“How long had you been away from the place you loved best?” – Naomi Shihab Nye


Palestinian territories stable after Trump plan, but for how long?

Feb 20 2020
A relative calm has returned to the West Bank after a brief outbreak of violence between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers on the outskirts of cities and contact points after US President Trump announced his so-called deal of the century for Israeli-Palestinian peace on Jan. 28.
– – – – Confrontations on the West Bank in early February went beyond Palestinians throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces to include deadly clashes involving gunfire, a car-ramming attack and resisting the demolition of a home. In Gaza, Palestinians launched more than 20 rockets and hundreds of incendiary balloons toward Israeli communities. In response, the Israeli army decided on Feb. 6 to send reinforcements to the border with Gaza and to the West Bank.
– – – – In a speech at the UN Security Council on Feb. 11, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said, “We will not resort to violence and terrorism, no matter the aggression against us. We believe in peace and fighting violence. We are ready to cooperate with any country to combat terrorism, and we will fight with peaceful popular resistance.”    More . . . .

‘We gave up on historic Palestine in exchange for nothing’

Bassem Tamimi, who has led popular protests in Nabi Saleh for more than a
decade, says the two-state solution is ‘no longer an option.’
Feb 19 2020
“We need to wake up and change our strategy, to unite our struggle,” says Bassem Tamimi, a veteran Palestinian activist and father of Ahed Tamimi, as he sits in his Nabi Saleh home in the occupied West Bank. Tamimi, who was born in 1967 and has only ever known military occupation, was jailed during the First Intifada and has been among the leaders of the village’s popular protests over the past decade. Now, however, he has given up on the two-state solution. “It’s no longer an option,” he says.
– – – – The Tamimi family, and their village, made global headlines in late 2017 when Ahed slapped an Israeli soldier who had entered her family courtyard during a Friday demonstration. Earlier that day, a soldier had shot a 15-year-old relative in the head. A few days later, soldiers arrested Ahed, then 16, from her home in the middle of the night. Her mother, Nariman, was arrested shortly after her daughter for filming the slapping incident. Both spent eight months in prison.    More . . . .

  • Israeli court approves demolition of homes of five Palestinian detainees
    Feb 20 2020
    The Israeli Supreme Court today gave the go-ahead to demolish the Ramallah-area family homes of five Palestinian detainees allegedly involved in the killing of a settler in late August 2019.
    – – – – Israeli media reported that the Israeli court unanimously approved the demolition despite multiple petitions filed by the prisoners’ families against the demolition.
    – – – – The court explained its approval by the need to “establish credible deterrence against attacks.” Israel commenced in January the trial of the five prisoners, who were detained in December purportedly for being responsible for the killing of an Israeli settler. . . .  More . . . .
  • IOF shoot Palestinian youth east of Khuza’a town
    Feb 20 2020
    Israeli soldiers shot, on Wednesday afternoon, a young Palestinian man east of Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
    – – – – Media sources said the soldiers shot the young man near the perimeter fence, inflicting moderate wounds before he was rushed to the European Hospital for treatment.
    – – – – The Israeli army claimed that sharpshooters of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad fired rounds at military vehicles and soldiers across the fence and that the soldiers fired back.    More. . . .
  • Dozens of Palestinians choke by IOF tear gas during clashes in West Bank
    Feb 19 2020
    Dozens of Palestinian citizens on Tuesday choked on tear gas fired by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during confrontations in Tulkarem and Ramallah in the West Bank.
    – – – – In Tulkarem, scores of Palestinians marched in protest at the US deal of the century, raised Palestine flags and burned car tires, local sources reported.
    – – – – The IOF attacked them with rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. Dozens suffered breathing difficulties as a result of inhaling tear gas.    More . . . .


Searching for Lost Sons and Daughters: Statistics on Palestinians in the Diaspora
This Week In Palestine
Issue #262, Feb 2020
By: Ola Awad
Satistical data indicate that on the eve of the 1948 war, the population in Palestine had reached 2.1 million, 1.45 million of which were Palestinians. Varying estimates and divergent figures have been circulated by different sources regarding the number of Palestinian refugees displaced from their homes during this war. The Israeli occupation took over 774 Palestinian cities and villages, 531 of which were completely demolished, whereas the others were subjugated to the Israeli occupation and its regulations, eventually to be incorporated into the Israeli state. . . . The most modest estimates of Palestinian refugees counted around 736 thousand individuals, more than 50 percent of the Palestinian population. They were moved to refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the neighboring countries Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. . . .
. . . . At the beginning of the current century, PCBS took the initiative of listing Palestinians who live in the diaspora in order to build a database that may serve as the basis for efforts to bridge existing gaps between the Palestinian people in their homeland and in the diaspora in order to connect them. . . . This catalogue will be the tool by which data are collected and monitored, providing as well an agreed-upon list of indicators. The database will be updated whenever possible. Palestinian embassies and representative offices in places around the world where Palestinians live constitute the main source of data and serve as focal points and PCBS’ link to Palestinian diaspora communities.    More . . . .


“HELLO, PALESTINE” — Naomi Shihab Nye

Hello, Palestine
In the hours after you died,
all the pain went out of your face.
Whole governments relaxed in your jaw line.
How long had you been away
from the place you loved best?
Every minute was too much.
Each year’s bundle
of horror stories: more trees chopped,
homes demolished, people gone crazy.
You’d turn your face away from the screen.
At the end you spoke to your own blood
filtering through a machine:
We’ll get there again, friend.
When you died, your long frustration
zipped its case closed. Everyone in a body
is chosen for trouble and bliss.
At least nothing got amputated,
I said, and the nurses looked quizzical.
Well, if only you had seen his country.

From Transfer, by Naomi Shihab Nye, BOA editions, 2011.
Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . No quiet place to die, with dignity . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)


Youth dies from Israeli gunfire wounds in Gaza

August 31, 2019
A Palestinian youth died today from wounds sustained by Israeli gunfire during the protests at Gaza border yesterday, medical sources said. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Over 300 Palestinians have been killed and about 17,000 others injured by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border on March 30, 2018.  More . . . .

Israeli Settlers Assault, Injure Farmer Near Bethlehem

Days of Palestine
August 31, 2019
A Palestinian farmer sustained injuries in the head on Friday night when he was brutally assaulted by extremist Jewish settlers near the village of Artas, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, local sources said.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Settlers from the Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion reportedly broke into the farm of Ayman Khalil Sa’ad, who comes from Artas, while working in the farm near the village.   More . . . .

Israel Destroys Al-Araqib for 156th Time

IMEMC News & Agencies
August 31, 2019
Israeli occupation authorities have made hundreds of Bedouin Palestinians homeless after demolishing their village in the Negev region for the 156th time, Palestine’s news agency says.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Eyewitnesses said, according to the PNN, that Israeli authorities, on Thursday, demolished crude homes and tore apart tents in the Bedouin village of Araqib, displacing its residents.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Authorities then dragged the debris and remains of the shelters out of the village. They also plundered chairs, pillows, mattresses and other belongings from the villagers.   More . . . .

Israel’s Scramble for Africa: Selling Water, Weapons and Lies

The Palestine Chronicle
Ramzy Baroud
August 30, 2019
For years, Kenya has served as Israel’s gateway to Africa. Israel has been using the strong political, economic and security relations between the two states as a way to expand its influence on the continent and turn other African nations against Palestine. Unfortunately, Israel’s strategy seems, at least on the surface, to be succeeding – Africa’s historically vocal support for the Palestinian struggle on the international arena is dwindling.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The continent’s rapprochement with Israel is unfortunate, because, for decades, Africa has stood as a vanguard against all racist ideologies, including Zionism – the ideology behind Israel’s establishment on the ruins of Palestine. If Africa succumbs to Israeli enticement and pressure to fully embrace the Zionist state, the Palestinian people would lose a treasured partner in their struggle for freedom and human rights.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ But all is not lost.  More . . . .


SHORT ON SPACE/DAILY STAR/16.05.12 — Jehan Bseiso

And so, the cemeteries are full –

In Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Gaza.

We will soon bury Palestinians above ground.

Nowhere to live and now,

No quiet place to die, with dignity.

Raise high the beams – carpenters, death architects.

Soon, your walls will reach the sky.

From I REMEMBER MY NAME, ed. Vacy Vlazna, Novum Oro Books, 2016.
Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher, and aid worker. She was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Jordan, and studied at AUB in Lebanon. Her poetry has been published in Warscapes, The Electronic Intifada, and Mada Masr, among others. Her book I Remember My Name (2016) was nominated for the Palestine Book Award. She has worked with Doctors Without Borders since 2008 in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, and others.

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

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 . . .
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]
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 . . .

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 . . .
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 . . .

| 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. . . . 

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.

“. . . the walls arising from silent rocks. . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

holy land 1 046Palestinian home demolished by Israeli Occupation Forces, Silwan neighborhood,
East Jerusalem. Demolitions have continued for decades.
(Photo: Harold Knight,  ‎JULY  ‎12,  ‎2006)

Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned residential building, on Thursday morning, in the al-Zaayim village, east of Jerusalem.     [. . . .] Israeli soldiers prevented residents, locals and reporters from approaching the area. . .  the demolition was carried out under the pretext that the structure was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.    ___Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally.    More . . .
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip

  • A civilian succumbed to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Return and Breaking Siege protests.
  • 77 civilians, including 12 children, a woman, a journalist and 3 paramedics, were wounded; 4 of them sustained serious wounds.
  • Israeli forces continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip . . .   More . . .

Belgium has decided to upgrade the diplomatic status of the Palestinian representative office in Brussels, according to a joint statement issued on Wednesday.    ___This was announced following a meeting between Foreign Minister Riyad Malki and his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders and Minister of Cooperation and Development Alexander De Croo in Brussels.    ___The two sides signed a joint declaration following their ministerial dialogue in which they affirmed their desire to develop bilateral relations in several fields . . .  More . . .

|    THIS  IS  HOW  ISRAEL  WAS  ESTABLISHED  ON  FALSEHOOD  AND  AGGRESSION   A hundred and one year has passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration. A declaration made to those who do not deserve by those who do not own, initiating the first stage of suffering of the Palestinian people over the last 101 years of displacement, torture, and massacres, which resulted in the martyrdom of thousands of them.    ___The infamous Declaration, under which, the future of an entire people was destroyed, for the benefit of a handful of Jews gathered from the corners of the globe to build a state called Israel on the ruins of Palestine and the ruins of its children and women, including the victims of Deir Yassin, Sabra and Shatila, Kufur Kassem, as well as the bloody massacres committed against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.    ___THE  TEXT  OF  THE  DECLARATION . . .  More . . .
|   NORMALIZING  EXTERNAL  NARRATIVES  IN  PALESTINE’S  SPACES  FOR  EDUCATION   In collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Education,  the  EU  launched  a  competition  across  schools  in Gaza and the occupied West Bank called “Know Europe”. The aim, according to EU Deputy Representative Tomas Niklasson, is “to introduce ourselves again to students of Palestine: introduce our values, culture, history, and identity” and affirm the bloc’s purported commitment to supporting Palestinians.    ___THIS  EDUCATIONAL  ENDEAVOR  IS  TANTAMOUNT  TO  FORCING  GRATITUDE for symbolic recognition, decades after colonial conquest and entrenchment. Yet the reasoning behind the competition, according to the press release, is that “the European Union has a lot in common with Palestine and the region”. PALESTINIANS  KNOW  THERE  IS  NO  COMPARISON, yet this misconception is now being normalized through education, despite the obvious differences between a bloc of countries and Palestine’s disappearance.        More  .  .  .

POEM    FOR    THE    DAY.  .  .  .   

Windows are a first step into the world,
a song on a spacious cloud,
a departure, a rose,
the braids of the moon falling over hills,
a heartbeat in the darkenss of the night
that travels in chains
and in men.
They are a threshold for the prayers
of our lonely neighbor,
an oasis for lovers
and children, the tempting fruit
in baskets, the seagull in the heart
bent down in sleep, the wisdom of the walls
arising from silent rocks and moving
toward mountaintops.

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

“. . . a crushed glass under the feet still shines. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

Items purchased in Hebron glass blowing shop. (Photo by Harold Knight – see ** below)


The Israeli army cancelled entry of dozens of trucks carrying goods into the besieged Gaza Strip, on late Monday, according to Palestinian official sources.    ____Sources confirmed that the Israeli side cancelled entry of dozens of trucks scheduled to arrive into Gaza on Tuesday; reasons of the cancellation were unknown.    ___It is noteworthy that in addition to these cancelled truckloads of goods, Qatari-funded fuel was also not allowed entry into Gaza for Gaza’s only power plant.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Egyptian  security  delegation  arrives  in  Gaza  to  complete  talks
|    IOF  DISMANTLE  SCHOOL  CARAVANS  NORTH  OF  TUBAS    On Tuesday morning, Israeli occupation forces dismantled caravans belonging to the school of the Late Marwan Majali, AKA “Tahadi (10)”, located in Khirbat “Ibiziq” area north of Tubas, northern West Bank.    ____The Director of Education Tubas Sa’ed Qabha told WAFA that the occupation dismantled two caravans as they detain the educational staff, ministry of education and students, while preventing students from entering the school.    More . . .
Plans to Judaize the Old City of Hebron are proceeding step by step amid international silence and the American support that encourages the occupation authorities to continue their policy. Following the Ibrahimi Mosque’s massacre, the occupation authorities divided the Mosque between the Palestinians and the settlers. More than one site inside the Ibrahimi Mosque can’t be accessed by Palestinian worshipers, while settlers are allowed to use the whole place at any time.     ____For years, plans have been made to link the settlement of Qiryat Arba with other settlement blocs surrounding the Old City through demolishing and removing the Palestinian buildings from the area for a comprehensive judaization of the area extending from the settlement of Kiryat Arba to the entire Old City and Tel Rumeida.   More . . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  shot  dead  in  al-Khalil  [HEBRON]  over  alleged  stabbing  attack
. . . . Related  Palestinian  official:  87%  of  BETHLEHEM  lands  under  Israeli  control
. . . . Related  NGO  warns  of  property  diversion  in  occupied  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Ariel  settlement  guards  obstruct  traffic  at  main  entrance  to  SALFIT
. . . . Related  Israel  Army  Rolls  Into  West  Bank  [QALQILIYA]  Cracks  Down  On  Civilians


The fundamental right to education is enshrined in international law. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to education”. . . . The challenges currently being faced by Palestinian universities mean that this universal right is being severely compromised in the occupied Palestinian territory.     ___As an occupying power, the state of Israel, is obligated to ensure that civilians under occupation are not denied their basic human rights. . .  which includes access to education.    [. . . .] Meanwhile, for decades, the education sector – schools as well as universities – has had to contend with Israel’s systematic obstruction of education, from enforced closures, campus raids, and the oppression of individual students and teachers. . .  According to Sam Bahour, a former board member of Birzeit University and co-founder Right to Enter Campaign . . . it’s important to see this assault on education as part of a broader picture of Israeli oppression of Palestinian lives and a determination to stifle the natural growth of a society.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

(** The glass pieces came from one of the few  Hebron  glass  blower  shops  still operating in 2008. The delicate pieces I purchased, like the one in Nye’s poem,  were broken in shipping. Nye’s poem commemorates the massacre of Muslim worshipers at Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron, 1994.)


Tip their mouths open to the sky.
Turquoise, amber,
the deep green with fluted handle,
pitcher the size of two thumbs,
tiny lip and graceful waist.

Here we place the smallest flower
which could have lived invisibly
in loose soil beside the road,
sprig of succulent rosemary,
bowing mint.

They grow deeper in the center of the table.

Here we entrust the small life,
thread, fragment, breath.
And it bends. It waits all day.
As the bread cools and the children
open their gray copybooks
to shape the letter that looks like
a chimney rising out of a house.

And what do the headlines say?

Nothing of the smaller petal
perfectly arranged inside the larger petal
or the way tinted glass filters light.
Men and boys, praying when they died,
fall out of their skins.
The whole alphabet of living,
heads and tails of words,
sentences, the way they said,
“Ya’Allah!” when astonished,
or “ya’ani” for “I mean”—
a crushed glass under the feet
still shines.

But the child of Hebron sleeps
with the thud of her brothers falling
and the long sorrow of the color red.

“. . . an unmistakable signal that [the US] Palestinian views and perspectives will be . . . defined by our relationship with Israel . . .” (Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer )

Donald-Trump-and-Benjamin-Netanyahu-850x567SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

The Israeli government has postponed the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar until further notice, following weeks of rising tensions in the Bedouin village.     ___Following a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the village will soon be “evacuated,” adding that the government plans on implementing the September High Court decision allowing for the demolition of the village.     ___[. . . .] Later Sunday afternoon, the Israeli news website Haaretz that the Israeli security cabinet approved Netanyahu’s plans to temporarily postpone the demolition “in order to exhaust negotiations with the village residents.”   More . . .
Related . . . .  Land  in  the  south  of  the  West  Bank  leveled,  [320  olive  and  almond]  trees  uprooted
Israel’s war Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) threatened to wage a bloody war against Gaza at the start of a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.     ___“Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” the minister claimed on Monday. “Anything less than the toughest response won’t help anymore. We have exhausted the other options.”     ___ “There is no popular uprising,” Lieberman said. “There is violence organized by Hamas.     More . . .
Israeli forces detained at least 13 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, on predawn Monday.     ___According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained one Palestinian in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. . .    In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, three Palestinians were detained. . .    In Kafr Aqab town, in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, one Palestinian was detained by Israeli forces. . .  In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, another three Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . .   In the northern West Bank district of Nablus, two Palestinians were detained. . .   In the northern West Bank district of Jenin. . .    More . . .


Daniel  Kurtzer,  US  Ambassador  to  Israel,  2001-2005
[. . . .] the Trump administration has decided on yet another step that accelerates the burial of an already moribund peace process: closing  the  American  Consulate  General  in  Jerusalem  and  transforming  it  into  a  “Palestinian  Affairs  Unit”  with  the  U.S.  Embassy. The strangest part of all this is that the administration believes it can still achieve what President Trump has called the “ultimate deal.”   ____The American Consulate General in Jerusalem has been an independent diplomatic mission since its establishment in 1844. Since 1948, and in particular since 1967, the Consulate has served a critical purpose of engaging with Palestinians in an effort to advance the prospects of peace with Israel. The Consulate reported directly to Washington, commenting on what its officers saw and heard, and offered recommendations on how to resolve problems both small and large.   More . . .
Dr. Mohammad Makram Balawi, president of ASIA  MIDDLE  EAST  FORUM
. . . . Netanyahu is the prophet out to save the modern Israelites in a hostile environment. His message is to cast the clash of civilisations  theories of Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington into a religious mould. The battle is against evil, which is embodied, he believes, in Islam. . . . I suspect that even Lewis and Huntingdon would be shocked if they could see where Netanyahu has taken their idea.     ___ [. . . .] Netanyahu’s words did not reflect gratitude to the US President as much as implicate and entangle him in a messy situation in an area were historical feuds are rarely forgotten. The Israeli-US alliance. . .  is “an eternal bond that can never, ever be broken,” said Netanyahu. His message was clear: you cannot leave us alone, because we share both the responsibility and the consequences for. . .  occupying the Holy City and land of our existential enemy, Islam.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


With small shovels
and plastic buckets,
the children,
in their joyful clothes,
are building sturdy sand castles.

They throw balls in a game without rules,
they shout, call each other names, laugh,
get scratched in short inevitable clashes.
Complaints are also inevitable:
“Why did you leave me alone?”
“Why don’t you leave me alone?”

They squat on the seat, in a flash,
to make the swing fly higher and higher.

They invent their sudden demands:
a glass of water,
a cry for help, soon forgotten,
a napkin,
a look at the miracle about to take place:
“Watch what I am going to do now!”
“Watch how I jump.”

In the half circle of benches in the part,
on wooden seats
that have almost lost their cumin-colored paint,
mothers and grandmothers in their drab clothes
turn up the collars
to avoid a gust of cold wind,
or silently finger their wrinkled worries.

And from time to time,
trying to overcome their boredom,
they exchange the latest news
in low voices.

They send their children a caring smile,
an encouraging look,
or an instructive gesture.

A big-bellied cat with heavy steps
moves around, as if lost, looking for something.
A string of birds, silent, turns slowly,
like a column of prisoners of war.

Dark clouds pile up above the scene;
a small sun keeps on trying.

From the sand kingdom
a shriek of grief,
a child yells at everyone:
“The castle has fallen.”

—From MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS, by Mourid Barghouti, translated by Radwa Ashour. London: ARC Publications, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . towards what remained of the heart . . .” (Majid abu Ghoush)


Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and olive harvesters in the Burin village, in southern Nablus City of the northern occupied West Bank, on Saturday.   ____Wafa News Agency reported that a group of Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian farmers while they were olive-picking in their lands in an attempt to force them to leave.    [. . . .] During the past week, Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian farmer while harvesting his olive trees in the Deir al-Hattab village in Nablus, and other farmers in Burin; settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees and stole harvest in the Tell village.  ____For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income. . .   More . . .
At least 130 Palestinians were injured with live Israeli ammunition, tear-gas suffocation and in airstrikes during protests along the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip under “The Great March of Return,” on Friday.    ____The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 130 Palestinians were injured during protests, including two critical injuries; one of whom is a 70-year-old woman.    ____The ministry added that a Palestinian journalist was among those injured.    ____A Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces heavily and randomly opened fire at protesters as several of them were able to cut through the Israeli security fence at the borders of the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  injured,  arrested  in  Khan  al-Ahmar  protests
. . . . Related  Arrests  reported  as  clashes  erupt  in  West  Bank
. . . . Related  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  off  Gaza  shore
Leaders of the largest three churches in Jerusalem have accused Israel of reneging on a previous agreement reached between them regarding taxing church property.   ____The French news agency, AFP, said on Friday that leaders of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches as well as a senior Latin Church official sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to block a draft legislation a ministerial committee is going to discuss on Sunday that aims at expropriating their property.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Jerusalem:  Christian  cemetery  vandalized,  graves  destroyed


Jeremy Salt
No state established on land seized by force from the people living on that land can claim moral legitimacy and a ‘right’ to exist.    ____A purported ‘right’ to exist is not central to the existence of states anyway, let alone colonial settler states established amidst the wreckage of the genuine rights of another people.   [. . . .] Israel understands this as well as anyone. It makes a lot of noise about its right to exist and its legitimacy but this is bluster. It knows why it exists and why it believes it will continue to exist. It has a strong military. It has nuclear weapons. It can destroy anyone who threatens to destroy it. These are the constituent elements of its existence, not morality and the ‘rights’ of which it endlessly talks.    More  . . .
. . . . Related   The  Apartheid  State  of  Israel  and  the  Palestinian  Resistance
. . . . Related   B’Tselem: World can no longer stand idly by regarding Israeli crimes

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson

MAJID ABU GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . Our roots are entrenched / Deep in the earth . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

IMG_3349 - CopySt. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Beit Jala in Bethlehem Governate.
Priest greets parishioner after service.
Photo: Harold Knight, Sun. Nov. 8, 2015.


|   MYTHS  AND  FANTASIES  ABOUT  THE  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  AND  THE  UNITED  NATIONS     Andrew Whitley, former senior UNRWA official      The decision of the Trump Administration to halt all funding for UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for 5.4 million Palestinian refugees, and its attempts to redefine who qualifies as a “refugee” in this context, marks another egregious example of Washington’s disregard for international norms and humanitarian law in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    ___The ultimate fate of those refugees who fled their homes or were forcibly expelled in the war that led to the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 – and of their descendants, now into third and fourth generations – has long been one of the most contentious issues in the conflict.    ___The “right to return” is seen by Palestinians and their supporters worldwide as a matter of natural and historic justice. After all, this is exactly the same right as all other refugees – for whom UNRWA’s sister agency, UNHCR, is their guardian – enjoy.    More . . .
|   MAYOR  OF  BETHLEHEM:  NETANYAHU’S  STATEMENT  ON  BETHLEHEM  AND  PALESTINIAN  CHRISTIANS  IS  ANOTHER  ISRAELI  ATTEMPT  AT  DISTORTING  REALITY  OF  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION     Mayor of Bethlehem, advocate Anton Salman said in response to Sunday’s statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians, that such statement ‘is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948’.    ___“If Mr. Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem area, he would return the 22,000 dunums of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousand of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry,” said the mayor in a statement issued by the Bethlehem municipality.    More . . .
. . . . Related  New  Israeli  Laws  Enhance  Creeping  Annexation  Policy
|   ISRAEL  CONTINUES  AIRSTRIKES  OVER  GAZA    An Israeli warplane carried out an airstrike, on Tuesday, targeting a group of Palestinians east of Beit Hanoun in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___A Ma’an reporter said that an Israeli warplane fired one missile towards a group of Palestinian youths in northern Gaza; no injuries were reported.    ___The Israeli army said that a warplane targeted a group of Palestinians who were launching incendiary kites into southern Israel.    ___Meanwhile, locals reported that Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into south of Gaza City, razed and leveled lands.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  Navy,  Soldiers,  Injure  19  Palestinians  In  Northern  Gaza


For a few short minutes last week, a group of Israeli activists managed to have a face-to-face conversation with Palestinian activists in Gaza, albeit through a militarized fence.    ___On Wednesday of last week, for the first time since the Great Return March began in March, a small group of Israeli activists approached the fence to speak with Palestinian demonstrators, standing just meters from them on the other side.    ___The Palestinians who approached the fence had been taking part in a cultural event near the village of Khuza’a in one of the nearby tent encampments, which was established as part of the Great Return March.    ___The rare meeting lasted only a few minutes, until Israeli soldiers arrived and ordered the Israelis to leave the area.    More . . .
|   PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  IN  ISRAEL  FOR  33  YEARS  WARNED  OF  PUNISHMENT  IF  HE  PUBLISHES  BOOK     A Palestinian prisoner who served 33 years out of a 39-year prison sentence in Israeli jails for resisting the Israeli occupation was warned by the prison administration of severe punishment if he publishes a book he wrote in prison, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said on Tuesday.    ___It said Walid Dakka, a Palestinian from inside Israel, who previously was severely punished after publishing a book in Arabic called “The story of the secret of oil”, was told that he would be put in isolation if he goes ahead and publishes another book.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

It is a thousand times easier
For you to pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with you oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

From 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.

“. . . When the almond and the olive have turned to timber . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

20180213_burin - Copy
THE VILLAGE OF BURIN. PHOTO BY SALMA A-DEB’I. B’Tselem Website, March 27,2018.


|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  NABLUS       Video footage showed how several Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, on Saturday, while they were harvesting olive harvest on Palestinians lands belonging to the residents of the Burin village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.    ___According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Givat Ronin settlement attacked two Palestinian farmers by throwing rocks at them and chased them out of their own lands.    ___The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported that “Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by.    More . . .
|  VIDEO:  AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS     The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees. This chance only came twice a year: two days in the spring to cultivate their land, and two days in the fall to harvest the olives.     ___When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli forces chase Palestinian herders out of grazing land
. . . . Related  Settlers chop off olive, grape trees near Bethlehem
. . . . Related  Settlers attack civilians in Hebron
. . . . Related  Israeli army destroys water pipeline in Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers And Settlers Uproot Trees In Silwan
. . . . Related  PHOTOS: Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in West Bank villages
. . . . Related  Israeli fanatics break into Aqsa Mosque
|  ISRAEL ORDERS IMMEDIATE HALT OF FUEL DELIVERIES TO GAZA    Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to besieged Gaza in response to what he claimed attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.    ___The announcement on Friday follows the killing  of  seven  Palestinians  by  Israeli  forces  during the ongoing March of Return protests.   ___”Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” the statement from Lieberman’s office read.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim 
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.

“. . . And the tyrant’s fear of songs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

unnamedThe Nessan Band performing at the Said al-Mishal Cultural Center in 2015.
(Photo: Tamer Institute for Community Education. Electronic Intifada, Oct. 10, 2018)


At least 7 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured on Friday when the Israeli occupation forces heavily opened fire at the peaceful protesters taking part in the GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN.   ___[. . . .] Gaza’s Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qedra said that 192 protesters were injured, 140 of whom by live ammunition and three are in critical condition. There are 45 children, eight girls, and two paramedics among the injured.    ___ Thousands of Palestinians marched in the afternoon along the border between the Gaza Strip and the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories to take part in the protests of the 29th Friday of the Great March of Return.  More . . .
. . . . Related  Egyptian  Al-Azhar  [University]  condemns  Israel’s  killing  of  Gaza  protesters
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Woman  Killed  as  Israeli  Settlers  Attack  Vehicle  in  Nablus 
The Israeli authorities are taking accelerated and unprecedented measures against Palestinian residents of occupied Jerusalem throughout September, reveals a New Report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.   ___The report concluded that Israel is punishing Al-Aqsa worshippers, and is following a number of policies to suffocate Palestinians through arbitrary detention, night house raids and searches, home demolitions, and orders to banish them from Al-Aqsa mosque, Euro-Med’s team has documented.    ___Titled “Banned: Expulsion, Displacement, and Arbitrary Prosecution of Palestinians in Jerusalem during September 2018,” the report shows the escalating Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the Holy City during last September, which are very much coinciding with the Jewish holidays.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  farmers  barred  from  harvesting  their  olive  crops  in  land  near  Jewish  settlement


|  A  CRIME  AGAINST  CULTURE  –  ”I  was  deeply  shocked  when  I  heard  that  the  Said  al-Mishal  center  had  been  bombed.  I  could  not  understand  why  a  place  that  was  so  important  to  me  had  been  destroyed.”
Mousa Tawfiq
I clearly remember the first time I learned about the Said al-Mishal Cultural Center.   ___“Haven’t you seen it yet?” asked Muhammad, a boy older than me. “It’s the most beautiful stage in Gaza. It has a shiny wooden floor with fancy red chairs. When the curtains open, the audience goes completely silent.”   ___The conversation took place in 2008. Muhammad and I both played oud. We were taking lessons at a summer camp run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees.  More . . .
In mid-July, a strange performance played out in the Military Court of Appeals at the Kirya, the defense establishment’s headquarters in Tel Aviv. The judge, an Israel Defense Forces general, called Meretz MK Esawi Freige, from the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Qasem, to the witness stand, and asked him just one question: Would publication of classified documents relating to the massacre in his village in 1956 be likely to stir up its residents?      [. . . .Brig. Gen. Issachar “Yiska”] Shadmi, the highest-ranking officer to be brought to trial after the event, lives. Shadmi told us that the trial, in which he was initially accused of murder but later acquitted, was intended to mislead the international community with regard to Israel’s ostensible pursuit of justice. For his part, Raz is convinced that the background to ostensibly staging the trial was pressure from above to conceal “Operation Mole” (Hafarperet), a secret program to expel to Jordan the population of the so-called Triangle of Arab towns, located southeast of Haifa – details of which have never been revealed.   (From Haaretz. Copied here )

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

We have on this land that which makes life worth living
We have on this land all of that which makes life worth living
April’s hesitation
The aroma of bread at dawn
A woman’s beseeching of men
The writings of Aeschylus
Love’s beginning
Moss on a stone
Mothers standing on a flute’s thread
And the invader’s fear of memories
We have on this land that which makes life worth living
September’s end
A woman leaving ‘forty’ behind
with all of her apricots
The hour of sunlight in prison
A cloud reflecting a swarm of creatures
A people’s applause for those who face their own erasure with a smile
And the tyrant’s fear of songs.
We have on this land all of that which makes life worth living
On this land
The lady of our land
The mother of all beginnings
And the mother of all ends
She was called Palestine
Her name later became Palestine
My lady….
Because you are my lady
I have all of that which makes life worth living.