“. . . Our land is not barren . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Spring in Gaza. Palestine In Pictures, March 2016. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)
Spring in Gaza. Palestine In Pictures, March 2016. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

❶ Regional conflicts spill into Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps
❷ Israel suspends Aqsa visits for Gazans over Jewish holiday
❸ Israeli forces arrest suspects in connection to Jerusalem explosion
❹ Pro-Palestine forum kicks off in Tunisia
❺ Opinion/Analysis: PALESTINIAN  POLITICAL  DISINTEGRATION,  CULTURE,  AND  NATIONAL  IDENTITY
❻ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ REGIONAL  CONFLICTS  SPILL  INTO  LEBANON’S  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  CAMPS
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Melhem
April 21, 2016
Things are heating up in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps, as many observers fear al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) influences are working to create chaos and violence there.
___The situation is particularly worrisome right now at the Ain al-Hilweh camp, where Fatah security official Gen. Fathi Zeidan was assassinated April 12. Another member of the secular Fatah movement was killed March 28 by a person officials described as an Islamic militant. . . .
___The tension is bubbling like a volcano ready to explode, and Ain al-Hilweh is perched on its crater.
“Extremist groups are trying to drag the camp into a battle with the Palestinian factions, which are seeking to control the situation on the ground” . . . .      MORE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  SUSPENDS  AQSA  VISITS  FOR  GAZANS  OVER  JEWISH  HOLIDAY
Ma’an News Agency
April 22, 2016
The Israeli authorities suspended visits to Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Gazans on Friday due to the Jewish holiday of Passover.
___Israeli authorities prevented dozens of Palestinians over the age of 60 from traveling to Jerusalem via the Erez crossing for their weekly Friday worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque, sources at the Palestinian liaison office told Ma’an.      MORE . . . 

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  ARREST  SUSPECTS  IN  CONNECTION  TO  JERUSALEM  EXPLOSION
Ma’an News Agency
April 21, 2016
Israeli forces arrested a number of suspects Thursday evening said to be linked to a bus explosion in Jerusalem on Monday that left the suspect responsible for the attack dead and 20 others injured.
___Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that 19-year-old Hamas operative Abd al-Hamid Abu Srour exploded the bomb on the bus, and that “a number” of other suspects linked to the incident have also been arrested [. . . .]
___Shortly after the announcement of his death, the Palestinian Ministry of Health identified Abu Srour as a resident of the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.      MORE . . .    
RELATED:  20  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  IN  JERUSALEM  AMIDST  TIGHTENED  PASSOVER  SECURITY

A Palestinian man in Gaza turns his house, which was destroyed during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014, into a simple aviary. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)
A Palestinian man in Gaza turns his house, which was destroyed during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014, into a simple aviary. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

❹ INTERNATIONAL  PRO-PALESTINE  FORUM  KICKS  OFF  IN  TUNISIA
The Palestinian Information Center
April 22, 2016
The Second International Arab Forum for Justice for Palestine is expected to kick off on Friday afternoon in Tunisia. The forum makes part of an initiative launched by the Arab International Center for Communication and Solidarity in coordination with the General Union of Tunisian Workers and other national and international human rights bodies.       MORE . . .   

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  PALESTINIAN  POLITICAL  DISINTEGRATION,  CULTURE,  AND  NATIONAL  IDENTITY
The Palestinian Policy Network
Jamil Hilal
March 15, 2016
The Palestinian political field, dominated by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since the late 1960s, has been in a state of disintegration since the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established under the Oslo Accords. What has been the impact of PLO dominance and what were the repercussions of its disintegration for the Palestinian body politic? And to what extent has the disintegration of the political field affected the cultural field and its contribution to Palestinian national identity? These are the questions addressed in this commentary.     MORE . . . 

“ON  HOPE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

Do not tell me:
I wish to be a baker in Algeria
In order to sing with the revolutionaries
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a shepherd in the Yemen
To sing for the uprising of the age
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a waiter in Havana
To sing for the victory of the poor
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a stone carrier in Aswan
To sing for the rocks
My friends:
The Nile will not pour into the Volga
The Congo and Jordan Rivers
Will not serve the Euphrates
Each river has its own
Our land is not barren
Each land has its own rebirth
Each dawn has a date with revolution.

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

Has anything changed in 46 years?
(Observation written in 1970; from the Preface to ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN)
Tragedy is accepted to mean a sequence of events seemingly inevitable, exciting pity and fear and leading to disaster. It is hard to escape the chilling impression that this describes the state of affairs in the Middle East. Not simply is our compassion invoked for the victims of that drama, and there are legitimate demands on either side for that―but there is a leitmotif of derailment―of unfixable outofjointedness; the times, and the place, are out of joint and no one has the tools to mend them.

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“. . . I asked about Mohammed and Christ Oh Jerusalem . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

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Israeli Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein  said on Wednesday he does not mind burning mosques and churches. (Photo: Pa/dpa/EPA)

❶ Israeli rabbi: Christians are not welcome in Jerusalem
. ❶―(ᴀ) Jewish Extremist Group Calls for Torching Jerusalem Churches
❷ IOF break into Bethlehem, violent clashes break out
❸ Gaza Enters 10th Year of Israeli-led Blockade Gaza
. ❸―(ᴀ) PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (17 – 30 December 2015)
❹ Who’s to blame for deaths of children fighting in Palestine?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
❻ Poetry by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
DAYS OF PALESTINE
ISRAELI  RABBI:  CHRISTIANS  ARE  NOT  WELCOME  IN  JERUSALEM
Dec. 31, 2015
Israeli Jewish Rabbi said on Wednesday that Christians are not welcome in Jerusalem; he does not mind burning mosques and churches.
___Bentzi Gopstein told the Israeli TV Channel Two that Israeli Jewish practically prevent Christians from entering Jerusalem.  More . . .
. ❶―(ᴀ) PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
JEWISH  EXTREMIST  GROUP  CALLS  FOR  TORCHING  JERUSALEM  CHURCHES
The leader of the extremist anti-assimilation group Lehava recently renewed his calls to torch churches in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli media sources revealed.
___Lehava’s leader, Bentzi Gopstein . . . . has previously ‘called for a ban on Christmas celebrations in the country and the banishment of Christians, who he referred to as ‘blood-sucking vampires’, from the land,’ reported the International Business Times.  More . . . 
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
IOF  BREAK  INTO  BETHLEHEM,  VIOLENT  CLASHES  BREAK  OUT
Jan. 3, 2016
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday morning broke into Bethlehem, central Occupied West Bank, injured two and kidnapped two others in midst of intense clashes.
___At 10 AM this morning, IOF stormed Deheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, and spread snipers on the roofs of buildings. Clashes quickly broke out and IOF opened teargas inside the narrow camp, causing injuries.
___One child was reportedly shot in the leg, and another youth was kidnapped.  More . . .

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Isael’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law, a panel of human rights experts reporting to a UN body said on Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2015. (Photo: Reuters, September 13, 2011)

PALESTINE CHRONICLE
GAZA  ENTERS  10TH  YEAR  OF  ISRAELI-LED  BLOCKADE  GAZA
Jan. 2, 2016
The start of 2016 sees the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip entering the 10th year of the Israeli-led and internationally-backed blockade . . . . The blockade started in the wake of the 2006 Palestinian elections, which the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won with an overwhelming majority.
___Local and international monitoring organisations described the Palestinian poll as one of the most transparent ever recorded. In Palestine, though, it is remembered with sadness as the election marked the internal political split and the start of the siege of Gaza.  More . . .
. ❸―(ᴀ)  IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (17 – 30  DECEMBER  2015)
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (17 – 30 December 2015).  More . . .
AL-MONITOR: PALESTINE PULSE
WHO’S  TO  BLAME  FOR  DEATHS  OF  CHILDREN  FIGHTING  IN  PALESTINE?
Aziza Nofal
Dec. 27, 2015
Taha al-Qatanani said he was expecting just an ordinary day as his daughter headed out the door early Nov. 22. He had no way of knowing she would never return.
___”I thought Ashraqat was going to school when she left the house,” he said of his 16-year-old daughter, who was killed that day at the Huwara checkpoint south of Nablus . . . .
___”It is hard to stop the youth from doing what they have in mind — even if their plan goes against the will of their parents. It is difficult to control them.”   More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
SUDDENLY,  COMPARING  JEWISH  STATE  TO  ISIS  IS  OK
Dan Cohen
Jan. 1, 2016
As the fallout continues after Jewish fundamentalists firebombed the sleeping Dawabshe family in their home in the occupied West Bank last June, Israeli commentators have begun to compare the Jewish State to ISIS.
___Liberal Zionist and Ha’aretz columnist Asher Schechter recently wrote a piece entitled “Meet Judeo-ISIS: The Inevitable Result of Israel’s Presence in the West Bank”. No major critic of Israel himself, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens wrote an article called “The Jewish Equivalent of ISIS.”
___But the comparison had been drawn more than a year before.  More . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI

I wept until my tears were dry
I prayed until the candles flickered
I knelt until the floor creaked
I asked about Mohammed and Christ
Oh Jerusalem, the fragrance of prophets
The shortest path between earth and sky
Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws
A beautiful child with fingers charred
and downcast eyes
You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet
Your streets are melancholy
Your minarets are mourning
You, the young maiden dressed in black
Who rings the bells in the Nativity
On Saturday morning?
Who brings toys for the children
On Christmas eve?
Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow
A big tear wandering in the eye
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?
Oh Jerusalem my town
Oh Jerusalem my love
Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom
And the olive trees will rejoice
Your eyes will dance
The migrant pigeons will return
To your sacred roofs
And your children will play again
And fathers and sons will meet
On your rosy hills
My town
The town of peace and olives.

“Jerusalem, Poem by Nizar Qabbani.” Poemhunter.com. Web.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

“. . .Make hummus not walls. . .”

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From the Bethlehem Wall Museum. SEE DESCRIPTIONS AT END OF THIS POST.

❶ Palestinian teen shot dead after alleged attack near Tulkarem
❷ Army Kills a Palestinian Teen in Bethlehem
❸ 13-year old Palestinian Boy has Court Appearance; Trial will Begin in January
❹ Five Projects That Are Leading Bethlehem Into a Brighter Future
❺ Opinion/Analysis: RELIGION,  THE  SCAPEGOAT  OF  THE  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  CRISIS
❻ Personal statements by Bethlehem Young People
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

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Bethlehem Wall Museum (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  TEEN  SHOT  DEAD  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACK  NEAR  TULKAREM
Dec. 1, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli military officer shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian woman at a checkpoint east of Tulkarem on Tuesday, saying that she had attempted to stab him, Israel’s army said.
___An Israeli army spokesperson said that the officer killed the young woman at a checkpoint near the illegal settlement of Enav east of Tulkarem because she posed an “immediate danger” to him.
___The Israeli officer was not injured during the encounter. A spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent said that one of their emergency teams arrived on the scene shortly afterward. She confirmed that the young woman had no vital signs.
___The team was prevented from taking away her body, which was instead taken away in an Israeli army medical jeep.
More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ARMY  KILLS  A  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  IN  BETHLEHEM
Dec. 01, 201
The army claims he “attempted to stab a settler”; Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Tuesday morning, a Palestinian teen, sixteen years of age, near the Gush Etzion settlement block, built on Palestinian lands, south of Bethlehem.
___Palestinian medical sources said the slain teen has been identified as Ma’moun Raed al-Khatib, 16 years of age, from Doha city, in the Bethlehem district.
___According to the Israeli army, al-Khatib “approached a settler with the intention to stab him,” before a soldier shot and injured him.
___The slain Palestinian was left bleeding on the ground, and died of his wounds.
___Israeli sources said the army also accidentally shot and injured one settler in his arm, suffering a mild wound, and that no Israelis were hurt in the reported “stabbing attack.”
More . . .

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Bethlehem Wall Museum (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
13-YEAR  OLD  PALESTINIAN  BOY  HAS  COURT  APPEARANCE;  TRIAL  WILL  BEGIN  IN  JANUARY
Nov. 30, 2015
A 13-year old Palestinian boy accused of stabbing and wounding a 13-year old Israeli boy had a court appearance Thursday. On October 11th, Ahmad Manasra was run over by a car and beaten nearly to death by a group of Israelis, then subjected to brutal interrogation with no lawyer or parent present.
___Ahmad Manasra’s lawyer presented evidence contradicting the Israeli government’s claims that the boy stabbed an Israeli.
[. . . . .]
___A video of Ahmad lying injured and bloody on the ground after being hit by the car was uploaded to social media and went viral. In the footage, a settler onlooker can clearly be heard saying: “Die, you son of a whore! Die!”, while another tells the police officer to shoot the boy until he dies.
More . . .
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
FIVE  PROJECTS  THAT  ARE  LEADING  BETHLEHEM  INTO  A  BRIGHTER  FUTURE
Natalie Morcos
Dec. 1, 2015
The municipality of Bethlehem is an institution with a great history, one of the oldest in Palestine. It has conducted projects on various scales over time, starting under the Ottoman Occupation, to the British Mandate, Jordanian Rule, and then the Israeli Occupation. The municipality has been and remains steadfast in its dedication to the development of Bethlehem by aiming to preserve its rich heritage of more than two thousand years and its outstanding historical value as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Its constant vision toward the city is to raise the level of wellbeing of the citizens through infrastructural, educational, cultural, and environmental interventions. The municipality has an ongoing cycle of projects that aspire to improve different sectors such as the road network, public buildings, historical architecture, and more.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
RELIGION,  THE  SCAPEGOAT  OF  THE  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  CRISIS
Megan Hanna
Nov. 30, 2015
The sirens had barely stopped wailing before commentators started exploiting the terror attacks in Paris on 13 November, twisting the horrific event to serve a range of varying political agendas. . . .
___Given his tendency for making tenuous connections between Israel’s plight and disparate foreign events, it’s no surprise that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was one of the first to climb up on France’s bloodied bandwagon to make hasty links between Paris and present-day Israel. . . .
claiming “the terrorists who attack us have the same murderous intent as those in Paris”, saying that world leaders should condemn the “radical Islam” as effected by Palestinians.
[. . . . ]
___To compare the actions of ISIS with those of dispossessed Palestinians – who are resisting in an anti-colonial struggle against a brutal military occupation – is intentionally deceptive . . . .
More . . . 

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Bethlehem Wall Museum (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

STORIES FROM THE WALL MUSEUM 

All photographs are from the  WALL  MUSEUM  in Bethlehem, a section of the Apartheid Wall on which are posted statements by Palestinians about their personal experiences living under the Occupation. The display is a project  AEI-OPEN  WINDOWS,  an Arab-Palestinian NGO affiliated with Pax Christi International and established in Bethlehem in 1986 by a group of Palestinian educators. These photos are by Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015. The title of this post comes from the graffiti on the Wall.

FADED  DREAMS
I just finished my university and I have my degree to become a doctor. But that was not what I wanted to become in life. I wanted to become an artist and inspire people and tell the story of Palestine. But my parents didn’t see any future in that and I was forced to study medicine. Now I have my degree but there’s no work. I have lots of time now because I can’t find work. I decided to pick up my faded dream and work on my art. Finally I’m an artist.
BY  HANNA,  FROM  BETHLEHEM

FIRST  DREAM. . .  AND  THEN  THE  REST
Ruaa always dreamed of a world filled with love and compassion. She loved studying. Her father’s retirement payments got delayed. Her mother was determined to help her to stay in school and started selling fruits and herbs to help Ruaa pay for school. One day, Ruaa was wearing a slightly different uniform, so the principal told her she will be expelled if it happens again. When she arrived home, she saw her parents in the cold collecting plants to sell, and all she could do was cry. Ruaa promised herself to study and repay her parents for all the hardships they have gone through. She attended university and she is about to graduate now. She still dreams of the demise of the occupation, and to live in a beautiful world filled with love and tolerance. Since her first dream came true, she believes the rest can and will.
BY  LEYLA,  A  FRIEND  OF  RUAA,  FROM  AL-KHADER

GIVING  UP  ON  MY  FIRST  DREAMS
I finished last year of high school (tawjih) with a grade of 94 out of 100. At the time I aspired to study law to defend the rights of the Palestinian people, especially women’s rights. However, my parents didn’t let me study law. So, I decided I wanted to study nursing, but again my parents rejected the idea because of the work shifts I would sometimes be required to do, as they do not feel that it is appropriate for a woman to work at night. Finally I got frustrated and I gave up on my dreams. In the end, I studied social education because it is very disciplined, which is fitting for girls as it prepares students to be a teacher, and I like it. I believe I will be a successful teacher.
BY  RANEEN,  FROM  BETHLEHEM

AEI-OPEN WINDOWS Contact information:
info@aeicenter.org – tel-02-2744030

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The Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

“. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Afternoon sky over Sousia Bedouin Village, South Hebron Hills (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015).

❶ Palestinian Girl Shot Dead after Alleged Attack near Jerusalem Market
❷ New Jewish settlements planned ‘on top of’ Bedouin villages
❸ Providing settler terrorism with a tailwind
❹ 3 Palestinians & 1 Israeli Killed Sunday; 94 Palestinians Killed since 10/1 (List)
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Why Netanyahu used the Paris attacks to erroneously depict the latest ‘Intifada’ as a religious and ideological war
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  GIRL  SHOT  DEAD  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACK  NEAR  JERUSALEM  MARKET
Nov. 23, 2015
More . . .
SETTLER  RUNS  OVER,  SHOOTS  AND KILLS  16-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN  GIRL  IN  NABLUS
Nov. 22, 2015
More . . .
156  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  IN  WEST  BANK,  GAZA CLASHES [On Friday, Nov. 20]
Nov. 20, 2015
More . . . 
SETTLER  SHOOTS  DEAD  2ND  PALESTINIAN  FOLLOWING  ALLEGED  ATTACK  ATTEMPT
Nov. 22, 2015
More . . .
SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  HEBRON
Nov. 22, 2015
More . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
NEW  JEWISH  SETTLEMENTS  PLANNED  ‘ON  TOP  OF’  BEDOUIN  VILLAGES
Natasha Roth
Nov. 23, 2015
The Israeli government on Sunday approved a plan for five new Jewish settlements to be built in the Negev (Naqab) in the south of Israel. The plan, which was submitted by Housing Minister Yoav Galant of Kulanu, threatens to displace thousands of Bedouin from their homes.
___Two of the settlements are due to be built where Bedouin villages already exist, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The new town of Daya is to be established on top of the unrecognized village of Katamat, which would displace its 1,500 Bedouin residents. Neve Gurion, meanwhile, is meant to be built on part of the land of the recognized village of Be’er Hadaj, home to 6,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel.
More . . . 

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A man from the Zanoun family sits on the ruins of his house in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Wadi Al Na’am a few hours after it was demolished by Israeli authorities, Negev, May 18, 2014. Wadi Al-Na’am is the largest unrecognized village in Israel, with about 13,000 inhabitants, most of whom are internally displaced from elsewhere in Israel. The village is not connected to electricity. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

+972 MAGAZINE
PROVIDING  SETTLER  TERRORISM  WITH  A  TAILWIND
Yossi Gurvitz
Nov. 21, 2015
The case of the Givat Ze’ev synagogue combines almost all of the ills of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. Last week we witnessed a new low, when the High Court of Justice dealt with a request that has sadly become all-too-common: to rescind, through postponement, its own verdict. This was a cowardly and audacious request by the police, to which the court acceded. How did we get here?
___Let’s begin with the legal picture. On July 31st, 2014 the High Court ruled that an illegally-built synagogue in Givat Ze’ev is to be demolished, as it was built on private Palestinian land belonging to Rabah Abdallatif. In plain words: Israeli civilians stole and built a synagogue on it.
More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
3  PALESTINIANS  &  1  ISRAELI  KILLED  SUNDAY;  94  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  SINCE  10/1  (LIST)
Nov. 23, 2015
Three Palestinians, including a 16-year old girl, were shot and killed by Israelis on Sunday. All three were accused of ‘having a knife’, but in two of the three killings, eyewitnesses contradicted the Israeli military’s account that the person killed ‘had a knife’
___In the latest numbers on injuries, from this past Friday, November 20th, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported that more than 10,000 Palestinians were injured since October 1st, including at least 1458 who were shot with live army fire, and 1070 shot with rubber-coated steel bullets.
___The Ministry also said that 300 Palestinians suffered fractures and bruises after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers in the West Bank, in addition to 26 Palestinians who suffered burns due to Israeli gas bombs and concussion grenades, while 6400 Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
WHY  NETANYAHU  USED  THE  PARIS  ATTACKS  TO  ERRONEOUSLY  DEPICT  THE  LATEST  ‘INTIFADA’  AS  A  RELIGIOUS  AND  IDEOLOGICAL  WAR
Megan Hanna
Nov. 23, 2015
The sirens had barely stopped wailing before commentators started exploiting the terror attacks in Paris on Friday 13th November, twisting the horrific event to serve a range of varying political agendas. A coordinated group of gunmen associated with ISIS carried out separate attacks in the French capital, leading to the deaths of at least 129 people. While most of the world mourned in respectful grief, an opportunistic few used the event to begin speaking about issues as varied as climate change, anti-immigration and unrest in the Middle East.
___Given his tendency for making tenuous connections between Israel’s plight and disparate foreign events, it’s no surprise that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of the first to climb up on France’s bloodied bandwagon to make hasty links between Paris and present-day Israel.
More . . .

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH AL-QASIM

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 tree 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 street walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive!

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.

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From Sousia Village looking across valley to encroaching Jewish settlement (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

 

“. . . the air is filled with the fingers of nothingness . . .” (Dalia Taha)

Dalia Taha - Photo El Kaoutit
Dalia Taha – Photo El Kaoutit

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZA MINISTRY DEPLOYS HAMAS SECURITY FORCES AT EGYPT BORDER
July 1, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip deployed forces along the border with Egypt on Wednesday after attacks in Sinai by militants affiliated with the Islamic State killed over 70 people.
____Iyad al-Buzem, spokesman of the ministry, said security forces and patrols were deployed along the southern border to maintain security and stability.
____At least 70 people, mostly Egyptian soldiers but also civilians, were killed in attacks and ongoing clashes with Islamic State group militants in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, officials said.
(More. . .)

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ISIS CALLS HAMAS ‘APOSTATES’, PLEDGES TO FIGHT THEM IN GAZA
July 1, 2015
ISIS called Hamas members “apostates” and pledged to creep into Gaza to fight them and force them out soon, the Jordanian Al-Sabeel newspaper reported yesterday.
____A video message entitled “To our People in Bayt Al-Maqdis”, a group of ISIS members can be seen leaving Gaza and arrived in the “governorate of Aleppo”. They claim they impose Sharia Law, but “Hamas idols are ruling Gaza based on democracy”.
(More. . .)

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Yousuf Al-Qaradawi

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
AL-QARADAWI CALLS FOR LIFTING SIEGE ON GAZA, HAILS FREEDOM FLOTILLA ACTIVISTS
July 1, 2015
Chairman of the Global Union for Muslim Scholars yesterday called for lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and hailed the participants in the Freedom Flotilla including former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki.
____In a statement posted on Facebook, Yousef Al-Qaradawi called for lifting the siege and starting rebuilding projects.
____”Despite the widespread oppression, there are free people around the globe who challenge the oppressors and defend the oppressed,” Al-Qaradawi said. “They do not care about their suffering to achieve their goals.”
(More. . .)
About Yousef Al-Qaradawi

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
BELGIUM TO SUPPORT PALESTINIAN PRISONERS
July 1, 2015
BRUSSELS, (PIC)– The Belgian parliament decided to urgently intervene and put pressure for the release of the Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, ending violations against them and forming parliament committees to seek the truth on their detention conditions.
____In a special session on the issue of Palestinian captives on Wednesday, the parliament said the decision came in the wake of a detailed Palestinian report filed to the Belgian parliament on detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners as well as the Israeli violations of the international law and conventions.
(More. . .)

Opinion
From THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
THE RISING TIDES OF 21ST-CENTURY MIDDLE EASTERN AND ARABIC LITERARY VOICES
Daphne Muse
[. . . .]
____ In 1970, my literary horizons were expanded exponentially, when, in an act of solidarity, Drum and Spear Press, Inc. published Enemy of the Sun: Poetry of Palestinian Resistance, edited by Naseer Aruri and Edmund Ghareeb. Included were the piercing, magnificent, and emerging voices of twelve Palestinian poets living in the diaspora and Israel. Mostly written during and after the 1967 Six Day War, the poems reflect the angst and awe of Palestinian life and culture that were emerging at the time.
(More. . .)
Daphne Muse is a writer, social commentator, and poet. Her work appears in This Week in Palestine and The Atlantic, and has aired on NPR. Her Blog.

“FACE,” BY DALIA TAHA
A sky fell into
the braid
of the little girl who was killed.
Her face
is a wind in the shadows
of the garden,
blowing without colour
or blushing
when the air rushes through.

As if she knew,
when the jackals emerged
from her shadow and the river widened
in the disappointment
of whiteness.

As if she knew, when the sparrows
ate her eyes
and the sidewalk walked
in her blood.

The woman treads on dead
jasmine, searching
the minutes
for her hand.
She hides half her face,
and the air is filled with
the fingers of nothingness.

She pokes a hole in the poem
so the sidewalks can
wander into it.

The little girl’s hand withers and her blood
slumbers in
the lake.
When God passed over
her name,
she buried her hands in the heights of the jasmine
and covered her nakedness
with the corpses of the invaders.
―Translated by Allison Blecker

From Banipal 45: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature. Winter 2012. WWW.banipal.co.uk

Dalia Taha is a Palestinian poet and playwright. She was born in Berlin 1986 but grew up in Ramallah-Palestine. Her first play “Keffiyeh/Made in China” was produced by the Flemish Royal Theater [and] was premiered in Brussels in 2012, then brought to Palestine where it toured 7 Palestinian cities across the west bank. The play was given a staged reading in July 2013 at the Mosaic room in London, as part of the Shubbak Festival: A window on contemporary Arab Culture. . . . In addition to plays, Dalia writes poetry and fiction. She has published two collections of poetry, and one novel. Her poems were translated into English, French, German, and Swedish.
(More. . .)
An Interview with Dalia Taha

Belgian Parliament
Belgian Parliament