“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.

“. . .what can I call this rug of soil. . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .

EGYPT  CONFIRMS  EFFORTS  TO  ACHIEVE  PALESTINIAN  UNITY
The Egyptian Presidency stressed that the country is keen to achieve Palestinian reconciliation and national unity.   ___Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s statement was made during a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, on Thursday.   ___According to spokesperson of the Egyptian Presidency, Bassam Radi, al-Sisi said that the Palestinian Authority must take over its responsibilities in the besieged Gaza Strip, pointing out that it would help revive the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.   More . . .

ISRAEL  KILLED  19  PALESTINIANS  IN  AUGUST,  REPORT  SAYS
Israeli occupation forces killed a total of 19 Palestinians, including four children, during August 2018, according to a report by Abdullah Horani Center of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).   The center said of those 19 Palestinians, 17 were killed by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border or in airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Another Palestinian was killed in the occupied West Bank and the last one was a Palestinian citizen of Israel.   More . . .    Related . . . ISRAELI FORCES OPEN FIRE NEAR GAZA RETURN CAMPS

ACTIVIST  SOUNDS  ALARM  OVER  SIMMERING  TERRORISM  BY  ISRAEL  SETTLER  GANGS        Extremist Israeli settlers have been raking through Palestinian lands in Nablus and Ramallah, paving the way for more attacks against Palestinians and their property, an activist has warned.   ___Ghassan Dughlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern occupied West Bank, said settler gangs have showed up on Palestinian land located between Yitzhar outpost, south of Nablus, and Shilo, north of Ramallah.   More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

HOW  ISRAEL  SPIES  ON  US  CITIZENS:  THE  TRUTHS  THAT  WON’T  BE  HEARD
Alain Gresh
An investigative documentary by Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera scheduled for broadcast earlier this year was expected to cause a sensation. Its four 50-minute episodes centred on the young and personable James Anthony Kleinfeld, British, Jewish, an Oxford graduate . . . – seemingly a natural fit for a western foreign ministry or a major thinktank.    ___The documentary showed Kleinfeld being enthusiastically recruited for his skills by The Israel Project (TIP), which defends Israel’s image in the media, and associating . . . [with] the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the powerful US lobbying group. . . .  ___Kleinfeld’s contacts told him they were spying on US citizens with the help of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, founded in 2006, which reports directly to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu . . .  ___At the end of Kleinfeld’s time at TIP, his boss there . . . wanted to hire “Tony” on a permanent basis . . .     ___Kleinfeld turned down the job. His qualifications were genuine, but he was, of course, an undercover reporter, sent by Al Jazeera to investigate the pro-Israel lobby.  More . . .

THIS  PALESTINIAN  LIFE:  UNCOVERING  THE  STORIES  OF  WOMEN  BEHIND  THE  WALL
Henriette Chacar

A mother in the West Bank struggles to explain to her child, on reaching a checkpoint, that no, they have not yet arrived at the zoo.   [This is one of] women’s stories featured on “Women Behind the Wall,” a new podcast which aims to “amplify minority perspectives in the Israel-Palestine conflict,” according to the project founder, Shadia Qubti. The show centers around the stories of Christian Palestinian women – a double minority group in terms of gender and religion – in an attempt to expose how the occupation impacts their lives.   ___According to Qubti, Palestinian society is very diverse and rich, but “in the media, we do not reach the average peoples’ stories.” She believes there is a humanizing power to storytelling, and “these moments, hopefully, will make the listener intrigued to understand more.”    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .    

Land of Canaan Foundation: Regenerative agriculture – what is it?  Regenerative farming goes beyond just organic agriculture. It naturally creates healthy soil which holds water and carbon better and will produce healthy crops at a higher yield.  More . . .   Donate . . .

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. She has been a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. She has also been editor of the journal Awarq.
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.

“. . . In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Israeli settlers erect 29 mobile homes in Nablus, Tulkarem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel is razing a Bedouin village to build a Jewish-only town on its ruins

  • Background: “The Biopolitics of Israeli Settler Colonialism: Palestinian Bedouin Children Theorise the Present.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians perform prayers at Jerusalem home threatened by settler takeover
❷ 9th anniversary of the passing of Mahmoud Darwish
❸ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ERECT  29  MOBILE  HOMES  IN  NABLUS,  TULKAREM
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2017.   Israeli settlers installed 29 mobiles homes in and near several illegal Israeli settlements in the Nablus and Tulkarem districts of the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian official told Ma’an on Saturday.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the infamous Yitzhar settlement . . .    installed 11 mobile homes inside the settlement, located south of Burin village.
___Another nine houses were erected by settlers near the village of Qusin . . . .  settlers from the Einav settlement in the eastern part of Tulkarem district erected nine homes . . .
[. . . .] There are some 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory, all considered illegal under international law, while hundreds of unauthorized Israeli settler outposts — considered illegal even under Israeli law — also dot the Palestinian landscape.
[. . . .] Meanwhile, in June, Israeli authorities broke ground on the first official new Israeli settlement in 25 years amid fierce condemnation from the international community and rights groups.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAEL  IS RAZING  A  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  TO  BUILD  A  JEWISH-ONLY  TOWN  ON  ITS  RUINS
+972 Magazine
By Edo Konrad     August 10, 2017.   Despite assurances made to Israel’s High Court of Justice, a new town being built on the ruins of a Bedouin village in southern Israel is intended for Jews only, according to the bylaws of the future town’s cooperative association.
___Israel first notified the residents of Umm al-Hiran, Bedouin citizens of Israel, that it plans to demolish their entire village and build another community in its place 15 years ago. A legal battle has been taking place ever since, although Israel’s top court ultimately approved the plan — partially based on assurances that the current Bedouin residents would have the option of living in the new community.     
___ According to the bylaws of Hiran, the future Jewish town, which were uncovered by “Adalah — The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel,” acceptance into the community will be open only to “Jewish Israeli citizens or permanent residents who observe the Torah and the commandments according to the values of Orthodox Judaism.”    MORE . . .    RELATED . . .

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera.
“THE  BIOPOLITICS  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLER  COLONIALISM:  PALESTINIAN  BEDOUIN  CHILDREN  THEORISE  THE  PRESENT.”
Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 15, no. 1, May 2016, pp. 7-29.
[. . . .] nearly half of the 192,000 Bedouin live in ‘unrecognised villages’. Closely examining the context of the Naqab Bedouin and how, specifically, the children who live under conditions of unrecognisability conceptualise their place within a wider system of dispossession and elimination can enhance our framework and sharpen our lens of analysis in our attempts to interrogate Israeli  settler colonialism . . .
___ Interviews, conversations, and reflections led me to understand that within settler colonial contexts, children and childhood become political and politicised sites. . .  settler states attempt to turn children into instruments and targets that assist in the project’s need to eliminate and efface Native communities and people. . .
[. . . .]  Forced removal and ‘modernisation’ efforts were (and are) driven by the Zionist leaders’ perceptions of Native inferiority and threat. These depictions of the Palestinian Bedouin, as uncivilised, pre-modern, and Other, have contributed to their construction as an inherent threat to Israel’s modern and civilised way of life. Additionally, the state’s treatment of the Bedouins as a minority population, rather than a native community, allows for further erasure. . .   discourse around Bedouin primitivism begins to emphasise race/ethnicity and gender, but works to deny collective and historical belonging.
[. . . .]  . . . In a study of 250 Bedouin teenagers from 32 unrecognised villages that sought to include the children’s own reflections, over 95 percent of the participants met the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, with over 57 percent suffering from severe PTSD.
[. . . .] In many ways, the foundational violence of the Jewish state remains sacred and untouchable. But we must begin to unravel the centrality of Jewish supremacy – as the primary constituent of being Israeli – which has come to shape and define the fabric of Palestinian life and society. The structural violence embedded in the various colonial technologies of dispossession and colonial distractions makes it difficult to overcome the racialised barriers inscribed on children’s bodies and lives. Each component is interrelated and interlocked with the other, and they all reveal how childhood, and children’s lives, are political questions that demand thorough and complex political discussion. The eviction of Palestinian children from childhood, from humanity to zones of unrecognisability, especially in sickness, arrest, evacuation, and state terror, plays a major role in narrating the settler’s story of needing to fear the colonised child, who, in the case of Israeli settler colonialism, is always already a terrorist other.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PALESTINIANS  PERFORM  PRAYERS  AT  JERUSALEM  HOME  THREATENED  BY  SETTLER  TAKEOVER  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 11, 2017.   Tens of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem performed prayers outside the Shamasna home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on Friday in a show of solidarity with the family, who is facing imminent evacuation from their home of 53 years to make room for Israeli settlers claiming they own the family’s home.
___Ekrima Sabri, head of the High Islamic Committee, said during the Friday khutbah — Islamic sermon — that “the land that the Shamasna family home is built on belongs to the family, and not to Jews.” He said that the Shamasna family had rented the house from its “original owners” since before 1948 — the year Israel was established.
___However, Sabri’s claims contradict reports that the family patriarch, Ayoub Shamasna, moved into the house in 1964.   MORE . . .

(Note: the anniversary of Mahmoud Darwish’s death was August 9, 2017.)
❷ 9TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  PASSING  OF  MAHMOUD  DARWISH     
Palestine News Network – PNN
August 11, 2017.   PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on the 9th anniversary of the passing of Mahmoud Darwish said :”On behalf of the Palestinian leadership and the people of Palestine, we mark with great sorrow the 9th anniversary of the death of Palestine’s greatest poet and national literary figure, Mahmoud Darwish, whose passing continues to be felt in Palestine and throughout the world.     ___Darwish was not just a national poet; he was a poet of humanity and creativity who forged a new language and awareness for Palestine and beyond. He humanized Palestinian reality during its darkest hours, and he generated an undeniable energy to legitimize hope and affirmation, as well as resistance.   MORE . . .

“THE  ROSES  AND  THE  DICTIONARY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Be that as it may,
I must . . .
The poet must have a new toast
And new anthems.
Traversing a tunnel of incense
And pepper and ancient summer,
I carry the key to legends and ruined monuments of slaves.
I see history and old man
Tossing dice and gathering the stars.

Be that as it may,
I must refuse death
Even though my legends die.
In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry.
Did you realize before today, my love,
That a letter in the dictionary is dull?
How do they live, all these words?
How do they grow?
How do they spread?
We still water them with the tears of memories
And metaphors and sugar.

Be that as it may,
I must reject the roses that spring
From a dictionary or a diwan.
Roses grow on the arms of a peasant, on the fists of a laborer,
Roses grow over the wounds of a warrior
And on the face of a rock.

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.

 

“. . . they bring panic and terror they are utterly not-to-be-trusted . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

A Palestinian woman stands next to a house sprayed with graffiti reading in Hebrew: "revenge" and "hello from the prisoners of Zion", in the village of Beitillu, near Ramallah
A Palestinian woman stands next to a house sprayed with graffiti reading in Hebrew: “revenge” and “hello from the prisoners of Zion” in the village of Beitillu on December 22, 2015. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

(“So you dehumanise them and once you dehumanise a group of people there is no turning back. You dehumanise them just so you can say “no” at a checkpoint. But the next time you’re in a situation where you have to push them, it’ll be easy enough for you to push them. And then, when you have to shoot them, it’ll be easy enough for you to shoot them. After a few months, you lose all touch with humanity.”)

❶ ‘It’s okay to be racist in Israel’ (Interview with Sahar Vardi)
❷ Israeli settlers block off Nablus-area road

Background: “West Bank Settlers’ Terrorizing of Palestinians to Deter Israeli Government Law Enforcement.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian Lands Set Ablaze, Contaminated with Sewage by Extremist Yitzhar Settlers
❸ Undercover Israeli soldiers shoot dead Palestinian in Hebron
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Army Injures Two Palestinians Near Ramallah, Abducts One Near Jenin
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ‘IT’S  OKAY  TO  BE  RACIST  IN  ISRAEL’  (INTERVIEW  WITH  SAHAR  VARDI)    
Al Jazeera English  
Zena al-Tahhan
June 29, 2017.  Occupied East Jerusalem – This year, Israel’s 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories entered its 51st year.
___In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Israeli army is responsible for controlling the lives of more than three million Palestinians through hundreds of checkpoints, raids of villages and homes, trial of civilians in military courts, demolition of homes, suppression of protests, and the killing and injuring of civilians, to name a few.
___To sustain the occupation industry, Israel makes it mandatory by law for Israeli citizens . . . to enter the military at 18 . . .
___Yet, there are Israeli citizens who refuse to serve in the military for several reasons, including opposition to the army’s policies in the Palestinian territories it occupies.
___Sahar Vardi, 27, is one of such refusers . . .   MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BLOCK  OFF  NABLUS-AREA  ROAD  
Ma’an News Agency 
June 29, 2017.   Hundreds of Israeli settlers reportedly blocked a road in the northern occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian media reported.
___According to official Palestinian news agency Wafa, between 500 and 600 Israelis escorted by Israeli army and police forces gathered on the main road linking the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Ramallah near the Zaatara military checkpoint in the Nablus district early on Thursday, blocking traffic in the area.
[. . . .]  While details about the incident remained unclear, the Zaatara checkpoint is located near at least half a dozen Israeli settlements, built in contravention of international law.
___One of these settlements, Yitzhar, is particularly known for its extremist residents who are notorious for carrying out attacks against Palestinians, as well as Israeli forces.   MORE . . .

vol40_issue3_2007
Zaatara checkpoint with separate lanes for settlers (left lane, yellow-plated cars) and non-Jews. (Photo by Anna Baltzer)

(Note: While this article was written six years ago, it reports the history of settler violence, and its discussion of the “gradual scale of escalation” has occurred.)

Nir, Ori. “WEST  BANK  SETTLERS’  TERRORIZING  OF  PALESTINIANS  TO  DETER  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT  LAW  ENFORCEMENT.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, vol. 44, no. 1/2, June 2011, pp. 277-289.
[. . . .] “Price Tag”. . .  is a set of violent tactics employed by national-religious Israeli settlers in the West Bank to deter Israeli law enforcement authorities from removing illegally-built structures from West Bank settlements. The tactics employed include attacks on Palestinians and their property, as well as attacks on Israeli military and police officers . . . . their ultimate goal is to deter Israeli leaders from implementing a possible future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that entails removing Israeli settlements from the West Bank.
___. . . a strategy that started as a reaction to a sense of powerlessness and ineptness morphed from an unpopular form of high-profile, anti-government resistance into a popular—and very effective—low-intensity anti-Palestinian terrorism campaign.
[. . . .] The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the West Bank has documented a total of 1,451 settlers’ attacks on Palestinians and their property since January 2006: physical attacks on Palestinians, attacks on vehicles, houses, schools and mosques, uprooting of trees, torching of fields, and more . . .
[. . . .] There are several reasons for Price Tag’s being a form of low-intensity terrorism:  Maintaining a high level of Israeli popular support: Extreme violence might alienate the Israeli public. . . .    Avoiding accountability: Israel’s “Judea and Samaria” police district, responsible for law enforcement in the settlements, is understaffed and under-equipped. . .  Most Price Tag incidents do not end up with indictments. . . .    Allowing room for escalation: Cumulative deterrence, the impact that the settlers are hoping to achieve through their Price Tag campaign, is best accomplished on a gradual scale of escalation.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) PALESTINIAN  LANDS  SET  ABLAZE,  CONTAMINATED  WITH  SEWAGE  BY  EXTREMIST  YITZHAR  SETTLERS   
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
June 29, 2017.   Israeli settlers reportedly started a fire near the Palestinian village of Burin. in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, on Wednesday afternoon.
___According to an Israeli army spokesperson, suspects coming from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar approached Burin on Wednesday afternoon, igniting a fire on lands near the village before fleeing the scene.
___The spokesperson added, according to Ma’an News Agency, that while the fire was extinguished by Israeli forces, no detentions were carried out at the scene, and the case was transferred to Israeli police.   MORE . . . 
❸ UNDERCOVER  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SHOOT  DEAD  PALESTINIAN  IN  HEBRON      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
June 29, 2017.   Undercover Israeli soldiers from the special units shot and killed late Wednesday a Palestinian in Hebron, according to Palestinian medical sources.
___Medics at Alia Hospital in Hebron said Iyad Gheith, 22, was shot dead in the upper part of the body.
___While Palestinians did not have any more details, Israeli reports said the unit was searching for weapons in Hebron when it came under fire.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ARMY  INJURES  TWO  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  RAMALLAH,  ABDUCTS  ONE  NEAR  JENIN 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 29, 2017.   Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier Thursday, the village of Bil’in, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and clashed with local youths, wounding two with rubber-coated steel bullets, and causing dozens of residents to suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation. The soldiers also abducted a Palestinian man near Jenin.
__Abdullah Abu Rahma, the media coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Bil’in, said the soldiers fired many gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets.   MORE . . .

“ENEMY,”   BY   YOUSEF   AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like snakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014)
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