“Do you remember your panic . . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

After setting fire to olive fields in West Bank village, Israeli settlers return to chop down trees

WAFA
September 5, 2019
Extremist Israeli settlers last night chopped down Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burin village, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, only days after they set fire to other trees in the same fields, reported Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He told WAFA that a number of settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar sneaked into the land in the village during the night and started to cut down the trees.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He pointed out that the settlers were riding motorcycles in the area, part of which has been seized by the settlers and planted with grape vines.  More . . . .

Switzerland should not bow to Israeli pressure to prevent war criminals’ prosecution, Euro-Med says

WAFA
September 5, 2019
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) today called on the Swiss federal parliament not to bow to Israeli pressure to suspend the Swiss criminal legislation authorizing the country’s courts to prosecute Israeli politicians and military figures involved in war crimes against Palestinians.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Euro-Med said in a statement that it views with a great concern the Israeli delegation’s visit to Switzerland, headed by Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz and accompanied by a legal team to pressure the authorities to suspend a criminal legislation allowing bringing lawsuits against Israeli commanders and soldiers involved in violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Switzerland was one of the first countries to include in its domestic legislation legal provisions allowing for the prosecution of major crimes perpetrators if they were not tried by the International Criminal Court.    More . . . .

MSF [Doctors without Borders]: Over 1,000 patients in Gaza suffering from ‘severe infections’ from gunshot wounds sustained in Great March of Return

Mondoweiss
Yumna Patel
September 4, 2019
In the year since the Great March of Return began, thousands of Palestinians, mostly young men, from the Gaza Strip have suffered life changing injuries at the hands of Israeli forces.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Now, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which has been treating hundreds of Gazans wounded during protests, says it is “dealing with immense challenges” when treating patients who were shot by the army.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙According to a new report released by MSF, more than 1,000 Palestinians who were shot by the Israeli army over the past year have developed  “severe bone infections” that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. More . . . .

The case of Mohammad El Halabi and the rabbit hole of Israeli “justice”

The Electronic Intifada
Amjad Ayman Yaghi
September 3, 2019
It’s been three years and there have been 119 court appearances. He has been separated from his family and lost his freedom. It’s been three years and there have been 119 court appearances. He has been separated from his family and lost his freedom . . . .   Mohammad El Halabi languishes in an Israeli prison, charged but not convicted, a Kafkaesque nightmare of the kind in which Israel – with its administrative detentions and separate laws for separate peoples – has become expert.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad was arrested on 15 June 2016 at the Erez checkpoint. He had been having meetings in Jerusalem at the offices of World Vision, a UK-headquartered global Christian charity for which he had worked some 10 years and whose Gaza program he had led since 2014.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israel accused Mohammad of channeling World Vision money to Hamas, the movement that won the 2006 parliamentary elections and faced down a Fatah insurrection in Gaza the year after to leave it in charge of the occupied Gaza Strip. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ World Vision undertook a “forensic audit” of its spending in Gaza, and came up with nothing. In a February 2017 statement, the charity said its review had “not generated any concerns about diversion of World Vision resources”. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Australian government undertook its own investigation and concurred. In April 2017, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) found no evidence to back up the Israeli charges. More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available.

“. . . The metallic eagles swept down . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

2186061_orig
Israeli forces, June 5, 1967 (Photo: No Right To Leave: The Struggle to Free Soviet Jewry)

❶ Knesset calls for permanent annexation on 50th anniversary of the occupation

  • Background: Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Tracking the trends of the Palestinian cause since 1967: Looking forward
❸ Palestinian presidency: Israel ‘destroying any chance of resuming peace process’
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ KNESSET  CALLS  FOR  PERMANENT  ANNEXATION  ON  50TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  OCCUPATION   
Ma’an News Agency
June 7, 2017     A number of far-right Israeli parliamentarians called for the permanent annexation of the occupied Palestinian territory during a Knesset plenary session on Tuesday to mark the 50-year anniversary of the Six-Day War.
[. . . .] Since 1967, Israel has stood accused of committing major violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including excessive and deadly use of violence; forced displacement; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; unjustified restrictions on movement; and the expansion of illegal settlements.
___“Fifty years on, and there are those who say the (1967) victory only complicated things for us; that the ‘occupation’ corrupts our society,” Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said . . . .   MORE. . .

Klug, Tony. A “NEVER-ENDING  OCCUPATION:  THE  END  OF  HOPE?” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 88-95.    [. . . .]  Adding to the despair is the anxiety that, in these times, the likely alternative to an indefinite occupation would appear to be annexation of all or part of the West Bank, an action that would not only be completely illegal under international law but would be politically explosive. It was for these reasons that the Israeli defense minister and war hero, General Moshe Dayan, reportedly retracted a proposal shortly after the 1967 war to extend Israeli law to the Occupied Territories.
[. . . .]  Israel’s immediate challenge on inheriting the West Bank was to quell any insurgency and restore order. Secondly, it had designs on chunks of the territory, including but not limited to East Jerusalem, which it promptly annexed along with an extensive hinterland.
[. . . .]___Many years later, following extensive changes on the ground, the pragmatic view among both Palestinians and Israelis is no longer wedded to two states alongside each other. Ominously, there is a common growing illusion that a deal based on reciprocal recognition is no longer necessary. Indeed, there are indications that both sides are reverting to the ingrained attitudes of an earlier era when each summarily rejected the national imperative of the other.
[. . . .] Sooner or later, Israel will have to face its moment of truth: Is it or is it not an occupation? If it maintains that its rule in the West Bank is not an occupation, Israel denies itself the only solid defense it has against the intensifying charge of apartheid. If it accepts it is an occupation, then it is way beyond time to bring it to an end. Sheltering behind a fictional peace process, after 20 years of hollow talks, is no longer a credible option even for the most resolute devotees of direct negotiations.    MORE . . .   

❷ TRACKING  THE  TRENDS  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  SINCE  1967:  LOOKING  FORWARD   
Ma’an News Agency
Nadia Hijab, Mouin Rabbani
June 7, 2017 (Part 1, Looking Back, June 5, 2017)    In some respects the situation today has come full circle since 1967. The broadly unified Palestinian national movement that predominated from the 1960s to the 1990s has disintegrated, perhaps terminally so. It is today split between Fatah and Hamas, with the latter, along with Islamic Jihad, as yet excluded from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), while splits within Fatah and the PLO are rife [. . . .]
___As for Israel, 1967 transformed it from a regional state into a regional power. It is eager to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states, using Iran as the bogeyman to nurture that relationship. In turn, it wants to use that alliance to impose a deal on the Palestinians that would effectively perpetuate Israeli domination, achieving a final peace treaty whereby it would keep security control throughout the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), maintain its settlements, and continue to colonize. MORE. . .  

IDF leadership enters Jerusalem, 1967
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin, Gen. Rehavam Zeevi, And Gen. Narkis in the old city of Jerusalem, June 7 1967 (Photo by Ilan Bruner, GPO)

❸ PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENCY:  ISRAEL  ‘DESTROYING  ANY  CHANCE  OF  RESUMING  PEACE  PROCESS’  
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
June 8, 2017        Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh accusing the Israeli government on Wednesday of “destroying any chance of resuming the peace process,” after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to “protect the settlement enterprise” on Tuesday.
___”No one will be uprooted from their home, I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise,” Netanyahu reportedly said, reassuring his extremist settler support base that the settlements would continue in “all parts of Judea and Samaria (West Bank)” and that Israel had continued to build “both inside and outside the settlements.”
___Netanyahu’s remarks were made in a speech given during a ceremony on Tuesday held to commemorate the 50th year of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.
___These statements “prove to the international community once again that Israel still lays obstacles and destroys any chance of resuming the peace process,” Abu Rudeineh said, adding that Netanyahu’s remarks directly challenged US President Donald Trump’s efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.        MORE . . .

“PSALMS  OF  THE  PALESTINIANS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
From here
From this purgatory
Of sorrow
In the Holy Land
The orphaned birds beseech
Mankind
From here
From Jeneen
From Old Jerusalem
Alleluia

Once
A Gaza tune of yearning
Played
Once
The sad refrain
Kindled tragedy
In refugee tents
Once
In Jerusalem
The little ones chanted
We shall return
We shall return
Alleluia

The birds nest on our roof
The sparrow flies
In the horizon
And in exile
Under the hot sun
In the wind
Hearts―eyes
Implored:
God of glory
Return us
Our trial
Has gone on too long!
Alleluia―Alleluia

And then it happened
The metallic eagles swept down
They did not bring the sons of Zion
To Zion
Not the remaining crowds
They did not bring
Pious psalms
To the wailing wall
God of Glory!
What did they bring?
Do not ask me
For in my voice a pagan flame
Burns
And listen O God of Glory
Listen to the outcry of a dispossessed people
We have been tested long enough
We have carried the weight of centuries
Long enough
―Why aren’t you convinced?
Our days of trial have been too long
So
Return us―Return us
Alleluia―Alleluia―Alleluia.

About Sami Al-Qasim
From 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 Amazon

“. . . How has this village become a whore?. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

tulkarem
Israeli forces maintained a complete closure Thursday of the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 10, 2015)

❶ Tulkarem completely sealed as Israeli forces search for gunman
❷ US nonprofits ‘donate over $220 million’ to West Bank settlements
❸ ‘I am a mother amongst hundreds, we are all worried about our children’: The systemic incarceration of Palestinian children
❹ Soldiers Kill a Palestinian in Hebron
❺ Opinion/Analysis: TRUMP  IS  NO  MORE  RACIST  THAN  MAINSTREAM  ISRAELI  POLICY
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
TULKAREM  COMPLETELY  SEALED  AS  ISRAELI  FORCES  SEARCH  FOR  GUNMAN
Dec. 10, 2015
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces maintained a complete closure Thursday of the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem in the search for a gunman who injured a former member of a Jewish terror group and his wife, locals said.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces on Wednesday night raided Tulkarem and surrounding areas directly after the shooting, closing entrances leading into the city with cement blocks.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
US  NONPROFITS  ‘DONATE  OVER  $220  MILLION’  TO  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS
Dec. 9, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Over $220 million has been given in tax-exempted US funds to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank over the last five years, according to an investigative report by Israeli news site Haaretz this week.
___Haaretz published the findings after analyzing thousands of documents from filed taxes as well as official papers from dozens of US and Israeli nonprofit organizations, several of which were directly involved with raising money to support settlements.
[. . . . ]
Through its designation of such organizations as nonprofits, the daily said, the US government is “incentivizing and indirectly supporting the Israeli settlement movement.”
More . . .
MONDOWEISS
‘I  AM  A  MOTHER  AMONGST  HUNDREDS,  WE  ARE  ALL  WORRIED  ABOUT  OUR  CHILDREN’:  THE  SYSTEMIC  INCARCERATION  OF  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
Reem Abd Ulhamid
Dec. 9, 2015
Palestinian children’s rights of survival, protection, education, health and development have been dramatically violated by Israel since the first Intifada. Palestinian children stand defenseless against Israeli policies that target them as potential “terrorists” and continue to justify and legalize a system in which child imprisonment and persecution is enforced under the umbrella of defeating “terrorism”.
___For Israel, throwing stones is a serious security offense, and one of the most common accusations leading to the arrest of Palestinian children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The number of arrested Palestinian children has been escalating for the past two months.
More . . .

IMG_3241 - Copy
Members of SABEEL JERUSALEM WITNESS VISIT near barricade and IDF surveillance tower American contributor to Israeli settlements, Brooklyn-based nonprofit Hebron Fund, transferred $5.7 million to the illegal Jewish settlement in Hebron between 2009 and 2014. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS  KILL  A  PALESTINIAN  IN  HEBRON
Dec. 09, 2015
Israeli soldiers killed, Wednesday, a young Palestinian man in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after an alleged stabbing attack targeting an Israeli soldier and a settler. The slain Palestinian’s cousin was killed, near the Ibrahimi Mosque, Monday.
___Medical sources said the Palestinian has been identified as Yosri Zakariyya Miswada, 21; he was shot in the Shuhada Street, in Hebron city.
[. . . . ]
___It is worth mentioning that, ON MONDAY, ISRAELI SOLDIERS KILLED YOSRI’S COUSIN, Ehab Fathi Miswada, near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron.
More . . .
Related . . . Hebron: Another Palestinian Killed Under Stabbing Pretext
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
TRUMP  IS  NO  MORE  RACIST  THAN  MAINSTREAM  ISRAELI  POLICY
Mairav Zonszein
Dec. 9, 2015
Israeli politicians are joining the global pushback against Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim racism. But guess what other country bans Muslim immigration?
More . . .

“PSALM  OF  ISAIAH’S  GRANDCHILDREN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

We are Isaiah’s grandchildren
calling out to him now,
calling out to his kind face,
our dreams trembling, behind crimson tears!
We are Isaiah’s grandchildren―
and we call to him now―crying in anger:
Isaiah who has slept for ages!
How has this village become a whore?
Its silver has been debased.
They’ve treated it with disdain,
mixing the wine of its people with water.
Why don’t you tell them of the widows’ claims?
O Isaiah of the struggle―
Hallelujah!
The messengers of peace here weep
for the bitterness and the malice,
after the pretenders to right,
the enemies of culture,
severed the heads of the peaceful!
O sad Isaiah!
Rise up now, and cry through a village
that’s falling upon the slope of peril:
“May God show you the error of your ways!
Why, after seventy years, have you resorted to trade
with merchants from every kingdom?
Rise now and cry out through Tel Aviv:
“A thousand woes on those
who do not seek the Lord. And go to Egypt
bearing the wooden boards
of the Orient’s cross!”
O beloved Isaiah!
That revelation comes from Tayma,*
From the lands of the Arabs: People!
Bring out the water to the refugees,
provide the long-hungry with bread,
bandage the wounds of those who have fled,
escaping the edge of the sword.
O brave Isaiah!
Rise up now so that
Palestine’s children will be able to play
without fearing the vipers’ fangs,
so two lambs might feel safe
in the lions’ jungle.
Hallelujah!
Then justice will reign among the nations
without the annihilation of right,
without silencing any tongue.
O Isaiah of the struggle!
The swords will be turned into plowshares
and the people’s spears be molded
into scythes, and then―
no nation will raise a sword to fight!
Little people know not war,
nor what bloodshed is.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God of glory!
Our fight has been long,
and we were slaughtered and slaughtered in turn,
and have she our blood for ages.
God of glory!
We were tried for long, and rested. . .
Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah!

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Available from ALIBRIS.
About Samih Al-Qasim.

IMG_3195
The Palestinian village (left) near the Tent of Nations, surrounded by 5 illegal Israeli/Jewish settlements. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015) http://www.tentofnations.org/

 

“. . . my child’s back a field of wounds . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

cops
Around 1,200 members of the Israeli security forces line up in a street in Shuafat refugee camp during a home demolition, East Jerusalem, December 2, 2015. (Israel Police)

❶ The rise of psychological trauma in occupied Palestine
❷ Military court watch Newsletter – November 2015
. . ❷―A -Israel Generates the illusion that violence is routine
❸ 13 Palestinians shot in clashes after house demolition in Shufat camp
❹ Israeli forces raid home of Palestinian teen shot dead in Tulkarem
❺ Opinion/Analysis: TO  RESIST  HAS  BECOME  A  CRIME:  MY  FRIEND,   HASHEM  AL-AZZEH
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim (1970)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MONDOWESS
THE  RISE  OF  PSYCHOLOGICAL  TRAUMA  IN  OCCUPIED  PALESTINE
Megan Hanna
Nov. 30, 2015
On the morning of Monday 23rd November, Israeli forces raided Aida refugee camp and a children’s community centre and established a military outpost on the roof of an adjacent building. Once the military post was established, the soldiers also erected an Israeli flag . . . .
[. . . . ]
The move to erect an Israeli flag in such an area hardly conforms to Israel’s usual claims of self-defense, and appears to be a direct and taunting provocation to the residents of the camp. . . there is a lack of a clear motive other than to collectively punish, terrorize and exert psychological pressure on the Palestinian populace.
More . . .
MILITARY COURT WATCH
NEWSLETTER –  NOVEMBER  2015
Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 October 2015, there were 5,683 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as “security prisoners” IN ISRAELI DETENTION FACILITIES INCLUDING 307 CHILDREN. In the case of children there was a 80 per cent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 4 per cent compared with 2014. According to the IPS, 59 per cent of Palestinian children and 86 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention
More . . .
Related . . . UN  SUBMISSION:  UNLAWFUL  TRANSFER  OF  PROTECTED  PERSONS
. . ❷―A
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAEL  GENERATES  THE  ILLUSION  THAT  VIOLENCE  IS  ROUTINE
Dec. 1, 2015
[. . . . ]
Ya’alon’s adherence to this alternative strategy is not a result of his aversion to targeted assassinations. Rather, it is a systematic refining of tactics that, despite initial furore, tend to generate the illusion that violence is routine and, as such, is nothing to be concerned about. The maiming and murder of Palestinian civilians year after year results in hardly any outrage; it is the context of the latest intifada that has propelled Israeli violence to the fore. Netanyahu’s government has embarked upon an approach that refines the existing macabre legislation, in a manner that allows for international law violations under the pretext of security concerns while gradually increasing the number of Palestinian victims.
More. . .
Related . .

IMG_3519
Sign warning Jewish Israelis that it is both illegal and dangerous to enter Palestinian towns. (Photo, Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

❸ MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
13  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  IN  CLASHES  AFTER  HOUSE  DEMOLITION   IN  SHUFAT  CAMP
Dec. 2, 2015
JERUSALEM ― Israeli forces shot and injured 13 Palestinians in the Shufat refugee camp on Wednesday during clashes which broke out after the demolition of the home of camp resident Ibrahim al-Akkari, who carried out a deadly attack in Jerusalem last year.
___The Palestinian Red Crescent in Jerusalem told Ma’an that a total of 43 Palestinians were given medical treatment following the clashes that erupted in the occupied East Jerusalem camp.
___Thirteen were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets, while 30 others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation, the Red Crescent said.
More . . .
Related . . . THIS  IS  HOW  MANY  ISRAELI  COPS  IT  TAKES  TO  DEMOLISH  A  PALESTINIAN  HOME
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  HOME  OF  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  SHOT  DEAD  IN  TULKAREM
Dec. 2, 2015
NABLUS ― Israeli forces on Wednesday raided the Nablus home of a 19-year-old Palestinian woman shot dead a day earlier at a military checkpoint in Tulkarem, officials said.
___Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers broke into the home of Maram Hassouna in Rafidia and interrogated her family.
___The Israeli forces reportedly tore up pictures of the slain teenager during the raid.
___Clashes broke out in the town between Palestinian youth and Israeli military forces following the incursion.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
TO  RESIST  HAS  BECOME  A  CRIME:  MY  FRIEND,  HASHEM  AL-AZZEH
Mats Svensson
Dec. 1, 2015
Hashem al-Azzeh gently took my hand. . . I knew immediately that he had experienced something that had affected him deeply. . . .
___I had had to climb over the wall from his neighbor. It was partially dismantled. There was no longer a path to the house. Everything was blocked. . . . I saw a man sitting with an automatic weapon. We looked at each other. He did not seem to like my presence. He was an Israeli settler. He was my host’s neighbor.
___Within a few meters: One who tries to steal the land and homes, another who just wants to remain, to stay in the house that had been his family home for so many years. . . .
___Hashem had no enemies. But Hashem was hated, hated by the settlers. Right here, they were planning to continue the expansion.
More . . .

“IN  THE  TWENTIETH  CENTURY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM  (1970)

For centuries
I did not hate
But now
I am forced to raise my untiring spear
In the face of the dragon,
To draw a sword of fire
In the face of Baal
To become Elijah in the twentieth century.

For centuries
I did not apostate
But now
I strike at the gods in my heart
The gods that sold my people
In the twentieth century.

For centuries
I did not turn visitors
Away from my door
Then one morning I opened my eyes
To find my food stolen
My wife strangled
And my child’s back a field of wounds.
I recognized my treacherous guests.
I planted mines and daggers at my door
And I swore by the traces of the knife
That none of these guests shall enter my house
In the twentieth century.

For centuries
I was only a poet
In the bands of the Sufis
But now
I am an erupting volcano
In the twentieth century.

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 Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim