“. . . when we are strong about our suffering, you call it ‘Resilience’ . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

Palestinians gather around the remains of a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinians gather at the ruins of a building destroyed by an Israeli air attack in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . 
|   7  AL-QASSAM  FIGHTERS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  SENIOR  MEMBER,  IN  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES     Seven members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, were killed late Sunday evening, including a senior member during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes over Khuzaa town, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Local sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting southern Gaza, attacking Palestinians, who exposed an Israeli undercover unit that entered Gaza in an apparent attempt to abduct al-Qassam fighters.    ___Hebrew-language news outlets reported that violent armed clashes broke out between the Israeli unit and the al-Qassam fighters, which resulted in killing one Israeli soldier and critically injuring another.    ___Israeli warplanes intervened by launching airstrikes over the area, immediately killing seven Palestinians and variously injuring more than seven others, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  UNDERMINES  ‘COMPLICATED’  ISRAELI  MILITARY  OPERATION  IN  GAZA
. . . . Related  GAZA  PROTESTS:  ALL  THE  LATEST  UPDATES    Since protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 214 Palestinians and wounded more than 18,000.
. . . . Related  IOF  KIDNAPS  PALESTINIANS  FROM  HOMES  IN  W.  BANK
   OFFICIAL:  ISRAEL,  US  BLOCKING  ATTEMPTS  BY  FRANCE,  RUSSIA  TO  MOVE  PROCESS  FORWARD          The United States and Israel are blocking attempts by France and Russia to move forward the Middle East political process, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday.    ___Nabil Shaath, advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas on Foreign and International Affairs, told the official Voice of Palestine radio that there are attempts by France and Russia to move the political process forward through a multilateral international framework in accordance with the initiative the President had presented to the United Nations . . .   [. . . .] He said that Israel is seeking to establish a state in Gaza that will be under continuous Israeli siege, threats and extortion, while it plans to keep the West Bank and Jerusalem under its control and prevent any attempt at establishing a Palestinian state.     More . . .
. . . . Related  PRIME  MINISTER’S  VISIT  TO  FRANCE  IMPORTANT,  SAYS  OFFICIAL
|    BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY  RECEIVES  PRESTIGIOUS  YASSER  ARAFAT  ACHIEVEMENT  AWARD      Birzeit University has won the prestigious Yasser Arafat Achievement Award for 2018 in a special ceremony commemorating the fourteenth anniversary of the passing of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.    ___The award honors institutions and personalities who are distinguished by their exceptional work and recognizes real achievements in national, cultural, social, economic, scientific, or academic work.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ISRAELI  TARGETED  KILLINGS  IN  GAZA  AND  BEYOND:  A  TIMELINE    The latest Israeli killing fits a pattern of targeted assassinations of Hamas commanders and affiliates.    ___Israeli forces killed at least seven Palestinians, including a high-ranking Hamas official, in the besieged Gaza Strip late on Sunday in a ground operation that is expected to significantly boost tensions.  [. . . .]  An Israeli soldier was killed when an exchange of fire erupted during the operation, the Israeli army said.    [. . . .] The latest killing fits a pattern of targeted assassinations of individual Hamas commanders and members of affiliated groups. . . .  Here is a timeline of key assassinations targeting Palestinian military commanders and individuals with ties to Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HASHTAG  GAZA,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

To the children who lost their lives, and the parents who had to bury them**

Bring your camera.
Bring your candles and spotlights to highlight.
Bring your focus to hashtag anniversary.

Everyday Gaza.

Bring your reporters, your journalists, your moving infographics.

Write:

“Abu Muhammad sits on the balcony, cradling the head of Muhammad.”
Sorry.
“The photo of the head of head of Muhammad.”

Talk about bomb shelters and war sirens in Siderot and Tel Aviv.
Call it, “Neutrality.”

Talk about your 5 dead and your iron dome.
Call it “Objective Reality.”

Bring your billion dollar pledges and your aid caravans
Your exel sheets, monitoring reports and donor requirements.
Call it “Accountability.”

Write:

“Abu Muhmmad sits on the balcony hopelessly, smokes a hope-
less cigarette talks about lack of hope.”

This one is a human interest story.

And when we invite you into our rubble homes for tea and bread
you call it “Generosity.”

And when we are strong about our suffering, you call it “Resilience.”

Write:

51 days.
2,000 dead.
10,000 wounded.

Abu Muhammad says:

My boys took a ball to the beach.
Came back bodies.

How can we remember what we can’t forget?

**Four Gazan cousins were killed on the beach by Israeli rocket fire, July 16, 2014. The poem imagines the father of one of the boys, Ismail Mohammed Bakr, age 9.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . The emigrant comes home from death . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

march
Palestinians participate in the March of Return, Galilee, May 2, 2017. (Maria Zreik/Activestills)

❶ Trump Deletes Arafat From Accord Signing
❷ ‘Israel has never recognized its Palestinian citizens’
❸ Israeli forces fire tear gas, bullets at Palestinian hospital in Ramallah
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  Has the Mentality of the Colonial Powers Been Passed On?
❺ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
TRUMP  DELETES  ARAFAT  FROM  ACCORD  SIGNING
Palestine Chronicle
By James. M. Wall
May 4 2017
[. . . .] On Wednesday, President Trump met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House.  The usual “we want peace” talking points were exchanged. The word “justice” was not included.
[. . . .] President Trump began his cordial welcoming words to President Abbas with one of those blatant distortions of history that good staff work might have avoided. Unless, that is, the distortion was deliberate.
___This is the way President Trump welcomed President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House: “Almost 24 years ago, it was on these grounds that President Abbas stood with a courageous peacemaker, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Here at the White House, President Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles — very important — which laid the foundation for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”   There is a problem with this recall of history. It writes former Palestinian President Yasar Arafat out of a major moment of history.
[. . . .]  ___Abbas . . . most certainly did not sign with “a courageous peacemaker, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin”.  And, he did not stand with Yitzhak Rabin. That would be Yasar Arafat, as the historic picture (below), clearly demonstrates.
MORE . . .

Bill_Clinton,_Yitzhak_Rabin,_Yasser_Arafat_at_the_White_House_1993-09-13_cropped
1993: Rabin and Arafat shake hands on peace deal (not Abbas, as Trump would have it)

‘ISRAEL  HAS  NEVER  RECOGNIZED  ITS  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS’
+972 Blog
By Anat Matar
May 3, 2017
(Thousands of Palestinians participated in the March of Return on Tuesday, gathering at the site of the destroyed village of Al-Kabri in the Galilee . . . speech given by Anat Matar, a member of the Israeli Committee for Palestinian Prisoners)  
[. . . .] ___We’re said to be in an age in which the truth is unimportant. But the truth is unimportant only for those who have something to hide, who refuse to give up their power should the truth come to light.
___But the truth is also that the Nakba continues. We see it this year more than ever in the sweep of home demolitions. . . . Exactly a month ago the “Kaminitz Law” passed in the Knesset, which allows for home demolitions to be expedited and for Palestinians — whose towns have no master plans — to be incriminated. Instead of recognizing land theft and attempting to rectify it, Israel continues its policy of robbery and oppression.
___We . . .  are sticking with the truth. It’s the main goal of the march of the displaced. It’s the goal of events marking the Nakba. The stories of the destroyed villages, the depopulated towns . . .  the killed, wounded and displaced, those whose lands were stolen and who can’t return — these are the stories we must tell, and which we must fight to correct.     MORE . . .

From: Freeman, Chas W. “Greater Israel and the Prospects for Peace in the Middle East.”   [. . . .] In 2002, all twenty-two Arab states unequivocally offered Israel peace and normal political and economic relations if it would strike a deal with Palestinians.  The Arabs reaffirmed this offer in 2007 and again earlier this year. . . .  The question has been what, if anything, Israel might be prepared to do to cash in on this offer. . . .  Israel’s answer to that question till now has been bupkis.  Nothing.
[. . . .] Israel now rules a realm that is half-Jewish and half-Palestinian Arab.  Israel’s Jews enjoy full rights as the citizens of a democracy.  Some Arabs – one-eighth of all the people governed by the Israeli state – are officially Israeli citizens.  They are nominally represented in the Knesset but face intensifying racial discrimination and segregation by an assertively all-Jewish government and its electorate.  The remaining three-eighths of the people governed by Israel are stateless Arab Muslims or Christians who live under the tyranny of martial law in the West Bank and Jerusalem or relentless collective punishment in the Gaza ghetto.
[. . . .] With partition now impossible, the only path to peace for Greater Israel lies in recognition of the reality that there is and will be only one state in Palestine. . . . The Palestinian issue is ripening into a struggle for civil rights rather than self-determination. 
___It has become a cliché to say that Israel must choose between its democracy and its Jewishness.  But the disenfranchisement of Greater Israel’s Arabs vitiates its claim to be a democracy.  And its enforcement of Jewish supremacy throughout the territories it rules is driving the progressive abandonment of the rule of law and other liberal norms once central to Zionism.  Most Israelis already appear to prefer a Jewish to a democratic identity.    MORE . . . . 

ISRAELI  FORCES  FIRE  TEAR  GAS,  BULLETS  AT  PALESTINIAN  HOSPITAL  IN  RAMALLAH
Ma’an News Agency
May 4, 2017
RAMALLAH – Israeli forces fired bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas at a Palestinian hospital in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah at dawn on Thursday, sparking condemnation from the Palestinian Authority (PA).
___Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas inside the Palestinian Medical Complex grounds for more than an hour early on Thursday morning, causing many patients, including children, to suffer from tear gas inhalation.    ___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that during unspecified “overnight operational activities” in the nearby Qaddura refugee camp, Palestinians located inside the hospital grounds threw stones at Israeli soldiers.    MORE . . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis: HAS  THE  MENTALITY  OF  THE  COLONIAL  POWERS  BEEN PASSED  ON?
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
By Lars Kaspersen, PNN
April 12, 2017     Is everybody really born equal or is that just an empty platitude?   ___During the era of the colonial powers, the lands that originally belonged to the natives were taken away and the natives became subjugated in their own land. Their lives were presumably worth less than the lives of the colonial powers. If they and their way of life deviate from us and our way, then they must be worth less than us, the colonial mentality suggests. Does this chain of reasoning still make the foundation stones of the prevalent mentality of the people living in the Western world?   ___What happens in the Third World doesn’t concern the former colonial powers anymore, so why should we care? Our culture and appearance are different from theirs so why shouldn’t we leave them to their own devices? The answer should be simple, “Because we are human beings.”    MORE . . .

“THE  RETURNEE,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

Every day the emigrant comes home from death
to the shadows of his walls,
to his reading lessons,
he crawls to the shadows to rest under the quiet cinchona.
The emigrant comes home from death
to draw out breath from the chain of stone around his house,
from his milk-white feet,
from the rattling air.
He knows the trees,
the angles of the old houses,
the sound of his mother’s footsteps in the backyard,
the stories his great grandmother tells to put the mischievous young ones to sleep.
She plucks night stars as she wishes, after they have entered sleep.
He passes by like a stranger
although he doesn’t resemble a stranger in any way.
The people he sees standing now at his door
are the strangers.

  • Ibrahim Nasrallah. Rain Inside: Selected Poems by Ibrahim Nasrallah. Trans. By Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009.

“. . . the bed of her elder son, made for the final time and empty. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

HEBRON: Israeli settler Itamar Ben Gvir (right), dressed as a Palestinian prisoner, marches in a parade celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim on Shuhada Street, heavily guarded by Israeli police and military forces, Hebron, West Bank, February 24, 2013. (Photo: ActiveStills, file)
HEBRON: Israeli settler Itamar Ben Gvir (right), dressed as a Palestinian prisoner, marches in a parade celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim on Shuhada Street, heavily guarded by Israeli police and military forces, Hebron, West Bank, February 24, 2013. (Photo: ActiveStills, file)

❶ Israeli Forces Shoot Dead Two Palestinians in Hebron
❷ Israeli forces level large swathe of land, demolish shack near Hebron
❸ Israelis converge on West Bank [Hebron] holy sites in ‘provocative’ visits
❹ On World Water Day, Palestinians in West Bank refugee camps struggle with scarce resource
❺ Opinion/Analysis: DABKA,  NOT  TANGO:  THE  PALESTINIAN  ISSUE  IS  ON  HOLD
❻ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT  DEAD  TWO  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
24 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces Thursday morning shot dead two Palestinians in Tal Rumeida neighborhood in the center of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, said the Health Ministry. . . .
___Israeli media reported that the two men were killed after they allegedly stabbed and wounded a soldier at a checkpoint by the neighborhood.      MORE . . . 

ISRAELI  FORCES  LEVEL  LARGE  SWATHE  OF  LAND,  DEMOLISH  SHACK  NEAR  HEBRON
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 23, 2016
Israeli forces on Tuesday leveled 40 dunams (9.88 acres) of land west of Hebron and demolished a tin shack in the Masafer Yatta area in the southern occupied West Bank, locals said.
___Village spokesman Abdul-Rahman al-Tumazi told Ma’an that Israeli troops leveled the lands in the Suba area of the village of Idhna in order to illegaly annex it to a nearby Israeli settlement.      MORE . . .  

ISRAELIS  CONVERGE  ON  WEST  BANK  [HEBRON]  HOLY  SITES  IN  ‘PROVOCATIVE’  VISITS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
23 Mar. 2016
Hundreds of Israelis, including large numbers of settlers, converged on religious sites across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday morning ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, in visits Palestinians condemned as “provocative.”
___In the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Israeli settlers as well as other right-wing Israelis held celebrations in the Old City’s Ibrahimi Mosque. . . . used the mosque’s loudspeakers “to sing racist songs that call for the expulsion of ‘Arabs’ from Hebron.”      MORE . . .

Israeli demolition in Khirbet Jenbeh on March 22, 2016. (Photo Credit: B'Tselem/Nasser Nawaj'a, File)
Israeli demolition in Khirbet Jenbeh on March 22, 2016. (Photo Credit: B’Tselem/Nasser Nawaj’a, File)

ON  WORLD  WATER  DAY,  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  REFUGEE  CAMPS  STRUGGLE  WITH  SCARCE  RESOURCES
MONDOWEISS
Abed Al Qaisi and Sheren Khalel
22 Mar. 2016
As the world celebrates World Water Day this week, Palestinians in refugee camps across the occupied West Bank are preparing for the summer, when water becomes scarce.
___While the World Health Organization recommends 100 liters of water per person per day, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank use less than 73 liters, with those in refugee camps using even less. In Israel, residents use an average of 183 liters per person, per day.   MORE . . . 

OPINION/ANALYSIS:  DABKA,  NOT  TANGO:  THE  PALESTINIAN  ISSUE  IS  ON  HOLD
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
Yasser Ali
23 Mar. 2016
The Palestinian issue is experiencing paralysis due a number of international, regional, local and personal reasons, all of which have pushed it into a negative status quo. It is no longer moved or activated by major events, such as the Jerusalem Intifada, and no longer has any historical figures, like Yasser Arafat, who can break the mold dramatically, one way or the other.
___. . . .  the process must be like the Palestinian dabka, which needs every participant’s efforts to be made in a unified line, standing shoulder to shoulder for the overall good of everyone involved.       MORE . . .

“HOW  ARE  YOU?”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
Mourid Barghouti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest.
BDS FINAL LOGO_v5WEB_URL_side