“. . . stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument . . .” (Yousef el Qedra)

Palestinians stand atop the ruins of the headquarters of El Wafa rehabilitation hospital. (Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)

❶ Israeli forces detain 18 Palestinians in predawn military raids

  • Background: “Collusion as a Defense against Guilt: Further Notes on the West’s Relationship with Israel and the Palestinians.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❷ East Jerusalem parents denounce Israeli police’s assault of Palestinian school principal
. . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces fire at Gaza fishermen, spray pesticides on Palestinian crops
. . . . ❸ ― (ᴃ) The ‘silent’ war on Gaza’s hospitals
. . . . ❸ ― (c) Israeli forces demolish structures in Jordan Valley
❹ POETRY by Yousef el Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
May 9, 2017
Israeli forces carried out predawn military raids across the occupied West Bank on Monday and detained at least 18 Palestinians, according to Palestinians and Israeli sources.
[. . . .] Israeli forces raided the southern West Bank CITY OF HEBRON and detained three Palestinians. . . .  three Palestinians . . .  in the TOWN OF TUQU east of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank. . . .    four Palestinians . . . from THE VILLAGE OF FARUN in the Tulkarem district, and two Palestinians . . .  from QALQILIYA, according to the Israeli army.     . . . . five Palestinians in OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM’S OLD CITY. . . .   FOUR PALESTINIAN MINORS from the Old City and the Shufaat refugee camp on Sunday night ___[. . . .] Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
___The United Nations recorded an average of 95 weekly raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, and 78 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017. . . .      MORE . . .

. . .  I struggle to convey here the disturbing impact of being in Palestine, with Palestinians. In this disorientating experience, one is among people coping with rupture and fragmentation, a collectively felt yet denied history, an uncertain future within a collapsing geography.  Here every aspect of life is circumscribed by a military bureaucracy that works to destroy hope and thwart every ordinary human aspiration, overseen by an army whose operations are designed “to create a sense of persecution”.
___The visitor finds him or herself welcomed by individuals and families living in a society subject to the unrestrained whim of a dominant and hostile power, which degrades life through executive fiat: the arbitrariness of the checkpoints, the unpredictability of the evictions, house demolitions, NIGHT RAIDS, the re-designation of land as no longer one’s own, the violent incursions of settlers and THE ARREST AND DETENTION OF MINORS. . . . conversations . . . .  in which are expressed a confusing blend of pain and defiance, humor, frustration, anger, betrayal, pride, despair, determination, and sometimes optimism. Every Palestinian one meets, including those living inside Israel’s 1967 borders who have full Israeli citizenship, seems to struggle to make a life against the backdrop of a project in which they have no place, exposed to a process of cultural . . .  eradication. . . .
___[. . . .] Israel has come to play a key role in maintaining Western influence and presence in the Middle East, and for Western governments to overlook the failings and shortcomings of a key ally is hardly remarkable. Still, the level of impunity with which Israel acts, the reluctance of Western politicians and media outlets to name what is happening, to question the reasonableness of creating a “Jewish State” in Palestine, to provide historical context or to explore the ideological context of Israeli behavior is, I would suggest, unique.

  • Kemp, Martin. “Collusion as a Defense against Guilt: Further Notes on the West’s Relationship with Israel and the Palestinians.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, vol.12 no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 192-222.

Ma’an News Agency    
May 8, 2017
JERUSALEM ― The union of parent committees in occupied East Jerusalem schools held a sit-in on Monday in solidarity with the principal of a preparatory school in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, who was hospitalized last week after Israeli police officers arbitrarily assaulted and detained him.
___ [. . . .] Israeli police were chasing a vehicle driven by a Palestinian in Beit Hanina on Thursday, and detained the young man in the Beit Hanina preparatory school’s yard.
___When school principal Hassan Ghneim came out to the yard to ask Israeli officers what was happening on the school premises, the officers started swearing at him, then violently assaulted him and held chains around his neck, causing Ghneim to fall to the ground and suffer a head injury . . . .
___Ghneim told Ma’an that he had come out after the Israeli officers hit a young student with their vehicle following the detention of the young Palestinian man, bruising the child.     MORE . . .

Israeli large-scale nighttime raid and search campaign throughout Jerusalem and West Bank, 2016-12-05 (Photo: Group 194)

Ma’an News Agency
May 9, 2017
GAZA CITY ―  Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, locals told Ma’an.     MORE . . . 
+972 Magazine  
By Samer Badawi
May 7, 2017
At the height of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (2015), El Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital was the target of fierce attacks from Israeli positions along Gaza’s eastern border, just over a kilometer away.
___[. . . .]  now struggles to convey the impact of another danger—an ongoing electricity crisis that, according to the World Health Organization, could “leave thousands of people without access to life-saving health care.”    MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
May 9, 2017
Israeli forces Tuesday demolished residential structures and animal barns in the village of al-Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley, local sources said.
___Othman Anouz, head of Al-Jiftlik community council, told WAFA that Israeli military bulldozers demolished two residential structures and other animal barns in the village. The structures are owned by local resident Najeh Kaabneh and his son Odeh.   MORE. . .


I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms –
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
–– Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin.

  • From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . You may impose a nightmare of your terror on my village. . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

A damaged classroom in the school in Gaza bombed by Israel, July 30, 2014, while more than 3,200 people were sheltering there. The attack killed 20 people. (Photo: Anne Paq/Human Rights Watch)

❶ Palestinian murdered after buying candies for his disabled kids
❷  UN responds to Israel closing case into airstrike near UNRWA school during 2014 Gaza war

  • Background: British Journal of Psychotherapy 

❸ 4 hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in critical condition, handcuffed to hospital beds
❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine
Aug 27, 201
Israeli occupation forces murdered on Friday Palestinian citizen in West Bank city of Silwad after buying some candies for his disabled children.
___At first, the Israeli occupation forces and the Israeli parrot media claimed that his approached an Israeli military post with his car near the illegal settlement of Ofra. ___Palestinian eyewitnesses insisted that the Israeli narrative about the incident was false as the Palestinian did not plan to harm any Israelis.
[. . . .]  Official Palestinian medical sources identified the Palestinian as Iyad Hamed, a resident of Silwad who was married and had three disabled children.
___Later on, when a video showed the man buying the candies for his disabled children went viral on the internet, the Israeli occupation admitted that its soldiers had shot the Palestinian mistakenly.   MORE . . .   

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 26, 2016
The United Nations Friday responded in a statement to Israel’s announcement Wednesday that the military had exonerated itself from any wrongdoing in a missile attack near an UNRWA-run school in Rafah during the 2014 Gaza war, which killed 15 people. . . .   ___According to the statement released by UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, on August 3, 2014 . . . Israeli forces launched a missile at a road outside of an UNRWA school, which was designated as an emergency shelter for displaced Palestinians on July 18 and was at the time sheltering at least 2,900 Palestinians.
___The strike resulted in the killings of 15 civilians, while at least another 30 were injured.
___ “This raises serious questions about the conduct of military operations in relation to obligations under international humanitarian law and respect for the inviolability and sanctity of United Nations premises under international law,” Gunness said in the statement.     MORE . . .   

  • Kemp, Martin. “DEHUMANIZATION,  GUILT  AND  LARGE  GROUP  DYNAMICS  WITH  REFERENCE  TO  THE  WEST,  ISRAEL  AND  THE  PALESTINIANS.” British Journal of Psychotherapy 27.4 (2011): 383-405.  SOURCE.

[. . . .]
Central to the defensive ends served by the denigration of the Palestinians is the avoidance of a profound depression that would follow from the acknowledgement of Israel’s responsibility for the Naqba . . .  [That drives] the Israelis to dehumanize the Palestinians, [but] breaking with this necessity and embracing their humanity is a requirement for both peace and for Israel’s survival. . . . Israel’s ‘large group tent’ is in large part held together by the projection of Israel’s profound and unresolved conflicts onto the Palestinians, and that dehumanization of the latter is . . .  difficult to reverse. One conclusion might be that political Zionism has not offered an escape from the dynamics of oppression, merely a reversal of roles.
[. . . . ]
. . . it could be imagined that the collective psyches of the West and Israel are each grappling with a crippling burden of culpability. I suggest this, and that each engages the other in their efforts to minimize the consequences. The West, aware of the pain that guilt would occasion for itself achieves distance by reassuring Israel – identified with the fate of ‘the Jews’ – that it has no need to feel guilty. The West has regularly upheld Israel’s position that it is the Palestinians who need to make up for something, and that it is their failure to do so that explains the protracted stalemate. For the West to concern itself with the lived experience of the Palestinians would be to challenge an Israeli psyche in part held together by its refusal to acknowledge those realities.
[. . . .]
Responding to [the] suggestion that we attend to the moment when the terrorist decides to ‘abandon their species decency’, G. Awad writes: “Less dramatic, but also lethal, is the slow and cumulative abandonment of a deeply ingrained species decency where there is no defining moment: this can be seen in the increasingly destructive actions of the Israelis against the Palestinians. A powerful oppressor can, more often than not, afford to wait things out and take his time; an occupation or an embargo can slowly yet effectively destroy the soul and the body of ‘the others’. The powerful can kill without dirtying their hands or exposing themselves to imminent danger . . . many Arabs and Muslims, even if they are horrified by the nature of the suicide bomber’s attacks on innocent civilians, do not see such attacks as being any more horrible than the slow, methodological killing of their innocents by the powerful” (Awad, G. “The minds and perceptions of ‘the others.’” 2003).

Ma’an News Agency  
Aug. 27, 2016
Four Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners are reportedly in critical condition at Israel’s Assaf Harofeh Hospital, according to a statement released Saturday by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, as 120 other Palestinian prisoners continued hunger strikes in a mass solidarity movement.
[. . . .]  
___ each of the prisoners declared a hunger strike in protest of being placed in administrative detention — an Israeli policy of detention without charge or trial almost exclusively used against Palestinians.
___The committee said in the statement that the hunger strikers were in “dire health conditions,” as they have lost a significant amount of weight and have been suffering from pains and numbing in their bodies.      MORE . . .   

I may lose my daily bread, if you wish
I may hawk my clothes and bed
I may become a stonecutter, or a porter
Or a street sweeper
I may search in animal dung for food
I may collapse, naked and starved
Enemy of light
I will not compromise
And to the end
I shall fight.
You may rob me of the last span of my land
You may ditch my youth in prison holes
Steal what my grandfather left me behind:
Some furniture or clothes and jars,
You may burn my poems and books
You may feed your dog on my flesh
You may impose a nightmare of your terror
On my village
Enemy of light
I shall not compromise
And to the end
I shall fight.

“Poems of Resistance: 7 Poems for Palestine.” SCOOP  WORLD  INDEPENDENT  NEWS. January 2011. Web. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1101/S00522/poems-of-resistance-7-poems-for-palestine.htm
About Samih Al-Qasim