“How long had you been away from the place you loved best?” – Naomi Shihab Nye


Palestinian territories stable after Trump plan, but for how long?

Feb 20 2020
A relative calm has returned to the West Bank after a brief outbreak of violence between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers on the outskirts of cities and contact points after US President Trump announced his so-called deal of the century for Israeli-Palestinian peace on Jan. 28.
– – – – Confrontations on the West Bank in early February went beyond Palestinians throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces to include deadly clashes involving gunfire, a car-ramming attack and resisting the demolition of a home. In Gaza, Palestinians launched more than 20 rockets and hundreds of incendiary balloons toward Israeli communities. In response, the Israeli army decided on Feb. 6 to send reinforcements to the border with Gaza and to the West Bank.
– – – – In a speech at the UN Security Council on Feb. 11, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said, “We will not resort to violence and terrorism, no matter the aggression against us. We believe in peace and fighting violence. We are ready to cooperate with any country to combat terrorism, and we will fight with peaceful popular resistance.”    More . . . .

‘We gave up on historic Palestine in exchange for nothing’

Bassem Tamimi, who has led popular protests in Nabi Saleh for more than a
decade, says the two-state solution is ‘no longer an option.’
Feb 19 2020
“We need to wake up and change our strategy, to unite our struggle,” says Bassem Tamimi, a veteran Palestinian activist and father of Ahed Tamimi, as he sits in his Nabi Saleh home in the occupied West Bank. Tamimi, who was born in 1967 and has only ever known military occupation, was jailed during the First Intifada and has been among the leaders of the village’s popular protests over the past decade. Now, however, he has given up on the two-state solution. “It’s no longer an option,” he says.
– – – – The Tamimi family, and their village, made global headlines in late 2017 when Ahed slapped an Israeli soldier who had entered her family courtyard during a Friday demonstration. Earlier that day, a soldier had shot a 15-year-old relative in the head. A few days later, soldiers arrested Ahed, then 16, from her home in the middle of the night. Her mother, Nariman, was arrested shortly after her daughter for filming the slapping incident. Both spent eight months in prison.    More . . . .

  • Israeli court approves demolition of homes of five Palestinian detainees
    Feb 20 2020
    The Israeli Supreme Court today gave the go-ahead to demolish the Ramallah-area family homes of five Palestinian detainees allegedly involved in the killing of a settler in late August 2019.
    – – – – Israeli media reported that the Israeli court unanimously approved the demolition despite multiple petitions filed by the prisoners’ families against the demolition.
    – – – – The court explained its approval by the need to “establish credible deterrence against attacks.” Israel commenced in January the trial of the five prisoners, who were detained in December purportedly for being responsible for the killing of an Israeli settler. . . .  More . . . .
  • IOF shoot Palestinian youth east of Khuza’a town
    Feb 20 2020
    Israeli soldiers shot, on Wednesday afternoon, a young Palestinian man east of Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
    – – – – Media sources said the soldiers shot the young man near the perimeter fence, inflicting moderate wounds before he was rushed to the European Hospital for treatment.
    – – – – The Israeli army claimed that sharpshooters of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad fired rounds at military vehicles and soldiers across the fence and that the soldiers fired back.    More. . . .
  • Dozens of Palestinians choke by IOF tear gas during clashes in West Bank
    Feb 19 2020
    Dozens of Palestinian citizens on Tuesday choked on tear gas fired by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during confrontations in Tulkarem and Ramallah in the West Bank.
    – – – – In Tulkarem, scores of Palestinians marched in protest at the US deal of the century, raised Palestine flags and burned car tires, local sources reported.
    – – – – The IOF attacked them with rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. Dozens suffered breathing difficulties as a result of inhaling tear gas.    More . . . .


Searching for Lost Sons and Daughters: Statistics on Palestinians in the Diaspora
This Week In Palestine
Issue #262, Feb 2020
By: Ola Awad
Satistical data indicate that on the eve of the 1948 war, the population in Palestine had reached 2.1 million, 1.45 million of which were Palestinians. Varying estimates and divergent figures have been circulated by different sources regarding the number of Palestinian refugees displaced from their homes during this war. The Israeli occupation took over 774 Palestinian cities and villages, 531 of which were completely demolished, whereas the others were subjugated to the Israeli occupation and its regulations, eventually to be incorporated into the Israeli state. . . . The most modest estimates of Palestinian refugees counted around 736 thousand individuals, more than 50 percent of the Palestinian population. They were moved to refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the neighboring countries Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. . . .
. . . . At the beginning of the current century, PCBS took the initiative of listing Palestinians who live in the diaspora in order to build a database that may serve as the basis for efforts to bridge existing gaps between the Palestinian people in their homeland and in the diaspora in order to connect them. . . . This catalogue will be the tool by which data are collected and monitored, providing as well an agreed-upon list of indicators. The database will be updated whenever possible. Palestinian embassies and representative offices in places around the world where Palestinians live constitute the main source of data and serve as focal points and PCBS’ link to Palestinian diaspora communities.    More . . . .


“HELLO, PALESTINE” — Naomi Shihab Nye

Hello, Palestine
In the hours after you died,
all the pain went out of your face.
Whole governments relaxed in your jaw line.
How long had you been away
from the place you loved best?
Every minute was too much.
Each year’s bundle
of horror stories: more trees chopped,
homes demolished, people gone crazy.
You’d turn your face away from the screen.
At the end you spoke to your own blood
filtering through a machine:
We’ll get there again, friend.
When you died, your long frustration
zipped its case closed. Everyone in a body
is chosen for trouble and bliss.
At least nothing got amputated,
I said, and the nurses looked quizzical.
Well, if only you had seen his country.

From Transfer, by Naomi Shihab Nye, BOA editions, 2011.
Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . The gates of my heart Are wide open to misery . . .” (Abdul Karim Sabawi)

Nasser_Sept_28Israeli forces killed Nasser Musbeh with live ammunition on September 28, 2018.
(Photo: From Defense for Children Palestine, Courtesy of Musbeh family)


Fuel trucks funded by the Qatari government on Tuesday morning began entering the Gaza strip through Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, southeast of the Strip.    ___Six fuel trucks funded by Qatar are scheduled to enter the strip today, pumping fuel for the only power plant in the Gaza Strip.    [. . . .] The agreement came within the framework of the donor conference held recently in New York and with Israeli approval,  under which Qatar was allowed to finance part of the Gaza Strip’s electricity by providing the necessary fuel, which is expected to double the electricity hours, ie eight hours.   More . . .
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly informed his cabinet that the army is preparing for a possible military campaign against the blockaded Gaza Strip in case the situation was not improved, according to Israeli media.    ___“If the reality of civil distress in Gaza is diminished, that is desirable, but that is not certain to happen, and so we are preparing militarily — that is not an empty statement,” Netanyahu said.    More . . .
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning kidnapped 12 West Bankers, including relatives of Ashraf Abu Sheikha, who recently carried out a deadly shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone near the illegal settlement of Ariel.    ___Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the IOF stormed at dawn Shuweika suburb in Tulkarem and raided homes belonging to Abu Sheikha’s family.    ___Israeli soldiers maltreated and rounded up the mother of Abu Sheikha and his two sisters, and said they would remain in detention until Abu Sheikha turned himself in, according to the sources.   More . . .
. . . .Related  Israeli  Forces  Detain  Palestinian  Family  In  Aida  Camp
. . . .Related  Israeli forces detain Palestinian siblings in East Jerusalem
. . . .Related  Israel  Court  Sentences  Anti-Occupation  Protester  To  7  Years  In  Jail


By Ramzy Baroud
As the frail body of 12-year-old Nasser Musbeh fell to the ground [in Gaza] on Friday, September 28, history was repeating itself in a most tragic way.  [. . . .] Almost 18-years to the day separates Nasser’s recent murder and the Israeli army killing of Muhammad Al-Durrah, also 12, on September 30, 2000. Between these dates, hundreds of Palestinian children have perished [in Gaza] in similar ways.    ___. . . 954 Palestinian children were killed between the Second Intifada in 2000 and Israel’s war on Gaza, the so-called Operation Cast Lead in 2008. In the latter war alone, 345 child were reportedly killed, in addition to another 367 child fatalities reported in Israel’s latest war, ‘Protective Edge’ of 2014.    ___But Muhammad and Nasser . . .  have more in common than simply being the ill-fated victims of trigger-happy Israeli soldiers.    __In that single line of blood that links Nasser Musbeh and Muhammad al-Durrah, there is a narrative so compelling, yet often neglected. The two 12-year-old boys . . . whose families were driven from villages that were destroyed in 1948 to make room for today’s Israel.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .


When you were parched
We quenched your thirst with our blood
We carry your burden
Disgraced we cry in shame when asked
Where do you come from?
Dishonored we die
If only the stray bullets
From the occupier’s guns
Were merciful
And pierced through our legs
If only they tore through our knees
If only we sunk into your fields
Deep to our necks
If only we got stuck
And became the salt of your earth
The nutrients in your fertile soil
If only we didn’t leave
The gates of my heart
Are wide open to misery
Don’t ask me where this wind is blowing
Don’t ask me about a house
Or windows
Or trees
The Bulldozers were here
And the houses in our village
Fell like a row of decayed teeth
They haven’t colonized Mars yet
And the moon is barren
So carry your children
Your memories
And follow me
We can live in the books of history
They’ll write about us,
“The wicked Bedouins
Landed in Baghdad
The wicked Bedouins landed in Yafa
They landed in Grenada
Then moved on
They packed their belongings
And rode their camels
Leaving no trace on the red clay
All their artifacts
With the passing of the years.”
What does it really mean to this world?
What does it really mean?
To be Arabs
Native Americans
Or Dinosaurs
(Refugee Camp, Jordan 1968)

Abdul Karim Sabawi was born in 1942 in the Toffah District in Gaza city. He has been a refugee in Australia most of his life.   –From BLOOD  FOR  FREEDOM:  POETRY  FROM  PALESTINE,  BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI.   Editor: Biblioteca de las Grandes Naciones. Library of the Great Nations. Oiartzun, Basque Country: August, 2014. PDF online.
The poet reads.

“. . . our eyes full of dust That never clears in our ceaseless wandering . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

❶ OCHA says reduction in humanitarian aid to UN refugee agency worrying
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Fatah: U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) American Arab group condemns US cut in aid to UN agency
❷ After Jenin raid, Israeli army leaves behind devastation, both physical and psychological

  • Opinion:  “In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence.” The Palestine Chronicle.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli court indefinitely extends detention of Ahed Tamimi and her mother
❸ Israeli army considering taking control of Palestinian areas in Jerusalem
❹ PLO calls on EU to take effective political steps to salvage peace
❺ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The significant reduction in funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in recent years, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the oPt said on Wednesday.
___The United States announced this week that it has cut $65 million of its $125 million January installment to UNRWA . . .
___“I am deeply concerned about the significant reduction in funding for UNRWA, which is critical to the provision of humanitarian assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory. Some 2.5 million Palestinians in this area, or about half of the population, need humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million Palestine refugees, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the oPt,” Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Roberto Valent, said in a statement.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴀ) FATAH:  U.S.  ACTION  WILL  RESTRICT  THE  WORK  OF  UNRWA     Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  [. . . .] It is important to note that the U.S. contribution to UNRWA represents neither support nor assistance to the Palestinian National Authority . . .  It is to an agency of the United . . . .
___A statement by the Palestine National Liberation movement (Fatah) in a press release said that this U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA and threaten severe deprivation putting Palestinian refugees at even more serious risk.
[. . . .]  “We believe that the methods of extortion and pressure of the U.S. Administration on the United Nations, especially with regard to programs that do not suit Israel and rightwing extremists, are unacceptable to the international community and UN member states.”   MORE . . . 
 .  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴃ)  AMERICAN  ARAB  GROUP  CONDEMNS  US  CUT  IN  AID  TO  UN  AGENCY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemned on Wednesday the US cut of $65 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides education and healthcare to millions of Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
___“This abrupt cut in funding has created an existential crisis for UNRWA,” said ADC in a statement.
___At stake is the education of more than 525,000 students, primary health care for millions, and the provision of emergency relief, including food assistance to one million refugees in Gaza.    MORE . . . 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
By Mohammad Najim
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  At about 11:00 pm (Jerusalem time) on a cold Wednesday night, Palestinian residents of Wad Burqin neighborhood in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, were awakened at the sound of gunfire. It was soon clear that a large Israeli military force has surrounded a number of Jarrar family buildings and opened heavy gunfire at the houses to force a member identified as Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, 26, to come out.     [. . . .] Army units used loudspeakers to call on the family to leave their house, and soon after Ahmad Nasr’s mother, her younger son, Mohammad, and her daughter were out in the cold the army asked them to remove their coats.
[. . . .]  She said the soldiers then asked her daughter to get back to the house and to open all of the windows and doors before their bulldozers approached the house and started to demolish it together with the house of her elder son, Sohaib . . . .   the residents were shocked to find out that three buildings for the Jarrar family had been demolished and a fourth was badly damaged.
___The Palestinian Ministry of . . . . identified the dead person as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, a cousin of Ahmad Nasr Jarrar.     MORE . . . 

The Palestine Chronicle
By Ramzy Baroud
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.
___Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.
[. . . .] Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed [Tamini] and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.
[. . . .] This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.
___Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett . . . are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.
___This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’
[. . . .] Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years [. . . .] Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.
[. . . .]  Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.
[. . . .] So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.     MORE . . .    ..

Ma’an News Agency   
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  An Israeli military court on Wednesday ordered 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed al-Tamimi to remain in custody indefinitely, until she faces trial for a number of charges relating to a video of her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier.
___The teenager was arrested on December 19, days after the video of her confrontation with the soldiers — who were raiding her hometown of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank, and had shot her 14-year-old cousin in the face moments before the video was filmed — went viral on social media.
[. . . .]  During the hearing, the judge reportedly said that they could not grant the teenager bail because she was “too dangerous.”
___The court also ruled to indefinitely extend the detention of Ahed’s mother, Nariman, who was detained a day after her daughter. Nariman is being charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the video.     MORE . . .  
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Israeli military forces are considering taking control over Shu’fat refugee camp and Kafr Aqab areas, according to information obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz.
___Whilst the proposed  plan is still unknown, army officials said the decision has been motivated by an increase in unrest and violence in East Jerusalem.     ___The two areas are currently under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality but are physically cut off from the city [by] the separation wall.     MORE . . .  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat Thursday called on the European Union to take effective political steps to save peace in the region.
___This came during a meeting with representatives of the EU countries at the PLO’s headquarters in Ramallah . . . .
___He called on the EU to protect the principles and the human rights’ system that it has built over the years, by translating and embodying its firm position on the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of a recognized State of Palestine.
___Erekat reiterated the PLO’s position that the United States’ has lost eligibility to play the role of peace broker after its illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel . .  MORE . . .

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?

About  Jabra Ibrahim Jabra      Related
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.

“. . . Though they betray me and my cause, Palestinian I am . . .” (Harun Hashim Rashid)

❶ Netanyahu threatens Hamas with “greater force”
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) US envoy to Israel: PA is reason there’s no peace

Background: “Religious, Hateful, and Racist Speech in Israel.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) How the Israeli Right succeeds at making itself the victim
❷ Israeli army declares Nabi Saleh, home to Tamimi family, closed military zone
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Civilians arrested, access roads closed by IOF throughout West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Life-saving treatment to be halted at Gaza hospitals over fuel dearth
❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rashid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network – PNN   
Jan. 14, 2018 ― Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu on Sunday threatened to use “even greater force if necessary,” after Israeli strike on a Gaza tunnel on the Palestinian Rafah, Gaza-Sinai border.
___“There are those who have said the IDF just targeted sand dunes — this is incorrect,” Netanyahu said in remarks to Israeli media before departing on his trip to India. “Hamas must understand that we will not permit these attacks and we will respond with even greater force.”
___Hours later, the Israel army confirmed reports that the target of the strike was a Hamas tunnel . . . .   MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  US  ENVOY  TO  ISRAEL:  PA  IS  REASON  THERE’S  NO  PEACE
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 14, 2018 ― US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman slammed the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the wake of shooting that killed Jewish rabbi settler in occupied West Bank city of Nablus . . . .
___On Twitter, Friedman accused the PA of spending the financial aid it receives from donors on “killers” of Israelis and basing the amount of financial reward they receive on the amount of damage they cause to Israelis.
___His comments came after an Israeli settler was shot and killed on Tuesday evening in the Nablus region of the occupied West Bank.
___The diplomat went on to justify America’s threats to cut financial aid to the PA and UNRWA which supports Palestinian refugees.   MORE . . .  

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael.
[. . . .] This essay is largely concerned with Israel’s policy on hate speech and racial expressions as they have come into expression by religious authorities . . .  Those expressions have stemmed from the ideologically motivated religious authorities against two groups of people: those who aimed to give away parts of Israel’s territory, and Palestinian Arabs. . . .
[. . . .] In 2008, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu called on the government to carry out “state-sanctioned revenge” against Arabs in order to, in his words, “restore Israel’s deterrence”. . .   Rabbi Eliyahu wrote: “It’s time to call the child by its name: Revenge, revenge, revenge. We mustn’t forget. We have to take horrible revenge for the Arab terrorist attack on Mercaz Harav Yeshiva,” referring to the incident in which eight students were killed in June 2008. “I’m not talking about individual people in particular, I’m talking about the state,” Eliyahu wrote. Israel has “to pain them to the point where they scream ‘Enough,’ to the point where they fall flat on their face and scream ‘help.’ Not for the sake of satisfying the need for revenge but for the purposes of deterrence.” 
___In the newsletter that was distributed to synagogues around the country, Eliyahu proposed “hanging the children of the terrorist who carried out the attack in the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva from a tree.” The rabbi said: “We’ll stay here. We need to live with those who understand very well the language of revenge.”    SOURCE . . . 

+972 Magazine  
By Almog Behar
We are in the historical stage of the ideological Right, in which every single detail, which would have previously embarrassed the right wing, now only strengthens it.
___ The most recent example of this phenomenon is that of Ateret Cohanim, the settler organization that used prostitutes, front organizations, and threats of murder to buy Palestinian properties in East Jerusalem. The ideological Right . . .  view the organization’s deeds as a mitzvah on the way to taking control of more land. Ateret Cohanim’s cleverness evokes wonderment rather than criticism . . .  As Yair Netanyahu, son of the prime minister, recently wrote on his personal Facebook page, the real danger is the Left, including groups such as Black Lives Matter and the BDS movement, rather than the extreme right that believes in white supremacy or neo-Nazism.   MORE . . .  
Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 13, 2018 ― The Israeli army declared the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh — home to imprisoned teenage activist Ahed al-Tamimi — a closed military zone on Saturday, closing off all entrances and exits.
___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that that Israeli forces set up barriers on the main road that leads to Nabi Saleh and prevented Palestinians, including journalists, from entering the village.   MORE . . .  
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 14, 2018 ― Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in abduction sweeps rocking the West Bank at predawn Sunday.
___The Israeli army claimed responsibility for the abduction of 15 Palestinians on allegations of involvement in anti-occupation activities.
___The IOF wreaked havoc on civilian homes and aggressively beat several arrestees in the presence of their family members.
___Reporting from the northern West Bank, a PIC reporter said the occupation forces kidnapped 26-year-old Islam Samar from Jenin’s western town of Yamon after they ravaged his family home.
___The IOF also seized surveillance cameras from a Palestinian home in Mesliya town, in Jenin.   MORE . . .    
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 14, 2018 ― The Palestinian healthcare system in the besieged Gaza Strip is facing an alarming crisis due to the shortage of fuel supplies for generators that provide power for hospitals, a spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza has warned.
___Health Ministry spokesman, Ashraf al-Qidrah, said the ministry has enacted a “Plan B” which involves the redistribution of resources to more critically needed health assets.
___Al-Qidrah also warned of the possibility of delayed or canceled surgeries and inter-hospital transfers if no urgent action is taken on the part of the concerned authorities.   MORE . . .  

Palestinian is my name.
In a clear script,
On all battlefields
I have inscribed my name,
Eclipsing all other titles.
The letters of my name cling to me,
Live with me, nourish me,
Fill my soul with fire
And pulse through my veins.
Such is my name, I know
It torments and grieves me,
Their eyes hunt me,
Pursue me, wound me.
For my name is Palestinian.
And as they pleased
They have made me wander.

I have lived all my life
Without traits and features
As they pleased,
They gave me names and titles.
Jails with their gates flung wide
Summon me
And in all the airports of the world
Are found my names and titles―
The lying wind carries me,
Disperses me.
The name pursues me, lives with me.
Palestinian is my fate,
Clinging to me, reviving me.
Palestinian I am
Though they betray me and my cause
Palestinian I am
Though they sell me in the market
For what they please,
For thousands of millions;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the gallows they drive me;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the walls they bind me.
Palestinian I am,
Palestinian I am,
Though to the flames they cast me.
I―what am I?
Without my name, Palestinian,
Without a homeland to live for,
To protect and be protected by?
I―what am I?
Answer me, answer me.

Harun Hashim Rashid  
 Selected, Edited, and Translated by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1974. Available from Amazon.

“. . . Jerusalem, beloved city of mine, tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

❶ “Unified Jerusalem” bill passes in Knesset plenum
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Trump will move embassy to Jerusalem in 2018

  • Background: “‘The Road to the Village’: Israeli Social Unconscious and the Palestinian Nakba.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❷ Settlers set up tents in Nablus area, seen as nucleus for building settlement
. . . . . ❷ ― CONTEXT: Netanyahu’s Party Votes to Annex West Bank, Increase Settlements
❸ Ahed Tamimi indicted on charges of assaulting a soldier and stone throwing
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Administrative detention orders issued against 41 Palestinians
❹ POETRY by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 2, 2018 ― The “unified Jerusalem” bill which provides for separating Palestinian neighborhoods from Jerusalem and prohibits relinquishing any part of the city under any future agreement has passed its second and third readings at the Israeli Knesset.
___Any decision relating to Jerusalem, the bill stipulated, will require the consent of 80 MKs—even in the case of a peace agreement.
___64 MKs supported the bill and 51 objected. MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) ended up abstaining, despite his intention of voting against it.
___The bill, filed by the Jewish Home party, requires the approval of 80 MKs for any decision to hand over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority in the future.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  TRUMP  WILL  MOVE  EMBASSY  TO  JERUSALEM  IN  2018
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 2, 2018 ― Hebrew “0404” website on Tuesday said that US President Donald Trump, has confirmed to Israel his intention to transfer the embassy of his country from “Tel Aviv” to Jerusalem as soon as possible, and begin to transfer this year.
___The website reported that Trump is pressuring his staff in Washington in coordination with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to start working on moving the embassy.
___“President Trump has sent a clear message that he wants to start moving the embassy soon,” a source at the White House said, adding work will begin in 2018.    MORE . . .  

Even-Tzur, Efrat.
[. . . .] Historical research clearly reveals an active policy designed to erase the memory of the Nakba from Israeli collective memory. . . .  On a material level, the destruction of buildings in depopulated Palestinian localities that has been going on since the 1960s explicitly served to eliminate the traces of previous Palestinian presence and to conceal the void left behind by this presence . . . . a 1957 letter from the ministry of foreign affairs to the ministry of Labor, present[s] the raison d’être for this extensive demolition: “The ruins of Arab villages […] standing desolate and empty since 1948, bring up harsh associations that cause considerable diplomatic damage . . . . the remains of dozens of villages now reside within the bounds of various tourism and recreation sites run by the JNF and the “Israel Nature and Parks Authority” . . .  signs posted in these sites offer ample information about the historical and geographical aspects of the area – while repeatedly failing to mention the fact that these places were inhabited by vibrant communities until quite recently.
[. . . .] Understanding the Nakba as a trauma that is shared . . . accounts for an interesting aspect of these practices – the fact that their wide-scale implementation did not begin immediately after the war, but gained full momentum only a decade later . . . .
[. . . .] Insufficiently worked through as it is, Israeli society’s traumatic past leads to yet another “pathological” manifestation: the appearance of repressed materials in a compulsively repetitive manner, “not as an event of the past, but as a present-day force”. Today, the ongoing repetition of the Nakba’s injustices is re-enacted in the violent relationship between Israel and its discriminated Palestinian citizens . . .  The destructive assaults on Palestinian society. . .  have been continuously launched and re-launched through the state’s actions and policies to this day. The besiegement and recurring bombardment of Gaza, for example, are not unrelated to the ignorance, on the part of most Israelis, of the fact that the majority of Gaza’s current inhabitants are descendants of refugees who lost their homes in 1948. This ignorance should be understood, in my view, in terms of the repression and effacement processes described . . .    SOURCE . . .  

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 2, 2018 ― Jewish settlers set up on Tuesday tents on Palestinian land that belongs to Deir al-Hatab village, east of Nablus, which is seen as a nucleus for a new settlement in the area, said a local activist.
___Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that settlers from the illegal Elon Moreh settlement set up tents on a land in Ras al-Ein, an area east of the village, and fenced it off.    MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❷ ― CONTEXT: Netanyahu’s Party Votes to Annex West Bank, Increase Settlements   
Jan 01, 2018 ― The Likud Central Committee voted Sunday to unanimously accept a resolution that calls on the party’s leaders to move to formally annex the West Bank.
___The vote by the ruling party is nonbinding and was called for in a letter signed by some 900 members of the central committee.
___The wording of the resolution states: “On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the regions of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], including Jerusalem our eternal capital, the Likud Central Committee calls on the Likud’s elected officials to act to allow free construction and to apply the laws of Israel and its sovereignty to all liberated areas of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.”   MORE . . .  
Ma’an News Agency    
Jan. 2, 2018 ―An Israeli military court on Monday indicted 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi on 12 charges, including assaulting an Israeli soldier, interfering with a soldier’s duties, and two past instances of stone throwing.
___Tamimi, who along with her family is well-known internationally for her fierce opposition to the Israeli occupation, was detained last month after a video went viral of her slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers near her home in the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
___Since her arrest, Tamimi has had her detention extended several times, until charges were finally presented against her on Monday.
___Ahed’s mother Nariman has been charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the altercation, while her cousin Nour, who also appeared in the video, was charged with assaulting a soldier and interfering with a soldier’s duties.  MORE . . . 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 2, 2018 ― The Israeli authorities recently issued administration detention orders against 41 Palestinians, including a member of the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Tuesday.   MORE . . .    ..

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes and Noble.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

“We are all victims of some kind of occupation” (Ahed Tamimi)

Ahed Tamimi
Ahed Tamimi

Postings Begin Again

After a few months of not posting here, I begin again. The posts will be simple at first, that is, providing links to items in the news and on the Internet without commentary on my part. The links will be to important stories and/or opinion pieces that do not appear on widely-circulated websites and news outlets.

Please watch for a return to the normal format and content here within a few days. Thank you.


Why I Dissent
By James Zogby

Posted on April 29, 2017, in Washington Watch

This week, nearing the end of four years of service as an Obama Presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I felt compelled to issue a public dissent to USCIRF’s 2017 Annual Report.

While the larger part of my dissent dealt with the way the Commission does its work (which I will discuss in a future column), what moved me to go public was the glaring refusal of some Commissioners to allow even a consideration of religious freedom in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
(More . . . )


Living Resistance Tour

Friends of Sabeel North America
Published on Feb. 24, 2017
16 year old Ahed Tamimi reveals life under occupation in the village of Nabi Saleh in Palestine. This video was screened as part of the FOSNA Living Resistance Tour when Ahed was effectively denied a travel visa to speak in person.
(More . . . )


385 Israeli settlers storm Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Anadolu Agency
2017 By Abdel Raouf Arnaout
April 14, 2017

Hundreds of Israeli settlers Thursday [April 13] stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem amid protests by Jerusalem-based Muslim bodies, Palestinian officials said.

“Three hundred and eighty-five settlers stormed the mosque while being heavily guarded by Israeli police,” Firas al-Debs, a media official in Jerusalem’s Islamic Endowments Department, told Anadolu Agency.
(More . . .)

“The Three Cypress Trees,”  by Mourid Barghouti

Transparent and frail,
like the slumber of woodcutters,
serene, foreshadowing things to come,
the morning drizzle does not conceal
these three cypresses on the slope.
Their details belie their sameness,
their radiance confirms it.
I said:
I wouldn’t dare to keep looking at them,
there is a beauty that takes away our daring,
there are times when courage fades away.
The clouds rolling high above
change the form of the cypresses.
The birds flying towards other skies
change the resonance of the cypresses.
The tiled line behind them
fixes the greenness of the cypresses
and there are trees whose only fruit is greenness.
Yesterday, in my sudden cheerfulness,
I saw their immortality.
Today, in my sudden sorrow,
I saw the axe.

Mourid Barghouti
From: Midnight and Other Poems
Translation: 2009, Radwa Ashour
Publisher: Arc Publications, Todmorden, Lancashire, 2009