“. . . what else can the light of heaven be . . .” (Reja-e Busailah)

Lydda_mosque_ii

Lydda (birthplace of Reja-e Busailah) mosque
after Operation Danny, July 1948
(Photo: Palmach archive Yiftach 3rd Battalion vol. 2 album).

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|   EGYPTIAN  SECURITY  DELEGATION  ARRIVES  IN  GAZA  STRIP  TO  ESTABLISH  THE  TRUCE
The Israeli Public Radio said, on Wednesday, that an Egyptian security delegation will arrive in the Gaza Strip on Thursday for talks aimed at stabilizing the ceasefire and discussing ways to improve the living conditions in the Gaza Strip.    ___The radio added that the delegation would be headed by the official of the Palestinian file in the intelligence service, Ahmed Abdelkhaliq, and expected that some Hamas leaders would go to Egypt in the next few days.    ___Egyptian mediation between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli occupation succeeded in reestablishing the cease-fire in Gaza after an unprecedented round of escalation that began on Sunday and lasted about 48 hours.     More . . .
|   ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS
Israeli forces opened fire, on Friday, at Palestinian farmers working in their lands, east of the al-Qarrara town in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces stationed at the Kissufim military site opened fire at Palestinian farmers for unknown reasons.    ___The farmers left their lands in fear for their lives. . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  SUFFOCATION  CASES  AMONG  PROTESTERS  NEAR  RAMALLAH  [RAS  KARKAR  VILLAGE]
. . . . Related  GAZA  FISHERMAN  SHOT,  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  NAVY
|
  UN  SPECIAL  RAPPORTEURS  GIVE  ISRAEL  60  DAYS  TO  RESPOND  TO  ‘DEEP  CONCERNS’  REGARDING  JEWISH  NATION-STATE  LAW
Following a special request for action issued by  ADALAH – THE  LEGAL  CENTER  FOR  ARAB  MINORITY  RIGHTS  IN  ISRAEL, four United Nations special rapporteurs have given Israel a 60-day deadline to respond to their grave concerns regarding the Jewish Nation-State Law, adopted by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on July 19.    ___The 60-day period began on November 2 when [the four UN officials] sent a communiqué to Israeli authorities expressing deep concerns regarding the impact of the new law.    ___In their letter, special rapporteurs expressed “deep concern” that Israeli Basic Law appears “to be discriminatory in nature and in practice against non-Jewish citizens” . . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  KUWAIT  TRANSFERS  $42  MILLION  TO  UNRWA
. . . . Related  WORLD  BANK  WILL  CONTINUE  TO  PROVIDE  BUDGET  SUPPORT  TO  PA
. . . . Related  DIRECTOR  OF  GENEVA  CENTER  CALLS  FOR  ENDORSEMENT  OF  2018  WORLD  CONFERENCE  DECLARATION
. . . . Related  CZECH  REPUBLIC  TO  CONTRIBUTE  OVER  €200,000  TO  UNRWA

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|   SUSTAINING  CYCLES  OF  ISRAELI  AGGRESSION  IN  GAZA 
Ramona Wadi
It is time, once again, for the hyphenated “Israel-Gaza” paradigm – an invention that suits mainstream narratives. As the media mulls the possibilities of another Israeli military aggression against Palestinians in Gaza . . .   since “Operation Protective Edge”, Israel regularly hinted at another, definite round of violence to eliminate Hamas . . .  inflicting a high percentage of collateral damage.    ___As speculation mounts amid reports of airstrikes and rocket fire; the latter enhanced through numbers that purposely render Israeli violence a purported retaliation, Israel is assured of an audience that is ready to absorb whatever trajectory it decides upon . . .    [. . . .] Yet, in terms of media depiction, there is already a premeditated slant . . .  Rocket fire is the subject of statistics while airstrikes imparted as an acceptable method of containment. The concept of involvement and, as a result, violence, is shifted upon Hamas, as opposed to the Israeli incursion in Gaza which the resistance had every right to disrupt.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|   AWARDS  SEASON  LAUNCHED  AT  MEMO’S  PALESTINIAN  LITERARY  EVENT
A packed audience hall gathered in London this evening [November 15, 2018] to listen to some of the  PALESTINE  BOOK  AWARD’S  shortlisted authors discuss their works ahead of the winners’ announcement tomorrow evening.    ___Tonight three of the shortlisted authors: Tareq Baconi, author of “Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance”; Maha Nassar, author of “Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World”; and  REJA-E  BUSAILAH,  author of “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.    ___The evening was chaired by Victoria Brittain and Ibrahim Darwish, two trustees of the Palestine Book Awards. Brittain opened the evening by reflecting on how the Awards are now in their seventh year, adding that when the event started back in 2011 she could not have expected the level of support there has been from publishers, authors and the general public.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“IN  THE  SHADOW  OF  THE  HOLY  HEIGHTS”  BY  REJA-E  BUSAILAH 

  •                 for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis
    at the age of 25, near Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the 
Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them

Reja-e Busailah has been blind since infancy. At age 7, he and his family were forced marched by Zionist forces from their home in Lydda into exile. He was educated in Cairo and earned a PhD in English from New York University. He is the author of a collection of poetry, “We Are Human,” (1985). He taught at Indiana University for 30 years and is now retired. He recently published his memoir “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.”

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 B&N.

“. . . I have willed that my heart be planted as a tree . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Israeli soldier throws a sound grenade during a scuffle with Palestinian demonstrators in the village of Ras Karkar
An Israeli soldier throws a sound grenade during a scuffle with Palestinian in the village of Ras Karkar, near RAMALLAH, August 31, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  KILL  3  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA
Three Palestinians were killed and dozens others sustained injuries during the 25th Friday of “The Great March of Return protests alongside the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.   ___Hundreds of Palestinians had gathered, earlier Friday, alongside the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip to take part in protests under the slogan of “Resistance is our Choice.”   ___Spokesperson of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that three Palestinians were killed during protests.   More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  SUPPRESS  PROTEST  IN  RAMALLAH-AREA  VILLAGE

EUROVISION  2019  TO  BE  HELD  IN  TEL  AVIV  INSTEAD  OF  JERUSALEM        The Eurovision song contest has chosen Tel Aviv to host next year’s competition, despite the Israeli government previously declaring the event would be held in Jerusalem.    ___Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had wanted the international music competition to be held in the holy city as part of the government’s campaign for global recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.    ___Israel won the contest last year with the beatboxing and chicken-dancing artist Netta Barzilai, earning it the right to host the 2019 edition.   More . . .

AZIZ  ABU  SARAH  WANTS  TO  BE  MAYOR  OF  JERUSALEM  AND  IS  SUING  ISRAEL  Calling  ‘bluff’  on  Israel’s  democracy
Jaclynn Ashly
A Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem is breaking boundaries by suing the Israeli government in hopes of becoming the first Palestinian to run for mayor in Israel’s municipal elections in Jerusalem next month.    ___Aziz Abu Sarah, 38, announced his intention to run for mayor last week, as part of the Palestinian-run Al-Quds Lana (“Jerusalem is ours”) list, which is contending for seats at Jerusalem’s city hall in October.    ___Israeli law forbids Palestinians in East Jerusalem from running for the post of mayor because they are not considered Israeli citizens.    ___Therefore, Abu Sarah has decided to sue the Israeli government in Israel’s High Court over the law.   More . . .
Related . . .  JERUSALEM:  WHERE  THE  OCCUPIER  DEMANDS  LOYALTY  FROM  THE  OCCUPIED

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

THE  OSLO  ERA  IS  FINALLY  OVER,  BUT  IT  ONLY  GETS  WORSE  FROM  HERE
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
There is something unsettling about the way the 25-year anniversary since the signing of the Oslo Accords is being marked — neither eulogy nor longing, and without anyone having any clue what lies ahead. There is one thing that is different this year, however. With the exception of Jason Greenblatt, nobody is paying lip service to the illusion of a peace process any more.   More . . .

UN:  GAZA  SITUATION  ‘CATASTROPHIC’  AMID  DEEPENING  AID  CUTS     The UN said on Wednesday that the situation in Gaza was “catastrophic” after 11 years of “economic siege” and warned that Washington’s decision to halt assistance to Palestinian refugees would create “more misery.”   ___Isabelle Durant, the deputy head of the United Nations development agency (UNCTAD), said:
___“The situation in Gaza is becoming less and less livable … It is catastrophic.”   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

KinderUSA  –  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA. Anaheim, CA; Plano, TX.     Dr. Gilbert has a broad range of experience from international humanitarian work, especially in locations where medical and political issues merge. Since the 1970s, he has been actively involved with solidarity work concerning Palestinians, and he has served as a doctor for several periods in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon for NORWAC. His efforts have been central to leading the city of Tromsø, since 2001 a twin town of Gaza.  Information . . .   Dr. Mads Gilbert Video . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . .

“PRIDE  AND  FURY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

O homeland! O eagle,
Plunging, through the bars of my cell,
Your fiery beak in my eyes!
All I possess in the presence of death
Is pride and fury.
I have willed that my heart be planted as a tree,
That my forehead become an abode for skylarks.
O eagle,
I am unworthy of your lofty wing,
I prefer a crown of flame.
O homeland!
We were born and raised in your wound,
And ate the fruit of your trees,
To witness the birth of your daybreak.
O eagle unjustly languishing in chains,
O legendary death which once was sought,
Your fiery beak is still plunged in my eye,
Jails with their gates flung wide
Summon me,
And in all the airports of the world
Are found my names and titles –
The lying wind carries me,
Disperses me.
Palestinian –
The name pursues me, lives with me;
Palestinian is my fate,
Clinging to me, reviving me.
Palestinian I am,
Though they betray me and my cause;
Palestinian I am,
Though they sell me in the market
For what they please,
For thousands of millions;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the gallows they drive me;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the walls they bind me,
Palestinian I am,
Palestinian I am,
Though to the flames they cast me.
I – what am I?
Without my name, Palestinian,
Without a homeland to live for,
To protect and be protected by?
I – what am I?
Answer me, answer me.

–From AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY. Translated by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. University of California Press, 1974.