“. . . 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.

“. . . He renovates a memory demolished like a wall . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

WEb-wo24-israel-demolition
Khan al Ahmar Village with illegal Israeli settlement Kfar Adummim in background. (Photo: Reuters, in The National, Sept. 23, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   AL-MALKI  ON  CLOSURE  OF  US  CONSULATE:  US  HAS  ADOPTED  THE  AGENDA  OF  FAR-RIGHT  ISRAELI  SETTLER  MOVEMENT 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki strongly condemned on Thursday the recent US’ decision to close the US consulate in East Jerusalem, which mainly serves Palestinians, and merge it with the US embassy in the city.    ___“Closing of the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, which has operated independently since in 1844, and turning it into a unit in the illegally placed American Embassy in Jerusalem reflects the US administration’s determination to entrench its illegal embassy move and force its functions on the Palestinian side,” he said in a press release.    ___Al-Malki stressed that decision clearly “proves that the US administration has adopted the agenda of the far-right Israeli settler movement, treating the entire area of historic Palestine as one political unit under Israeli control.”    More . . .
|   UNRWA  DISMISSES  ISRAELI  THREATS  OF  CLOSING  ITS  JERUSALEM  OPERATIONS
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) dismissed on Thursday threats by the Israeli mayor of West Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, to close down its operations in occupied Jerusalem.    ___Barkat submitted to a parliamentary committee a plan to end UNRWA operations in Jerusalem and to turn over its services in health and education to his municipality.    ___UNRWA spokesman Sami Mshasha told WAFA that while these threats are worrying, they will not change facts on the ground since UNRWA exists based on international resolutions and binding bilateral agreements.    ___UNRWA was created in December 1949 by a United Nations resolution. . .    More . . .
|   122  DAYS  OF  DEMOLITION  THREATS,  ISRAEL  SEALS  OFF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR    Israeli forces assaulted protesters inside the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday.   ___Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas bombs and pepper-sprayed Palestinian and international protesters and activists as they attempted to protest at the main road leading to the village, preventing them from doing so.   [. . . .] Large numbers of Israeli forces surrounded Khan al-Ahmar and sealed off its main entrance, declaring it a closed military zone.   [. . . .] The seal off came as an attempt to prevent hundreds of protesters and journalists from reaching Khan al-Ahmar to show solidarity with the residents of the village after 122 days of being under threat of demolition. . .  as part of an Israeli plan to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim More. . .
. . . . Related   Theresa  May  Condemns  Israel’s  Planned  Demolition  of  Khan  Al-Ahmar  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related   Israel  demolishes  7  structures  in  Jordan  Valley

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THE  UN  ‘SHERIFF’:  NIKKI  HALEY  ELEVATED  ISRAEL,  DAMAGED  US  STANDING
Ramzy Baroud
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has made her post a “more glamorous” position than her predecessors – as President Donald Trump [said] following her resignation announcement.    ___. . . we certainly know that, during her relatively brief stint, Haley has further diminished her country’s struggling reputation, entrenching US isolation in the world’s most vital international political body.    ___In her own words, Haley concluded that her mission at the UN was accomplished, commending herself on three achievements: the US has become more respected; it saved a lot of money and vigorously defended Israel against UN ‘bias.’   [. . . .] Nothing could be further from the truth and Haley, who is suspected of engineering a run for the White House in the future, has no evidence to back up her claim of new-found ‘strength’ and ‘respect’.   ___During his speech before the General Assembly on September 25, Trump’s outrageous claims were not met with thundering applause but humiliating laughter. So much for respect.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

Eyewitness  Palestine  PALESTINE  2.0  DELEGATION  WINTER  2019  For  Returning  Delegates  and  Previous  Travelers
___Co-sponsored by the Hebron Freedom Fund, this delegation is meant for alumni of previous Eyewitness Palestine delegations, as well as other delegation programs.   ___Delve deeper into the issues and spend more time with specific Palestinian communities. Explore the current realities for Palestinians, including the repression of Palestinian strategic organizing, the separation and segregation of the Palestinian population, and creative ways communities are continuing to resist.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“RENOVATION,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

He renovates a tin window
to open it for the morning birds.
And renovates some stars that have burned out
in the streets, and a woman massacred in the neighborhood.
He renovates a memory demolished like a wall,
a bird’s scattered ashes,
light reflected off a blade in the dark,
a woman lost in a spacious bed
and a bellow.
He renovates a friend’s face as the sea breaks over it
and the singer who no longer resembles his songs,
the wind when it sleeps forgetting the immensity of an orbit,
the taste of words in conversation,
the taste of air and fruit
and two legs that have never carried a planet
while destruction prevails.
He renovates a womb, subdues horses
and poems that beg for livelihood in the shade
before slipping into a chicken coop or blowing by
like a steaming train.
He renovates pillars, neighs,
guns covered with moss from waiting.
He renovates a promise, roots, clouds,
and in the end he is slain alone like a lighthouse.

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“You bereaved me from the light . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

IMG_3055 - Copy
Entrance to Ofer Prison, between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015.


SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
   

ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  650  NEW  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  WEST  BANK
The Israeli government decided on Tuesday to build 650 new settlement units, for the benefit of expanding the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El, one of the biggest settlements, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.   ___A Hebrew-language news outlet reported that the Israeli government decided to build the 650 new settlement units along with another 296 units, which had been previously approved for Beit El.   ___The Israeli government reportedly justified the illegal Israeli settlement expansion as a “compensation” to Israeli settlers who were removed from their settlement outposts of Olbana in 2012 and Darinov in 2015.   More. . .
AFTER  SLAYING,  ARABS  BLAME  APATHETIC  POLICE  IN  ISRAEL
Rasha Abou Jalal
Protests continue in the Arab city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye in northern Israel, with citizens accusing Israeli police of neglecting their duty to protect citizens there. Demonstrations began Aug. 11 when one or more unidentified assailants killed local businessman Ahmad Athamneh, 40, and wounded another man.     ___Since Athamneh’s shooting, residents demonstrated for the third time Aug. 17 in front of a mosque to protest the prevalence of crime in their city. The protesters demanded that the Israeli police do their job: Arrest the perpetrators and fight violence in the Arab community.    More. . .
CAMPAIGN    FORCES    ISRAEL’S    ZIM    TO    HALT    SHIPMENTS    TO    TUNISIA        Ali Abunimah 
Palestinians are hailing a campaign that has led Israel’s Zim shipping line to halt its routes to Tunisia.   ___“Zim was forced to indefinitely suspend its services to the Tunisian port of Radès following a popular and trade union boycott campaign in Tunisia and the Arab world,” the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) said on Sunday.   ___The BNC is the steering group for the worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to pressure Israel to end its violations of Palestinian rights.   ___The BNC called this “the first victory of its kind in the Arab world.”   More. . .
PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  STATISTICS,  JULY  2018.
Total number of political prisoners – 5820. Administrative detainees – 446.  Child prisoners – 270.  More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION

SAMIDOUN  SOLIDARITY  STATEMENT  WITH  THE  U.S.  NATIONAL  #PRISONSTRIKE
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with the National Prison Strike launching on 21 August in jails across the United States. This important struggle, involving work stoppages, sit-ins, boycotts and even hunger strikes, is a critical confrontation of racism, capitalism and oppression taking place in the center of the U.S. prison system.   ___The dates of the strike are not accidental; instead, they underline the political legacies that have inspired and continue to push forward the movement. August 21 marks the 47th anniversary of the assassination of imprisoned revolutionary and Black Panther George Jackson.  More. . .

NO  POWER,  NO  SUPPLIES,  NO  WAY  OUT:  A  YEAR  WITHOUT  THE  RIGHT  TO  HEALTH  IN  THE  GAZA  STRIP  (Mar 02, 2018)
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
[. . . .] Instead of advancing, medical care and access in the Gaza Strip is moving backwards, against time. Ten years of Israel’s air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip has played a strong hand in this de-development, bottlenecking the entering stream of both material and human resources into a weak trickle.   ___Current best practice may not even be in reach in the Gaza Strip, where the blockade has seen shelves wiped clean of some pharmaceutical drugs and supply cupboards sit empty. Even during periods of easement, goals often only reach as high as restocking, replacing parts of worn out equipment, or rebuilding bombed buildings.   More. . .

IT TOOK ME THREE DECADES TO DRIVE ONE HOUR FROM GAZA TO JERUSALEM     Abier Almasri
Earlier this year, the Israeli army gave me a permit to leave the 11-by-40 kilometer Gaza Strip for the first time in my life and travel to the United States for work. Last month, I left again – this time, to see the rest of Palestine and Israel. The one-hour trip from the Israel-Gaza crossing to Jerusalem felt like a journey to a distant world.   ___I have always dreamed of smelling Jerusalem’s air and hearing the call to prayer ring from its mosques. When the prospect of traveling there was still a distant dream, I told a colleague, “I just hope to have the chance to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque before I die.”    More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS   

EYEWITNESS  PALESTINE:  JOURNEYS  FOR  JUSTICE  WITH  PALESTINIAN  AND  ISRAELI  PEACE-BUILDERS
UPCOMING DELEGATIONS
   There’s only one way to truly understand the realities of Palestine/Israel – through the eyes of those who live there. Palestinians and Israelis welcome us into their homes, offices, and places of worship to learn from them about their lives. Are you ready for an unforgettable journey for justice?   More. . .

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL  ASMAR

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April 1970)

–From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  KNOW Books, 1973.