“. . . the stones of your streets grow sad, the towers of mosques downcast . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

جواد-2
Previous arrest of Jawad Siam, Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Jerusalem, October 31, 2015 (Photo: silwanic.net)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  DIRECTOR  OF  WADI  HILWEH  INFORMATION  CENTER  RELEASED  ON  CONDITIONS
Israeli forces released Jawad Siam, director of Wadi Hilweh Information Center, on Sunday, after several hours in detention on charges of “organizing a protest in SALAH AL-DIN STREET” in occupied East Jerusalem.    ___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli forces banned Siam from entry to Salah al-Din Street, al-Sultan Suleiman Street, and the Damascus Gate, in addition to a ban on participating in protests in the city . . .     [. . . .] ___Siam organized a protest, during which he was detained, against the extended detention of Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Soldiers storm W. Bank village, clash with local youths [DEIR ABU MASH’AL]
. . . . Related  Including A Woman And A Journalist, Army Abducts Five Palestinians in RAMALLAH
. . . . Related  Army Abducts Eight Palestinians, Including Two Children, In HEBRON
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Abduct 32 Palestinians In JERUSALEM
|  PCHR  CONDEMNS  EXPLOITATION  OF  ISRAELI  SUPREME  COURT  IN  SERVICE  OF  SETTLEMENT  PROJECTS
The Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR) condemns the ongoing exploitation of the Israeli Supreme Court in the service of settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in general and in occupied East Jerusalem in particular and the Court’s issuance of decisions that violate the rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.    ___The latest of these decisions was rejecting the petition filed by dozens of Palestinian civilians living in “Batn al-Hawa” neighborhood in Silwan village, south of the occupied Jerusalem.  Their petition was to request overturning the decision by the Custodian of Absentee Property that orders the resident to evacuate their houses and hand them to “Ateret Cohanim” Settlement Association.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel seizes land for expansion near Salfit   ..
.  .  .  .  .  Update   Palestinian land bulldozed to expand Israeli occupation watchtower
. . . . Related  Israeli settlements devouring Qaryut, encroaching on Area B
|  STATE  OF  THE  GAZA  STRIP  BORDER  CROSSINGS  (01  –  31  OCTOBER  2018)  [Palestinian Centre for Human Rights] 
The Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip continues for the 12th consecutive year.  During the reporting period (August), the Israeli authorities intensified the restrictions on the commericial crossings as they . . .  banned the entry of all goods and commodities into the Gaza Strip, except for the humanitarian supplies (including food and medicine).  Moroever, the Israeli authorities decided to totally ban the exportation of all goods from the Gaza Strip. As for the Crossings for the movement of persons, the Israeli authorities continue to impose tightened restrictions on the movement of the Gaza Strip residents through Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing, narrowly allowing the travel of limited categories . . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  Only handful of Gaza families allowed to visit jailed relatives

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  ISRAEL  DOESN’T  SURVIVE  BECAUSE  IT’S  STRONG;  IT  SUCCEEDS  BY  WEAKENING  ITS  ENEMIES
By Mohammad Makram Balawi
The result of the latest round of fighting in the besieged Gaza Strip . . .   proved that Palestinian can damage Israel, as never before. Israeli media provided some statistics in this regard that were unprecedented and, from an Israeli point of view, appalling.    [. . . .] Israel and its backers, principally the US government, have always sought to ensure that it maintains its military hegemony in the Middle East, enabling its troops to inflict death and destruction on others while being safe from serious opposition.    [. . . .]  Israel’s policies have gone more or less to plan for the past 20 years or so. All the major Arab armies have either been neutralised by peace treaties, such as the Egyptians and Jordanians; destroyed like the Iraqi army; or completely bogged down in civil wars, like the armed forces in Syria and Yemen. The rest are either intimidated or sidelined by ongoing normalisation with Arab countries, especially in the Gulf. . . . The simple conclusion to draw from all of this is that Israel does not survive because it is strong; it is where it is because it succeeds in weakening its enemies, no matter the cost.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI
Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

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.

“. . . an unmistakable signal that [the US] Palestinian views and perspectives will be . . . defined by our relationship with Israel . . .” (Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer )

Donald-Trump-and-Benjamin-Netanyahu-850x567SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    NETANYAHU  TEMPORARILY  DELAYS  FORCIBLE  EVICTION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR
The Israeli government has postponed the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar until further notice, following weeks of rising tensions in the Bedouin village.     ___Following a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the village will soon be “evacuated,” adding that the government plans on implementing the September High Court decision allowing for the demolition of the village.     ___[. . . .] Later Sunday afternoon, the Israeli news website Haaretz that the Israeli security cabinet approved Netanyahu’s plans to temporarily postpone the demolition “in order to exhaust negotiations with the village residents.”   More . . .
Related . . . .  Land  in  the  south  of  the  West  Bank  leveled,  [320  olive  and  almond]  trees  uprooted
|    ISRAEL  MINISTER:  NO  CHOICE  BUT  WAR 
Israel’s war Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) threatened to wage a bloody war against Gaza at the start of a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.     ___“Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” the minister claimed on Monday. “Anything less than the toughest response won’t help anymore. We have exhausted the other options.”     ___ “There is no popular uprising,” Lieberman said. “There is violence organized by Hamas.     More . . .
   ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  13  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Israeli forces detained at least 13 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, on predawn Monday.     ___According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained one Palestinian in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. . .    In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, three Palestinians were detained. . .    In Kafr Aqab town, in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, one Palestinian was detained by Israeli forces. . .  In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, another three Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . .   In the northern West Bank district of Nablus, two Palestinians were detained. . .   In the northern West Bank district of Jenin. . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

  THE  TRUMP  ADMINISTRATION’S  LATEST  BLOW  TO  THE  CHANCES  FOR  MIDEAST  PEACE
Daniel  Kurtzer,  US  Ambassador  to  Israel,  2001-2005
[. . . .] the Trump administration has decided on yet another step that accelerates the burial of an already moribund peace process: closing  the  American  Consulate  General  in  Jerusalem  and  transforming  it  into  a  “Palestinian  Affairs  Unit”  with  the  U.S.  Embassy. The strangest part of all this is that the administration believes it can still achieve what President Trump has called the “ultimate deal.”   ____The American Consulate General in Jerusalem has been an independent diplomatic mission since its establishment in 1844. Since 1948, and in particular since 1967, the Consulate has served a critical purpose of engaging with Palestinians in an effort to advance the prospects of peace with Israel. The Consulate reported directly to Washington, commenting on what its officers saw and heard, and offered recommendations on how to resolve problems both small and large.   More . . .
|    NETANYAHU,  THE  ARMED  PROPHET  OF  THE  CLASH  OF  CIVILISATIONS 
Dr. Mohammad Makram Balawi, president of ASIA  MIDDLE  EAST  FORUM
. . . . Netanyahu is the prophet out to save the modern Israelites in a hostile environment. His message is to cast the clash of civilisations  theories of Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington into a religious mould. The battle is against evil, which is embodied, he believes, in Islam. . . . I suspect that even Lewis and Huntingdon would be shocked if they could see where Netanyahu has taken their idea.     ___ [. . . .] Netanyahu’s words did not reflect gratitude to the US President as much as implicate and entangle him in a messy situation in an area were historical feuds are rarely forgotten. The Israeli-US alliance. . .  is “an eternal bond that can never, ever be broken,” said Netanyahu. His message was clear: you cannot leave us alone, because we share both the responsibility and the consequences for. . .  occupying the Holy City and land of our existential enemy, Islam.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“SAND  KINGDOM,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

With small shovels
and plastic buckets,
the children,
in their joyful clothes,
are building sturdy sand castles.

They throw balls in a game without rules,
they shout, call each other names, laugh,
get scratched in short inevitable clashes.
Complaints are also inevitable:
“Why did you leave me alone?”
“Why don’t you leave me alone?”

They squat on the seat, in a flash,
to make the swing fly higher and higher.

They invent their sudden demands:
a glass of water,
a cry for help, soon forgotten,
a napkin,
a look at the miracle about to take place:
“Watch what I am going to do now!”
“Watch how I jump.”

In the half circle of benches in the part,
on wooden seats
that have almost lost their cumin-colored paint,
mothers and grandmothers in their drab clothes
turn up the collars
to avoid a gust of cold wind,
or silently finger their wrinkled worries.

And from time to time,
trying to overcome their boredom,
they exchange the latest news
in low voices.

They send their children a caring smile,
an encouraging look,
or an instructive gesture.

A big-bellied cat with heavy steps
moves around, as if lost, looking for something.
A string of birds, silent, turns slowly,
like a column of prisoners of war.

Dark clouds pile up above the scene;
a small sun keeps on trying.

From the sand kingdom
a shriek of grief,
a child yells at everyone:
“The castle has fallen.”

—From MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS, by Mourid Barghouti, translated by Radwa Ashour. London: ARC Publications, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble.