“. . . I shall carve the sun’s beckonings and the moon’s whisperings. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Bethlehem olive wood carver
Bethlehem olive wood carver

❶ From AL MONITOR
BEDOUIN FACE EXPULSION AS ISRAEL BUILDS GREATER JERUSALEM
Aziza Nofal
June 4, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — For years, Umm Mohamad, from the Abu Nawar Bedouin compound north of occupied Jerusalem, has been trying to find a house for her son Walid so he can get married and settle in the area where she lives. Her efforts have not paid off, though, as the Israeli occupation forces refuse to allow them to build a new house, not even a tent.
____The house Umm Mohamad and her sons are hoping to get is only a tent, but the plan is far-fetched as Israel is trying to expel them from their land to another location that was built to accommodate Bedouin and other communities. . . . [The family is] part of the 700 Bedouin living in the area facing the Ma’ale Adumim settlement — the largest in the West Bank. . .
____Israel issued a May 14 decision to expel the population to a region in the north of Al-Eizariya numbering 46 settlements of Bedouin groups from the highlands of Jerusalem.
(More. . .)

❷ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
SOLDIERS ATTACK PROTESTERS MARKING THE 48TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NAKSA, IN HEBRON
Bassam Shweiki
June 06, 2015
Israeli soldiers attacked, Saturday, Palestinian protesters as they were commemorating the 1967 occupation of the full area of historic Palestine by the Israeli military. The demonstrators tried to reach the Bayt Al-Barakah (i.e. House of Blessing) in front of Arroub Refugees Camp, a building which was built on land belonging to the Palestinian town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.
____The land in question was recently threatened to be confiscated by the Israeli occupation authorities to establish a new settlement. Following the threat, the Israeli military declared the area as a military closed area.
____Dozens of activists participated in this demonstration, which was called for by the Hebron Defense Committee. . .
(More. . .)

❸ From MONDOWEISS +972
12 PALESTINIAN MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ARE IN ISRAELI PRISON
Noam Rotem
June 6, 2015
An Israeli military court decided last week to continue detaining Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian parliament, who has been imprisoned by Israel for the past two months. Jarrar was first arrested and put in administrative detention, which in effect meant that she could be held indefinitely without being charged or seeing trial. However, in the wake of a global campaign for her release, the state decided to release her from administrative detention and put her on trial.
____Jarrar is not the only member of the Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), to be held by Israel. Israel is currently imprisoning 12 other Palestinians parliamentarians, who were elected in the last democratic elections to take place in the Palestinian Authority in 2006. Some are in administrative detention, which in the eyes of the international community makes them political prisoners. . .
(More. . .)

Palestinian Bedouins shift through their family's belongings after their shacks and tents were destroyed by Israeli army bulldozers
Palestinian Bedouins shift through their family’s belongings after their shacks and tents were destroyed by Israeli army bulldozers

❹ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
REPORT: 850 THOUSAND PALESTINIANS ARRESTED SINCE 1967
June 5, 2015
Data from the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees show that Israel has arrested more than 850 thousand Palestinians since 1967, consisting 20 percent of the Palestinian people.
____The commission expressed deep concerns over “the escalated Israeli daily arrests and violations that mainly target the Palestinian society.”
____Daily arrest policy is a main feature of Israeli occupation, the statement said, pointing out that more than ten arrests are daily reported in occupied Palestine.
____Since 1967, 206 Palestinians have died in Israeli jails, including 71 prisoners were tortured to death. . .
(More. . .)

❺ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
UN CONFIDENTIAL REPORT: ISRAEL VIOLATED CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
June 6, 2015
A confidential UN document obtained by Reuters on Friday reported an alarming number of child victims in the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza. The document was prepared by UN agencies for submission to the UN special envoy for children in armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, as she prepares a draft of the annual list of violators of children’s rights.
____The 22-page confidential document reportedly uses strong language in its condemnation of violations of children’s rights during the attacks on Gaza. It specifies what it said were unlawful deaths and injuries caused by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in its attacks on schools and hospitals.
____2100 Palestinians, mostly civilians and around 540 children, were killed during the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza. 371 of the children killed were 12 years old or younger.
(More. . .)

“THE OLIVE TREE,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
Because I do not knit wool,
Because I am always hunted
And my home is always raided,
Because I cannot buy a piece of paper,
I shall carve all what I see
And all my secrets
On the homeyard olive tree.

I shall carve my story and the scenes of my tragedy;
I shall carve my sorrows
In the orange grove and on the tombs of the dead;
I shall carve all the bitterness I taste
(Until my tongue is sweetened by days to come).
I shall carve the serial number
Of every piece of land,
The spot of my village on the map.
The destroyed houses,
My uprooted trees,
All the crushed wild blooms

I shall care the names
Of all the connoisseurs of torture,
The names of their prisons,
The trade-mark of their chains,
The archives of the jailors
And their maledictions.
I shall carve:
“Fafr Qassem, I will never forget you,
And your memory, Deir Yassin will never face.”
I shall also carve;
“After all our trials and pains
We have finally reached
The heights of intense tragedy.”

I shall carve the sun’s beckonings
And the moon’s whisperings
And what a skylark recalls
At a deserted well.

For the sake of remembrance,
I shall continue to carve,
On the homeyard olive tree,
All the scenes of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From the beginning
Till the end.
—translation by Sulafa Hijjawi and Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri

About Fafr Qassem
About Deir Yassin

From: A Lover from Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.

Tawfiq Zyyad (7 May 1929 – 5 July 1994) was a Palestinian politician well known for his “poetry of protest”. Born in the Galilee, Zyyad studied literature in USSR. He was elected mayor of Nazareth, a victory that “surprised and alarmed” Israelis. Elected to the Knesset 1973, Zyyad was active in pressuring the Israeli government to change its policies towards Palestinians both in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. A report he co-authored. . .
(More . . .)

Illegal settlement, Ma'ale Adumim (Jerusalem)
Illegal settlement, Ma’ale Adumim (Jerusalem)

“The olive trees are dying of embarrassment. . . “ (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

Tent of Nations
Tent of Nations


(Please see
Palestine InSight for background of this posting. More importantly, please see Tent of Nations website!)

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015 11:01 PM, Ann Hafften wrote on behalf of the The North Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area of the ELCA:

Dear friends,
I am sorry to report that the Daoud Nassar events in Denton, Fort Worth and Dallas have been cancelled. It is necessary for Mr. Nassar to be on hand at the family farm right now and in the days to come. Bill Plitt, Executive Director of Friends of Tent of Nations North America, writes:

“As you know, the Nassar family has been fighting in the Israeli courts since 1991 to retain their ownership of the family’s land which was originally purchased and registered in 1916. The local authorities in the Gush Etzion Settlement area, in which the Tent of Nations is located, are now requiring the land be re-registered for the fourth time, and have placed new requirements on the family to provide additional evidence in their application. The deadline for doing so is April 21st.

“Continually shortened times allowed for response to these requirements are making it more difficult for Daoud to be away from the land, and the family is fearful that some kind of unforeseen action will be taken against the land, and think this is more likely if he is out of the country.

“As you know, life under the occupation is not only oppressive, but unpredictable for Palestinians. The rules often change on the spur of the moment. It’s amazing how resilient the Palestinian people have been under such circumstances. We hope you will continue to lift up the Nassar family and all Palestinians in your prayer and action.”

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to another opportunity to hear the witness of Tent of Nations in the NT-NL mission.
Easter blessings of joy!
Ann Hafften
Weatherford, Texas
tol-boys_photo

____________
“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
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.

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.

http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2010/06/demolishing-peace-in-palestine-tent-by-tent/
http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2010/06/demolishing-peace-in-palestine-tent-by-tent/

“. . . there’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

The Wall and Olive Trees near Bethlehem
The Wall and Olive Trees near Bethlehem

TWO SPEAKERS AND A POET

Thursday, April 16, 7:00 P.M.
DR. ROBERT ASHMORE, JR.
Northaven United Methodist Church
11211 Preston Road, Dallas

Sunday, April 19, 10:30 A.M.
DR. ROBERT ASHMORE, JR.
Dallas Hall
Southern Methodist University

Sunday, April 19, 6:30 P.M.
DAOUD NASSER
Trinity Lutheran Church
3621 Tulsa Way, Fort Worth

Tuesday April 21, 7:00 P.M.
DAOUD NASSER
Bethany Lutheran Church, Nelson Hall
10101 Walnut Hill, Dallas

DAOUD NASSER WILL SHARE THE MESSAGE OF TENT OF NATIONS.
daoud-nassar_72dpi

Mr. Nasser is from Bethlehem and a member of Christmas Lutheran Church there. He is a leader in the Tent of Nations organization

Tent of Nations seeks to prepare young people in Palestine to make positive contributions to their society through the values of understanding and peaceful coexistence. The organic farm where the education and work camps take place is under threat of confiscation by the Israeli military. It is about 33 miles southwest of Bethlehem.

The Nassar family land is located in the fertile hill country 9 KM southwest of Bethlehem in the West Bank, in an area totally controlled by Israel per the Oslo Agreement of 1993.
In fulfillment of his father’s dream to establish an institute for the building of peace and coexistence on the family land, Daoud Nassar, grandson of Daher Nassar who purchased the land in 1916, established The Tent of Nations. Tent of Nations has established projects to develop and protect the land and to make the land a center for people from different countries to come together and build bridges of trust and hope.

In May 2014, the Israeli military bulldozed 1,500 productive fruit trees growing on the Nasser farm. Daoud Nasser will explain the challenges facing his family’s farming efforts from the military and surrounding Israeli settlements. (More. . . )

Daoud Nasser’s presentation is part of the NT-NL Mission’s participation in the ELCA strategy: Peace Not Walls: Stand for Justice in the Holy Land.

DR. ROBERT ASHMORE, JR., WILL SPEAK ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS AND ETHICS OF THE PALESTINIAN/ISRAELI SITUATION.
robert ashmore-001
Dr. Ashmore is professor emeritus of philosophy and former director of the center for ethics studies at Marquette University He serves on the national advisory board of Middle East Policy Council, and is a member of both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

He is a native of Dallas.

As director of Marquette’s Center for Ethics Studies, Ashmore received two successive grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Active since 1982 on human rights issues relating to the Middle East conflicts, Ashmore has made many trips the West Bank and Gaza, and Israel. He serves on the national advisory board of Middle East Policy Council, and is a member of both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Dr. Ashmore also serves on the boards of the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University, and the Wisconsin Chapter of American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).

Dr. Ashmore’s publications include a chapter titled “State Terrorism and Its Sponsors” in Philosophical Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, edited by Tomis Kapitan (M.E. Sharpe, 1997); “Israel and South Africa: A Natural Alliance,” The Link, Oct. 1988, Vo. 21, No. 4; “The Crusades Then and Now,” The Link, July 2002, Vo. 35, No. 3; “Palestinian Universities Under Israeli Occupation—A Human Rights Analysis,” American Arab Affairs, Spring 1986, No. 16; “Nonviolence as an Intifada Strategy,” American Arab Affairs, Spring 1990, No. 32.

Dr. Ashmore’s presentations are sponsored by
Northaven United Methodist Church 2015 Speaker Series: Faith Voices on Justice
The Dallas Area Christian Progressive Alliance
Embrey Human Rights Program Southern Methodist University

“JERUSALEM,” BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.
The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

naomi_shihab_nyeNaomi Shihab Nye was born on March 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Palestinian father and an American mother. During her high school years, she lived in Ramallah in Palestine, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received her BA in English and world religions from Trinity University.

Nye is the author of numerous books of poems, including Transfer (BOA Editions, 2011); You and Yours (BOA Editions, 2005), which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award; 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (Greenwillow Books, 2002), a collection of new and selected poems about the Middle East; Fuel (BOA Editions, 1998); Red Suitcase (BOA Editions, 1994); and Hugging the Jukebox (Far Corner Books, 1982).

“. . . Happy is he with an iron roof above his head. . . ” (Zakaria Mohammed)

olivesfrom PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI FORCES DEMOLISH WATER CISTERN, UPROOT OLIVE TREES IN JENIN, HEBRON VILLAGES
Jenin
March 24, 2015 (WAFA)
Israeli forces Tuesday demolished a water cistern, uprooted olive trees and handed two demolition orders in Ta‘annak village to the west of Jenin and al-Kom locality to the southwest of Hebron.
.  .  .  Escorting a bulldozer, large Israeli troops, consisting of at least 10 vehicles, raided Ta‘annak, where they proceeded to demolish a 50-meter-deep water cistern that is used to provide local farmers in this village as well as Rummana, Zboba, Silat al-Harithiya and al-Yamoun with water for irrigation, said ‘Abdul-Rahman Zyoud, a local farmer and owner of the water cistern.
(More. . . .)

◊◊◊◊◊

from PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
IOF HAND OUT FIVE ARBITRARY DEMOLITION THREATS TO JERUSALEM HOMES
PNN/ Jerusalem/
March 23, 2015
Israeli occupation forces this morning have handed out demolition threats to 5 homes in Silwan village north Jerusalem, under the pretext of having no permit to build. Some of the structures date back to 45 years, some of them were newly constructed and others in the process of construction.
.  .  .  The Palestinian Christian-Islamic committee on Monday warned of these threats, since they count as extra Judaization project against Silwan and Al-Aqsa mosque altogether.
(More. . . .)

Jerusalem home demolition (photo by Harold Knight, August, 2008)
Jerusalem home demolition (photo by Harold Knight, August, 2008)

from THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
Art, Music & Culture
ISRAELI PORTRAIT OF ROSE-TINTED PAST GIVES WAY TO RAGE AT SETTLERS
Selma Dabbagh
March 23, 2015
It is unusual to read a book on Israel and the Palestinians — perhaps the most documented conflict in world history — that starts by focusing on commonalities rather than divisions: on marriages rather than feuds, festivals rather than riots and municipal housing plans rather than the demolition of homes.
.  .  .  Menachem Klein’s Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron (Hurst Publishing) is a loving, albeit rose-tinted, depiction. By conveying past realities, the book offers a vision of a future for the area that was the British Mandate of Palestine
(More. . . .)

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From JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE
UCLA RESOLUTION ON ANTI-SEMITISM CREATES DANGEROUS PRECEDENT
Naomi Dann Naomi@jvp.org
March 11, 2015
Jewish Voice for Peace welcomes the commitment of the UCLA Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) to addressing issues of anti-Semitism on campus. We recognize that a recent series of troubling incidents, including anti-Semitic graffiti and inappropriate questioning of a Jewish student, have raised concerns about rising anti-Semitism on campus, which we condemn in the strongest terms. However, we are also deeply concerned that the resolution passed by the USAC on March 10, 2015 further enshrines long-standing political efforts to silence legitimate criticism of the state of Israel by codifying its inclusion in the definition of anti-Semitism.
.  .  .  The resolution draws on the “State Department Definition of Anti-Semitism,” (sometimes referred to as the “3 D’s”). However, this definition has no legal standing in the US and was actually removed as a working definition by the European body where it originated.
(More. . . .)

◊◊◊◊◊

from THE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT (ISM)
IN GAZA THE FARMERS IRRIGATE THE LAND WITH THEIR BLOOD
Valeria Cortés
March 18, 2015
Tilling the land in Gaza is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. The Zionist Occupation Forces fire on the peasants and their families while they sow or harvest their own land near the infamous Zionist fence which surrounds Gaza. They also burn their fields and routinely ravage their crops with bulldozers, leaving hundreds of families ruined and preventing the Gaza Strip from developing its already devastated economy or achieving a minimum of food sovereignty.
(More. . . .)

“THE CYPRESS TREE,” BY ZAKARIA MOHAMMED
The gale above the rooftops –
this gale which has swept through mountain passes
and raced down glens –

Hellish, horned wind –
bellowing and breaking branches. . .

Who smashed the metal stockade?
Who let loose the terrified herd?

The herd-dogs couldn’t stop them,
those horses, fleeing before the wind,
whinnying and upturning time. . .

This storm overhead – horned wind,
battering lampposts, flagpoles, telegraph poles,
pounding with its hooves our hearts and minds –

Happy is he with an iron roof above his head
For the gale will spare his house.
Happy is he who lashes his soul to the cypress tree
that shall not be moved
for his spirit won’t be broken by the winds.
–Translated by Kathleen Jamie

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

Zakaria Mohammed was born in Nablus in 1951, studied in Baghdad, and now lives in Ramallah, working in the Palestinian Ministry of Culture. He is also a journalist and creative writing teacher.