“. . . stateless people could see . . . that the abstract nakedness of being nothing but human was their greatest danger. . .” (Hannah Arendt*)

rafah
Children in the Rafah Camp, one of the eight Palestine refugee camps in the densely populated Gaza strip. Circa 1955. (Photo: UNRWA by M. Nasr)

❶ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers, bird hunters, and fishermen in Gaza

  • Background: “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise Of ‘Ruin’ And ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History

❷ Why is Israel tightening the Gaza blockade?
❸ UNRWA Condemns Killing of Four Palestine Refugees, calls for Full Humanitarian Access to Khan Eshieh Refugee Camp in Syria

  • Background: “Refugees And Social Theory: From The Politics Of “Bare Life” To Refugees As Political Subjects.” Acta Academica

*Hannah Arendt, “The Perplexities of the Right of Man” (1951)

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  ON  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS,  BIRD  HUNTERS,  AND  FISHERMEN  IN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency     
Oct. 22, 2016
Israeli forces Saturday morning opened live fire at Palestinian farmers, bird hunters, and fishermen in the eastern and northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces deployed at the eastern border near the neighborhood of al-Shujaiyeh opened live fire at Palestinian farmers and bird hunters, forcing them to flee the area.
___Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya north of the Gaza Strip early in the morning.      More . . .

  • Abreek-Zubiedat, Fatina. “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise Of ‘Ruin’ And ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History 19.1 (2015): 72-94.   Source.

According to the political theorist Hannah Arendt, a ‘refugee’ is a ‘stateless’ or ‘non-citizen’ person who threatens the nation-state system. Consequently, countries have acknowledged the need for a solution to the refugee problem, whose status is considered temporary, with two possible options: return to the homeland or country of origin, or naturalization in the host country. Historically, both solutions have failed. Arendt views the refugee camp as a ‘final solution’ involving the incarceration of refugees after denying their citizenship. Only then do they become homo sacer in the sense implied by ancient Roman law: destined to die, with their life defined as ‘bare’.
[. . . .]
___ The Palestinian Arab residents who were uprooted, forced out, or compelled to flee from their homes became ‘stateless,’ as Arendt defines it, even before becoming refugees. According to Azoulay . . .  the Arab residents of Palestine should be acknowledged not solely as refugees but as ‘non-governed,’ in a way to link their expulsion from their homeland to the regime responsible to their state within the framework of the new diplomatic, military, and political map of the UN: ‘The U.N. Partition Plan from November 29, 1947 was a crucial moment in the founding of the enterprise of destruction responsible for turning vast sections of Palestine into ruin’.

WHY  IS  ISRAEL  TIGHTENING  THE  GAZA  BLOCKADE?    
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO 
October 21, 2016
Let us begin with the facts: Israeli authorities have, over the course of the last year, tightened the long-standing blockade of the Gaza Strip.      ___Even before these more recent restrictions, the Israeli blockade – an illegal policy of collective punishment in the words of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – was continuing to severely harm the lives of Gaza’s two million residents, furthering the enclave’s de-development.      ___In April of this year, the UN was clear that the most urgent step required for the reconstruction of Gaza remained “the removal of [Israeli] restrictions on the import of building materials, towards a full lifting of the blockade.” Instead, things have gone backwards.       More . . .    

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Destruction inside Khan Eshieh camp for Palestine refugees, located south of the Syrian capital, Damascus. (Photo: IRIN, 2015)

UNRWA  CONDEMNS  KILLING  OF  FOUR  PALESTINE  REFUGEES,  CALLS  FOR  FULL  HUMANITARIAN  ACCESS  TO  KHAN  ESHIEH  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  SYRIA     
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
Oct. 21, 2016
Four Palestine refugees were killed on the night of 18 October as they attempted to leave the Khan Eshieh Palestine refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital, Damascus, to which access has been highly restricted. Nofeh Mohammed Jarad, who was in her 60’s, her daughter Ibaa Saeed al-Nader, 22, their driver and a one-year old baby were all killed when their vehicle was shelled around 10 p.m. The mother of the baby, a Syrian citizen, also died in the incident.
___UNRWA condemns this attack and the killing and wounding of all civilians including Palestine refugees. It calls on those responsible to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and demands that the parties to the conflict do their utmost to protect civilian life in accordance with international law.  More . . .   Related . . .   

  • Williams, Christian. “Refugees And Social Theory: From The Politics Of “Bare Life” To Refugees As Political Subjects.” Acta Academica 46.4 (2014): 117-131.   Full article.

Since the mid-twentieth century, nation-states and international organisations have developed an integrated system for governing people displaced from their countries of origin by social upheavals occurring there. This system became standardised in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War when the Allied powers created a constellation of refugee camps, government bureaucracies and legal/moral norms aimed at managing the throngs of people whom the war had displaced in Europe. Among the incipient norms was refugee law, part of the broader field of human rights law emerging at this historical moment. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (1948) not only compelled nation-states to intervene in the affairs of other sovereign countries committing genocide, but also to grant people “asylum from persecution”. . . . this “right” to asylum . . . became the human rights framework for addressing mass. . .  “refugee problem” across much of the post-colonial world.
___At the centre of this framework and problem stands “the refugee”. With great consistency, human rights law and other bodies of knowledge have presented “the refugee” as a kind of victim – one who has been expelled from a national and natural “home”. It follows that refugees’ problems may be solved through proper management of the international system, including nation-states, United Nations (UN) bodies, humanitarian agencies and the sites where refugees live that they administer . . . .
[. . . .] as early as 1948, Hannah Arendt argued that refugees, the very people whom the then new UDHR ought to protect, are people without rights, because they have been excluded from a nation-state. Without a sovereign government, through which to claim their rights, refugees are rendered “nothing but human.” More recently, Giorgio Agamben captured widespread scholarly attention for drawing connections between “the concentration camp” and “the refugee camp”, both of which are inhabited by people who have been subjected to “biopolitics”, a politics that excludes them from active participation in a political community and reduces them to “bare life” (Agamben G [1998] Homo sacer: sovereign power and bare life).

“. . . Whenever a child’s voice goes silent . . .” (Maya Abu Al-Hayyat)

proststhesis
AL Jaad 6 years old at the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City. He lost his right leg when an Israeli tank shell hit his home 2014. (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/Getty Images)

❶ Five days, four children shot dead

  • Background from Third World Quarterly

❷ Israeli soldiers attack the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum
❸ ANALYSIS: Israel left me with half a body
❹ POETRY by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  FIVE  DAYS,  FOUR  CHILDREN  SHOT  DEAD
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
Sep. 22, 2016
Israeli forces shot dead four Palestinian children in Hebron, during the most concentrated period of deadly violence in the West Bank since June.
___In separate incidents between September 16 and September 20, four Palestinian teenagers were fatally shot by Israeli soldiers in Hebron. Seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers in less than a week, marking the highest concentration of Palestinian deaths since June, when three Palestinians were killed in under 48 hours, according to Ma’an News Agency. Earlier this month, another child, Abdul-Rahman Dabbagh, was shot dead by an Israeli soldier in Gaza.
___“International law requires that intentional lethal force is only used when lesser means would be insufficient to apprehend a suspect,” said Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer at DCIP. “Recent evidence suggests that Israeli forces are implementing a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy, yet systemic impunity is normal and accountability extremely rare.”     MORE . . . 

  • Dossa, Shiraz. “Auschwitz’s Finale: Racism and Holocausts.” Third World Quarterly 33.9 (2012): 1575-1593.   SOURCE.

It was clear to [Hannah] Arendt that Israel was crafting a new ‘regime of truth’. . . who can say ‘what counts as true’. This rhetoric has become a real presence in the West. It has metastasised into a global truth and it controls much of the narrative on Muslims. Western foreign policy is substantially based on this ‘truth’. . .  The disdain for Palestinians flows from it as well. Any opposition to it is labelled anti-Semitic (as in hating Jews); resistance in Occupied Palestine is quelled by F16s and military invasions. The West sells this as stability and peace. To reject it is to rebuff human rights, freedom and democracy.
___. . . . Hating Arabs is normal and calling Palestinians the new Nazis obligatory. Loving Israel is a sign of tolerance, opposing its policies is ‘terrorism’. So is being Muslim, since Islam is deemed violent by nature. Critics of the Jewish/Israel lobby are branded ‘hateful’. Arendt understood that the Zionist settlers in Palestine had pioneered this logic: ‘they did not even to stop to think of the very existence of Arabs’. . .
[. . . .]
The ‘uniqueness’ of the Holocaust flows from Ashkenazi pride in their racial superiority. Its corollary is not denied but defended: non-Jews count for very little, which can be traced back to the Old Testament thesis on the acceptability of the Canaanite genocide because Yahweh willed it . . .  It is evident that the chosen Jew–unchosen non-Jew divide has been globalised. It is even accepted by many ‘Third world’ elites . . . who endorse the US–Israeli agenda without demurral. Its legitimacy, its ‘truth’ has long been settled.
[. . . .]
It comes as no surprise that the self-described ‘Jewish state’ occupies Palestinian land, terrorises its inhabitants, builds illegal settlements, and violates international law. It is the proudly ‘Jewish state’ which slays Arabs in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank at will. It is Western Jews who invoke the Old Testament and Western civilisation to defend invasion and occupation. Yet Jews routinely, 67 years after the Holocaust, still claim to be victims. In 2008 Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai warned that ‘The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies . . . they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust’.  (Ynet News, ‘Israeli minister warns Palestinians of ‘‘holocaust’”, Reuters, 29 February 2008.)

kqaddoum06172016-e1466204070505
Many Injured As Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Protest In Kufur Qaddoum, Jun. 18, 2016 (Photo: IMEMC News)

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ATTACK  THE  WEEKLY  PROTEST  IN  KUFUR  QADDOUM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
September 24, 2016
Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, many local and international activists, holding the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum village, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqilia, causing scores to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
___The protesters marched from the center of the village raising Palestinian flags and carrying posters of the detainees who ended their hunger strikes after reaching agreements for their release after extended strikes.
___The Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum said scores of locals, and international activists, suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, after the soldiers assaulted the protest.       MORE . . .  

qaddoum
Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Protest In Kufur Qaddoum, Mar. 27, 2015 (Photo: IMEMC News)

ANALYSIS:  ISRAEL  LEFT  ME  WITH  HALF  A BODY 
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
Sep. 20, 2016
Manar al-Shenbari has vague recollections of what happened on 24 July 2014. She was taking shelter at the UNRWA Beit Hanoun Elementary School in the Gaza Strip when the Israeli military shelled it. Manar’s mother, sister and two brothers were among the 11 people killed at the UN-funded school.
___“There were bodies on the ground, people screaming,” she said. “And lots of blood on my body. Those are the only things I can remember from that day. It was like a nightmare. I lost consciousness and woke up in hospital.”
___Manar – now aged 17 – lost both of her legs in the attack and required emergency treatment. She was transferred to Jordan for surgery. When she returned to Gaza, she found everyday life extremely difficult.     MORE . . .  

“CHILDREN,” BY MAYA ABU AL-HAYYAT
Whenever a child’s hand comes out of a collapsed building
I check the hands of my three children
I count the digits of their hands and feet
I check the number of teeth
and the hairs of their eyebrows

Whenever a child’s voice goes silent in Camp Al Yarmouk

I turn up the volume on the TV
and the songs on the radio
I pinch my three children on their sides
to keep them moving and feel they’re alive

Whenever a heart is devoured by fear
on Qalandia checkpoint
I open my mouth and start to eat
Comfort myself with salty treats
Bock out the sparks of the eyes that cry everywhere
―translated by Graham Fulton

Maya Abu Al-Hayyat is a prize-winning author of novels, poetry, and short stories. Born in Lebanon, she has a degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Najah University in Nablus, the largest Palestinian university, and lives in Ramallah.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.
Maya Abu Al-Hayyat reading one of her poems

 

“. . . Any more leeway in regards to targeting civilians would suspend a fundamental cornerstone of our moral thinking.” (Eva Küblbeck)

fares
Fares Khader al-Rishq, 20, critically injured extra-judicial shootings by Israeli soldiers, July 13, 2016, Al-Ram Town in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian youth, injure 1, and detain 1 other

  • background from Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

❷ Israel issues 34 admin detention orders

  • background from Third World Quarterly

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  THE ANGELS I LOST IN GAZA
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  1  PALESTINIAN  YOUTH,  INJURE  1,  AND  DETAIN  1  OTHER
Ma’an News Agency
July 13, 2016
A Palestinian youth was killed and another injured by Israeli forces while a third was detained early on Wednesday, as soldiers opened fire at the youths’ vehicle in the town of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank’s Jerusalem district.
___The youth who was killed was identified as Anwar al-Salaymeh, 22, and the two survivors were identified as Fares Khader al-Rishq, 20, who remains critically injured, and Muhammad Nassar, 20, who was detained by Israeli forces after the incident.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire at three Palestinians youths, all residents of al-Ram, in a vehicle inside the town around dawn, as the three were seemingly unaware that Israeli forces were deployed in the town and conducting raids.      MORE . . .

From Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
[. . . .] The human rights of many Palestinians are violated through discrimination, denial of freedom of movement, collective punishment, and economic sanctions resulting in widespread poverty. Combined, all these factors have devastating impacts on the social and economic situation in the Occupied Territories, and it can be argued that they constitute an “imminent and grave peril” to the Palestinian people’s interests.
[. . . .]
___The laws of war have failed to protect many Palestinian civilians, and doubt exists whether international law actually possesses the power to protect civilians or offers “no more than a reminder of the ideal. . . .“ Israel’s governments continue to fail to comply with the several international obligations and deny the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Territories, the Fourth Hague Convention, and the Bill of Rights. This, however, does not mean that they lose their validity or cease to exist.
___The laws of war have been developed in order to regulate warfare and offer a certain amount protection in times of warfare. Even though civilian immunity is not absolute, it allows only for very few circumstances in which civilians can be targeted. Introducing more exemptions, or extending the existing ones further, bears the danger of seriously undermining the system and may have far-reaching negative consequences.
___. . . Humanitarian law, like human rights, has high standards and countries will not always be able or willing to live up to them. Nevertheless, their existence is crucial as a moral and legal obligation. The protection of non-combatants, including children, the elderly, and disabled is too important to be made part of military calculations. The fact that civilians can legitimately be killed in the form of “collateral damage” is concerning enough. While potentially unavoidable, it remains a dangerous act of balance between the accidental and the intentional. Any more leeway in regards to targeting civilians would suspend a fundamental cornerstone of our moral thinking.

  • Küblbeck, Eva. “The Immunity of Civilians – A Moral and Legal Study Of Attacks on the Civilian Population.” Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 4.2 (2013): 262-295.    SOURCE.
prisoners-ss
Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli military prison, December 24, 2015. (Photo: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)

❷ ISRAEL  ISSUES  34  ADMIN  DETENTION  ORDERS
Days of Palestine
July 13, 2016
Israeli occupation issued on Tuesday 34 administrative detention orders ranging between three to six renewable months against Palestinians.
___Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society Mahmoud al-Halabi said that 24 of the orders were issued against prisoners, who had already spent months or years inside Israeli jails under administrative detention.
___Israeli uses administrative detention to keep Palestinians, including politicians and MPS inside prison for an unlimited period without any reasons.      MORE . . .   

From Third World Quarterly
[. . . .] It was clear to Arendt that Israel was crafting a new ‘regime of truth’. . . .  This rhetoric has become a real presence in the West. It has metastasised into a global truth and it controls much of the narrative on Muslims. Western foreign policy is substantially based on this ‘truth’. Muslims/Arabs are compelled to accept it. The disdain for Palestinians flows from it as well. Any opposition to it is labelled antiSemitic (as in hating Jews); resistance in Occupied Palestine is quelled by F16s and military invasions. The West sells this as stability and peace. To reject it is to rebuff human rights, freedom and democracy.
___The corollary of this logic is the sibling regime of anti-Semitism. Hating Arabs is normal and calling Palestinians the new Nazis obligatory. Loving Israel is a sign of tolerance, opposing its policies is ‘terrorism’. So is being Muslim, since Islam is deemed violent by nature. Critics of the Jewish/Israel lobby are branded ‘hateful’. Arendt understood that the Zionist settlers in Palestine had pioneered this logic: ‘they did not even to stop to think of the very existence of Arabs’, an attitude she condemned as ‘plain racist chauvinism’. Such arrogance would only make them unsafe and insecure. Arendt’s fear has been realised—although she was not above this sort of prejudice. She called Africans ‘savages’ continually.
___Since 1945 the ‘never again’ chant has become canonical. Yet the West did not oppose genocide in places like the Congo and Rwanda.

  • Dossa, Shiraz. “Auschwitz’s Finale: Racism and Holocausts.” Third World Quarterly 33.9 (2012): 1575-1593.   SOURCE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  ANGELS  I  LOST  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada
Doa’a Abu Amer
July 8, 2016
It has taken me a long time to gather the strength to write about a period of my life that has reshaped me completely: the night I lost 14 members of my family.
___It was a night I had barely escaped myself. I had been transported to safety in far away Australia not two weeks before.
___The evening of 17 July 2014 was to be my last in Gaza. I was due to be evacuated to Jordan and then Australia, to which I had a visa. It would be the last I would spend with my beloved family.
___The night before, the eighth night of Israel’s “Protective Edge” military assault on Gaza, we — along with 1.8 million other Palestinians besieged on a strip of land of 365 square kilometers — weren’t able to sleep. Tanks shelled civilian houses seemingly at random, drones filled the skies and the cries of ambulance sirens penetrated every home.   MORE . . .

“NORMAL  JOURNEY,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

Interview with Mourid Barghouti  
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon.  

“. . . Don’t worry, your son is still in his grave . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

atop-and-climbing-wall-wm-768x512
Many young men and boys from Ni’lin scaled the Apartheid wall on January 8. (Photo: International Solidarity Movement.) SEE #4 BELOW.

❶ 18-year-old Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli soldier in Hebron
❷ PCHR Weekly Report: Two Palestinian children killed; 9 adults & 8 children wounded by Israeli troops
❸ Palestinian teen faces indefinite Israeli detention
❹ Israeli Soldiers Seriously Injure a Palestinian in Ni’lin
❺ Opinion/Analysis: ‘Banality  of  Evil’:  Zionist  and  Nazi  Moral  Disengagement
❻ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEW AGENCY
18-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN  SHOT  DEAD  AFTER  STABBING  ISRAELI  SOLDIER  IN  HEBRON
Feb. 13, 2016
A young Palestinian woman was shot dead on Saturday after stabbing an Israeli soldier and Palestinian bystander near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
___A witness told Ma’an that the young woman stabbed and lightly injured a soldier at a checkpoint near the mosque before she was shot by Israeli forces stationed on site.
___An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the attack to Ma’an, saying that “an assailant drew a knife on a soldier guarding the Tomb of Patriarchs,” referring to the Ibrahimi Mosque.   More . . .
IMEMC NEWS
PCHR  WEEKLY  REPORT:  TWO  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  KILLED;  9  ADULTS  &  8  CHILDREN  WOUNDED  BY  ISRAELI  TROOPS
Feb. 12, 2016
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 04- 10 February 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 2 children were killed in the southern West Bank. 17 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  More . . .
THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
PALESTINIAN  TEEN  FACES  INDEFINITE  ISRAELI  DETENTION
Ryan Rodrick Beiler
Feb. 11, 2016
Amnesty International is demanding the release of 17-year-old Palestinian Muhammad al-Hashlamoun who has been sentenced to six months of detention without charge or trial by Israeli occupation forces.
___At present al-Hashlamoun is one of two minors in administrative detention by Israel, which rights groups say amounts to arbitrary detention under international human rights law and violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.     More . . .

muhammad_al-hashlamoun
Muhammad al-Hashlamoun, in an image circulated on social media. (Photo taken from: Electronic Intifada)

IMEMC NEWS REPORT
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SERIOUSLY  INJURE  A  PALESTINIAN  IN  NI’LIN
Feb. 12, 2016
Army Targets Journalists near Ramallah, Injures a Young Man in Bethlehem
___Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and Colonies, in Ni’lin village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, wounding many Palestinians, including a young man, who suffered a serious injury, after the soldiers shot him with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his head.    More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
‘BANALITY  OF  EVIL’:  ZIONIST  AND  NAZI  MORAL  DISENGAGEMENT
Vacy Vlazna
Feb. 11, 2016
To be an effective activist it is important for me to understand the nature of human evil. In that endeavor, I was drawn to read Hannah Arendt’s own discoveries about what she coined, ‘the banality of evil’ in her book, ’Eichmann in Jerusalem’ , reporting on the trial of Adolph Eichmann who oversaw the deportation of Jews to ghettos and concentration camps.
___Arendt concluded that unspeakable evil is not committed by human monsters but by normal people in a systematic unthinking manner devoid of moral qualms and codes.   More . . .

“NORMAL  JOURNEY,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken my desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

About Mourid Barghouti.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon.