return for Palestinians through several steps.  More. . .   Related. . .   Related. . .
VIDEO:  GAZA  MOURNS  CULTURAL  CENTER  DESTROYED  BY  ISRAEL      More. . .
KHREISHA  CALLS  FOR  EXPANDING  GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN  PROTESTS        Deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Hasan Khreisha on Sunday called for expanding the Great March of Return protests to include the occupied West Bank.   ___In an interview with the PIC, Khreisha asked the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to lift the sanctions imposed on Gaza and treat the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip equally.   ___Khreisha called on the Palestinian Authority to boycott meetings with US officials and stop normalization and negotiations with the Israeli side as a protest step against the “Deal of the Century”.    ___The Great March of Return was launched in Gaza on 30th March with five major camps set up along Gaza’s border with the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories.    More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . . 

ISRAEL,  THE  OCCUPATION  IS  AT  THE  CORE  OF  WHO  YOU  ARE          Nadav Bigelman      If Jewish leaders and activists are going to speak up against Israel’s recent anti-democratic trends, they cannot remain silent on what has been corrupting its democracy for decades.    More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. “TOGETHER  WE  RISE.”  NATIONAL  CONFERENCE  in the Twin Cities, MN on September 28-30, 2018. Together We Rise will be a space for people to connect with and learn from others working in support of Palestinian rights.   More. . .
Bright Stars of Bethlehem.   ROOM  FOR  HOPE  TEXAS  FESTIVAL.  OCTOBER 5-13. It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture. After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Katrina, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   More. . .