“. . . You stabbed my dreams What did you hide? . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

PROTECTING ISRAELI 'SETTLERS.' A little girl makes her way through Qitoun checkpoint carrying a balloon. It is the beginning of the Eid holiday (Christian Peacemaker Teams photo, 22 September 2015).
PROTECTING ISRAELI ‘SETTLERS.’ A little Palestinian girl makes her way through Qitoun checkpoint on her way to school carrying a balloon. It is the beginning of the Eid holiday (Christian Peacemaker Teams photo, 22 September 2015).

❶ New clashes as Israeli forces raid Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
❷ Historical Analysis: No Morality in Zionism – On the ‘Independence’ of Settler Minorities
❸ Arresting four children from the village of Al-Tur
❹ Many Injured By Israeli Army Fire in Bethlehem, Teen Kidnapped In Jerusalem
❺ Opinion/Analysis: The IDF must come clean about the Hebron shooting
❻ Poetry by Tawfiq Zayyad

(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
NEW  CLASHES  AS  ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  COMPOUND
Sept. 28, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday and deployed heavily in the courtyard, leading to clashes with Palestinian worshipers ahead of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
____Officials from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Endowment told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli forces raided the holy site and fired stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets “haphazardly” in the area.
____Sources with the Jordanian-run organisation that administers the site, the Waqf, told AFP that police stun grenades provoked four fires inside the building that were brought under control.
____Around 15 snipers deployed on the roof of the southern mosque, while Israeli forces in riot gear were stationed in the main courtyards.
More . . .

PROTECTING RHODESIAN 'SETTLERS.' A black Rhodesian prisoner detained for questioning in Lupane, Southern Rhodesia in Sept. 1977. Pulitzer Prize Winning photo by J. Ross Baughman
PROTECTING RHODESIAN ‘SETTLERS.’
A black Rhodesian prisoner detained for questioning in Lupane, Southern Rhodesia in Sept. 1977. Pulitzer Prize Winning photo by J. Ross Baughman

❷ Historical Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
NO  MORALITY  IN  ZIONISM  –  ON  THE  ‘INDEPENDENCE’  OF SETTLER  MINORITIES
Jeremy Salt
– Jeremy Salt is an associate professor of Middle Eastern history and politics at Bilkent University in Ankara.
In the Middle East and Africa there are two striking parallels to the Palestinian experience. The first is Algeria, where invasion and occupation began in 1830 and did not end until 1962. Until the implantation of the Zionist state in Palestine, Algeria was the worst example of colonialism in the late imperial world [. . . . .]
____ The second relevant case study is Rhodesia. Protectorates and chartered companies were integral to imperial best practice up to the 19th century and beyond. [. . . . .]
____From the very beginning of the Zionist venture up to the present day Israel has been faithful to its own ‘principles’. In no way do they confirm to the principles of international law and indeed, Israel can only remain what it is by living permanently in breach of international law.
More . . .

WADI HILWEH INFORMATION CENTER – SILWAN
ARRESTING  FOUR  CHILDREN  FROM  THE  VILLAGE  OF  AL-TUR
Sept. 28, 2015
The occupation forces arrested four children from the village of Al-Tur east of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday early morning.
____Sources from the village explained to Wadi Hilweh Information Center that the occupation forces raided several houses and arrested four children aged between 11-13 years.
More . . .

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
MANY  INJURED  BY  ISRAELI  ARMY  FIRE  IN  BETHLEHEM,  TEEN  KIDNAPPED  IN  JERUSALEM
Sept. 28, 2015
Many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, on Sunday evening, after several Israeli military vehicles invaded Teqoua’ town, east of Bethlehem. Soldiers also kidnapped a teen in Jerusalem.
____ The Israeli invasion into Teqoua’ town led to clashes between the soldiers, and dozens of local youths; the army fired gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets causing many residents to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.
More . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 BLOG
THE  IDF  MUST  COME  CLEAN  ABOUT  THE  HEBRON  SHOOTING
Why is the Israeli army refusing to release its footage from the shooting of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamon?
Noam Rotem
Sept. 27, 2015
Israeli soldiers shot to death Hadeel al-Hashlamon, 18, in Hebron last week while she was apparently on her way to school. Found inside the black bag she was carrying were notebooks, a blue Pilot pen, a brown pencil case, a cellular phone, and other things girls of her age take to school.
____The IDF Spokesperson says that the metal detector at the urban checkpoint beeped when she passed through it, and that she ignored orders to stop from the soldiers, who the shot her. It was then discovered that she had a knife, and when she still didn’t stop they shot her some more.
____Witnesses told various reporters that Hashlamon simply didn’t understand the orders being shouted at her — she didn’t speak Hebrew
More . . .

“AFTER  THE  JUNE  AGGRESSION,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
What did you hide
for to-morrow
You shed my blood
and dimmed the light
of my eyes
You silenced my pen
and usurped the right
of peaceful men
who did not sin

What did you hide
for to-morrow
you rent my flag
and opened wounds
in my skin
You stabbed my dreams
What did you hide?

We’re deeper than the sea
and taller than the stars
Our breath is long
longer than space

Which mother, I wonder
inherited you half the Canal
Which mother inherited you the Jordan Bank
the sand, petroleum, and the Heights
He who forcibly takes a right
must guard his own
When the balance shifts

(Note: the “aggression” is the Six-Day War if 1967 in which Israel conquered The West Bank to the Jordan River, the Golan Heights in Syria, and the Sinai Peninsula to the Suez Canal in Egypt.)

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
About Tawfiq Zayyad

Israeli security forces take position on the roof of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City during clashes with Palestinians on Sept. 28, 2015. (AFP/Thomas Coex)
Israeli security forces take position on the roof of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City during clashes with Palestinians on Sept. 28, 2015. (AFP/Thomas Coex)

“. . .Do not pay your last respects with laurel and a royal display. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

“I need symbols . . . like the Twin Towers in New York,” General Gershon Hacohen. (AP photo)
“I need symbols . . . like the Twin Towers in New York,” General Gershon Hacohen. (AP photo)

❶ From MONDOWEISS
ISRAELI GENERAL LIKENS ATTACK ON GAZA TOWERS TO 9/11 ATTACK, AS ‘SYMBOL’
Dan Cohen
July 27, 2015
An Israeli general likened Israel’s bombing of three landmark towers in the Gaza Strip last year to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. . . Major General (ret.) Gershon Hacohen said:

“I need symbols, I’m talking about symbols. It is no simple matter. Because if I destroyed three towers in Gaza towards the end of Operation Protective Edge, and inflicted not only pain in the economic sense but also a symbol, and like the Twin Towers in New York were a symbol, what is significant is not only the physics but the significance of the matter.”

____. . . Israeli warplanes [bombed] Zafer Four tower, the Italian Compound, the Basha tower, and a four-story mall in Rafah. The mass destruction left hundreds of families homeless and struck a heavy blow to Gaza’s already crippled economy. These attacks were carried out when the ceasefire was imminent.
(More . . .)

❷ From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI ARMY KILLS PALESTINIAN YOUTH IN COLD BLOOD OUTSIDE JERUSALEM
July 27, 2015
Israeli soldiers shot and killed in cold blood a Palestinian youngster during a raid before dawn Monday on Qalandia refugee camp . . . .
____Sources said an Israeli army force broke into the camp in the early morning hours and raided the house of Mohammad Abu Latifa, 20 . . . The soldiers. . . attempted to detain Abu Latifa and shot at his legs when he reportedly attempted to flee the premises, causing him serious injuries before he died of his wounds hours later.
____However, family sources [said] the Israeli soldiers shot him in the legs before they tied his hands with electric wires and detained him alive. Hours later, the family said, their son was handed over a dead body to the Red Cross. . . .
(More)

❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ARAB LEAGUE MINISTERS TO MEET AFTER AQSA CLASHES
July 27, 2015
Cairo (AFP) ― Arab League foreign ministers will meet in Cairo early next month to discuss clashes involving Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, a senior Palestinian official said Monday.
____Sunday’s incident saw Israeli police enter the mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, as they clashed with Palestinians angered by Jews’ access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning.
____Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters that foreign ministers from 15 Arab states will meet on August 5 to discuss what he called the “dangerous development” in Jerusalem.
(More. . .)
(More. . .)
(Background)

Arab League Ministers, 2012.  EPA Photo - KHALED ELFIQI
Arab League Ministers, 2012. EPA Photo – KHALED ELFIQI

❹ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
CHILD AMONG 4 PALESTINIANS KIDNAPPED BY IOF FROM AL-KHALIL
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday kidnapped four Palestinian citizens from the southern West Bank province of al-Khalil.
____According to local sources, large IOF patrols rolled into al-Khalil city at the crack of dawn and . . . they kidnapped the youngsters Rami Farouk al-Awiwi and Baha Abu Shkheidam. Both were dragged to an unidentified destination shortly afterwards.
____The IOF also raided al-Khalil’s northern town of Surif, nabbed the Palestinian citizen Haj Omar Ghneimat, and transferred him to an unknown location after they confiscated an agricultural tractor of his own.
____Sources based in Beit Ummar village, in northern al-Khalil, said the campaign culminated in the abduction of the 16-year-old minor Hamza Abu Hashem.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From +972 MAGAZINE
NO, JESUS WOULD NOT BE A SETTLER — HE’D PRACTICE SOLIDARITY
Ryan Rodrick Beiler
July 27, 2015
Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren has been saying a lot of obnoxious things lately. His recent book angered Jewish-American journalists . . . and he may have crossed the line from belligerence to blasphemy with his latest remarks. While preaching to the choir of the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus, Oren took the name of Jesus in vain, using it to defend the settler enterprise.
____“Jesus, Mary, and John the Baptist would today be considered Jewish settlers in Bethlehem,” said Oren, according to The Jerusalem Post.
[. . . .]
____ [Is Oren] really ignorant of what makes a settler a settler? According to international legal consensus, shared by virtually every other nation except Israel, all settlements are illegal.
____This is what makes settlements illegal. It’s not because they’re Jewish. It’s because they’re colonies built on occupied land outside of the state of Israel.
(More. . .)

“HE WHISPERED BEFORE HE TOOK HIS FINAL BREATHS,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
Don’t honor me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm.

Don’t glorify me by giving my name
to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
(in my name)
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honor!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name.

Tell my mother―
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy.

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. New and Selected Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Available from Amazon
Samih Al-Qasim Obituary, August 20, 2014

BETHLEHEM, mural adorns the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem. ActiveStills photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler.
BETHLEHEM, mural adorns the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem. ActiveStills photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler.

“. . . The great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree!. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Susiya Protest Image By Bassam Shweiki  Hebron Defense Committee
Susiya Protest Image By Bassam Shweiki Hebron Defense Committee

❶ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAEL AFFIRMS PALESTINIAN OWNERSHIP OF SUSIYA VILLAGE, BUT CONTINUES WITH DEMOLITION PLAN
The Israeli daily Haaretz has reported that a document released by the Civil Administration Office of the Defense Ministry affirms that Susiya village, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, is built on private Palestinian property.
____But in spite of this admission, the Israeli military has stated that they will continue with a plan to demolish the village, and forcibly relocate the Palestinian families who live there.
____The Jabour and Nawaja families, based in Susiya for hundreds of years, have in their possession ownership documents of their land that date back to the Ottoman empire of the late 1800s.
(More. . .)

❷ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES, RIGHT-WINGERS STORM AQSA MOSQUE COMPOUND
July 26, 2015
JERUSALEM — Israeli forces broke into Al-Aqsa mosque compound Sunday morning firing stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Muslim worshipers as they cleared way for right-wing Jews who were visiting the compound to mark a Jewish fast day, witnesses said.
____Dozens of Palestinian worshipers were reportedly hit with rubber-coated bullets and suffered excessive tear gas inhalation, while Israeli police officers were reported to have attacked worshipers with pepper spray, rods and rifle butts.
____At least three Palestinians were reportedly detained.
(More. . .)

(Ma'an Images) Israeli forces broke into Al-Aqsa mosque compound Sunday
(Ma’an Images) Israeli forces broke into Al-Aqsa mosque compound Sunday

❸From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL ARRESTS FIVE YOUNG PALESTINIANS IN WEST BANK
July 26, 2015
BETHLHEM, (WAFA) – Israeli forces Sunday arrested five Palestinians, including four between the ages of 17 and 19, from the West Bank, while clashes erupted between forces and Palestinians to the east of Ramallah, according to local and security sources. . . . forces arrested two young Palestinians from the village of Husan to the west of Bethlehem after raiding and searching their families’ homes.
[. . . .]
____Meanwhile, forces intensified their military presence across several neighborhoods and towns in the Hebron district, where they arrested three Palestinians from the towns of Yatta and Halhoul. . . .
____Forces further stormed the town of Beit Owa to the west of Hebron and searched several homes, However, no arrests were reported.
(More. . .)

❹ From THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
ISRAEL EXPLOITS SYRIAN CHAOS TO PLAN LOOTING OF GOLAN OIL
Paul Fallon
July 21, 2015
According to Geoff Rochwarger, CEO of Afek, energy independence is the new Zionism.
____The Afek oil and gas exploration company has almost completed its second drilling test in the Golan Heights, a part of Syria which Israel has occupied since 1967 and annexed in violation of international law.
____The test is part of a three-year program to see if hydrocarbons in the area could lead to oil or gas for Israel.
[. . . .]
____Israel is now taking advantage of the chaos in Syria to look for precious resources to extract from the occupied Golan Heights.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From MONDOWEISS
IT’S TIME FOR AMERICAN JEWS TO RECOGNIZE THEY HAVE BEEN DUPED
Avigail Abarbanel
July 25, 2015
Two stories came to my attention this morning. . . . The second story, by Raphael Ahren in the Times of Israel is about the apparent decline in support for Israel among American Jews . . . .
____As a long-time activist for Palestinian rights and an anti-Zionist, I should have been pleased to read that American Jews increasingly question their knee-jerk support for Israel. But instead, I felt a familiar frustration. Jewish American support for Israel has always been vital for Israel and not just for economic reasons. . . . Israel also relies on Jewish American support for its feelings of legitimacy. As long as American Jews support Israel ‘right or wrong’, Israel feels justified in its existence and in everything it does.
____I believe Israeli Jews feel in the depth of their bones that Israel’s existence the way it is, is illegitimate.
[. . . .]
____American Jews either do not know or refuse to acknowledge that Israel is a settler colonial project. If they knew or if they acknowledge it, would it make a difference to their opinion?
(More. . .)

“THE DELUGE AND THE TREE,” BY FADWA TUQAN
When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge
of dark evil
onto the good green land
‘they’ gloated. The western skies
reverberated with joyous accounts:
‘The Tree has fallen !
The great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree!’

Had the Tree really fallen?
Never! Not with our red streams flowing forever,
not while the wine of our thorn limbs
fed the thirsty roots,
Arab roots alive
tunneling deep, deep, into the land!

When the Tree rises up, the branches
shall flourish green and fresh in the sun
the laughter of the Tree shall leaf
beneath the sun
and birds shall return
Undoubtedly, the birds shall return.
The birds shall return.

From poemhunter.com

Fadwa Tuqan (born 1917 in Nablus – died 2003), was well known for her representations of resistance to Israeli occupation in contemporary Arab poetry.
Tuqan’s poetry is known for her distinctive chronicling of the suffering of her people. Born to the wealthy Palestinian Tuqan family known for their accomplishments in many fields, she received schooling until age 13 when she was forced to quit school at a young age due to illness. One of her brothers, Ibrahim Tuqan, known as the Poet of Palestine, took responsibility of educating her. She attended Oxford University, where she studied English and literature.
Fadwa Tuqan’s eldest brother is Ahmad Toukan, former Prime Minister of Jordan.
Tuqan eventually published eight poetry collections, which were translated into many languages and enjoy renown throughout the Arab World.

Israeli soldiers patrol near the occupied Syrian town of Majdal al-Shams in the Golan Heights in 2011. Oren Ziv ActiveStills
Israeli soldiers patrol near the occupied Syrian town of Majdal al-Shams in the Golan Heights in 2011. Oren Ziv ActiveStills

“. . . within the ancient walls, I walk from one epoch to another without a memory . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Caption: Palestinians from the Gaza Strip visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound. (MaanImages/File)
Caption: Palestinians from the Gaza Strip visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound. (MaanImages/File)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ALLOWS 800 GAZANS TO PRAY AT AQSA FOR LAYLAT AL-QADER
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Israeli authorities permitted 800 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound.
____Laylat al-Qader, meaning the Night of Destiny, takes place toward the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and according to Muslim belief marks the night the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad.
(More. . .)
(Related)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELI AUTHORITIES TO BUILD OVER HISTORIC MUSLIM CEMETERY
July 14, 2015
Q-Press media center for Jerusalem and al-Aqsa affairs today said that the planning and construction committee in occupied Jerusalem, last week, has approved the construction of a huge project on land for the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery. . . .
____Haaretz newspaper said, according to the PNN, that Israeli occupation authorities pushed to execute the project on the land even though it is Islamic Waqf (property) that cannot be seized.
(More. . .)

Construction of huge project on land of the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery, Jerusalem.
Construction of huge project on land of the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery, Jerusalem.

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ISRAEL PREVENTS PALESTINIANS IN JERUSALEM FROM GETTING WATER
July 13, 2015
The Israeli water authority has discussed appeals against the new system for collecting water charges from “unlicensed” houses, including those not linked to the water system. . . . Even houses which do not consume any water at all will be subject to charges under the new system.
____The amount charged would be based on the amount of water consumed by the whole neighbourhood, with the total divided among the Palestinian residents of the villages behind the Apartheid (“Separation”) Wall.
(More. . .)

❹ Opinion
From +972 MAGAZINE
NO, BDS DOES NOT UNFAIRLY ‘SINGLE OUT’ ISRAEL
Dahlia Scheindlin
July 13, 2015
[. . . .]
But precisely because Israel has a democratic ethos, because it is part of the West and in dialogue with it, activists reasonably believe gains can be made. They’re right. If Israel wants to be more democratic toward all the people it controls, it surely has the political culture in place to do so. The claim to democracy also makes the nearly 50-year occupation so much more offensive.
____But there’s an even simpler reason why students, celebrities, academics, and some individuals call to boycott Israel instead of other places: Palestinians asked them to.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
THE JERUSALEM BLUES: A PORTRAIT OF THE CITY
Ali Qleibo
July, 2015 – Issue 207
I had arrived early for my daily walk with my friend Abed. I took a seat on the stairway leading to Damascus Gate and whiled away the time watching the hubbub below. . . .
____Jerusalem haunts me; sparks of light, images flicker, and a river of sadness flows, flooding the covered passageways embracing memories. Each of us carries an archetypal map of Jerusalem within our heart that corresponds to subjective visual imagery. The clarity, intensity, and proximity to the city determine our mood. Far from al-balad, its markets, alleys, mosques, and churches, one experiences a fall from grace: the Jerusalem blues. Jerusalemites, once severed from their city, languish in nostalgic melancholy (al-huzon). It is our burden, our joy, and our redemption. The vision of Jerusalem is a totalizing multifaceted experience of which each detail is a partial refraction of the whole: an open wound assuaged by its embrace once within the city walls.
(More. . .)

“IN JERUSALEM,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.

From Darwish, Mahmoud. The Butterfly’s Burden. Trans. Fady Joudah. Copper Canyon Press, 2008. Available.
About Mahmoud Darwish.

Palestinians inside Israel and in the West Bank have very little water and it costs a lot of money.
Palestinians inside Israel and in the West Bank have very little water and it costs a lot of money. (More. . .)

“. . . I have not seen any horrors, everything was extremely normal. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

A Palestinian boy rides his bicycle July 3, 2015, past the rubble of buildings destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war. (AFP Mohammed Abed)
A Palestinian boy rides his bicycle July 3, 2015, past the rubble of buildings destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war. (AFP Mohammed Abed)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
DESPERATE GAZANS RESORT TO MAKESHIFT HOMES YEAR AFTER WAR
July 6, 2015
GAZA CITY (AFP) — Fouad Abu Asser and his family have returned to their neighborhood amid the rubble of the Gaza Strip — but something resembling a shed is what they now call home.
____”We hear talk and more talk, but we still haven’t seen anything,” the 54-year-old father said, referring to the slow pace of rebuilding in the Gaza Strip, devastated by last summer’s war with Israel.
____Wednesday marks a year since the war’s start, and thousands of homes in Gaza still have not been rebuilt, forcing residents like Abu Asser to construct makeshift houses where they once lived out of prefabricated supplies or rubble.
(More. . .)
(Background. . .)

❷ From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
UN REPORT ON ISRAELI WAR CRIMES IN GAZA
Richard Falk
July 6, 2015
The magnitude of the Palestinian losses, as well as the comparison with Israeli losses, and the comparative ratio of civilians to military killed on the two sides, by itself suggests that the essential character of this Israeli undertaking is best understood as ‘state terror’ directed at Gaza’s population as a whole. This one-sided impression of the events, however, is not conveyed by the much anticipated UN report.
(More. . .)

Richard Falk is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
JEWISH SETTLERS STORM AL-AQSA MOSQUE
July 6, 2015
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A group of Jewish settlers stormed Monday morning al-Aqsa Mosque from the Israeli-controlled al-Magaribeh gate under heavy Israeli police protection.
____Unprecedentedly, the settlers left early the holy shrine before completing their tour due to the presence of big numbers of Palestinian worshipers.
(More. . .)
Background

 Palestinians clean the Al Aqsa mosque after clashes with Israeli police on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City November 5, 2014 (Reuters Photo)

Palestinians clean the Al Aqsa mosque after clashes with Israeli police on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City November 5, 2014 (Reuters Photo)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
SECURITY ZONES BEING USED TO FURTHER EXPAND WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS
July 05, 2015
Land confiscated from Palestinians for the purpose of security buffer zones around illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank is actually being utilized as “land reserves or for agriculture,” according to an investigation by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
____The buffer zones were originally created during the Second Intifada reportedly as a way to curb attacks against illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
(More. . .)
The Haaretz article

❺ Opinion
From +972 MAGAZINE
WHY NETANYAHU CAN’T JUST WISH PALESTINE AWAY: ANALYSIS OF A FAILED POLICY
Dahlia Scheindlin
July 6, 2015
Since Benjamin Netanyahu began his second term as prime minister in 2009, he has resisted reaching a two-state solution but he also claims not to want a single state, with or without a Jewish hegemony. Nobody seems to be willing to simply ask the prime minister: what do you intend for Israel and the Palestinians in five or 10 years from now?
____In lieu of a vision, Netanyahu has aggressively pursued three policies: separation between Gaza and the West Bank (and within), the merging of Israel and the West Bank, and messaging the rightness of both — hasbara. . . . all three have failed.
(More. . .)

“NORMAL JOURNEY,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI

I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

Mourid Barghouti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest separated from his wife, the Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour. They lived together in the West Bank when he was allowed to return in 1996, but relocated to Cairo and lived there until her death in 2014. Their son, Tamim Al Barghouti, born in Egypt in 1977, is himself an important Palestinian poet.
Other poems by Mourid Barghouti here, and here.

 An Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Photo by AP

An Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Photo by AP

“. . . Sorrow crawled naked in my city . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Hundreds of Palestinians wait in line at Checkpoint 300 in Bethlehem to cross in to Jerusalem.
Hundreds of Palestinians wait in line at Checkpoint 300 in Bethlehem to cross in to Jerusalem.

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL RESTRICTS THE ENTRY OF PALESTINIANS TO JERUSALEM
July 1, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities set new restrictions Tuesday on Palestinians entering Jerusalem from the occupied West Bank after attacks targeting Israeli military and settlers, revoking the entry permits of hundreds set to travel during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
____The announcement by COGAT, the agency that manages civilian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, was the latest reversal to measures easing movement for Palestinians for Ramadan.
____The new restrictions now require a permit for women aged between 16 and 30 to enter Jerusalem on Fridays. The same applies for men aged 30-50, while those under the age of 12 and over 50 can enter without a permit.
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI POLICE BAN WORSHIPPERS ENTRY INTO AL-AQSA MOSQUE, PHYSICALLY ASSAULTS GIRL
July 2, 2015
Israeli police Thursday banned a Palestinian young man’s entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and physically assaulted a small girl inside the Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.
____WAFA correspondent reported that police banned Tamer Shala‘ta, from Sakhnin, entry into the Mosque compound for 17 days and fined him 8,000 NIS (about $2120). . . . purportedly for chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ to protest the presence of Israeli settler groups that forced their way into the compound.
____Meanwhile, a special unit police officer physically assaulted a young girl inside the compound purportedly for shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in protest of the presence of more Israeli settler groups.
____The 10-year-old child, who remains unidentified, sustained wounds in her legs and was treated at the scene.
(More. . .)

Mosque in Yatta
Mosque in Yatta

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI ARMY RAZES LAND, NOTIFIES TO DEMOLISH STRUCTURES NEAR HEBRON
July 2, 2015
Israeli army forces on Thursday razed a Palestinian-owned four-dunum area near Hebron, as well as notified to demolish a house and a water well near the town of Yatta, south of Hebron, according to local sources.
____A farmer residing east of Hebron told WAFA that an Israeli army force . . . broke into the area and razed the land of Mohammad Mustafa Jaber, a local villager. The land is close to bypass road 60.
____Meanwhile, army forces broke into the villages of Dirat and Umm Sharara, just east of the town of Yatta, and notified a local resident about their intent to demolish his house along with a water well, which he owns in the area.
(More. . .)

❹ Opinion
From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
JERUSALEM, AWARENESS AND ENTRY PERMITS
Rasem Obeidat
June 25, 2015
[. . . .]
We are witnessing a tsunami of normalisation on the grassroots level, which particularly focuses on and in the city of Jerusalem. The real tragedy here, of course, is that this normalisatin is sponsored and embraced by official Palestinian bodies. Normalisation works against the interests of the Palestinian people. . . . Intellectually, culturally, politically and ideologically, the opposition has not worked effectively, particularly with young Palestinians, against the risk of normalisation and its occupation of Palestinian consciousness.
____In such a situation, and with the weak and fragmented internal situation of the Palestinians who are divided against themselves, Palestinians are inciting more against each other than against the occupation.
(More. . .)
VIDEO: Interview with Jerusalem affairs minister, Khaled Abu Arafe

❺ Opinion
From ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
NEW EVIDENCE FROM 1967 WAR REVEALS ISRAELI ATROCITIES
Ilan Pappe
June 23, 2015
In the wake of the June 1967 war, the Israeli author Amos Oz, then a reserve soldier in the Israeli army, together with a friend collated interviews with Israeli soldiers who participated in the war and asked them about the emotions the fighting triggered in them. The interviews were published as a book titled Conversations with Soldiers . . . .
The military censor . . . erased 70 percent of the evidence since he claimed it would have harmed Israel’s international image.
This month an industrious Israeli filmmaker, Mor Loushi, is showing her new documentary based on most of this erased material. . . .
The aim is to cleanse the tormented soul of the victimizer and there is nothing like a good confession to make it all go away.
(More. . .)

“MY SAD CITY,” BY FADWA TUQAN
(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gaging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem
Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem

“A poet sits in a coffee shop, writing. . .” (Mourid al-Barghouti)

A family of poets: Mourid al-Barghouti, Radwa Ashour, and their son Tamim Al Barghouti.
A family of poets: Mourid al-Barghouti, Radwa Ashour, and their son Tamim Al Barghouti.

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN 8 PALESTINIANS ACROSS WEST BANK
June 15, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians across the occupied West Bank overnight Sunday, the Israeli army and Palestinian security sources said.
____The Palestinian security sources said two Palestinian men had been arrested from Nablus; an Israeli army spokeswoman said that one had been arrested from Nablus, in addition to one from Qalqiliya, four from Bethlehem, and one from Hebron.
(More. . .)

A Palestinian woman gestures next to Israeli security forces as they temporarily close off access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on September 24, 2014. Clashes broke out at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound as Palestinians protested against Jews visiting the flashpoint holy site on the eve of Jewish New Year, police said. AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI
A Palestinian woman gestures next to Israeli security forces as they temporarily close off access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on September 24, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI

From IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
POLICE KIDNAP TWO WOMEN, ATTACK TWO ELDERLY MEN IN AL-AQSA
June 16, 2015
Israeli police officers kidnapped, Tuesday, two Palestinian women while leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied Jerusalem, and assaulted two elderly men.
____A worker of the Islamic Endowment Department said the police kidnapped the two women while leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque, through the al-Magharba Gate, and took them to a nearby police station.
____He added that the police also assaulted two elderly men, identified as Abu Bakr ash-Sheemy and Abu Ali Shawahna, after they objected to the abduction of the two women.
____The events transpired after a number of Israeli fanatics stormed the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and conducted provocative tours.
(More. . .)

From IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS TORTURE AND ABUSE A DETAINED JERUSALEM TEEN
June 16, 2015
Hiba Masalha, a lawyer with the Palestinian Detainees Committee, stated that Israeli soldiers severely tortured, and abused, a detained Palestinian teen, in the HaSharon Israeli prison.
____Masalha said Rabea’ Sa’ada ‘Asaleyya, 17 years of age, was kidnapped after the soldiers invaded his family home in Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem, approximately at 2 at dawn, on May 3, 2015. . . .
____In an affidavit to his lawyer, Asaleyya said the soldiers started beating and punching him directly after kidnapping him, and that he fell onto the ground in front of his home, before the soldiers dragged him to their vehicle, and beat him up on his head and back.
____He was then moved to the al-Maskobiyya detention and interrogation center, in Jerusalem, before he was moved to the Asqalan interrogation facility.
(More. . .)

From MONDOWEISS
NETANYAHU LIKENS BDS TO NAZI GERMANY
Annie Robbins
June 15, 2015
I suppose it was bound to happen eventually; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said BDS, the Palestinian led nonviolent global movement for justice in Palestine, resembled Nazi Germany. He said it during a meeting with Poland’s Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna today, in speaking of the “defamation” of the Jewish people in Poland when Nazis controlled the country.
____“The attacks on the Jews were always preceded by the slander of the Jews. What was done to the Jewish people then is being done to the Jewish state now,” Netanyahu said. “In those days we could do nothing. Today we can speak our mind, hold our ground. We’re going to do both.”
(More. . .)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ORANGE BOSS SUES OVER ‘DEATH THREATS’ AMID ISRAEL SPAT
June 16, 2015
PARIS (AFP) — Orange boss Stephane Richard has taken legal action after receiving death threats against himself and family members amid a row over withdrawing his brand from Israel, legal sources said Tuesday.
____Richard filed a complaint at a Paris court last week before heading to Israel in a bid to calm the controversy, a source close to the affair disclosed.
____”Stephane Richard received death threats on his telephone and his personal data were published on an Internet site in the context of the controversy over Orange’s presence in Israel,” the source said. . . .
____Israel reacted furiously to Richard’s comments, accusing him of bowing to a Palestinian-led boycott campaign.
(More. . .)

“INTERPRETATIONS,” BY MOURID AL-BARGHOUTI
A poet sits in a coffee shop, writing:
the old lady
thinks he is writing a letter to his mother,
the young woman
thinks he is writing a letter to his girlfriend,
the child
thinks he is drawing,
the businessman
thinks he is considering a deal,
the tourist
thinks he is writing a postcard,
the employee
thinks he is calculating his debts,
the secret policeman
walks slowly, towards him.

―from Poems of the Pavement, 1980

Online at Contemporary Palestinian Poetry. Edited by Michael Smith
____Mourid al-Barghouti was born in 1944 in the village of Deir Ghassaneh near Ramallah, and has lived most of his life in exile. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest separated from his wife, the Egyptian novelist, the late Radwa Ashour. He worked as a teacher in Kuwait and Cairo, in Budapest as PLO representative and in Cairo as a radio journalist with “Palestine Radio”. He has published 13 collections of poetry, and his collected works. He won the AUC 1997 Naguib Mahfouz Literature Prize for his autobiographical novel Ra’aytu Ramallah (I Saw Ramallah), and in 2000 the Palestine Award for Poetry. He lives once again in Cairo.
(More. . .)
BDS

“. . . checking over my shoulder to see if I am shadowed. . .” (Yousef Abu Loz)

Apartheid Wall: Jenin
Apartheid Wall: Jenin

❶ from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ABU KHDEIR’S NAME REMOVED FROM TERROR VICTIMS’ LIST
April 22, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli authorities removed Muhammad Abu Khdeir’s name from an Israeli list of terror victims following demands by his family.
___Abu Khdeir’s father told Ma’an that the family called the Israeli National Insurance Institute on Tuesday demanding that Muhammad’s name be removed from the list located in Mount Herzl. They later received a call from the institute telling them that his name was removed from the list.
___Muhammad, 16, was burned to death in July 2014 by Jewish Israelis in a suspected revenge attack for the murders of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank. . .
___Muhammad’s family said that Israel only added his name to “improve its image to the world” after the gruesome murder which shocked residents of occupied East Jerusalem.
(More. . .)
(Background. . .)

❷ from PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN SIX PALESTINIANS FROM JENIN VILLAGE
April 22, 2015
Israeli forces Wednesday detained five Palestinians from Tura village to the southwest of Jenin, said local security sources.
___Forces stormed the village where they proceeded to detain five locals after breaking into and ransacking their families’ houses. The detainees were identified as Mu‘taz Qabha, 22, ‘Abdullah Sami, 23, Ayham Fayez, 22, Muhammad Subhi, 26, and ‘Abdullah Ahmad, 23.
(More. . .)

Abu Kheider's Father
Abu Kheider’s Father

❸ from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
PALESTINIAN KIDNAPPED IN AL-AQSA MOSQUE; ISRAELI EXTREMISTS STORM MOSQUE COMPOUND
April 22, 2015
As dozens of Israeli extremists stormed the yards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied Jerusalem, chanting and raising Israeli flags, and trying to raise the flags on the mosque, Israeli soldiers kidnapped a young Palestinian man.
Media sources said the soldiers kidnapped Omar Odeh, from Qalansawe, in the Southern Triangle Area.
___Odeh was beaten and cuffed, before being moved to an Israeli police station in Jerusalem’s Old City.
___The abduction took place after scores of Israeli fanatics stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, through the al-Magharba gate, on Wednesday morning, and conducted provocative tours under heavy police and army protection.
___Several fanatic groups called for massive marches into the mosque compound, Wednesday and Thursday to mark “Israel’s Memorial Day.”
(More. . .)
(A simplistic explanation of the importance of Al-Aqsa)
(A different understanding of the importance of Al-Aqsa)

❹ from MONDOWEISS (Scholarly article)
TERRORISM AND THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: AN ARGUMENT
Jerome Slater
April 21, 2015
As I wrote in my blog of March 18, “Israeli Terrorism: Does Evidence Matter?” I have been unable to place the long article on which the blog was based in any professional journal. I have decided to end that quest, and instead publish the full version here, for whatever interest it may hold for scholars, journalists, and interested general audiences. . .
___My central argument is that contrary to the standard mythology, especially in Israel, Israeli terrorism has been significantly worse than that of the Palestinians. A refutation of this mythology is important for a number of reasons. First, of course, ascertaining historical truth is important for its own sake. Second, the truth might make Israelis less blind to their own behavior and therefore less intransigent in seeking a compromise settlement of their conflict with the Palestinians
(More. . .)

❺ from +972 (Opinion)
WHY I’M THINKING OF LEAVING ISRAEL
By Somow Younis
April 22, 2015
I don’t feel a sense of belonging in the place where I was born. I want to live in a place where my right to vote is not seen as a threat to the regime, where my ethnicity doesn’t hold me back and where my language is not a barrier. One day I will leave, but it won’t be by choice.
. . . So far in my adult life I’ve searched for a sense of belonging by attempting to rule places out: in my childhood village of Arara, in Haifa, in Tel Aviv, and most recently, in Jerusalem. One feeling has followed me to all of those places — being foreign. The sense of foreignness penetrates and permeates inside of me and I fight it in my daily battle for survival. What does it mean to feel like you belong?
. . . I sigh and I ponder. One can’t speak about the Nakba in the past tense. It is ongoing and continues. There it is, I’m done. Lightyears separate reality and my dreams of being recognized as an ethnic majority in a state that defines itself first and foremost as a nation-state, dreams of being granted full cultural autonomy, of realizing even the simplest dreams, without obstacles and limitations.
Somow Younis is a lawyer and social activist.
(More. . .)
Also by Somow Younis

“LAST OF THE CENTURY,” BY YOUSEF ABU LOZ

Knowing my country is far
I pack my cases and fly
always checking over my shoulder
to see if I am shadowed, always
looking around: paranoid

I hasten my wings, oh
wait for me, my country, I am lost
in the century. I swoon and swoop
with the invaders’ hot breath
on my neck and even though
I rush past a decade of years
they still beat me to her.

I’ve become older, I know my life
is behind me. Where I cannot fly.

Translated by Ryan Van Winkle

Yousef Abu Loz’s collection Fatima Goes to the field early received the Arab Writers Union Award. Born in Jordan, he has worked in education and culture across the Arab world.

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

Somos Younis
Somow Younis

“. . . At night, we wait for dreams, dressed up as priestesses of fog. . .” (Sami Muhanna)

Al-Aqsa Mosques (NE exposure)
Al-Aqsa Mosques (NE exposure)

from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
JEWISH RIGHTISTS TOUR AL-AQSA COMPOUND, ASSAULT PALESTINIAN WOMEN
Sunday, March 22, 2015

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews toured the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday morning under the protection of Israeli forces, while Israeli police detained Palestinians even as groups of settlers reportedly assaulted worshipers nearby.

A spokesman for the Jerusalem office of the Palestinian Ministry of Endowments told Ma’an that 127 “extremist Jewish settlers” entered the compound via the Moroccan Gate in groups.
[. . . ]
One of the settlers tried to “tear off his clothes inside the compound before security guards intervened and stopped him,” said an eyewitness, who told Ma’an he believed the act was part of religious ritual.

Israeli police officers, who entered the compound to protect the settlers, chased Palestinian worshipers including children and women.
[. . . ]
Settlers also assaulted a group of Palestinian women outside the Chain Gate who were unable to access the compound after an Israeli court decision banned them from visiting the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. [See next item for background.]
(More. . . . )

from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL COURT BANS 4 WOMEN FROM ENTERING AQSA COMPOUND
Thursday, February 26, 2015

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court on Thursday banned four Palestinian women from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for periods of between 10 and 60 days, a lawyer said.

The women were detained on Wednesday as they were leaving the holy site and taken for interrogation at a local police station, lawyer Ramze Kteilat told Ma’an.
[. . . ]
It is unclear why the women were banned.
(More. . . )

Israeli Soldiers blockading entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli Soldiers blockading entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque

from PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
PALESTINIANS DECRY ISRAELI COURT’S RULING TO UPHOLD JEWISH PRAYER IN AL-AQSA COMPOUND
JERUSALEM,
March 4, 2015
Palestinian organizations criticized the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruling which ostensibly backs claims that Jews are allowed to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

While Jewish extremists praised the ruling and considered it a “historic victory” as Israeli media sources reported, al-Aqsa Foundation for Islamic Waqf and Heritage published a report claiming that the move aims to legalize Jewish control over the Islamic site.

On Sunday, Judge Malka Aviv said the police ban on far-right extremist Yehudah Glick visiting the compound was issued “without appropriate consideration, was arbitrary, and only out of concern for the consequences of the broadcast.”
[. . . ]
The extremist Glick, who is known for his regular attempts to legalize prayer at the compound, was banned by the Israeli police from entering the compound and attempting to pray there, as the action will “inevitably” trigger Palestinians.
[. . . ]
And the judge insisted that Jews have a right to pray in the compound. Following the ruling, Glick’s lawyer said, “Starting from today, all Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. There is no longer any crime in prayer itself.” While Jews considered the ruling as a first step that will eventually allow all Jews to pray in the compound, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “committed to upholding the so-called status quo” in November 2014.
(More. . . )

from THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
Opinion/Editorial
THE MESSAGES FROM ISRAEL’S ELECTION
Ilan Pappe
Friday, March 20, 2015
Those of us who know the nature of the beast could not have been surprised by the results of the Israeli election.

Like many of my friends, I was also relieved that a liberal Zionist government was not elected. It would have allowed the charade of the “peace process” and the illusion of the two-state solution to linger on while the suffering of the Palestinians continues.

As always, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself provided the inevitable conclusion when he declared the end of the two-state solution — inviting us all to the long overdue funeral of an ill-conceived idea that provided Israel with international immunity for its colonialist project in Palestine.

The power of the charade was on show when the world and local pundits unrealistically predicted a victory for liberal Zionism, an Israeli ideological trend that is near extinction — embodied by the Zionist Union list headed by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni.
(More. . . )

from THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
JERUSALEM OF THE SPIRIT: SUFISM, MYSTICISM, AND THE SUBLIME
Dr. Ali Qleibo
Issue #203, March 2015
The mere name, Al-Quds, triggers an emotional, affectional upsurge in every Muslim heart and mind, wherein nostalgia, piety, and the love of God and his prophet Mohammed meet. Pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad is a spiritual journey leading to a process of religious transformation, and touching the deepest aspects of the human spirit. It is a mystical rite of passage that promotes one’s personal connection with God.

The lore of Jerusalem as the axis mundi –the symbolic center of the world where the four compass directions meet– reverberates throughout Islamic history. Inspired by Prophet Mohammad’s Night Journey to Jerusalem to connect with God, the pious believe that travel and correspondence between Heaven and Earth, between the higher and lower realms, is possible at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Communication from the lower realms may ascend to the higher ones, and blessings from the higher realms may descend to the lower realms. Jerusalem functions as the omphalos (navel), the world’s point of beginning, inflaming Muslim passion with yearning for the holy city.
(More. . . )
Dr. Ali Qleibo is an anthropologist, author, and artist. A specialist in the social history of Jerusalem and Palestinian peasant culture, he is the author of Before the Mountains Disappear, Jerusalem in the Heart, and Surviving the Wall, an ethnographic chronicle of contemporary Palestinians and their roots in ancient Semitic civilisations. Dr. Qleibo lectures at Al-Quds University.


“RHYTHMS OF THE NIGHT,” BY SAMI MUHANNA

At night the heavens come closer
to wolves.
At night, quiet is transparent,
treads on the carpet of the horizon of contemplation,
sees nothing but the breadth of its imagination.
At night, we listen to breaking hearts,
we grieve with the spirit’s dove,
we embrace our dreams.
At night, we remember and visualize,
mix colours into a paste of old wishes.
At night, we hear our true voice.
Night listens for childhood, in case it returns
and for love on the cusp of desire.
Night is the pulpit of our silence.
At night, directions don’t work.
At night, we lessen leaving
to the width of windows.
At night, we wait for dreams, dressed up
as priestesses of fog.
At night, details, distance and secrets encompass
the realm of infatuation.
Night writes
Without the restrictions
Of rhyme.

Translated by Katherine Sowerby
From A Bird Is not a Stone
Sami Muhanna is a poet and lawyer, and president and founder of the Arab Writers Union in Haifa. He is active in Palestinian political and academic affairs inside Israel.

Israeli security forces stand guard as Palestinian Muslim worshipers perform traditional Friday prayers in a street outside the Old City in east Jerusalem on October 17, 2014. The Israeli government has restricted access to the mosque for men under 50 years of age.
Israeli security forces stand guard as Palestinian Muslim worshipers perform traditional Friday prayers in a street outside the Old City in east Jerusalem on October 17, 2014. The Israeli government has restricted access to the mosque for men under 50 years of age.

“. . . I left them with a voice singing its song of love for my country. . .” (Aminah Kazak)

Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron. Worshipers and tourists.
Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron. Worshipers and tourists.

March 17, 2015
A new (highly professional and informative) BLOG:
“Today, the Institute for Palestine Studies launched its first ever blog! We hope you’ll join us at Palestine Square for expert analysis on Palestinian affairs, exclusive interviews with Palestinian artists, Palestine Unbound – the digital counterpart to the Journal of Palestine Studies quarterly feature highlighting the ever expanding realm of discussion on Palestine and Israel unbound by the traditional media – and much, much more!”
The Institute for Palestine Studies
At first glance, this may seem to have made this little blog irrelevant. Probably not. This blog is a quick and simple compendium of (more or less) daily news. Palestine Square has the resources of the Institute for Palestine Studies and will be an important instrument for presenting in-depth news about Palestinian thought and culture.

from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SETTLERS RAID HEBRON’S IBRAHIMI MOSQUE
IMEMC News & Agencies
Friday March 20, 2015

A group of Israeli settlers entered the Isaac Hall inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron, on Thursday under armed protection from Israeli forces, witnesses said.
Local sources said that guards attempted to prevent settlers from entering the mosque, but that the army facilitated their entrance.

Under an agreement with endowment officials, Jewish visits to Isaac’s Hall are limited to 10 per year, Ma’an further reports.

The agreement came into place after a Brooklyn-born Jewish settler massacred 29 Palestinians in the mosque after opening fire at worshipers in 1994.

The Ibrahimi Mosque is known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and is the site where both faiths believe the Biblical patriarch Abraham is buried.

Around 700 settlers live in 80 homes in the city center of Hebron, surrounded by nearly 200,000 Palestinians. The settlers are protected by the Israeli army in the tightly controlled city, where many streets are off limits to Palestinians.

Ibrahimi Mosque disrespected
Ibrahimi Mosque disrespected

from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
DOZENS OF SETTLERS RAID MUSLIM MONUMENT NEAR NABLUS
IMEMC News & Agencies
Friday March 20, 2015

Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed, early Thursday, the monument of Sheikh Yousef Dweikat, a local religious figure, to the east of Nablus, said security sources.
Protected by Israeli forces, several buses packed with settlers stormed eastern Nablus and proceeded to Joseph Tomb, where they performed religious rituals, triggering clashes with the residents, according to WAFA.

Soldiers fired tear gas canisters at Palestinian locals who attempted to prevent settlers from storming the religious site. No arrests or injuries were reported.

The site of Joseph’s Tomb is contentious. Palestinians believe the site to be the funerary monument to Sheikh Yousef Dweikat, a local religious figure, while Israeli settlers believe it to belong to the biblical patriarch, Joseph.

from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
38 SETTLERS STORM AL AQSA MOSQUE
IMEMC News & Agencies
Thursday March 19, 2015

Extremist Jewish settlers stormed the courtyards of Al Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi gate, on Thursday morning, amid tight security from a private Israeli police force.
The media coordinator at the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Firas AL-Debes, told Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency that 38 settlers, spread over 4 groups, stormed the Al-Aqsa courtyards, noting that the settlers carried out provocative rounds in front of worshipers, while students in Quran study circles raised their voices in chanting, “Allahu Akhbar! (God is Greatest.)”

Extremist Israeli settlers and politicians have been violating the sanctity of the historic Mosque on an almost daily basis and always under the protection of armed occupation forces, which often attack Palestinian worshipers who try to protect their holy site.

The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, of which East Jerusalem is a part, is illegal under international law.
http://www.imemc.org/article/70952
from THE NATION
ON ‘LOST CAUSES’ AND THE FUTURE OF PALESTINE
The appearance of Palestinian defeat is an optical illusion—one that hides the probability of eventual Israeli defeat.
Richard Falk
December 16, 2014

“What follows can be seen as a more considered response to this diplomat’s stance of cynical realism: it is my insistence that Palestine is not a lost cause, and that even if it were a lost cause from the perspective of realism, a continued commitment to it is greatly preferable to defeatist resignation and indifference toward such a grossly unjust outcome of such an epic struggle. My deeper conviction is that the appearance of Palestinian defeat is an optical illusion that hides the probability of eventual Israeli defeat—that while Israel is winning one war due to its military dominance and continuous establishment of ‘facts on the ground,’ Palestine is winning what in the end is the more important war, the struggle for legitimacy, which is most likely to determine the political outcome.”


“DEPORTATION,” BY AMINAH KAZAK

Before they came for me
I took my voice and hid it under the dawn
so they found only my bleeding mouth, my broken
hands, my eyes empty of vision

They traveled
to every corner of my country,
frustration building
The sound of my voice split their heads like thunder,
my agony pumped through their veins

Later they took my bleeding mouth, my broken hands,
my eyes empty of vision
and threw them past the horizon
so I left them with a voice
singing its song of love for my country
which they will never understand
never embrace and never possess.

Meghdessian, Samira. “The Discourse Of Oppression As Expressed In Writings Of The Intifada.” World Literature Today 72.1 (1998): 39.
This poem was selected from the Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature . Although the poet lives in the diaspora, she describes one of the most violent aspects of the occupation: the deportation of Palestinian males, to empty the land of its inhabitants and to break the basic family structure.
The Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature spans the period 1858-1990. It contains an excellent eighty-page introduction, which discusses both the external forces and the internal dynamics that influenced Palestinian literature. The book includes translated works which read very well. The editor, Salma Khadra Jayyusi, does not identify the literature of the Intifada per se, but my selections fit the designated period through their dates of publication.

Those who pray outside the Ibrahimi Mosque are apparently dangerous.
Those who pray outside the Ibrahimi Mosque are apparently dangerous.