“. . . the stars were named by people like us . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WASTEWATER  REUSE  PROJECT  LAUNCHES  IN  RAMALLAH  CITY 
American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) recently launched a wastewater reuse project to conserve scarce drinking water in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.    ­­­___Anera said in a press release that the project is expected to be completed by May 2020 and that it will protect the water supply by facilitating the reuse of 240,000 cubic meters (63,401,292 gallons) of wastewater annually.   [. . . .] The project, funded by the Jim Pattison Foundation, the Vitol Foundation and the Ramallah Municipality, will also increase the amount of potable water available for human consumption and domestic use in Ramallah City by 300 cubic meters (79,251 gallons) per day.   More . . .

ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  HOME  IN  RAMALLAH-DISTRICT  VILLAGE
Israeli forces Thursday demolished a Palestinian home under construction in RANTIS VILLAGE, northwest of the central West Bank city of RAMALLAH, said local sources.    [. . . .]  Meanwhile, Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice to a Palestinian home in AL-WALAJA VILLAGE, northwest of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.   [. . . .]  Almost 88 percent of RANTIS and 97 percent of AL-WALAJA, mainly agricultural land, were classified as Area C, which falls under the full Israeli control and where Israel refuses to permit virtually any Palestinian construction, forcing many Palestinians to embark on construction without a permit to shelter their families.   ___Since its occupation in 1967, along with the rest of the West Bank, Israel has seized most of the lands belonging to both villages for the construction of settlements, bypass roads and the apartheid wall . . .   More . . .

TEEN  KILLED,  THREE  INJURED  BY  ISRAELI  GUNFIRE  IN  RAFAH      Israeli soldiers on Wednesday night killed a Palestinian teenager and wounded others as they were rallying in a border area to the east of Rafah in southern Gaza.   ___A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) said that the kid was critically injured in the head by Israeli gunfire and succumbed to his injury later.      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

[ISRAEL]  TELLS  HIGH  COURT:  WE  CAN  ANNEX  THE  WEST  BANK,  INTERNATIONAL  LAW  BE  DAMNED      August 7th, the state’s private attorney Harel Arnon submitted a second brief [Hebrew] to the High Court of Justice in defense of the settlement “Regulation Law.” In it he argues that the Knesset is not bound by international law and has the right to apply its own laws outside of its borders and annex land, if it wishes.
Arnon argues:
“The mere application of a certain Israeli norm [law] to an anonymous place outside the state does not necessarily make that anonymous place part of Israel. The Knesset is not restricted from legislating extra-territorially anywhere in the world, including in the region, the Knesset can legislate in Judea and Samaria.”  The brief also argues

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

ANERA   American  Near  East  Refugee  Aid    For 50 years, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. We mobilize resources for immediate emergency relief and for sustainable, long-term health, education, and economic development.  Website . . .    50th Anniversary Dinner

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOW  PALESTINIANS  KEEP  WARM,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE  (B.  1952)

Choose one word and say it over
and over, till it builds a fire inside your mouth.
Adhafera*, the one who holds out, Alphard*, solitary one,
the stars were named by people like us.
Each night they line up on the long path between worlds.
They nod and blink, no right or wrong
in their yellow eyes. Dirah*, little house,
unfold your walls and take us in.

My well went dry, my grandfather’s grapes
have stopped singing. I stir the coals,
my babies cry. How will I teach them
they belong to the stars?
They build forts of white stone and say, “This is mine.”
How will I teach them to love Mizar*, veil, cloak,
to know that behind it an ancient man
is fanning a flame?
He stirs the dark wind of our breath.
He says the veil will rise
till they see us shining, spreading like embers
on the blessed hills.

Well, I made that up. I’m not so sure about Mizar.
But I know we need to keep warm here on earth
And when your shawl is as thin as mine is, you tell stories.

–From Naomi Shihab Nye, RED SUITCASE,  1994.

*Adhafera, a third-magnitude star in the constellation of Leo, the lion
*Alphard, Heart of the Snake in constellation Hydra
*Dirah, Star–Seed or Branch. Symbolically called the Abused or Beaten One
*Mizar, With its fainter companion star Alcor a double star

“. . . being caught―between the ugliest and the finest . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

IMG_3198 - Copy
(Illegal Israeli Gush Etzion Settlement above
Tent of Nations near Nahalin Village, Bethlehem Governate.
Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

ARAB  JOINT  LIST  DEMANDS  EU  TO  CONDEMN  ISRAEL  FOR  ‘NATIONALITY  LAW’     
Arab members of the Israeli Knesset, of the Joint Arab List, demanded that the European Union should condemn Israel as a result of approving the controversial “Nationality Law.”   ___A number of Arab MK’s will be leaving to Brussels . . .   ___MK Jamal Zahalka, leader of the Balad political party, said “We are going to Brussels to ask Europe remain faithful to its principles regarding the rights of minorities and human rights . . . They have declared war on us and on our rights through the Nationality Law. We have the right to defend ourselves by using the international community as well.”   More . . .

PALESTINIAN  FOREIGN  MINISTRY  CALLS  FOR  COOPERATION  TO  DOCUMENT  SETTLER  VIOLATIONS
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called for holding a meeting soon with all official and non-official institutions to protect the rights of Palestinian citizens against Israeli settler violations.    ___It aims to speed up the registration and documentation of each violation to file a lawsuit against Israel as an occupying power . . .   ___“It is no longer sufficient to issue statements condemning these violations because they are not deterring the occupation authorities from stopping their repressive and arbitrary measures,” the ministry said in a statement.    More . . .
Related . . . Extremist  Settlers  Assaulted  Four  Palestinians  In  Nablus    

IOF  KIDNAPS  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  CAMPAIGNS
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday arrested 10 Palestinian citizens in raid campaigns launched in the West Bank and Jerusalem.   ___Israeli occupation army said in a statement Monday morning that six of the detained Palestinians are involved in popular resistance attacks against Israeli targets.   ___The statement noted that the IOF soldiers were able to seize a weapon in a Palestinian house in Tulkarem and confiscate thousands of shekels in Qalqilya that are used to fund resistance operations.   More . . .
Related . . . 6 Gaza  Fishermen  Arrested  By  Israeli  Navy  At  Nightfall
Related . . . IOFF  Kidnapped  Two  Youths  From  Badou  Village,  Occupied  Jerusalem
Related . . . Injuries  And  Arrests,  And  Demolishing  A  Commercial  Establishment  In  Silwan

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

‘IF  UNRWA  LEAVES,  WE  WON’T  SURVIVE’  —  REFUGEES  BRACE  FOR  HARD  TIMES  AS  US  ENDS  AID   
Yumna Patel 
On Saturday morning [Sept. 1], millions of Palestinian refugees woke up to the news that UNRWA . . .   was one step closer to the brink of collapse.      . . . 5 million Palestinian refugees — the descendants of those who were forcibly expelled from their homes when Israel was created in 1948 — [. . . .] Nagham Al-Jaf, 43, originally from Iraqi Kurdistan, has lived in Aida camp for the better part of 25 years. Her husband is the child of refugees from the Jerusalem-area village of Deir Aban.    [. . . .] “If UNRWA leaves its hands from the camp, and from the schools, we won’t be able to survive, not at all,” al-Jaf said.   More . . .

TOP  ACADEMICS  AND  SCIENTISTS  OPPOSE  CONFERENCE  IN  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT
[. . . .] In an open letter published in the Guardian this weekend, 15 of the world’s top academics and science professionals wrote that holding a three-day science convention [at Ariel University] in West Bank would be an outright violation of international law.    ___”We are writing to express our view that Ariel University in the occupied West Bank is the wrong venue for a conference on cosmology and particle physics . . . .    Human Rights Watch has noted that Ariel’s ‘development is inseparable from a history of continuous dispossession of Palestinians from their land and restrictions on their freedom of movement.’”   More . . .

AMERICAN  MUSICIAN  SHLOHMO  CANCELS  ISRAEL  CONCERT   
American electronic musician Shlohmo took it to social media to announce that he will not be going to Israel to participate in the Meteor Festival, citing Israel’s human rights atrocities as a reason.     [. . . .] “Sorry to the fans I’m letting down and to the festival staff but supporting the oppressed thru my absence is more important to me especially after the government’s recent human rights atrocities,” he wrote.   ___“I had said no to playing there for years and the only reason I could find to say yes was if I were to donate my fee to Gaza relief. But after much dialogue I found it to be a more important statement to say no all together . . . .    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

AMERICAN  NEAR  EAST  REFUGEE  AID  (ANERA)
2018 50th Anniversary Dinner: Where Hope Finds A Way
Come take a journey through five decades of ANERA’s work in Palestine and Lebanon. Together, we’ll also lay the foundation for delivering future impactful programs and building better lives so hope finds its way.   More . . .

“THE  UGLIEST  OF  WORDS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
Foreigner?
The fiercest of French traits:
Etrangé?*
The cruelest of German blows:
Ausländer?*
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
Oivim.*
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
Kuffar.*
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What?
What should I do?
–Trans. by Nazih Kassis

 *Etrangé: Stranger
*Ausländer: 
Outlander/Foreigner
*Oivim: 
Enemies
*Kuffar: 
Infidels

From Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.)