“. . . and struggle ardently for my liberty My liberty My liberty . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

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Jerusalem: Dr. Naim Ateek of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
leads a group on the Via Dolorosa
(Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . 
| PALESTINIAN  GOVERNOR  OF  JERUSALEM  RELEASED  TO  HOUSE  ARREST    A court in Israel has released the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem from detention to house arrest for three days as part of an investigation related to a land sale.    ___Adnan Gheith, who was arrested on November 25, was released on Sunday from prison, but will remain under house arrest until Tuesday, Jerusalem magistrate court justice Chavi Toker ruled.    __Police have been investigating Gheith over suspicions he was involved in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) arrest in October of US citizen Issam Akel, who is accused of involvement in selling an occupied East Jerusalem building to Jewish buyers. . . More . . .
. . . . Related  Report: Israel Abducts Dozens of Palestinians in Crackdown on Palestinian Authority
. . . . Related  Top court gives Israel even broader powers to use torture
. . . . Related  Israel committed 355 violations against Palestinians in November
. . . . Related  Israel demolished 19 Palestinian facilities in November
| PRESIDENT  ABBAS  ARRIVES  IN  ROME  ON  AN  OFFICIAL  VISIT    President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday arrived in the Italian capital, Rome, on an official visit where he is scheduled to meet with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella.    ___President Abbas will meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and Pope Francis during his official visit to Rome, to discuss the latest political developments in the region as well as bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to develop them.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hamas hails Fatah’s criticism to US’ draft resolution condemning resistance at UN
. . . . Related  President Abbas meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
. . . . Related  Islamic Jihad delegation from Gaza heads to Lebanon through Egypt
|  TURKEY’S  RED  CRESCENT  DONATES  8.5  TONS  OF  MEDICAL  AID  TO  GAZA   The Palestinian Ministry of Health dispatched from its warehouses in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, about 8.5 tons of medical aid donated by the Turkish Red Crescent to the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday.    ___According to the Palestinian Health Minister, Jawad Awwad, the ministry dispatched two truckloads of medical supplies worth $274,000, which included medicines to treat chronic diseases such as cancer and kidney diseases.    ___Awwad praised Turkey’s continued support to Gaza, pointing to the many vital projects that have been provided by Turkey to Palestine in all fields.   More . . .
. . . . Related  WHO: ‘Israel approved only 15% of medical permits for injured Gazans’
. . . . Related  Sharp rise in number of people with disabilities in Gaza Strip in last 10 years – statistics
. . . . Related  Israel undercover forces [in Gaza] posed as medical workers, used ID cards of real Palestinians

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . . GAZA  –  TWENTY  YEARS  LATER     By Mkhaimar Abusada     The Gaza Strip. . .  is no more than 365 square kilometers with two million people. Population pressure has been critical in an area with limited water and arable land, weak infrastructure. . .  and many internal and external barriers that have resulted from the Israeli siege and blockade, which has turned it into the largest open-air prison in the world.    ___The . . .  golden days of Gaza [were about] 1998. At that time, Gaza was the center of Palestinian politics after the signing of the Oslo Agreement in September 1993, and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994. Gaza was promised by the international community to be the Singapore of the Middle East. . .  [. . . .] The outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in September 2000, and the ensuing violence and armed resistance against the Israeli army and settlers in Gaza triggered massive Israeli retaliation against infrastructure and the economy, and . . .  restricted the movement within and in and out of Gaza.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“MY  LIBERTY,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and in the field,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

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

“. . . who has always striven, sir, for freedom . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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In the desert east of Jerusalem: Rev. Naim Ateek of Sabeel (center) leader with Fall Witness Visitors, 2015 (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    JAPAN  FUNDS  NEW  CLASSROOMS,  SOLAR  ENERGY  SYSTEM  PROJECTS  IN  RAMALLAH
The Japanese Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine, Takeshi Okubo, signed grant contracts for three Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) with representatives of Nilin town, al-Tira village, and Franciscan Sisters’ School for a total amount of $234,526, at the Representative Office of Japan, in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on Monday.    ___The Nilin Municipality in the Ramallah district, will use a fund of $85,215 for constructing three new classrooms and a toilet unit in Nilin’s Girl School to provide 100 students from 6th grade to 12th grade with new class rooms and appropriate and healthy educational environment.    ___Meanwhile, the al-Tira village council will use a fund of $88,936 for reconstructing new four classrooms. . . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  INVESTMENT  IN  EDUCATION  –  INVESTMENT  IN  THE  FUTURE
. . . . Related  VIDEO:  AREA  C  “EUROPEAN  UNION  AND  THE  PALESTINIANS”
|    ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  IBRAHIMI  MOSQUE
On Wednesday, a group of Israeli settlers gathers outside the Ibrahimi Mosque and assaulted Palestinian citizens, in protest against the Adan (Muslim call for prayers) via loudspeakers used in the mosque.    ___Palestinian citizen, Yacoub Abu Jihad, said that the settlers beat him and held him for several hours. One of them threatened to kill him sooner or later and held him in a nearby shop for several hours before he was released.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  OLIVE-PICKERS  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  SCORES  OF  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE
. . . . Background  TRANSFORMING  “TRESTIA”  MILITARY  CAMP  INTO  A  NEW [settler] OUTPOST/TUBAS
|   IOF  DETAINS  6  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WB
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained on Wednesday at daybreak six Palestinian people during multiple raids across the occupied West Bank towns and cities.    ___Israeli Walla news site claimed that the detainees are wanted by the IOF on suspicion of involvement in security activities, indicating that they were transferred to police interrogation centers.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  DEPORTS  4  JERUSALEMITES  FROM  SOUR  BAHER,  JABAL  AL-MOKABER

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THE  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT  IS  EXPLOITING  THE  PITTSBURGH  MURDERS  TO  TRY  TO  DEMONIZE  PALESTINE  SOLIDARITY
Yesterday during an interview on MSNBC, Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, placed the blame for the attack on both white supremacists and the “radical left,” which is clearly code for BDS activists.    ___Dermer said: “One of the big forces in college campuses today is anti-Semitism. And those anti-Semites are usually not neo-Nazis, on college campuses. They’re coming from the radical left. We have to stand against anti-Semitism whether it comes from the right or whether it comes from the left.”    ___This is a disgusting lie. But it is part and parcel with the recent push by the Israeli government and its supporters in the West to redefine the meaning of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel.    More . . .
|    ASHRAWI  AFFIRMS  NEED  FOR  URGENT  THIRD-PARTY  INTERVENTION  IN  LIGHT  OF  RECENT  US  STANCES
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi stated that, ‘since the current American administration does not have a real vision for a just and genuine peace and with Israel willfully working to destroy the foundations for a two-state solution, it is imperative that there is an urgent intervention of a third-party like Europe, in particular France.’    ___This came during a meeting with Deputy Diplomatic Counselor at the French Presidency Aurélien Lechevallier at the PLO headquarters in Ramallah, where both parties  discussed the latest political and regional developments and the current crisis as a result of Israel’s serious escalations and egregious violations of international law.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|
    SABEEL  ECUMENICAL  LIBERATION  THEOLOGY  CENTER,  JERUSALEM 
Mission: To strive towards theological liberation through instilling the Christian faith in the daily lives of those who suffer under occupation, violence, injustice, and discrimination.    Wave of Prayer, November 1, 2018;    . . . . Fall Witness Visit, 2018

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering
of his people
Who has carried with him the hope
of a just peace
Who has spoken out against death
at every corner
Who has called for and has lived
a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.
Available from Lynne Rienner Publishers

“. . . City of sorrows, a huge tear/trembling on your eyelid . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

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Israeli flags flying from buildings taken over from Palestinians in the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)

❶ Battle for Jerusalem taking a serious turn, says analyst
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Jerusalem Divided by Walls of Fear, Hatred, Experts Tell International Conference on Palestine Question
❷ PA calls on UN to intervene against latest Israeli plans to ‘Judaize’ East Jerusalem
Background: Cabinet Approves Building Cable Car To Western Wall
❸ Israel approves plan to teach Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools
❹ March of the Zealots: a report from ‘Jerusalem Day’
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) Triumphalist light show in Jerusalem weaponizes the city walls to celebrate 50th anniversary of Jewish conquest
❺ POETRY by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BATTLE  FOR  JERUSALEM  TAKING  A  SERIOUS  TURN,  SAYS  ANALYST  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA       
May 30, 2017
The battle for control over East Jerusalem is taking a serious turn with Israeli plans to completely change its demographic character and culture, director of the Arab Studies Society’s Mapping Department Khalil Tafakji said on Tuesday.
___Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Tafakji said Israel is forcing Palestinian schools to switch to the Israeli curriculum, wants to displace its Palestinians residents and plans to implement several projects in an effort to turn the city into a Jewish one.
___. . . Israel wants to secede two densely populated East Jerusalem neighborhoods – Shufat refugee camp and Kufr Aqab . . . in order to change the demographic character of the occupied city.
___Israel also plans to build a cable car that goes over the old city of Jerusalem that is expected to change its historic and cultural character.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  JERUSALEM  DIVIDED  BY  WALLS  OF  FEAR,  HATRED,  EXPERTS  TELL  INTERNATIONAL  CONFERENCE  ON  PALESTINE  QUESTION: Addressing Occupation’s Legal, Psychological Aspects
United Nations  General Assembly Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People: International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem   
May 3, 2016
The International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem, which opened in Dakar, Senegal, this morning, held its first plenary session in the afternoon, examining life in East Jerusalem under Israeli occupation.
___Daniel Seidemann, Lawyer and Founder of the Israeli non-governmental organization Terrestrial Jerusalem, said the city today was divided by walls of fear and hatred.  It was seeing a popular uprising unprecedented since 1967, due in large part to the “horrendous and savage” murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014.  The incident had conveyed the message that “in the eyes of official Israel, Israeli blood is blood, and its red; Palestinian blood is water”, he said, adding that Palestinian youth felt themselves adrift, while Israeli society was in a state of clinical denial about the occupation.          MORE. . . .
❷ PA  CALLS  ON  UN  TO  INTERVENE  AGAINST  LATEST  ISRAELI  PLANS  TO  ‘JUDAIZE’  EAST  JERUSALEM   
Ma’an News Agency 
May 29, 2017
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the United Nation Security Council on Monday to uphold its responsibilities vis-a-vis international law and protect occupied East Jerusalem from the latest Israeli attempts to “Judaize” the city.
___The statement came a day after the Israeli security cabinet held a controversial meeting in tunnels located underneath the Old City of East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in 1967 in a move which was never recognized by the international community.
___During the meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu notably unveiled a 200 million-shekel ($56 million) plan to build a 1,400-meter long cable car linking western Jerusalem to the Western Wall in the Old City by 2021, Israeli news outlet Ynet reported on Monday.
___Such a project, which Netanyahu said would fall under the purview of the Israeli Tourism Ministry, would in effect limit tourists’ exposure to Palestinian-majority areas of East Jerusalem, and further use the industry as what critics have called a “tool” to enforce the perception of Jerusalem as a Jewish city.     MORE . . .
BACKGROUND: Cabinet Approves Building Cable Car To Western Wall. Times of Israel, May 28, 2017

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Village of Lifta, Jerusalem. Depopulated in 1948, with Israeli developments on every side (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❸ ISRAEL  APPROVES  PLAN  TO  TEACH  ISRAELI  CURRICULUM  IN  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOLS 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      
May 29, 2017
Israeli cabinet approved Sunday a plan to expand  teaching Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools in east Jerusalem for the next five years.
___The plan stated to increase the classes of first grade that will be taught the Israeli curriculum and increase the number of those eligible for the Israeli Bagrut certificate parallel to the Palestinian Tawjihi certificate.       MORE . . .
❹ MARCH  OF  THE  ZEALOTS:  A  REPORT  FROM  ‘JERUSALEM  DAY’   
Mondoweiss
David Kattenburg
May 27, 2017
Ecstatic Zionists celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem, this past Wednesday, were greeted by equally passionate Jewish-American and Israeli protesters intent on blocking the zealots’ march through the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s old city, into the heart of the Arab quarter.
___The annual March of the Flags — commemorating the unification of east and west Jerusalem in the wake of the June 1967 war — is customarily accompanied by tribal chanting and acts of hooliganism, as young Israelis parade through the old city’s narrow alleyways chanting rousing slogans such as “Death to Arabs.” Israeli police ensure in advance that Palestinian shops are shuttered tight — a process referred to as ‘sterilization’. Hard to imagine a sensible shopkeeper doing otherwise.     MORE. . . .
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) TRIUMPHALIST  LIGHT  SHOW  IN  JERUSALEM  WEAPONIZES  THE  CITY  WALLS  TO  CELEBRATE  50TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  JEWISH  CONQUEST
Mondoweiss
Philip Weiss
May 26, 2017
Back in the States, I wondered whether the commemorations of the Six Day War in Israel would be marked by reflection and even expressions of misgivings, after 50 years of occupation, but when I got out here I saw how mistaken I was. They’re triumphalist!
___Below is a video I took of part of the light show/concert celebrating the conquest of Jerusalem on May 21, near Jaffa Gate outside the Old City. This segment was a dramatization of the history of Jerusalem, and about 30 seconds in, it announces “1967” on the wall, and then– well see for yourself! It seemed to me like they were weaponizing the Old City walls. A lot of smoke and guns and destruction, and rumbling tumbling stones. As for the music, well it’s like that old saying, justice is to military justice as music is to military music.  MORE. . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and 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.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

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Naim Ateek, Palestinian Christian theologian, leading a group through Arab East Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)

“. . . the Bible includes stories of violence and genocide, resembling recent history . . .” (Leonard Marsh)

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Ancient mosaics on a wall of the Church of the Nativity uncovered during restoration works by Italian experts at the site, Jul. 19, 2016. (Thomas Coex/AFP)

❶ . Palestinians celebrate Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

  • Background:  “Whose Holy Land?” Studies In World Christianity

❷ . Bethlehem: Nativity church with new shine
❸ . Israel besieges Bethlehem villages in search of stabbing suspect
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . PALESTINIANS  CELEBRATE  CHRISTMAS  EVE  IN  BETHLEHEM  
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 24, 2016 – Palestinians marked the occasion of Christmas Eve on Saturday morning in the southern occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem, which is traditionally held as the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
___A parade lead by the Latin Patriarch of Palestine, Jordan, and the Holy Land Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, are set to arrive in Bethlehem in the afternoon and will be officially received at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem’s Manger Square.     Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah are also expected to arrive in Bethlehem later Saturday to partake in Midnight Mass.    More . . .

  • Marsh, Leonard. “Whose Holy Land?” Studies In World Christianity 15.3 (2009): 276-286.   SOURCE.

[. . . .] . . . [Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Anglican Theologian] sees the 1967 war as a crucial moment in the history of the Israeli state. The occupation . . . was, according to him, attributed by a large percentage of Israelis and many Western Christians as ‘God’s powerful intervention on the side of Israel and against the Arabs’. Ateek realises that the Bible itself can and has been used as an ideological tool in asserting a religious basis for Zionism, originally a secular movement. For Palestinians, the Bible arguably has been used in a way to support injustice and inequality.       ___Understood in a literal way, the Bible appears to Palestinians to justify their enslavement and undermine their hopes for a national homeland. When Christians recite the ‘Benedictus,’ including the words ‘Blessed be the God of Israel,’ Ateek asks what this means. Which Israel is being referred to? What redemption is being promised, and to whom? One problem facing Palestinian Christian Theology simply is a matter of how the Bible itself is to be understood by Palestinian Christians.      [. . . .]  Former Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah . . .  noted we have to struggle in order to maintain and build peace with justice. Interpreting the Bible is a demanding task. Such interpretations concern our very national and personal identities as believers because unilateral, partial interpretations run the risk – for some – of bringing into question their presence and permanence in this land, which is their homeland. Questions to be addressed include, what is the relationship between the Old and New Testaments? The narrative of the Bible includes stories of violence and genocide, resembling recent history which may be attributed to God. How is this to be understood? What is the relationship between ancient Biblical history and contemporary history? Is Biblical Israel to be identified with the state of Israel? . . .  Does the Bible justify current political claims made on its behalf? Could we be victims of our own salvation history, which seems to favour the Jewish people and condemn others?        [. . . .] Mitri Raheb, pastor of the Bethlehem Christmas Lutheran Church . . .  has observed that until the middle of the nineteenth century, the Palestinian churches interpreted the Bible allegorically or typologically. This is no longer possible. The advent of Zionism has made the Old Testament a political text, and made the Bible problematic the moment the modern state of Israel was formed. He also has addressed the question of the Q’uran from an Arab Christian perspective. His intention is to have an understanding of Muslim scripture which would provide the basis for a Christian-Muslim relationship within contemporary Arab society [. . . .]

❷ . BETHLEHEM:  NATIVITY  CHURCH  WITH  NEW  SHINE 
Deutsche Welle 
Dec. 23, 2016 – Every year at Christmas time, people from around the world head for the West Bank city of Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity, where it is believed Jesus was born. This year the church shines more brightly than it has for centuries.
More (video) . . .           Related Video: Attacks cast shadow on Bethlehem Christmas    Background: The Restoration of the Church of Nativity

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Christmas Lutheran Church, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, 2008)

❸ .  ISRAEL  BESIEGES  BETHLEHEM  VILLAGES  IN  SEARCH  OF  STABBING  SUSPECT
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 24, 2016 – Israeli forces continued to crackdown on Palestinian villages in the southern occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem on Saturday, in search for a man who allegedly stabbed and lightly injured a settler in the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat southwest of Bethlehem Friday night.     [. . . . ]   There was a heavy presence of Israeli soldiers in several areas across Bethlehem that continued into Saturday morning, with reports of clashes erupting between Palestinians and Israeli forces overnight Friday.       More . . .  

NATIVITY CHURCH MOSAICS
A worker from the Piacenti restoration center works on a mosaic in the Church of the Nativity. (Photo: Jul. 14, 2016 Catholic News Service)

“. . . the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run . . .” (Robert O. Smith)

shoafat-refugee-camp
Israeli policemen stand guard during clashes that erupted after a house demolition in the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shuafat. Sep. 5, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

❶ The gruesome murder of five Arab boys refuses to disappear — 55 years on

  • Background: “Civilization, Savagism, And The Presence Of Burning Children.” Cross  Currents

❷ Palestinian Jerusalemite children sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison
❸ Minor injured, detained during clashes near Ramallah
❹ Conference: The Challenge of Jubilee
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
THE  GRUESOME  MURDER  OF  FIVE  ARAB  BOYS  REFUSES  TO  DISAPPEAR — 55  YEARS  ON 
+972 Blog
Makbula Nassar
Nov. 5, 2016
Beaten, tortured, and shot to death: this is the story of five Arab boys who met a gruesome fate at the hands of Israel’s security forces in September 1961. Ben Gurion’s government refused to tell the truth of what really happened.   More . . . 
Makbula Nasser, active in political and feminist affairs, is a journalist and blogger for Local Call, where this article was first published in Hebrew. Read it here.    

  • Smith, Robert O. “Civilization, Savagism, And The Presence Of Burning Children.” Cross  Currents  66.2 (2016): 204-214.     Full article    

In the early morning hours of July 31, 2015, a Palestinian home was firebombed in the West Bank village of Duma. Flames killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabshe and severely injured his parents and 4-year-old brother. Two homes attacked that night in Duma were spray-painted with the Hebrew words “Revenge” and “Long live the king messiah,” alongside a Star of David.
[. . . .]  . . .  Israeli discourse in the days immediately following these attacks protected the unity of Israeli society by asserting distinctions between the civilized and the savage. In effect, this short-lived period of national introspection helped Israelis confirm the essential righteousness of their national project. Analysis of English language Israeli news media informed by the framework provided by Roy Harvey Pearce in Savagism and Civilization (1953) shows how this episode reproduces, in miniature, how white American society engaged with its own indigenous populations. This approach deepens recognition of the United States and the State of Israel do not just share parallels, but are somehow, in the words of Steven Salaita, “confederated” settler-colonial societies.
[. . . .]  Five days after the attacks, Israeli novelist and commentator David Grossman indicted Israeli right-wing politics for nurturing a climate of extremism. Grossman suggested “the consciousness of an occupying people” includes the idea that “there are two kinds of people, and the fact that one is apparently subordinate to another means that it is naturally also inferior to the other,” that “the occupied is less of a human being than the occupier.” Thus, “the person who burned down the Dawabsheh family home knew . . . only that they were Palestinians.” This, Grossman says, “was adequate reason in his eyes . . . to kill them . . . their mere existence justified their murder and their removal from this world.” This is the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run. For Grossman, the danger is that Israelis too could become savages.

PALESTINIAN  JERUSALEMITE  CHILDREN  SENTENCED  TO  11  YEARS  IN  ISRAELI  PRISON  
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network      
November 8, 2016
Two more Palestinian children were hit with lengthy sentences by an Israeli court on Monday, 7 November. The two Jerusalemite boys, Munther Abu Mayalah, 15, and Mohammed Taha, 16, were each sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison; each was also fined 50,000 NIS (approximately $13,000 USD).
__The two boys are Palestinian refugees from the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem. Monther and Mohammed were accused of “attempted murder” for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli settler youth at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on 30 January 2016. The 17-year-old in question was allegedly “lightly wounded.” They were also convicted of “possession of a knife.”
[. . . .] Palestinian children accused of “security” offenses are subject to sentencing equal to an adult for any offense carrying a potential sentence of greater than five years’ imprisonment. Such allegations include common pretexts for imprisoning Palestinian children, such as stone-throwing or affiliation with a prohibited organization.   More . . .

MINOR  INJURED,  DETAINED  DURING  CLASHES  NEAR  RAMALLAH
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 10, 2016  A Palestinian minor was shot and injured Thursday when Israeli soldiers opened fire at protesters near Atara checkpoint, north of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___It said 15-year-old at Anas Mahmoud Zaid, from nearby Jalazoun refugee camp, was shot in the thigh during clashes between Israeli soldiers and school students near the checkpoint.       More . . .     

CONFERENCE:  THE  CHALLENGE  OF  JUBILEE 
Sabeel Cornerstone Newsletter    
Naim Ateek
Nov. 10, 2016
The last fifty years have brought untold suffering upon our Palestinian people.  Our only crime was to say ‘no’ to the occupation of our country and to resist it as an aberration and which is illegal under international law. Since 1967, the Israeli government has been oppressing the Palestinians and denying them their human and political rights.
___In 2017, Palestinians will be marking 50 years since the loss of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.  It is a fitting time to lift up the biblical concept of Jubilee when all those who were deeply in debt to others, enslaved by others, had their land forfeited to the stronger others, and were driven out from their agricultural lands by the militarily powerful others – to all those, in a Jubilee year, God expects and demands justice to be done.  Their rightful ownership must be restored.  God is a God of truth and justice; and justice and righteousness must be done in the land.
10th Sabeel International Conference, March 7-13, 2017       

“. . . a voice from a minaret . . . Mingled with church bells . . .” (Yusuf Hamdan)

resistance tree
Tree killed by the Israeli wall turned into Christmas tree, Bethlehem. (Photo: Palestine News Network TV Reports, Dec. 22, 2015)

❶ Days before Christmas, Bethlehem erects ‘resistance tree’ outside Nativity Church
❷ UN adopts resolution on Palestinian sovereignty over natural resources
❸ Bethlehem-area village sealed by Israeli military for weeks
❹ Will PA security turn on Israel?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Christmas Spirit in Bethlehem
―(ᴀ) Sabeel Christmas Message 2015
❻ Poetry by Yusuf Hamdan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MONDOWEISS
VIDEO:  DAYS  BEFORE  CHRISTMAS,  BETHLEHEM  ERECTS  ‘RESISTANCE  TREE’  OUTSIDE  NATIVITY  CHURCH
Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi
Dec. 22, 2015
Tourists, political leaders, activists and residents of Bethlehem gathered right in front of the Nativity Church Thursday night with an unusual message. While December is usually a time for cheerful Christmas celebrations at the Nativity, this year the people of Bethlehem have been unable to put aside the political turmoil for the sake of the holiday.
___With Christmas just days away, the city of Bethlehem erected what they call a “Resistance Tree.” The tree, an olive tree which was recently uprooted by Israeli forces from a nearby neighborhood . . . .
More . . .

The-Restoration-of-the-Church-2
Restoration of the wall mosaics, Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Church of the Nativity.

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
UN  ADOPTS  RESOLUTION  ON  PALESTINIAN  SOVEREIGNTY  OVER  NATURAL  RESOURCES
Dec. 23, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution demanding Palestinian sovereignty over natural resources under Israeli occupation.
___The draft solution, “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources,” was adopted with 164 votes in favor and five against.
Member states that voted against the measure included Canada. . . Israel. . . and the United States.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
BETHLEHEM-AREA  VILLAGE  SEALED  BY  ISRAELI  MILITARY  FOR  WEEKS
Dec. 23, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The movement of residents in Ras Al-Wad southwest of Bethlehem has been cut off for weeks by Israeli military forces, locals said Wednesday.
___A resident told Ma’an that the forces closed off the main entrance to the small village with large mounds of dirt around three weeks ago, and the road has remained closed since.
___The road was used by residents in Ras al-Wad to access a main highway nearby. While they have been able to find an alternate route — a one-way dirt road that connects to the nearby village of Beit Sahour — access to the highway is severely limited, locals said.
More . . .
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WILL  PA  SECURITY  TURN  ON  ISRAEL?
Ahmad Abu Amer
Dec. 22, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israel is convinced that new developments are about to take place in the West Bank, especially after the killing of Mazen Arabia, a Palestinian intelligence officer accused of opening fire at the Hizma military checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem, injuring an Israeli soldier Dec. 3. . . .
___This incident, the first of its kind during the uprising in the Palestinian territories, sparked Israeli concerns that other armed Palestinian security officers will engage in similar acts. Therefore, the Israeli government rejected the recommendations of the Israel Defense Forces on Nov. 25 to supply the Palestinian security apparatus with weapons and ammunition to be used to control the situation in the West Bank and face any security developments stirred by Palestinian protesters.
More . . .
Related . . . WILL  STOPPING  SECURITY  COOPERATION  WITH  ISRAEL  BENEFIT  PA?
Opinion/Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
CHRISTMAS  SPIRIT  IN  BETHLEHEM
Muna Nassar
December, 2015
Growing up in Bethlehem, December was the month that I, along with many relatives and friends of mine would passionately await in awe and anticipation. December has and will always be the Sunday of the months, . . . .  December is the star on top of the Christmas tree.
More . . .
❺―(ᴀ) Special for Christmas
SABEEL ECUMENICAL LIBERATION THEOLOGY CENTER
SABEEL  CHRISTMAS  MESSAGE  2015
Naim Ateek
Dec. 17, 2015
When we look at the state of our world today and the messy situation we find ourselves in, it seems ludicrous at this Christmas season to talk about peace on earth . . . and goodwill to all.
___Tragically, we have been witnessing on a daily basis terror vs. terror, military power vs. military power, revenge and counter revenge. . . Jesus Christ seems to have no place in the raging conflicts, and justice does not seem to stand a chance.
___Yet it is precisely in the midst of this terrible world predicament, political turmoil, and human devastation that we must proclaim our commitment to the above virtues.
More . . .

“TO  JERUSALEM,”  BY  YUSUF  HAMDAN

You came to me, chained,
Carried forcibly.
You came
Flowing, like the tears of a wounded heart.
And yet, I will not meet you.
Forgive me,
For today, you are occupied!

Have you indeed come to me?
In my passion, I prayed often
Without a “Rock,”
And when I found no water,
I simulated the ritual ablution;
And when you finally came to me, I vowed:
I will not accept you occupied!

I want you to be a Kaaba for the people of the earth,
A spacious house,
Without guards;
I love you . . . a voice from a minaret,
The sound of horns
Mingled with church bells.
I love you, a jasmine in the open air,
But I have sworn, yes I have,
I will not accept you occupied!

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.
Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.

IMG_3367
Naim Ateek speaks to members of Sabeel Witness Visitors after service at the Greek Orthodox Church in Beit Jala. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 8, 2015)

NOVEMBER 29TH: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

IMG_3126
One of the 100 testimonies from the Bethlehem Wall “Museum” (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

(About the Bethlehem Wall “Museum”)

NOVEMBER  29TH:  INTERNATIONAL  DAY  OF  SOLIDARITY  WITH  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE
❷ Israeli settlers storm Palestinian activist center in Hebron
❸ Palestinian man shot dead after alleged attack in East Jerusalem
❹ Scenes from the funeral of Khalid Mahmoud al-Jawabreh, 19
❺ Opinion/Analysis: NOBODY  IS  COMING  TO  END  THE  OCCUPATION
❻ Poetry by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
NOVEMBER  29TH:  INTERNATIONAL  DAY  OF  SOLIDARITY  WITH  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
Nov. 29, 2015
Today is the annual International day of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
___Thirty years after the UN partition plan of Palestine, the General Assembly passed a new resolution proclaiming an annual observation, on November 29th, to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
___According to the United Nations (UN), this date “was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people… Of the two States to be created under this resolution, only one, Israel, has so far come into being.”
More . . .
Related . . . IS  INTERNATIONAL  PALESTINE  SOLIDARITY  JUST  A  SYMBOLIC  GESTURE? (La nueva Televisión del Sur)
Related . . . U.N. Proclamation
Related . . . From the Electronic Intifada
Related . . . From the Huffington Post

Apartheid wall Bethlehem
The Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek (facing) of Sabeel, the Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in East Jerusalem, with Dr. Robert Ashmore, Professor Emeritus, Marquette University, at the Wall “Museum” in Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STORM  PALESTINIAN  ACTIVIST  CENTER  IN  HEBRON
Nov. 28, 2015
HEBRON ― Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the headquarters of the Youth Against Settlements activist group in central Hebron on Saturday and demanded its closure.
___Issa Amro, the head of the activist group, told Ma’an the settlers were led by the notorious settler Baruch Marzel into the building, which is known as Beit Sumoud, meaning house of steadfastness.
___Amro said the settlers had placed tables and chairs in the center’s garden, and were demanding that soldiers prevent any of the Youth Against Settlements staff and volunteers from approaching it.
___The building lies in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of central Hebron, and borders one of the city’s illegal Israeli settlements.
More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  IN  THEIR  HOME  FOR  26  HOURS  &  WREAK  HAVOC  ON  YAS  CENTER (November 9, 2015)
Related . . . ANNOUNCING  7TH  ANNUAL  OPEN  SHUHADA  ST  CAMPAIGN  (22-28/02/2016)
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  MAN  SHOT  DEAD  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACK  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
Nov. 29, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man on Sunday after the man allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli police officer near the Damascus gate in occupied East Jerusalem, an Israeli police spokesperson said.
___Micky Rosenfeld said the alleged attacker was a 38-year-old Palestinian from the Nablus district of the northern occupied West Bank, while local sources identified the man as Baseem Abdul-Rahman Mustafa Salah.
___The Israeli police officer who was injured during the attack is reportedly in light to moderate condition,
More . . .
MONDOWEISS
SCENES  FROM  THE  FUNERAL  OF  KHALID  MAHMOUD  AL-JAWABREH,  19
Anne Paq
Nov. 28, 2015
More . . .

Lifta - depopulated Palestinian Village
The Palestinian Village of Lifta, one of the few remaining villages depopulated during the Nakba, 1948. Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
NOBODY  IS  COMING  TO  END  THE  OCCUPATION
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Nov. 29, 2015
In meetings between top-ranking Israeli and American officials over the past few weeks, the United States reportedly demanded that Benjamin Netanyahu outline steps he is willing to take to ensure the window for a two-state solution doesn’t slam shut. Netanyahu’s answer has more or less been: nothing.
___Asked to make goodwill or humanitarian gestures to the Palestinians to keep a two-state vision alive, Netanyahu reportedly conditioned any step on the United States endorsing Israel’s “right” to build settlements in the occupied West Bank. “Umm, no,” Washington replied for a plethora of obvious reasons.
More . . .

“SURVIVORS,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

They were here for a year at our doorstep,
sleepless with their brown flesh-and-blood complexions,
knocking against our ribs to make us see them.
At the end of the night they depart.
They circle around the city seven times
like the revolving sun,
like a reverberating echo.
They kill the silence with their flutes
and light and birds hover around them
as they swim in the shadows
of tall wheat spikes and white stags.
As night falls the wind shakes the streets
and the darkness breathes out crazed spears among trees
jostling toward the window and balconies.
We heard the hooves of their horses,
so we hid in the corners,
under beds, between ribs.
We hid like a storm among branches.
Their olives will eventually grow tired. . . . we said:
It might snow . . .
soldiers might come by this evening and immediately kill them,
or like a sun’s fading wish they might grow tired
and kill themselves.
Night falls once more . . . the wind blows.
We hold our breath and retreat.
Boundless fear binds our hands . . . and our beating hearts.
The most recent among us said . . . Let us all rise up and ask them:
You who have been sleepless at our doorstep for a year and two nights:
What do you want?
Storms of corpses rushed to the corners.
The smell of death rose from the roofs of mirrors,
from the colors of the eyes.
Let us all rise . . . the most recent among us said.
And when we reached the door, they shouted at us:
But . . . O dead ones . . . don’t open the door!

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.

Shufat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem
Houses in the Shufat Palestinian Refugee Camp in Jerusalem: one of the places the descendants of Palestinians who left villages such as Lifta still live. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

“. . . we appear to be nothing more than prisoners. . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

A Palestinian family walks on Aug. 27, 2014, past the collapsed remains of a building in al-Shujaiyya that was destroyed in fighting between Hamas and Israel. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)
A Palestinian family walks on Aug. 27, 2014, past the collapsed remains of a building in al-Shujaiyya that was destroyed in fighting between Hamas and Israel. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZAN RESIDENTS CELEBRATING EID REMINDED OF LAST YEAR’S LOSSES
July 17, 2015
Residents of the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip enter Eid al-Fitr celebrations this year reminded of the heavy losses sustained just before the holiday began last year.
____Gaza resident Um Mumen Skafi lost both her son and her home after an attack by Israeli forces took place shortly before the holy month of Ramadan came to a close last year, in what would later be known as the Shujaiyya massacre.
(More. . .)

❷ From MONDOWEISS
THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF MAPPING OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM
Dan Cohen
July 16, 2015
While Israel seeks to brand Jerusalem as its eternal and undivided capital, the existence of 300,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites lays bare the apartheid reality of the self-proclaimed Jewish State’s claim. For Israeli military and security firms, occupied East Jerusalem’s unique situation presents unique opportunities to develop new methods of enforcing occupation.
____Ofek Aerial Photography is one of these companies. This firm has sold a Google Street View-style mapping system to Israeli military and police agencies used to plan operations in occupied East Jerusalem to the smallest detail. Called mobile mapping, the technology can be used for anything from measurements for home demolitions to shooter-style video game simulations of full-force military invasions.
(More. . .)

❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN GAZAN TRAVELING TO WEST BANK FOR TREATMENT
July 11, 2015
Israeli forces on Friday afternoon detained a young Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip as he tried to pass through Erez crossing near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza strip.
____Ibrahim al-Shaer, 20, was attempting to travel to the West Bank for medical treatment when Israeli forces stopped him and took him into custody, Palestinian sources and family relatives told Ma’an. . . .
____Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip regularly attempt to travel outside of the blockaded coastal enclave for medical treatment.
____Seventeen hospitals, 56 primary healthcare facilities and 45 ambulances were damaged or destroyed by Israeli strikes during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas last summer, according to humanitarian group Medical Aid for Palestinians.
(More. . .)

Palestinians walk through the Erez border crossing with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip as they cross into Gaza, on June 9, 2010. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)
Palestinians walk through the Erez border crossing with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip as they cross into Gaza, on June 9, 2010. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)

❹ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
REPORT: AT LEAST 6,000 PALESTINIAN PRISONERS IN ISRAELI JAILS
July 17, 2015
At least 6,000 Palestinians are still prisoners in 18 Israeli jails and detention center, according to a report released by the Palestinian commission for detainees and ex-detainees on Thursday.
____480 of those prisoners are serving life sentences and 67 others are being jailed for prison terms exceeding 20 or 25 years.
____The detainees also include 24 women, 250 children and minors, and eight lawmakers.
(More. . .)
See also: FIVE PALESTINIAN MOTHERS SPEND EID AL-FITR IN ISRAELI JAILS

❺ Opinion
From MONDOWEISS
NAIM ATEEK’S MORAL ARC OF THE UNIVERSE
Marc Ellis
July 16, 2015
When we think of protest letters, Martin Luther King’s letter from a Birmingham jail comes to mind. But there’s a tradition of protest letters to the unjust powers-that-be. Written for immediate effect, they are preserved in history and studied. These letters change the way we view the world. They call us to act for justice in our time.
____Add another protest letter, from a Palestinian cleric, Reverend Naim Ateek. This one’s personal.
____I first met Naim in Jerusalem in 1987 when I presented my Jewish theology of liberation. He asked me to read his manuscript on a Palestinian theology of liberation. After reading the first pages, I knew a new theological day was dawning. A Jewish and a Palestinian theology of liberation could make an impact for justice.
(More. . .)
(Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of Burning Children: A Jewish View of the War in Gaza and Exile and the Prophetic: Images in the New Diaspora.)

“HOMELAND,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

Under the yoke of our mornings
the sun crumbles
and in the darkness of our steps
our panting breath is on fire
these incomplete homelands
in which we appear to be
nothing more than prisoners of war

“DAYS,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

On the first day
I held my hand as it drew a coffin
so they sent me a wreath
On the second day
I held my hand as it drew a flower
so they sent me a coffin
On the third day I shouted out
I want to live
so they sent me a killer

“IN THE BEGINNING,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

In the beginning
the horses said, we need plains
the eagles said, we need summits
the snakes said, we need lairs
but humans remained bewildered

About Ibrahim Nasrallah.
Nasrallah, Ibrahim. Rain Inside. Trans. Ibrahim Muhawi. Evanston, IL: Curbstone Books (Northwestern University Press), 2009. Available from Amazon.

Naim Ateek
Naim Ateek