“. . . what else can the light of heaven be . . .” (Reja-e Busailah)

Lydda_mosque_ii

Lydda (birthplace of Reja-e Busailah) mosque
after Operation Danny, July 1948
(Photo: Palmach archive Yiftach 3rd Battalion vol. 2 album).

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|   EGYPTIAN  SECURITY  DELEGATION  ARRIVES  IN  GAZA  STRIP  TO  ESTABLISH  THE  TRUCE
The Israeli Public Radio said, on Wednesday, that an Egyptian security delegation will arrive in the Gaza Strip on Thursday for talks aimed at stabilizing the ceasefire and discussing ways to improve the living conditions in the Gaza Strip.    ___The radio added that the delegation would be headed by the official of the Palestinian file in the intelligence service, Ahmed Abdelkhaliq, and expected that some Hamas leaders would go to Egypt in the next few days.    ___Egyptian mediation between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli occupation succeeded in reestablishing the cease-fire in Gaza after an unprecedented round of escalation that began on Sunday and lasted about 48 hours.     More . . .
|   ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS
Israeli forces opened fire, on Friday, at Palestinian farmers working in their lands, east of the al-Qarrara town in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces stationed at the Kissufim military site opened fire at Palestinian farmers for unknown reasons.    ___The farmers left their lands in fear for their lives. . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  SUFFOCATION  CASES  AMONG  PROTESTERS  NEAR  RAMALLAH  [RAS  KARKAR  VILLAGE]
. . . . Related  GAZA  FISHERMAN  SHOT,  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  NAVY
|
  UN  SPECIAL  RAPPORTEURS  GIVE  ISRAEL  60  DAYS  TO  RESPOND  TO  ‘DEEP  CONCERNS’  REGARDING  JEWISH  NATION-STATE  LAW
Following a special request for action issued by  ADALAH – THE  LEGAL  CENTER  FOR  ARAB  MINORITY  RIGHTS  IN  ISRAEL, four United Nations special rapporteurs have given Israel a 60-day deadline to respond to their grave concerns regarding the Jewish Nation-State Law, adopted by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on July 19.    ___The 60-day period began on November 2 when [the four UN officials] sent a communiqué to Israeli authorities expressing deep concerns regarding the impact of the new law.    ___In their letter, special rapporteurs expressed “deep concern” that Israeli Basic Law appears “to be discriminatory in nature and in practice against non-Jewish citizens” . . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  KUWAIT  TRANSFERS  $42  MILLION  TO  UNRWA
. . . . Related  WORLD  BANK  WILL  CONTINUE  TO  PROVIDE  BUDGET  SUPPORT  TO  PA
. . . . Related  DIRECTOR  OF  GENEVA  CENTER  CALLS  FOR  ENDORSEMENT  OF  2018  WORLD  CONFERENCE  DECLARATION
. . . . Related  CZECH  REPUBLIC  TO  CONTRIBUTE  OVER  €200,000  TO  UNRWA

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|   SUSTAINING  CYCLES  OF  ISRAELI  AGGRESSION  IN  GAZA 
Ramona Wadi
It is time, once again, for the hyphenated “Israel-Gaza” paradigm – an invention that suits mainstream narratives. As the media mulls the possibilities of another Israeli military aggression against Palestinians in Gaza . . .   since “Operation Protective Edge”, Israel regularly hinted at another, definite round of violence to eliminate Hamas . . .  inflicting a high percentage of collateral damage.    ___As speculation mounts amid reports of airstrikes and rocket fire; the latter enhanced through numbers that purposely render Israeli violence a purported retaliation, Israel is assured of an audience that is ready to absorb whatever trajectory it decides upon . . .    [. . . .] Yet, in terms of media depiction, there is already a premeditated slant . . .  Rocket fire is the subject of statistics while airstrikes imparted as an acceptable method of containment. The concept of involvement and, as a result, violence, is shifted upon Hamas, as opposed to the Israeli incursion in Gaza which the resistance had every right to disrupt.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|   AWARDS  SEASON  LAUNCHED  AT  MEMO’S  PALESTINIAN  LITERARY  EVENT
A packed audience hall gathered in London this evening [November 15, 2018] to listen to some of the  PALESTINE  BOOK  AWARD’S  shortlisted authors discuss their works ahead of the winners’ announcement tomorrow evening.    ___Tonight three of the shortlisted authors: Tareq Baconi, author of “Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance”; Maha Nassar, author of “Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World”; and  REJA-E  BUSAILAH,  author of “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.    ___The evening was chaired by Victoria Brittain and Ibrahim Darwish, two trustees of the Palestine Book Awards. Brittain opened the evening by reflecting on how the Awards are now in their seventh year, adding that when the event started back in 2011 she could not have expected the level of support there has been from publishers, authors and the general public.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“IN  THE  SHADOW  OF  THE  HOLY  HEIGHTS”  BY  REJA-E  BUSAILAH 

  •                 for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis
    at the age of 25, near Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the 
Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them

Reja-e Busailah has been blind since infancy. At age 7, he and his family were forced marched by Zionist forces from their home in Lydda into exile. He was educated in Cairo and earned a PhD in English from New York University. He is the author of a collection of poetry, “We Are Human,” (1985). He taught at Indiana University for 30 years and is now retired. He recently published his memoir “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.”

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

“. . . his wounds Proclaim his testament of love and suffering . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Mitzpe_KramimOn Tuesday, 3 July 2018, the State . . .  informed the court that
it agreed that the land [Mitzpe Kramim] , which is privately
owned by Palestinians, would be transferred to the settlers
who invaded it.  (Photo: Peace Now, July 7, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .Israel

MOH:  93  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTEST 
Almost 100 Palestinians suffered injuries at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday, as protesters participated in the naval march setting off from the Gaza seaport against the nearly 12-year Israeli siege.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 93 Palestinians were injured, including 37 injured by Israeli live ammunition.    ___Israeli forces opened fire directly targeting medical crews and ambulances that attempted to reach the area to provide aid to those injured.    More . . .
. . . Related  In video – Israeli forces assault, injure Jerusalemite youths
. . . Related  Israeli forces injure Palestinians in Hebron clashes
. . . Related  Israeli forces attack West Bank protests against Israel’s Nation-State Law, injuries reported
. . . Related  ADALAH:  ‘ISRAELI  SNIPERS  CONTINUE  TO  TARGET  UNARMED  PALESTINIANS’
IOF  KIDNAPS  21  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  CAMPAIGNS
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday arrested 21 Palestinians during large-scale campaigns in the West Bank.   ___The Israeli occupation army said in a statement that 21 “wanted” Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday for being involved in popular resistance activities against Israeli targets.   ___The IOF at daybreak carried out raid and search campaigns against Palestinian houses in Tulkarem, Occupied Jerusalem, al-Khalil, and Jenin.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

IT  IS  NOT  UP  TO  THE  UN  TO  DETERMINE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  AND  NARRATIVES       
The Great Return March protests in the Gaza Strip have provided the foundations for Palestinians from which they can articulate their demands, away from the political bickering, opportunism and exploitation which has rendered the people dependent solely on their own determination to survive.    [. . . .] Two recent statements by UN officials testify to the international community’s refusal to recognise the latter.       ___The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA) has diluted the ongoing Palestinian protests to a reflection over “increasing frustration over worsening conditions of daily life . . .      ___To mark the International Day of Non-Violence, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the implementation of Gandhi’s non-violent approach. “At the United Nations,” he explained, “a world free of violence – and the resolution of differences through non-violent means – is at the core of our work.”    ___Both UN statements are replete with omissions.   More . . .
. . . Related  Israel’s Stranglehold on Area C: Development as Resistance
REPORT:  WIDE  COOPERATION  BETWEEN  ISRAELI  JUDICIAL  SYSTEM  AND  BANKS  IN  FAVOR  OF  SETTLEMENTS 
The National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlement said that the Israeli army [is] involved in the crime of forging the Palestinian documents which prove their ownership of the land, but also confiscate and allocate those lands for settlement purposes. The Jerusalem District Court issued a ruling last month alleging that the Mitzpeh Kramim outpost northeast of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank was built on settler land.    ___The occupation authorities claimed before the court at the time that they had handed over the land to the “Settlement Brigade” by mistake. . .  The court decided at the time not to continue construction work in the settlement outpost, but the Supreme Court’s decision did not prevent the “the Brigade” from continuing settlement activities, and providing banks with documentation to enable settlers to obtain housing loans.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil. 

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.

“. . . men are pained by long memories . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

IMG_3195 - Copy
Palestinian orchards seen from Tent of Nations farm near Bethlehem. Photo, Harold Knight, November 6, 2015.

[Note: Please see the page “Other Sources” for a list of the sources used that are not specifically “news” sites, the location of many of the opinion pieces here.] 

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY 

ISRAEL  REJECTS  UN  PROPOSALS  TO  PROTECT  PALESTINIANS   Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, condemned the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ report on improving Palestinian protection in the occupied territories.   ___Danny Danon spoke on behalf of Israel and announced Israel’s rejection of the report presented by Guterres on Friday.   More.
ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  FIRE  AT  GAZA  FLOTILLA     Israeli naval forces opened fire at dozens of Gaza flotilla boats that set sail on Saturday from the besieged Gaza Strip port in attempt to break the maritime blockade imposed by Israel.   ___According to local sources, Israeli naval forces opened fire a while after five boats of the Gaza flotilla set sail towards the northern borders of Gaza to break the nearly 12-year siege.   More.
ISRAEL  ARRESTS  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALIST  FOR  FILMING  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS     A Palestinian journalist has been arrested by Israeli authorities for filming soldiers operating in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Facebook Live. They claim he was inciting violence against Israel and the army.   ___Ali Dar Ali live-streamed two videos on Facebook on Tuesday morning, which showed Israeli soldiers . . . drawing up a plan of a Palestinian home, a procedure typically done before demolishing a building, according to Gaza-based journalist Hind Khoudary.   More.
IRISH  TOWN  TO  TWIN  WITH  BEIT  SAHOUR  A town in Ireland has completed the first step towards twinning with Beit Sahour in the occupied West Bank.   ___Kerry County Council has passed unopposed a motion to link Tralee, in County Kerry, with the Palestinian municipality.   ___Councilor Pa Daly of the Sinn Fein political party, who proposed the motion, said that he had the idea of twinning with a Palestinian town after the killing of more than 60 Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces on Nakba Day.  More.

COMMENTARY  AND  OPINION

‘FARMER  TERRORISM’  IS  THE  NEW  SLOGAN  FOR  JEWISH  SETTLERS
Ramona Wadi
In less than three months, Jewish settlers have destroyed over 2,000 trees and grapevines in the occupied West Bank. Rights group B’Tselem has issued a detailed report on this destruction, including testimony from Palestinian farmers. Bales of hay and barley fields were also destroyed. The destruction wrought by Israel’s settler-colonists equates Palestinian agriculture to terrorism; slogans sprayed on Palestinian property following the destruction included “No to farmer terrorism”.   ___The personal testimonies show that Israel has once again refused to act in order to deter settler violence against Palestinians and their land.  More.

JEWISH  NATION-STATE  LAW:  WHY  ISRAEL  WAS  NEVER  A  DEMOCRACY
Ramzy Baroud 
The head of the Arab Joint List Alliance at the Israeli Knesset, Aymen Odeh, described the passing of the racist Jewish Nation-state Law as “the death of our democracy.”    ___Did Odeh truly believe that, prior to this law, he had lived in a true democracy? 70 years of Israeli Jewish supremacy, genocide, ethnic cleansing, wars, sieges, mass incarceration, numerous discriminatory laws, all aimed at the very destruction of the Palestinian people should have given enough clues that Israel was never a democracy, to begin with.   ___The Jewish Nation-state Law is merely the icing on the cake. It simply gave those who argued, all along, that Israel’s attempt at combining democracy with ethnic supremacy was racism masquerading as democracy, the munition they needed to further illustrate the point.   More.

WHY  WE  CONTINUE  TO  MARCH  IN  GAZA
Abdalrahim Alfarra
I was sitting behind my desk in my family’s supermarket in Khan Younis on 14 May when my cousin Ali approached.     ___There was going to be another gathering in al-Faraheen for that day’s Great March of Return protest, he said. Would I join him?  [Abdalrahim continues with an account of his cousin’s shooting by Israeli soldiers.]
___For Ali and myself, the Great March of Return was a dream. Here we were, Palestinians, together, all calling for the right of refugees to return to their homes and lands from where they were expelled by Zionist forces in 1948. All of us, together, were demanding the lifting of Israel’s blockade on Gaza, now in its 11th year. We were united against the US embassy move to Jerusalem.   ___I was most motivated by the need for the rest of the world to see the protests from a Gazan perspective. There aren’t enough activists here who can tell our story in English to people abroad and reveal how Israel’s terror and inhumanity impact our lives.  More.

“SAND  AND  TEARS,”  by  Ramzy  Baroud
No water here, no humanity either;
only footprints our mothers made
crossing the Sahel into Gaza where
men are pained by long memories,
and women plot their return to die.

Wind, weeping all night, made my
eyes dry, yet when I saw yours
I remembered my name, and I was
determined to reach out for
the moon and ride her back to the

Beginning of our dreams, my hand
trembling in your firm grasp,
above the last dune where my
desert abruptly ends
and yours maps out a continent.
— For a refugee from Mali

—From I Remember My Name, Novum Pro Books, 2016.

“. . . In Gaza, There is no legacy under the rubble . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

[Note: Please see the page “Other Sources” for a list of the sources used that are not specifically “news” sites, the location of many of the opinion pieces here.]

IMG_3038 (1)
The Apartheid Wall, Shuafat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem. Photo, Harold Knight, November 5, 2015.

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY

2  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  270  OTHERS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS.
Two Palestinians were killed and 270 others were injured by Israeli forces alongside the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip during the 21st Friday of “The Great March of Return” under the slogan “Revolution for Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa.”  More.
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM. A Palestinian youth was killed after being shot by Israeli forces under the pretext of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.  More.
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHUT  DOWN  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  COMPOUND.  Israeli forces have shut down the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following an alleged stabbing attempt by a Palestinian on a group of Israeli policemen in Jerusalem’s Old City.   ___The attacker, a 30-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel from the town of Umm al-Faham, was shot dead by the Israeli forces. . . .  More.

OPINION AND COMMENTARY

AS  ISRAEL  ENSHRINES  JEWISH  SUPERIORITY,  WHAT’S  NEXT  FOR  ITS  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS?
Henriette Chacar (August 15, 2018)
. . . the Jewish Nation-State Law, which enshrined a superior set of rights for Jewish Israelis last month, and the direction in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government is headed.  . . . . ___ Members of the Palestinian community in Israel launched a campaign to repeal the law — headed by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee — an umbrella organization that represents the country’s Arabs, which make up 20 percent of Israel’s population. Tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens, together with Jewish supporters, demonstrated against the law in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square over the weekend, a week after the Druze community held their own mass protest in the same square.  More.

THE  DRUZE  AND  THE  NATION-STATE  BILL.
Yara Hawari (August 16, 2018)
The passing of the “nation-state” bill last month, affirming the Israeli state’s Jewish character and downgrading the Arabic language, has reignited a conversation among the Palestinian citizens of Israel especially with regards to their precarious position within the state. In particular, it has sparked intense conversations among the Palestinian Druze community in Israel. In addition to several resignations from Druze officers currently serving in the Israeli military.   More.

ONE  STATE:  A  VIEW  FROM  GAZA
Ahmed Abu Artema  (August 17, 2018)
There are those who believe that Israel’s recently-passed Nation-State Law represents a failure of the one-state option, as it formalizes the exclusively Jewish nature of the dominant state in Palestine and with it, the disenfranchisement of the non-Jewish population.   ___The new law could also be viewed, however, as betraying a fear on the part of the occupying power that the de facto imposition of one state on the ground holds within it the seeds of the dismantling of the colonial project from the inside. Seen in this way, all of the decisions, laws and actions taken by the occupying power to insist upon the specifically Jewish character of the state are but desperate attempts to go against history and legitimize an order that is both unfair and unsustainable.  More.

INTERVIEW:  BENJAMIN  LADRAA:  ‘YOU  DON’T  HAVE  TO  BE  PALESTINIAN  TO  CARE  ABOUT  THE  INJUSTICE  IN  PALESTINE’.
(August 18, 2018)
Benjamin Ladraa is a Swedish human rights activist, who walked 4,800 km through 13 countries over a span of 11 months to raise awareness about the Palestinian cause.   ___Ma’an News Agency interviewed Ladraa after Israeli authorities banned him from entering Palestine upon his arrival at the Allenby Bridge, the Jordanian-Palestinian borders, in July.   Video.

“CEASEFIRE,” by  Jehan Bseiso.

Little men, cross legged, trade war stories like boys trade baseball cards.

These are times ripe and full with want and promise never fulfilled.

This much is true:
Lost boys become lost men.

Too much water, too much blood dilutes history and
We always end up with less than what we started.

In Gaza,
There is no legacy under the rubble, no pride in long fires
Burning.

There is a face at the window, sallow.

One woman sighing, her body bears the marks of all their trudging,
thighs transformed to gallows and trenches.

Her hair shrouds the dead from both sides and her lap
cradles aporias generations can’t understand.

—from I Remember My Name. Novum Pro Publishers. 2016.