“. . . they come to burn the love in our hearts . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

PLEASE NOTE: With this posting the form and content of this blog will slightly change. It will present fewer news items and give more background for those items. This is in hopes of providing the reader (and the blogger) with deeper understanding of the issues that shape the news. I will soon find a means to provide direct links to these articles.
Thank you. H.K.

1-bedouin boy
A Palestinian Bedouin boy feeds camels in a poverty-stricken quarter of the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis. (Photo: Getty Images, January 20, 2016)

❶ Video: Hebron settlers steal wooden furniture from Palestinian home for Lag BaOmer bonfire
❷ Israel steps up war on Palestinian culture
❸ Why camels mean more than just money to Gaza’s Bedouin
❹ Opinion/Analysis: TIME  TO  END  THE  ‘HASBARA’:  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AND  THE  SEARCH  FOR  A  COMMON  STORY
❺ NOTES – Writings related to above news stories
❻ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ VIDEO:  HEBRON  SETTLERS  STEAL  WOODEN  FURNITURE  FROM  PALESTINIAN  HOME  FOR  LAG BAOMER  BONFIRE
Ma’an News Agency
May 24, 2016
A group of right-wing Israeli settlers broke into an uninhabited Palestinian house in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday and stole wooden furniture, presumably to be burned during bonfire celebrations for the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer.
___A spokesperson for Hebron-based activist group Youth Against Settlement, Issa Amro [said] the families have been banned from accessing their homes in Hebron’s Old City since Israeli forces sealed the area around al-Shuhada Street in 1994.     MORE . . .
(Note below)

❷ ISRAEL  STEPS  UP  WAR  ON  PALESTINIAN  CULTURE
The Electronic Intifada
Alia Al Ghussain
May 18, 2016
The Palestinian community in Haifa enjoyed a small victory in March when a theater successfully challenged the Israeli government to win reinstatement of official funding cut after controversy over the staging of a play about prisoners last year.
___But the reinstatement also threw into focus the constraints on Palestinian artistic expression in present-day Israel and some saw the resumption of official funding as a double-edged sword.    MORE . . .     RELATED FROM THE NEWS . . .   
(Note below)

❸ WHY  CAMELS  MEAN  MORE  THAN  JUST  MONEY  TO  GAZA’S  BEDOUIN
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Rasha Abou Jalal
May 22, 2016
Despite the difficulties that hinder camel breeding in the Gaza Strip, such as the scarcity of green pastures and ongoing urban sprawl, Bedouin families continue to breed camels as part of their heritage. To them, camels are a source of income and livelihood [. . . .]
___ . . . Arabs used to praise camels in poetry, and the Quran gives the example of camels in Surat al-Ghashiyah, verse 17, to show the greatness of God’s creation: “Do they still not look at the camel, how it had been created?”       MORE . . .    

1-destruction Hebron-001
The Israeli demolition of Palestinian structures in central Hebron. (Photo: Ahmed A. Rjoob, Conservation and Management of Archeological Sites 11: 3–4, 2009)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  TIME  TO  END  THE  ‘HASBARA’:  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AND  THE  SEARCH  FOR  A  COMMON  STORY
Middle East Monitor
Ramzy Baroud
May 24, 2016
Merely being in the company of hundreds of Palestinian journalists and other media professionals from all over the world has been an uplifting experience. For many years, Palestinian media has been on the defensive, unable to articulate a coherent message, torn between factions and desperately trying to fend off the Israeli media campaign, along with its falsifications and unending propaganda or ‘hasbara’ [ . . . . ]
___ Not only are Palestinians expected to demolish many years of Israeli disinformation, predicated on a make-believe historical discourse that has been sold to the world as fact, but also to construct their own lucid narrative that is free from the whims of factions and personal gains.       MORE . . .  
(Note below)

NOTES –  WRITINGS  RELATED  TO  NEWS ITEMS
(complete writings are available online through EBSCO databases from most libraries)

DEMOLITION  OF  PALESTINIAN  CULTURE  IN  HEBRON
In 2000, during the al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinian heritage was destroyed by the military operations of the Israeli army. They deliberately demolished the historic centres of Nablus and Hebron, and subsequently constructed the separation wall inside the OPTs, causing unprecedented and irreversible damage to Palestinian heritage. The separation wall also cuts off hundreds of archaeological sites annexed to Israel or to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
__From:  Rjoob, Ahmed A. “The Impact of Israeli Occupation on the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The Case of ‘Salvage Excavations’.” Conservation & Management of Archaeological Sites 11.3/4 (2009): 214-235.

RESISTING THE WAR ON PALESTINIAN CULTURE
Writing is an act not only of preserving history and human experience, but also of resistance to intruders and colonizers. Although we do not write only because there is occupation and injustice, we write the kind of literature we do because there is occupation. . . .  We know we belong here in Palestine. We write not to beg for our rights and for a better life, but to fulfill our obligations to ourselves, to others, and to the generations to come.
__From: Alareer, Refaat R. “Gaza Writes Back: Narrating Palestine.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 37.2 (2014): 524-537.

REGARDING  THE  ‘HASBARA’
So these assumptions are reinforced. You know, the Jews are the good people; Arabs are the bad people. Jews are like us. They’re white people creating a Western-style state in a savage untamed region of the world. So after ’67, there was this move towards making uncritical support of Israel the cornerstone of being a good Jew. Being a Jew and a Zionist are now merged, and Israel is the religion. Christian Zionists marched up and embraced the idea. We all got to return so we can have an apocalypse. So they embraced this settler movement. Liberal Christians then bought the mythology. The U.S. government developed our huge military industrial complex. With this framing, the history and trauma and aspirations of Palestinians become more and more invisible.
___So this manipulation happens by controlling the message. How is that done? We have Birthright trips, which are basically brainwashing. We have students that have been recruited and, I’ve heard, paid to use social media to compliment Israel. They call this public diplomacy. There are a ton of free junkets for all kinds of people, ranging from academics to food and wine critics, to go to Israel. We have all the academic collaborations. We have our Israeli ambassadors in all sorts of Jewish settings and forcing what the message is. So there is this multimillion-dollar industry to brand Israel with pink washing, green washing, faith washing, and all those kind of things.
___From: Rothchild, Alice, and Askia Muhammad. “Silencing Voices That Question Israeli Actions.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (2015): 21-25.

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

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

“. . . what benefit is it, if man Were to drink coffee in Paris But none in his mother’s house. . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to Haim Saban, the biggest giver on the Democratic side, saying that she will be speaking out publicly against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign aimed at Israel, and will work “across party lines” to oppose it. -
Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to Haim Saban, the biggest giver on the Democratic side, saying that she will be speaking out publicly against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign aimed at Israel, and will work “across party lines” to oppose it. –

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES DEMOLISH WEDDING HALL AND WORKSHOPS NORTH OF JERUSALEM
July 29, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished a wedding hall and several other structures belonging to a Palestinian resident in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina north of Jerusalem.
____Israeli bulldozers were reported to have stormed the neighborhood under Israeli army escort and demolished the “al-Khayma” wedding hall belonging to Akram Abu Shalbak.
____They then gave Abu Shalbak an hour to empty a printing shop, a carpentry workshop, and a yard used for selling construction material that also held a small gas station.
____ Abu Shalbak told Ma’an that all the structures were demolished when the hour was up.
(More. . .)

❷ From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
PALESTINIAN ATTACKED, DETAINED FOR WISHING AN ISRAELI SOLDIER A GOOD DAY
July 29, 2015
RAMALLAH (WAFA) – A Palestinian youth was assaulted by an Israeli soldier as he was crossing Jabara police station to cross into Hebron, for simply wishing the soldier a ‘good day’, Wednesday reported the Palestinian detainees and ex-detainees affairs committee.
____The committee reported on Naser Jaber, 22, saying after he got his identity card checked by an Israeli soldier at the police station in order to allow him to cross into Hebron, Jaber wished the soldier a ‘good day’, when the soldier stopped him immediately, asking him, ‘Am I your friend to wish me a good day?’ The soldier then smacked Jaber on his chin and on the back of his head with his riffle, causing him serious cuts and fractures in his chin and jaw, as well as an intensive internal bleeding in his head.
____Jaber was then detained and left to bleed for two hours before transferring him to hospital for treatment. He was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem, where he received medical care . . . .
____Jaber told the committee that he has not been provided with any additional treatment despite of his bad condition following the assault . . . .
(More. . .)

❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL PM APPROVES 300 SETTLER HOMES IN OCCUPIED WEST BANK
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday approved the “immediate” construction of 300 settler homes in the occupied West Bank as his government came under pressure from right-wing Jewish groups.
____”After consultations in the prime minister’s office, the immediate construction of 300 homes in Beit El has been authorized,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said, adding that planning for another 504 homes in annexed East Jerusalem had also been approved.
(More. . .)

A Palestinian family takes a selfie on a beach of the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, July 19, 2015. (photo by REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
A Palestinian family takes a selfie on a beach of the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, July 19, 2015. (photo by REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

❹ Analysis
From MONDOWEISS
ANNIVERSARIES: WHO COUNTS?
Alice Rothchild
July 28, 2015
An early July letter from Hillary Clinton to Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban reveals her intentions to “defend Israel at every turn” and to ignore Israel’s serious human rights violations raised by the United Nations. . . . Calling Israel “a vibrant democracy” and equating critical discourse on Zionism and Israeli policy with anti-Semitism, she does a grave disservice to the growing international awareness of the massive Jewish settlement growth in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the crushing siege of Gaza.
____As a guest of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, I traveled to the region in March with Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility to listen to the voices of and work with physicians, mental health clinicians, UN and human rights workers, teachers, students, youth groups, artists, and ordinary people. . . .
____I listened to psychiatrists discuss the 51 days of intense fear and insecurity and the challenges of caring for traumatized patients when the clinicians themselves had lost homes, family members, and were equally traumatized.
[. . . .]
____Historical memory is a contradictory process, churning the narratives of the powerful against the realities of those who have suffered the most and are often left voiceless. Now, at the first anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, we are facing a crisis of memory.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
TRAVEL PERMITS AIM TO MANAGE, NOT SOLVE, PALESTINE-ISRAEL CONFLICT
Daoud Kuttab
July 27, 2015
When Saja Attaiya traveled on July 19 from the Palestinian village of Beit Sira, west of Ramallah, to the Mediterranean Sea, it only took her 30 minutes to get there. Previously, her attempts to visit Jaffa and Tel Aviv had been met with restrictions and checkpoints, as Israel has rarely given travel permits to Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Israel since 2000, especially to young Palestinians.
____ This year, travel restrictions were eased for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, thus allowing Attaiya, 21, and thousands of Palestinians to cross into Israel and spend time at the beach. . . .
[. . . .]
Freedom to travel is a basic right that is taken for granted in most parts of the world, and after decades of travel restrictions on Palestinians, a worrisome situation has emerged, whereby Israel is making small gestures to the Palestinians, thereby ignoring the important decisions that could end the occupation. It appears that Israel has decided to manage the conflict with the Palestinians rather than solve it.
Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian a columnist for Palestine Pulse. He is a former Ferris Professor of journalism at Princeton University and is currently the director-general of Community Media Network, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing independent media in the Arab region.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/07/palestinians-visit-beach-israel-travel-permits.html
CAPTION:
Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to Haim Saban, the biggest giver on the Democratic side, saying that she will be speaking out publicly against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign aimed at Israel, and will work “across party lines” to oppose it. –

“THE WANDERING REED,” BY FOUZI EL-ASMAR

Of what benefit is it, if man were to gain the whole world
But lose the green almond in his father’s orchard?
Of what benefit is it, if man
Were to drink coffee in Paris
But none in his mother’s house?
Of what benefit is it, if man were to tour the whole world
But lose the flowers on the hills of his native land?
He gains nothing but deadly silence
Within the hearts of the living.

You look through the mirror of lands not your own
And see your exiled face;
You recognize your face
Despite the deadly dust of travel
From Jaffa, to Lydda, to Haifa,
Through the Mediterranean to exile;
You recognize your face
And try to deny that face!
Your worship your own face
Even though exile has obliterated its features;
The hangman of the twentieth century assumes the countenance
Of the eternal face!
You close your eyes
To worship your face in the darkness of this century.
You deny . . . you worship,
You deny . . . you worship,
And the God of truth cries to your face:
“He who denies his face
Is renounced by all the birds of paradise in this universe,
And those whom silence has turned mute
Will never be heard by the roses of the field
He who kills the nightingale of his dreams
Will be buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living.”
You open your eyes
And see the face of your country in the mirror of exile.

The deadly silence in the hearts of the living
Strips away the skin of your face;
It cuts and dries your flesh,
Then hangs what remains on poles
Under the forgotten sun of the West.

From THE PALSESTINIAN 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.
Remembering Fouzi El-Asmar.

Israeli forces demolish wedding hall - Ma'an Images
Israeli forces demolish wedding hall – Ma’an Images