“. . . as if his look could order the rubble to become a house . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

2018-09-07-04.53.35-2-600x399Activists stand in solidarity
with the residents of Khan al-Ahmar
Photo: International Solidarity Movement,
Sept. 7, 2018.


PACE  OF  ISRAEL’S  LAND-GRAB  POLICY  HITS  ZENITH  IN  SALFIT      Israelis residing in the Atz Afraim outpost continue to level Palestinian lands in Mesha village, west of Salfit, to expand illegal settlement.    ___Eye-witnesses said Israeli settlers have been bulldozing Palestinian lands to establish new facilities in the area.   ___The occupation authorities continue to prevent Palestinian farmers from entering their land lots behind the apartheid wall.   More . . .
JEWISH  SETTLERS  EXPAND  OUTPOSTS  IN  THE  JORDAN  VALLEY  (VIDEO)        Israeli settlers “started building and setting up housing structures” in a settlement outpost in Khirbet Al-Sweida village in Tubas in the northern Jordan Valley of the occupied West Bank, reported Ma’an News Agency yesterday.  “The settlement outpost was set up in May 2018 south of the Shadmot Mehola Israeli settlement, the only area where Palestinian shepherds could herd their sheep”.  More . . .

A  PALESTINIAN  GIRL  INTRODUCING  NEW  ART  TO  GAZA     At her modest home in the northern Gaza Strip, Sahar Wishah joined the world of arts by turning iron and wooden tools into beautiful paintings.   [. . . .] The girl uses nails, threading, wooden boards, and a small iron hammer to create those drawings and artworks. She is relying on the internet and the visual materials published on it to develop her artistic talent.   ___This art, which attracted many citizens and the Palestinian and Arab public, dates back to the Ottoman era.   More . . .  More from Reuters . . .

Sahar Wishah joined the world of arts. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center, September 12, 2018)


PREPARATION  OF  INTERNATIONAL  CONFERENCE  FOR  UNRWA  SUPPORT        Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmad Abul Gheit, revealed on Wednesday that the international conference for the support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will be organized by Jordan and Egypt.    ___Ahmad Abul Gheit held a press conference at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo at the end of a meeting with Arab foreign ministers during which he revealed that both Jordan and Egypt are organizing the international conference.   ___He said “we were informed that Jordan and Egypt have called for an international conference with a legal and political framework to discuss the UNRWA crisis.”   More . . .
DEPRIVING  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  OF  THEIR  BASIC  RIGHTS  A  RECIPE  FOR  TROUBLE,  SAYS  PLO  OFFICIAL        Depriving 5.3 million Palestinian refugees of their right to education, health and work by dismantling the international agency that has been taking care of them since their forced dispersion in 1948 is an invitation for  trouble not only in Palestine, but also in the region where the Palestinian refugees are based, Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said on Wednesday.    More . . .


INTERNATIONAL  SOLIDARITY  MOVEMENT        ISM London is offering a day of pre-training for prospective volunteers who are interested in joining the International Solidarity Movement on the ground in Palestine. Any volunteer is required to participate in training before joining activities in Palestine.   Information . . .    Donate . . .



After the dust and smoke
have cleared from the house that once stood there
and as I stare at the new emptiness
I see my grandfather wearing his cloak
wearing the very same cloak –
not one similar to it,
but the same one.
He hugs me and maintains a silent gaze,
as if his look
could order the rubble to become a house,
could restore the curtains to the windows,
and my grandmother to her armchair,
as if it could retrieve her colored medicine pills,
could lay back the sheets on the bed,
could hand the lights from the ceiling,
and the pictures from the walls,
as if his look could return the handles to the doors,
and the balconies to the stairs,
and persuade us to resume our dinner,
as if the world had not collapsed,
as if Heaven had ears and eyes.
He goes on staring at the emptiness.
I say:
What shall we do when the soldiers leave?
What will he do when the soldiers leave?
He slowly clenches his fist,
recapturing a boxer’s resolve in his right hand,
his coarse bronze hand,
the hand that tames the thorny slope,
the hand that holds his hoe lightly,
and with ease,
the hand which, with a single blow,
splits a tree stump in half,
the hand that opens in forgiveness,
the hand that closes on the candy
with which he surprises his grandchildren,
the hand that was amputated
many years ago.
–– from Mourid Barghouti,  MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS,  trans. Radwa Ashour. Arc Publications, Todmorden, UK, 2008.

“A sky fell into the braid of the little girl . . .” (Dalia Taha)

❶ Israel’s Jerusalem municipality plans to demolish Palestinian buildings
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Gabbay: No Settlement Will Be Evacuated

  • Background: “Gated/Gating Community: The Settlement Complex in the West Bank.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

❷ International conference in Kuwait on Palestinian children’s suffering
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israel attacks Palestinian school children with gas and sound bombs
❸ Israel blocks Palestinian from visiting father’s grave in Christian cemetery
❹ POETRY by Dalia Taha
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 13, 2017 ―  The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem is planning to demolish a number of Palestinian buildings in occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods that would displace hundreds of people, Palestinian and Israeli sources said on Monday.
___The municipality notified a number of Palestinian citizens in Issawiya of its intention to demolish their homes under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to residents.
___They said staff from the Israeli municipality handed Issawiya residents notifications informing that their homes will be demolished for lack of an Israeli construction permit and others were told to report to the municipality to discuss the legal status of their homes.   MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC      
Nov. 13, 2017 ― Israel will not evacuate any settlement in the occupied West Bank or Jerusalem, under any peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the leader of Israeli Labor Party Avi Gabbay stated, on Sunday.
___Ma’ariv paper quoted Gabbay as saying that it is impossible to evacuate 100 thousand settlers under any future peace settlement, saying that it is irrational to create such a cruel event.   MORE . . .

Handel, Ariel.
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers,
vol. 39, no. 4, Oct. 2014, pp. 504-517.
[This] paper suggests that the settlement layout in the West Bank is not just an aggregate of 124 ‘legal’ gated  communities and a similar number of ‘illegal outposts’, but rather a single, contiguous gated community gating, in turn, Palestinian ‘islands’ within it. Gated communities differ on several factors of enclosure, security features, amenities, type of residents, tenure, location, size and policy context. They tend to turn their backs on the city and aspire to create an autarkic community that has no need for the outside world.
[. . . .] In their account of the evolution and development of enclosed residential neighbourhoods in Israel, Gillad Rosen and Eran Razin distinguish between three types of enclaves: landscapes of heritage (ultra-orthodox Jewish cities, inner division of a Bedouin city), fortress landscapes (frontier settlements in Israel and in the Occupied Territories) and fortified and privatized neighbourhoods (new urban gated communities.
[. . . .] the settlements in the West Bank were part of a network since their very inception, both in their positive features of shared ethnicity and values and in their exclusionary character with respect to the Palestinian population. Also, Israel’s purpose was to seize as much land as possible, therefore planning the settlements’ form and dispersion as part of a wide network. As for the closure’s characteristics, the settlements’ closure was achieved for many years without walls and gates. . . .   In fact, the Jewish settlements started gating themselves only after they had turned into a single, fortified net cast wide enough as to constitute not a gated but a gating community. Finally, the settlements’ relations with the surrounding area had always been exclusionary, but they gradually came to encompass more and more domains: from separate settlements to separate road network. The ethnic feature effected a clear-cut separation between the populations, their villages and later their cars . . .   SOURCE . . .

Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
Nov. 13, 2017 ― Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday opened an international conference in Kuwait on the Israeli violations against Palestinian children.
___The two-day conference is organized by the Arab League’s General Secretariat in cooperation with Kuwait’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.
___Abbas affirmed, in his address to the conference, that children are the most affected segment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli practices, pointing out that Israel has violated international agreements by opening prisons for children in 2009.
___The United Nations a few days ago announced that there are 500 Palestinian children incarcerated in Israeli jails and expressed concern over their situation.
___For his part, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmad Abu al-Gheit, called in his speech at the conference for developing mechanisms to hold the Israeli occupation accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian children.   MORE . . .
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO    
Nov. 13, 2017 ― Israeli occupation forces stormed the village of Deir Nidham, northwest of Ramallah, this morning and closed its main entrances.
___Ahmed Al-Tamimi, head of Deir Nidham’s village council, told the news agency that the occupation forces stormed the area in the morning and closed its main entrances, imposing a siege on it.
___He pointed out also that “there have been large numbers of occupation forces in the village since the morning, who claimed that school students are throwing stones at settlers along the main road.”
___Al-Tamimi explained that in the meantime the occupation forces besieged the school in order to threaten students and intimidate them with detention if they throw stones.   MORE . . .   …
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Nov. 13, 2017 ― For years, Israel has been preventing Salwa Salem-Copty from visiting the grave of her father killed by Israeli troops in his Galilee village, Ma’alul, in 1948, just a few months before she was born.
___Israeli forces occupied Ma’alul in July 1948, expelled its Palestinian residents, and destroyed the entire village with the exception of two churches and a mosque. Israel has since prevented the village’s displaced residents from returning.
___An Israeli military base was built around the village’s Christian cemetery and the displaced residents, whose loved ones are buried in the cemetery, have been barred by Israeli authorities from visiting family graves since 1948.
___Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel ― said in a press release on Tuesday that it has sent a letter to senior Israeli political and military officials demanding that Salem-Copty and other internally-displaced Christian Palestinian residents and their descendants be allowed to visit the graves of family members in Ma’alul.   MORE . . .

A sky fell into
the braid
of the little girl who was killed.
Her face
is a wind in the shadows
of the garden,
blowing without colour
or blushing
when the air rushes through.

As if she knew,
when the jackals emerged
from her shadow and the river widened
in the disappointment
of whiteness.

As if she knew, when the sparrows
ate her eyes
and the sidewalk walked
in her blood.

The woman treads on dead
jasmine, searching
the minutes
for her hand.
She hides half her face,
and the air is filled with
the fingers of nothingness.

She pokes a hole in the poem
so the sidewalks can
wander into it.

The little girl’s hand withers and her blood
slumbers in
the lake.
When God passed over
her name,
she buried her hands in the heights of the jasmine
and covered her nakedness
with the corpses of the invaders.
―Translated by Allison Blecker

From Banipal 45: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature. Winter 2012.
Dalia Taha is a Palestinian poet and playwright. She was born in Berlin 1986 but grew up in Ramallah-Palestine. Her first play “Keffiyeh/Made in China” was produced by the Flemish Royal Theater [and] was premiered in Brussels in 2012, then brought to Palestine where it toured 7 Palestinian cities across the west bank.  (More. . .)
An Interview with Dalia Taha