‘. . . 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.

“. . . A thousand eyes for an eye? . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

img0567_cropped_778_518
Children of Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar. (Photo: Medical Aid for Palestinians, March 3, 2017.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  UNRWA  RECEIVES  $118  MILLION  IN  AID  FOR  PALESTINE  REFUGEES
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has received $118 million from a number of countries to help in upholding its essential services.    ___UNRWA’s spokesman Sami Mashasha said a meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in support of the UNRWA, under the sponsorship of Turkey, Japan, Sweden, Jordan and the European Union, culminated in pledges for allocating further essential funding to the UNRWA.   More . . .
Related . . .    EU proposes additional €40 million for UNRWA to keep schools and health clinics open
|  ABBAS  UNANIMOUSLY  NAMED  CHAIRMAN  OF  THE  GROUP  OF  77  AND  CHINA
The Group of 77 and China meeting in New York on Thursday . . .  unanimously named Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as chairman, replacing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the current chairman.   ___The representatives of 134 countries, representing 80% of the world’s population, named the State of Palestine as chairman of the Group of 77 and China during the 42nd meeting of the group’s foreign ministers . . .   ___The State of Palestine, while presiding over the group of 134 countries, will . . .  negotiate with the other partners and member states of the organization on all the developmental, humanitarian and legal issues on the agenda of the United Nations 2019.  More . . .
|  ISRAEL  SEALS  OFF,  DECLARES  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE   Israeli forces declared the Khan al-Ahmar village, east of occupied Jerusalem in the central West bank, on Friday, a closed military zone.   ___A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli forces closed all roads leading to Khan al-Ahmar, preventing Palestinians and journalists from entering the village.   ___Israeli forces closed the iron gate at the entrance of the village, early Friday morning.   More . . .
Related . . . EU Exerts Effort to Halt Demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar
Related . . . Despite Israeli restrictions, Palestinians perform prayer in Khan al-Ahmar
|  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SAVAGELY  ASSAULT  [DISABLED]  JERUSALEMITE
He was not protected by his injury nor his crutch. The young Jerusalemite Amir Abu Laban, 28 years old, was hospitalized in the Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem, after he was cruelly beaten by Israeli soldiers at the King Hussein Bridge crossing at the Jordanian-Palestinian border a few days ago.   [. . . .] The crime of the young Abu Laban was that he said to the occupation soldiers that he has special needs, and that he cannot be examined through X-rays which has a negative impact on his health, due to the existence of platinum in his body because of his disability, yet the soldiers violently assaulted him.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ISRAEL’S  STRANGLEHOLD  ON  AREA  C:  DEVELOPMENT  AS  RESISTANCE
Ahmad El-Atrash
Israel’s efforts to tighten its grip on the West Bank have been unprecedented since the current Israeli cabinet formed in 2015. . . . Five decades of Israeli occupation – particularly since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 – have allowed Israel to continue its colonization of Palestinian land while rendering Palestinian development truncated, distorted, and even mythological.    [. . . .]  Israel has developed [Area C] in particular for its own purposes, namely through the construction of settlements and military infrastructure.   ___In the face of Israel’s policy of expansion in the West Bank, Palestinians view their own development as a means of resistance.    More . . .
|  WHAT  NETANYAHU’S  IDEA  OF  PEACE  LOOKS  LIKE 
Haggai Matar
U.S. President Donald Trump said that he favors two states as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Wednesday.   ___ In response to Trump’s comments, which signaled a change from his previous stance, according to which he would back whichever solution Israelis and Palestinians support, Netanyahu told “. . . . I am willing for the Palestinians to have the authority to rule themselves without the capability to harm us.” Israel, said Netanyahu, will not “relinquish security control west of the Jordan.”   More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

KinderUSADR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA,  October 21, 2018 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Angelika Film Center, Plano, Texas. Information and REGISTRATION.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

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.

“. . . Your land is no holier than my backyard . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Israeli forces demolish structures, notify to demolish homes in Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A child [from Nabi Saleh village] with an IOF bullet in his skull
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Video: IOF shoot, injure four Palestinians in Hebron clashes

  • Background: “Boycotting Apartheid from South Africa to Palestine.” Peace Review

❷ PPS: since Trump announcement, Israeli forces have detained over 600 Palestinians
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Video: Right-wing Israeli minister harasses Palestinians visiting imprisoned relatives
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) ICRC slams MK’s harassment of Palestinian prisoners’ families relatives
. . . . . ❷― (ᴄ) Abu Marzouk: Israelis should think it over before trying to ape Haza
❸ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES,  NOTIFY  TO  DEMOLISH  HOMES  IN  SILWAN    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Israeli forces Tuesday demolished two structures and notified to demolish a number of homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to WAFA correspondent.
___Israeli police accompanied by bulldozers broke into Silwan area in the early morning hours and demolished a structure and an animal shack, according to the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center.  MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A  CHILD  [FROM  NABI  SALEH  VILLAGE]  WITH  AN  IOF  BULLET  IN  HIS  SKULL 
The Palestinian Information Center     
Dec. 25, 2017 ― On the 15th of December 2017, Mohammed climbed his house’s three-meter wall, to watch the movement of Israeli occupation forces (IOF), yet there was a soldier lying down, and watching his movement. The soldier shot the 15-year-old boy with a single bullet that penetrated his face. The boy fell from the top of the wall and hit the ground.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴃ)  VIDEO:  IOF  SHOOT,  INJURE  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON  CLASHES    
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Four Palestinians were shot and injured with live bullets and others suffocated on Tuesday during separate clashes with Israeli forces in the town of Sa’ir and nearby al-Arroub refugee camp, to the north of Hebron, according to local and security sources.
___Israeli forces raided al-Aroub refugee camp, spurring clashes with locals. Forces fired live bullets at residents, shooting and injuring three in the foot.  They were transferred to hospital for medical treatment. Their medical condition is still unknown, WAFA reported.
___Forces further attacked residents’ homes with tear gas canisters, causing many to suffocate as a result of teargas inhalation.    MORE . . . 

Di Stefano, Paul and Mostafa Henaway.
“BOYCOTTING  APARTHEID  FROM  SOUTH  AFRICA  TO  PALESTINE.”
PEACE REVIEW, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan-Mar2014, pp. 19-27.
[. . . .] There is little doubt that Israel’s international membership in numerous diplomatic and economic forums “provides both an unmerited veneer of respectability and material support for its crimes.” In fact, a key challenge of this facet of the BDS strategy is to keep international attention focused on Israeli human rights violations, so the Palestinian struggle is not subsumed under the veneer of normalization prevalent in international relations. Normalization is anathema to achieving rights and ending oppression because it allows Israelis to gain while Palestinians lose. Normalization accepts the humanity and dignity of Israelis while actively denying Palestinians their own. It obfuscates the Palestinian reality of oppression and colonialism and improperly casts the relationship between colonizers and colonized as symmetrical. BDS asserts the notion that oppression must end before peace can take place. Neve Gordon urges, “Outside pressure is the only answer. . . . Words and condemnations have not yielded results, not even a settlement freeze . . . nothing else has worked.” Noura Erakat notes that “the tripartite strategy is rooted in economic logic: Israel must comply with international law because non-compliance is too politically and economically costly to maintain . . . ” Therefore, the key to changing the conditions for Palestinians is to politically isolate Israel by calling for sanctions against it. In effect, these sanctions serve to buttress the varied boycotts by grassroots organizations that, in turn, threaten to alter the status quo. . . .    SOURCE . . . 

❷  PPS:  SINCE  TRUMP  ANNOUNCEMENT,  ISRAELI  FORCES  HAVE  DETAINED  OVER  600  PALESTINIANS
Ma’an News Agency  
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained at least 24 Palestinians during pre dawn raids Tuesday across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian sources.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported that as of Tuesday the number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since the US President’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel three weeks ago, stands at 610 Palestinians, including 170 minors, 12 women and three injured detainees.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  VIDEO:  RIGHT-WING  ISRAELI  MINISTER  HARASSES  PALESTINIANS  VISITING  IMPRISONED  RELATIVES
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 25, 2017 ― An ultra right-wing Israeli minister verbally harassed Palestinians from Gaza as they traveled on a bus to visit their imprisoned relatives in souther Israel’s Nafha prison, hurling abuse at women on the bus calling their sons “dogs.”
___MK Oren Hazan of the right-wing Likud party, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, intercepted and boarded a bus of Palestinian families traveling to Nafha prison on Monday.
___As he confronted the Palestinian families, he turned to the mother of an imprisoned Palestinian and asked, “Who did you come to visit? What did your son do?” to which she replied “He did not do anything.”
___Hazan responded to the mother by saying “Your son is a dog. He’s a dog. You come to visit the scum who are sitting here in prison, whom you see as your family members.”   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴃ)  ICRC  SLAMS  MK’S  HARASSMENT  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS’  FAMILIES  RELATIVES  
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 25, 2017 ― The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday slammed an Israeli Knesset member for intercepting a bus of Palestinian families visiting their imprisoned sons in Israeli jails.
___ICRC spokeswoman Soheir Zaqout said that the Committee is following with concern what happened during the visit, stressing that the families of Palestinian prisoners have the right to visit their sons with dignity.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴄ)  ABU  MARZOUK:  ISRAELIS  SHOULD  THINK  IT  OVER  BEFORE  TRYING  TO  APE  HAZAN
The Palestinian Information Center   
Dec. 25, 2017 ― Member of Hamas’s political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk has said that Israeli leaders should think twice before trying to copy Knesset member Oren Hazan and bully families of Palestinian prisoners who seek to see their relatives in Israeli jails.
___“Hazan’s savage behavior reflected the fragility of this rogue entity whose leaders are looking for fake heroism,” Abu Marzouk said in Twitter remarks on Monday.  MORE . . . 

“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.

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
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.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. Attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: “In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets”, edited by Robert Bonazzi, “Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry”, edited by Hayan Charara, and “Between Heaven and Texas”, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

 

 

“. . . Stop being so deathly afraid of the other . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

key
A Palestinian woman carries a key, a symbol of the Nakba and the right of return, May 15, 2012. Palestinians took keys to their homes in 1948, hoping they would soon return. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.)
  • Background:  “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Policy.

❶ Knesset Member: Comparing Palestinian Citizens of Israel with Illegal Israeli Settlers Is Immoral, Irrational and Ahistorical
❷ Israeli shooting of Palestinians: The media need to check the facts
❸ Right of return is the heart of Palestine’s struggle
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

  • Slater, Jerome. “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Policy 22.3 (2015): 79-99.    ARTICLE.     

[. . . .] Terrorism, it is often said, is a weapon of the weak: the strong (such as states) have alternatives that the weak (such as non-state groups and movements) lack: diplomatic and political influence, economic incentives and disincentives, and powerful armed forces. For those reasons, state attacks on noncombatants—even assuming a just cause–have an even greater burden of moral proof than non-state attacks.     ___Nonetheless, even terrorism by the weak on behalf of a just cause . . .  could never be regarded as justifiable unless it was clear that all other means had failed. These means must include negotiations for a political settlement and/or nonviolent resistance if political means fail; they may even include armed resistance.
[. . . .]  Since the Palestinians have no chance of defeating the Israeli armed forces, the main alternatives to terrorism for the Palestinians have been negotiated political compromise and nonviolent resistance. . . . . All such negotiations have failed, overwhelmingly because no Israeli government has been prepared to agree to end the occupation, withdraw the settlers, and turn over East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza to the Palestinians.
___For that reason, the political path to a settlement is all but dead, leaving the Palestinians only nonviolent resistance as the alternative to resistance by terrorism. In fact, at various periods throughout their history the Palestinians and their political leaders have tried nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience, and political protest.
[. . . .]    Tragically, it must be admitted that all of these methods so far have failed and show little promise of succeeding in the near future . . . .

❶ KNESSET  MEMBER:  COMPARING  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  WITH  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  IS  IMMORAL,  IRRATIONAL  AND  AHISTORICAL      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Sept. 11, 2016
Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comparison of Palestinian citizens of Israel with its illegal settlers in Occupied Palestine is not only immoral, but a total departure from rationality, history and Israel’s obligations under international law, said an opinion piece published by the Israeli daily, Haartez.
___“He [Netanyahu] should realize that no matter Israel’s institutionalized system of discrimination, this is our homeland and we are here to stay.”
___The Knesset member stressed that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not foreign immigrants that came to Israel and applied for visas or citizenship, rather Israel went to them. They are the indigenous population of the country.”       MORE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  SHOOTING  OF  PALESTINIANS:  THE  MEDIA  NEED  TO  CHECK  THE  FACTS    
Middle East Eye
Ben White
Sept. 11, 2016
Even by the standards we have come to expect from Israel’s armed forces, the circumstances and aftermath of the killing of Mustafa Nimr by Israeli border police in Shuafat refugee camp last Monday take some beating for their sheer cruelty and gall.   ___At the end of an overnight raid . . .  Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle in what authorities immediately described as a thwarted car-ramming attack. Passenger Mustafa Nimr was killed, while the driver, his cousin Ali, was wounded and detained.
___ The next day, Israeli officials informed the family that Mustafa had been “killed by mistake.”
[. . . .]    The question is this: what will it take for the Western media to stop taking Israeli authorities’ version of events at face value? And why is this even a problem to begin with?     MORE . . .

❸  RIGHT  OF  RETURN  IS  THE  HEART  OF  PALESTINE’S  STRUGGLE  
The Electronic Intifada     
Mohamed Mohamed
Sept. 6, 2016
A friend of mine recently shared an image meant to show solidarity with Palestine . . . . the barrage of Israeli propaganda attempting to bury the history of our existence is not surprising. One can expect no less from a state that was created through the expulsion and subjugation of an existing population.
[. . . .]     Discrimination against Palestinians is not perpetrated solely by the Israeli state; it is endemic to Israeli society itself. A recent Pew survey indicates that almost half of Israeli Jews believe that Palestinian citizens of Israel should be expelled from the country and 79 percent believe that Jews deserve preferential treatment in Israel.
[. . . .]   The right of return, a cornerstone of the Palestinian struggle, is the principle that Palestinian refugees have an inalienable right to return to their homeland. This includes those who fled or were forced to flee in 1948 as well as in 1967, along with their descendants.
___The right of return is also enshrined in international law . . . .    Israel continues to violate its obligations under international law. It has no intention of correcting or addressing the historic injustices that created the Palestinian refugee problem, and the right of return has been one of the main issues preventing a just settlement of the conflict.       MORE . . .

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

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 Barnes & Noble.

“Survivors of The Holocaust please talk to me . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

jordan valley
Khillat Khader community where Israeli troops and tanks on  demolished ten structures including tents which are home to  four families made up of 20 people. (Photo: PNN)

❶ Restrictions on movement in Bab al-Majles in Jerusalem’s Old City place neighborhood in chokehold
❷ Mayor: Israeli forces assault entire family during al-Issawiya raid
. . . . . ❷―(ᴀ) Update: “Army Kidnaps 27 Palestinians In The West Bank”
❸ Two Palestinians shot, critically injured by Israeli forces near Bethlehem
❹ IOF demolish facilities in the Jordan Valleys, leave 20 homeless
❺ Opinion/Analysis: BEYOND  SOUTH  AFRICA:  UNDERSTANDING  ISRAELI  APARTHEID
❻ Poetry by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
RESTRICTIONS  ON  MOVEMENT  IN  BAB AL-MAJLES  IN  JERUSALEM’S  OLD  CITY  PLACE  NEIGHBORHOOD  IN  CHOKEHOLD
B’TSELEM – THE ISRAELI INFORMATION CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Feb. 28 2016
The neighborhood of Bab al-Majles al-Islami, also known as Bab a-Nazer, is located in the very heart of Jerusalem’s Old City. It lies immediately to the east of al-Wad St., the main street which leads from Damascus Gate to the entrance to the Western Wall. . . . It is a historical area where, until recently, Old City residents led rich community and cultural lives.
___ Some 350 people live in Bab al- Majles, and the Islamic Waqf offices are located there. . . .
___These restrictions have effectively sealed off the neighborhood and severely harmed its residents, the businesses operating there . . . Residents do not know when they might be able to leave their homes or return to them.     More . . .

bab_al_majles6
Police checkpoint at the entrance to the neighborhood of Bab al-Majles al-Islami. (Photo by Yoav Gross, B’Tselem 23 Feb. 2016)

MAYOR:  ISRAELI  FORCES  ASSAULT  ENTIRE  FAMILY  DURING  AL-ISSAWIYA  RAID
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
Feb. 29, 2016
Israeli forces physically assaulted an entire family in the occupied East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya overnight Sunday after the family resisted during an arrest raid, the head of the village said.
___. . . Israeli forces stormed the home of Tareq and Tahreer Darwish with the intention of detaining the couple’s sons Yousef, 18, and Laith, 17.
___The two teens, along with their father, resisted the detention, and Israeli forces attacked the three, beating them.     More . . .
. . . . . ❷―(ᴀ) UPDATE:  “ARMY  KIDNAPS  27  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK”
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
Feb. 29, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped, Monday, 27 Palestinians, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, during extensive military invasions and violent searches of homes.     More . . .
TWO  PALESTINIANS  SHOT,  CRITICALLY  INJURED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
Feb. 28, 2016
Two Palestinians were critically injured in clashes with the Israeli army south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, medical sources said.
___Palestinian Red Crescent spokeswoman Errab Foqoha told Ma’an that two Palestinians were shot in the chest during clashes . . . . Locals told Ma’an that the two were shot when clashes broke out after Israeli forces began raiding the village and firing haphazardly.
___One of the victims, they said, is a middle-aged dentist identified as Hisham Muhammad Atwan Sbeih, who was in his car parked in his front yard.     More . . .
IOF  DEMOLISH  FACILITIES  IN  THE  JORDAN  VALLEYS,  LEAVE  20  HOMELESS
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday morning have demolished about ten facilities that include tents, barns and residential structures in the Khillat Khader community in Al-Farisiyya area east of Tubas district, northern Jordan valleys, under the pretext of “no building permit.”
___According to the head of the local council of al-Maleh area, Aaref Daraghmeh, Israeli troops and tanks on Monday morning have stormed the community and demolished ten structures including tents which are home to at least four families made up of 20 people.  More . . .
Opinion/Analysis:  BEYOND  SOUTH  AFRICA:  UNDERSTANDING  ISRAELI  APARTHEID
THE PALESTINIAN POLICY NETWORK
by Samer Abdelnour on April 4, 2013
“Israeli Apartheid” is a commonly used term to describe the racial violence and segregation enshrined in Israel’s institutions. Though Israel’s most ardent supporters will continue to resist the rhetoric of apartheid, the reality of apartheid in Israel is unmistakable. . . .
___Apartheid is a complex system of racial violence, segregation, and dispossession. The roots of apartheid are colonial . . . Modern apartheid systems, like South Africa and Israel, evolved from historical practices of mobility restriction and internment. . . . Israel implements practices reminiscent of apartheid-era South Africa.      More . . .

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
So you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bomb are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

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 Barnes & Noble.

“. . . what terror drove them out of their homes? . . . (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

Palestinian Nozha neighborhood in Jaffa.
Palestinian Nozha neighborhood in Jaffa.

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
DISPLACEMENT SCHEMES TARGETING PALESTINIANS IN JAFFA (REPORT)
June 20, 2015
The Israeli Judaization and displacement schemes have escalated especially in Jaffa city, north of Occupied Palestine, as the Israeli Authorities approved new settlement schemes targeting the city which was occupied in 1948.
____The so-called Israel Lands Administration (ILA) . . . endorsed a huge . . . scheme which will be established on the ruins of the Palestinian homes and lands in Nozha neighborhood in Jaffa. . .
____ILA claims that the Palestinian residents who live in this area will be expelled under pretext that these lands are “state owned” and that the Palestinians are illegally living in them and they will be compensated if they agree to leave.
(More. . .)

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
REPORT: PALESTINIAN REFUGEES TOPPED 36,000 IN EUROPE
June 19, 2015
LONDON, (PIC)– 36,450 Palestinian refugees fleeing war-torn Syria reached Europe between 2011 and June 2015, Action Group for Palestinian refugees in Syria said in a report issued Friday.
. . . .
____The 36,450 refugees arrived to Europe via the so-called “boats of death” risking their lives after being forced to flee their homes in Syria and to live again uncertain lives as refugees, the report said.
(More. . .)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
RAFAH CROSSING CLOSES AFTER WEEK OPEN
June 19, 2015
GAZA (Ma’an) — The Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing into and out of Gaza Friday after a week of being opened.
____The head of the department of crossings and borders in Gaza, Maher Abu Sabha, said that he is hopeful the crossing will be reopened again next week, adding that there remain 12,000 Palestinians registered to travel.
____On Friday, 450 people departed Gaza through the crossing and 88 others entered, while 10 were denied entry with no reasons specified.
. . . .
____In recent years, the Egyptian authorities have only rarely opened the Rafah crossing — Gaza’s only connection to the outside world.
(More. . .)

One of the larger refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, Dheisheh is home to some 15,000 people squeezed into one square kilometer.
One of the larger refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, Dheisheh is home to some 15,000 people squeezed into one square kilometer.

From THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
ROOFTOP GARDENS GIVE REFUGEES ROOM TO BREATHE
June 9, 2015
In the narrow alleys of Dheisheh refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, Muaath Atef points to a rooftop. “There, that’s a nice bit of plastic,” he laughs. Behind that bit of plastic lies a garden set up by Karama, a volunteer community organization in the camp.
____Atef works with Karama, which runs after school activities and summer camps for local children. Three years ago, the group began setting up “micro-farms” on the rooftops of some 20 families in the camp.
____“There was a need and we tried to address it,” Yasser Al-Haj, Karama’s director, explains, adding that projects are chosen and implemented according to the demands of the community and not according to the whims of foreign funders.
(More. . .)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
REPORT: HAMAS MILITARY WING CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR FRIDAY SHOOTING
June 20, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Hamas military wing Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades reportedly claimed responsibility for Friday’s West Bank shooting that left an Israeli man dead and another lightly injured.
____“One of the fighters ambushed a settler vehicle and shot at them from point-blank range after having observed the area continuously” . . . .
____The statement identified the “Marwan Qawasmeh and Amir Abu Eisha Brigade” as the affiliated group directly behind Friday’s shooting, adding that “the operation was carried out days before the first anniversary of the martyrs Marwan Qawasmeh and Amir Abu Eisha.”
(More. . .)

“ANY REFUGEES IN THE WORLD,” BY LAHAB ASSEF AL-JUNDI

what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror drove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?

are Palestinians any different from any other refugees?
is not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?

why are they being asked to settle
for money?
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicinas tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?

between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only
honorable
demographic.

time for peace
now.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

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

C A L E N D A R

• Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope, June 13-27
• Upcoming group delegations to Palestine/Israel
. . . o Interfaith Peace Builders Delegation
. . . o 2015 Sabeel Witness Visit

Palestinians raise Hamas flags at what remains of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, accused by Israel of being part of the plot to kidnap three hitchhikers. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)Palestinians raise Hamas flags at what remains of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, accused by Israel of being part of the plot to kidnap three hitchhikers. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)