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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

what is its name?

―Translated by Tom Pow

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

“. . . a theater of sounds on the west bank of our ancient river . . .” (Fawaz Turki)

Israel Demolishes Three Homes in Bethlehem Village April 12, 2016 (Photo: WAFA)
Israel Demolishes Three Homes in Bethlehem Village April 12, 2016 (Photo: WAFA)

❶ Israeli Forces Detain Six Palestinians from West Bank
Israeli Forces Detain Nine Palestinians, Karate Team Coach from West Bank, Gaza
❷ Israeli Army Destroys Playground near Nablus
Israel Demolishes Three Homes in Bethlehem Village
❸ Palestinian PM says he is ‘bitterly disappointed’ in US
❹ Analysis: Would pre-state Zionist militias be terrorists by today’s standards
❺ Opinion/Analysis: AS  THREATS  AGAINST  BDS  GROW,  IT  IS  TIME  FOR  ‘SUMOUD’ [RESOLVE]  IN  ACTIVIST  COMMUNITIES
❻ POETRY by Fawaz Turki
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  SIX  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 12, 2016
Israeli forces detained early Tuesday six Palestinians from the West Bank, bringing the total number of detainees to 17, said WAFA correspondent.
___Israeli forces detained three Palestinians during a raid into Qalandia Youth Center in Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem.
MORE . . .
RELATED . . .  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  NINE  PALESTINIANS,  KARATE  TEAM  COACH  FROM  WEST  BANK,  GAZA

ISRAELI  ARMY  DESTROYS  PLAYGROUND  NEAR  NABLUS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 12, 2016
Israeli army on Tuesday destroyed a playground in Za’tara, a small village to the south of Nablus, according to local sources.
___Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli settlement activities in northern West Bank, told WAFA that Israeli military bulldozers broke into the village and demolished playground, which was used a children’s park.      MORE . . . 
RELATED . . .    ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  THREE  HOMES  IN  BETHLEHEM  VILLAGE 

PALESTINIAN  PM  SAYS  HE  IS  ‘BITTERLY  DISAPPOINTED’  IN  US
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Daoud Kuttab
April 11, 2016
Since being appointed Palestinian prime minister in June 2013, Rami Hamdallah has run a tight economic ship, earning him praise from Christoph Duenwald, the local representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) . . . .
___Praise from the IMF aside, Hamdallah said, “As prime minister I am bitterly disappointed when it comes to the US. . .  Hamdallah explained that although US support in 2010 reached $1.45 billion, in 2015 Washington pledged to provide $290 million but only delivered $130 million. The remaining $160 million was frozen by Congress.      MORE . . .

Analysis:  WOULD  PRE-STATE  ZIONIST  MILITIAS  BE  TERRORISTS  BY  TODAY’S  STANDARDS?
+972 Blog
Tomer Persico
April 10, 2016
Labor MK Zohair Bahloul in recent days raised the ire of Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum, including members of his own party, for his unwillingness to label Palestinians who attack Israeli soldiers “terrorists.”      MORE . . . 

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American comedian and actress Roseann Barr seen at the opening of “Yedioth Aharonots” conference “Fighting the Boycott” discussing issues and ways to fight the BDS movement, at the Jerusalem Convention Center, on March 28, 2016. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90

Opinion/Analysis:  AS  THREATS  AGAINST  BDS  GROW,  IT  IS  TIME  FOR  ‘SUMOUD’  [RESOLVE]   IN  ACTIVIST  COMMUNITIES
Mondoweisss
Nada Elia
April 11, 2016
The attacks on BDS, and BDS organizers, are intensifying globally.  “The BDS organizations will have no rest,” warned Gilad Erdan at the recent “Stop BDS” conference in Occupied Jerusalem.
___One of the better-known BDS organizers, Omar Barghouti, has been directly named as a target of “civil assassination.”  [. . . . ]
___And historically, Palestinians have given the world many terms.  “Nakba,” our catastrophe, which started before the day of its commemoration, May 15, 1948, and is ongoing today . . . .  “Intifada,” the “shaking off” of an oppressive system intent on our total annihilation . . . .  And “SUMOUD.”  Sumoud is the persistence of the Palestinian people . . . .        MORE . . .

“DUSK IN GALILEE,” BY Fawaz Turki
(on request)

A feast of colors
is the sunset in Galilee,
a silent orgy
in the horizon of our
West Bank,
silver grey stars
quivering in the sky
speeding to hug one another
body and soul
like erotic grapes of sorrow
the wind
and the desolate music
of the oud
are a theater of sounds
on the west bank
of our ancient river
and the evening will unfurl
exquisite delights
in Galilee.
The military governor
tells his guests
all this has come to pass
because he issued an edict
and his soldiers used their guns
to make it so.

Fawaz Turki (b. 1940) was born in Haifa, Palestine. He is a poet and the author of prose accounts of his life as a Palestinian in exile. He has published several books in English. He was writer-in-residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a professor at the State University of New York in Buffalo, and a frequent speaker at conferences on the Middle East.   About Fawaz Turki.
From ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.
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