“. . . My roots Were entrenched before the birth of time . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish, “Identity Card”)

Mahmoud Darwish (Photo: Forward Association, November 18, 2009)

❶ Lieberman compares Mahmoud Darwish poem to ‘Mein Kampf
❷ Poet on Trial: A visit to an Israeli court
❸ Thousands of Jewish settlers defile Ibrahimi Mosque overnight
❹ Historical and Legal Background “Against In Situ Appropriation Of Cultural Sites”
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has compared the broadcast of poetry by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish on Israeli radio to glorifying Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” the Ministry of Defense said on Thursday.
___On Tuesday, Israeli army radio broadcast works by the iconic Palestinian writer as part of its “University on Air” program, including Darwish’s famous poem “Identity Card,” which drew the ire of Lieberman and other Israeli officials.
[. . . .] Lieberman added that Darwish’s poems could not “be part of the Israeli narrative program” aired on the station, adding: “By that same logic, we can also add to the Israeli narrative Mufti al-Husseini, or broadcast a glorification of the literary merits of ‘Mein Kampf,’” referring to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1920s and 1930s — whom Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu controversially blamed in October for the Holocaust.    MORE . . .    

Dareen Tatour (Photo: Resumen de Medio Oriente, June 21, 2016)

Kim Jensen
July 20, 2016
The Israeli Court of Nazareth is an imposing, twelve-story landmark that stands on the border of Arab Nazareth and Upper Nazareth or “Nazareth Illit,” the largely Jewish municipality built and settled in the 1950’s on confiscated Palestinian land. Nazareth Illit was created as a bulwark to contain the natural growth of the Arab sector and to consolidate a Jewish majority in the Galilee.
[. . . .] Such a stately piece of architecture to house such flimsy proceedings—the disgraceful prosecution of a poet for her writings and posts on social media.
___On Sunday July 17, at 4 p.m. a third hearing was held in the State’s case against Dareen Tatour, the 33-year old Palestinian poet who is being prosecuted for “incitement to violence” on the basis of a YouTube clip, two alleged Facebook status updates, and a picture posted of Isra’a Abed, an Arab woman who was shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers. This famous photograph was published far and wide, including on many news outlets.      MORE . . .   

The Palestinian Information Center
July 22, 2016
A huge number of Jewish settlers desecrated after midnight Friday the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil city under military protection.
___According to Maariv newspaper, thousands of settlers aboard 120 buses escorted by Israeli troops entered the Old City of al-Khalil and performed rituals overnight at the Ibrahimi Mosque.
___The Islamic Waqf authority in al-Khalil had previously warned against Israeli moves aimed at fully controlling the Mosque.
___In 1972, the Israeli occupation state allowed Jewish settlers to perform rituals in a designated part of the Mosque before it dared to divide it between Muslim and Jews in 1994 following the gruesome massacre of Muslim worshipers by a Jewish terrorist.
___In addition, Israel prevents Muslims from performing prayers and reciting ِAdhan (call to prayers) at the Ibrahimi Mosque during the Jewish holidays.     MORE . . .

Kimberly L. Alderman
(The 1954 Hague Convention)
Riots broke out on the West Bank after Israel announced on February 21, 2010, that it would name two mosques in the occupied Palestinian territory as Israeli national heritage sites . . . the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron (also called the Cave of Machpelah or the Cave of the Patriarchs) and Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque in Bethlehem (also called Rachel’s Tomb), was met with harsh criticism from a number of Palestinian and international organizations.
___Judaism and Islam agree that the Biblical and Qur’anic patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah, are entombed in the cave complex beneath the Ibrahimi Mosque. Since the seventh century, the site has been used as a mosque, in large part exclusively. Israel seized the site during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and it lay on disputed ground—occupied by Israeli military forces but home to Palestinians [. . . .]
By laying a national claim to the. . . the Ibrahimi Mosque, Israel is diminishing the Palestinians’ cultural interest in the property. If the 1954 Hague Convention is read broadly, consistent with the policy behind it, the designations constitute a failure to safeguard the cultural relationship of the occupied people with a culturally and religiously significant site. Unnecessarily interfering with an occupied peoples’ relationship with a cultural site, when that site is otherwise under no specific or articulable danger of damage or destruction, undermines the 1954 Hague Convention and should constitute a violation of it.
___While the 1954 Hague Convention . . . focuses in large part on preventing physical damage or destruction to cultural sites, the cultural sites derive much of their value from the emotional ties that people in local communities have with those sites. This cultural value is distinct from both economic and archaeological values. Safeguarding a cultural site includes preserving the physical integrity as well as the cultural value of the site. Cultural value depends upon allowing local people to maintain their relationships with cultural sites, even during occupation.
___The spirit of the 1954 Hague Convention is consistent with recognition of cultural value—the intrinsic value of a cultural site that is borne of the relationship that local people have with such sites. The 1954 Hague Convention should be read broadly, conferring on its Signing Parties an obligation to safeguard and respect not only the physical integrity of cultural sites, but also cultural integrity. Interfering with a local people’s relationship with a cultural site decreases the cultural value of that site, interferes with the people’s right to self-determination, and is unjustifiable under the 1954 Hague Convention.

  • Alderman, Kimberly L. “The Designation Of West Bank Mosques As Israeli National Heritage Sites: Using The 1954 Hague Convention To Protect Against In Situ Appropriation Of Cultural Sites.” Creighton Law Review 44.4 (2011): 799-809.     COMPLETE ARTICLE . . .


Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks―
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have a name―without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots―
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass
My father―
descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather―
was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house―
is like a watchman’s hut
Made of branches and cane
This is my status
Does it satisfy you?
I have a name without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
The color of hair―is black
The color of eyes―is brown
And my distinctive features:
The head-dress is hatta wi’gal
And the hand is solid like a rock
My favorite meal
Is olive oil and zatar
And my address:
A village―isolated and deserted
Where the streets have no names
And the men―work in the fields an quarries
They like socialism
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards
of my ancestors
and the land
which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks―
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!

Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware―beware―of my hunger
and my anger!

Mahmoud Darwish
From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.esmaeeli20130906173318627

The Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron, Occupied Territories of Palestine (Photo: Press TV, September 13, 2015)

“. . . I left them with a voice singing its song of love for my country. . .” (Aminah Kazak)

Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron. Worshipers and tourists.
Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron. Worshipers and tourists.

March 17, 2015
A new (highly professional and informative) BLOG:
“Today, the Institute for Palestine Studies launched its first ever blog! We hope you’ll join us at Palestine Square for expert analysis on Palestinian affairs, exclusive interviews with Palestinian artists, Palestine Unbound – the digital counterpart to the Journal of Palestine Studies quarterly feature highlighting the ever expanding realm of discussion on Palestine and Israel unbound by the traditional media – and much, much more!”
The Institute for Palestine Studies
At first glance, this may seem to have made this little blog irrelevant. Probably not. This blog is a quick and simple compendium of (more or less) daily news. Palestine Square has the resources of the Institute for Palestine Studies and will be an important instrument for presenting in-depth news about Palestinian thought and culture.

IMEMC News & Agencies
Friday March 20, 2015

A group of Israeli settlers entered the Isaac Hall inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron, on Thursday under armed protection from Israeli forces, witnesses said.
Local sources said that guards attempted to prevent settlers from entering the mosque, but that the army facilitated their entrance.

Under an agreement with endowment officials, Jewish visits to Isaac’s Hall are limited to 10 per year, Ma’an further reports.

The agreement came into place after a Brooklyn-born Jewish settler massacred 29 Palestinians in the mosque after opening fire at worshipers in 1994.

The Ibrahimi Mosque is known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and is the site where both faiths believe the Biblical patriarch Abraham is buried.

Around 700 settlers live in 80 homes in the city center of Hebron, surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians. The settlers are protected by the Israeli army in the tightly controlled city, where many streets are off limits to Palestinians.

Ibrahimi Mosque disrespected
Ibrahimi Mosque disrespected

IMEMC News & Agencies
Friday March 20, 2015

Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed, early Thursday, the monument of Sheikh Yousef Dweikat, a local religious figure, to the east of Nablus, said security sources.
Protected by Israeli forces, several buses packed with settlers stormed eastern Nablus and proceeded to Joseph Tomb, where they performed religious rituals, triggering clashes with the residents, according to WAFA.

Soldiers fired tear gas canisters at Palestinian locals who attempted to prevent settlers from storming the religious site. No arrests or injuries were reported.

The site of Joseph’s Tomb is contentious. Palestinians believe the site to be the funerary monument to Sheikh Yousef Dweikat, a local religious figure, while Israeli settlers believe it to belong to the biblical patriarch, Joseph.

IMEMC News & Agencies
Thursday March 19, 2015

Extremist Jewish settlers stormed the courtyards of Al Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi gate, on Thursday morning, amid tight security from a private Israeli police force.
The media coordinator at the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Firas AL-Debes, told Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency that 38 settlers, spread over 4 groups, stormed the Al-Aqsa courtyards, noting that the settlers carried out provocative rounds in front of worshipers, while students in Quran study circles raised their voices in chanting, “Allahu Akhbar! (God is Greatest.)”

Extremist Israeli settlers and politicians have been violating the sanctity of the historic Mosque on an almost daily basis and always under the protection of armed occupation forces, which often attack Palestinian worshipers who try to protect their holy site.

The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, of which East Jerusalem is a part, is illegal under international law.
The appearance of Palestinian defeat is an optical illusion—one that hides the probability of eventual Israeli defeat.
Richard Falk
December 16, 2014

“What follows can be seen as a more considered response to this diplomat’s stance of cynical realism: it is my insistence that Palestine is not a lost cause, and that even if it were a lost cause from the perspective of realism, a continued commitment to it is greatly preferable to defeatist resignation and indifference toward such a grossly unjust outcome of such an epic struggle. My deeper conviction is that the appearance of Palestinian defeat is an optical illusion that hides the probability of eventual Israeli defeat—that while Israel is winning one war due to its military dominance and continuous establishment of ‘facts on the ground,’ Palestine is winning what in the end is the more important war, the struggle for legitimacy, which is most likely to determine the political outcome.”


Before they came for me
I took my voice and hid it under the dawn
so they found only my bleeding mouth, my broken
hands, my eyes empty of vision

They traveled
to every corner of my country,
frustration building
The sound of my voice split their heads like thunder,
my agony pumped through their veins

Later they took my bleeding mouth, my broken hands,
my eyes empty of vision
and threw them past the horizon
so I left them with a voice
singing its song of love for my country
which they will never understand
never embrace and never possess.

Meghdessian, Samira. “The Discourse Of Oppression As Expressed In Writings Of The Intifada.” World Literature Today 72.1 (1998): 39.
This poem was selected from the Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature . Although the poet lives in the diaspora, she describes one of the most violent aspects of the occupation: the deportation of Palestinian males, to empty the land of its inhabitants and to break the basic family structure.
The Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature spans the period 1858-1990. It contains an excellent eighty-page introduction, which discusses both the external forces and the internal dynamics that influenced Palestinian literature. The book includes translated works which read very well. The editor, Salma Khadra Jayyusi, does not identify the literature of the Intifada per se, but my selections fit the designated period through their dates of publication.

Those who pray outside the Ibrahimi Mosque are apparently dangerous.
Those who pray outside the Ibrahimi Mosque are apparently dangerous.