To Christ the Lord on his birthday (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ Live: Christmas Eve in Manger Square
❷ Jerusalem Apostolic Administrator arrives in Bethlehem for midnight mass
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Abbas wishes Christians merry Christmas
❸ 10 Palestinian students injured in clashes in al-Arroub camp
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Rights Groups slam Supreme Court for giving ‘green light’ to torture
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Nabi Saleh is where I lost my Zionism
❺ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ LIVE:  CHRISTMAS  EVE  IN  MANGER  SQUARE
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 24-25, 2017    MORE . . .   
❷ JERUSALEM  APOSTOLIC  ADMINISTRATOR  ARRIVES  IN  BETHLEHEM  FOR  MIDNIGHT  MASS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Dec. 24, 2017 ― Christmas celebrations kicked off on Sunday with the annual procession led by the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa.
___The car procession started at the Latin Patriarchate at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City with a stopover at Mar Elias Monastery on the outskirts of Bethlehem before completing its journey to Manger Square and the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, the birth site of Jesus Christ, where the official ceremony is expected to be held at al-Salam Center.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ABBAS  WISHES  CHRISTIANS  MERRY  CHRISTMAS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 24, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday wished Christians in Palestine who follow the Georgian calendar a merry Christmas and happy holidays.
___He hoped that in these blessed times, the hopes and wishes of the Palestinian people come true and that Palestinians finally celebrate an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
___Abbas expressed hope for all Palestinians to celebrate the end of the Israeli occupation and peace and justice in the land of peace next year.   MORE . . . 
❸ 10  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  INJURED  IN  CLASHES  IN  AL-ARROUB  CAMP 
The Palestinian Information Center  
Dec. 24, 2017 ― Ten Palestinian students were injured on Sunday in confrontations with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at the entrance of Palestine Technical University in al-Arroub refugee camp in al-Khalil province.
___Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that the IOF soldiers stormed the university campus and fired tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and live and rubber bullets at the students causing at least ten injuries and suffocation cases among them.   MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  RIGHTS  GROUPS  SLAM  SUPREME  COURT  FOR  GIVING  ‘GREEN  LIGHT’  TO  TORTURE
The Palestinian Information Center 
By Ben White
Dec. 24, 2017 ― The Israeli Supreme Court has been accused of redefining torture so as to permit it after a major new ruling was greeted with dismay by local and international human rights groups.
___Last week the court – sitting as the High Court of Justice – denied a petition brought by The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) on behalf of Palestinian prisoner Asad Abu Ghosh.
___According to the petition, Abu Ghosh was tortured with “severe mental and physical violence” during a Shin Bet interrogation in 2007, including “beatings, being thrown against a wall, stress positions including the ‘banana’ position, sleep deprivation, and extreme mental duress”.
[. . . .] Despite this, and the evidence presented by PCATI, the High Court still threw out the petition, accepting an earlier decision of the Attorney General not to open a criminal investigation against the interrogators, and thus granting the agents impunity for their actions.    MORE . . . 
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  NABI  SALEH  IS  WHERE  I  LOST  MY  ZIONISM  
+ 972  Magazine   
By Lisa Goldman
Dec. 24, 2017 ― A short video of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier has dominated the Israeli media for the past week, and received prominent coverage internationally as well. Ahed, a Palestinian girl from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, makes a big impression with her eye-catching mane of blonde hair, the fierce, intelligent expression in her blue eyes — and her fearlessness.
[. . . .] For Israelis, one of their soldiers was provoked, almost unbearably, but still managed to rise above the situation. For almost everyone else, the video shows an unarmed adolescent . . .  bravely confronting an armed soldier in her own village. Even without knowing the circumstances, a fully-grown man in combat gear and carrying a powerful weapon refraining from hitting a much smaller, unarmed adolescent girl, seems not remarkably praiseworthy but rather a response predicated on basic humanity and ethics.
[. . . .]  By the time I began going to Nabi Saleh, I had spent about four years reporting on what I saw in Gaza and the West Bank, and watching detachedly as my politics moved ever leftward from the liberal place in which they started, as a consequence of what I saw on the ground. But it was in Nabi Saleh that I lost the last remnants of what I would call — for lack of a word to describe my nostalgia for the idea of a state for the Jews — my Zionism.
___My radicalization was not only a consequence of witnessing brutal violence perpetrated right in front of my eyes, by soldiers of the army that was supposed to protect me. It was also a result of my seeing the Tamimi family endure that violence week after week, seeing their relatives injured, arrested and killed, and still not coming to the conclusion that the price of resistance is too high. They simply refuse to submit.   MORE . . .  

TO  CHRIST  THE  LORD  ON  HIS  BIRTHDAY,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN
But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
St. Mark’s Gospel XII: 7-8

O Lord, O glory of the universe,
crucified this year on your birthday,
are the joys of Jerusalem
silenced on your birthday?
O Lord, all the bells
for two millenia have not been silenced
on your birthday
except for this year:
the domes of the bells are in mourning,
black wrapped in black.

Jerusalem along the Via Dolorosa,
whipped under the cross of ordeal,
bleeding at the hands of the executioner,
and the world is a sealed heart
in the face of affliction.
In this hard indifferent world, O Lord,
the sun’s eye is smothered: the world went astray
and was lost.
In the ordeal it did not even raise a candle.
It did not even shed a tear
to wash away the sorrows in Jerusalem.

The husbandmen killed the heir, O Lord,
and raped the vineyard.
The sinners of the world fledged the bird of evil
dashing off to defile the purity of Jerusalem,
damned and infernal, hated even by Satan.

O Lord, O glory of Jerusalem,
from the well of sorrows, from the abyss,
from the depth of the night,
from the heart of plight,
the wails of Jerusalem are raised up to you.
In your mercy, take away from me, O Lord, this cup!

―Translated by Ferial Ghazoul

About Fadwa Tuqan
From: Smith, Michael. Ed. “Contemporary Palestinian Poetry.” Free  Verse. english.chass.ncsu.edu. 2008. Web. http://freeversethejournal.org/Archives/Spring_2008/poems/M_Smith.html

 

“. . . but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain . . .” (Samih al -Qasim)

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A Meme from FaceBook. Perhaps it should read “recognizes Tel Aviv as the capital of the United States.”

❶ PPS: 490 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since Trump decision on Jerusalem

  • Background: “A Letter from the Editors: The Longest Occupation.” Against the Current

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain cousin of Ahed Tamimi, extend detention of Ahed and her mother
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians injured as Israeli army suppresses rallies against US decision on Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Palestinian teen remains in a coma after being shot in head by Israeli forces
❷ President Abbas meets Saudi King Salman in Riyadh
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) UNGA to vote on withdrawing US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinian delegations holding talks in Russia and China on future of peace process
❸ POETRY by Samih al -Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PPS:  490  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  SINCE  TRUMP  DECISION  ON  JERUSALEM 
Ma’an News Agency    
Dec. 20, 2017 ―Israeli forces detained at least 28 Palestinians overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to official Palestinian and Israeli sources.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) . . .   said that as of Tuesday, the total number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since the beginning of the protests that followed US President Donald Trump’s’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was 490, including 148 minors and 11 women.  MORE . . . 

“A  LETTER  FROM  THE  EDITORS:  THE  LONGEST  OCCUPATION.” 
AGAINST THE CURRENT, vol. 32, no. 189, Jul/Aug2017, pp. 2-44.
DONALD TRUMP’S SPEECH to the regional potentates and dictators assembled for the occasion in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was generally acclaimed as eminently presidential, and rightly so. That is to say, it was firmly in the tradition of U.S. presidential addresses on Middle East policy: utterly cynical, dripping with deceit, and above all, irreversibly tied to the United States’ leading role as the chief arms merchant to some of the world’s most brutal regimes.
___Unlike some of his predecessors, of course, Trump paid no lip service to human rights or democracy, both of which he despises — as do his Saudi royal hosts, who understood perfectly that the way to treat him is with limitless pomp and flattery . . .
[. . . .] Trump’s performance in Riyadh . . .  was in some ways as breathtaking as it was presidential. He assured the assembled rulers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain etc. that “we are not here to lecture you,” and declaimed the absence of democracy — in Iran. In fact, Iran just held an election. The population didn’t get to choose the candidates. . .  But given the choices presented to them, Iranians voted overwhelmingly for the “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani who promised openness and social relaxation.
[. . . .] Whatever happens to Trump’s presidency won’t be decided by his antics in Riyadh, Jerusalem or Brussels. It will end if, and at whatever point, he becomes a liability rather than an enabler of the savage rightwing Republican political agenda. But it’s important that the resistance to the Trump regime — which has only intensified after his withdrawal from the international climate agreement — take up the issues of war in the Middle East, Palestine in particular.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  COUSIN  OF  AHED  TAMIMI,  EXTEND  DETENTION  OF  AHED  AND  HER  MOTHER 
Ma’an News Agency   
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained the cousin of Palestinian teenage actvist Ahed al-Tamimi during predawn raids on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank.
___Locals in the central West Bank village of Nabi Saleh told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained 21-year-old Nour Naji al-Tamimi, the cousin of 17-year-old Ahed al-Tamimi who was detained . . . after a video went viral of her slapping an armed Israeli officer during a raid on Nabi Saleh.
___Nour, who appeared in the video next to Ahed as the two attempted to push the soldiers out of their property, was reportedly arrested for reasons relating to the video.
___Ahed’s mother, Nariman, was also detained on Tuesday . . .  According to Arabic media, both Ahed and Nariman’s detentions were extended.  MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  AS  ISRAELI  ARMY  SUPPRESSES  RALLIES  AGAINST  US  DECISION  ON  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Israeli forces responded with force on Wednesday shooting live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse thousands of Palestinians who rallied across the West Bank districts of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarm and Bethlehem against the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital causing dozens of suffocation cases and at least one injury from live bullet.
___The Palestinian national and Islamic forces called for mass rallies in all the Palestinian cities after which participants would march to contact points with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴄ)  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  REMAINS  IN  A  COMA  AFTER  BEING  SHOT  IN  HEAD  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Fourteen-year-old Muhammad Fadel al-Tamimi remains in a medically-induced coma as of Tuesday, days after he was hot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet by Israeli forces.
___The Palestinian teenager, a resident of the central occupied West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, was injured during clashes in his village on Friday.    MORE . . . 
❷  PRESIDENT  ABBAS  MEETS  SAUDI  KING  SALMAN  IN  RIYADH 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 20, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas met in Riyadh on Wednesday with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and briefed him on the latest developments and efforts to protect Jerusalem from the dangers facing it following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel earlier this month.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  UNGA  TO  VOTE  ON  WITHDRAWING  US  RECOGNITION  OF  JERUSALEM  AS  ISRAELI  CAPITAL 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 20, 2017 ―Palestine’s Permanent Observer at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said the United Nations General Assembly is going to vote on Thursday on a draft resolution that calls for withdrawing the United States’ recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Voice of Palestine radio reported Wednesday.
___He told the Voice of Palestine radio that the UN General Assembly will hold a session named “United for Peace” on Thursday to vote on the draft resolution which asks the US to back down on its recent decision on Jerusalem, after the US vetoed a similar UN Security Council resolution last Monday.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIAN  DELEGATIONS  HOLDING  TALKS  IN  RUSSIA  AND  CHINA  ON  FUTURE  OF  PEACE  PROCESS  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Two official Palestinian delegations are in Russia and China to discuss the future of the peace process, PLO Executive Committee member Saleh Rafat said on Wednesday.
___He told the official Voice of Palestine radio that the visit by the two Palestinian delegations is part of efforts to garner support for the Palestinian position that strongly opposes the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
___He said Moscow had confirmed its support for the Palestinian position and would stand by Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly when it meets on Thursday with a goal to denounce the US decision.   MORE . . . 

“A  SPEECH  IN  THE  UNEMPLOYMENT  MARKET,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
If you like, I will forfeit my wages
and put up my clothes and bed for sale.
I’ll work as a stonecutter, porter or street-sweeper,
and search for grain in the dung of cattle
and languish, naked and hungry
but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

Though you steal the last foot of my land
and feed my youth to the prison,
seize my grandfather’s inheritance
of furnishings, dishes and pots,
burn my poems and books,
throw my flesh to the dogs
and dwell as a dream of horror over my village
with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

You may smother my flame in the night,
withhold my mother’s kiss
and let children curse my kinfolk.
You may slip past the guardian of my sorrows
and settle my history between a coward and a senseless god.
You may deny my children holiday clothes
and fool my friends with a borrowed face,
hedge me around with all your walls
and sacrifice my days on some humble spot
but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

Enemy of the sun,
in the port there is feasting, a flood of good tidings,
shrills and shouts and a cry of joy;
heroic anthems burst from every throat!
On the horizon, a boat
challenges the wind and boundless sea, and passes out of danger.
It is Ulysses’ return
from the lost seas―
the return of the sun, and of the exiled―
and by her eyes,
and by his eyes,
I swear I will not bargain!

I will resist.
― (1967)

An interview with Samih Al-Qasim.
From WHEN THE WORDS BURN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY: 1945-1987. Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.

“. . . The crowd has scattered and the guests are gone . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

❶ FM Malki says ‘United for Peace’ will be invoked at UN General Assembly
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Abbas signs 22 int’l treaties to boost legal status of Palestine
❷ Nablus: Qusra village sees no end to settler violence
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israel settler who killed Palestinian farmer acted in ‘self-defense’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israel army exonerates itself over killing of Palestinian wheelchair-user

  • Background: “Freedom of Expression and Social Media in Palestine.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❸ Video: Israeli forces detain 17-year-old Palestinian girl in overnight raid
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces arrest Palestinian mother hours after detaining her teenage daughter
❹ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
FM  MALKI  SAYS  ‘UNITED  FOR  PEACE’  WILL  BE  INVOKED  AT  UN  GENERAL  ASSEMBLY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Foreign and Expatriates Minister Riyad Malki said on Tuesday that Palestine is going to call for an extraordinary session for the United Nations General Assembly under the term “United for Peace” to transfer the powers of the Security Council to the General Assembly in order to vote on the same draft resolution that the United States has vetoed the night.
___Malki said in an interview with Voice of Palestine radio that the General Assembly is going to meet on Tuesday to vote on a draft resolution affirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
___He said he expects that most of the member states are going to vote in favor of this resolution, which will constitute a slap in the face of the US and a strong response to its use of veto power to kill the Arab-sponsored draft resolution on Jerusalem.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ABBAS  SIGNS  22  INT’L  TREATIES  TO  BOOST  LEGAL  STATUS  OF  PALESTINE 
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 18, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday signed 22 agreements and international treaties that are believed to strengthen the legal status of the State of Palestine on a global scale.
___These important agreements would make the State of Palestine a key partner in discussing and addressing the fundamental issues facing the whole world, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.   MORE . . .
❷  NABLUS:  QUSRA  VILLAGE  SEES  NO  END  TO  SETTLER  VIOLENCE   
Al Jazeera English 
by Farah Najjar & Shatha Hammad
Dec. 19, 2017 ― The killing of a Palestinian farmer by Israeli settlers in a northern West Bank village last month has left his family in mourning, while fighting an ongoing legal battle to save their home, which is slated for demolition.
___Mahmoud al-Zaal’s eight-member family live in Qusra, a village encircled by illegal settlements and outposts south of the city of Nablus.
___An Israeli settler from a nearby outpost shot Zaal, 48, while he was ploughing his farmland. “He saw them approaching and when they began to pester him, he called out for me,” Awad, Zaal’s son, told Al Jazeera.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAEL  SETTLER  WHO  KILLED  PALESTINIAN  FARMER  ACTED  IN  ‘SELF-DEFENSE’    
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Israeli military prosecution yesterday charged Palestinian Mohamed Wadi with attempted murder after he threw stones at settlers, while Israel Police are expected to accept a settler’s claims that he killed a Palestinian in “self-defence”, Arab48 reported.
___Requesting an extension to his detention, the prosecution said Wadi had entered a cave where settlers were hiding and threw stones at them at close range.
___The Palestinian from Nablus in the occupied West Bank had allegedly thrown a stone at one of the settler’s heads injuring him.
___This came after a group of illegal settlers raided Palestinian farms in the village of Qusra, near Nablus, and shot 48-year-old farmer Mahmoud Ahmad Zaal Odeh while he was working on his land.      MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAEL  ARMY  EXONERATES  ITSELF  OVER  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIAN  WHEELCHAIR-USER
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 19, 2017 ― The Israeli military announced yesterday evening that an internal investigation into the killing of Ibrahim Abu-Thurayya in protests on Friday found no wrongdoing by occupation forces.
___Wheelchair-user Abu-Thurayya, 29, was shot in the head during anti-occupation demonstrations by the Gaza Strip perimeter fence, one of four Palestinian fatalities the same day.
___“The initial investigation indicates that no moral or professional failures were identified,” said the Israeli army statement.   MORE . . . 

AbuZayyad, Ziad Khalil.
“FREEDOM  OF  EXPRESSION  AND  SOCIAL  MEDIA  IN  PALESTINE.”
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 40-42.
[. . . .] According to Saed Karzoun, a well-known Palestinian activist and digital media expert, 67.5% of Palestinians use computers, while about 24.3% of them use the Internet on a daily basis. There are more than 1,039,700 Facebook users in Palestine. . . . It is accurate to say that social media is seen more as a tool to address non-Palestinians than as an effective tool for any kind of dialogue within Palestinian civil society. Nonetheless, Palestinians have witnessed great success on several occasions when social media was used to organize political or social events.
[. . . .] The greatest challenge that Palestinians face while trying to use social media as a tool for freedom of expression is the change in Israeli policy toward those who dare to express themselves on Facebook or Twitter. Recently Facebook posts have been used as grounds for possible imprisonment when used to express political opinions. Israel has sent dozens of Palestinians to jail for several months, asserting that they expressed extreme points of view on Facebook. Internationally, the discourse has always been that freedom of expression should be maintained on the Internet and that regulations should not allow digital expression to be used as a pretext to hunt down political activists. At the same time, many countries, including Israel, justify their control of the flow of Internet content by stating that this is done for national security and high-priority national interests.
___Palestinian activists clearly need to be given support and training that will help them face the political challenges presented by the censure of digital expression.   FULL ARTICLE . . . 

❸ VIDEO:  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  17-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN  GIRL  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAID       
Ma’an News Agency   
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained a 17-year-old Palestinian girl from the Nabi Saleh village in northwestern Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Tuesday morning before dawn.
___Israeli forces raided the home of the al-Tamimi family, well-known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, and detained Ahed al-Tamimi, 17.
___Israeli forces also confiscated computers, mobile phones and cameras from the house during the raid. According to locals, Ahed was arrested over a video went viral on social media of her slapping an armed Israeli officer during a raid on Nabi Saleh.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  ARREST  PALESTINIAN  MOTHER  HOURS  AFTER  DETAINING  HER  TEENAGE  DAUGHTER   
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 19, 2017 ― The mother of a Palestinian teenage girl, who was detained from her home by Israeli forces before dawn on Tuesday, was reportedly detained at an Israeli police station when seeking information about her daughter’s whereabouts.
___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that Nariman al-Tamimi was detained by Israeli officers on Tuesday morning at the Benyamin police station, north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.  MORE . . .

“BEYOND  GALILEE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
When I lived with Christ,
died with him and was resurrected
my voice was still shouting in the wilderness,
a voice unlike my own
burning with an unfamiliar fire.

Whose fire?
Give me shade and cold water,
and I will hang my memories on
a wall in some deserted room.
The crowd has scattered and the guests are gone;
the voice shouts in vain
like the voice of all that came before
death and Galilee.
On my lips are traces of honey
and hemlock.
Have I come after death to hear my voice
pulling me toward a long-deserted void?
Give me shade! And you, woman,
put a chunk of ice in your water.
The sun is burning. Life after death
is tiresome. And still my voice is drawn by the fire.
For whom? For whom
have I closed my eyes, while on my lips were
those traces of honey and hemlock?

From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.
About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.