“. . . [US owes] six East Jerusalem hospitals . . . USD 80 million making the situation of the hospitals unsustainable. . .” (Lutheran World Federation)

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Slain 16-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Misbah Abu Toyour (C) (Photo by Palestine al-Yawm news agency)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

US  CUTS  FUNDING  TO  EAST  JERUSALEM  HOSPITALS
The Lutheran World Federation regrets the decision by the US administration . . .   to cut its funding for the six East Jerusalem Hospitals. According to a budget approved by the US Congress, the hospitals in East Jerusalem, including the Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH), were budgeted to receive USD 25 million in funding during financial year 2017 to cover costs for patients referred by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Today’s news reports come following a policy review by the US administration that resulted in several funding cuts affecting people in the West Bank and Gaza.    ___Overall, AVH is owed over USD 38 million while the total owed to the six East Jerusalem hospitals, including AVH, is over USD 80 million making the situation of the hospitals unsustainable.   More . . .
Related . . .  HOSPITALS  IN  GAZA  TO  SHUT  DOWN  DUE  TO  POWER  SHORTAGE

TRUMP  TO  CLOSE  PLO  OFFICE  IN  WASHINGTON
The United States Donald Trump administration is expected to announce on Monday that it will close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington.   ___According to reports, this decision is part of a widening U.S. pressure campaign on Palestinian officials amid stalled Middle East peace prospects and that the US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, is expected to announce the decision in several hours.   ___Bolton is also expected to threaten to impose severe sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it attempts to investigate or consider any war crime charges against Israel raised by the Palestinians.   More . . .
Related . . . PLO  OFFICIALS:  ‘PALESTINIANS  WILL  NOT  SURRENDER’

IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  INTENTIONALLY  KILLS  16-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN
A video documented the method of how Israeli forces targeted and killed 16-year-old Palestinian, Ahmad Misbah Abu Tyour, while he was participating in “The Great March of Return” protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___The video showed the Palestinian teen, while maintaining his distance, throwing rocks towards the border with Israel as a form of protest to the nearly 12-year Israeli siege of Gaza.    ___Ahmad’s rock-throwing posed no threat to the heavily armed Israeli forces. . . ___Ahmad succumbed to his wounds on Saturday morning.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

PALESTINIANS: US CUTS WILL HAVE DIRE EFFECT ON HEALTH CARE
Washington Post

The director of an east Jerusalem hospital said Sunday that a U.S. decision to cut funding to hospitals serving the Palestinians will have a “severe effect.”   ___Bassem Abu Libdeh, of the Makassed Hospital, said the U.S. covers 40 percent of costs in six east Jerusalem hospitals that provide care for Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.   ___The Trump administration announced the $25 million funding cut on Saturday, saying it would redirect the money toward “high-priority projects elsewhere.”   More . . .
Related . . .  JERUSALEM  HOSPITAL  CALLS  US  AID  CUT  ‘UNJUSITIFED’

ASHRAWI:  CLOSING  PLO  OFFICE  IN  WASHINGTON  AN  IRRESPONSIBLE  MOVE
Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said on Monday that the US closing the General Delegation of the PLO office in Washington DC is an irresponsible move.   ___”It is ironic that the US is punishing the PLO, the national representative of the Palestinian people and the highest political body that made the commitment to reaching a political and legal settlement of the Palestinian question and that has engaged in negotiations with successive US administrations for decades,” she said in a statement.   ___“It is also extremely cruel and spiteful to persist in deliberately bashing the Palestinian people by denying them of their rights, giving away their lands and rightful capital of Jerusalem, and defunding UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) and Palestinian institutions, including East Jerusalem hospitals.”    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .  

LUTHERAN  WORLD  FEDERATION   Augusta Victoria Hospital   GET INVOLVED . .
MAKASSED  ISLAMIC  CHARITABLE  SOCIETY  HOSPITAL  DONATE . . .

POEM FOR THE DAY. . . .

THAT SLAP IN THE FACE, BY SHUKRI ABU-BAKR **

This is for you, Ahed

Like a Free Palestine Spirit, your home is hospitable and warm, but has no fireplace for a cold killer.

Your fingernails sun-kissed, your palms soft as a whisper; but you did it, girl; you slapped a lethal weapon right in the face.

Your lips breathless over a million unheard cries… So rouse the world. Make it listen. Make it rise. Stand face-to-face and slap it right in the face.

Your green eyes, what do they see or so desire; but a white dawn to descend upon a nation’s dream set on fire.

So, girl, strip the arsonist of his undue grace…and yes, princess, with your bare hands slap him right in the face.

You’re noble from head to toe, daughter of the mountains, so bring your oppressor down on his armored knees.. and slap him hard. Slap him right in the face.

Slap him every time his psycho boots step into your peace of mind.

Slap him every time his tanks roll over your tender foot-marks. Slap him every time his smoke out-smells the wild sage in your yard. And slap him, daughter of the land…

Slap him for every time he stole dirt from your great grandfather’s grave. Slap him for every time he left an olive tree butchered in your neighbor’s grove. Slap him for every time he demanded respect for his loaded gun.

Slap him for your cousin… for all the young bones punctuated with bullets. And your highness, with your wrists besieged in cuffs as cruel as my own, slap him; not once, not twice, but thrice, for every time he thought that at the sight of coming invaders, Red-headed Palestine would simply run away.

** Shukri Abu Bakr is a Palestinian humanitarian from Dallas, Texas, serving a 65 year prison sentence in the United States following the controversial Holy Land Foundation trial

“. . . I stood silenced For I had no address . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

❶ Israeli authorities deliver demolition notices to Palestinians in Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli bulldozers raze lands along Gaza border
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli settlement’s sewage destroys Palestinian agricultural land near Nablus

  • Background: “Powers Of Illegality: House Demolitions And Resistance In East Jerusalem.” Law & Social Inquiry.

❷ Group calls on PA to continue funding Jerusalem hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Are days numbered for Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox patriarch?
❸ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  DELIVER  DEMOLITION  NOTICES  TO  PALESTINIANS  IN  SILWAN  
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 23, 2017 ― Israeli forces on Sunday raided the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem and delivered several home demolition notices to Palestinian residents.     ___Wafa reported that staff from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality raided the neighborhood, under the protection of Israeli police forces, and delivered notices to a number of Palestinians informing them of the municipality’s intent to demolish their homes, under the pretext of construction without a permit.
[. . . .] According to United Nations documentation, 202 Palestinians were displaced and 116 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Oct. 9. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  RAZE  LANDS  ALONG  GAZA  BORDER      Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 24, 2017 ― Several Israeli bulldozers entered into the “buffer zone” in the central Gaza Strip, along the border with Israel, and leveled lands in the area on Tuesday morning.
___Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers entered dozens of meters into the Juhr al-Dik area and razed lands as drones flew overhead.
[. . . . ] military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip . . .  have long been a near-daily occurrence.
[. . . .] The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sector of the blockaded coastal enclave . . . MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT’S  SEWAGE  DESTROYS  PALESTINIAN  AGRICULTURAL  LAND  NEAR  NABLUS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Oct. 24, 2017 ― Sewage from the illegal Israeli settlement of Alon Moreh has destroyed rich agricultural land in the village of Deir al-Hatab, east of Nablus, a human rights activist said on Tuesday.
___Zakaria Sidr, head of the West Bank section in Rabbis for Human Rights organization, told WAFA that residents found out on Tuesday when they got to their land that settlers have been dumping their sewage at their land.   MORE . . . ..

Braverman, Irus.
POWERS  OF  ILLEGALITY:  HOUSE  DEMOLITIONS  AND  RESISTANCE  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM.”
Law & Social Inquiry 32.2 (2007): 333-372     . . . . while Foucault’s analysis [of the spectacle of a public execution in DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH, 1979] depicts brutality as inflicted upon the human body, in the demolition instance this brutality is imposed upon the nonhuman body of the house. Significant as it may seem, this distinction between human and nonhuman bodies is rendered irrelevant by most of the Palestinian informants. The Palestinian community planner, for example, claimed that “a person whose house has been demolished, I don’t see any difference between him and a person whose only child is killed,” and a Palestinian defense lawyer told me: “to demolish a man’s house is to tear his heart into little pieces . . . the demolition is an . . . extremely inhuman act.”
___Clearly, most Palestinian informants not only themselves relate to their house as interchangeable with their body but also believe that Israel relates to it in a similar way. Accordingly, this is how a Palestinian Jerusalemite that has worked as a planner in the Jerusalem municipality for over thirty years described the situation: “they twist our hand behind our back until they hear a cry of pain: [then] the municipal officials smile with pleasure, and twist our hand even tighter in order to produce a louder cry. They take pleasure in the Palestinian pain more than in anything else.”
___But while the identification of the Palestinian body with the body of her house may establish one cause for its demolition, another explanation is also possible. Such an alternative explanation is provided by a Jewish Israeli defense lawyer who has been representing Palestinians from East Jerusalem for over twenty years. The lawyer suggests that the official Israeli discourse regards the Palestinians as “airplanes that are not even detected by the Israeli radar,” namely as invisible to Israeli administrators. Rather than choosing between these two seemingly conflicting interpretations, it is important to see their simultaneous existence: while the first interpretation embodies the Palestinian in this space by rendering her body opaque, the second interpretation disembodies her, making for a transparent Palestinian body.
___Instead of undermining each other, the bifurcated dialectic between these two bodily interpretations provides for their reciprocal reinforcement.   SOURCE . . .

❷ GROUP  CALLS  ON  PA  TO  CONTINUE  FUNDING  JERUSALEM  HOSPITAL 
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)  
Oct. 23, 2017 ― The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) on Monday expressed its deep concern that Augusta Victoria Hospital (al-Mutala’) in occupied Jerusalem stopped receiving the Gaza Strip patients referred for treatment due to accumulating debts owed by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___PCHR called upon the Palestinian Ministry of Health to pay off immediately the accumulating financial dues for al-Motala’ Hospital, warning that the Palestinian backboned organizations in occupied Jerusalem would collapse after the Palestinian Government withheld funds and payments of the financial dues at the time the Israeli authorities intensify its policies to create a Jewish majority in Jerusalem and paralyze and ruin the work of its institutions, which provide basic services to all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ARE  DAYS  NUMBERED  FOR  JERUSALEM’S  GREEK  ORTHODOX  PATRIARCH?
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse) 
Ahmad Melhem
Oct. 23, 2017 ― The relationship between Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine and the Greek Orthodox community in the Palestinian territories and Jordan is closer than ever to escalating into all-out war. . . .
The patriarch is responsible for the management of all church endowments as stipulated by Jordanian Law no. 27 (1958). The church owns property in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and in Israel. Fed-up members of the Greek Orthodox community have organized in opposition to Theophilos in an attempt to remove him and encourage Jordanian and Palestinian authorities to withdraw their recognition of him.
___Haaretz reported on Oct. 13 that six dunams of land with dozens of businesses on it around the clock tower in Jaffa as well as 430 dunams in Caesarea, including large parts of the Caesarea National Park and Amphitheater and a Roman amphitheater, were sold to anonymous foreign companies.   MORE . . .

“AN  ADDRESS,”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
―1―
Hairs as short as my life is
And a mouth as sensuous as my dreams
And fire is her voice
And so is the music
Yet she wants me to rest
On an easy chair
And keep my thoughts clean.

Oh my dear hunter!
What you ask is much more
Than all that I can give . . .
For the angels are dead,
And I am not with them.

―2―
A wine was her perfume
Generous was her bed
But her hopes were stronger,
And the strongest of all:
She wanted my address.
She asked: “Where lives the ‘Prince’?”
Then, I stood silenced
For I had no address.
I am a man in transit,
Twenty years in transit
A man who was even deprived
The right of having an address.

Rashid Hussein  
See also  
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.

“. . . There’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

dialysis
A pediatric dialysis patient proudly displays the coloring she has done as part of the psycho-social care facilitated for children at Augusta Victoria Hospital’s Specialized Child Care Center. (Photo by K. Brown)

❶ Israeli police kill 16-year old Palestinian girl in Jerusalem
❷ PA says crisis resolved after East Jerusalem hospital turned patients away over debt
❸ April 2017: 2758 settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque (East Jerusalem)
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  Open Letter to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Our Report on Apartheid in Israel
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) How Israel’s violent birth destroyed Palestine
❺ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  POLICE  KILL  16-YEAR  OLD  PALESTINIAN  GIRL  IN  JERUSALEM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC  
May 8, 2017
On Sunday afternoon, Israeli police shot and killed a 16-year old Palestinian girl near the Damascus gate in Jerusalem.
___Although the Israeli police spokesperson claimed that the teen attempted to stab a security officer, that account has been disputed.
___The child has been identified as Fatima Afeef Abdul-Rahman Hajiji, 16, from Qarawat Bani Zeid village,  northwest of Ramallah, in the central part of the West Bank.   ___Eyewitnesses said Fatima was standing near the entrance of Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate), and was at least ten meters away from the near soldier or officer, and that one of the soldiers started shouting “knife, knife,” before five soldiers fired a barrage of bullets at the child.      MORE . . .

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At least three soldiers with AK47s are needed to murder one teenage girl (Photo, Ma’an News, May 8, 2017)

❷ PA  SAYS  CRISIS  RESOLVED  AFTER  EAST  JERUSALEM  HOSPITAL  TURNED  PATIENTS  AWAY  OVER  DEBT
Ma’an News Agency  
May 8, 2017
The Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Health Jawad Awwad announced on Sunday afternoon that an agreement had been reached with a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem after the medical facility had said earlier in the day that it would no longer accept new patients, owing to a “crisis level” financial situation due to excessive delays in payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA) amounting to some $41.78 million.
___After a meeting with Augusta Victor Hospital General Manager Walid Nammur and Director of Operations Atif Rimawi, Awwad said that the situation “had been resolved,” and that the hospital would resume accepting patients referred to by the ministry.
___The minister added in a statement that an agreement was reached on “all unresolved issues” in coordination with Palestinian Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara, and that “we will do our best to end the crises facing Jerusalem hospitals.”       MORE . . .  

❸ APRIL  2017:  2758  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE 
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan   
May 3, 2017
Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for April 2017 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem as well as settlers’ assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque concurrently with the execution of multiple arrests, isolations and deportations from Al-Aqsa and the Old City of Jerusalem.
___The center said the number of settlers who broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque and the number of Jerusalemites isolated from Al-Aqsa and deported from the Old City of Jerusalem as well as arrests were the highest since the beginning of the years. MORE . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  OPEN  LETTER  TO  UN  AMBASSADOR  NIKKI  HALEY  ON  OUR  REPORT  ON  APARTHEID  IN ISRAEL    
The Nation
Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley
April 25, 2017
Republished in The Jerusalem Fund
Dear Madam Ambassador:
We were deeply disappointed by your response to our report, Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid, and particularly your dismissal of it as “anti-Israeli propaganda” within hours of its release. The UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) invited us to undertake a fully researched scholarly study. Its principal purpose was to ascertain whether Israeli policies and practices imposed on the Palestinian people fall within the scope of the international-law definition of apartheid. We did our best to conduct the study with the care and rigor that is morally incumbent in such an important undertaking, and of course we welcome constructive criticism of the report’s method or analysis (which we also sought from several eminent scholars before its release). So far we have not received any information identifying the flaws you have found in the report or how it may have failed to comply with scholarly standards of rigor.        MORE . . .
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) HOW  ISRAEL’S  VIOLENT  BIRTH  DESTROYED  PALESTINE
Al Jazeera English
Ramzy Baroud
May 1, 2017       Related article

“JERUSALEM,” by  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE

“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.

The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

“Soldiers stalk a pharmacy: big guns, little pills. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

Augusta Victoria Hospital, East Jerusalem
Augusta Victoria Hospital, East Jerusalem

❶ From LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION
TRIBUTE TO DR TAWFIQ NASSER
“Long and faithful service” to the Augusta Victoria Hospital
May 19, 2015
With great sadness The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has learned of the death of DR TAWFIQ A. NASSER, the Chief Executive Officer of the AUGUSTA VICTORIA HOSPITAL IN JERUSALEM. Dr Nasser passed away on the morning of 16 May 2015. He had been the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer since 2001 and was instrumental in shaping its medical orientation.
___“Dr Nasser was a man of compassion and service who cared deeply about others,” LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge wrote in a condolence letter to Dr Nasser’s family. “In the LWF, we are particularly grateful for the long and faithful service Dr Nasser gave in the development of the Augusta Victoria Hospital.”
___Dr Nasser, who was born in the AVH in 1964 when the hospital still had a maternity ward, had been the hospital’s administrative director since 1997. He took over as Chief Executive Officer in 2001, at the age of 36. Dr Nasser shaped the hospital into the leading center for nephrology and oncology in the Palestinian territories.
(More. . .)
In addition, see related story below picture at end of this post.

❷From +972
FOR JERUSALEM’S PALESTINIANS, A CITY OF POVERTY AND DIVISION
Natasha Roth
May 17, 2015
More than one quarter of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents live behind the concrete separation barrier; Israel has revoked the residency of over 14,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites since ‘reunifying’ the city in 1967, including 107 last year alone.
(More. . .)

DR TAWFIQ A. NASSER, the Chief Executive Officer of the AUGUSTA VICTORIA HOSPITAL IN JERUSALEM.
DR TAWFIQ A. NASSER, the Chief Executive Officer of the AUGUSTA VICTORIA HOSPITAL IN JERUSALEM.

❸ From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA.
ISRAEL DEMOLISHES BUILDING, FOUR SHOPS IN EAST JERUSALEM
May 20, 2015
Bulldozers working for the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Wednesday demolished a two-storey building under construction and a number of stores in Wadi Qadoom neighborhood in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of ‘unlicensed building’.
___WAFA correspondent said that an Israeli police force, accompanied with bulldozers and staff from the so-called West Jerusalem municipality, imposed a tight military cordon around the building and the stores before proceeding to demolish them.
___The demolished structures belonged to Abu Snaineh family.
(More. . .)

❹ From MONDOWEISS
NETANYAHU: JERUSALEM WAS ALWAYS THE CAPITAL ‘OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE ALONE’
Ben Norton
May 18, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Jerusalem has always been the capital “of the Jewish people alone, not of any other people” at a Jerusalem Day ceremony on Ammunition Hill, in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem on May 17. ___“Jerusalem won’t become once again a wounded and bisected city,” he continued. “We will forever keep Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty.”
___Netanyahu pledged to “continue to build and nurture [Jerusalem], to expand her neighborhoods.”
(More. . .)

❺ From: INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
VIDEO: SOLDIERS KIDNAP A FATHER AND HIS THREE SONS IN THEIR STORE IN JERUSALEM
Saed Bannoura May 20, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, Tuesday, a Palestinian store in Beit Safafa town, in occupied Jerusalem, kidnapping the store owner and his three sons, after assaulting them along with other Palestinian shoppers.
___The Arabs48 News Website published a video showing the soldiers and police assaulting the family, in addition to attacking a woman who was shopping in the store.
___The soldiers kidnapped the father, Abedrabbo Abedrabbo and his three sons, Abed, Talal and Bilal, after violently attacking and beating them.
(More. . .)

“JERUSALEM,” BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed. Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy” ——Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.
The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.

I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Jerusalem” from Red Suitcase.

A typical home demolition in East Jerusalem
A typical home demolition in East Jerusalem

From LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION
FEATURE: Israeli Wall Hinders Access to Hospital’s Unique Services
LWF-run Augusta Victoria Hospital is a Link between Israelis and Palestinians
22 December 2004
Dr Tawfiq Nasser stands high up on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem and points to the distant landscape below. He indicates the long wall circling Jerusalem and extending far into northern Israel and West Jordan. From up here, from the Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH), where Nasser is Chief Executive Officer, the mighty wall looks almost harmless. Like a ribbon it winds through the hilly landscape, sometimes clearly visible, sometimes partly hidden. Yet Nasser knows firsthand how dangerous this wall is. He lives on the other side of it, and whenever conflict breaks out or the Israeli army closes the checkpoint for other reasons, Nasser is cut off from home. That is why he always has a small bag with spare clothes in his office. (More. . .)