“. . . a story of a people who were misled, who were thrown into the mazes of the years. . .” (Kamal Nasser)

1-samir's facebook
Israeli soldier confronts QABATIYA “terrorist.”   هنا قباطيه ..الكف التي واجهت مخرز …الأهل الذين أقبلوا ولم يدبروا

❶ Palestinian MK sentenced for “disgracing a public servant”
❷ Israel lifts blockade of Qabatiya after three days
❸ 551 Palestinians arrested in January
❹ Palestinian Embassy Opens in Brazil
❺ Opinion/Analysis: The  Complex  Problematics  of  Palestinian  Representation
. . . . . ❺―(ᴀ) Also by Richard Falk: Israel shoots the messenger: An open letter to Ban Ki-Moon
❻ Poetry by Kamal Nasser
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
PALESTINIAN  MK  SENTENCED  FOR  “DISGRACING  A  PUBLIC  SERVANT”
Feb. 7, 2016
(Charges against MK Haneen Zoabi come as the Israeli PRIME MINISTER CONTEMPLATES HOW TO UNSEAT MEMBERS OF KNESSET critical of the Israeli occupation.)
Member of Knesset (MK) of the Joint List party, Haneen Zoabi, reached a plea bargain of six months of probation and a fine of NIS 3,000 at the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court on Sunday for “disgracing a public servant” . . . .
___Zoabi was charged on Sunday with “disgracing a public servant,” based on the claim that Zoabi called an Israeli Arab police officer a “traitor” at a protest in Nazareth on July 6, 2014.    More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  LIFTS  BLOCKADE  OF  QABATIYA  AFTER  THREE  DAYS
Feb. 6, 2016
The Israeli army lifted on Saturday evening the siege on the village of Qabatiya, which has been blockaded for three days in a row after three residents of the town carried out a deadly attack in Jerusalem.
___The Palestinian Civil Affairs department in Jenin said on Saturday evening that Israeli forces has lifted the siege on the village of Qabatiya near Jenin.    More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
551  PALESTINIANS  ARRESTED  IN  JANUARY
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Feb. 7, 2016
The following report was issued on 1 February 2016 by three prisoners’ organizations in Palestine: the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Committee. The Arabic original is available at Addameer’s website.
___In a joint report, the Palestinian Prisoners Society, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Committee reported that 551 Palestinians were arrested during the month of January 2016, including 131 children and six women and girls. There have now been over 3,500 arrests since October 2015 and the beginning of the popular upsurge.    More . . .

ambassador
Palestinian Ambassador to Brazil, Ibrahim Alzeben (Photo: Cia Jornalística J.C. Jarros)

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
PALESTINIAN  EMBASSY  OPENS  IN  BRAZIL
Feb. 6, 2016
The Palestinian Authority has inaugurated its first diplomatic mission in the Western Hemisphere, in Brazil, as diplomatic tensions escalate between Israel and the South American state.
___Palestinian Ambassador Ibrahim Alzeben led the opening ceremony in the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia. . . .
___“This is the conclusion of a dream of mine that was also a dream of colleagues that came before me in this mission in the last four decades,” Alzeben said.     More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
THE  COMPLEX  PROBLEMATICS  OF  PALESTINIAN  REPRESENTATION
Richard Falk
Feb 3 2016
While serving as UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, especially in my early years between 2008 and 2010, I fully expected to encounter defamatory opposition from Israel and ultra-Zionist, but what surprised me at the time were various efforts of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to undermine my role at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. . . . .  I was puzzled at first, and then began to wonder whether the Palestinian people were being adequately represented on the global stage.
___This issue of representation has been rendered acute partly due to Israeli policies of fragmenting the Palestinian people, and then complaining that they have no partner with whom to make peace.     More . . .
. . . . . ❺―(ᴀ) Also by Richard Falk
MIDDLE EAST EYE
ISRAEL  SHOOTS  THE  MESSENGER:  AN  OPEN  LETTER  TO  BAN  KI-MOON
Feb. 6, 2016
___. . . .  Not since Richard Goldstone chaired the group that released the report detailing apparent Israeli war crimes during its massive attack on Gaza at the end of 2008 have Israel’s big political guns responded with such unwarranted fury . . . .
Netanyahu has the audacity to claim that your acknowledgement that it is not unnatural for the Palestinians oppressed for half century to resist and resort to extremism is tantamount to the encouragement of terrorism, what he described as giving a “tailwind to terrorism.”    More . . .  

“THE  STORY,”  BY  KAMAL  NASSER
I will tell you a story …
a story that lived in the dreams of my people,
a story that comes from the world of tents.
It is a story inspired by hunger and embellished by dark nights of terror.
It is the story of my country, a handful of refugees.
Every twenty of them have a pound of flour between them
and a few promises of relief … gifts and parcels.
It is the story of the suffering ones
who stood waiting in line ten years,
in hunger,
in tears and agony,
in hardship and yearning.
It is a story of a people who were misled,
who were thrown into the mazes of the years.
And yet they stood defiant,
disrobed yet united
as they trudged from the light to their tents:
the revolution of return
into the world of darkness.
― Trans. Michael R. Burch

Kamal Nasser was a much-admired Palestinian poet, who due to his renowned integrity was known as “The Conscience.” Kamal Nasser was a Palestinian Christian who was murdered by an Israeli death squad in 1973. One of the members of the death squad was Ehud Barak, who ruled as Israel’s tenth Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001. . . .

Nasser was the PLO’s most prominent Christian and he enjoyed “great appeal” in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq “both as a distinguished poet and likeable personality.” He was the “conscience of the Palestinian revolution,” according to Nazih Abul-Nidal, who worked with him on the magazine Filastin al-Thawra.
From THE HYPERTEXTS. (The site’s index.)

“. . . 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

“. . . one she met on the way asked her: why are you going back. . .” Majid Abu Ghoush

1948, Palestine/2015, Gaza?
1948, Palestine/2015, Gaza?

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
POLL: HALF OF GAZA RESIDENTS CONSIDERING EMIGRATION
June 10, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Half of Gazans say they are considering emigration from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research reported Tuesday.
____The 50 percent of those polled in Gaza thinking of leaving the coastal enclave is the highest percentage ever recorded, amidst decreasing satisfaction of achievements attained by Hamas last summer’s war.
____Increasing frustration comes the IMF reported last month that reconstruction since the most recent war between Israel and Hamas has been significantly lower than expected, while the World Bank reported that the strip was facing a “dangerous fiscal crisis.”
____Unemployment in Gaza increased in 2014 “to reach 44 percent — probably the highest in the world,” the World Bank reported, with the poverty rate in the occupied Palestinian territory reaching 39 percent, despite the fact that nearly four of every five Gazans receive “some aid.”
(More. . .)

❷ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN FARMER’S LAND LEVELED NEAR BETHLEHEM
June 11, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces leveled private Palestinian agricultural land in southern West Bank village west of Bethlehem, non-profit organization says which defends Palestinian agricultural land says.
____Bulldozers protected by Israeli military vehicles leveled 17 dunums (4 acres) of land belonging to Palestinian farmer Sabri Rashad Manasra from Wadi Fukin, according to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, a Palestinian organization dedicated to supporting Palestinian farmers.
____The local council of Wadi Fukin explained that Manasra’s land is located between the illegal Israeli settlements of Beitar Illit and Tzur Hadassah, which together house over 50,000 Jewish residents.
(More. . .)
farmland leveled❸ From WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
MK HANEEN ZOABI: ISRAEL’S RACIST SYSTEM IS THE ENEMY
Jane Adas
June-July 2015
[Zoabi is the first Palestinian woman member of the Israeli Knesset, to which she was initially elected in 2009 on the Balad list. She spoke on April 24 at an event sponsored by Students for Justice-NYU on April 24.]
Zoabi began by saying she is not used to such a warm welcome, and went on to describe herself as “not an exception. That would be a catastrophe.” All Palestinians “lost their homeland, but not their sense of dignity as human beings,” she said, and that is what leads them to seek justice and full equality. . . .
____Zoabi then explained that what threatens Israel is not Palestinians, but democracy itself, and how Israel is no democracy for the 1.5 million of its citizens who are Palestinian—the ones Israel failed to expel in the Nakba of 1947 and ’48 and their descendents. “We did not immigrate to Israel,” she pointed out, “it was Israel that immigrated to us. We have the historical memory of the indigenous.”
____In Europe and the United States, Zoabi noted, it is usually the immigrants who struggle for democracy and equality, but in Israel it is the opposite. “We must perceive ourselves either as invaders or guests. I must thank Israel for not expelling me.” Freedom of speech for Israeli Palestinians is: “We stole your homeland, but allow you to scream.”
(More. . .)

❹ From THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
WHERE DO ISRAELI WEAKNESSES LIE?
Hasan Afif El Hasan
[Hasan Afif El-Hasan, is a political analyst. His latest book, Is The Two-State Solution Already Dead? (Algora Publishing, New York), now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.]
June 11, 2015
By the late 1960s, former colonial empires were moving away from occupation and colonization, Israel has been marching in the opposite direction. The relationship between the occupier and occupied is always based on fear and violence, humiliation and pain, suffering and oppression, and a system of masters and slaves. The Palestinians in the occupied lands and in the besieged Gaza are on the receiving end of the Israeli occupation and oppression. Israel changed the names of both the land and the people. Palestinian lands Israel seized in 1967 go by many different names in Israel: “the liberated territories”, “Judea and Samaria”, “the Administrative territory”, “the territories”, and “beyond the Green Line.” Very few if any call it what it is, “the occupied territories”, and the Palestinians are referred to only as “Arabs.”

Israel continues its occupation and the brutal pressure its army put especially on the Gaza Strip, where nearly two million Palestinians, mostly refugees, live in appalling conditions. And despite the Western media claim that Israel is a democratic civilized society, it seems there are very few individual Israelis who do not agree with their government inhumane policies that they are asked to execute. When the Palestinians launched the first uprising twenty years after 1967 war for obvious reasons, or when the besieged, starved, bombed and abused Palestinian refugees in Gaza had no choice but to fight back with the limited means they have, the Israelis and the Western media claim the Palestinians’ reactions came as surprise. They dehumanized the Palestinians!
(More. . .)

❺ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
THE NAKBA: ISRAEL’S CATASTROPHE
[Dr. Vacy Vlazna is an Australian humanitarian scholar and activist and Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters]
Vacy Vlazna
“By military force, the Jewish forces conquered 78% of Palestine in 1948 and depopulated 675 towns and villages, leaving only 15% of its Palestinian citizens under the rule of the Jewish forces. This area of Palestine was called Israel.” — Salman Abu Sitta [See biography here.]
____The Palestinian Nakba is a catastrophe for the Jewish colonists and their descendants: it transformed the once decent surviving victims of European anti-Semitism and the Holocaust into terrorists, killers, thieves, racists, and liars – into the mirror image of their persecutors. And the same perverted brush tainted the UN and Western governments as collaborators of the sickest and most sadistic society in the world.
____The 1947- 48 Nakba or ‘Catastrophe’ was the execution of the systematic and savage terrorism set out in Plan Dalet with the clear purpose of ethnic cleansing Palestine of indigenous Palestinians in the Zionist quest for Lebensraum. This land expansionism extends from the Nile to the Euphrates Rivers for the benefit of Yahweh’s chosen racists (Genesis 15:18). In reality, it is a Zionist imperial policy of racial restructuring of the Middle East (supplanting Arabs with Europeans) beginning with a Jewish state of Israel.
____Over 700,000 terrified Palestinians stripped of belongings, money, homes, orchards, livestock, land, fleeing massacres by the merciless Jewish militia were forcibly expelled and rendered. . . .
(More. . .)

“RETURNING,” BY AMJID ABU GHOUSH

the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson
MAJID ABA GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
The book’s blog.

Haneen Zoabi at New York University
Haneen Zoabi at New York University

“. . . who imprisoned the soul in rock?. . . (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

Waleed Khdair (Abu Khalid) carries on the family legacy of making sabots
Waleed Khdair (Abu Khalid) carries on the family legacy of making sabots

from THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
JERUSALEM’S INTANGIBLE CULTURE: TRADES AND CRAFTS
Ali Qleibo
Issue 205-May 2015
The ever-shifting, elusive “character” of Jerusalem is a reflection of the dynamic needs, desires, and wishes of its inhabitants. Intangible culture is not merely the listing of professions and trades; it is the sung parodies that advertise the new seasonal cucumber (asabe’ el bubbu ya khyar), and the variety of recipes that Jerusalamites swap about the best way to prepare artichokes and ‘akkube (a wild form of artichoke) or preserve bitter oranges both as marmalade and sharab, or even how to construct a kite using dough instead of glue, bamboo, and newspaper sheets. It also includes visiting the cemetery to pray for one’s deceased close relatives after the early morning ‘Eid prayers and reciting the fatihah each time one passes by a cemetery, mausoleum, or maqam. It is the marking of the Muslim New Year with green olive twigs on house doors, the special sweets, and the family visits. The homes we live in, the neighborhoods, the services rendered, the consumer lifestyle, the values and norms, and the way people interact is a world view in which tangible and intangible cultural expressions interweave to impart Jerusalem its unique character. It is the human art of making life livable. . .
(More. . .)

from ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
NATIONAL PARK ZONING USED AS PRETEXT FOR ETHNIC CLEANSING OF EAST JERUSALEM
Jesse Rubin, Jerusalem
April 29, 2015
Atef Totanji does not know when the Israeli authorities will demolish his family’s home. “But we know they will come,” he said.
___For the past 15 years, Totanji has lived with his wife and six children in a two-bedroom house on Imru al-Qays Street in Wadi al-Joz, a neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. On 17 April, they received a notification from the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality that the house would be demolished in two days’ time.
___At 4 a.m. on Sunday, 19 April, the family packed up its belongings and moved them outside. Each truck that downshifted on the large hill beside their home caused a momentary panic.
___But the Israeli bulldozers never arrived. The family’s lawyer, Ziad Kawar, was able to postpone the demolition until 26 May.
___Kawar has appealed in the district court, a move that theoretically allows the residents of Wadi al-Joz to challenge demolitions planned in the area. But mounting a challenge would be a costly and lengthy process.
(More. . .)

from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
ONE PERSON SHOT AT PROTEST AGAINST ISRAEL’S CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICAL PLANTS IN TULKAREM
Huwwara Team | Tulkarem, Occupied Palestine
April 29, 2015
Around fifty Palestinians and international activists gathered today in Tulkarem, east of Nablus, to protest the presence of 11 Israeli chemical plants located in the city. The protest took place outside the Gishuri chemical plant on what is locally referred to as the “death road” due to the health problems caused by the Israeli plants. . .
. . . Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters aimed directly at peaceful demonstrators and the press. As the protest continued, a 22-year old Palestinian man was shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet, hitting him in the abdomen. He was later taken to the local hospital and appeared to have suffered superficial damages only, although he was in great pain. The protest quickly subsided after this event.
(More. . .)

from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
FOUR FAMILIES MADE HOMELESS IN A DAY
International Solidarity Movement & Jordan Valley Solidarity
April 28, 2015
Yesterday morning (27th of April 2015) at 5 am in the area of al Makhrouk, al Jiftlik, the Israeli military arrived with bulldozers and demolished four houses belonging to Fathe Abdullah Ahmad, Tareeq, Yakub, Mohammed and Mahmoud Lahafe Dadoub. The houses were located right next to the agricultural settlements of Masu’a and Argaman.
___The first house to be demolished was owned by the Tareeq family, where Mohammed Abu Amer lived with his family of five. This was the second time in less than a year that their home was destroyed, despite not receiving a demolition order. As farmers of dates and vegetables they lived next to the land they were working on. Three of the family members are children aged 1, 5 and 3 years old.
(More. . .)

Fathe Abdullah Ahmad Tareeq in front of Mohammed Abu Amers family’s demolished home.
Fathe Abdullah Ahmad Tareeq in front of Mohammed Abu Amers family’s demolished home.

from MONDOWEISS
HANEEN ZOABI’S POWER AND VISION (AND ANSWERS TO THEODORE)
Philip Weiss
April 29, 2015
For years I have known that no understanding of the conflict would be complete without seeing the Palestinian politician Haneen Zoabi in action. . . She is now on tour in the U.S.; and if you have any chance to see and hear her, you should.
___In fact, as Zoabi spoke– a woman of small stature but majestic spirit and political intelligence, exercising complete control over the crowd, even over her opponents holding the Israeli flag at the back of the room and over Theodore the student from Stuyvesant High School in the third row who rose to challenge her — I kept wondering why the New York Times has not run a huge profile of this woman . . . why she does not have the status that she ought to have in our discourse as a global justice figure, along the lines of a Havel, a Walesa . . .an Aung San Suu Kyi. And the answer of course is, Because she is Palestinian.
(More. . .)

“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awarq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
(More. . .)

Palestinian politician Haneen Zoabi, Member of the Knesset
Palestinian politician Haneen Zoabi, Member of the Knesset

“. . . Gaza is pregnant with people and no one helps with the labor. . .” (Nathalie Handal)

from GLOBAL POST
WHAT DO ISRAELI VOTERS SAY ABOUT GAZA? NOT A LOT.
Laura Dean
March 15, 2015

With media fixated on where Netanyahu falls in the polls, you don’t hear much about last summer’s war that left more than 2,100 Gazans dead.

Haneen Zoabi, a member of the Israeli-Arab party Balad, running for reelection. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/30/israeli-arab-flotilla-election
Haneen Zoabi, a member of the Israeli-Arab party Balad, running for reelection. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/30/israeli-arab-flotilla-election

TEL AVIV, Israel — The first election in Israel since Operation Protective Edge will take place on March 17.

But while media has made much of the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is behind in the polls, one thing you don’t hear much about is the 51-day war last summer, which left more than 2,100 Gazans dead.

The war sparked an international outcry as the death toll rose and rose. Meanwhile, as Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza launched rockets at Israel, domestic support for the campaign grew ever stronger.

Seven months later, large swathes of the Gaza Strip still look as though an earthquake hit days before.

Yet across the border in Israel, with election campaigns in full swing, the war — Israel’s longest and by far its most violent with Gaza — is hardly mentioned. (More. . .)

from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS OPEN FIRE ON HOMES, LANDS, IN SOUTHERN GAZA
by IMEMC & Agencies
March 15, 2015

Israeli soldiers, stationed across the border fence, fired on Monday morning rounds of live ammunition at Palestinian homes, and farmlands, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that the soldiers, stationed on military towers across the border, east of Khuza’a town to the east of Khan Younis, fired smoke bombs and a number of live rounds, causing property damage.

WAFA added that the farmers fled their lands following the shooting; no injuries were reported.

The army frequently attacks farmers and workers, in Palestinian lands and areas close to the border fence in the northern and eastern parts of the coastal region, and prevents them from entering their lands. (More. . .)


gaza injured child

from THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
INJURED GAZANS RALLY TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF ISRAELI OFFENSIVE
March 12, 2015

Hundreds of Palestinians injured during Israel’s summer offensive on the Gaza Strip on Thursday protested in Gaza City against what they say is official inaction for Palestinians disabled by Israeli warfare.

Participants in the protest called upon officials to form committees specializing in the affairs and rights of the wounded and to improve Palestinians’ access to medical care and medications, which are severely limited by the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Protester Rami Dabbour told Ma’an that the number of injured Palestinians in Gaza reaches into the tens of thousands, estimating that around 74,000 Gazans live with some form of physical injury or disability as a result of Israeli attacks on the enclave of 1.8 million people. (More. . .)

from MONDOWEISS
NEOCON METEOR SEN. COTTON IS FUNDED BY ABRAMS, ADELSON AND KRISTOL AND LOVES WAR A LITTLE TOO MUCH –
Philip Weiss
March 11, 2015

. . . . The [Salt Lake City] Tribune labels Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton an “uber-hawk.” The letter is sure to define his career, and not in a good way. The Kansas City Star says:

On Tuesday, Tom Cotton, the freshman senator from Arkansas who started the letter, defended it and said he wasn’t a traitor.

The liberal Zionist group J Street says that Cotton was scripted by neoconservative Bill Kristol. Street is reveling in the letter because it is sure to drag the neoconservative rightwing Israel lobby down politically, marginalize the greater-Israel lobby in the far right wing of the Republican Party. Just as the Netanyahu speech has hurt Netanyahu and the Likud wing of the lobby, the Cotton letter is turning out to be an own-goal, scored by the neoconservatives. (More. . .)

from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL PREPARES TO EVICT PALESTINIAN FAMILY IN JERUSALEM
March 16, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an)

Israeli forces surrounded a Palestinian home in the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday in preparation to evict the family from the property, the owners told Ma’an.

Rafat Sub Laban told Ma’an that Israeli forces surrounded the property in the Old City early Monday and ordered the family to leave the house.

The family refused, and Israeli forces brought in equipment to remove the front door.

The family’s lawyer managed to delay the eviction for two hours in order to obtain a court order to halt the evacuation.

The Sub Laban family rented the property in 1956 from the Jordanian government and since that time have been paying rent as “protected tenants,” Rafat said.

Following the Israeli occupation in 1967, rental contracts with the Jordanian government were taken over by the Israeli authorities, specifically the Custodian of Absentee Property. These contracts are renewed annually until the Custodian objects. (More. . .)

from MADE IN PALESTINE (May 3 through October 23, 2003)
By NATHALIE HANDAL

Gaza City
I sit in a gray room on a bed with a gray blanket
and wait for the muezzin to stand up.
The chants enter my window and I think of all
those men and women bowing in prayer, fear escaping
them at every stroke, a new sadness entering
their spirit as their children line up in the streets
like prisoners in a death camp.
I walk towards the broken window
my head slightly slanted and try to catch a glimpse
of the city of spirits—those killed
who pass through the narrow opening of their tombs.
My hands and the side of my right face
against the cold wall, I hide like a slut, ashamed.
I pull the collar of my light blue robe so hard
it tears, one side hanging as everyone’s lives hang here.
My fingers sink deep into my flesh,
I scratch myself, three lines scar my chests,
three faiths pound in my head and I wonder
if God is buried in the rubble. Every house is a prison,
every room a dog cage. Debke is no longer part of life,
only funerals are. Gaza is pregnant
with people and no one helps with the labor.
There are no streets, no hospitals, no schools,
no airport, no air to breathe.
And here I am in a room behind a window,
helpless, useless.
In America, I would be watching television
listening to CNN saying the Israelis demand,
terrorism must stop. Here all I see is inflicted terror,
children who no longer know they are children.
Milosevic is put on trail, but what about Sharon?
I finally get dressed, stand directly in front of the window
and choke on my spit as the gun shots start,
the F-16 fighter jets pass in their daily routine.

More about Nathalie Handal. . .
nathalie handal