“. . . in the street there’s nothing but a beggar . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Merkel, Abbas Meet for Talks in Berlin

Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper
August 29, 2019
Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany continues to believe a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinian is the only way for both peoples “to live in peace and security.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Merkel stressed her support for a two-state solution ahead of talks Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Chancellery in Berlin.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Close Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim Worshippers

The Middle East Monitor
 August 29, 2019
Israeli forces today closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers for 24 hours, in preparation for a Jewish settlers raid to mark a Jewish holiday, said a Waqf official.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Director of the Hebron Waqf Directorate’s Public Relations Department Raed Maswadeh told WAFA that Israeli soldiers closed the mosque to Muslim worshipers, while they allowed Jewish settlers to access it. Maswadeh added that the settlers also set up tents just outside the mosque.    More . . . .

  • In Hebron, Tlaib and Omar would have seen Israel’s apartheid city

    +972 Magazine
    By Avner Gvaryahu
    August 28, 2019
    Had Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar been allowed to visit Hebron, they would have seen Israel’s official policy of discrimination and segregation for the city’s 215,000 Palestinian residents.
    Outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron lies a beautiful leafy garden. In it stands a large stone with the names of the donors – Chicago Friends of Hebron. Even if U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib had not been barred from visiting the occupied territories earlier this month, Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization comprised of former IDF soldiers working to expose the realities of military occupation, would not have been able to take them there. Since Omar and Tlaib are both Muslim, they not only would have been unwelcome — Israeli Border Police soldiers stationed around the park would have stopped them from entering.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Discrimination and segregation are unpalatable wherever they exist, but in Hebron’s city center, they have been the official policy for the 215,000 Palestinian residents – especially since the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre in 1994, in which a Jewish nationalist fanatic shot dead 29 Palestinians while praying at the holy site.   More . . . .     

Israeli Colonists Invade Archaeological Site Near Nablus

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 29, 2019
A group of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers, accompanied by many soldiers invaded, on Wednesday evening, the archeological area in al-Mas’udiyya, north of Nablus, in northern West Bank, and prevented the Palestinians from entering it.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said dozens of colonists and soldiers invaded the archeological area, and its park, in al- Mas’udiyya.   More. . . .

Israeli Troops Abduct Two Married Couples, Journalist in Early Morning Raids

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 29, 2019
Early Thursday morning before dawn, Israeli troops invaded several parts of the West Bank and abducted five Palestinians — two married couples from Jerusalem, and a photojournalist from the village of Ni’lin.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, Israeli forces abducted on Thursday two Palestinian citizens and their wives from the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“A HOMELAND,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated,
Devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper.

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs,
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive tree have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the street there’s nothing but a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive!

From A LOVER FROM PALESTINE AND OTHER POEMS, An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. ed. Abdul Wahab al-Messiri, Free Palestine Press, Washington D.C. 1970.

“. . . Searching for a home between Haifa and Eternity . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

354825C
“. . . minors. . . were held at Ofer military camp, near Ramallah, of whom four were detained during night raids from their homes, 20 taken from the streets . . .” (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 5, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

DESPITE  HIGH  HOPES,  MERKEL  CALLS  VILLAGE’S  DEMOLITION  AN  ‘ISRAELI  DECISION’ 
Ever since Israel’s Supreme Court gave its final stamp of approval to demolish the village of Khan al-Ahmar last month, residents of the hamlet . . . have been hoping that international pressure . . . will delay or prevent the demolition. . .   [. . . .] Angela Merkel’s visit over the past two days provided some clarity regarding the possibility of German pressure on Israel on Khan al-Ahmar, and from the perspective of the villagers, things seem gloomy.     ___In a meeting held Thursday . . . [Merkel said] “This is an Israeli decision” . . .  in line with the Israeli government, which insists that foreign countries should not intervene in matters relating to the occupation.  More . . .
|  NETANYAHU  BANS  PUBLICATION  OF  ARCHIVE  MATERIAL  ON  DEIR  YASSIN  MASSACRE
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to sign an order extending the secrecy of the information stored in the security services’ archives from 70 to 90 years, including the Deir Yassin massacre carried out by Zionist gangs in the Nakba.     ___This came at the request of security agencies and other bodies to extend the confidentiality of this information to prevent the publication of part of the information during the current year.      More . . .
. . . Related . . .  The  Sabra  and  Shatila  Massacre:  New  Evidence

2016-635958137777584713-758
From PHOTO GALLERY: Deir Yassin. (Ahram Online, 2010)

|  THREE  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  CHILD,  KILLED  AT  GAZA  BORDERS 
Three Palestinians were killed and dozens of others were injured, on Friday evening, as Israeli forces suppressed protests at the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 12-year-old Fares Hafeth al-Sarsawi was shot and killed by Israeli forces in eastern Gaza City.    More . . .
. . . Related . . .   Committee:  Israel  Detained  35  Palestinian  Minors  In  September
. . . Related . . .   Israeli  forces  shoot,  injure  13-year-old  Palestinian  in  Kafr  Qaddum 
. . . Related . . .   Five  Palestinians  injured  during  Ramallah-area  clashes

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  ARE  THE  ULTIMATE  BATTLEGROUND  FOR  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY
Through U.S. diplomatic sanctions and dramatic cuts of financial aid to Palestine, Palestinians are being punished because the Palestinian Authority (PA) broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S.—in response to the illegal U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its objections to Trump’s peace prospects for the region, referred to as the “deal of the century.” This retaliatory fury has not spared Palestinian refugees or . . .  (UNRWA), the agency that has served them for seventy years.     ___In fact, cutting U.S. support for the Agency ($125 million USD) is no more than a side effect of the retaliation against the PA, UNRWA, and Palestinian refugees, the intended targets of a campaign aiming to stop calling 5.5 million Palestinians “refugees” and annihilating the entities that support them. The goal is political: helping Israel resolve . . .  one of the most intractable issues in its dealings with the Palestinians: the right to return.     More . . .
. . . Related  US  WANTS  TO  ANNUL  THE  LEGITIMATE  PALESTINIAN  RIGHT  TO  RETURN

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“NAKBA,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD

The bones of my ancestors are the foundation
On which the mountains of Galilee stand.

Our ruggedness might not suit your taste
But we inherited the language of trees.

I am the root of a thousand olive trees
A legacy that will grow through my children

I will fight to preserve my essence until my son
Is old enough to inherit his grandmother’s Thoub*

She lost her childhood amidst dying peasants
Before walking the beaten road of exile and hope

Pleading at every checkpoint, she was the face in her photo
Searching for a home between Haifa and Eternity.

So, don’t talk to me about the Pharaoh: My
Father’s blood drenched the skin of Jesus

After the Romans caught him at a checkpoint
Hiding a recipe for revolution, and a love poem

And all the love letters of refugee women
Sent to men suspended on crosses

Overlooking the Martyrs Graveyard
Echoing the battle cries of Jaffa.

From I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME, ed. Vacy Vlanza. London: Novum Publishing, 2016.
*Dress, garment

“. . . drank from the cup of a slain dream . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

1-nuclear plant
Israel’s Dimona nuclear power plant, in the Negev desert, started the country’s nuclear program when it was built in the 1950s with French help. (Thomas Coex/Getty Images). SEE #5 BELOW.

❶ Israeli soldiers kill 15-year-old Palestinian near Beita checkpoint
❷ Army Kidnaps 17 Palestinians in the West Bank
❸ Israeli forces attack protest in Hebron
❹ Why is Israel raiding Palestinian universities?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: EUROPE  IS  FOLLOWING  OBAMA – WASHING  ITS  HANDS  OF  PALESTINE  AND  WHY
❻ Poetry by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KILL  15-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN NEAR  BEITA  CHECKPOINT
Feb. 21, 2016
Israeli forces on Sunday killed a 15-year-old Palestinian after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
___An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to stab a soldier near the Beita checkpoint in the northern West Bank, and that Israeli forces then fired at the man. . . .
___Over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October.    More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ARMY  KIDNAPS  17  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
Feb. 21, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported, Sunday, that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, overnight and on Sunday, at least 17 Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, and that among that kidnapped are two teenage girls.    More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
ISRAELI  FORCES  ATTACK  PROTEST  IN  HEBRON
Ahmad Jaradat
Feb. 21, 2016
The Hebron Defense Committee, Tarabout and the Alternative Information Center (AIC) held a demonstration on Saturday in Hebron under the slogan “Dismantle the Ghetto, Take the Settlers Out of Hebron.”
___When the protest reached the Beit Romano settlement checkpoint, Israeli soldiers shot tear gas and stun grenades at demonstrators.     More . . .

1-Hebrondemo
Israeli forces responded to a joint Palestinian-Israeli protest against the occupation with tear gas, stun grenades, and violent arrests. (Photo: Hebron Defense Committee)

AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WHY  IS  ISRAEL  RAIDING  PALESTINIAN  UNIVERSITIES?
Ahmad Melhem
Feb. 19, 2016
During the current uprising in the West Bank, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stormed two Palestinian universities: Birzeit University near Ramallah on Jan. 11 and Al-Quds University at Abu Dis in East Jerusalem on Jan. 29.
___The IDF attacked the Birzeit student council building . . . . At Al-Quds University, the IDF raided the student blocs’ offices . . . the Dawa and Fundamentals of Religion Faculty building . . . .
___“The Israeli army is attacking universities within the scope of an Israeli systematic scheme designed to eradicate the Palestinian identity and tame the Palestinian young generation’s libertarianism by disrupting the educational process,” Palestinian Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Saidam said.   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
EUROPE  IS  FOLLOWING  OBAMA  –  WASHING  ITS  HANDS  OF  PALESTINE  AND  WHY
Alan Hart
Feb. 20, 2016
My headline is a response to recent comments made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint press conference in Berlin with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . . . .
___The possession of nuclear weapons is Zionism’s ultimate blackmail card. . . .
___At a point I said to Dayan, “What you seem to be saying is . . . ‘Don’t push us too far or we’ll use these things.’”
___Dayan gave me a big smile and replied, “You’re understanding me.”    More . . .
BACKGROUND . . . BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS
Related . . . . Washington Post
Related . . . New York Times
Related . . . Middle East Monitor 

“THE  CELEBRATION,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
Flowers, songs, chants. . .
A memory from antiquity. . .
Saturday’s dawning sun. . .
An orphan is late. . .
A widow comes by embracing another widow. . .
A singer. . .
Verses from the Qur’an. . .
A flute on the outskirts of a neglected village. . .
Ancient soldiers. . .
Battles, defeated ages. . .
Thirty wars announced by daylight. . .
Another still hidden in their sheaths. . .
Little ones dressed up for a feast. . .
Horses filled with the joy of their riders. . .
A procession coming from far away. . .
Ululations reaching across the sky, a commotion. . .
Men emerging from darkness. . .
from yesterday’s newspapers, from the inkwell.
All of them came,
took pictures,
cursed the end of life and memory,
drank from the cup of a slain dream,
before their leader stepped forward
to cut the silk ribbon
and open the graveyard.

About Ibrahim Nasrallah
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS.  Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.