“. . . 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

“. . . Soldiers stalk a pharmacy: big guns, little pills . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY. . .

ISRAEL  ORDERS  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  RESIDENTS  TO  EVACUATE  BEFORE  OCTOBER
The Israeli Civil Administration ordered on Sunday the Bedouin residents of Khan al-Ahmar village, east of Jerusalem, to demolish their homes and to evacuate the area before the start of October.  ___According to local sources, staff members of the Israeli Civil Administration under the protection of Israeli forces stormed Khan al-Ahmar and handed evacuation notices to the residents, ordering them to demolish their homes and evacuate the village within the given timeframe.   ___Sources said that Israeli forces threatened the residents in case of non-implementation of the notices, the Israeli army would demolish the village.   More .
Related . . .  ISRAEL  NOTIFIES  TO  DEMOLISH  7  HOMES  NEAR  JERICHO

34  [U.S.]  SENATE  DEMOCRATS  URGE  TRUMP  TO  RESTORE  AID  TO  THE  PALESTINIANS     Lawmakers warn president’s ‘strategy of forcing PA to negotiating table by withholding humanitarian assistance from women and children is misguided and destined to backfire.’
Two-thirds of Democrats in the Senate and a third of the entire body signed a letter to US President Donald Trump urging him to reinstate assistance to the Palestinians. . .   ___“Eliminating funds for programs that provide clean water, food, education, and medical services for Palestinians will exacerbate poverty, fuel extremism, further reduce the chance of a future peace agreement and threaten Israel’s security,” said the letter sent Friday [. . . .] The letter was initiated by Sens. Chris Van Hollen, Diane Feinstein and Chris Coons.  JEWISH  SIGNATORIES  include Feinstein, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Brian Schatz.   More . . .

IOF  PREVENT  MINISTER  OF  EDUCATION  FROM  PASSING  THROUGH  CHECKPOINT
Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday morning prevented Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Sabri Saidam from entering Beit Iksa checkpoint to inspect the educational process in the town.   ___The Ministry of Education said in a press statement that the minister and his delegation . . . considering that this prohibition comes as part of a deliberate campaign against Minister Siddam and the educational leadership.    More .

COMMENTARY  AND  OPINION. . . .

THE  HOLOCAUST,  VENGEANCE  AND  THE  PALESTINIANS
Philip Weiss
For Jews 50 and older, there is only one collective memory. It was given to me when I was little, when my mother told me about the Jews hiding . . .   It did not matter that the actual memory was not my mother’s or mine. This had happened to us, the Jews. She’d been a girl when the news had broken in the U.S. The memory was fresh, and ours to carry.   [. . . .] I went to Warsaw. Actually seeing the scene of the boots and the scant memorials to its existence was disturbing; and when I got home I began reading Warsaw memoirs. [. . . .] One surprise of these memoirs was a simple one that probably should have been obvious. The remnant of Jews who survived the ghetto liquidation in 1942 and who undertook the noble doomed uprising in 1943 had an overriding motivation: They wanted revenge.   More . . .

HOW  THE  SPANISH  COURTS  BECAME  A  BATTLEGROUND  FOR  ISRAEL’S  ANTI-BDS  EFFORTS
On 4 September, a Spanish district court annulled a resolution to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The resolution had been put forward by the municipal council of Ayamonte, a small town situated on the border with Portugal, and advocated for a ban on any association with Israeli companies or organisations.    [. . . .]   So why the about-turn? One thread tying the above three cases together is ACOM, or Acción y Comunicación sobre Oriente Medio (Action and Communication on the Middle East). ACOM describes itself as a “non-denominational and independent organization that aims to reinforce the political relationship between Spain and Israel by working with governments, political parties, the media and civil society.” . . .  ACOM has been on the front line of Israel’s efforts to quash support for BDS, embroiling the Spanish courts in a tug of war in the process.   [. . . .] links with right-wing NGOs and the Israeli political elite have placed ACOM at the forefront of Israel’s anti-BDS war.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

FRIENDS  OF  SABEEL  NORTH  AMERICA    Prophetic  Action:  Christians  Convening  for  Palestine – September 27, 2018 to September 28, 2018
FOSNA
is a nonprofit, tax-exempt Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolent advocacy and education. Sabeel is an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians, who seek a just peace as defined by international law and existing United Nations resolutions. “Join us for Prophetic Action: Christians Convening for Palestine. . . in concert with this year’s US Campaign for Palestinian Rights conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prophetic Action will be one of the largest ecumenical gatherings of Christian leaders and activists for Palestinian rights.”  Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“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.

—From Naomi Shihab Nye,  THE  RED  SUITCASE.  BOA Editions, Ltd. (1994).

 

 

“. . . Even her dreams are besieged . . .” (Samih Faraj)

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Members of delegation from Sabeel Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem,
in Hebron’s al-Shuhada Street with gates closing the street and
Israeli soldier in guard tower above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

UN  APPOINTS  NEW  CHAIR  OF  COMMISSION  ON  VIOLATIONS  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS
The President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) . . .  announced the appointment of Santiago Canton of Argentina to serve as a member and chairperson of the Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.   Canton . . .  will replace David Michael Crane of the United States who recently stepped down as a member of the three-person Commission.   ___The Commissioners have been mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the blockaded Gaza Strip. . .    More . . .

SPAIN  READY  TO  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINIAN  STATE
Spain has become the latest country to voice its readiness to recognize the State of Palestine and that it will promote a European Union (EU) move to recognize Palestine as an independent state.   ___Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, spoke at a conference of EU leaders in Austria, saying that the Spanish government will promote an EU move to recognize Palestine.   ___Borrell said that “if the EU is not able to reach a unanimous decision, then each to their own.”   More . . .
Related . . . MEMBERS  OF  EU  PARLIAMENT  CALL  ON  EU  TO  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINE

ISRAELI  FORCES  SEVERELY  ASSAULT,  DETAIN  HEBRON  RESIDENTS    Israeli forces raided a Palestinian home, on Wednesday night, the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and assaulted its residents.   ___Locals said that Israeli forces raided the home of Palestinian, Ghaleb Abu Sbeih, in the Old City of HEBRON and thoroughly searched it, damaging most of his furniture and personal belongings.  ___Israeli forces assaulted two Palestinians, Shaher and Ibrahim Abu Sbeih, during the raid. . .   More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

HEBRON:  6  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENTS,  95  PHYSICAL  OBSTACLES,  2200  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  TO  PRIVILEGE  850  ILLEGAL  SETTLERS.
For centuries, Al-Khalil (Hebron) has been considered a holy city, primarily because of the Ibrahimi Mosque/The Tomb of the Patriarchs, which followers of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity consider a sacred site of pilgrimage. Today, Al-Khalil is an openly segregated city. The daily lives of its 215,000 Palestinian residents are severely disrupted to privilege just 850 hard-line Israeli settlers, enabled by hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers. More . . .   Join  Visualizing Palestine . . .
Related . . .  OCCUPATION  CAPTURED  09/18:  PHOTOS  OF  PALESTINIAN  LIFE  AND  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  CITY  OF  HEBRON
Related . . .  PALESTINIAN  POLICE  PAY  FIRST-EVER  SYMBOLIC  VISIT  TO  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

ECUMENICAL  ACCOMPANIERS  PROGRAM  IN  PALESTINE  AND  ISRAEL  (EAPPI)    The World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) was created in 2002 by the WCC. . .    1,800 ecumenical accompaniers (EAs) have worked to create conditions for a just peace.   EAPPI advocates for justice and peace based on non-violence and a non-partisan approach. . . To insure adherence to these vital principles at a local level in Israel and Palestine, a Local Reference Group (LRG) with representatives from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, is appointed . . .     More . . .   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A WOMAN,” BY SAMIH FARAJ

Take one step towards the old house
And another down the stairs to the home
Where a woman sits in the early evening light:
Light, the radiance of a dove, shining;
Or light like the light from a shrine.
No one knows where she has come from –
Through which quarter or distant land she passed.
What shadow the light cast when she’d gone.
No one knows the flood she passed through –
The risks she took, the daily deluge.
No one can measure the vast sea she crossed,
The hazards she held in her small hands.
An ordinary woman: one step at a time, one step
On the land lacking, on the barren soil; one step
On the time passing; one step on the clock ticking.
Except for something in her now rising, hot, scolding,
Even her dreams are besieged, it seems; yet
In the middle of a siege it’s still possible to dream.
A dream of the old house, and her first step.
—Translated by Jackie Kay

Samih Faraj is a teacher in Deheishe Refugee Camp and a lecturer at HEBRON and Bethlehem Universities. He has been editor-in-chief of several journals, including VOICE OF THE NATION.
Poem from A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).

“. . . my aim was to declare that the day . . .” (Ahmad Dahbour)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY

[Note: “See also” indicates a related story rather than additions to the linked story.]

ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAID,  VANDALIZE  PROPERTY  IN  NABLUS
A group of Israeli settlers raided a number of Palestinian homes and vandalized vehicles, on Thursday, in the Urif village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.   ___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar stormed the Urif village and raided several Palestinian homes in the eastern part of the village.   More. . .  See also. . .
ISRAELI  FORCES  TO  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN  HOUSE  SOUTH  OF  BETHLEHEM    Israeli forces Wednesday delivered a demolition order for a Palestinian house in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, said a local activist.   ___Hassan Breijah, Coordinator of Anti-Wall and Settlement Committee, said that Israeli forces raided the town and handed Sameeh Ahmad Salah an order to demolish his house. . . under the pretense of unlicensed building. . . . in the southern section of the town, known as Khirbet ‘Alya. . .    ___He pointed out that the planned demolition is connected with an Israeli plan to construct a settler-only bypass road that would serve as a northern entrance to Efrat settlement.   More. . .
ISRAEL  ALLOWS  HUNDREDS  OF  THOUSANDS  OF  SETTLERS  TO  CARRY  GUNS      Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan stated that Israel has eased the criteria for the obtainment of personal gun permits, Israel Hayom reported.   ___The move is expected to lead to hundreds of thousands of Israelis applying for a license.   ___The law is for new license applicants and holders of existing licenses, according to the sources.   More. . .
ONE  OF  PALESTINE’S  MOST  POPULAR  JOURNALISTS  IS  IN  JAIL  FOR  INCITEMENT
Oren Ziv

Ali Dar Ali was arrested for two posts he published on Facebook. But the prosecution and the judge are far more concerned with his large following than the content of the posts.    ___Israeli forces arrested Ali Dar Ali, one of the most renowned Palestinian journalists in the West Bank, at his home near Ramallah last week, for incitement to violence. . . .   ___Ali, who has been working for Palestinian television since 2007, is known for broadcasting live from demonstrations in the occupied territories, where he routinely documents clashes between young Palestinians and the army, as well as IDF raids on villages. Often times, he is the only journalist that covers these events as they unfold, and thus is able to document daily life under occupation from up close.   More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION

EMBATTLED  TRUMP  STARTLES  ISRAEL  BY  DEMANDING  ‘HIGHER  PRICE’  FOR  HIS  DELUSIONAL  ACHIEVEMENTS  ON  JERUSALEM  The president’s claim that the future of the city was off the table is a mix of balderdash and poppycock wrapped in pure rubbish
Chemi Shalev
Donald Trump starred in the main headlines in Israel on Wednesday morning, just as he did in the United States, but for completely different reasons. Americans were reeling. . .   Israelis, on the other hand, were more flabbergasted by a few sentences that Trump uttered, intentionally or inadvertently, in his campaign-style rally in West Virginia.   ___The term that grabbed people was “higher price.” Israel would have to pay a “higher price,” Trump said, in return for his decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. It’s the Palestinians’ turn, he said in his typical third-grade lingo, “to get something good.”   More. . .

IN  RESPONSE  TO  TRUMP  STATEMENT :  EREKAT  SAYS  THERE  IS  NO  PRICE  FOR  JERUSALEM
Secretary of the Executive Committee for Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Dr. Saeb Erekat, responded to US President Donald Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton statements about the removal of  Jerusalem from the negotiating table in the future by saying that there is no price for Jerusalem”.   ___Erekat added in his respons PNN received by Email that without East Jerusalem including Holy Haram, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, its old town and its walls as Palestaine capital there will be no meaning of Palestinian state”.   ___He added that Trump, Bolton and Netanyahu must understand that there will no peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders.   More. . .

ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS  STRANGLE  GAZA’S  CANCER  PATIENTS
Ahmad Kabariti
For the fourth time in two months, Nevin Abu El-Jidian failed to cross the Erez checkpoint, which separates the Gaza Strip from Israel and the West Bank. Israeli authorities asked her to come back again with an updated radiograph of her breast cancer. “The officer told me I have to go back to Gaza and take an updated one.” But, even then, passage into Israel is not guaranteed, the officer told her.    ___[. . . .] According to testimony collected by the Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, officers at the Erez crossing often exploit vulnerable patients to obtain information, forcing them to inform on friends and family. Refusal to collaborate results in denying passage to these patients.   More. . . See also. . .

THE  LANGUAGE  OF  PALESTINIAN  FREEDOM
Steven Salaita

Ash Sarkar, of “I’m literally a communist” fame, recently set Palestine Twitter ablaze with an unusual pronouncement: “. . . I’m making a decision to try and speak of Palestinians’ right to protection and self-defence rather than resistance.”   ___ Reaction against this message was swift. . . Palestinian critics, many of whom patiently explained the importance of terms like “resistance.”  ___[. . . .] “Resistance” doesn’t simply denote obstinacy; it connotes political and economic self-realization. “Fighting” isn’t an irrational desire to inflict harm; it is a necessary survival mechanism.  The colony cannot maintain its endurance without antagonism.   More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS

SABEEL  ECUMENICAL  LIBERATION  THEOLOGY  CENTER  (JERUSALEM)
Fall Witness Visit: October 30th – November 7th
Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center invites you to join us for 9 nights to experience the reality of life in today’s Holy Land. . .    ___Meet and reflect with Palestinian Christians and Muslims as well as with Jewish Israelis and internationals who partner with Sabeel in non-violent resistance against the violation of international and humanitarian law   More. . .
AUGUST  24TH  REPORT  FROM  THE  FRONTLINES:  USPCN’S  DELEGATION  TO  PALESTINE  (CHICAGO)
Attend this report back of the first USPCN delegation in eight years! Muhammad Sankari, Bassem Kawar, and Danya Zituni are the featured presenters.   More. . .

“OUR  COUNTRY,”  BY  AHMAD DAHBOUR
Who is it calls like this?
Who are you, Sir?
It was as if I had heard a voice that knew me, and perhaps for
you it was the same? Or am I mistaken? If I am, I ask your
forgiveness, Sir. For what reason do you think I would contrive
this dialogue? Believe me, I have no ulterior motive. But
let us assume I have faked this dialogue; my aim was to
declare that the day . . . Please listen, and don’t go away.
On our land exists a wall which we would like to have converted
into a room, only we weren’t granted building permission.
What can I say? Are these utensils sold in the market place?

Do you think that I am in the secret police? Then why are you
afraid of me? I’m only interested in words. So let it go if
I expressed myself badly. It is my country.
Don’t we have the right here to shake hands?
To form a friendship of sorts?
An adversary? A pal who forgives?
Or a passer-by who calls our name?
Don’t we have that right?
Isn’t it our country?
Did you hear a voice? Who is it that calls like this?
Who is it who calls our name?
—Trans. Lena Jayyusi and Jeremy Reed
—From Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature, Columbia University Press, 1992.

“We are all victims of some kind of occupation” (Ahed Tamimi)

Ahed Tamimi
Ahed Tamimi

Postings Begin Again

After a few months of not posting here, I begin again. The posts will be simple at first, that is, providing links to items in the news and on the Internet without commentary on my part. The links will be to important stories and/or opinion pieces that do not appear on widely-circulated websites and news outlets.

Please watch for a return to the normal format and content here within a few days. Thank you.

____________________________________________

Why I Dissent
By James Zogby

Posted on April 29, 2017, in Washington Watch

This week, nearing the end of four years of service as an Obama Presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I felt compelled to issue a public dissent to USCIRF’s 2017 Annual Report.

While the larger part of my dissent dealt with the way the Commission does its work (which I will discuss in a future column), what moved me to go public was the glaring refusal of some Commissioners to allow even a consideration of religious freedom in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
(More . . . )

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Living Resistance Tour

Friends of Sabeel North America
Published on Feb. 24, 2017
16 year old Ahed Tamimi reveals life under occupation in the village of Nabi Saleh in Palestine. This video was screened as part of the FOSNA Living Resistance Tour when Ahed was effectively denied a travel visa to speak in person.
(More . . . )

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385 Israeli settlers storm Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Anadolu Agency
2017 By Abdel Raouf Arnaout
April 14, 2017

Hundreds of Israeli settlers Thursday [April 13] stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem amid protests by Jerusalem-based Muslim bodies, Palestinian officials said.

“Three hundred and eighty-five settlers stormed the mosque while being heavily guarded by Israeli police,” Firas al-Debs, a media official in Jerusalem’s Islamic Endowments Department, told Anadolu Agency.
(More . . .)
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“The Three Cypress Trees,”  by Mourid Barghouti

Transparent and frail,
like the slumber of woodcutters,
serene, foreshadowing things to come,
the morning drizzle does not conceal
these three cypresses on the slope.
Their details belie their sameness,
their radiance confirms it.
I said:
I wouldn’t dare to keep looking at them,
there is a beauty that takes away our daring,
there are times when courage fades away.
The clouds rolling high above
change the form of the cypresses.
The birds flying towards other skies
change the resonance of the cypresses.
The tiled line behind them
fixes the greenness of the cypresses
and there are trees whose only fruit is greenness.
Yesterday, in my sudden cheerfulness,
I saw their immortality.
Today, in my sudden sorrow,
I saw the axe.

Mourid Barghouti
From: Midnight and Other Poems
Translation: 2009, Radwa Ashour
Publisher: Arc Publications, Todmorden, Lancashire, 2009

 

 

“. . . 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)

“. . . ordained the rubble to become a house . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

 The view from my hotel window in East Jerusalem. Photo Nov. 2, 2015, Harold Knight

For the next ten days, the format of this blog will be drastically changed. I will be writing from Palestine. This morning I am in East Jerusalem waiting to join the group of people here from all over the world to meet with and study with the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in East Jerusalem.
I encourage you to keep up with the day’s news from Palestine by using the links in “Online Sources” above, particularly the Ma’an News Agency and Mondoweiss.

I will be posting as often as possible from my other blog, Sumnonrabidus’s Blog. I thought it best to continue to keep my personal thoughts and reactions separate from the digest of news in this blog and return to the format I have established here when I return to the United States,

This is a poem that has haunted me since I first read it several months ago. I assume it is a dream, but it is starkly real in its imagery and affect. Copied from PoemHunters.com, http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/midnight-19/
MIDNIGHT,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI.

My grandfather, still harbouring the illusion

that all is well with the world,

fills his countryside pipe

for the last time

before the advent of the helmets and bulldozers.
On the bulldozer’s teeth

my grandfather’s cloak gets hooked.
The bulldozer retreats a few yards,

empties its load,

comes back to fill its huge fork

and has never had enough.
Twenty times, the bulldozer

comes and goes,

my grandfather’s cloak still hooked on it.
After the dust and smoke

had cleared from the house that had been standing there

and as I was staring at the new emptiness

I saw my grandfather

wearing his cloak,
wearing the very same cloak,

not one that was similar

but the very same.
He hugged me and maintained a silent gaze

as if his look

ordained the rubble to become a house,

restored the curtains to the windows,

brought my grandmother back to her armchair,

and retrieved her coloured pills,

put back the sheets on the bed,

the lights on the ceiling,

the pictures on the walls,

as if his look brought the handles back to the doors

and the balconies to the stars,

as if it made us resume our dinner,

as if the world had not collapsed,

as if heaven had ears and eyes.
He went on staring at the emptiness.

I said:

What shall we do after the soldiers leave?

What will he do after the soldiers leave?

He slowly clenched his fist

recapturing a boxer’s resolve in his right hand,

his coarse bronze hand,

the hand which had tamed the thorny slope,

the hand which holds his hoe lightly

and with ease like prayer,

his hand which can split a tree stump with a single blow,

his hand open for forgiveness,

his hand closed on sweets to surprise his grandchildren,

his hand amputated

years ago.