“. . . the cataclysm comes that will seed them from the borders of Palestine. . .” (Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh)

Correction by Waqf of item from August 8, 2017.

❶ Israel demolishes 3 homes belonging to alleged Palestinian assailants in Ramallah

  • Background from Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture: “Occupied East Jerusalem: A Continuous Colonial Scheme,”
     and “Jewish Settlements in the Israeli Occupied State of Palestine: Undermining Authentic Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”

❷ The new normal in Palestine
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Locals stop Israeli demolitions in Bethlehem town
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces abduct 37 Palestinians in West Bank
❸ POETRY by Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Correction by Waqf of item from August 8, 2017.

ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  3  HOMES  BELONGING  TO  ALLEGED  PALESTINIAN  ASSAILANTS  IN  RAMALLAH     
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 10, 2017.   Israeli forces demolished at three homes belonging to the families of alleged Palestinian attackers, while another home was sealed, in the villages of Deir Abu Mashaal and Silwad in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah during pre-dawn hours on Thursday, leaving dozens of Palestinians homeless.
___Israeli forces demolished the family homes of two alleged attackers in Deir Abu Mashaal: Baraa Ibrahim Saleh, 18, and Osama Ahmad Atta, 19.
___Meanwhile, the family home of the third alleged assailant Hassan Ankosh, 18, was sealed, not demolished, according to an Israeli army spokesperson.
___The families received demolition orders last month after the youths allegedly carried out a deadly attack near Damascus Gate in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, which left an Israeli police officer dead. The three Palestinians were shot dead at the scene by Israeli forces.   MORE . . .

Abdelrazek, Adnan.
“OCCUPIED  EAST  JERUSALEM:  A  CONTINUOUS  COLONIAL  SCHEME.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 126-132.
[. . . .] According to an Ir Amim report (reference), 66% of building violations in Jerusalem occur in the Jewish neighborhoods, yet 65-70% of house demolitions take place in the Palestinian neighborhoods . . .  as part of an overall policy designed to force Palestinians to leave the city. HOUSE  DEMOLITION  POLICY is viewed as an instrument of COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT that the Israeli government uses against Palestinians in East Jerusalem . . .   during the years 2003-05 house demolitions reached one of the highest rates following the second intifada, and again in 2015-16 in response to the so called “individual intifada.”   SOURCE . . .

Isaac, Jad.
“JEWISH  SETTLEMENTS  IN  THE  ISRAELI  OCCUPIED  STATE  OF  PALESTINE:  UNDERMINING  AUTHENTIC  RESOLUTION  OF  THE  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  CONFLICT.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 85-91. A viable, contiguous Palestinian state remains a challenging concept, as Israel has spared no effort to undermine the “two-state solution” and the peace process altogether with its persistence in continuing with its land seizure policy, HOUSE  DEMOLITION  STRATEGY,  matrix of control on movement  and sustaining the dependency of the Palestinian economy, which ultimately eradicated the essence of the entire peace process and only restructured and repositioned the presence of the Israeli occupation army in the OPT.   SOURCE . . .

THE  NEW  NORMAL  IN  PALESTINE
Palestine News Network – PNN 
By Iris Mark
Aug. 10, 2017.   On the 14 of May 1948, the state of Israel was declared. By the time Israel and the Arab States signed the Armistice agreement in 1948, Israel had gained control over 75% of mandate Palestine. . . .  800 000 were expelled or forced to flee and 15,000 were killed in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres. This is known as the Nakba, and is a violation of international law.
[. . . .] THE NEW NORMAL OF TODAY
___Israelis uphold their discriminatory policies in several ways and are severely affecting life in the West Bank.
___The enforced permit system, were the Palestinians have to apply for living in their own homes, travel a few kilometers to see their family, harvest on their own land and traveling to occupied east Jerusalem to pray. There are more than 100 different types of permits, which includes movement, residency, travel, work, farming, trade and money transfer, education, worshipers, visiting holy sites, construction, renovation and health. With only 19% of the West Bank being controlled by the Palestinian Authorities, the Israeli are using checkpoints to control where and when the Palestinians can travel.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) LOCALS  STOP  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  BETHLEHEM TOWN
The Palestinian Information Center   
Aug. 10, 2017.   Local residents in Walaja town, south of Bethlehem, managed Thursday morning to stop Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) from demolishing the exterior wall of a house and from bulldozing a nearby agricultural land.
___Head of the village council told Quds Press that Israeli forces stormed the town early today to demolish a home wall only to find a large number of Palestinian standing outside the property to stop its demolition.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  FORCES  ABDUCT  37  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK
Days of Palestine
Aug. 10, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces abducted on Wednesday night 37 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian rights group said.
___Reporting local sources, the Palestinian Prisoner Club (PPC) said that the Israeli occupation forces raided several Palestinian villages, towns and cities.
___In a statement, the PPC said that the Israeli occupation forces abducted at least 37 Palestinian civilians during the raids.
___The PPC also said that the Israeli occupation inspected houses of the Abductees and confiscated mobiles, laptops and money.   MORE . . .

“SINGLE  ADDRESS  FOR  THE  POST,”  BY  ABDEL  RAHIM  AL-SHEIKH
On my way to them, I pass Him by,
(as, on his way, God passes me by)
for as we go our separate ways
we see no one but those on high.
The beds are allotted before the violet dawn.
The black and endless night is spent alone
and then the cataclysm comes
that will seed them from the borders of Palestine
the Great Thorn.
They are the only roses that grow.
From where they stalk the edge of paradise
the first paradise.
From where the children use thorns
to draw maps of this paradise.
From this spot.
We raise in the sky a glorying arc
the first milestone to Mecca
and we leave a kiss for those who left
with neither luggage nor papers for their passage.
This is the way the journey will always be.
They leave their bags for the postman to deliver
He takes them from the hands
of those who follow
And those who follow leave their packages
as the first ones do.
It’s hard for the post to make it to paradise.
There is no address
neither here nor there.
—translated by Rachel McCrum

Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh is from Jerusalem. He teaches philosophy, history, and creative writing at Bir Zeit University and the Qattan Center in Ramallah, and is the author of many literary and academic books.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . But it became a black city . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Bethlehem blockade
Road closure, Bethlehem, May 11, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ 2 Palestinians killed, 44 injured over the past week
❷ Israeli forces close entrances to Bethlehem-area towns after shooting near Israeli settlement

  • background from International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

❸ Israeli forces detain 4, including Oscar-nominated filmmaker and journalist, in Bilin protest
❹ BLOG: Reflections From Palestine
❺ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ 2  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  44  INJURED  OVER  THE  PAST  WEEK
The Palestinian Information Center
July 22, 2016
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a new report issued Friday that two Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire over the past week while 44 others were injured including 13 children. . . .  from different parts of occupied Palestinian territories.
[. . . . ] 22 Palestinian-owned houses were either demolished or closed since the beginning of the year as part of Israeli punitive measures, leaving 110 persons homeless. Israeli authorities also demolished 23 homes for being allegedly built without permit in Israeli-controlled Area C, displacing 43 persons including 25 children.     MORE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  CLOSE  ENTRANCES  TO  BETHLEHEM-AREA  TOWNS  AFTER  SHOOTING  NEAR  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT
Ma’an News Agency
July 22, 2016
Israeli forces Friday closed several entrances to villages and towns in the eastern and southeastern parts of the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem with large cement blocks, according to a Ma’an reporter, following a shooting on an Israeli settler’s car Thursday night.
___Israeli forces set up several checkpoints in the surrounding villages and towns in the district, including one at the entrance of the town of Beit Sahour and the entrances to villages in the eastern countryside of Bethlehem, causing heavy traffic, according to the local Ma’an reporter.
Israeli forces also closed the entrance to the town of Janata, two roads leading to the town of Zaatara, and the villages of al-Khas and Marah Rabah in southeastern Bethlehem.  MORE . . .   

From International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
The essence of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has never been religious. The conflict is not between Muslims and Jews, as some tend to believe. It is not even a dispute over a territory. It is a protest against a post-modern colonialist project of creating an exclusive national entity for the Jewish people by eliminating and replacing the existence of Palestine. Many Israelis do not share this perception and believe that they need to have their national home and to build a Jewish and democratic state as a response to a long history of persecution and oppression particularly in Europe.
[. . . .]
The lack of visionary Israeli leadership, the destructive and racist policy of the current Netanyahu government and the lack of Palestinian national unity, resulting from the wide split between the PNA led by Fatah and Hamas, all these factors make the situation more gloomy. While Israelis are not ready yet voluntarily to relinquish supremacy, control and domination, Palestinians are determined not to give up on their legitimate rights for a decent and dignified life and for an independent and viable Palestinian state after a century of suffering and pain. Israelis as a collective national entity, for their own sake as well, must confront the wisdom of their pathological and lengthy use of dissociation and denial as effective defense mechanisms to cover up their unconscious guilt and shame and to prevent them from taking responsibility for the suffering of Palestinians, mostly endured by them.

  • JARRAR, ADIB. “Palestinian Suffering: Some Personal, Historical, And Psychoanalytic Reflections.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 7.3 (2010): 197-208.       SOURCE   

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  4,  INCLUDING  OSCAR-NOMINATED  FILMMAKER  AND  JOURNALIST,  IN  BILIN  PROTEST
Ma’an News Agency
July 22, 2016
Israeli forces detained four people, including a journalist and Oscar-nominated filmmaker, as soldiers dispersed weekly protests in the village of Bilin in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank on Friday.
___Israeli forces detained Iranian television reporter Khalid Sabarnah, the head of the local council Basil Mansur, activist Ashraf Abu Rahma, and filmmaker Emad Burnat, the Oscar-nominated director of the documentary film “5 Broken Cameras”, a film showing Burnat’s first-hand account of the protests in Bilin that began 11 years ago in response to the illegal expansion of nearby Israeli settlements, and the construction of Israel’s separation wall which separates Bilin residents from their privately owned lands.  MORE . . .

bilin-2272016-Anat-e1469217550590
Dozens of soldiers attacked, Friday, July 22, 2016, the weekly nonviolent protest in Bil’in village (Photo: IMEMC)

REFLECTIONS  FROM  PALESTINE,  BY  SAMIA  KHOURY  

“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 Amazon
Samih Al-Qasim. Obituary, August 20, 2014

“. . . the pretense of maintaining Israel’s Jewish and democratic character . . .” (Orly Noy)

1-home demo
Israeli forces demolished a home in the Qalandiya refugee camp in the West Bank, November 16, 2015 (Photo: Majdi Mohammed, STR)

❶ UN ‘gravely concerned’ over imminent home demolitions in Palestinian refugee camp

  • From: Law & Social Inquiry

❷ Israeli forces assault worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, around 10 Muslims worshipers were wounded

  • From: Israel Studies Review

❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  ROOTS  OF  ISRAEL’S  MOST  RACIST  LAW
❹ POETRY by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ UN  ‘GRAVELY  CONCERNED’  OVER  IMMINENT  HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  CAMP
Ma’an News Agency
June 26, 2016
The United Nations warned against imminent punitive home demolitions targeting Palestinian families in Qalandiya refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank, putting at least six Palestinian refugees at risk of being left homeless.
___UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, said in a statement on Saturday that it was “gravely concerned” about the Israeli High Court of Justice’s recent rejection of the families’ appeal to save their homes [. . . .]
___The families were notified on June 14 that they had five days to evacuate, after Israeli authorities ruled their homes would be destroyed as punishment for stab attacks carried out by two young members of the families on December 23 at the Jaffa Gate of East Jerusalem’s Old City.
___The two 21-year-old Palestinians, Issa Assaf and Anan Abu Habsa, were shot dead by Israeli police on the scene.      MORE . . .

From: Law & Social Inquiry
Although initially triggered by an individualized act of human agency, the punishment for certain illegal behaviors is usually inflicted upon the product of the illegal labor rather than on the human initiator of this labor. . . .  Why is the house, rather than any other subject or object, the focal center for such legal attention? The infliction of illegality on the house, rather than on any other product of illegal action, is not incidental, and, accordingly, the law is preoccupied with the documentation and regulation of the house.    ___The extensive literature that exists on this subject mostly focuses on the anthropomorphic nature of the house, presenting it as an extension of the self and as an essential ground for personhood (Fenster 2004; Sibley 1996; Radin 1982). However, the struggle over the house/home in the Israeli/Palestinian context is not only over the individual house but also over its collective meaning. . . .
[. . . .]
___Israel demolishes Palestinian houses not only “because they must be made to be afraid,” but also because “they must, to a certain extent, take part in it” (58). Living in constant fear that the next demolition may be inflicted on their home, the distinction between observers and observed is blurred in this instance to the point where “the spectator does not feel at home anywhere, because the spectacle is everywhere.”

  • Braverman, Irus. “Powers Of Illegality: House Demolitions And Resistance In East Jerusalem.” Law & Social Inquiry 32.2 (2007): 333-372.  SOURCE.

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  ASSAULT  WORSHIPERS  AT  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE,  AROUND  10  MUSLIMS  WORSHIPERS  WERE  WOUNDED 
Days of Palestine
June 26, 2016
A large number of Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and assaulted Muslim worshippers, injuring around ten of them
___“In the very early morning, we were surprised with the ISRAELI FORCES STORMING THE YARDS OF THE MOSQUE WITH A BIG NUMBER OF SETTLERS and foreign tourists,” Omar Kaswani, chief guard of Al-Aqsa Mosque said.
___“We wanted to neutralise the settlers, but the Israeli soldiers, who were protecting them, interfered violently and attacked the worshipers indiscriminately,” he added.    MORE . .

From: Israel Studies Review
. . a law prescribes that any court that convicts an individual for committing various terrorism-related and other security-based offenses will be authorized to revoke citizenship, in addition to the “ordinary” penalties, including life imprisonment. Despite the obvious fact that there are many heinous crimes that can be committed against society, this law applies only to security-oriented crimes. The singling out of these offenses negatively impacts the notion of equality before the law. . . . This choice of offenses is not neutral, but is motivated by the desire to exclude those few Arab citizens of Israel convicted of security-based offenses and to strip them of their citizenship rights, possibly even leading to their deportation.
[. . . . ]
. . . the Israeli legislature has demonstrated a strikingly different approach with regard to other, “patriotic” offenses. The . . . law, which was enacted by the Knesset in February 2010, adopted an ultra-compassionate approach with regard to offenses committed by Israeli right-wing extremists . . . who committed criminal offenses as part of the resistance to the disengagement [from Gaza] plan . . . This legislation violates the principles of rule of law and equality before the law. It prefers some social groups over others, allowing them to commit crimes—including assault in severe circumstances and assault on a police officer—without facing any consequences. The message conveyed by this law is a dangerous one: violence can be forgiven, overlooked, or even considered normative—if it supports the “right” cause.

  • Kremnitzer, Mordechai, and Shiri Krebs. “From Illiberal Legislation To Intolerant Democracy.” Israel Studies Review 26.1 (2011): 4-11.  SOURCE.
1-settlers
Israeli police accompany Jews past the Dome of the Rock mosque during a visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque on April 25, 2016. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli / AFP)

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  ROOTS  OF  ISRAEL’S  MOST  RACIST  LAW
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
June 24, 2016
[. . . .]
Herein lies the failure with which the Zionist Left refuses to contend: the pretense of maintaining Israel’s Jewish and democratic character is at its core a demographic struggle. In order for the Jewish state to be able to allow itself to be democratic — at least when it comes to individual rights (as opposed to national rights) — vis-à-vis its Arab citizens, it needs a significant demographic advantage. Only then will it be able to tell itself stories about democracy when it comes to a national minority without endangering the Jewish character it is so intent on maintaining. This is precisely why since its founding the state has refrained from establishing a new Arab city, despite population growth and a housing crisis in Arab society. This is why the state needs the Jewish National Fund to continue and “Judaize” land. This is why the state needs legislation that unabashedly restricts the growth of the minority.      MORE . . .

“THE  AQSA  MOSQUE,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
(A salute to Prince Saud Ibn ‘Abd al’Aziz when he visited the poet’s town,
‘Anabta, on August 14, 1935.)

Honorable Prince! Before you stands a poet
whose heart harbors bitter complaint.
Have you come to visit the Aqsa mosque
or to bid it farewell before its loss?
This land, this holy land, is being sold to all intruders
and stabbed by its own people!
And tomorrow looms over us, nearer and nearer!
Nothing shall remain for us but our streaming tears,
our deep regrets.

Oh, Prince, shout, shout! Your voice
might shake people awake!
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: are they all agreed to struggle
as one body and mind?
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: can a covenant with God
be offered to someone, then lost?
Forgive the complaint, but a grieving heart needs to complain
to the Prince, even if it makes him weep.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye
(This poem gained great fame later on because of its prophetic words about the imminent loss of Palestine.)

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

“. . . they stitched together rose petals for a shroud. . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

Photo from Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.
Photo from Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.

❶ from +972
ISIS EXECUTES THREE ASYLUM SEEKERS DEPORTED BY ISRAEL
Video by extremist Sunni group shows execution of three Eritrean asylum seekers coerced into leaving Israel last year.
Haggai Matar
April 21, 2015
At least three Eritrean asylum seekers who lived in Israel and were deported to a third country were executed by Islamic State militants in Libya this past week, according to family and friends who recognized them in a video released by the extremist Sunni group. The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants is checking the possibility that additional Eritreans deported by Israel were also executed.
(More. . .)
background from THE GUARDIAN
ISRAEL TO DEPORT ERITREAN AND SUDANESE ASYLUM SEEKERS TO THIRD COUNTRIES
“Eritreans and Sudanese are entitled to collective protection under the 1951 UN refugee convention, to which Israel is a signatory, because their lives would be in danger if they were sent back to their countries of origin.”
ISRAEL PM: ILLEGAL AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS THREATEN IDENTITY OF JEWISH STATE
(More. . .)

❷ from MONDOWEISS
A TALE OF TWO SUSIYAS, OR HOW A PALESTINIAN VILLAGE WAS DESTROYED UNDER THE BANNER OF ISRAELI ARCHEOLOGY –
Allison Deger
April 20, 2015
Hiam al-Nawaja dreams to live in what she calls a “normal house.” The 23-year old mother of three small children and sheepherder manages in a cinder block frame insulated with a tarp. The interior is no larger than a generous two-door garage. Her modest home is typical in Susiya, a pastoral Palestinian village set in the rolling south Hebron Hills in the West Bank; all of the 45 families that live in Susiya reside under plastic and concrete.
___Yet a few short decades ago Susiya’s residents had sturdy stone structures built over ancient caves on a hilltop one kilometer from where their town stands today. The former location, “old Susiya,” is close enough that al-Nawaja can see bulldozed remains from her kitchen window. It was destroyed in 1986 when Israel dismantled the town’s mosque to uncover an ancient Jewish synagogue dating back to the sixth century.
(More. . .)
(and More –videos)

Hiam al-Nawaja dreams to live in what she calls a “normal house.”
Hiam al-Nawaja dreams to live in what she calls a “normal house.”

❸ from ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
ISRAEL SENDS MESSAGE TO EAST JERUSALEM’S ISSAWIYA
April 21, 2015
Jerusalem municipality officials, heavily guarded by a large contingent of police and border police officers, invaded the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya Tuesday morning.
___The officials took photos of homes built in Issawiya without Israeli-issued building permits, a sure sign that home demolition orders will be on the way.
___The invasion, however, was further about showing Issawiya residents that Israel controls the area.
(More. . .)

❹ from PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL ISSUES ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION ORDERS AGAINST 41 PALESTINIAN DETAINEES
Ramallah (WAFA)
April 21, 2015
Israeli authorities Tuesday issued administrative detention orders against 41 Palestinian prisoners, including 26 Palestinians from Hebron district, Tuesday reported the Palestine Prisoners’ Club (PPC).
The detainees were sentenced for a period ranging between two months and six months in administrative detention. Twelve of the detainees received detention orders without charge or trial for the first time, whereas the remaining 29 detainees had their administrative detention sentence renewed for the second or third time.
___Administrative detention is the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence for up to six month periods, indefinitely renewable by Israeli military courts.
(More. . .)

❺ from THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
OPINION/EDITORIAL
WE CANNOT LIBERATE PALESTINE WITH COLONIZED MINDS
Haidar Eid
April 20, 2015
The inability — or unwillingness — of both the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-led administration in Gaza to provide a relatively acceptable example of good governance based on giving ordinary people a say in decisions that affect them means that serious soul-searching is required among those holding leadership positions in Palestine.
___The alternative to the Fatah-Hamas rift is not, as both parties argue, new elections for the PA’s presidency and the Palestinian Legislative Council, within the framework of the disastrous Oslo accords.
___Rather, it is a form of mass democracy, in which all Palestinian refugees (living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, inside present-day Israel and in the diaspora) can participate by taking common action for broader goals.
(More. . .)

“MARTYR,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB
When they found him
he had become an emerald flame;
as when they lifted his arms they found
sheaves of wheat where a heart should be;
and they say those sheaves were whispering
beneath his shirt; and they say the wild birds
ferried his blood to his family, drop by drop;
and they say he will come back, suspended
in the hidden tree at the burning heart of volcanoes
and that his mother will fold him in her arms.
But when they found him he was an emerald flame,
so they stitched together rose petals for a shroud
and smoothed out the sky to keep him warm
and for a pillows, they lifted down the sun
and laid it beneath his head.
____Trans. By John Glenday

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. . .)

A bird's eye view of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya.
A bird’s eye view of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya.

“. . . Don’t waste the tickets. . . ” Samīħ al-Qāsim – سميح القاسم

photo(2)-003
From
ei

Tuesday, 17 February 2015
ASHRAWI CONDEMNS ATTACKS AGAINST INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN EUROPE
PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, met with the newly appointed Head of Mission of the Netherlands Representative Office, Peter Mollema, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah and welcomed him to Palestine.
In the meeting, Dr. Ashrawi expressed her hope that the Dutch government would continue to play a positive role in the region and to adopt serious and concrete political initiatives to bring Israel to compliance with international law, to end the military occupation, and to establish the independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. She also called on the Dutch government to recognize Palestine without preconditions in the immediate future. (Full story.)

Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan Ashrawi

Monday, 16 February 2015
OCCUPATION THREATENS TO UPROOT 2000 TREES NORTH SALFIT
Israeli occupation authorities on Monday handed threats to uproot about 2000 trees and splings in Haaris village northwest Salfit, West Bank, claiming that the land was “state property.”
Researcher Khaled Ma’ali told PNN that occupation handed the threats to the LandLord Amin Daoud, telling him that the land was confiscated. The case has been transferred to the Beit El settlement court for judgement, pointing that the landlord had papers proving property of land. (Full story.)

From

palestine news networkSunday, 15 February 2015
20,000 PALESTINIAN HOMES ON ISRAELI DEMOLITION SHORTLIST
Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed that more than 20,000 Palestine homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities.
Ziad Hamouri, the center’s head, stated that the reason why these homes will be demolished is that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality in the occupied city of Jerusalem. Although, applications for such licences from Palestinians are rarely approved. (Full story.)

“Travel Tickets,” Samih al-Qasim

On the day you kill me
You’ll find in my pocket
Travel tickets
To peace,
To the fields and the rain,
To people’s conscience.
Don’t waste the tickets.

Samīħ al-Qāsim  سميح القاسم‎; (born 1939) is a Palestinian Druze whose Arabic poetry is well known throughout the Arab World. His poetry is influenced by two primary periods of his life: Before and after the Six-Day War. Al-Qasim has published several volumes and collections of poetry.

“. . . Salaam upon you the day you were killed in the land of peace. . . “ (Mahmoud Darwish)

This blog as of today will become a regular collection of links and short introductions to articles about Palestine and the search for peace in the Middle East centered on the (seemingly) endless war of occupation in Palestine and Israel.

I am committed on this blog to provide information that is not readily available in “mainstream media” about the search for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.

PLEASE HELP ME FIND PERTINENT MATERIAL TO NOTE HERE (contact me here or Email me–or post on Facebook, and I will lift it).

The material here will be loosely organized, but it will be limited enough so to be easily understood.

____________________
IN THE NEWS

February 08, 2015
500 rabbis urge Israel to stop demolition of Palestinian homes
http://rt.com/news/230339-rabbis-demolition-palestinian-homes/
demolition.siA Palestinian Bedouin near his dwelling that was demolished by Israeli bulldozers near the Jewish settlement of Karmel, near the West Bank city of Hebron (Reuters / Mussa Qawasma)
__________________
EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Conference
    Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS)
    “Seeking the Peace of Jerusalem: Overcoming Christian Zionism in the Quest for Justice”
    23 – 25 April 2015
    St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Church, Vancouver, B.C.
    Co-Sponsors:
    Anglican Church of Canada
    Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
    Presbyterian Church in Canada
    United Church of Canada
    http://necefsabeel.ca/?page_id=973
  • Playgrounds for Palestine annual fundraiser, March 28, 2015
    http://www.playgroundsforpalestine.org/homepage.php

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PERSONAL ACCOUNTS

Rev. Robert Assaly, Chair of Canadian Friends of Sabeel was in Palestine for the 5th anniversary of the Kairos Palestine Document (December 2-4, 2014) as well as for a CFOS organized witness trip – focusing on models of popular resistance and liberation theology. While there, Robert met with CFOS partners in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. He wrote a series of reflections which are published on the CFOS website. The last, his reflections on visiting Gaza, is particularly important.

Reflections from Palestine – VII
“Gaza: When ‘Apartheid’ becomes a polite understatement.”
http://necefsabeel.ca/?page_id=1801
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“I Belong There,” By Mahmoud Darwish
I didn’t apologize to the well when I passed the well,
I borrowed from the ancient pine tree a cloud
and squeezed it like an orange, then waited for a gazelle
white and legendary. And I ordered my heart to be patient:
Be neutral as if you were not of me! Right here
the kind shepherds stood on air and evolved
their flutes, then persuaded the mountain quail toward
the snare. And right here I saddled a horse for flying toward
my planets, then flew. And right here the priestess
told me: Beware of the asphalt road and the cars
and walk upon your exhalation. Right here
I slackened my shadow and waited, I picked the tiniest
rock and stayed up late. I broke the myth and I broke.
And I circled the well until I flew from myself
to what isn’t of it. A deep voice shouted at me:
This grave isn’t your grave. So I apologized.
I read verses from the wise holy book, and said
to the unknown one in the well: Salaam upon you the day
you were killed in the land of peace, and the day you rise
from the darkness of the well alive!

From Unfortunately, It Was Paradise by Mahmoud Darwish translated and Edited by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché with Sinan Antoon and Amira El-Zein. Published 2003 University of California Press.

On March 13, 1941 Mahmoud Darwish was born in Al Birweh, Palestine, into a land-owning Sunni Muslim family. During the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, his village was destroyed and his family fled to Lebanon. They returned the following year, secretly re-entering Israel.
As a young man, Darwish faced house arrest and imprisonment for his political activism and for publicly reading his poetry. He joined the official Communist Party of Israel, the Rakah, in the 1960s. In 1970, he left for Russia, where he attended the University of Moscow for one year, and then moved to Cairo. He lived in exile for twenty-six years, between Beirut and Paris, until his return to Israel in 1996, after which he settled in Ramallah in the West Bank. Darwish died on August 9, 2008, in Houston, TX, after complications from heart surgery.