“. . . a splinter of shrapnel the size of a penknife lodged in their necks . . .” (Taha Muhammad ‘Ali)

1-1-Swamp-Rose-Mallow-Hibiscus-Moscheufos
“Only once is the Palestine rose mallow mentioned in the Bible, and then as food for the most abject and despised poor (Job xxx. 4)” (Photo and quote from ChestofBooks.com. “Swamp Rose-Mallow.”)

❶ Thousands of Palestinians attend funeral of slain youth in Sair
❷ Two protesters killed by Israeli forces during Gaza protests
❸ List of 158 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Troops Since October 1st
❹ EU Provides €12.5M to Support West Bank, Gaza Families Living in Extreme Poverty
. . . . ❹―(ᴀ) Rethinking Palestine: settler-colonialism, neo-liberalism and individualism in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
❺ Opinion/Analysis: PALESTINE-ISRAEL: EUROPE DROWNING IN AMERICA’S FAILURES
❻ Poetry by Taha Muhammad ‘Ali
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
THOUSANDS  OF  PALESTINIANS  ATTEND  FUNERAL  OF  SLAIN  YOUTH  IN  SAIR
Jan. 15, 2016
Thousands of Palestinians in the village of Sair attended the funeral of 20-year-old Muayyad al-Jabbarin on Friday, a day after he was shot dead at the nearby Beit Einun junction after attempting to stab Israeli soldiers.
___The funeral procession set off from al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron and made its way to Sair’s center, where Jabbarin was laid to rest in the “martyrs'” cemetery.
More . . .
MONDOWEISS
TWO  PROTESTERS  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS
Isra Saleh El-Namy
Jan. 15, 2016
Israeli forces opened fire at different fronts on the Gaza boundary fence today, killing two young Palestinians during today’s clashes.
___Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman of Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that Mohammed Qeita, a 26-year old protester, was shot in his abdomen by an Israeli live bullet. Qeita came with his cousin from Khan Younis to participate at the Friday’s protest at al-Bureij’s border fence, located near the overcrowded al-Bureij Palestinian refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Dozens of protesters carried his bleeding body before he died of his critical injury which he sustained during the protest.
More . . .

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Thousands of Palestinians in the village of Sair attend the funeral of 20-year-old Muayyad al-Jabbarin. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
LIST  OF  158  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  TROOPS  SINCE  OCTOBER  1ST
Saturday January 16, 2016
The following is a list of names of all Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, including one in the Negev, in the period between Thursday October 1st and Friday January 15th, as confirmed by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
More . . .
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
EU  PROVIDES  €12.5M  TO  SUPPORT  WEST  BANK,  GAZA  FAMILIES  LIVING  IN  EXTREME  POVERTY
Jan. 16, 2016
The European Union is making a contribution of €12.3 million to the Palestinian Authority’s quarterly payment of social allowances to poor Palestinian families living in the West Bank and Gaza, Friday said ‏a press release issued by EU representative office in Jerusalem.
___Beneficiaries of the contribution are households living in extreme poverty and registered in the cash transfer programme of the Ministry of Social Affairs, noted the release . . . .
___The EU maintained that, “The steady deterioration of the socio-economic conditions in Palestine is a matter of concern. “One out of four Palestinians live in poverty.”
More . . .
. . . . ❹―(ᴀ)  RETHINKING  PALESTINE:  SETTLER-COLONIALISM,  NEO-LIBERALISM  AND  INDIVIDUALISM  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  AND  GAZA  STRIP
Contemporary Arab Affairs 8.3 (2015)
Opinion/Analysis
THE PALESTINIAN POLICY NETWORK
PALESTINE-ISRAEL:  EUROPE  DROWNING  IN  AMERICA’S  FAILURES
Jan. 14, 2016
Sam Bahour, Mousa Jiryis
On Monday, January 18, 2016, the monthly meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels is expected to discuss and decide on next steps to be adopted by the EU on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Policy-makers in Israel are worried . . . .
___As it discusses next steps, Europe must recognize that “the US leads” approach to resolving the conflict is doomed to never-ending failure:
More . . .

“THROMBOSIS,”  BY  TAHA  MUHAMMAD  ‘ALI

A child I was
when I fell into the abyss
But I did not die
I was very young
when I drowned in the pond
But I did not die
Nowadays one of my habits―God preserve us―
is to knock against scores of land mines
on the frontiers
and for my songs to be dispersed
as the days of my youth are:
here a flower, there a scream
But I do not die.

They slew me upon the threshold
Like the lamb of the feast
―petroleum coagulated in my veins
―In God’s name―
Thousands of times they slit my throat
from ear to ear
yet each time my blood would swing
like the feet of a hanged man
and settle like a rose mallow
large and crimson, a mark
to warn ships
and point out the sites of palaces and embassies.

And tomorrow!
―God preserve us!―
A telephone will not ring
in palaces or in brothels or in one of the Gulf Emirates
except to offer a new prescription
for my extermination
But . . . .
Just as the rose mallow tells
and as the frontiers expect
I shall not die!
Shall not die!
I shall remain a splinter of shrapnel
the size of a penknife
lodged in their necks
I shall remain
a blood stain
the size of a cloud
on this world’s tunic!
――Translated by Lena Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs

About Taha Muhammad ‘Ali
From: ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

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Gaza Poverty: UNICEF says four children have died in 2015, as of Feb. 23, due to hypothermia caused by poor living conditions among displaced families [Photo: Belal Hasna/Al Jazeera]

“. . . There is no gazelle in today’s headline . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

A Gazelle walk
“Like as the gazelle desireth the waterbrooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God.” Psalm 42. See also: https://mesenescent.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/quemadmodum-desiderat-cervus-ad-fontes-aquarum/

❶ Analysis: How Israeli settlements stifle Palestine’s economy
❷ Palestinian shot dead in Nablus after alleged attempted attack
❸ UN Secretary-General Accuses Israel of ‘Breeding’ Palestinian Attacks
❹ The ‘neo-Palestinians’
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Why is Israel recruiting so many Jordanian workers?
❻ Poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Analysis
AL-SHABAKA: THE PALESTINIAN POLICY NETWORK.
HOW  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS  STIFLE  PALESTINE’S  ECONOMY
Nur Arafeh, Samia al-Botmeh, Leila Farsakh
Dec. 16, 2015
Israel is marshaling pro-Israel forces in Europe as well as in the US against the European Union’s recently issued guidelines on labeling some of its settlement products, for fear that this will lead to stronger measures . . . .
___Israel sees the European Union’s recently issued guidelines on labeling some of its settlement products as the thin edge of the wedge. It fears this will open the door to stronger measures against its illegal settlement enterprise and is marshaling pro-Israel forces in Europe as well as in the United States.  More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  SHOT  DEAD  IN  NABLUS  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTEMPTED  ATTACK
Dec. 17, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian near the Huwarra military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, Israeli media reported.
___Initial reports indicate that the Palestinian was shot dead after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at the checkpoint. No Israelis were injured during the incident.
___The deaths mark at least 123 Palestinians to be killed since violence escalated in the occupied Palestinian territory in October. More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
UN  SECRETARY-GENERAL  ACCUSES  ISRAEL  OF  ‘BREEDING’  PALESTINIAN  ATTACKS
Dec. 16, 2015
This past Tuesday, in Jakarta, Indonesia, the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem was organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It was sponsored by the United Nations.
___In a statement delivered on his behalf to the Conference, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon said that the recent Palestinian attacks on Israelis are “bred from nearly five decades of Israeli occupation.”
___“It is the result of fear, humiliation, frustration and mistrust,” he said . . . .  More . . .

neo-palestinians
Palestinian youth carry the wounded during clashes with Israeli troops following an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, Oct. 4, 2015. (Photo by REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusin)

AL-MONITOR (ISRAEL PULSE)
THE  ‘NEO – PALESTINIANS’
Ben Caspit
Dec. 16, 2015

The “new Palestinian,” or “neo-Palestinian,” is the name the Israeli security establishment has coined to refer to the generation of young Palestinians leading the current terror wave that Israel continues to find difficult to define, characterize and restrain some two and a half months after it began . . . . There is no infrastructure, no planning, no hierarchy, no leaders, no organizations and no intelligence.
___“This is something else entirely, something we have not completely identified,” admitted a higher-up in Israeli security speaking on condition of anonymity. “It is a social phenomenon, maybe even a mental one. It is the outcome of circumstances and deep processes that have come to fruition. . . .  More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WHY  IS  ISRAEL  RECRUITING  SO  MANY  JORDANIAN  WORKERS?
Adnan Abu Amer
Dec. 16, 2015
Many Palestinians are wondering why Israel is replacing Palestinian workers with ones from Jordan. None of the speculation seems positive
___In light of ongoing Palestinian armed operations against Israeli settlers, Israel has been taking punitive measures against Palestinians. When the violence began in October, Israel decreed that Palestinians could not travel to their workplaces inside Israel. It would not issue new work permits. On Oct. 4, Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz threatened to withdraw more than 100,000 work permits.
___However, the Israeli Security Agency (Shabak) opposed those government decisions and on Nov. 26 demanded that additional work permits be granted for Palestinians. The move was seen as one designed to keep Palestinian workers employed so they wouldn’t join unemployed Palestinians in their attacks against Israelis. More . . .

“19  VARIETIES  OF  GAZELLE,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE

A gash of movement,
a spring of flight.

She saw them then
she did not see them.

The elegance of the gazelle
caught in her breath.

The next thing could have been weeping.

Rustic brown, a subtle spotted hue.

For years the Arab poets used “gazelle”
to signify grace,
but when faced with a meadow of leaping gazelle
there were no words.

Does one gazelle prefer another
of her kind?

They soared like history
above an empty page.

Nearby, giant tortoises
were kissing.

What else had we seen in our lives?
Nothing better than 19 varieties of gazelle
running free at the wildlife sanctuary. . .

“Don’t bother to go there,”
said a man at our hotel.
“It’s too far.”

But we were on a small sandy island,
nothing was far!

We had hiked among stony ruins
to the Tree of Life. ***
We had photographed a sign that said
KEEP TO THE PATH in English and Arabic.

Where is the path?
Please tell me.
Does a gazelle have a path?
Is the whole air the path of the gazelle?

The sun was a hot hand on our heads.

Human beings have voices―
what have they done for us?

There is no gazelle
in today’s headline.

The next thing could have been weeping. . .
Since when is a gazelle
wiser than people?

Gentle gazelle
dipping her head
into a pool of silver grass.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. 19  VARIETIES  OF  GAZELLE:  POEMS  OF  THE  MIDDLE  EAST. New York: Green Willow Books, 1994. Available from Barnes and Noble.
About Naomi Shihab Nye.
*** About the Tree of Life

Labourers disembark a Palestinians-only bus before crossing through Israel's Eyal checkpoint as they returns to the West Bank, near Qalqilya
Jordanian laborers disembark from a bus before crossing through Israel’s Eyal checkpoint as they return from work sites in Israel, near Qalqilya, March 4, 2013. (Photo by REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

 

“. . . the remains of a forgotten village and a cross . . .” (Sami Al-Jundi)

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The forgotten Jerusalem Palestinian village of Lifta, one of the few villages where the buildings remain. It is about to be “restored” to a fashionable Jewish district. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❶ EU expresses ‘deep concern’ over Israeli demolitions in Area C
❷ 2 Palestinians shot dead near Ramallah after alleged attacks
❸ Soldiers Injure Seven Palestinians in Jerusalem, Kidnap One Child
❹ Analysis: SPATIAL  DEVELOPMENT  OF  BETHLEHEM  AND EAST  JERUSALEM:  A  BLEAK  FUTURE?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  DOES  IT  SAY  WHEN  THE  IDF  IS  THE  SANEST  VOICE  IN  ISRAEL?
❻ Poetry. “Take Me to AL-QASTAL,” by Sami Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
EU  EXPRESSES  ‘DEEP CONCERN’  OVER  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  AREA C
Dec. 4, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — European Union missions on Friday reiterated a call for Israel to meet its obligations to Palestinians living in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where several demolitions have taken place in recent weeks.
___The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed “deep concern, once again” for the violations in the Israeli-controlled area, a statement said.
___On Thursday, Israeli authorities confiscated 10 tents donated to residents of al-Hadidiya village by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
___The tents had been donated after Israel’s civil administration and military forces demolished Palestinian structures in the in the northern Jordan Valley.  More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  DEAD  NEAR  RAMALLAH  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACKS
Dec. 4, 2015
BETHLEHEM ― Two Palestinians were shot dead near Ramallah on Friday after separate alleged attacks targeting Israeli military forces in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s army and Palestinian officials said.
___A Palestinian was shot and killed near the illegal Ofra settlement north of Ramallah after ramming his car into a group of Israeli soldiers, according to the Israeli army.
___The army confirmed that two soldiers were injured in the incident. Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said that paramedics treated two Israelis around 20 years of age who sustained minor injuries. More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS  INJURE  SEVEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  JERUSALEM,  KIDNAP  ONE  CHILD
Dec. 04, 2015
Palestinian medical sources in occupied Jerusalem have reported, Friday, that Israeli soldiers shot and injured seven Palestinians, while dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, in Jabal al-Mokabber town, in the city. The army also kidnapped one child in Silwan, and handed five demolition orders of residential and commercial structures.
___The soldiers used excessive force against dozens of Palestinians, holding a nonviolent protest, demanding the Israeli authorities to transfer the bodies of Palestinians, who were killed by the military, back to their families for proper burial ceremonies.
[. . . . ]
___On Friday evening, the soldiers kidnapped a child, identified as Mohammad Sufian al-Atrash, 15, after repeatedly beating and kicking him, in the Central Neighborhood in Silwan. More . . .

jerusalem_protest_12_4_2015
Demonstration in East Jerusalem fired on by Israeli soldiers. (Photo: Silwan IC, Dec. 4, 2015)

Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
SPATIAL  DEVELOPMENT  OF  BETHLEHEM  AND  EAST  JERUSALEM:  A  BLEAK  FUTURE?
Ahmad El-Atrash
December 2015
Bethlehem, like Jerusalem, is considered a sacred city for the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Until 1967 – before the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory that included the occupation of East Jerusalem – Bethlehem was developing and spatially growing, maintaining an organic connection with Jerusalem city. Since the occupation . . . the Bethlehem City-area has witnessed an ever-changing flexible frontier with Jerusalem and thus, the long established socio-cultural, economic, and above all spiritual lifeline between the Bethlehem City-area and Jerusalem has been undermined by the Israeli matrix of control . . .  More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+ 972 MAGAZINE
WHAT  DOES  IT  SAY  WHEN  THE  IDF  IS  THE  SANEST  VOICE  IN  ISRAEL?
Yoni Mendel
Dec. 4, 2015
“A nation in uniform,” “an army that has a state,” “a democracy of army bases.” In academic research of the critical kind, Israel is understood as a militaristic state.
[. . . . ]
___This past month has seen a great number of examples that show how . . . the IDF, has begun to be viewed by the Israeli leadership . . . as outdated, irrelevant, ignorant, and deceitful.
[. . . . ]
___This began with the violence and stabbings in October 2015. The propagandists of the Israeli government announced openly that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ incitement was behind the uprising. The demagoguery quickly became the prominent message, with the media quickly adopting the words “incitement” and “Abbas” as inseparable. . . .
___The [IDF’s Intelligence] Corps released the following two professional assessments: “Abbas is not inciting in order to harm Israelis,” and “Abbas is considered a very moderating force in Judea and Samaria.” How did Education Minister Naftali Bennett respond? “The security establishment is wrong.”  More . . .

“TAKE  ME  TO  AL-QASTAL,”  BY  SAMI  AL-JUNDI

There, in the cradle of yearning
Where the birds circle in cheerless skies
in the pine forests,
There rest the souls of the ancients
Did you ask the Swallow, my friend,
About Al-Qastal?

From a hill looking over Deir Yassin
Where love was first born
Thousands of years ago
Before the birth of Christ
Before the budding of jasmine
By the cradle of the goldfinch
Be sure to ask about Al-Qastal.

A deep valley
A mystifying magic and a nectar of secrets
A flock of pigeons and a nightingale
And the remains of a forgotten village and a cross
Ruins of a Babylonian minaret
There, where the moon is near
And our first concern is
Love and Al-Qastal.

Take me to Al-Qastal
Take me to the beautiful grave
Take me to my last home
And load me up with the tragedies of the Arabs
And all the fragrance of the ancestors
My home is the prettiest
My grave is the largest
My path is to Al-Qastal.
—Translated by Amal Eqeiq

About Sami Al-Jundi, author of The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker.
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes and Noble

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Christmas Lutheran Church in the busy city center of Bethlehem. Not an “historic” landmark, but part of the cultural life of the city that is in jeopardy. (Photo: Harold Knight, Aug. 2008)