“. . . I have recognized my griefs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . . 

AL-ARAQIB  REFUSES  TO  SURRENDER  AFTER  133RD  DEMOLITION
Israeli military bulldozers demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for the 133rd time, on Thursday.   ___Despite continuous demolitions of the village by the Israeli authorities, residents insist on rebuilding their homes each time they are demolished to the ground.   ___Al-Araqib was demolished for the 132nd time on August 16th; Israeli forces had detained Sheikh of the village, Sayyah al-Turi, and his son Aziz, alongside another resident identified as Salim Abu Ashraf under the pretext of obstructing the work of Israeli authorities and attempting to prevent the demolition.   More . . .

ILLITERACY  RATE  IN  PALESTINE  AMONG  THE  LOWEST  IN  THE  WORLD  –  [UNESCO]  STATISTICS  BUREAU
Marking International Literacy Day, which coincides on September 8 of every year, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published on Thursday on illiteracy rate in Palestine that it is one of the lowest in the world and stood at 3.3% in 2017 among persons 15 years of age and above compared to 24.8% in the Arab states and 13.8% in the world in 2016 for the same age group.   ___It said that the illiteracy rate in 2017 was 3.3% (7,898 illiterate) in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip refugee camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is currently facing a severe financial crisis after the United States has stopped all of its contributions to the humanitarian agency that may affect its educational program for tens of thousands of Palestinian refugee students, compared to 3.1% (67,324 illiterate) in urban areas and 4.8% (20,228 illiterate) in rural localities.   More . . .

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ABDUCT  SEVEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK 
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, seven Palestinians in several parts of the occupied West Bank.   ___The Bethlehem office PPS said the soldiers abducted three Palestinians, identified as Ziad Naim al-Masri, Zeid Ahmad Sheikh and Bassel Mizhir, in Deheishe refugee camp and Marah Rabah village, and shot a young man.   ___During the invasion into Marah Rabah, the soldiers searched the home of Ahmad Sheikh Qassem, who is held by Israel, and summoned his wife for interrogation.    More . . .
ISRAELI  NAVY  OPENS  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FISHING  BOATS  IN  GAZA  More . . .
VIDEO:  AWAD  RAJABI  ..  TORTURE  INSIDE  ROOM  4   More . . .
IOF  CLOSES  WATER  LINES  FEEDING  SCHOOL  IN  NABLUS      More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ISRAEL’S  LACK  OF  REMORSE
Mohamed Mohamed   
In an interview with a right-wing Israeli newspaper, Elor Azaria, said he had “no remorse whatsoever” for killing an incapacitated Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 2016.   ___After an alleged stabbing attack against Israeli occupying soldiers, the young Palestinian man, Abd al Fattah Al-Sharif, had already been shot and was seriously wounded. He was lying motionless on the ground, surrounded by many Israeli soldiers. In the video of the murder documented by the Human Rights Defenders in Hebron and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem (warning: many viewers may find this video and the others below, to be disturbing), two other soldiers were closer to the wounded man, and it is clear they did not see him as a threat anymore.   ___Out of nowhere, Azaria cocks his weapon, aims at Al-Sharif, and fires one round into his head. . .    More . . .
Background . . . ELOR  AZARIA  .  .  .  SET  FREE  AFTER  NINE  MONTHS

PLO:  ‘DEMOLITION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  BLATANT  ETHNIC  CLEANSING’    Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said that the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, is “blatant ethnic cleansing.”   ___The Israeli High Court had rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal against the demolition of the village and ruled for its evacuation and for demolition to take place within the next seven days.   ___Ashrawi said in a statement “the inhumane and immoral decision by Israel’s High Court of Justice to green light the destruction of the village of Khan al-Ahmar located near occupied Jerusalem reveals Israel’s intent to erase and eradicate the Palestinian presence and continuity on the land.”  ___She added that “this is blatant ethnic cleansing and constitutes a cause for serious alarm.”   More . . .

ISRAEL  TO  SELL  FREEDOM  FLOTILLA  BOATS  TO  SUPPORT  SETTLERS
Israel plans to sell four boats seized while sailing towards the besieged Gaza Strip and distribute the funds among two settlers families.   ___Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported yesterday that the move came in response to the Israeli Central Court’s decision following a request filed by the families.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . . 

Dandanat Dance & Music Festival
Presented by DAR AL-KALIMA University College of Arts & Culture, Bethlehem
With ‎‎‎Dar Annadwa Icb, ‎Diyar Consortium مجموعة ديار‎‎, Studieförbundet Bilda, Beit Jala Municipality, Al-Jisser‎ and Beit Jala International Festival for Peace 2018‎.

“TO  THE  READER,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Black tulips in my heart,
flames on my lips:
from which forest did you come to me,
all you crosses of anger?
I have recognized my griefs
and embraced wandering and hunger.
Anger lives in my hands,
anger lives in my mouth
and in the blood of my arteries swims anger.

O reader,
don’t expect whispers from me,
or words of ecstasy;
this is my suffering!
A foolish blow in the sand
and another in the clouds.
Anger is all I am –
anger, the tinder
of fire.

– – From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988

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“. . .Stop for a moment and listen to him saying: ‘No!’. . .” (Muin Bseiso)

Palestinians hold their national flag as they ride boats during a rally to show support for activists on the Freedom Flotilla III at the seaport of Gaza City on 24 June 2015. The activists failed to reach Gaza, with three boats turning back and the fourth taken over by the Israelis. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images.
Palestinians hold their national flag as they ride boats during a rally to show support for activists on the Freedom Flotilla III at the seaport of Gaza City on 24 June 2015. The activists failed to reach Gaza, with three boats turning back and the fourth taken over by the Israelis. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images.

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELIS OVERTAKE, BOARD SIEGE [OF GAZA] BREAKING VESSEL
June 29, 2015
According to Haaretz, Israeli forces intercepted the Gaza-bound boat Marianne late Sunday night, in what the military said was a short operation, free of any casualties . . .
____ . . . the Marianne of Gothenburg, was boarded by the Israeli navy and was being escorted to an Israeli port.
____The Swedish boat, which on Sunday afternoon was 150 nautical miles from the Gaza Coast, is carrying 20 activists, among them MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) and former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki.
(More. . .)
(Additional “mainstream” media coverage)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL LARGEST STATE USER OF EXPLOSIVE WEAPONS IN 2014 DUE TO GAZA WAR
Charlie Hoyle
June 26, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel was the single largest user of explosive weapons among international states in 2014 as a result of its war on Gaza, a London-based NGO said this week . . .
____In a report entitled ‘Explosive States: Monitoring explosive violence in 2014,’ Action on Armed Violence said that Gaza . . . saw one of the highest number of global casualties from explosive weapons as a result of Israel’s use of military force during Operation Protective Edge.
(More. . .)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ANTI-PALESTINIAN GRAFFITI FOUND IN JERUSALEM NEIGHBORHOOD
June 30, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Suspected Jewish extremists spray-painted racist graffiti in the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Israeli police said.
____Luba al-Samri, spokeswoman for Arabic-language media, told Ma’an that “Arab blood is a public property,” “Kill Arabs,” and other racist phrases were sprayed on a wall in Hebrew.
(More. . .)

From +972 BLOG
A VICIOUS CYCLE OF LAWLESSNESS IN THE WEST BANK
Eyal Hareuveni
June 30, 2015
For nearly 50 years the Israeli army has been treating settler violence against Palestinians as a decree of fate . . . the army has dealt with the phenomenon without actually dealing with it.
____International law, however, is quite clear that the occupying power . . . has an obligation to preserve the rule of law and public order in those territories. . . the Israeli High Court has even emphasized that it is a basic and fundamental obligation — but the IDF paid no heed.
(More. . .)

Settlers throw stones at Palestinians as IDF soldiers stand by in the West Bank village of Asira al Qibliya. April 30, 2013 (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Settlers throw stones at Palestinians as IDF soldiers stand by in the West Bank village of Asira al Qibliya. April 30, 2013 (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Opinion
From +972 BLOG
THE ONLY REAL DANGER OF GAZA FLOTILLAS
Itamar Sha’altiel
June 29, 2015
Activists on the Freedom Flotilla must understand that . . . Putting the spotlight on humanitarian supplies allows Israel to divert attention from the worst parts of the blockade.
____The truth is that after five years it’s getting a little old. Israeli naval commandos once again take over a boat to Gaza, and again, it happens without any fuss. The Israeli defense minister once again claims that there is no blockade on Gaza, and once again the prime minister tells the activists they should be sailing to Syria.
____There is, of course, clearly a blockade on Gaza. It requires massive quantities of unabashed gall to claim otherwise. Israel forbids the entry and departure of boats to and from Gaza . . . it decides what building materials can be imported to Gaza and for which projects . . . and it restricts the entry and exit of people in and out of the Strip . . . let’s be honest — it’s a blockade, clear and simple.
(More. . .)

“NO!” BY MUIN BSEISO

His wounds said: “No!”
His chains said: “No!”
And the turtledove which shielded his wound with her feather
Said: “No!”
“No!” for those who sold and bought
Gaza’s silver anklet.
They sold the bullets and bought a goose.

Quaking goose!
Stop for a moment.
And listen to him
Saying: “No!”
Pity him; he did not die under neon lights,
Between the candlestick and the moon.
Pity him; there was no formal announcement
or a dumb funeral.
No moaning poem nor song.
Stones!
Let me compose, if only one line of verse,
That I may recite it to all the men with long and false beards.

Stop quaking for a moment
And listen to him saying: “No!”
Like the solid fence of a house in Gaza.
Every day, he gets killed one thousand times,
Quaking goose!

From: A Lover from Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.

Muin Bseiso (1926 – January 23, 1984) was a Palestinian poet who lived in Egypt . . . He finished his primary and secondary education in Gaza in 1948. He started publishing his work in the Jaffa-based magazin Al-Hurriya (“Liberty”), where he published his first poems in 1946. In 1948, he enrolled in the American University in Cairo and subsequently graduated in 1952. On January 27, 1952 he published his first work titled Al-Ma’raka (“The Battle”). Imprisoned in Egyptian jails twice: 1955 to 1957 and 1959 to 1963. He died London in 1984.

A child at home in Gaza
A child at home in Gaza

“. . . Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears. . .” (Marwan Makhoul)

Freedom-Flotilla-3-to-sail-to-Gaza-next-summerFrom MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZA FLOTILLA SHIP ‘SABOTAGED’ DAYS BEFORE EXPECTED ARRIVAL
June 25, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — One of the ships taking part in a flotilla headed towards the Gaza Strip was sabotaged south of Crete, an activist aboard one of the ships said Thursday.
____Israeli-born Swedish activist Dror Feiler told Nazareth-based al-Shams radio that the ship had been sabotaged by professionals, and would have sunk if sailed at sea. . . .
____Feiler, who relinquished his Israeli citizenship after moving to Sweden, boarded the trawler Marianne of Gothenburg in Sweden with 18 other activists six weeks ago.
(More. . .)
(Background)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL RELEASES MP AFTER YEAR OF ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION
June 25, 2015
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities released Palestinian parliament member Sheikh Hassan Youssef [Hassan Yusef], 60, on Thursday as he ended his administrative detention period that was extended three times while being held in prison.
____Youssef was detained in mid-June of 2014 during a detention campaign carried out by Israeli forces across the occupied West Bank and held in the Ofer jail near Ramallah. . .
____He was one of hundreds of Palestinians to be detained by Israel during the campaign known as “Operation Brother’s Keeper. . . .
(More. . .)

Sheikh Hassan Youssef [Hassan Yusef], Member of Palestinian Parliament
Sheikh Hassan Youssef [Hassan Yusef], Member of Palestinian Parliament
From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINE TO SUBMIT HUNDREDS OF DOCUMENTS TO ICC FOR 1ST TIME
June 25, 2015
Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki is scheduled to make the State of Palestine’s first submission to the International Criminal Court in the Hague on Thursday in pursuit of war crime charges against Israel. . . .
____“It will take the ICC a long time to take action, possibly 5-10 years as this is one out of a hundred steps,” Abu Zneid said.
____The PLO will continue to collate information and testimonies to later be submitted to the ICC as evidence of Israeli crimes.
(More. . .)
(Background)

From MONDOWEISS
‘WE ARE DOING YOU PEOPLE A FAVOR BY ALLOWING YOU TO BE SEATED HERE,’ NETANYAHU DEPUTY TELLS PALESTINIANS IN KNESSET
Roland Nikles
June 25, 2015
[A short history of the Anti-Family-Reunification Law] . . . .
The Knesset once again renewed the law on June 15, 2015. . . .
____On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, the Knesset held a “debate” on a request by the Joint Arab list (13 MK’s headed by Ayman Odeh) to revoke the anti-family-unification provision in the Citizenship Law. The result was not pretty.
____From Haaretz: During the debate, Deputy Interior Minister Yaron Mazuz of Likud. . . . called on Arab lawmakers to return their Israeli identity cards. Addressing the Arab Joint List’s MK Haneen Zoabi, Mazuz said: “Mrs. [Haneen] Zoabi, you are the first who ought to return your ID. We are doing you people a favor by even allowing you to be seated here . . . .
(More. . . .)

From MONDOWEISS
OREN PUSHED RANDOM HOUSE TO HURRY HIS BOOK SO AMERICAN JEWS WILL ‘INTERCEDE’ TO STOP IRAN DEAL AND SAVE MILLIONS OF JEWS
Philip Weiss
June 22, 2015
Michael Oren said he put “immense pressure” on Random House to publish his new book, Ally, this month, so he could mobilize American Jews against the coming Iranian deal, and they would intercede as they had failed to do in response to the Nazi threat in the 1930s.
____Speaking at the 92nd Y last night, Oren said he resigned as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. in October 2013 and then set out to write his book in a hurry for a “political reason” . . . . [Oren said] “Israel is at a . . . fateful juncture . . . [because] a major French initiative in the Security Council that will have very profound implications for Israeli security.”
____He was referring to a French proposal to require the creation of a Palestinian state within a year and a half.
(More. . .)

“IDENTITY,” BY MARWAN MAKHOUL

I’m unfamiliar with refugee camps.
Is that the ultimate in giving up?
Or are they tents I’ve been told are white
with guy ropes at the corners to hold them up
that hold me up?

I’m unfamiliar with tear gas.
Is it a weapon whose used bears the radiance of defeat?
Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears
when I cry?

I’m unfamiliar with settlements.
Are some of those people good?
Sure, completely. Like I walk
on my hands,
and the sand sings?

I’m unfamiliar with my mother too.
Is she the one who suckled me?
Or is she the one bereft, standing in my doorway,
or a window on belonging?

I’m unfamiliar with UNRWA.
Is it a shipment I once chanced upon?
Or did I direct its driver
when he asked the way to Rafah?

I’m unfamiliar with the “cause”.
Is it a fiancée searching in the rubble
for her finger to put the ring on?
Or is half the whole of a fifth?

I’m unfamiliar with the truth.
Am I lacking something?
Or does my blood course within me
but not as my nerves would wish?

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with myself.
Am I the one now in my body?
Or am I that one I wrote about
the day I became my neighbor?
―Translated by Raphael Cohen    

Marwan Makhoul was born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother in 1979 in the village of Boquai’a in the Upper Galilee region of Palestine. He currently lives in the village of Maalot Tarshiha. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Mustaqbal College. His first book of poetry was published in 2007 in both Beirut and Baghdad by Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa by Maktabat Kul Shai’ Publishers. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in The Acre Theatre Festival for his first play.
(An interview with Marwan Makhoul )

Marwan Makhoul
Marwan Makhoul