“Here we shall stay.  A wall upon your breast . . .” Tawfiq Zayyad

NEWS

PM calls on ICC to expedite investigation of Israeli war crimes

WAFA
February 15, 2020
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called today upon the International Criminal Court to expedite its litigation procedures, especially after the ICC’s chief prosecutor announced in December its desire to launch a full investigation into Israeli war crimes in occupied Palestine.
– – – During a meeting with ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the sideline of the Munich Security Conference 2020, Shtayyeh said he rejects all attempts to politicize the work of the ICC . . .   More . . .

Israeli Authorities displace families in Jerusalem and West Bank after razing their homes

Days of Palestine
February 15, 2020
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Thursday forced a Palestinian citizen to demolish his own house in Jerusalem and demolished another one in the West Bank.
– – – According to local sources, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem forced Iyad Shuwaiki to demolish his own home in al-Thuri neighborhood, south of the Aqsa Mosque, and displaced his family in order to build a school in its place.  More . . .

Israeli Authorities Builds Settler-only Road from Nablus to Jordan Valley

The Palestine Chronicle
February 14, 2020
Israeli occupation authorities have started the build of a new road that would link the illegal Jewish settlements of Eli and Shilo  – in the north of the occupied West Bank – with the Jordan Valley.
– – – Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlements file in the northern West Bank, told Wafa news agency yesterday that the settler-only road is about eight kilometers long.
– – – The road would cross fertile agricultural lands in the Palestinian villages of Duma, Telfit, Qaryut, and Al-Mughair, south of Nablus, all the way to the village of Fasayil in the central Jordan Valley.  More . . .

BACKGROUND INFORMATION/ ACTION NOTICES

How the U.S. made Palestine the exception to the rules of peacemaking
Israel has only ever offered Palestinians two things over the past century — submission or devastation — and the Americans have always backed them.

+972 Magazine
By Amjad Iraqi
February 10, 2020
Palestinians knew well before U.S. President Donald Trump announced the “Deal of the Century” that his proposed “peace plan” would be a farce. Yet even the most cynical observers could not have predicted how bone-chilling the event would be. The racism of Trump’s remarks, the grin on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face, and the applause of the dignitaries in the room, may go down as one of the most harrowing political moments in Palestinian memory . . . . It was therefore a jarring experience to read Khaled Elgindy’s book Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump (Brookings Institution Press, 2019) as the “Deal of the Century” was being unveiled. Published in 2019, Elgindy’s book chronicles how the United States not only enabled this historical path, but actively designed its trajectory. Beginning with the Balfour Declaration and ending with Trump’s ascension, the book traces America’s century-long alignment with the Zionist movement and the State of Israel, which came at the direct expense of the Palestinian people.    More . . .

 Poem of the Day

“THE  IMPOSSIBLE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD

It is much easier for you
To pass an elephant through a needle’s eye,
Or catch fried fish in a galaxy,
Plough the sea,
Force a crocodile to speak
Than to destroy by persecution
The shimmering glow of a belief,
Or check our march,
One single step.

As if we were a thousand prodigies
Spreading everywhere
In Lidda, in Ramallah, in the Galilee. . .
Here we shall stay,
A wall upon your breast,
And in your throat we shall stay,
A piece of glass, a cactus thorn,
And in your eyes,
A blazing fire.

Here we shall stay,
A wall upon your breast,
Cleaning dishes in taverns,
Filling cups for the masters,
Sweeping sooty kitchens
To snatch a bite from your blue fangs
For our children.

Here we shall stay.
A wall upon your breast,
Facing starvation,
Struggling with rags, defying,
Singing our songs,
Swarming the angry streets with our demonstrations,
Filling the dungeons with pride,
Rearing vengeance in new generations.
Like a thousand prodigies,
We roam along
In Lidda, in Ramallah, in the Galilee.

Here we shall stay,
Go then and jump into the lake.
We will guard even the shadow of our fig and olive trees,
And ferment our cause as yeast does dough.
Here we shall stay with steel-cold nerves,
And red hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And lull starvation with dust,
But we shall not depart.
Here we shall spill our dearest blood,
Here we have a past,
A present,
A future.
Stay we will, like a thousand prodigies,
In Lidda, Ramallah, the Galilee.
Strike deep in the earth
Our living roots.

From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.  Available from Google Books.