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

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Mosque, house demolished in south of West Bank

WAFA
September 2, 2019
The Israeli military authorities demolished today a mosque and a house in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to local sources.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli army units used a bulldozer to destroy al-Ummah mosque in Jabal Jouhar south of Hebron city. The demolition included a water well used by the mosque, reported the head of the Hebron Waqf department Jamal Abu Arram, who said that the demolition came as a surprise to them and without a prior warning.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Waqf officials described the demolition of the mosque as an aggression against Muslim holy places ˙ and a provocation, as well as a crime against the right of Muslims to worship.   More . . . .

MoE: School demolition threats will never break the will of resistance & education

Palestine News Network
September 2, 2019
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in a statement on Monday said that the ongoing Occupation violations against Palestinian educational institutions will not break the will of resistance education, pointing out that the policy of notifying schools of demolition and stopping schools’ construction and confiscating their properties will not discourage our determination from educating generations and raising children with national and humanitarian values.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This comes as IOF handed a demolition threat to Ibzeeq School “Tahaddi 10,” in Tubas, ordering the School to remove the fence surrounding it. This step comes in the context of systematic and continuous attacks against the school, which was previously demolished under false military pretexts. More . . . .

IOF arrest university lecturer from Ramallah

Palestine News Network
September 1, 2019
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday morning launched a raid and arrest campaign in the West Bank, where they arrested four Palestinians including a university lecturer.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The detainees included a media lecturer at Birzeit University, Widad Barghouti (mother of the two prisoners Qassam and Carmel Barghouti) from Kobar village north of Ramallah.  More . . . .  

Palestinians slam Netanyahu pledge to annex West Bank settlements

Aljazeera
September 2, 2019
Palestinian officials denounce Israel PM’s reiterated pledge to annex occupied West Bank settlements as ‘unacceptable’.
Palestinian officials have denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reiteration of a pledge to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, warning such a move would not lead to “any peace”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Netanyahu’s announcement on Sunday was a “continuation of attempts to create an unacceptable fait accompli”.   More . . .

  • Knesset speaker: Netanyahu’s West Bank vow not merely election rhetoric
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 2, 2019
    Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex West Bank settlements is not merely an election campaign promise, but a real plan.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Speaking to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Edelstein – a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party – claimed that the movement to annex West Bank territory has made significant gains in recent years.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “For about a decade we have longed for sovereignty,” Edelstein said, using the language preferred by the Israeli right for annexation, “and have made significant progress”.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “From a situation in which a minister who referred to the idea of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] was considered delusional, we have reached a position where Netanyahu’s statement is taken for granted and legitimate,” the long-time Likud lawmaker added.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“HOLY LANDERS,” by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas [USA]

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.

They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!

Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.

Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead,
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

From Before There Is Nowhere to Stand. Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press, 2012.

“. . . in the street there’s nothing but a beggar . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Merkel, Abbas Meet for Talks in Berlin

Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper
August 29, 2019
Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany continues to believe a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinian is the only way for both peoples “to live in peace and security.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Merkel stressed her support for a two-state solution ahead of talks Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Chancellery in Berlin.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Close Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim Worshippers

The Middle East Monitor
 August 29, 2019
Israeli forces today closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers for 24 hours, in preparation for a Jewish settlers raid to mark a Jewish holiday, said a Waqf official.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Director of the Hebron Waqf Directorate’s Public Relations Department Raed Maswadeh told WAFA that Israeli soldiers closed the mosque to Muslim worshipers, while they allowed Jewish settlers to access it. Maswadeh added that the settlers also set up tents just outside the mosque.    More . . . .

  • In Hebron, Tlaib and Omar would have seen Israel’s apartheid city

    +972 Magazine
    By Avner Gvaryahu
    August 28, 2019
    Had Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar been allowed to visit Hebron, they would have seen Israel’s official policy of discrimination and segregation for the city’s 215,000 Palestinian residents.
    Outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron lies a beautiful leafy garden. In it stands a large stone with the names of the donors – Chicago Friends of Hebron. Even if U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib had not been barred from visiting the occupied territories earlier this month, Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization comprised of former IDF soldiers working to expose the realities of military occupation, would not have been able to take them there. Since Omar and Tlaib are both Muslim, they not only would have been unwelcome — Israeli Border Police soldiers stationed around the park would have stopped them from entering.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Discrimination and segregation are unpalatable wherever they exist, but in Hebron’s city center, they have been the official policy for the 215,000 Palestinian residents – especially since the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre in 1994, in which a Jewish nationalist fanatic shot dead 29 Palestinians while praying at the holy site.   More . . . .     

Israeli Colonists Invade Archaeological Site Near Nablus

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 29, 2019
A group of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers, accompanied by many soldiers invaded, on Wednesday evening, the archeological area in al-Mas’udiyya, north of Nablus, in northern West Bank, and prevented the Palestinians from entering it.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said dozens of colonists and soldiers invaded the archeological area, and its park, in al- Mas’udiyya.   More. . . .

Israeli Troops Abduct Two Married Couples, Journalist in Early Morning Raids

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 29, 2019
Early Thursday morning before dawn, Israeli troops invaded several parts of the West Bank and abducted five Palestinians — two married couples from Jerusalem, and a photojournalist from the village of Ni’lin.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, Israeli forces abducted on Thursday two Palestinian citizens and their wives from the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“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 there’s nothing but a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive!

From A LOVER FROM PALESTINE AND OTHER POEMS, An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. ed. Abdul Wahab al-Messiri, Free Palestine Press, Washington D.C. 1970.

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

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

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

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

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

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

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

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

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .   

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

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

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

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

 

“. . . Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Islamic Waqf says decision not to enter Al-Aqsa through metal gates final
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli police injure dozens of worshipers denouncing security measures at Al-Aqsa
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Rally in Rabat [Morocco] in support of al-Aqsa
❷ Opinion/Analysis: Aqsa shooting attack: Security blow to Israeli occupation
❸ A letter from Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISLAMIC  WAQF  SAYS  DECISION  NOT  TO  ENTER  AL-AQSA  THROUGH  METAL  GATES  FINAL
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
July 18, 2017.   The Islamic Waqf (Endowment), which is in charge of Al-Aqsa Mosque, said Tuesday it was adamant about its decision not to encourage Muslim worshippers to enter the holy compound passing through the newly installed metal detectors.
___General Director of the Jordanian-run Islamic Waqf, Azzam Khatib, said during a sit-in for Waqf officials and staff outside Bab al-Majlis (Al-Nather), one of the gates to Al-Aqsa compound, that Muslim worshipers should not accept the new Israeli police measures for entering the Muslim holy place.
___Police installed on Sunday metal detectors outside two gates to Al-Aqsa Mosque and prevented worshippers from entering the mosque without going through them. Muslims have rejected the Israeli measures and have been holding the daily prayer ritual outside the gates causing tension with the police that often end up with clashes.     MORE . . .    
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  POLICE  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  WORSHIPERS  DENOUNCING  SECURITY  MEASURES  AT  AL-AQSA  
Ma’an News Agency  
July 18, 2017.  Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Monday evening when Israeli forces violently dispersed Muslim worshipers who were performing the night-time Isha prayer in the streets outside of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to express their opposition to increased Israeli security measures at the holy site following a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
[. . . . ] The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service told Ma’an that its paramedics had treated more than 50 people who were injured by Israeli forces at Lions’ Gate.
___The Red Crescent said 16 Palestinians were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets, nine were wounded by shrapnel from stun grenades, and 25 sustained bruises after being beaten and kicked by Israeli forces.         MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) RALLY  IN  RABAT  [MOROCCO]  IN  SUPPORT  OF  AL-AQSA    
The Palestinian Information Center   
July 18, 2017.   Hundreds took part in a large demonstration held on Monday in the streets of the Moroccan capital in support of al-Aqsa Mosque and in protest against Israeli unprecedented restrictions against the third holiest site in Islam.
___The protesters chanted slogans calling for an end to “Israeli attacks on al-Aqsa and Israeli settlement expansion.”
___They also demanded a ban to all forms of normalization with Israel.     MORE . . .      
❷ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  AQSA  SHOOTING  ATTACK:  SECURITY  BLOW  TO  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION    

The Palestinian Information Center 
July 15, 2017.   With the Friday morning breeze, one hour after the dawn prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem, and as Muslim worshipers were reading the Quran, Palestinians were surprised by three young men carrying out a shooting attack at the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
[. . . .] Hamza Abu Shanab, an expert on Israeli affairs and a political analyst explained that the operation in Jerusalem constituted a qualitative shift in the resistance attacks, in terms of timing and place of implementation, noting that it emphasized the unity of the land and the Palestinian people geographically and in all places of existence.
___Abu Shanab said that the timing of the operation and its location dealt a security blow to the Israeli security apparatuses and army, especially in light of the procedures taken against Muslim worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.       MORE . . . 

❸  WELCOME:  A  LETTER  FROM  MAHMOUD  DARWISH    
The Electronic Intifada
17 July 2017

  • The renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was the first writer that the Palestine Festival of Literature approached with a request to be a Founding Patron. He accepted. He was due to speak at PalFest’s inaugural event in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah in May 2008 but medical reasons prevented him from attending. He sent a letter instead. Darwish passed away three months later in August.     [. . . .] Darwish’s letter appears online here for the first time.

[. . . .]   We are now in the 60th year of the Nakba. There are now those who are dancing on the graves of our dead, and who consider our Nakba their festival. But the Nakba is not a memory; it is an ongoing uprooting, filling Palestinians with dread for their very existence. The Nakba continues because the occupation continues. And the continued occupation means a continued war. This war that Israel wages against us is not a war to defend its existence, but a war to obliterate ours.
___The conflict is not between two “existences,” as the Israeli discourse claims. The Arabs have unanimously offered Israel a collective peace proposal in return for Israel’s recognition of the Palestinians’ right to an independent state. But Israel refuses.
[. . . .]  Life here, as you see, is not a given, it’s a daily miracle. Military barriers separate everything from everything. And everything – even the landscape – is temporary and vulnerable. Life here is less than life, it is an approaching death. And how ironic that the stepping up of oppression, of closures, of settlement expansion, of daily killings that have become routine – that all this takes place in the context of what is called the “peace process;” a process revolving in an empty circle, threatening to kill the very idea of peace in our suffering hearts.
___Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence. Here, on this slice of historic Palestine, two generations of Palestinians have been born and raised under occupation. They have never known another – normal – life. Their memories are filled with images of hell. They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope.    THE LETTER IN FULL . . .