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

❶ Trump informs Palestinian president his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Senior White House official said that Donald Trump to declare recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) In a phone call by US President Donald Trump, President Abbas rejects intentions‎ to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Abbas urges UN to stop Trump from recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli capital
❷ Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Trump is proving that the Israeli right was right all along
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Why is Trump moving on Jerusalem now?
❸ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ TRUMP  INFORMS  PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENT  HIS  DECISION  TO  MOVE  THE  US  EMBASSY  TO  JERUSALEM
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 6, 2017 ― US President Donald Trump inform Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv  to Jerusalem.
___Palestinian Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that President Abbas was informed by Trump in phone call that us will move US embassy to Jerusalem.     MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  SENIOR  WHITE  HOUSE  OFFICIAL  SAID  THAT  DONALD  TRUMP  TO  DECLARE  RECOGNITION  OF  JERUSALEM  AS  ISRAEL’S  CAPITAL  ON  WEDNESDAY   
Palestine News Network – PNN  
Dec. 6, 2017 ― A senior White House official said that the U.S. President Donald Trump will declare his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday. While Trump intends to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he will sign a waiver delaying the move by six months, according to American law.
___He explained that Trump’s announcement is a mere acknowledgment of the fact that all Israeli government institutions are already based in Jerusalem, stressing that issues of borders and sovereignty will be determined through negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, ” an acknowledgement of reality seems like an important change.”     MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  IN  A  PHONE  CALL  BY  US  PRESIDENT  DONALD  TRUMP,  PRESIDENT  ABBAS  REJECTS  INTENTIONS‎  TO  MOVE  THE  US  EMBASSY  FROM  TEL  AVIV  TO  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 5, 2017 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas relayed to the US President Donald Trump in a phone call that he received from the US president at 3:30 p.m. occupied Jerusalem time against the grave consequences of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem or making any announcement that alters the long held US policy regarding Jerusalem.
___ President Abbas reiterated that such a move will have detrimental consequences on the peace process and the prospects for the internationally endorsed two-state solution.
___Furthermore, President Abbas warned of the grave consequences on the stability and security of the region and the world at large.    MORE . . .   ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴄ)  ABBAS  URGES  UN  TO  STOP  TRUMP  FROM  RECOGNIZING  JERUSALEM  AS  ISRAELI  CAPITAL 
Ma’an News Agency   
Dec. 6, 2017 ― Hours before US President Donald Trump is expected to announce his decision to move the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the Israeli-occupied city as the official capital of Israel, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, in a last-ditch-effort, is reportedly pleading to the United Nations (UN) to stop the move.
___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that Abbas sent an urgent letter to the Secretary-General of the UN demanding the intervention of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to stop Trump for making the declaration.
___In his letter, Abbas said that “this would end the peace process,” which Trump and his administration have attempted to revive in the first year of his presidency, with reports in recent weeks suggesting that the “ultimate peace plan” would be announced soon.
___After days of speculation over whether the US would be moving its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump called Abbas on Tuesday and confirmed his intentions to move the embassy.     MORE . . .   ..
❷ WHY  JERUSALEM  IS  NOT  THE  CAPITAL  OF  ISRAEL   
Al Jazeera English      
by Zena Tahhan & Farah Najjar
Dec. 6, 2017 ―US President Donald Trump is expected to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Wednesday and begin the process moving his country’s embassy to the city, according to senior US officials.
___The move has sparked global condemnation from world leaders who urged Trump to reconsider the decision.
___Israel occupied East Jerusalem at the end of the 1967 War with Syria, Egypt and Jordan; the western half of the holy city had been captured in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
___Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem effectively put the entire city under de-facto Israeli control. Israeli jurisdiction and ownership of Jerusalem, however, is not recognised by the international community, including the United States.
___The status of Jerusalem remains one of the main sticking points in efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.     MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  TRUMP  IS  PROVING  THAT  THE  ISRAELI  RIGHT  WAS  RIGHT  ALL  ALONG 
+972 Magazine
Noam Sheizaf
Dec. 6, 2017 By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital the U.S. president is boosting the settlers’ argument that in the long run, ‘facts on the ground’ are more important than diplomacy, and that Israel will eventually win legitimacy for its actions — even unilateral annexation.
___Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan is said to have hesitated before ordering the IDF to conquer the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967. “What do I need this Vatican for,” he said at one meeting. But even the secular Dayan was swept by the wave of religious euphoria that took Israel after the war. A few weeks later, the government decided to annex the eastern part of the city, along with a sizable territory around it, including over 20 Palestinian towns and villages that had never been part of the city. The size of the annexed land was 10 times bigger than what the Jordanians defined as East Jerusalem during the 19 years they ruled over it.
____ No country has recognized Israel’s unilateral annexation of the territory (and people) of Jerusalem; and since the Oslo process in the 1990s, it was commonly understood that the fate of the city would be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. To complicate things further, Israel didn’t grant East Jerusalemites citizenship; it has kept them as “permanent residents” – a legal status usually meant for immigrants, which deprives them of many rights (most notably, the purchase of state land and the participation in the general elections), and which can be revoked at any moment by the Interior Ministry.  MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  WHY  IS  TRUMP  MOVING  ON  JERUSALEM  NOW?
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO  
Ben White
Dec. 6, 2017 ― In comparison to the focus on opposition to the move and its possible ramifications, relatively little has been said about why Donald Trump’s administration has decided to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and signal its intent to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv.
___For example, one widely-shared piece of analysis does not really answer the question in its title, namely, “Why is Trump undoing decades of US policy on Jerusalem?”
___I believe there are three main reasons, none of which are mutually exclusive.
___First, US domestic politics. Today’s announcement plays well with Trump’s base amongst right-wing Christian evangelicals, as well as with the likes of influential individuals like Sheldon Adelson.
[. . . .] Second, Benjamin Netanyahu, along with other senior Israeli officials, might well have done a good job in persuading the Trump administration to make such a move.
[. . . .] Third – and this is perhaps where many commentators are missing a trick – the Trump administration might well envisage, and justify, the Jerusalem shift in the context of its much-heralded efforts at securing the “deal of the century”.     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 gagging 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 ISRAEL 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.

“. . . Stop being so deathly afraid of the other . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

key
A Palestinian woman carries a key, a symbol of the Nakba and the right of return, May 15, 2012. Palestinians took keys to their homes in 1948, hoping they would soon return. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.)
  • Background:  “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Policy.

❶ Knesset Member: Comparing Palestinian Citizens of Israel with Illegal Israeli Settlers Is Immoral, Irrational and Ahistorical
❷ Israeli shooting of Palestinians: The media need to check the facts
❸ Right of return is the heart of Palestine’s struggle
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

  • Slater, Jerome. “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Policy 22.3 (2015): 79-99.    ARTICLE.     

[. . . .] Terrorism, it is often said, is a weapon of the weak: the strong (such as states) have alternatives that the weak (such as non-state groups and movements) lack: diplomatic and political influence, economic incentives and disincentives, and powerful armed forces. For those reasons, state attacks on noncombatants—even assuming a just cause–have an even greater burden of moral proof than non-state attacks.     ___Nonetheless, even terrorism by the weak on behalf of a just cause . . .  could never be regarded as justifiable unless it was clear that all other means had failed. These means must include negotiations for a political settlement and/or nonviolent resistance if political means fail; they may even include armed resistance.
[. . . .]  Since the Palestinians have no chance of defeating the Israeli armed forces, the main alternatives to terrorism for the Palestinians have been negotiated political compromise and nonviolent resistance. . . . . All such negotiations have failed, overwhelmingly because no Israeli government has been prepared to agree to end the occupation, withdraw the settlers, and turn over East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza to the Palestinians.
___For that reason, the political path to a settlement is all but dead, leaving the Palestinians only nonviolent resistance as the alternative to resistance by terrorism. In fact, at various periods throughout their history the Palestinians and their political leaders have tried nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience, and political protest.
[. . . .]    Tragically, it must be admitted that all of these methods so far have failed and show little promise of succeeding in the near future . . . .

❶ KNESSET  MEMBER:  COMPARING  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  WITH  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  IS  IMMORAL,  IRRATIONAL  AND  AHISTORICAL      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Sept. 11, 2016
Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comparison of Palestinian citizens of Israel with its illegal settlers in Occupied Palestine is not only immoral, but a total departure from rationality, history and Israel’s obligations under international law, said an opinion piece published by the Israeli daily, Haartez.
___“He [Netanyahu] should realize that no matter Israel’s institutionalized system of discrimination, this is our homeland and we are here to stay.”
___The Knesset member stressed that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not foreign immigrants that came to Israel and applied for visas or citizenship, rather Israel went to them. They are the indigenous population of the country.”       MORE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  SHOOTING  OF  PALESTINIANS:  THE  MEDIA  NEED  TO  CHECK  THE  FACTS    
Middle East Eye
Ben White
Sept. 11, 2016
Even by the standards we have come to expect from Israel’s armed forces, the circumstances and aftermath of the killing of Mustafa Nimr by Israeli border police in Shuafat refugee camp last Monday take some beating for their sheer cruelty and gall.   ___At the end of an overnight raid . . .  Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle in what authorities immediately described as a thwarted car-ramming attack. Passenger Mustafa Nimr was killed, while the driver, his cousin Ali, was wounded and detained.
___ The next day, Israeli officials informed the family that Mustafa had been “killed by mistake.”
[. . . .]    The question is this: what will it take for the Western media to stop taking Israeli authorities’ version of events at face value? And why is this even a problem to begin with?     MORE . . .

❸  RIGHT  OF  RETURN  IS  THE  HEART  OF  PALESTINE’S  STRUGGLE  
The Electronic Intifada     
Mohamed Mohamed
Sept. 6, 2016
A friend of mine recently shared an image meant to show solidarity with Palestine . . . . the barrage of Israeli propaganda attempting to bury the history of our existence is not surprising. One can expect no less from a state that was created through the expulsion and subjugation of an existing population.
[. . . .]     Discrimination against Palestinians is not perpetrated solely by the Israeli state; it is endemic to Israeli society itself. A recent Pew survey indicates that almost half of Israeli Jews believe that Palestinian citizens of Israel should be expelled from the country and 79 percent believe that Jews deserve preferential treatment in Israel.
[. . . .]   The right of return, a cornerstone of the Palestinian struggle, is the principle that Palestinian refugees have an inalienable right to return to their homeland. This includes those who fled or were forced to flee in 1948 as well as in 1967, along with their descendants.
___The right of return is also enshrined in international law . . . .    Israel continues to violate its obligations under international law. It has no intention of correcting or addressing the historic injustices that created the Palestinian refugee problem, and the right of return has been one of the main issues preventing a just settlement of the conflict.       MORE . . .

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . Kings and rebels drank to her health . . .” (Mu’in Bseiso)

1-dawaween-performance
The Dawaween ensemble performs at the Mishal Cultural Centre in Gaza City. (Photo: Shadi Alqarra)

❶ Israeli airstrike kills 10-year-old Palestinian, injures 1
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Hours After Her Brother Was Killed In Israeli Bombardment; Child Dies Of Her Wounds In Gaza
❷ Keeping traditional music alive in Gaza
❸ Israeli police detain 250 Palestinians working illegally in Israel
❹ Israel’s education minister wants to reduce Jewish history to pogroms
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE CASE FOR CULTURAL BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
❻ Poetry by Mu’in Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE  KILLS  10-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN,  INJURES  1
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
12 Mar. 2016
A ten-year-old Palestinian was killed and his sister seriously injured in an Israeli airstrike launched early Saturday in the northern Gaza Strip after rockets were fired from the besieged enclave.
___Spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra confirmed the death of Yasin Suleiman Abu Khusah,10, and told Ma’an his six-year-old sister Israa had sustained serious head injuries during the strike.
___A Ma’an reporter based in Gaza said the children were in their house at the time of the strike .    MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) HOURS  AFTER  HER  BROTHER  WAS  KILLED  IN  ISRAELI  BOMBARDMENT;  CHILD  DIES  OF  HER  WOUNDS  IN  GAZA
IMEMC NEWS
12 Mar. 2016
The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported, Saturday, that a child, six years of age, who was seriously injured after the Israeli Air Force fired a missile into their home in northern Gaza, killing her brother, died of her serious wounds.      MORE . . .
KEEPING  TRADITIONAL  MUSIC  ALIVE  IN  GAZA
THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
Rami Almeghari
8 Mar. 2016
They come from different backgrounds and have vastly different musical experience. But the 13 members of Dawaween, a newly formed band set for only its fourth concert in Gaza on 10 March, are united around one aim: the preservation and popularization of traditional Palestinian music.
___“Our music is pretty lively,” said Abdelraouf al-Bilbeisi, the band’s 30-year-old oud player, who spent the previous nine years performing with a wedding band around the Gaza Strip. “It deserves to be played on stage.”      MORE . . .
ISRAELI  POLICE  DETAIN  250  PALESTINIANS  WORKING  ILLEGALLY  IN  ISRAEL
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
11 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 250 Palestinian workers without work permits inside Israel by the end of the day Thursday, Israeli police said. . . .
___Israeli forces pledged to continue the search campaign for Palestinians working illegally in Israel “in order to maintain public safety in the country,” al-Samri said.  MORE . . .

workers
Palestinians reportedly working illegally in Israel detained by Israeli police on March 10, 2016. (Photo Credit: Israeli police spokesperson)

ISRAEL’S  EDUCATION  MINISTER  WANTS  TO  REDUCE  JEWISH  HISTORY  TO  POGROMS
+972 BLOG
Gil Gertel
12 Mar. 2016
A new committee is tasked with exposing Israeli students to Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish history. The problem? There is more than one narrative.      MORE . . . 
❺ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  THE  CASE  FOR  CULTURAL  BOYCOTT  OF  ISRAEL 
THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER 
Ben White
17 Feb. 2016
The case for a boycott of Israel is straightforward, based on: the reality of Israel’s policies of colonialism and apartheid; the Palestinians’ appeal for solidarity, including the 2005 call for a global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign; and the effectiveness of BDS as a tactic.
___But what about a cultural boycott? This is a problem for some people who agree with the above argument – yet it is also based on a similar, logical argument.      MORE . . .

(Note: as is often the case in Palestinian poetry, the flower is the metaphor for Palestine over the centuries.)

“ALEXANDER  AND  THE  SUN  FLOWER,”  BY  MUEEN  BESSISSOU  (Mu’in  Bseiso)  
The auction began,
And she was carried on a litter to Alexander’s tent.
They brought her the milk of a deer and a lioness.
And so she washed.
She was perfumed with incense;
And when they blew the horn,
A bed was fetched.
And Alexander entered.
Joys of Alexander!
He slept with her
Until the cock crowed,
Then discarded her,
To be bestowed on a king
Who abandoned her after two nights.
She was carried on a camel
And bestowed on a prince.
The incense garden burned down.
Then she was bestowed on a minister,
And down to the fifty-first man in his entourage.
And when the sea gazelle was stabbed,
And the moon became an eye of glass,
Her navel became a wine pot.
Kings and rebels drank to her health,
She learned how to lie with them.
Rainbow! Stay this winter from our skies.
Your red and blue and green
Stain our face, like mud and glue.

From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
About Mu’in Bseiso (1926 – January 23, 1984)
BDS FINAL LOGO_v5WEB_URL_side

“. . . started a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing, totally transforming the character, history and culture of the city. . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

hanan ashrawiMiddle East Eye INTERVIEWS VETERAN PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR HANAN ASHRAWI
David Hearst
Friday, February 13, 2015
. . . ASHRAWI: “One of the fatal flaws of the Declaration of Principles (DOP or Oslo Accord) is that they left the Jerusalemites at the mercy of Israel and then the international community allowed Israel to treat the Jerusalemites as residents of the city and totally control their lives, their lands, and their resources. From day one, Israel treated Jerusalem as if it were annexed de facto, even before they annexed it illegally, and started a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing, totally transforming the character, history and culture of the city. Siege and division is a microcosm of what Israel did to the West Bank, where you besiege it, control entrances and exits, and then fragment it internally. They planted settlements and settlers inside Jerusalem, then surrounded it with three rings, a triple siege: the settlements which it started early, the military checkpoints and the apartheid wall. . .” (More. . .)

L.A. Times Arts & Entertainment Television Show Tracker
PRO-PALESTINIAN GROUP CRITICIZES TV SERIES OVER JERUSALEM SCENES

Meredith Blake
Friday, March 6, 2015
The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, A Group that Objects to American Support for Israel, Is Criticizing USA Network over its new event series “Dig,” which premiered Thursday. USA declined to comment.

The archaeological excavations and underground tunnels in East Jerusalem depicted in the series have also been controversial because critics say the projects, which residents have blamed for damage to Palestinian homes and schools, are a way to expand Jewish settlements in predominantly Palestinian areas. “Dig” was the first large-scale television production to be filmed in the Israeli capital, according to the Times of Israel(More. . . )

Palestine News Network
HCEF AND AWU CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF BETHLEHEM MUSEUM FOR CULTURE AND HERITAGE

Sunday, March 1, 2015
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, in participation with Arab Women Union, under patronage of the Palestinian ministry of tourism on Saturday February 28th celebrated the opening of Bethlehem Museum to preserve about 3000 exquisite art crafts of the Palestinian heritage and culture.Musuem2
The opening ceremony started at the Jacir Palace Hotel, then continued to the museum building where the official opening took place. The Museum tells personal stories and shares them with million of tourists and pilgrims visiting the Holy Land annually. (More. . . )

Al-Araby al-Jadeed English
WHAT ABOUT THE ROCKETS?
Ben White
Thursday March 5, 2015
During the last couple of weeks, Westminster lobby group Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) has been pushing its new publication on Gaza, the key message of which is that the reconstruction of the fenced-in enclave should be contingent on its demilitarization.

My intention here is not to set out the clear, legal and moral, arguments against LFI’s ‘disarmament for development’ approach – indeed, leading NGOs have already done so. Rather, I would like to make a different point with regards to Israel advocacy in Western capitals.  (More. . .)

The Electronic Intifada
GAS DEAL WITH ISRAEL IS “KNIFE AT JORDAN’S THROAT,” SAY CAMPAIGNERS
Patrick O. Strickland
Thursday March 5, 2015
Jordanian campaigners are demanding that an agreement on importing gas from Israel be scrapped. At least 26 organizations, including trade unions and political parties, have joined the Jordanian Campaign to Stop the Zionist Gas Deal.

The state-owned National Jordanian Electric Power Company (NEPCO) has signed a $15 billion agreement to buy 300 million cubic feet of natural gas from Israeli-controlled parts of the Mediterranean Sea over a 15 year period. The gas will be extracted from the Leviathan gas field situated in the eastern Mediterranean. The extraction project is being led by the US giant Noble Energy.

The Israeli government stands to make $8.4 billion from the deal because of clauses relating to taxes and royalties, according to a report published by the campaigners. (More. . .)

“The More I Love You,” by Abu Salma

The more I fight for you, the more I love you!
What land except this land of musk and amber?
What horizon but this one defines my world?
The branch of my life turns greener when I uphold you
And my wing, O Palestine, spreads wide over the peaks.

Has the lemon tree been nurtured by our tears?
No more do birds flutter among the high pines,
Or stars gaze vigilantly over Mt. Carmel.
The little orchards weep for us, gardens grow desolate,
the vines are forever saddened.

Whenever your name waves above me, my words grow more poetic.
Planting desire for you on every stoop.
Is it possible these words could be torches
lighting each desert and place of exile?
O Palestine! Nothing more beautiful, more precious, more pure!.
The more I fight for you, the more I love you.
—translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

Abu Salma was born in 1907 in Haifa. He studied law and worked in Haifa until April 1948 when the Israelis occupied the city. He then moved to Akka. Shortly he left Akka to Damascus. Abu Salma kept the keys to his house and office in Haifa hoping to return. He was a friend of Ibrahim Tukan. Their love of poetry and Palestine built their friendship. Abu Salma wrote about his love and yearning for Palestine. He was awarded The Lotas International Reward for Literature in 1978 by The Association of Asian and African Writers. He was also given the title “The Olive of Palestine.” Abu Salma died in 1980.