“. . . We go on dreaming oh, dream of ours . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Palestinian-children-and-UNRWA-1
United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees 
(UNRWA) educates more than 500,000 Palestinian children in 711 schools.
(Photo: UNRWA website)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  14  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces Thursday detained 14 Palestinians during multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS) in a statement.    ___Israeli forces detained six people during several raids in the Ramallah-district villages of al-Mughayyir, Kafr Ni’ma and Saffa.    ___This came as Israeli military jeeps raided the An-Nahda Street in Ramallah, where soldiers ransacked a printing shop and seized its equipment and publicity materials. . .  Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians after breaking into their homes in Hebron city. . . Forces carried out two similar raids in Halhul town and al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, detaining three Palestinians. . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  forces  set  up  iron  gate  at  entrance  of  Ramallah-district  village 
. . . . Related  Israeli  occupation  grabs  Palestinian  lands  to  expand  illegal  outpost
|  AL-MALKI  PRESENTS  COMPLAINT  TO  ICC  OVER  INVESTIGATION  IN  ISRAELI  WAR  CRIMES
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Malki, presented a complaint, on Wednesday, to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, for procrastination in opening an investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.    ___. . .  al-Malki expressed his disappointment, to Bensouda, with the initial study carried out by the prosecutor’s office on the situation in Palestine.    ___Al-Malki’s comments were made during a meeting with Bensouda on the sidelines of the 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC. . . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  Attorney  General  elected  to  ICC  committee
. . . . Related  Jordan:  Aqsa  Mosque  cannot  be  divided  or  shared 
. . . . Related  Resheq:  Int’l  community  in  front  of  real  test  at  General  Assembly
. . . . Related  Irish  Senate  approves  bill  criminalizing  goods  made  in  settlements
GAZA  YOUTH  LAUNCH  CAMPAIGN  TO  HIGHLIGHT  GROWING  POLLUTION  CRISIS
Hundreds of Palestinian youth in the occupied Gaza Strip formed a human chain along the blockaded enclave’s only seaport yesterday to draw attention to the growing pollution crisis.    ___According to CGTN, the initiative – named “It will come back to you” – was “part of a campaign aimed at protecting the basin of the Gaza harbor from growing levels of pollution . . .”    [. . . . ] According to Hilles, Israel’s blockade is preventing Palestinians in Gaza from “building waste recycling plants to get rid of the accumulating waste pumped into the sea every day.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  The  Environment  and  Development  in  Palestine  Harmony  or  Discord? By Ramzi Sansur

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| TWO  DECADES  OF  RESILIENCE,  ADDED  TO  THE  PREVIOUS  FIVE  DECADES
By: Sam Bahour
In 1976, a report on Palestine declared, “The Palestinian people today face problems of formidable proportions.” That was the understatement of the century! Here we are, about to enter 2019, facing a daunting reality and an even more daunting future. One could say, The Palestinian people face problems of formidable proportions every day.    ___In the nitty-gritty of the here and now in Palestine, one is consumed by what seems to be a never-ending series of challenges brought about by our military occupier, Israel, and to a lesser degree, our governing body, the Palestinian government.   [. . . .] All analysis aside, I can guarantee you this: Palestinians will not collectively vanish. We are here to stay, forever.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| UNRWAUSA – The United States government has said no to helping Palestine refugees. But we won’t.     .. Due to the United States government’s recent decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis.   ___It’s going to take all of us standing together to fund UNRWA’s work so the Agency can continue serving Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.    ___Our common humanity depends on it.   ..  Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  FEAR  FOR  A  DREAM,”  by  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We fear for a dream: don’t believe our butterflies.
Believe our sacrifices if you like, believe the compass of a horse, our
. . . need for the north.
We have raised the beaks of our souls to you. Give us a grain of
. . . wheat, our dream. Give it, give it to us.
We have offered you the shores since our coming to the earth born of
. . . an idea or of the adultery of two waves on a rock in the sand.
Nothing. Nothing. We float on a foot of air. The air breaks up within
. . . ourselves.
We know you have abandoned us, built for us prisons and called them
. . . the paradise of oranges.
We go on dreaming. Oh, desired dream. We steal our days from those
. . . extolled by our myths.
We fear for you, we’re afraid of you. We are exposed together, you
. . . shouldn’t believe our wives’ patience.
They will weave two dresses, then sell the bones of the loved ones to
. . . buy a glass of milk for our children.
We fear for a dream, from him, from ourselves. We go on dreaming
. . . oh, dream of ours. Don’t believe our butterflies!

– – – From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  Bilingual  Anthology  of  Arabic  Poetry.
Trans. by Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 1984 & 2005.

“. . . these are not equal sides, occupier and occupied / We teach life, Sir . . . “ (Rafeef Ziadah)

IMG_3215 - Copy
Israeli Occupation Forces tower separating Palestinian homes from illegal settlement in Hebron (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    IN  VIDEO  –  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  SHOT,  INJURED  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
Israeli forces shot and injured several Palestinian students, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Sunday, as Israeli forces attacked them in the Tuqu village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.    ___Local sources confirmed that Israeli forces raided the Tuqu high school and fired tear-gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets towards Palestinian students. of Bethlehem.    ___Local sources confirmed that Israeli forces raided the Tuqu high school and fired tear-gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets towards Palestinian students.    [. . . .] Israeli forces forced the students and staff members to evacuate the premises, resulting in taking control of the high school and shutting it down.    Sources added that that Israeli forces sealed off the two main entrances to the Tuqu village.     More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  FORCES  ATTACK,  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  BANS  RENOVATIONS  OF  PALESTINIAN  KINDERGARTEN  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  TRY  TO  STEAL  PLAYGROUND  EQUIPMENT  IN  BEIT  TA’MIR  TOWN
|    HEBRON  IS  BRAVING  A  STORM  OF  JUDAISATION   The ongoing and intense settlement activity in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron confirms Israel’s deliberate policy to empty it of its Arab inhabitants and Judaise it. The Palestinian city remains the second most targeted area for illegal Jewish settlements after Jerusalem. The first settlement activity in the West Bank was the establishment of the Kfar Etzion kibbutz in the strategic area bordering Hebron.    ___. . . Israel’s plans for the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron are no less dangerous than its Judaisation plans for Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Over the years, the Israeli settlers have turned a major section of the mosque into a synagogue.   [. . . .]  the Israeli government announced recently a new settlement plan targeting the heart of Hebron in order to link the settlements built across the city by means of new illegal blocs.    More . . .
. . . . Related EXTREMIST  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  WORKERS  [HEBRON]
. . . . Related SETTLERS  BAN  ENTRY  OF  TRUCKLOADS  TO  GAZA
|    GREENBLATT:  NEITHER  SIDE  WILL  LIKE  THE  US  “DEAL  OF  THE  CENTURY”
US White House Envoy [Special Representative for International Negotiations] Jason Greenblatt, said in a closed meeting, that the US administration will soon be presenting President Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East that “neither side will like.”    ___According to Israel’s Channel 10, the meeting was held in London, and organized by the UK Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers, in which Greenblatt said that the plan would be a permanent deal instead of temporary agreements, adding that “there will be a need to compromise.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    PALESTINIAN  EDUCATION  MUST  MOVE  AWAY  FROM  THE  IMPOSED  HUMANITARIAN  AGENDA
Ramona Wadi
As the media hype over Khan Al-Ahmar fades away, mainstream narratives have yet to find another sensationalist violation to exploit . . .   the fate of the Bedouin community it houses will be forgotten . . .  Khan Al-Ahmar’s much-publicized school, built of tires and clay, will also fade into oblivion with the rest of the village and its inhabitants.    [. . . .] a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report dated April 2018 stated that 44 Palestinian schools are risking full or partial demolitions.   [. . . .]  For Israel, the targeting of Palestinian education is a political act designed to reduce drastically any chances of Palestinian emancipation, let alone resistance. Palestinians have a long history of utilizing education to provide the foundations for their legitimate anti-colonial struggle. Yet the incessant deprivation is increasingly contributing to a scenario where education is classified as a right from a western, and therefore, acceptable, perspective. Hence, the humanitarian focus on Palestinians being deprived of an uninterrupted right to education is dissociated from the particular needs of Palestinians who are living the realities of Israel’s colonial violence.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
   UNRWA  –  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  NEED  YOUR  SOLIDARITY  AND  SUPPORT  NOW  MORE  THAN  EVER  BEFORE.   #DignityIsPriceless Campaign. Donate now.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TEACH  LIFE,  SIR”,  LONDON,  12.11.11, BY  RAFEEF  ZIADAH 

“. . . everyone had to face both the present moment and the future alone . . .” (Reja-e Busailah)

mail
SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
. . .

|  ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA
Israeli forces injured a number of Palestinian protesters, on Tuesday evening, east of the Deir al-Balah City in the central besieged Gaza Strip.   ___A Ma’an reporter confirmed that Israeli forces opened fire at dozens of Palestinian youths taking part in protests near the security border fence in central Gaza.   ___Five Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces, while a number of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs towards protesters to disperse them.   More . . .
|  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS,  POLICE  HARASS  OLIVE  PICKERS  IN  AS-SAWIYA  VILLAGE
October 7, 2018 | International Solidarity Movement
As-Sawiya. Occupied Palestine A group of Israeli soldiers, one Israeli policeman, and one Israeli settler harassed a group of Palestinian and international olive pickers in As-Sawiya village yesterday, demanding identification and threatening to expel the harvesters from the area. Soon after the group began work, they noticed security vehicles from the nearby.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

CRITICISM  OF  ISRAELI  POLICY  IS  NOT  ANTI-SEMITIC
By James J. Zogby
I was provoked to write this discussion of what is and what isn’t anti-Semitism by an article in Haaretz on the “controversy” created by the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to George P. Smith. According to the reporting, Dr Smith is not only a brilliant scientist whose work has helped lead to the creation of new drugs that can treat cancer and a range of autoimmune diseases, but he is also an outspoken supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of Israeli policies.       [. . . .] As I read through the article looking for evidence of Smith’s sins, I found quotes saying that he “wished ‘not for Israel’s Jewish population to be expelled’ but ‘an end to the discriminatory regime in Palestine’”. At another point, Haaretz quotes from an op-ed written by Smith condemning Israeli policies in Gaza which he concludes by expressing his support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS)   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

UNRWA USA
Today, as the world marks WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, we honor the tens of thousands of children in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank who suffer from psychological trauma and mental health concerns. Despite unprecedented financial challenges, UNRWA continues to exert every effort to ensure that Palestine refugees, both young and old, are provided the essential support and life skills to cope with the challenging environment.   Donate . . .
Houston, Texas, Gaza 5K Marathon . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  GUEST,”  REJA-E  BUSAILAH
READ  BY  THE  POET
(The title of this post is a line from his autobiography quoted by Mondoweiss.)
REJA-E  BUSAILAH autobiography:  In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood
.  Institute for Palestine Studies (November 22, 2017).   In this remarkable book, Reja-e Busailah takes us on two parallel journeys. The first is to Palestine before the Nakba, which we discover with all our senses: smelling, touching, and feeling the place thanks to an autobiographical narrative laced with poetry and the memory of words rooted in the land. And the second is to the self, which the author has fashioned into a reflection of life: here, the young boy uses the light of words to help illuminate our own vision, enabling us to transcend the surface of things and plumb their depth. What Busailah has done is to make words into eyes with which to see what the seeing eye cannot. He makes the reader privy to secrets that only sightless poets, from Homer to Abu al-`Ala¿ al-Ma¿arri, glean, beholding with words what their eyes could not discern. With In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood, Busailah has given us what life denied him, and in his hands, the memoir is transformed from a personal story into the chronicle of a country whose memory others have sought to erase. In this way, the tapestry of Palestine is rewoven, its map redrawn, thanks to the actual experience of life. This book also enriches the corpus of Arab and Palestinian autobiographical literature. (Mondoweiss)

“. . . We know you have abandoned us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Israeli settlers storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN  HOME  AS  PUNISHMENT
Israeli forces raided the family home of 17-year-old Khalil Youssef Ali Jabarin, on predawn Monday, in the southern occupied West Bank city of Yatta. . . .  thoroughly searched the house, destroyed the family’s belongings and damaged most of the furniture.    ___Jabarin had carried out a stabbing attack on Sunday near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion, in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, due to which one Israeli settler died and another sustained serious injuries.   ___Jabarain was shot and injured by Israeli forces and immediately detained.   More . . .
Related . . .    ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  19  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  MINORS

INJURIES  AMONG  PALESTINIANS  AS  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAID  JOSEPH’S  TOMB  IN  NABLUS
At least 10 Palestinians were injured on Monday during clashes with Israeli forces who were providing cover for extremist settlers during the latter’s raid of Joseph’s Tomb, to the east of the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank  . . .    More . . .
Related . . .   114  EXTREMIST  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  AQSA  MOSQUE
Related . . .   DOZENS  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BLOCK  MAIN  ROAD,  DAMAGE  VEHICLES

ASHRAWI  CONDEMNS  US  ADMINISTRATION’S  DECISION  TO  REVOKE  VISAS  OF  PLO  ENVOY  AND  HIS  FAMILY
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the Trump administration’s decision to revoke the visas of the family of Head of the PLO General Delegation to the U.S. as ‘being vindictive and cruel’.   ___On Tuesday, the U.S. administration informed staff at the PLO General Delegation Office in Washington D.C. of the guidelines for closing down the office.  [. . . .] On this most recent outrageous development, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “As if the announcement that the U.S. would close our office in Washington D.C. was not enough, this vindictive action by the Trump administration is spiteful. The U.S. has taken its attempts to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians to a new level.”   More . . .
Related . . .   US  CUTS  AID  TO  ‘PALESTINE-ISRAEL’  CONFLICT  RESOLUTION  PROGRAMS

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  SUPPORT  FOR  ISRAEL  MEANS  ABANDONING  UNIVERSAL  VALUES
Udi Aloni
On a recent trip to Germany, Jewish Israeli filmmaker Udi Aloni finds himself defending the Palestinians’ right to resist Israeli apartheid and occupation. Before pledging unconditional loyalty to Israel, he says, people should ask themselves what values they are helping promote.  [. . . .] ___In a time of weakness and confusion, in which the right wing appropriates our human rights discourse, political correctness and identity politics are crucial to refresh the stagnant left. How is it that crucial strategies become perversely transformed, only to be thrown back in our face as racist ideologies while the white-supremacist crowd applauds? And how can I stand up to these brutal attacks and not fall into them?  More . . .

ON  THIS  DAY:  THE  JERUSALEM  INTIFADA  (SEPT.  15,  2015)
Rebecca Stead
On 13 September 2015, the eve of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), a number of Jewish Israelis visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, entered Al-Haram Al-Sharif escorted by heavily armed Israeli soldiers. Palestinians gathered in the compound to protest the visits, since Israelis are prohibited from praying on the site under the status quo agreement. Israeli forces dispersed the protesters with violence, using tear gas and rubber bullets.  [. . . .] According to the UN’s OCHAoPt, “2015 recorded the highest number of casualties among West Bank Palestinians since 2005, when OCHA began documenting incidents”. Hundreds of Palestinians died from tear gas inhalation, rubber bullets and from live ammunition shot by Israeli forces. Thirty children were killed by Israeli forces and settlers, the highest number recorded since 2006.   ___Some commentators believe that this “third intifada” never really ended.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

UNRWA USA is an independent nonprofit that supports the humanitarian and human development work of the  UNITED  NATIONS  RELIEF  AND  WORKS  AGENCY  for Palestine Refugees through fundraising, education, and advocacy.  UNRWA USA aims to promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees. Due to the United States government’s recent decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis.  HELP FUND UNRWA’S WORK.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  FEAR  FOR  A  DREAM,”  by  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We fear for a dream: don’t believe our butterflies.
Believe our sacrifices if you like, believe the compass of a horse, our
. . . need for the north.
We have raised the beaks of our souls to you. Give us a grain of
. . . wheat, our dream. Give it, give it to us.
We have offered you the shores since our coming to the earth born of
. . . an idea or of the adultery of two waves on a rock in the sand.
Nothing. Nothing. We float on a foot of air. The air breaks up within
. . . ourselves.
We know you have abandoned us, built for us prisons and called them
. . . the paradise of oranges.
We go on dreaming. Oh, desired dream. We steal our days from those
. . . extolled by our myths.
We fear for you, we’re afraid of you. We are exposed together, you
. . . shouldn’t believe our wives’ patience.
They will weave two dresses, then sell the bones of the loved ones to
. . . buy a glass of milk for our children.
We fear for a dream, from him, from ourselves. We go on dreaming
. . . oh, dream of ours. Don’t believe our butterflies!

– – – From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  Bilingual  Anthology  of  Arabic  Poetry.
Trans. by Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 1984 & 2005.

 

“. . . Remember us now/ In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

Jabra-Ibrahim-Jabra-Untitled-1946-LR-627x500
THREE FIGURES (oil on canvas), 1946. Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

PROTESTS  CONTINUE:  16-YEAR-OLD  GAZAN  SUCCUMBS  TO  WOUNDS
A 16-year-old Palestinian succumbed to his wounds on Saturday night that he had sustained during “The Great March of Return” protests in Khan Younis in the southern besieged Gaza Strip over a month ago.    [. . . .]  Suhaib was shot and injured by Israeli forces during protests on August 3rd east of Khan Younis.   ___Meanwhile, mass protests continued on Saturday in various places in the Gaza Strip.   More . . .

UN  MLADENOV:  ‘ISRAEL’S  ACTIONS  ARE  CONTRARY  TO  INTERNATIONAL  LAW’
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, expressed his concern on Sunday at the intention of Israeli authorities to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem.     ___Mladenov said in a statement “I am concerned at the intention of the Israeli authorities to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar . . .  [. . . .] Mladenov concluded “Such actions are contrary to international law . . .”    More . . .
Related . . .    PRESIDENT  ABBAS  SAYS  LEADERSHIP  TO  SEEK  UN  ACTION
Related . . .   AL-QUDS  UNIVERSITY’S  ACADEMY  FOR  GLOBAL  JUSTICE  GRADUATES  FIRST  COHORT  OF  TRAINEES  IN  ICC  LITIGATION

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

[United  States]  BENJAMIN  NETANYAHU’S  ISRAEL  WAS  BROUGHT  TO  YOU  BY  JEFFREY  GOLDBERG
Yakov Hirsch
[Report of Senator Booker’s breaking the taboo] . . . because of the taboo associated with the Palestinians’ side of their conflict with Israel—the taboo associated with BDS.   ___This taboo is reflective of Israeli and Diaspora discourse right now. It dismisses attempts to portray Palestinians—or people critical of the Israeli government—as making decisions about what to support based on rational criteria. Instead, people are reduced to ideas, to symbols of ancient Jew hatred. “BDS is a modern version of an irrational hatred of the Jewish people,” says Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL.    More . . .

[United Kingdom] HOW  ISRAEL’S  BOGUS  DEFINITION  OF  ANTI-SEMITISM  SHUTS  DOWN  FREE  SPEECH
The fierce campaign to cajole, bully and shame the UK Labour Party into adopting a controversial definition of anti-Semitism produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) . . .  has been waged all summer long by pro-Israel lobby groups inside and outside the party. . .   [. . . .] One of the most insidious tactics employed by Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) and the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) – the two organized vocal Zionist campaign groups inside the Labour Party – has been to claim it is an innocuous and uncontroversial document.  [. . . .] This lie has been repeated time and again.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

UNRWA USA is an independent nonprofit that supports the humanitarian and human development work of the  UNITED  NATIONS  RELIEF  AND  WORKS  AGENCY  for Palestine Refugees through fundraising, education, and advocacy.  UNRWA USA aims to promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees. Due to the United States government’s recent decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis.  HELP FUND UNRWA’S WORK.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

Jabra2
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, “Self Portrait.” Oil on canvas, 1946

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring,
in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

–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.
(“Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s Baghdad Home Destroyed; The End of an Era?”)

“. . . These are actions aimed at liquidating the Palestinian issue completely . . .” (Mustafa Barghouti)

unhcr&unrwa
UNITED  STATES  ENDS  ALL  FUNDING  TO  UNRWA
 

The United States (US) officially cut all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), on Friday, calling the agency an “irredeemably flawed operation.”     ___The statement, issued by US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert, said “the administration has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to UNRWA.”     ___According to the Washington Post, the statement added that the US remained “very mindful of and deeply concerned regarding the impact upon innocent Palestinians, especially school children.”   More . . .

THE  UNITED  STATES  ADMINISTRATION  HAS  SAID  NO  TO  HELPING  PALESTINE  REFUGEES.  BUT  WE  WON’T.  HELP  FUND  UNRWA’S  WORK.        

With the United States administration’s recent decision to cut funding to UNRWA by $300 million (83%) [NOW  CUT  IT  COMPLETELY], the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis and millions of Palestine refugees could lose access to UNRWA services.     ___It’s going to take all of us standing together to FUND UNRWA’S WORK so the Agency can continue serving Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.     MORE . . .

WISHING  AWAY  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES:  END  OF  US’  UNRWA  AID  EXPLAINED 

[. . . . ] For nearly 70 years, UNRWA has provided lifesaving assistance to more than five million Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.    [. . . .] Mustafa Barghouti, a former Palestinian information minister and secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, said “The US . . . want[s] to kill UNRWA with the aim of killing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.  These are actions aimed at liquidating the Palestinian issue completely while trying to normalise relations between Israel and Arab countries.  This will fail and what the Americans have done will make us more determined to stick to the rights of Palestinian refugees, especially after their nationalistic law, which is nothing but a system of apartheid”.   MORE . . .

ASHRAWI  ON  US  DECISION:  ‘INHUMANE  AND  RECKLESS’ 

Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said in a statement on Saturday that the United States (US) administration’s decision to end all funding to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is “a cruel and irresponsible move targeting the most vulnerable segment of Palestinian society.”    ___Ashrawi said that “Palestinian refugees are already the victims who have lost their homes, livelihoods and security as a result of the creation of the state of Israel, and once again, they are being victimized by the US administration in support of Israel’s decades-long military occupation and impunity.”   More . . .

UN,  UNRWA  EXPRESS  DEEP  REGRET  TOWARDS  US  DECISION         

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed deep regret towards the United States’ decision to end all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), on Friday.     ___The spokesperson of Guterres, Stephane Dijarric, said in a statement “we regret the United States’ decision to provide no further funding to UNRWA, which provides essential services to Palestine refugees and contributes to stability in the region.”     ___He added that “UNRWA has a strong record of providing high-quality education, health and other essential services, often in extremely difficult circumstances, to Palestine refugees who are in great need.”   More . . .

UNRWA USA supporters can help protect the fundamental right to education for 526,000 Palestine refugee girls and boys. Your $100 donation can cover the education costs of an UNRWA student for a month as well as a back to school kit.

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