“. . . I asked about Mohammed and Christ Oh Jerusalem . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

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Israeli Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein  said on Wednesday he does not mind burning mosques and churches. (Photo: Pa/dpa/EPA)

❶ Israeli rabbi: Christians are not welcome in Jerusalem
. ❶―(ᴀ) Jewish Extremist Group Calls for Torching Jerusalem Churches
❷ IOF break into Bethlehem, violent clashes break out
❸ Gaza Enters 10th Year of Israeli-led Blockade Gaza
. ❸―(ᴀ) PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (17 – 30 December 2015)
❹ Who’s to blame for deaths of children fighting in Palestine?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
❻ Poetry by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
DAYS OF PALESTINE
ISRAELI  RABBI:  CHRISTIANS  ARE  NOT  WELCOME  IN  JERUSALEM
Dec. 31, 2015
Israeli Jewish Rabbi said on Wednesday that Christians are not welcome in Jerusalem; he does not mind burning mosques and churches.
___Bentzi Gopstein told the Israeli TV Channel Two that Israeli Jewish practically prevent Christians from entering Jerusalem.  More . . .
. ❶―(ᴀ) PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
JEWISH  EXTREMIST  GROUP  CALLS  FOR  TORCHING  JERUSALEM  CHURCHES
The leader of the extremist anti-assimilation group Lehava recently renewed his calls to torch churches in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli media sources revealed.
___Lehava’s leader, Bentzi Gopstein . . . . has previously ‘called for a ban on Christmas celebrations in the country and the banishment of Christians, who he referred to as ‘blood-sucking vampires’, from the land,’ reported the International Business Times.  More . . . 
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
IOF  BREAK  INTO  BETHLEHEM,  VIOLENT  CLASHES  BREAK  OUT
Jan. 3, 2016
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday morning broke into Bethlehem, central Occupied West Bank, injured two and kidnapped two others in midst of intense clashes.
___At 10 AM this morning, IOF stormed Deheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, and spread snipers on the roofs of buildings. Clashes quickly broke out and IOF opened teargas inside the narrow camp, causing injuries.
___One child was reportedly shot in the leg, and another youth was kidnapped.  More . . .

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Isael’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law, a panel of human rights experts reporting to a UN body said on Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2015. (Photo: Reuters, September 13, 2011)

PALESTINE CHRONICLE
GAZA  ENTERS  10TH  YEAR  OF  ISRAELI-LED  BLOCKADE  GAZA
Jan. 2, 2016
The start of 2016 sees the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip entering the 10th year of the Israeli-led and internationally-backed blockade . . . . The blockade started in the wake of the 2006 Palestinian elections, which the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won with an overwhelming majority.
___Local and international monitoring organisations described the Palestinian poll as one of the most transparent ever recorded. In Palestine, though, it is remembered with sadness as the election marked the internal political split and the start of the siege of Gaza.  More . . .
. ❸―(ᴀ)  IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (17 – 30  DECEMBER  2015)
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (17 – 30 December 2015).  More . . .
AL-MONITOR: PALESTINE PULSE
WHO’S  TO  BLAME  FOR  DEATHS  OF  CHILDREN  FIGHTING  IN  PALESTINE?
Aziza Nofal
Dec. 27, 2015
Taha al-Qatanani said he was expecting just an ordinary day as his daughter headed out the door early Nov. 22. He had no way of knowing she would never return.
___”I thought Ashraqat was going to school when she left the house,” he said of his 16-year-old daughter, who was killed that day at the Huwara checkpoint south of Nablus . . . .
___”It is hard to stop the youth from doing what they have in mind — even if their plan goes against the will of their parents. It is difficult to control them.”   More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
SUDDENLY,  COMPARING  JEWISH  STATE  TO  ISIS  IS  OK
Dan Cohen
Jan. 1, 2016
As the fallout continues after Jewish fundamentalists firebombed the sleeping Dawabshe family in their home in the occupied West Bank last June, Israeli commentators have begun to compare the Jewish State to ISIS.
___Liberal Zionist and Ha’aretz columnist Asher Schechter recently wrote a piece entitled “Meet Judeo-ISIS: The Inevitable Result of Israel’s Presence in the West Bank”. No major critic of Israel himself, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens wrote an article called “The Jewish Equivalent of ISIS.”
___But the comparison had been drawn more than a year before.  More . . .

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI

I wept until my tears were dry
I prayed until the candles flickered
I knelt until the floor creaked
I asked about Mohammed and Christ
Oh Jerusalem, the fragrance of prophets
The shortest path between earth and sky
Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws
A beautiful child with fingers charred
and downcast eyes
You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet
Your streets are melancholy
Your minarets are mourning
You, the young maiden dressed in black
Who rings the bells in the Nativity
On Saturday morning?
Who brings toys for the children
On Christmas eve?
Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow
A big tear wandering in the eye
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?
Oh Jerusalem my town
Oh Jerusalem my love
Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom
And the olive trees will rejoice
Your eyes will dance
The migrant pigeons will return
To your sacred roofs
And your children will play again
And fathers and sons will meet
On your rosy hills
My town
The town of peace and olives.

“Jerusalem, Poem by Nizar Qabbani.” Poemhunter.com. Web.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

“. . .Make hummus not walls. . .”

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From the Bethlehem Wall Museum. SEE DESCRIPTIONS AT END OF THIS POST.

❶ Palestinian teen shot dead after alleged attack near Tulkarem
❷ Army Kills a Palestinian Teen in Bethlehem
❸ 13-year old Palestinian Boy has Court Appearance; Trial will Begin in January
❹ Five Projects That Are Leading Bethlehem Into a Brighter Future
❺ Opinion/Analysis: RELIGION,  THE  SCAPEGOAT  OF  THE  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  CRISIS
❻ Personal statements by Bethlehem Young People
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

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Bethlehem Wall Museum (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  TEEN  SHOT  DEAD  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACK  NEAR  TULKAREM
Dec. 1, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli military officer shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian woman at a checkpoint east of Tulkarem on Tuesday, saying that she had attempted to stab him, Israel’s army said.
___An Israeli army spokesperson said that the officer killed the young woman at a checkpoint near the illegal settlement of Enav east of Tulkarem because she posed an “immediate danger” to him.
___The Israeli officer was not injured during the encounter. A spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent said that one of their emergency teams arrived on the scene shortly afterward. She confirmed that the young woman had no vital signs.
___The team was prevented from taking away her body, which was instead taken away in an Israeli army medical jeep.
More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ARMY  KILLS  A  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  IN  BETHLEHEM
Dec. 01, 201
The army claims he “attempted to stab a settler”; Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Tuesday morning, a Palestinian teen, sixteen years of age, near the Gush Etzion settlement block, built on Palestinian lands, south of Bethlehem.
___Palestinian medical sources said the slain teen has been identified as Ma’moun Raed al-Khatib, 16 years of age, from Doha city, in the Bethlehem district.
___According to the Israeli army, al-Khatib “approached a settler with the intention to stab him,” before a soldier shot and injured him.
___The slain Palestinian was left bleeding on the ground, and died of his wounds.
___Israeli sources said the army also accidentally shot and injured one settler in his arm, suffering a mild wound, and that no Israelis were hurt in the reported “stabbing attack.”
More . . .

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Bethlehem Wall Museum (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
13-YEAR  OLD  PALESTINIAN  BOY  HAS  COURT  APPEARANCE;  TRIAL  WILL  BEGIN  IN  JANUARY
Nov. 30, 2015
A 13-year old Palestinian boy accused of stabbing and wounding a 13-year old Israeli boy had a court appearance Thursday. On October 11th, Ahmad Manasra was run over by a car and beaten nearly to death by a group of Israelis, then subjected to brutal interrogation with no lawyer or parent present.
___Ahmad Manasra’s lawyer presented evidence contradicting the Israeli government’s claims that the boy stabbed an Israeli.
[. . . . .]
___A video of Ahmad lying injured and bloody on the ground after being hit by the car was uploaded to social media and went viral. In the footage, a settler onlooker can clearly be heard saying: “Die, you son of a whore! Die!”, while another tells the police officer to shoot the boy until he dies.
More . . .
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
FIVE  PROJECTS  THAT  ARE  LEADING  BETHLEHEM  INTO  A  BRIGHTER  FUTURE
Natalie Morcos
Dec. 1, 2015
The municipality of Bethlehem is an institution with a great history, one of the oldest in Palestine. It has conducted projects on various scales over time, starting under the Ottoman Occupation, to the British Mandate, Jordanian Rule, and then the Israeli Occupation. The municipality has been and remains steadfast in its dedication to the development of Bethlehem by aiming to preserve its rich heritage of more than two thousand years and its outstanding historical value as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Its constant vision toward the city is to raise the level of wellbeing of the citizens through infrastructural, educational, cultural, and environmental interventions. The municipality has an ongoing cycle of projects that aspire to improve different sectors such as the road network, public buildings, historical architecture, and more.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
RELIGION,  THE  SCAPEGOAT  OF  THE  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  CRISIS
Megan Hanna
Nov. 30, 2015
The sirens had barely stopped wailing before commentators started exploiting the terror attacks in Paris on 13 November, twisting the horrific event to serve a range of varying political agendas. . . .
___Given his tendency for making tenuous connections between Israel’s plight and disparate foreign events, it’s no surprise that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was one of the first to climb up on France’s bloodied bandwagon to make hasty links between Paris and present-day Israel. . . .
claiming “the terrorists who attack us have the same murderous intent as those in Paris”, saying that world leaders should condemn the “radical Islam” as effected by Palestinians.
[. . . . ]
___To compare the actions of ISIS with those of dispossessed Palestinians – who are resisting in an anti-colonial struggle against a brutal military occupation – is intentionally deceptive . . . .
More . . . 

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Bethlehem Wall Museum (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

STORIES FROM THE WALL MUSEUM 

All photographs are from the  WALL  MUSEUM  in Bethlehem, a section of the Apartheid Wall on which are posted statements by Palestinians about their personal experiences living under the Occupation. The display is a project  AEI-OPEN  WINDOWS,  an Arab-Palestinian NGO affiliated with Pax Christi International and established in Bethlehem in 1986 by a group of Palestinian educators. These photos are by Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015. The title of this post comes from the graffiti on the Wall.

FADED  DREAMS
I just finished my university and I have my degree to become a doctor. But that was not what I wanted to become in life. I wanted to become an artist and inspire people and tell the story of Palestine. But my parents didn’t see any future in that and I was forced to study medicine. Now I have my degree but there’s no work. I have lots of time now because I can’t find work. I decided to pick up my faded dream and work on my art. Finally I’m an artist.
BY  HANNA,  FROM  BETHLEHEM

FIRST  DREAM. . .  AND  THEN  THE  REST
Ruaa always dreamed of a world filled with love and compassion. She loved studying. Her father’s retirement payments got delayed. Her mother was determined to help her to stay in school and started selling fruits and herbs to help Ruaa pay for school. One day, Ruaa was wearing a slightly different uniform, so the principal told her she will be expelled if it happens again. When she arrived home, she saw her parents in the cold collecting plants to sell, and all she could do was cry. Ruaa promised herself to study and repay her parents for all the hardships they have gone through. She attended university and she is about to graduate now. She still dreams of the demise of the occupation, and to live in a beautiful world filled with love and tolerance. Since her first dream came true, she believes the rest can and will.
BY  LEYLA,  A  FRIEND  OF  RUAA,  FROM  AL-KHADER

GIVING  UP  ON  MY  FIRST  DREAMS
I finished last year of high school (tawjih) with a grade of 94 out of 100. At the time I aspired to study law to defend the rights of the Palestinian people, especially women’s rights. However, my parents didn’t let me study law. So, I decided I wanted to study nursing, but again my parents rejected the idea because of the work shifts I would sometimes be required to do, as they do not feel that it is appropriate for a woman to work at night. Finally I got frustrated and I gave up on my dreams. In the end, I studied social education because it is very disciplined, which is fitting for girls as it prepares students to be a teacher, and I like it. I believe I will be a successful teacher.
BY  RANEEN,  FROM  BETHLEHEM

AEI-OPEN WINDOWS Contact information:
info@aeicenter.org – tel-02-2744030

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The Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

“. . . my tongue has not been silenced yet . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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‘My political party is my poem.’ Mourid Barghouti feels that the Arabic language is under attack [Credit: Ahmed Alaidy, 2010. AlJazeera]
❶ Report: Israel killed 23 Palestinian children since the start of 2015
❷ Israeli forces raid Bethlehem-area refugee camp, injure 2
❸ Gaza man shocked after being wrongly identified as Paris attacker
❹ What’s the difference between habbeh and intifada?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israel tries to reap propaganda benefits from Paris bombings
❻ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
REPORT:  ISRAEL  KILLED  23  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  SINCE  THE  START  OF  2015
Nov. 19, 2015
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have killed 23 Palestinian children since the beginning of the current year, according to Palestinian official statistics released on the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day.
___20 November marks the Universal Children’s Day on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
___A report issued by the Palestinian central bureau of statistics on Wednesday stated that 18 Palestinian children had been killed by the IOF since the start of al-Quds intifada in early October.
___The IOF also kidnapped and detained more than 3,700 children between 2010 and 2014, the report said.
More . . .
Related . . . IN  PICTURES:  THE  OCCUPATION  ARRESTS  10  JERUSALEMITE  CHILDREN
MAAN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  BETHLEHEM-AREA  REFUGEE  CAMP,  INJURE  2
Nov. 19, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces on Thursday shot and injured two young Palestinian men in Duheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem during a dawn arrest raid, locals said.
___Locals told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli soldiers stormed the southern West Bank camp ransacking more than 20 homes before detaining 22-year-old Muhammad Nidal Abu Akar.
___In response to the incursion, young men and teenagers living in the camp hurled stones and improvised explosive devices at the soldiers who deployed heavily in the streets and on rooftops of buildings.
___Israeli soldiers showered the camp and the main street leading to Bethlehem with tear gas and fired live ammunition at the protesters, hitting two in the feet, according to locals.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers also fired gunshots at security guards of an UNRWA-affiliated school near the main road.
More . . .

sami abu ras
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZA  MAN  SHOCKED  AFTER  BEING  WRONGLY  IDENTIFIED  AS  PARIS  ATTACKER
Nov. 18, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A young man from the Gaza Strip has spoken of his shock after being falsely accused of being one of theIS militants involved in the Paris attacks on Friday, which killed over 130 people.
___Sami Abu Rus, a journalism student at Al-Aqsa University, told Ma’an that he was shocked after seeing his image posted online by Islamic State media groups praising him as one of the “lions” who attacked Paris.
___Abu Rus, who resides in al-Nuseirat refugee camp, said he has never left the Gaza Strip and only found out that his photo had been used after being told by friends.
___He initially dismissed it as a joke, before his photo was also published by a site affiliated with IS.
More . . . 
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WHAT’S  THE  DIFFERENCE  BETWEEN  HABBEH  AND  INTIFADA?
Daoud Kuttab
Nov. 18, 2015
Palestinians and Arabs are still unsure about what to call the protest activities that began on the eve of the Jewish New Year on Sept. 13, 2015. Since then, 89 Palestinians and 12 Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers have been killed and many more injured.
___After the 1987 first intifada and the 2000 second intifada, it has taken pundits and politicians some time to decide whether what we are witnessing today is a full-blown uprising, or intifada in Palestinian terminology, or simply short, popular outbursts of protests, what Palestinians call “habbeh jamaherieh” in Arabic.
___The differences have followed the split within the Palestinian movement with pro-Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas media and politicians calling it habbeh, while pro-Hamas leaders and media are calling it an Al-Quds intifada or Al-Aqsa intifada.
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
ISRAEL  TRIES  TO  REAP  PROPAGANDA  BENEFITS  FROM  PARIS  BOMBINGS
Khalid Amayreh
As usual in these circumstances, Israel is trying to exploit the Paris bombings for its propaganda purposes.
___Israeli and Zionist officials have been insinuating that the widely condemned terrorist bombings in Paris, for which the ISIS took responsibility, justified Israel’s crackdown on Palestinian resistance against Jewish colonialism, especially Israel’s lebensraum policies in the West Bank.
___Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been quoted as saying that the Paris bombings should make France and other countries understand Israel’s war on Palestinian terror.
___Netanyahu’s opportunistic remarks seem to have been motivated by two main considerations.
More . . .
Related . . . THIS  WEEK  IN  PALESTINE:  JOURNALIST/AUTHOR  KHALID  AMAYREH

(A poem about Barghouti’s life as an exile almost continuously since the 1967 war.)

“I  HAVE  NO  PROBLEM,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
I look at myself:
I have no problem.
I look all right
and, to some girls,
my grey hair might even be attractive;
my eyeglasses are well made,
my body temperature is precisely thirty seven,
my shirt is ironed and my shoes do not hurt.
I have no problem.
My hands are not cuffed,
my tongue has not been silenced yet,
I have not, so far, been sentenced
and I have not been fired from my work;
I am allowed to visit my relatives in jail,
I’m allowed to visit some of their graves in some countries.
I have no problem.
I am not shocked that my friend
has grown a horn on his head.
I like his cleverness in hiding the obvious tail
under his clothes, I like his calm paws.
He might kill me, but I shall forgive him
for he is my friend;
he can hurt me every now and then.
I have no problem.
The smile of the TV anchor
does not make me ill any more
and I’ve got used to the Khaki stopping my colours
night and day.
That is why
I keep my identification papers on me, even at
the swimming pool.
I have no problem.
Yesterday, my dreams took the night train
and I did not know how to say goodbye to them.
I heard the train had crashed
in a barren valley
(only the driver survived).
I thanked God, and took it easy
for I have small nightmares
that I hope will develop into great dreams.
I have no problem.
I look at myself, from the day I was born till now.
In my despair I remember
that there is life after death;
there is life after death
and I have no problem.
But I ask:
Oh my God,
is there life before death?
――Translated by Radwa Ashour

From poem hunter.com
Interview with Mourid Barghouti 

dhueisha
Israeli forces enter a Palestinian home in Duheisha refugee camp in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem. (MaanImages)

 

“. . . the air is filled with the fingers of nothingness . . .” (Dalia Taha)

Dalia Taha - Photo El Kaoutit
Dalia Taha – Photo El Kaoutit

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZA MINISTRY DEPLOYS HAMAS SECURITY FORCES AT EGYPT BORDER
July 1, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip deployed forces along the border with Egypt on Wednesday after attacks in Sinai by militants affiliated with the Islamic State killed over 70 people.
____Iyad al-Buzem, spokesman of the ministry, said security forces and patrols were deployed along the southern border to maintain security and stability.
____At least 70 people, mostly Egyptian soldiers but also civilians, were killed in attacks and ongoing clashes with Islamic State group militants in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, officials said.
(More. . .)

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ISIS CALLS HAMAS ‘APOSTATES’, PLEDGES TO FIGHT THEM IN GAZA
July 1, 2015
ISIS called Hamas members “apostates” and pledged to creep into Gaza to fight them and force them out soon, the Jordanian Al-Sabeel newspaper reported yesterday.
____A video message entitled “To our People in Bayt Al-Maqdis”, a group of ISIS members can be seen leaving Gaza and arrived in the “governorate of Aleppo”. They claim they impose Sharia Law, but “Hamas idols are ruling Gaza based on democracy”.
(More. . .)

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Yousuf Al-Qaradawi

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
AL-QARADAWI CALLS FOR LIFTING SIEGE ON GAZA, HAILS FREEDOM FLOTILLA ACTIVISTS
July 1, 2015
Chairman of the Global Union for Muslim Scholars yesterday called for lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and hailed the participants in the Freedom Flotilla including former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki.
____In a statement posted on Facebook, Yousef Al-Qaradawi called for lifting the siege and starting rebuilding projects.
____”Despite the widespread oppression, there are free people around the globe who challenge the oppressors and defend the oppressed,” Al-Qaradawi said. “They do not care about their suffering to achieve their goals.”
(More. . .)
About Yousef Al-Qaradawi

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
BELGIUM TO SUPPORT PALESTINIAN PRISONERS
July 1, 2015
BRUSSELS, (PIC)– The Belgian parliament decided to urgently intervene and put pressure for the release of the Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, ending violations against them and forming parliament committees to seek the truth on their detention conditions.
____In a special session on the issue of Palestinian captives on Wednesday, the parliament said the decision came in the wake of a detailed Palestinian report filed to the Belgian parliament on detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners as well as the Israeli violations of the international law and conventions.
(More. . .)

Opinion
From THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
THE RISING TIDES OF 21ST-CENTURY MIDDLE EASTERN AND ARABIC LITERARY VOICES
Daphne Muse
[. . . .]
____ In 1970, my literary horizons were expanded exponentially, when, in an act of solidarity, Drum and Spear Press, Inc. published Enemy of the Sun: Poetry of Palestinian Resistance, edited by Naseer Aruri and Edmund Ghareeb. Included were the piercing, magnificent, and emerging voices of twelve Palestinian poets living in the diaspora and Israel. Mostly written during and after the 1967 Six Day War, the poems reflect the angst and awe of Palestinian life and culture that were emerging at the time.
(More. . .)
Daphne Muse is a writer, social commentator, and poet. Her work appears in This Week in Palestine and The Atlantic, and has aired on NPR. Her Blog.

“FACE,” BY DALIA TAHA
A sky fell into
the braid
of the little girl who was killed.
Her face
is a wind in the shadows
of the garden,
blowing without colour
or blushing
when the air rushes through.

As if she knew,
when the jackals emerged
from her shadow and the river widened
in the disappointment
of whiteness.

As if she knew, when the sparrows
ate her eyes
and the sidewalk walked
in her blood.

The woman treads on dead
jasmine, searching
the minutes
for her hand.
She hides half her face,
and the air is filled with
the fingers of nothingness.

She pokes a hole in the poem
so the sidewalks can
wander into it.

The little girl’s hand withers and her blood
slumbers in
the lake.
When God passed over
her name,
she buried her hands in the heights of the jasmine
and covered her nakedness
with the corpses of the invaders.
―Translated by Allison Blecker

From Banipal 45: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature. Winter 2012. WWW.banipal.co.uk

Dalia Taha is a Palestinian poet and playwright. She was born in Berlin 1986 but grew up in Ramallah-Palestine. Her first play “Keffiyeh/Made in China” was produced by the Flemish Royal Theater [and] was premiered in Brussels in 2012, then brought to Palestine where it toured 7 Palestinian cities across the west bank. The play was given a staged reading in July 2013 at the Mosaic room in London, as part of the Shubbak Festival: A window on contemporary Arab Culture. . . . In addition to plays, Dalia writes poetry and fiction. She has published two collections of poetry, and one novel. Her poems were translated into English, French, German, and Swedish.
(More. . .)
An Interview with Dalia Taha

Belgian Parliament
Belgian Parliament

“. . . they shout, but their clamour makes no sound . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

regular for every postFrom:
ei
YOUNG DANCER JAILED BY ISRAEL FOR TAKING PART IN PROTEST

By Charlotte Kates. Beirut. 13 February 2015

Lina Khattab, 18, is in her first year of media studies at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank. An accomplished dancer, she is a member of the renowned troupe El-Funoun.

She was arrested by the Israeli military on 13 December as she joined fellow university students in a march to Israel’s Ofer prison, which holds Palestinian political prisoners.

El-Funoun has produced a video of scenes from her arrest spliced with some of her performances with the troupe, which specializes in the traditional Palestinian dance dabke.

Khattab has now been imprisoned for nearly two months and brought before the military court at Ofer nine times. Her last hearing on 25 January was a closed session; no family or observers were allowed to enter the military court. (Full story.)

Follow-up story from
mondoweiss
.

ISRAEL SENTENCES PALESTINIAN TEEN LINA KHATTAB TO 6 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PROTESTING
By Ben Norton, February 18, 2015

_________________________________________
From:
haaretz

AMERICAN JEWS, SPEAK OUT AGAINST NETANYAHU’S POLICIES
Benjy Cannon
Feb. 18, 2015
The Israeli prime minister and the majority of U.S. Jews fundamentally disagree on key issues. The time has come for American Jewish institutions to address this tension.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech before Congress – organized behind President Obama’s back – has uncharacteristically split the Jewish communal establishment. Yet the controversy over the speech exposes a tension that has been brewing below the surface for years. The fact is that when it comes to politics, values and the key issues that will decide Israel’s future, Netanyahu and the majority of American Jews fundamentally disagree. The time has come for American Jewish institutions to accept and address that important tension.

The speech, and Netanyahu’s intransigent refusal to back down from it, have created a firestorm of criticism, coming from such mainstream Jewish leaders as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League and Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism.  (Full story.)
________________________

From:
palestine

ISIS AND ISRAEL: ALLIES AGAINST A PALESTINIAN STATE
Sep 10 2014
By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

An image speaks a thousand words – and that is presumably what Israel’s supporters hoped for with their latest ad in the New York Times.

Two photographs are presented side by side. One, titled ISIS, is the now-iconic image of a kneeling James Foley. . . awaiting his terrible fate. The other, titled Hamas, is a scene from Gaza, where a similarly masked killer stands over two victims. . .

A headline stating “This is the face of radical Islam” tries, like the images, to equate the two organizations. . . Netanyahu’s depiction of Hamas and ISIS, or Islamic State, as “branches of the same poisonous tree” is a travesty of the truth.

ISIS militants burning Palestinian flag.
ISIS militants burning Palestinian flag.

The two have entirely different – in fact, opposed – political projects. ISIS wants to return to a supposed era of pure Islamic rule, the caliphate, when all Muslims were subject to God’s laws . . . the implication is that ISIS ultimately seeks world domination.

Hamas’s goals are decidedly more modest. It was born and continues as a national liberation movement, seeking to create a Palestinian state. Its members may disagree on that state’s territorial limits but even the most ambitious expect no more than the historic borders of a Palestine that existed a few decades ago. (Full story.)

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“A NIGHT UNLIKE OTHERS,” by Mourid Barghouti
His finger almost touches the bell,
the door, unbelievably slowly,
opens.
He enters.
He goes to his bedroom.
Here they are:
his picture next to his little bed,
his schoolbag, in the dark,
awake.
He sees himself sleeping
between two dreams, two flags.
He knocks on the doors of all the rooms
– he almost knocks. But he does not.
They all wake up:
“He’s back!
By God, he’s back!” they shout,
but their clamour makes no sound.
They stretch their arms to hug Mohammed
but do not reach his shoulders.

He wants to ask them all
how they are doing
under the night shelling;
he cannot find his voice.
They too say things
but find no voice.
He draws nearer, they draw nearer,
he passes through them, they pass through him,
they remain shadows
and never meet.
They wanted to ask him if he’d had his supper,
if he was warm enough over there, in the earth,
if the doctors could take the bullet and the fear
out of his heart.
Was he still scared?
Had he solved the two arithmetic problems
in order not to disappoint his teacher
the following day?
Had he . . . ?
He, too, simply wanted to say:
I’ve come to see you
to make sure you’re alright.
He said:
Dad will, as usual, forget to take his hypertension pill.
I came to remind him as I usually do.
He said:
my pillow is here, not there.
They said.
He said.
Without a voice.
The doorbell never rang,
the visitor was not in his little bed,
they had not seen him.
The following morning neighbours whispered:
it was all a delusion.
His schoolbag was here
marked by the bullet holes,
and his stained notebooks.
Those who came to give their condolences
had never left his mother.
Moreover, how could a dead child
come back, like this, to his family,
walking, calmly, under the shelling
of such a very long night?

مريد البرغوثي‎, Murīd al-Barghūti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest separated from his wife, the Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour. They have been together in the West Bank since they were allowed to return together in 1996. Their son, Tamim Al Barghouti, born in Egypt in 1977, is himself an important Palestinian poet.