“. . .strangers with their rifles’ muzzles . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli Occupation Forces bunker and watchtower in Central Hebron. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
|  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  HOME  IN  JERUSALEM  –  143  DEMOLISHED  IN  2018  
Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned house in Qalandiya north of occupied East Jerusalem in the central West Bank, on Wednesday morning.    ___Owner Hamzeh al-Mughrabi told Ma’an that Israeli police forces escorted municipality staff into Qalandiya, where they surrounded the house, emptied and evacuated residents before starting the demolition.    ___Al-Mughrabi added that the Shweiki family of 6 members, including a man with disability, live in the 100-square meter house.    More . . .
~~ Jerusalem  mayor  plans  to  reduce  the  sound  of  mosque  loudspeakers     More . . .
|   WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (20–26  DECEMBER  2018)
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.     ___4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and a person with mobility impairment were killed.   142 civilians, including 30 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and a paramedic, were wounded; the injury of 2 of them was reported serious.    ___A child was killed and 5 civilians were wounded, including a Journalist, in the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted 66 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited incursions into the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
~~  Scores  of  Palestinians  injured  by  Israeli  bullet  fire     More . . .
~~  Civilians  kidnapped,  homes  ransacked  by  Israeli  army    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  AND  THE  UNITED  STATES  FORMALLY  QUIT  UNESCO
More than a year after announcing their withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Israel and the United States’ decision officially went into effect at the last second of December 31, 2018.   ___UNESCO was the first UN body to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011, which led the Obama administration to stop paying its annual contributions. In 2017, the UN heritage agency passed a resolution designating the Tomb of Patriarchs in  Hebron  as  a  Palestinian  World  Heritage  Site. The decision was opposed by the Jewish community because of the holy cave’s significance in Judaism.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
NOT  WELCOME  IN  HEBRON:  ITS  ORIGINAL  RESIDENTS  AND  BREAKING  THE  SILENCE
Jonathan Cook
Ido Even-Paz switched on his body camera as his tour group decamped from the bus in Hebron. The former Israeli soldier wanted to document any trouble we might encounter in this, the largest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank.    ___It was not Hebron’s Palestinian residents who concerned him, however. He was worried about fellow Israelis—Jewish religious extremists and the soldiers there to guard them—who have seized control of much of the city center [. . . .]  ___For more than 15 years, Israel has forbidden entry for Palestinians to what was once Hebron’s main throroughfare and central shopping area along Shuhada Street. Now it has been rebranded in Hebrew as King David Street, and declared what the army terms a “sterilized area.” The closure severs the main transport routes for Palestinians between north and south Hebron.    ___Most of the Palestinian inhabitants have been driven from the city center by endless harassment and attacks by settlers, bolstered by arrests and night raids conducted by the army, says Even-Paz.    More . . .
~~  Gaza  march  leader  to  conscientious  objectors:  ‘Turn  your  words  into  weapons’    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“STORY  OF  A  CITY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
There was a blue city
that dreamt of foreigners wandering
Around and spending their money
day after day.

But it became a black city
despising strangers
with their rifles’ muzzles
making the rounds of its cafés.

From: Al-Qasim, Samih.  SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . the day is impudent and selfish. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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Palestinian children at the Great Return March, near  Gaza City, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/Activestills.org)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY 
ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION  UNDERWAY  AT  COST  OF  A  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE
The Israeli army razed land in Dhar al-Maleh village, southwest of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, in order to expand an illegal Jewish settlement, the village’s head of council Ahmad Khatib said on Tuesday.    ___He told WAFA that bulldozers started to work on 120 dunums of the village land and in the process destroyed a paved road as the military was working on expanding the illegal settlement of Shaked, built on expropriated village land.     More . . .
~~  Israel  plans  new  settlement  units  in  Bethlehem    More . . .
~~  Israeli  settlements  threaten  to  engulf  West  Bank  communities    More . . .
QATAR  DEAL  EXPECTED  TO  BOOST  PALESTINIAN  TRADE
Qatar and Palestine are working to boost their bilateral trade, taking steps that one expert says will double their exchange over five years.    ___The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade) to increase partnership efforts between the two countries. During a Dec. 12 meeting in Doha that was also attended by Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar Amir Ghannam as well as Qatari and Palestinian businesspeople, the two sides agreed to allow nine Palestinian food and agriculture companies to export their products to the Qatari market.    More . . .
~~  Palestinian  Poverty  Level  Almost  Double  Israel  Average    More . . .
|   EIGHT  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  BY  IOF  IN  W.  BANK
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday kidnapped at least eight Palestinian citizens during campaigns in the West Bank.    ___The Israeli army claimed in a statement that its forces arrested eight wanted Palestinians overnight in the West Bank.    ___According to local sources, the IOF kidnapped a number of citizens in Beit Ummar town. . .    More . . .
~~  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  in  Gaza  waters    More . . .
~~  Israeli  army  opens  fire  at  Palestinians  south  of  besieged  Gaza    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
|  THE  GRASSROOTS  MOVEMENTS  IN  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  THAT  WON  2018
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
+972 Magazine’s story of the year for 2018 is the protest movements that managed to beat the odds by forcing governments to revisit and even change their policies. The story of African refugees stopping their deportation from Israel, and Gazans using popular protests to make sure the world doesn’t forget about them.   ___The global rise of nationalist and right-wing governments has not been particularly good for progressive movements over the past year. But two grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine, respectively, managed to push back against oppressive policies and, at least temporarily, achieve real victories on the ground. These stories are not only impressive, against-the-odds wins — they are also a reminder that the work of organizers and activists on the ground does stand a chance facing down governments, armies, and immensely powerful economic interests.   More . . .
|  THE  UN’S  VISION  OF  ‘PEACE’  FOR  PALESTINE  EXCLUDES  ORDINARY  PALESTINIANS
Ramona Wadi
The UN is now adamant that the Palestinian Authority should return to govern the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, this hypothesis was raised by the US and has seldom been questioned, ostensibly due to other pressing factors such as delivering the necessary humanitarian aid to displaced and injured Palestinians in the besieged enclave.    ___Since the Palestinian cause has become fragmented into separate issues to prevent national unity, the PA — through decisions taken by its leader Mahmoud Abbas — has slowly imposed its own sanctions on Gaza, bizarrely in the name of unity. Ths facade was dropped swiftly, though, to reveal the real reason for the sanctions; the Fatah-led PA wants to force Hamas to relinquish its political power in the enclave. Hamas, remember, won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, but has never been allowed to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.     More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

Excerpt from “MIDNIGHT,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

The new day does not ask your permission to enter,
it does not ask if you are ready to receive it.
The day is impudent and selfish,
it insists on arriving every day.
You hear dawn climbing the stairs
before it breaks into your house,
the same way you hear them coming to arrest you
before they break down the door,
before you rub your eyes,
before you’re asked to have a cup of coffee
with the hyena
with the gold tooth
and heavy makeup.

As for the birds,
don’t they know that this is not the time for singing?
Here they are, singing
as usual,
twittering melodies you do not understand.
May be they echo the refrain:
nothing equals
one more hour with you.

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . No quiet place to die, with dignity. . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

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Cyclist Alaa al-Dali’s leg was amputated after being shot at the Great Return March protests, crushing his dream of participating in the 2018 Asia Games. (Photo: Middle East Eye, 27 April 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
| OCHA:  ISRAELI  FORCES  KILLED  295  PALESTINIANS  IN  2018   
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that a total of 295 Palestinians were killed and over 29,000 others were injured in 2018 by Israeli forces.    ___According to a recent report released by OCHA, 57 of those Palestinian fatalities and about 7,000 of the wounded citizens were under age 18.    ___“This is the highest death toll in a single year since the Gaza conflict of 2014, and the highest number of injuries recorded since OCHA began documenting casualties in the oPt (occupied Palestinian territories) in 2005,” the report said.    More . . .
IOF  KIDNAPS  25  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday arrested 25 Palestinians during West Bank sweeps.    ___The PIC reporter said that the IOF raided Kobar village, north of Ramallah, and arrested 12 Palestinian citizens.    ___Other Palestinians, including two ex-prisoners and a lawyer, were arrested in campaigns targeting Silwad and Ras Karkar villages, east and west of Ramallah respectively . . .    More . . .
~~  Israeli  forces  demolish  agricultural  structure  in  Masafer  Yatta    More . . .
~~  Israel  seizes  1,200  dunams  of  Palestinian  land  for  new  settlement     More . . .
|  ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  DENY  TREATMENT  ABROAD  TO  GAZANS  INJURED  IN  BORDER  PROTESTS
The Israeli authorities continued in November to deny Gazans injured in the border protest access to medical treatment outside the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___In its monthly report on health access barriers for patients in the occupied Palestinian territory for the month of November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that out of 51 permit applications  in November for people injured during the protests seeking treatment outside Gaza, only four applications were approved, six were denied and 41 delayed.   More . . .
~~  Video:  Israel-Palestine  Tensions:  UN  says  Israel  has  no  justification  for  Gaza  killings      More . . .
~~  Israel  Launches  Aistrikes  on  Gaza      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
|  WHO  REPORT:  PALESTINIANS’  ACCESS  TO  HEALTHCARE  AT  MERCY  OF  ISRAEL    
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released its monthly report of the situation patients have been facing in Palestine in November 2018.    ___Due to the impoverished circumstances in Gaza, many residents need to travel outside the confines of the Israeli-Gazan border to receive appropriate health care. However, despite necessity of medical care, access to these hospitals and facilities has been routinely obstructed by Israeli security.    ___In November 2018, there were 2,519 applications to cross the Erez border for health care. 29% were children, 16% of applicants were 60 years plus, 43% female and 92% were medically funded by Palestinian Ministry of Health.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS
|  A  CHRISTMAS  MESSAGE  FROM  MAP  (MEDICAL  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS)  CEO  AIMEE  SHALAN
This year has been yet another difficult and tragic one for Palestinians.    ___The shocking use of force by Israeli forces against demonstrators in Gaza has killed scores and injured thousands. . .    ___Demolitions continue to be a day-to-day reality for many Palestinians in the West Bank. Not only have individual homes and buildings such as schools been demolished, but entire villages like Khan al Ahmar have been threatened . . .     ___We have also witnessed a dangerous politicisation of humanitarian aid, with the US administration cutting all funding to UNRWA . . . These cuts greatly threaten Palestinian refugees’ access to healthcare, education and emergency food assistance.    __Amid such bleak circumstances, I am incredibly proud of all that MAP has achieved and want to thank our supporters for their generosity and kind support – facilitating our essential and lifesaving work    More . . .    Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“RE:  CEMETERIES  IN  PALESTINIAN  CAMPS  SHORT  ON  SPACE/DAILY  STAR/16.06.12,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

And so, the cemeteries are full –
In Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Gaza.
We will soon bury Palestinians above ground.
Nowhere to live and now,
No quiet place to die, with dignity.
Raise high the beams – carpenters, death architects.
Soon, your walls will reach the sky.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . My endurance is as limitless as the horizon . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

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BETHLEHEM: Palestinian family takes photo in front of the Christmas tree. (Photo: Institute for Middle East Understanding, Dec. 20, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
|  AFTER  KILLING  DISABLED  YOUTH,  ISRAELI  FIGHTER  JET  STRIKES  GAZA
An Israeli warplane carried out an airstrike in the Gaza Strip following, causing horror among women and children, Palestinian security sources said.    ___In a statement, the Israeli military spokesman recognised the attack and claimed it targeted a Palestinian resistance post in the southern Gaza Strip.    ___Palestinian medical sources reported no injuries, but reiterated that airstrike caused repulsive horror among tens of children and women living in the vicinity of the targeted place.    More . . .
|  BIBLICAL  CITY  OF  BETHLEHEM  BOASTS  LARGEST  CHRISTMAS  IN  YEARS
Pilgrims from around the world flocked to Bethlehem on Monday for what was believed to be the biblical West Bank city’s largest Christmas celebrations in years.    ___Hundreds of locals and foreign visitors milled in Manger Square as bagpipe-playing Palestinian Scouts paraded past a giant Christmas tree. Crowds flooded the Church of the Nativity, venerated as the traditional site of Jesus’s birth, and waited to descend into the ancient grotto.    ___Palestinian Tourism Minister Rula Maaya said all Bethlehem hotels were fully booked, and the city was preparing to host an “astounding” 10,000 tourists overnight.     More . . .
|  GDP  ‘UP’  IN  WEST  BANK,  ‘DOWN’  IN  GAZA  DURING  1ST  THREE  QUARTERS  OF  2018
The gross domestic product increased by 2.3% in the West Bank and decreased by 7.9% in Gaza Strip  during the first three quarters of the year 2018 compared to the same quarters of the year 2017, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).    ___PCBS said a sharp decrease in GDP at constant prices in the Gaza Strip during the first three quarters of the year 2018 led to slowing down in the growth of the Palestinian economy compared to the parallel quarters of the year 2017.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| ISRAEL’S  ARREST  OF  MOTHERS  SHOWS  ITS  CONTEMPT  FOR  PALESTINIAN  WOMEN   
Dr. Mohammad Makram Balawi
On 16 December 2018, an Israeli court . . .  sentenced Suzan Abu Ghannaam – the mother of 20-year-old Palestinian martyr Muhammad Abu Ghannaam – to eleven months in prison on account of “incitement” in a Facebook post. Her son had been killed while protesting against the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities on Muslim worshippers . . . .   On the same day Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed that Facebook had banned him from posting for 24 hours. In a series of tweets, Yair had called for the expulsion of Palestinians and Muslims from the region . . .   Unlike mother-of-four Suzan Abu Ghannam, Yair Netanyahu was not jailed for two months, summoned to court and sentenced to 11 months in prison. Instead, he brags about his actions . . .   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS
| KinderUSA  A  NEW  YEAR  FOR  GAZA
As 2018 comes to an end, we are sad to report that living conditions in Gaza continue to get worse, taking an unfathomable toll on the population.  Unemployment is over 55%, with youth unemployment at 75%, while most who do get paid receive only half their wages.  Many families live on $1 a day, at best. Over 95% of the water supply is now undrinkable due to the persistent lack of electricity limited to about 4 hours per day. The land, sea, and air blockade is now in its 12th year, sealing Gaza off from the rest of the world.    ___Children in Gaza are caged in a toxic slum from birth to death . . .    More . . .   DONATE . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“THE  FIRE  OF  THE  MAGI,  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I take my time!
I take my time!
I draw the first thread of light
From the deep darkness of night;
I tend the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of loved ones
With a kerchief of jasmine.
I plant the most verdant oases
Amidst the scorched sands,
And shape a life for the outlaws
From fragrance, plenty, and justice.
If someday, on the road, my foot should stumble,
My roots will uphold and support me.

I take my time
For I am unlike the match
That flickers once, then dies.
I am more like the fire of the magi, burning bright
From my cradle to my grave.
And from my forebears to my offspring.
My endurance is as limitless as the horizon,
And the skill of the ant I’ve mastered.

I take my time,
For it is the function of history
To follow our dictates.
We have prepared for the downfall of the giants of the earth,
We will pay them back in kind;
We will give them enough rope, not that they may live longer,
But that they might have enough to hang themselves.

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.

“Have you forgotten your shame. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Esther Bejarano, Auschwitz survivor, 2015. (Photo: Uwe Zucchi DPA- German News Agency)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  TENTS,  SCHOOL  FURNITURE  SEIZED  IN  SOUTH  OF  WEST  BANK
Israeli soldiers raided a village in the south Hebron hills on Monday and seized tents and furniture brought for a local school the Israeli army had demolished last week, according to the local education department.    ___The Israeli army demolished the school built near the town of Samou, south of the West Bank, on Wednesday and seized its furniture after destroying the grounds.    ___Residents, along with the Ministry of Education and solidarity groups, brought tents and furniture to rebuild it, but an army force broke into the area during the night and seized everything.    [. . . .] The school, referred to as Challenge School 13, serves 35 students up to grade six from two Palestinian communities living in that area. Its construction had cost 40,000 euros.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF raids homes, kidnaps citizens in different W. Bank areas
. . . . Related  Thousands of settlers storm different West Bank sites for rituals
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers break into Palestinian archaeological site [Beita Town, Nablus]
. . . . Related  Israeli forces raid outskirts of Ramallah, seize surveillance cameras
. . . . Related  Farmer Mansour Marayta mourns his stolen land
. . . . Related  IOF storm Ramallah villages after shooting of Ofra settlers
|  SCORES  OF  AMPUTATIONS  IN  GAZA  AS  ISRAELI  TROOPS  AIM  AT  LEGS
Israeli forces deployed along the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip have fired live rounds at rock-throwing Palestinian protesters ever since demonstrations demanding the right to return began in March.    ___And for eight months, Israeli snipers have targeted one part of the body more than any other – the legs.    ___The Israeli army says it is responding to weekly assaults on its frontier by Palestinians armed with stones, grenades and firebombs. It says it opens fire only as a last resort and considers firing at the lower limbs an act of restraint.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Report: Palestinian Prisoners In Israel Jails Suffer Medical Negligence
. . . . Related  Palestinians injured after Israeli settlers break into Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
|  SENIOR  ISRAELI  LAWMAKER  CALLS  FOR  KILLING  ALL  PALESTINIANS
Chair of the Defence Committee at the Israeli Parliament Avi Dichter has called for killing all the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.    ___As he was commenting on the peaceful protests of the Great March of Return taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said: “The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.”    ___Dichter is a senior member of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, which is a right wing one. [. . . .] He later added: “The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
WHY  AUSCHWITZ  SURVIVOR  ESTHER  BEJARANO  SUPPORTS  BDS
Esther Bejarano learned to love music from her father Rudolf Loewy, a cantor in the Jewish community of the southwest German town of Saarlouis, where she was born in 1924.  That was lucky for her, because music literally saved her life.     ___Bejarano recently spoke to The Electronic Intifada at her home in Hamburg.  [. . . .] After the war, Bejarano emigrated to Palestine, but her aversion to Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians eventually led her to return to Germany.  [. . . .] But Bejarano knows no fear and continues to raise her voice, calling Israel’s government “fascist” and saying she supports BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – if it helps challenge Israel’s persecution of Palestinians.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| MEDICAL  AID  FOR  PALESTINIANS
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) works for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.  We provide immediate medical aid to those in great need, while also developing local capacity and skills to ensure the long-term development of the Palestinian healthcare system.  Donate

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From:  Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

 

“. . .hate is not love and love is freedom . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

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Sunrise, The Great March of Return. (Photo: Palestinian Information Center, December 7, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
  ON  37TH    FRIDAY  OF  GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN  AND  BREAKING  SIEGE,  ISRAELI  FORCES  WOUND  72  CIVILIANS,  INCLUDING  11  CHILDREN,  1  WOMAN  AND  2  PARAMEDICS
On Friday evening, 07 December 2018, Israeli forces wounded 72 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children, 1 woman and 2 paramedics in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the sixth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 7 months ago.    ___According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the fifth week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, the demonstrators abstained from burning tires while the attempts to cross the border fence and throw stones and incendiary balloons were completely absent.     More . . .
. . . . Related   Palestinian Forced to Demolish his Home in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related   Child injured in settler attack on Palestinian family
. . . . Related   Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 November – 05 December 2018)
. . . . Related   41 violations committed against Palestinian content on social media
| PALESTINE  SIGNS  10  COOPERATION  AGREEMENTS  WITH  FRANCE;  PREMIER  APPRECIATES  FRENCH  SUPPORT
Palestine and France signed 10 cooperation agreements on Friday during a visit for Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Paris and his meeting with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe.    ___Hamdallah thanked France during a joint press conference with Philippe for its support for Palestine on all levels and its support for the two-state solution.    ___”As I expressed in our discussions with Prime Minister Philippe today, we are grateful for the French positions which demonstrate strong commitments to deepen and develop our partnership and cooperation and I would like to emphasize that this is also our commitment,” said Hamdallah.    More . . .
. . . . Related  FM Malki: France agreed in principle to cooperate in opening of the Paris Economic Protocol
. . . . Related  One year on: The political and human impact of Trump’s Jerusalem decision
DECEMBER  9  MARKS  31ST  ANNIVERSARY  FOR  OUTBREAK  OF  FIRST  UPRISING  –  THE  STONES  INTIFADA
On DECEMBER 8, 1987
, an Israeli settler identified as Herzel Boukiza rammed his vehicle into Palestinian workers returning home through Erez/Beit Hanoun checkpoint between Israel and Gaza. Four workers from Jabalya and Maghazi in Gaza were killed.    ___The next day, and following the funerals of the four, angry Palestinians took to the streets in Jabalya to protest the premeditated attack. The protests then quickly spread to the rest of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank where thousands of Palestinians took to the streets and engaged the heavily armed Israeli soldiers with stones in what has become to be known as the stones uprising or Intifada.   [. . . .] a total of 1550 Palestinians were killed, over 70,000 injured more than half of them suffered permanent disabilities, between 100,000 to 200,000 were detained. . .      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL  DISPLACES,  LOCKS  UP  AND  KILLS  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
By Mohammad Balawi
What does it take to make someone wield a screwdriver and attack a fully armed, well-trained, well-protected soldier, knowing that if he got injured no ambulance would take him to hospital, and if he is lucky he will spend the best years of his life behind bars?    [. . . .] Consider a 16-year-old who has lived all his life under occupation. . . Given how he has grown up, would it make sense for him to attack a fully grown man armed to his teeth with a screwdriver or a kitchen knife, or throw a stone at his tormentors?    ___Israeli occupiers have a peculiar way of explaining this situation. These teens, according to them, are no more than terrorists . . .  lured by money, instigated by terror organisations and encouraged by the leniency of Israeli democracy and the judiciary system, even though Israeli authorities demolish the attacker’s family home and in many cases leave him on the ground bleeding to death.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .   

“MY  NAME  IS  HERMAN  WALLACE,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD

I am a black Palestinian,
South African,
Vietnamese . . .
My name is Mohammed,
Fatima,
Wallace,
Mandela,
Durra,
King . . .
Resistance is my creed.
Prophets found their sanctuary when
they were shot on my soil.
By Israeli bullets
In the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
And just when you think I am defeated,
My fist will rise from the charred earth,
In a painting by Naji Ali,
Through the thick walls of Louisiana State Penitentiary
In the streets of Hanoi,
Amid the rubble of a Gaza mosque.
Even on my dying bed.
I speak many tongues,
And have many names.
But my face is always my face.
On my forehead stitched the memory of pain.
I smile still.
And teach my son never to hate
Because hate is not love
And love is freedom.
I am a Palestinian.
My name is Herman Wallace
And I will always die free.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . 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?”)

“. . . The war enters into farce: They bomb a butterfly! . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

rsz_palestinian-slingshot - Copy
Saber al-Ashqar, 29, with amputated legs, swinging a slingshot as part of the weekly “Great March of Return” protests (Prize-winning Photo: Mahmoud Hams, via Twitter; in Palestine Chronicle)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  MASSIVE  PROTESTS  SET  OFF  AGAINST  GAZA  CEASEFIRE  IN  TEL  AVIV  (VIDEOS)
Hundreds of Israelis from Israeli communities surrounding the besieged Gaza Strip, participated in a protest in Tel Aviv, in central Israel, on Thursday, against “a weak reaction” on the part of the Israeli government after agreeing to a ceasefire with the Hamas movement.    ___A Ma’an reporter said protesters blocked the Azrieli Junction, in the center of Tel Aviv, holding banners and shouting slogans, such as “the south will not be silent.”   More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Fisherman  Killed  in  Gaza  despite  Ceasefire  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related  Gaza  farmer  shot,  injured  by  Israeli  gunfire  while  working  in  his  land
. . . . Related  As  Palestinians  plant  trees,  Israeli  soldiers  attack  them
. . . . Related  Nael  al-Barghouti:  39  years  in  Israeli  custody   “. . . based on Guinness World Records, is the longest-serving political prisoner ever. . .”
|  UNGA  VOTES  IN  FAVOR  OF  8  PRO-PALESTINE  RESOLUTIONS   
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted, early Saturday, in favor of eight resolutions on Palestine and a ninth on the Syrian Golan Heights.    ___Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour said, commenting on the vote, that the votes are proof that the international community stands behind and supports the Palestinian cause despite of efforts by the United States to change that.    ___Mansour told Voice of Palestine radio that UNGA voted in favor of four resolutions related to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and four more on the practices of the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories.    More . . .
| PALESTINE  BOOK  AWARDS  2018  WINNERS  ANNOUNCED 
The winners of the Palestine Book Awards (PBA) were unveiled at a prestigious event in London tonight, attended by prominent figures from the world of academia, literature and politics . . .   Two books were presented with the Academic Award.  MAHA NASSER  was honoured for her work “Brothers Apart: Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Arab world”, which explores the transnational connections forged between Palestinian intellectuals and the rest of the Arab world, and  COLIN ANDERSON  for“Balfour in the Dock: J.M.N. Jeffries & the Case for the Prosecution”, which examines the 750-page magnum opus on Palestine by outstanding British journalist J M N Jeffries.    ___REJA-E BUSAILAH  was presented with the Memoir Award for his autobiographical work “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood, which documents his childhood in the lead up to the loss of Palestine in the 1948 Nakba (the Catastrophe).    ___The Lifetime Achievement Award, a prize that honours the author’s many contributions to literature on Palestine, was awarded to  SALIM TAMARI. . .   he has secured his place as one of the Arab world’s most experienced academics on the Israel-Palestine conflict.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Photojournalist  Wins  First  Place  in  French  Photo  Awards   October 18, 2018
. . . . Related  Palestine  to  Host  Arab  Statisticians    “The Union of Arab Statisticians wishes to extend its congratulations and best wishes to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on the occasion of its achieving first place among the Arab statistical . . .”
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Museum  Revives  Solidarity  Posters  with  New  Workshop,  Exhibit

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

EXCERPT  FROM  “MIDNIGHT,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
. . . The soul retains its passion
even on the cross,
the body has its dance,
even on the ropes.
The war enters into farce:
They bomb a butterfly!
It becomes even more farcical:
the butterfly has not died
but, with its fragility still intact,
has grown yet lovelier,
towering above the hubris of the general
and his science of war.
Here is half the triumph:
the butterfly,
armed with nothing but its beauty and the thrust of its wings,
enters the contest, sure of death.
It will die, it knows it will die,
–  from the qualities of the killer and from its own qualities.
Yet,
from the window of a future despair,
it will return,
flapping its wings in the rooms of fancy.
The soul retains its passion even on the cross,
even on the ropes, the body has its dance. . .  (pages 47-48)

From: Barghouti, Mourid.  MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

gazans-are-bending-israel-and-hamas-to-their-will-all-the-way-toward-a-deal
A demonstrator holding the Palestinian flag along the Gaza border, November 2, 2018. (Photo: AFP)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  LEFT  HOMELESS  AFTER  EAST  JERUSALEM  DEMOLITION
Israeli bulldozers . . .  stormed the Silwan Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished a building, on Tuesday.    ___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli forces stormed Silwan and surrounded one of the neighborhood’s buildings, which belonged to the Odeh family, and demolished it shortly after.    ___The building was demolished under the pretext that it was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.    [. . . .] According to . . .  the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, “since 1967, the Government of Israel has directly engaged in the construction of 55,000 units for Israelis in East Jerusalem; in contrast, fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ABDUCT  EIGHTEEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight until morning hours Tuesday, at least eighteen Palestinians, including a wounded young man, in several parts of the occupied West Bank.    ___The PPS office in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, said the soldiers invaded and ransacked many homes, before abducting seven Palestinians.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PALESTINIAN  WITH  SPECIAL  NEEDS  DIES  OF  INJURIES
. . . . Related  ‘WORST  FEAR  CAME  TRUE’:  ISRAEL  DETAINS  YOUNG  PALESTINIAN  MAN  FOR  20  MONTHS  IN  EFFORT  TO  EXPEL  HIM  TO  BRAZIL
|    OFFICIAL  DENIES  REPORTS  OF  TRUCE  IN  RETURN  FOR  MONEY  GOING  INTO  GAZA  THROUGH  ISRAEL
A senior Palestinian official denied on Tuesday Israeli reports that the Palestinian leadership has agreed to support truce between Hamas and Israel in return for the entry of funds into Gaza through Israel.    ___Azzam al-Ahmad, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and of Fatah Central Committee, said these reports were unfounded.    ___Ahmad also denied in statements to Voice of Palestine radio that the issue of paying Israel to supply the Gaza Strip with some needs has been discussed by President Mahmoud Abbas and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.    More . . .
. . . . Related    JOINT  HAMAS,  ISLAMIC  JIHAD  PRESS  RELEASE  ON  CURRENT  DEVELOPMENTS
. . . . Related    ASHRAWI:  ‘GAZA  WILL  REMAIN  AN  INSEPARABLE  PART  OF  PALESTINE’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ANALYSIS:  GAZANS  ARE  BENDING  ISRAEL  AND  HAMAS  TO  THEIR  WILL  –  ALL  THE  WAY  TOWARD  A  DEAL 
Gazas’s residents have become a strategic force that managed to cultivate a political relationship between Israel and Hamas, even forging an unofficial security coordination. Now, both sides can’t keep ignoring them.  [. . . .] BUT  THE  PUBLIC  IN  GAZA  TURNED  INTO  A  STRATEGIC  FORCE  that led even the IDF to speak up about the severe living conditions in the Strip, and in the end forced Hamas to pursue an arrangement that is still being negotiated. For six months, tens of thousands of people were enlisted in a show of force called the March of Return. Some 20,000 to 30,000 people, young and old, women and children, take their lives in their hands, and they don’t come to the confrontation line just because Hamas orders them to. THEY  ARE  THE  FORCE  THAT  REPRESENTS  TWO  MILLION  PEOPLE  WHO  HAVE  NOTHING  TO  LOSE.  More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|    MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE 
The Museum of the Palestinian People shares the rich history, vibrant arts and culture, and spirit of the Palestinian people. It is a space where we dissolve the artificial distinctions that separate us, a space where people can open their hearts to discover what unites us all. Together, we can create a world without borders.    ___We are looking for PALESTINIAN  ARTISTS  TO  SUBMIT  THEIR  PROPOSALS  &  BE  FEATURED  IN  AN  UPCOMING  EXHIBIT. All mediums are welcome – music, dramatic production, film, photography, painting, or other. We will sponsor selected artists to travel to DC and see their work featured at Museum of the Palestinian People. Submit your proposal to us before January 1st 2019.   Submit proposal . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“GAZA,  2009,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO
No matter flag.
No matter medicine.
No matter civilian.
No matter international community.
No matter your international waters.
No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy.
Only 62 years status quo,
Everyday Nakba,
Subsidized settlements,
Even more walls-
Matter.
Children on the ICRC bus, visiting their Baba’s in your prisons―
Matter.
Food and medicine rotting at every border―
Matter
From the shadows, the silent majority watch water go on fire.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . For injustice is blind And the judges are wreathed in. . . darkness . . .” (Dareen Tatour)

Capture111-660x330Palestinian Red Crescent Society paramedic evacuating an injured
child from field in Gaza. (Photo PRCS, from Palestine News Network, Nov. 5, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  [Hebron Hills] ELEMENTARY  SCHOOL,  KICK  STUDENTS,  TEACHERS  OUT,  ORDER  DEMOLITION
Israeli forces Monday raided an elementary school in Masafer Yatta, in the south Hebron hills, kicked its students and teachers out and informed the administration of the intention to demolish it under the pretext it was built without permit, said a local activist.    ___Coordinator of the Anti-Wall and Anti-Settlements Committee, Rateb Jabour, said that Israeli forces stormed Khalat al-Dabe school, built of caravans to accommodate area youngsters, and forced its 12 students and staff to leave it. He said the military also handed the staff a  notice for demolition of the school.    ___Soldiers also raided Khirbet al-Mufaqara, another Masafer Yatta village, and handed demolition orders for three residential structures.     More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  PREVENT  STUDENTS  FROM  REACHING  THEIR  SCHOOL  IN  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE (Video)
|    IOF  SEIZE  155  DUNUMS  OF  LAND  NEAR  RAMALLAH      Israeli occupation forces on Monday seized 155 dunums of land from areas in Al-Lubban village near Ramallah, northern West Bank.    ___The head of the village council, Aisha Samhan told the WAFA news agency that the Israeli occupation authorities distributed a decision to seize two dunums from Khallet al-Shamiya, 141 dunums of Khallat al-Asfoura and 12 dunums of al-Musawadiya area, in order to create a bypass  road  to  the  SETTLEMENT  of  Beit  Aryeh.    More . . .
. . . . Related  REPORT:  ISRAELI  GOV’T  PROVIDES  FINANCIAL  SAFETY  NET  FOR  INVESTMENTS  IN  SETTLEMENTS
|    WHO  REPORT:  NINE  KILLED  AND  1000  INJURED  IN  GAZA  WITHIN  TWO  WEEKS
Nine Palestinians were killed and 1,306 were injured by the Israeli forces during the reporting period from the 7th to the 20th October, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).    ___Eight Palestinians, including one child, were killed during the demonstrations, while the ninth was killed due to an Israeli attack, which took place on the 17th October.    ___Out of the total 1,306 injured, 62% (815 people) transferred to MoH hospitals or NGO health facilities, including 168 children and 35 females. The remaining 38% (491) were treated and discharged directly from the trauma stabilization points (TSPs).     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    WOMEN  IMPRISONED  IN  ISRAEL:  LIFE  BETWEEN  PRESSURE,  SUFFERING  AND  SUDDEN  TRANSFER 
Dareen Tatour
One month after my release from detention, house arrest and prison that went on, including all of its phases, for three years, during which I have lived through the suffering of imprisonment and detention that is different than any other type of suffering that I have personally experienced. Yet, despite the cruelty of this experience that is full of events, especially those related to female prisoners, and as I write these words, I have left 51 female prisoners behind the bars, each of whom holds a story, a novel per se, that must be talked about, we must dig out the painful reality that each one of them lives through, at both the HaSharon and Damon prison, and the reasons that brought them to prison and detention.    ___I was detained and released from prison, and prison has become past today. It is true that my body was freed and released and is no longer imprisoned, but my thoughts are still tied to everything I lived through there with the female prisoners and I cannot be released of until my last breath, as they live with me through all of my moments even the ones (moments) away from life in detention.    More . . .
|    CATHOLIC  ORDINARIES:  ARABS  IN  ISRAEL  NO  LESS  CITIZENS  OF  THIS  COUNTRY  THAN  JEWS
The Arabs in Israel are no less citizens of this county than the Jews, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land  said  last  week  on the new Israeli Nation State Law, passed by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on July 19.    ___“According to this law, the State of Israel has legislated that the people whose ‘welfare and safety’ it is most concerned to promote and protect are ed to the Jewish citizens of the State of Israel,” the ordinaries said in a statement. “We must draw the attention of the authorities to a simple fact: our faithful, the  Christians,  our  fellow  citizens,  Muslim,  Druze  and  Baha’i,  all  of  us  who  are  Arabs, are no less citizens of this country than our Jewish brothers and sisters.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BEWARE,”  BY  DAREEN  TATOUR
Beware—
Write, in injustice, what you want
As you want it—
For injustice is blind
And the judges are wreathed in the color of darkness
You are not justice
You are the oppressor
The wretched perversion of the thing
The symbol of hypocrisy

Beware—
Beware—
The essence of a ruling
In the highest court in the land
Poetry is terrorism, something shameful
You criminal!
And so with your million sighs
Write your decision on what you will
As you will—
They won’t bother to read you
As you are, by this verdict, condemned

Beware—
Beware—
The people around me are a state of their own
A source of other rulings
They won’t read you
Instead, they read poetry
Manuscripts of endurance

Am I, with my craft, to be rejected?
Your face is the darkened one, scoured by the ordeal
And your features point to the roots of your weakness
Your voice cracks
Before the revelations of art
While the tune of my poetry is singing

Call out your verdict until you are hoarse
And write, in your decision, what you wish
As you wish—
They won’t read you
For the writer of the new justice
Has been welcomed by the beats of my poems
Light from a new sun
So write in your judgment what you wish
As you wish
You won’t stop my poetry from beating on
For in my heart is the sky

— Translated from the Arabic by Andrew Leber

“An initial collection of [Tatour’s] poems,  THE  LAST  INVASION, was published locally in 2010. A further collection of poems and a novel are completed but are currently on a laptop confiscated by Israeli authorities. Several of her poems were included in the recent bilingual anthology A  BLADE  OF  GRASS:  NEW  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. . .”    Available from Barnes and Noble.