“. . . We wait for the promise of July And the joyous dance . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

IMG_3102 - Copy - CopyFrom the  WALL  MUSEUM  in Bethlehem.
(Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
PALESTINIANS  GEARING  UP  FOR  ANTI-OCCUPATION  PROTESTS  AT  GAZA  BORDER 
The Higher National Commission of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege has called on the Palestinian masses to take part in the large-scale protests set to be staged on Friday along Gaza’s borderlands.    ___The Higher Commission said in a statement that the peaceful protests make part of Palestinians’ struggle to liberate their land, lift the siege on Gaza, and thwart the US-drafted deal of the century.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel returns fishing boats, tools to Gaza
. . . . Related  Gaza hospitals overwhelmed by wounded in Israeli violence: Report
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22 – 28 November 2018)
CHRISTMAS  2018  PREPARATIONS  WELL  UNDERWAY  IN  BETHLEHEM:  “A  FEAST  OF  PEACE,  HOPE  AND  JUSTICE”
Preparations for Christmas 2018 are well underway according to the Press Conference held at the Bethlehem Peace Center today. With the world’s spotlight beaming down this December on the city – the birthplace of Jesus Christ – the municipality of Bethlehem announced that the theme of this Christmas is ‘Being and Existence’.    ___The mayor of Bethlehem, Anton Salman, explained that this Christmas is a time to show the world that the Palestinian people “are rooted in this land, just as the trees are”. The Palestinian people “are one community, regardless of different religions”, the mayor said, squelching any notion that the occupation had spread of the oppression of Palestinian Christians by its Muslim majority.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Bethlehem Prepares to Celebrate Christmas 2018
| ASHRAWI  URGES  EBU  NOT  TO  BROADCAST  EUROVISION  IN  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, called upon the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to respect the Palestinian people’s rights by not broadcasting any Eurovision Song Contest events in Israel’s illegal settlements.    ___Ashrawi said, in a statement, that giving Israel the privilege of hosting the 2019 Eurovision amounts to rewarding it for and helping it to conceal its decades-old military occupation and grave violations of Palestinian national and human rights.    [. . . . ] Last week, three Manchester, UK-based pro-Palestine groups called on European artists and performers to Boycott Eurovision 2019 hosted by Israel, while over 140 artists, including musicians, writers, actors, directors, novelists and poets had signed a letter calling for the event’s boycott.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Japan funds project to enhance water quality in West Bank town
. . . . Related  Palestinian Forum in Britain Organizes Largest Palestinian Festival in London
. . . . Related  Alray International Media Watch from Alray Palestinian Media Agency (Nov. 29, 2018)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ZIONISM:  CYCLES  OF  TRAUMA  AND  AGGRESSION  IN  THE  SERVICE  OF  SETTLER  COLONIALISM
By Yoav Litvin
The origins of Zionism are profoundly misunderstood by many. This is not coincidental and can be seen largely as the result of propaganda, which opportunistically and erroneously asserts that Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism.    ___In fact, Zionism gained traction among some Jews only in the late 19th  century in response to antisemitism and romantic European nationalist movements. Zionists syncretized many white supremacist, antisemitic, messianic and fascistic racialized dogmas and were thus overwhelmingly unpopular among most Jews, who viewed the ideals of the enlightenment–emancipation, equality and integration – as their target.    [. . . .] In response to antisemitism, Zionists embraced their fear and contempt of their abusers to produce defensive aggression, reinventing identity in a reactionary attempt to ensure survival and restore  pride. The reward of violence–power-quickly enticed Zionist leaders to morph what began as a defensive strategy into an offensive one that culminated with a settler colonialist vision of a homeland in Palestine at the expense of its Indigenous population, the existing Palestinian people.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli journalist lectures against ‘Zionist racism’ in Prague

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring,
in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

–From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.  Available from Palestine Online Store.
(“Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s Baghdad Home Destroyed; 
The End of an Era?”)

“. . . I have willed that my heart be planted as a tree . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Israeli soldier throws a sound grenade during a scuffle with Palestinian demonstrators in the village of Ras Karkar
An Israeli soldier throws a sound grenade during a scuffle with Palestinian in the village of Ras Karkar, near RAMALLAH, August 31, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  KILL  3  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA
Three Palestinians were killed and dozens others sustained injuries during the 25th Friday of “The Great March of Return protests alongside the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.   ___Hundreds of Palestinians had gathered, earlier Friday, alongside the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip to take part in protests under the slogan of “Resistance is our Choice.”   ___Spokesperson of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that three Palestinians were killed during protests.   More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  SUPPRESS  PROTEST  IN  RAMALLAH-AREA  VILLAGE

EUROVISION  2019  TO  BE  HELD  IN  TEL  AVIV  INSTEAD  OF  JERUSALEM        The Eurovision song contest has chosen Tel Aviv to host next year’s competition, despite the Israeli government previously declaring the event would be held in Jerusalem.    ___Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had wanted the international music competition to be held in the holy city as part of the government’s campaign for global recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.    ___Israel won the contest last year with the beatboxing and chicken-dancing artist Netta Barzilai, earning it the right to host the 2019 edition.   More . . .

AZIZ  ABU  SARAH  WANTS  TO  BE  MAYOR  OF  JERUSALEM  AND  IS  SUING  ISRAEL  Calling  ‘bluff’  on  Israel’s  democracy
Jaclynn Ashly
A Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem is breaking boundaries by suing the Israeli government in hopes of becoming the first Palestinian to run for mayor in Israel’s municipal elections in Jerusalem next month.    ___Aziz Abu Sarah, 38, announced his intention to run for mayor last week, as part of the Palestinian-run Al-Quds Lana (“Jerusalem is ours”) list, which is contending for seats at Jerusalem’s city hall in October.    ___Israeli law forbids Palestinians in East Jerusalem from running for the post of mayor because they are not considered Israeli citizens.    ___Therefore, Abu Sarah has decided to sue the Israeli government in Israel’s High Court over the law.   More . . .
Related . . .  JERUSALEM:  WHERE  THE  OCCUPIER  DEMANDS  LOYALTY  FROM  THE  OCCUPIED

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

THE  OSLO  ERA  IS  FINALLY  OVER,  BUT  IT  ONLY  GETS  WORSE  FROM  HERE
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
There is something unsettling about the way the 25-year anniversary since the signing of the Oslo Accords is being marked — neither eulogy nor longing, and without anyone having any clue what lies ahead. There is one thing that is different this year, however. With the exception of Jason Greenblatt, nobody is paying lip service to the illusion of a peace process any more.   More . . .

UN:  GAZA  SITUATION  ‘CATASTROPHIC’  AMID  DEEPENING  AID  CUTS     The UN said on Wednesday that the situation in Gaza was “catastrophic” after 11 years of “economic siege” and warned that Washington’s decision to halt assistance to Palestinian refugees would create “more misery.”   ___Isabelle Durant, the deputy head of the United Nations development agency (UNCTAD), said:
___“The situation in Gaza is becoming less and less livable … It is catastrophic.”   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

KinderUSA  –  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA. Anaheim, CA; Plano, TX.     Dr. Gilbert has a broad range of experience from international humanitarian work, especially in locations where medical and political issues merge. Since the 1970s, he has been actively involved with solidarity work concerning Palestinians, and he has served as a doctor for several periods in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon for NORWAC. His efforts have been central to leading the city of Tromsø, since 2001 a twin town of Gaza.  Information . . .   Dr. Mads Gilbert Video . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . .

“PRIDE  AND  FURY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

O homeland! O eagle,
Plunging, through the bars of my cell,
Your fiery beak in my eyes!
All I possess in the presence of death
Is pride and fury.
I have willed that my heart be planted as a tree,
That my forehead become an abode for skylarks.
O eagle,
I am unworthy of your lofty wing,
I prefer a crown of flame.
O homeland!
We were born and raised in your wound,
And ate the fruit of your trees,
To witness the birth of your daybreak.
O eagle unjustly languishing in chains,
O legendary death which once was sought,
Your fiery beak is still plunged in my eye,
Jails with their gates flung wide
Summon me,
And in all the airports of the world
Are found my names and titles –
The lying wind carries me,
Disperses me.
Palestinian –
The name pursues me, lives with me;
Palestinian is my fate,
Clinging to me, reviving me.
Palestinian I am,
Though they betray me and my cause;
Palestinian I am,
Though they sell me in the market
For what they please,
For thousands of millions;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the gallows they drive me;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the walls they bind me,
Palestinian I am,
Palestinian I am,
Though to the flames they cast me.
I – what am I?
Without my name, Palestinian,
Without a homeland to live for,
To protect and be protected by?
I – what am I?
Answer me, answer me.

–From AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY. Translated by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. University of California Press, 1974.