“. . . Next to the great room we call our country . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ Palestinians across the West Bank, Jerusalem protest Trump’s decision
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Over 50 injured, 9 with live ammunition, in clashes across Palestinian territory
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli arrest campaign waged in anticipation of ‘day of rage’
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Israeli Soldiers Isolate Kufur Qaddoum
❷ Israel to construct 14,000 settlement units in Jerusalem

  • Background: “Divided We Rise: Politics, Architecture and Vertical Cityscapes at Opposite Ends of Jerusalem.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

❸ REACTIONS TO TRUMP’S DECISION
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIANS  ACROSS  THE  WEST  BANK,  JERUSALEM  PROTEST  TRUMP’S  DECISION  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem marched in protest of US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to move the US embassy.
___The protestors headed to Israeli checkpoints in several districts to express condemnation and rejection of the illegal move. In Ramallah district, hundreds gathered after the Friday prayer and marched to al-Bireh’s northern entrance, where clashes erupted with Israeli soldiers.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  OVER  50  INJURED,  9  WITH  LIVE  AMMUNITION,  IN  CLASHES  ACROSS  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY   
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 7, 2017 ― The number of injured Palestinians continues to climb on Thursday as clashes with Israeli forces continue to escalate across the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Palestinian and world leaders warned Trump against making the announcement, for fear of instability and violence across the region that is now expected to continue in the days to come.
___9 injured with live ammunition [. . . .]   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  ARREST  CAMPAIGN  WAGED  IN  ANTICIPATION  OF  ‘DAY  OF  RAGE’   
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 8, 2017 ― The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched at dawn Friday a large-scale raid and arrest campaign in West Bank and Jerusalem as Palestinians declare a day of rage over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Local sources affirmed that at least 16 Palestinian were detained in occupied Jerusalem, while ten others were arrested in Issawiya town after being brutally attacked.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶― (ᴄ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ISOLATE  KUFUR  QADDOUM 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC  
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Earlier Friday, dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded and isolated Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, ahead of the weekly protest against the Annexation Wall and colonies.
___The army stopped and searched dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians, while inspecting their ID cards.
___Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum, said the army is trying to prevent the Palestinians, along with Israeli and international peace activists, from marching.   MORE . . .
ISRAEL  TO  CONSTRUCT  14,000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  JERUSALEM
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Israeli government is considering pushing ahead with plans to build around new 14,000 settler units in the city.
___Under the plan, pursued by Israeli housing minister Yoav Galant, 5,000 units would be built in the northern parts of the city and just outside Ramallah, Israeli media reported Thursday night.
___There would be 1,000 units built in East Jerusalem, while the remaining 8,000 units were to be built in the city’s western neighborhoods.   MORE . . .

Rosen, Gillad and Igal Charney.
“DIVIDED  WE  RISE:  POLITICS,  ARCHITECTURE  AND  VERTICAL  CITYSCAPES  AT  OPPOSITE  ENDS  OF  JERUSALEM.”
TRANSACTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE OF BRITISH GEOGRAPHERS, vol. 41, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 163-174.
[. . . .] Since 1967 Palestinian East Jerusalem is to a large extent a construct of Israeli power and political domination. To strengthen control over annexed lands in East Jerusalem, Israel has been manipulating planning policies and procedures. . .  decisions are highly political and reflect the state’s power to . . .  determine what is acceptable and what is not, and direct which forms of informality will thrive and which will disappear.
___For almost 50 years, Israel has enforced a discriminatory planning regime that has systematically delegitimised Palestinian development rights, restricting the growth of Palestinian communities. Planning policies and practices in these areas have been largely subordinated to the ethno-national aspirations and geopolitical territorial claims of Israel, which have intentionally ignored the development needs of Palestinians. A Palestinian planning rights advocate explained this reality: ‘Palestinians do not exist for the Israeli planning system in Jerusalem . . . they are neither partners nor participants in planning agendas and procedures’, thus making them practically invisible to the Israeli planning authorities.
___Permissive approaches to tall-building development in West Jerusalem and in Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem make discrimination against Palestinians even blunter. It is nothing but preposterous to apply the anachronistic limit of four to six storeys to most Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem. . . .  As a planner from a human right advocacy group explained, this situation is actually ‘another tool of Israeli occupation which exploits and marginalises the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem’.   [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .    ..

REACTIONS  TO  TRUMP’S  DECISION
Arab League says Trump’s decision on Jerusalem inflames tension   MORE . . .    ..
Ambassador: EU will not transfer embassy to Jerusalem   MORE . . .    ..
Pakistan condemns US move, calls it violation of Security Council’s resolutions MORE . . .
South Africa: US Unilateral Decision Undermines Middle East Peace Process    MORE . . .
Norway warns of increased instability following Trump’s decision     MORE . . .
Abbas meets King Abdullah II to discuss Jerusalem developments     MORE . . .
‘If these decisions go into effect my life here will become like a prison’: Palestinians in Jerusalem respond to Trump    MORE . . .

“IN THE NEIGHBORING ROOM,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Next to
our nation’s bedroom,
Next to
the 5 a.m. orchestra, when
upright and in a hurry
the farm-worker goes out
and the 5 p.m. flute, when

bent and dumb
he comes back

Next to
the room of hope and despair,
the family prayers,
the silence of nurses
and the dry branch,
motionless on clean sheets

Next to
the poet’s room
where words are dogs
or birds:
with his stick
he drives the assaulting dogs away,
his hand opens
to throw barley to the birds
and he waits

Next to
the interrogation room
packed with the stupidity of screams
and the cunning
of the iron chains

Next to
the grandmother
squatting near the clay oven
watching the interaction between
a loaf of bread
and the flames

Next to
the maternity ward

He sits
with strong muscles
and tools and weapons
ready to help:
he thinks of us a lot
he looks after us
like an indispensable
head of the family

Next to
the great room we call our country

Death
stays up, active
for our sake.

From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.  A biographical essay about Mourid Barghouti.

“. . . historical memory encourages children to realize the relationship between the past and present . . .” (Janette Hibashi)

raghad
Raghad Nasrallah Sho’ani, 18, was released from Israeli prison today. (Photo: IMEMC News)

❶ Israel Releases A Wounded Young Woman After Four Months In Detention
. . . ― (a) Reaching a deal to sentence the children Farah and Za’tari for two years
❷ 3 Palestinians injured with live fire during clashes near Gaza border
. . . ❷ ― (a) Clashes In Kufur Qaddoum After Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Procession

  • Background: “Palestinian Children: Authors Of Collective Memory.” Children & Society.

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  RELEASES  A  WOUNDED  YOUNG  WOMAN  AFTER  FOUR  MONTHS  IN  DETENTION
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
November 12, 2016
The Israeli authorities released, Friday, Raghad Nasrallah Sho’ani, 18, after holding her captive for four months, following an Israeli court ruling, sentencing her to six-month suspended sentence for three years, and ordered her to play a 2000 Israeli Shekels fine.     ___Sho’ani was released at Jabara military roadblock, near Tulkarem, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, where her family and dozens of Palestinians waited to welcome her back home.
___Raghad was shot and injured by Israeli army fire prior to her abduction, four months ago, after the soldiers alleged that she intended to carry out a stabbing attack against then at the Qalandia military terminal, north of Jerusalem.
___After being shot with two live rounds in the thigh, the soldiers abducted her without providing her medical treatment, interrogated her, and later took her to a hospital. Raghad is from Kafr Aqab neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem.        More . . .  
. . . ― (A) REACHING  A  DEAL  TO  SENTENCE  THE  CHILDREN  FARAH  AND  ZA’TARI  FOR  TWO  YEARS     
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan     
Nov. 9, 2016
The lawyers (Mohammad Mahmoud and Lee’a Tsemel) of two Jerusalemite children accused of “possession of knives and attempt-murder” reached a deal with the public prosecution to sentence their clients for two years in which they will serve in internal institutions.
___The lawyers explained that they reached a deal with the public prosecution to sentence 13-year old Shadi Anwar Farah and 13-year old Ahmad Ra’ed Za’tari for two years in “Yarka” internal institution.      More . . .     

3  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  WITH  LIVE  FIRE  DURING  CLASHES  NEAR  GAZA  BORDER      
Ma’an News Agency   
Nov. 11, 2016
Three Palestinians were injured with live fire on Friday during clashes with Israeli forces along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
___Gaza’s Ministry of Health Spokesman Ashraf al-Qidrah said the three were moderately injured in clashes east of Gaza city, near the Nahal Oz border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
___Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have demonstrated near the border with Israel nearly every Friday to show solidarity with what Palestinians in Gaza have termed the “Jerusalem Intifada” taking place in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
___The so-called “buffer zone,” where the weekly protests have taken place, was unilaterally declared a “no-go-zone” by Israel in 2005.       More . . .  

youth
Palestinian youths hold Palestinian flags during a demonstration against the construction of the wall in Beit Jala near Bethlehem Mar. 4 2010. (Photo: Aljazeera)

. . . ❷ ― (A) CLASHES  IN  KUFUR  QADDOUM  AFTER  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ATTACK  THE  WEEKLY  PROCESSION      
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC         
November 12, 2016
Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, dozens of protesters in Kufur Qaddoum town, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqilia, as dozens marched during the weekly procession against the illegal Annexation Wall and colonies, and the continued closure of the town’s main road for the 14th consecutive year.       ___The protestors marched while waving Palestinian flags and carrying posters of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, commemorating the twelfth anniversary of his death, before the soldiers assaulted the procession, leading to clashes.   More. . .

  • Habashi, Janette. “Palestinian Children: Authors Of Collective Memory.” Children & Society 27.6 (2013): 421-433.    Source .  

[. . . .]   The ambiguity of articulating children’s memory is enforced by nation-states’ discourse. Nation-states invest in the protection and safety of children while simultaneously promoting particular collective memory. Citizenship education, reciting national anthems and exposure to history curricula contribute to the creation of a singular collective memory and national discourse. However, this may not be the case in war-like situations where family narratives and local street politics influence the larger national discourse.
[. . . .]    Palestinian children witness current political situations, thus enabling them to express issues that are consequential in forming Palestinian history. In this era, children as third and fourth generation refugees are impacted by Israeli occupation . . .  yet participants experienced moments of freedom through political knowledge and education. The contemporary history arises in the children’s comprehension  of paradoxes within their experiences and in their relationship to preceding generations. Palestinian children’s testimonies, concerning history . . .   is framed with their ability to see the relationship between the history of previous generations and Israeli occupation . . . The concept of historical memory encourage[s] children to realise the relationship between the past and present and enable[s] them to identify individuals’ roles in collective memory  Children speculated on the transformation of the future based on their co-construction of contemporary Palestinian history and their understanding of collective memory: the past and present are profoundly integrated into the future. Children perceived themselves as keepers, carriers, agents and co-authors of future history.
[. . . .]  The involvement of children’s historical agency profoundly coincides with individual and collective experiences that express themselves in three capacities. First, children . . . identify political crises in the context of history and Israeli occupation, which echoes past experiences. Second, [they] perceived themselves as making history by resisting Israeli authority through education, throwing stones and defying the Israeli prediction that Palestinians would forget their past. . .  Third . . . they also imagined life before a critical time in history (1948) . . . that their present anguish had a historical foundation, and that hope for the future depended on the discontinuation of the current political situation . . . the children of the second, third and fourth generations of Palestinians, unlike the first generation, attempt to transform their life experience in refugee camps and co-author historical narratives through the understanding of collective memories as well as through certain acts that can be characterised as moments of ‘freedom’ or perhaps even political rebellion. . . .

“. . . Whenever a child’s voice goes silent . . .” (Maya Abu Al-Hayyat)

proststhesis
AL Jaad 6 years old at the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City. He lost his right leg when an Israeli tank shell hit his home 2014. (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/Getty Images)

❶ Five days, four children shot dead

  • Background from Third World Quarterly

❷ Israeli soldiers attack the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum
❸ ANALYSIS: Israel left me with half a body
❹ POETRY by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  FIVE  DAYS,  FOUR  CHILDREN  SHOT  DEAD
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
Sep. 22, 2016
Israeli forces shot dead four Palestinian children in Hebron, during the most concentrated period of deadly violence in the West Bank since June.
___In separate incidents between September 16 and September 20, four Palestinian teenagers were fatally shot by Israeli soldiers in Hebron. Seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers in less than a week, marking the highest concentration of Palestinian deaths since June, when three Palestinians were killed in under 48 hours, according to Ma’an News Agency. Earlier this month, another child, Abdul-Rahman Dabbagh, was shot dead by an Israeli soldier in Gaza.
___“International law requires that intentional lethal force is only used when lesser means would be insufficient to apprehend a suspect,” said Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer at DCIP. “Recent evidence suggests that Israeli forces are implementing a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy, yet systemic impunity is normal and accountability extremely rare.”     MORE . . . 

  • Dossa, Shiraz. “Auschwitz’s Finale: Racism and Holocausts.” Third World Quarterly 33.9 (2012): 1575-1593.   SOURCE.

It was clear to [Hannah] Arendt that Israel was crafting a new ‘regime of truth’. . . who can say ‘what counts as true’. This rhetoric has become a real presence in the West. It has metastasised into a global truth and it controls much of the narrative on Muslims. Western foreign policy is substantially based on this ‘truth’. . .  The disdain for Palestinians flows from it as well. Any opposition to it is labelled anti-Semitic (as in hating Jews); resistance in Occupied Palestine is quelled by F16s and military invasions. The West sells this as stability and peace. To reject it is to rebuff human rights, freedom and democracy.
___. . . . Hating Arabs is normal and calling Palestinians the new Nazis obligatory. Loving Israel is a sign of tolerance, opposing its policies is ‘terrorism’. So is being Muslim, since Islam is deemed violent by nature. Critics of the Jewish/Israel lobby are branded ‘hateful’. Arendt understood that the Zionist settlers in Palestine had pioneered this logic: ‘they did not even to stop to think of the very existence of Arabs’. . .
[. . . .]
The ‘uniqueness’ of the Holocaust flows from Ashkenazi pride in their racial superiority. Its corollary is not denied but defended: non-Jews count for very little, which can be traced back to the Old Testament thesis on the acceptability of the Canaanite genocide because Yahweh willed it . . .  It is evident that the chosen Jew–unchosen non-Jew divide has been globalised. It is even accepted by many ‘Third world’ elites . . . who endorse the US–Israeli agenda without demurral. Its legitimacy, its ‘truth’ has long been settled.
[. . . .]
It comes as no surprise that the self-described ‘Jewish state’ occupies Palestinian land, terrorises its inhabitants, builds illegal settlements, and violates international law. It is the proudly ‘Jewish state’ which slays Arabs in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank at will. It is Western Jews who invoke the Old Testament and Western civilisation to defend invasion and occupation. Yet Jews routinely, 67 years after the Holocaust, still claim to be victims. In 2008 Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai warned that ‘The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies . . . they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust’.  (Ynet News, ‘Israeli minister warns Palestinians of ‘‘holocaust’”, Reuters, 29 February 2008.)

kqaddoum06172016-e1466204070505
Many Injured As Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Protest In Kufur Qaddoum, Jun. 18, 2016 (Photo: IMEMC News)

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ATTACK  THE  WEEKLY  PROTEST  IN  KUFUR  QADDOUM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
September 24, 2016
Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, many local and international activists, holding the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum village, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqilia, causing scores to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
___The protesters marched from the center of the village raising Palestinian flags and carrying posters of the detainees who ended their hunger strikes after reaching agreements for their release after extended strikes.
___The Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum said scores of locals, and international activists, suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, after the soldiers assaulted the protest.       MORE . . .  

qaddoum
Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Protest In Kufur Qaddoum, Mar. 27, 2015 (Photo: IMEMC News)

ANALYSIS:  ISRAEL  LEFT  ME  WITH  HALF  A BODY 
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
Sep. 20, 2016
Manar al-Shenbari has vague recollections of what happened on 24 July 2014. She was taking shelter at the UNRWA Beit Hanoun Elementary School in the Gaza Strip when the Israeli military shelled it. Manar’s mother, sister and two brothers were among the 11 people killed at the UN-funded school.
___“There were bodies on the ground, people screaming,” she said. “And lots of blood on my body. Those are the only things I can remember from that day. It was like a nightmare. I lost consciousness and woke up in hospital.”
___Manar – now aged 17 – lost both of her legs in the attack and required emergency treatment. She was transferred to Jordan for surgery. When she returned to Gaza, she found everyday life extremely difficult.     MORE . . .  

“CHILDREN,” BY MAYA ABU AL-HAYYAT
Whenever a child’s hand comes out of a collapsed building
I check the hands of my three children
I count the digits of their hands and feet
I check the number of teeth
and the hairs of their eyebrows

Whenever a child’s voice goes silent in Camp Al Yarmouk

I turn up the volume on the TV
and the songs on the radio
I pinch my three children on their sides
to keep them moving and feel they’re alive

Whenever a heart is devoured by fear
on Qalandia checkpoint
I open my mouth and start to eat
Comfort myself with salty treats
Bock out the sparks of the eyes that cry everywhere
―translated by Graham Fulton

Maya Abu Al-Hayyat is a prize-winning author of novels, poetry, and short stories. Born in Lebanon, she has a degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Najah University in Nablus, the largest Palestinian university, and lives in Ramallah.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.
Maya Abu Al-Hayyat reading one of her poems

 

“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

1-Omar Barghouti-001
Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti (Photo: Electronic Intifada, Intal/Flickr, May 10, 2016)

❶ Many Injured As Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Protest In Kufur Qaddoum
❷ Senior Israeli minister: Make BDS activists in Israel ‘pay a price’
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner, endorses academic and cultural boycott of Israel
❸ Opinion/Analysis: BDS:  DISCUSSING  DIFFICULT  ISSUES  IN  A  FAST-GROWING  MOVEMENT.  INTERVIEW  WITH  OMAR  BARGHOUTI
❹ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MANY  INJURED  AS  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ATTACK  THE  WEEKLY  PROTEST  IN  KUFUR  QADDOUM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 18, 2016
Israeli soldiers attacked, on Friday, the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum town, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqilia, and fired gas bombs at the protesters and homes, causing scores of residents to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.
___Media coordinator of the Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum Morad Eshteiwy said several military vehicles invaded the town from various directions, before the soldiers stormed homes.     MORE . . .

❷ SENIOR  ISRAELI  MINISTER:  MAKE  BDS  ACTIVISTS  IN  ISRAEL  ‘PAY  A  PRICE’
+972 Magazine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 16, 2016
Israeli Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan says that BDS advocates inside Israel must be made to pay a price and that he is working to create legislation that would do just that.
___“The message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist,” the minister said at a panel on BDS at the Herzliya Conference on Thursday. “Anybody who works to delegitimize Israel, to bring an end to the Zionist enterprise, they should know that there will be a price.”       MORE . . .         RELATED.
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) VIET  THANH  NGUYEN,  2016  PULITZER  PRIZE  WINNER,  ENDORSES  ACADEMIC  AND  CULTURAL  BOYCOTT  OF  ISRAEL     MORE. . .

IMAGINE MY SURPRISE. For decades I have passively endured ritualistic sneering about the irrelevance of nerdy scholars in ivory towers . . . . Then, on December 16, 2013, the membership of . . . the American Studies Association (ASA), ratified a convention resolution to participate in an “academic boycott” of Israeli universities to bring to light discrimination against Palestinians. Starting with headlines in the New York Times and Washington and Washington Post the ASA decree became the vote heard round the world. . . .
[. . . .] Raging tantrums over the boycott haven’t been confined to the Right, either. Michael Kazin, a specialist on U.S. radicalism and editor of Dissent, decried the ASA proposal as “idiotic” . . . while the Chair of American Studies at Brandeis University . . .  ranted on the History News Network that the ASA “has completely gone off its rocker” with its “boneheaded boycott.”
[. . . .] What readers of the mainstream press may gain from the calibrated verbal assaults of the anti-ASA scholars . . .  is a lesson in how not to read texts; their “interpretations” of the ASA position provide repeated demonstrations of the use of language to obscure inconvenient truths from oneself as well as others.

  • Wald, Alan. “In Defense Of The ASA.” AGAINST  THE  CURRENT 39.1 (2014): 7-14.  Alan M. Wald is the H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor of English Literature and American Culture at the University of Michigan.      ARTICLE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  BDS:  DISCUSSING  DIFFICULT  ISSUES  IN  A  FAST-GROWING  MOVEMENT.  INTERVIEW  WITH  WITH  OMAR  BARGHOUTI
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.
June 14, 2016
Israel’s attacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and other human rights defenders living under occupation, such as Al Haq staff, have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, including the direct threats made by leading Israeli officials against BDS activists and in particular against the movement’s co-founder Omar Barghouti.
___Beyond the headlines, the work goes on [. . . .]
___Barghouti: “BDS of course recognizes that there are other strategies and approaches; we’re just saying that we chose to focus on the rights, not the solutions, because for any political solution – determined by the majority of Palestinians everywhere – to be just, comprehensive and sustainable it must accommodate our rights under international law. Moreover, to be effective you need to have something close to a Palestinian consensus, and to achieve that we had to stick to the most principled and strategic lowest common denominator, to the most significant and least controversial goals of the Palestinian people that hardly anyone can object to: Ending the 1967 occupation, ending the system of apartheid, and fulfilling the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and properties from which they were ethnically cleansed during and since the Nakba. And we adhere to these rights strictly.”      MORE . . . 

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

―Translated by Tom Pow

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank. and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.