“. . . one of the Chosen selected her heart for his anointed lead . . .” (Reja-e Busailah*)

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Palestinian farmer from Qaryut village inspects destroyed olive trees. (Photo by AFP, Published Fri Aug 17, 2018 by PressTV)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  ISRAEL  RAZES  LANDS,  UPROOTS  OLIVE  TREES  IN  AL-KHADER  VILLAGE
Israeli military bulldozers razed Palestinian agricultural lands and uprooted olive trees in the al-Khader village, south of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday.    ___Locals said that Israeli bulldozers razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of agricultural lands, located between two illegal Israeli settlements of Elazar and Neve Daniel, both built on lands of the al-Khader village, and uprooted olive trees.    ___Sources confirmed that the razed and leveled lands belonged to Muhammad Moussa.    ___Locals added that razing of Palestinian lands and uprooting of trees is part of an Israeli plan to expand nearby illegal settlements.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  demolish  housing  structures  in  Jordan  Valley
. . . . Related  PA  cabinet  to  form  investigation  committee  into  Jerusalem  properties  issue
. . . . Related   Salfit:  Israel  to  confiscate  8  dunums  of  land  for  military  purposes
|  WHO:  14  GAZANS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  IN  TWO  WEEKS
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a special situation report, on Wednesday, in which the latest figures showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___According to the WHO report, from March 30th, the start of “The Great March of Return” protests along the Gaza borders with Israel, until the 6th of October, 205 Palestinians were killed.    ___Out of the total killed, 190 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the mass protests, while 15 others were killed during various Israeli attacks.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Gaza’s  unemployment  doubled  since  start  of  Israeli  blockade  –  labor
|  UNESCO  ADOPTS  BY  CONSENSUS  DECISIONS  ON  PALESTINE
. . . . (UNESCO) adopted on Wednesday by consensus two resolutions on Occupied Palestine in the framework of its 205th plenary meeting.     [. . . .] One resolution stated that, ”The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. . .  all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel . . .  are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”    [. . . .] It also deplored “the ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| WHAT  THE  CLOSURE  OF  THE  PLO  OFFICE  IN  WASHINGTON  REALLY  MEANS
Dorgham Abusalim
There have been attempts to shutter the PLO presence in the U.S. ever since it opened a Washington, DC-based Information Office in 1978. But it wasn’t until 1987 that such attempts began to gain steam when Congress adopted the Anti-Terrorism Act, in which it proclaimed the PLO a terrorist organization—this law is in effect to this day . . .  In all the commentary on the closure of the PLO office in Washington, little has been said about what it actually means . . .       [. . . .] Thirty-six years later, the closure of the PLO office in Washington . . .  echoes [Edward] Said’s sobering analysis: “To  reduce  Palestinian  existence  as  much  as  possible.”  Indeed, the closure of the PLO office is yet another reminder of the long assault by Israel and the U.S., its chief ally, on those elements that constitute the Palestinian narrative: institutions, culture, history, law, and language, to name a few.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

| KINDER  USA  PRESENTS  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA  (Dallas,  Texas,  October  21;  Anaheim,  California,  October  26)  For over thirsty years, Dr. Mads Gilbert has worked in conflict zones including volunteering in hospitals under siege in West Beirut, Lebanon during the 80s and Gaza for the last two decades. His perspective as a doctor and activist in such a conflicted time and area makes him the ideal person for our upcoming speaking events.  Tickets and Information . . .

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.

“. . . We have buried our loved ones in the darkness of the clouds . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Sanctuary of Abraham or Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron; staircase representing how teachers spread the word of the Prophet Muhammad. Rare original from the 11th century made of inlaid wood and no nails. (Photo: Rick Steves Blog)

❶ Netanyahu OKs UN funding cuts, creation of settlement museum over UNESCO vote
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Analysis/Opinion. There’s nothing anti-Semitic about UNESCO’s Hebron vote
❷ South Africa ruling party votes to downgrade diplomatic ties with Israel
❸ Dutch gov’t condemns Israeli confiscation of donated solar panels
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
NETANYAHU  OKS  UN  FUNDING  CUTS,  CREATION  OF  SETTLEMENT  MUSEUM  OVER  UNESCO  VOTE     
Ma’an News Agency        
July 9, 2017.   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed during a security cabinet meeting on Sunday his decision to withhold a further $1 million in Israel’s membership dues to the United Nations and invest this money in a settlement museum, in protest of a recent UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) vote to inscribe Hebron’s Old City and Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank on the World Heritage in Danger list.
___Friday’s resolution, filed by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Tourism, the Hebron municipality, and the Hebron rehabilitation committee, argued that Hebron’s Old City urgently needed protection from Israeli violations in the area that harmed the exceptional international value of the site.
___Friday’s vote asserted that Hebron’s Old City and the mosque would be registered in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. . .      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ANALYSIS/OPINION.  THERE’S  NOTHING  ANTI-SEMITIC   ABOUT  UNESCO’S  HEBRON  VOTE  
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
July 9, 2017.   UNESCO’s resolution to recognize the Tomb of the Patriarchs/Ibrahimi Tomb and Hebron’s Old City as Palestinian World Heritage Sites brought on, as expected, knee-jerk cries of anti-Semitism by Israeli politicians. . .   Even Labor’s Merav Michaeli, known for her dovish views, called the resolution “insane.”
___. . . As opposed to what Israel is attempting to portray, UNESCO does not comment on the religious aspects of heritage sites, or to whom they are or are not considered holy. . .   UNESCO deals with two questions: whether a site is worth being included in the list of World Heritage Site, and which national entity it falls under.
___As Yonathan Mizrahi wrote last week, since UNESCO recognized Palestine as a state in 2011, the Palestinians have had the opportunity to submit nominations for World Heritage Sites. The fact that the Tomb of the Patriarchs should be included in that list is undisputed. Even Israel doesn’t dispute that fact.
___What UNESCO has established, however, is that the Tomb of the Patriarchs is located in Palestine. That’s it. In no way does the resolution deny the Jewish connection to Hebron or the Tomb of the Patriarchs — on the contrary. In fact, every time a resolution about Hebron comes up, it uses the city’s Hebrew name before its Arabic name (“Al-Khalil”), and recognizes the fact that the city is holy to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Palestinian resolution openly states this fact.   MORE . . .
SOUTH  AFRICA  RULING  PARTY  VOTES  TO  DOWNGRADE  DIPLOMATIC  TIES  WITH  ISRAEL    
Ma’an News Agency
July 5, 2017.   The African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party of South Africa, voted on Tuesday in favor of downgrading South Africa’s diplomatic representation in Israel in protest of the occupation.
___The decision, made during ANC’s National Policy Conference, was hailed as a “major victory for human rights and for the people of Palestine,” according to a statement released by the Western Cape branch of the ANC on Wednesday.
___The Oliver Tambo Resolution — named after the prominent anti-apartheid figure who served as president of the ANC between 1967 and 1991 — states that the aim of downgrading South Africa’s embassy to Israel was to “send a strong message about Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine and the continued human rights abuses against the peoples of Palestine.”   MORE . . .

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Solar panels in Palestinian village of Jibbet Addeeb’s hybrid power system stolen by Israeli Occupation Forces (Photo: Palestine News Network, July 5, 2017)

DUTCH  GOV’T   CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  CONFISCATION  OF  DONATED  SOLAR  PANELS     
Palestine News Network – PNN      
July 5, 2017.   The Dutch government has lodged a protest with Israel over the confiscation of equipment donated to the Palestinian village of Jibbet Addeeb’s hybrid power system (diesel and solar powered), according to a written statement of the Dutch foreign ministry, sent to Haaretz by the Netherlands’ office in Ramallah.
___The Dutch government donated 500,000 euros to the electrification project south west of Bethlehem in the West Bank, 350 thousand euro of which went to the electrification of Jibbet Addeeb. The Dutch Foreign ministry had requested Israel return the equipment and is “currently assessing what next steps can be taken,” it said.
___A source close to Dutch diplomats in the West Bank told Haaretz that these softly worded statements cover the anger brewing in the government of the Netherlands, a close friend of Israel’s, at the damage to the humanitarian project.   MORE . . .

“WE TRAVEL LIKE OTHER PEOPLE,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if traveling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us
for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a metre of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the
distance and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopoe’s beak or sing to while away the
distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak Speak so I can put my road on the
stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak Speak so we may know the end of this travel.

Mahmoud Darwish.
From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Goodreads.