“They’ve grown to become trees plunging deep roots. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli army detains three youths from villages near Ramallah, seizes surveillance cameras

WAFA
August 24, 2019
The Israeli army detained early this morning three Palestinian youths from villages near Ramallah and seized street surveillance cameras in these villages, according to local sources. . . .
· · · · The sources said the soldiers seized tapes from the street surveillance cameras installed by shop and homeowners in these villages.
· · · · The arrests and seizure of the cameras are believed related to the Israeli army investigation into the explosion from yesterday near the village of Ein Arik that killed one Israeli settler and injured two others.   More . . . .   

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian citizens in West Bank cities

Groups of Israeli settlers on Friday rioted and attacked Palestinian citizens in al-Khalil and Nablus districts in the West Bank.
· · · Local sources reported that hordes of Israeli settlers gathered near Road 60 east of al-Khalil City and hurled rocks at Palestinian vehicles. More . . . .

In one East Jerusalem neighborhood, summer vacation has become a war zone

For children in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, summer vacation means dodging rubber bullets and watching their fathers and brothers arrested and humiliated every day.
+972 Magazine
August 22, 2019
At the entrance to Issawiya in East Jerusalem, eight children are laughing as they chase one another in circles. I take out a camera and a few of them begin to gather around me. The oldest of the group is 13 years old, and tells me that they are playing “Jews and Arabs.” Do you know it? She asks. There are two teams: the Jews shoot at the Arabs and the Arabs throw rocks. The game ends when one of the teams wins.
I look on as they play but cannot really seem to make out the rules. It’s a bit like tag, only that instead of tagging one another, they pretend chase, detain, and shoot each other. The children’s home is just across the road. . . .   More . . . .

OPINION and BACKGROUND

The Future of the Two-State Solution and the Alternatives — A View from Gaza

Palestine-Israel Journal
Vol. 24 No. 1, 2019
By Husam Dajni
. . . . This article will address the following questions: What are the indicators of the erosion of the two-state solution? What are the chances the Palestinian leadership and the international community can keep this solution viable? What are possible alternatives to the two-state solution? And what is Hamas’s vision for the two-state solution and its alternatives, given the new reality?  More . . . .
(The Palestine-Israel Journal is a non-profit organization, founded in 1994 by Ziad AbuZayyad and Victor Cygielman, two prominent Palestinian and Israeli journalists, and was established concurrently with the first phases of the Oslo peace process to encourage dialogue between civil societies on both sides and broaden the base of support for the peace process.)

The East Jerusalem Municipality (Amanat al-Quds): History and Horizons

This Week In Palestine
Issue: 256, Aug 2019
By Walid Salem
The Jerusalem municipality was established by the Ottomans in 1863. At that time, it was composed of five members: three Muslims, one Christian, and one Jew. The British Mandatory Period began in 1917. . . . The Israeli occupying authorities dissolved this council on June 21, 1967, and began to enforce Israeli law in East Jerusalem whilst extending the responsibilities of the Israeli municipality to include East Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the 1963 elected city council continued operating and still represents East Jerusalem in Arab, Islamic, and international federations of capitals and cities today. . . .
· · · During President Mahmoud Abbas’s term, an amended Law No. 10 of 2005 was passed regarding the election of local authorities. Article 69 of the law stipulates that “members of the Municipal Council shall be selected in accordance with the Law of the Municipality of the Capital (Amanat al-Quds Law).”
· · · In January 2012, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a second decree appointing a new municipality for Jerusalem.    More . . . .
(In December 1998, Turbo Design put out the first issue of an English-language magazine called This Week in Palestine (TWiP). Twenty-one years later, the magazine is now considered to be a major Palestinian success story and, unfortunately, remains the only English-language magazine in Palestine. TWiP essentially promotes and documents Palestine. . . .)

POEM OF THE DAY

“SONG  OF  BECOMING,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――
Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

“. . . and wish for you another day another sun . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

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Sarah Algherbawi with her husband and son, Khalil. (Photo: Mondoweiss, Dec. 14, 2018, courtesy of the family)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .     
|  ISRAELI  ARMY  SHATTERS  THE  ILLUSION  OF  NORMALCY  IN  RAMALLAH
Living in Ramallah is thought of as trendy these days, and to a certain extent, represents a relatively luxurious life. Restaurants and cafes are packed, there are clubs and parties on weekends, there are sports and cultural activities, art galleries, and concerts.   ___Yet that assumption, that life is good as long as you are inside Ramallah, is not always reflective of reality. Israeli forces raid the city of regularly, entering a neighborhood in the dead of night, taking over an entire home or building, and leaving at dawn with whomever they came to capture.    ___This week, with Christmas approaching, Israel didn’t just invade one neighborhood, it put the entire city under military closure . . . .     More . . .
|  GAZA  TEACHER  AMONG  50  FINALISTS  FOR  ‘WORLD’S  BEST  TEACHER’  PRIZE
The Palestinian Ministry of Education announced on Friday that a teacher from Gaza has been nominated as one of 50 finalists for the “world’s best teacher prize”.    ___Maths teacher Rana Ziadeh is to compete for the prize as part of a competition organized by global education charity The Varkey Foundation, Safa news agency reported.    More . . .    
~~ TWO  SCHOOLS  EVACUATED  AS  SETTLER  OPENS  GUNFIRE  OUTSIDE
An Israeli settler opened gunfire on Sunday outside two schools on the entrance to the village of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, to the south of Nablus in the West Bank, as other settlers rampaged through the street under the protection of Israeli forces, local sources said.   ___The shooting terrified the students and teachers of the two schools, and were forced to leave the schools to a safe haven.    More . . .
~~ STUDENTS  SUFFOCATE  FROM  TEARGAS  FIRED  BY  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  IN  HEBRON
Dozens of students suffocated on Sunday from teargas inhalation after Israeli soldiers fired teargas canisters at them in a school in Hebron City, southern West Bank, a local source told WAFA.     More . . .
|   ISRAEL  DELIVERS  DEMOLITION  NOTICE  TO  FAMILY  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER
Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice to the family of 16-year-old Khalil Jabbarin, in Yatta City in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, on Sunday.    ___Jabbarin, was shot, injured and imprisoned by Israeli forces, in September, after he had carried out a stabbing attack reportedly killing an Israeli settler.    ___The Israeli commander of the Israeli military central command approved an order for the demolition of the Jabbarin family’s apartment . . .  [. . . .] Israel demolishes family homes of Palestinians, who were involved in attacking Israelis as part of its collective punishment policy against the Palestinian people.     More . . .
~~ SETTLERS  START  EXPANSION  OF  SETTLEMENT  NEAR  HEBRON
Israeli Jewish settlers on Sunday proceeded to expand the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Yair, to the south of Hebron city in the southern West Bank.    ___Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the National and Popular Committee in Hebron, told WAFA that Israeli settlers started razing lands and installing caravans in the settlement in order to expand it.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
ISRAEL’S  ASSASSINATION  OF  PALESTINIAN  CHILDHOOD
Israeli soldiers continue to practice terrorism and murder against Palestinians; the latest of which was with the shooting of four-year-old child Ahmed Yassen Abu Abed, when an Israeli sniper fired an internationally forbidden bullet at his head.    ___The child Ahmed Yasser Abu Abed died of wounds sustained a week ago east of Khan Younis.    [. . . .] Defense for Children International, Palestine said the Israeli occupation forces killed 52 children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, since the beginning of this year, 46 of them were in the Gaza Strip.    More . . .
~~ HOW  IT  FEELS  TO  HAVE  A  CHILD  IN  AN  UNINHABITABLE  PLACE
Sarah Algherbawi
I just had my first baby, a boy named Khalil, last month. From the first moment I held my child in my arms, I was flushed with emotions. I was extremely happy and blessed, but also worried and confused.    [. . . .] When I thought of the coming year, I could not help but think of the UN report that warns my home in the Gaza Strip will be uninhabitable” by 2020.    [. . . .] It’s not only the fear of war that dominates every parent in Gaza. We also lack stability. When I lost my job on July because of the punitive measures the Trump administration took against Palestinians I became like one-third of Gaza: unemployed.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
DEFENCE  FOR  CHILDREN  INTERNATIONAL  (DCI)  is a worldwide movement for children’s rights with more than 37 national sections and associated members across the globe. DCI-PALESTINE WAS CREATED IN PALESTINE in order to promote and defend children’s rights. Therefore, several actions are undertaken in the following priority issues . . .     Donate . . .    ..

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“LULLABY,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD
. . . For (Miriam), a refugee child from Palestine

I’ll etch your name
on a secret star
we’ll both go there
on frightful nights

when Mother Earth
runs out of room
for you and me

I’ll hold you tight
and sing you songs
of a distant land
beyond the stars

and watch you grow
between my heart
and the highest high

I’ll draw your face
on a single seed
and hold your palm
to face the sun

when you’re awake
and call out my name
don’t moan or cry

I’ll return
to raise your hand
at a shooting star
and with for you

another day
another sun
another world

where Palestine
is a mountain top
of soil and air
and a purple sky

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . An Arab who has protested at the suffering of his people . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

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Destruction of home of Murad Hushema in Wadi Qadum, East Jerusalem. (Photo: Palestine News Network, Dec. 8, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
OCHA:  ‘INCREASE  IN  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS,  VANDALISM  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’
Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 33 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including two structures provided as humanitarian assistance, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory confirmed in its report covering the period from November 20th to December 3rd.    ___OCHA’s biweekly “Protection of Civilians” report said that Israeli settler violence and vandalism in the West Bank have been on the rise since the beginning of 2018, with a weekly average of five attacks resulting in injuries or property damage, compared with an average of three in 2017.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Rain and Israeli tunnels [under homes] cause land cave-in in Silwan
. . . . Related  Israel commits 24 violations against journalists in November
. . . . Related  Settlers, led by the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, charge into Al-Aqsa Mosque
|  IOF  ARREST  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday overnight launched a campaign of raids and arrests in cities all over the occupied West Bank.    ___IOF raided Balata and Askar refugee camps in Nablus, northern West Bank, where they arrested four men, including ex-prisoners. Israeli army patrols also stormed Salem, Asira, Al-Lubban towns in the vicinity of the city.    ___In addition, Israeli settlers, under under the protection of the Israeli army, have stormed the area of ​​Sada Al-Fahs in Hebron [. . . .]    More . . .
. . . . Related  Citizens rally in al-Khalil in solidarity with female prisoners
|  GAZA:  19TH  MARITIME  RALLY  TO  KICK  OFF  MONDAY  
The National Committee for Breaking Gaza Siege has announced the launch of the 19th maritime rally on the coast and in Gaza waters on Monday.    ___A spokesman for the Committee told a news conference on Sunday morning that the rally would be staged under the slogan “Resistance to freedom” to confirm the Palestinian people’s adherence to all forms of resistance.    ___The spokesman called on all citizens in Gaza to participate in the rally in order to send a message to the international community, the US administration and the Israeli occupation state stating that “the Palestinian people’s resistance of the occupation is legitimate.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  Egyptian security delegation to visit Gaza
. . . . Related  Former Israel PM ordered targeting densely populated areas in 2008 Gaza war

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
  A  DECADE  AFTER  HOLY  LAND  CONVICTION [Dallas, Texas],  PALESTINE  ADVOCACY  IN  U.S.  STILL  UNDERMINED
Ten years ago, United States federal prosecutors shut down what was then the biggest Muslim charity in the country, a foundation supporting Palestinians refugees. Authorities seized all of the Holy Land Foundation’s assets and put five of its leaders in prison.    ___ Over the past decade, the case has set into motion a broad and powerful effort to criminalize and sanction Palestine advocacy in the United States. It created a chilling effect that forces many Americans to think twice before supporting Palestinian or Muslim charities to this day.    More . . .
| ON  THE  10TH  ANNIVERSARY
By  Imprisoned  Humanitarian  Activist  Shukri  Abu  Baker  of  The  Holy Land  Foundation (Dallas, Texas, USA)
Sick, is all I’d been feeling on that cold Monday night. Some hours earlier, the ominous air in that courtroom, the timid gestures, the awful anticipation, the dreadful verdicts… all was too much to stomach. I cringed every time the judge’s voice rang “guilty” in my head; his gloating only amplified by the claustrophobic compactness in my prison cell.    More . . .
. . . . And  Who  Is  Not  Special?   [. . . .] This is why it’s wrong to spew insults at others from a place of power just because one can. . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering
of his people
Who has carried with him the hope
of a just peace
Who has spoken out against death
at every corner
Who has called for and has lived
a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

From: El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from biblio.com

“. . . imagine eleven thousand people in one square kilometer . . .” (Rabbi Rachel Barenblat)

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Bethlehem by night (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
PALESTINIANS  CHEER  AS  TOURISTS  THRONG  BETHLEHEM
Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, is experiencing a record flow of tourists. Israel says October figures were record-breaking.    ___The holy city is located in the occupied West Bank and the ongoing political tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have a direct effect on the tourism industry.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Where to Go? A House Worth Seeing
. . . . Related  A Day in Nablus
. . . . Related  How the tourism industry underpins illegal Israeli settlements
|  UNGA  ADOPTS  FIVE  RESOLUTIONS  IN  FAVOR  OF  PALESTINE
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favor of five resolutions regarding Palestine and a sixth resolution on the Golan Heights, on Friday evening.    __One of the most important resolutions adopted called upon member states not to recognize any measures taken by Israel in Jerusalem and to maintain the current status-quo in the holy city.    __Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that “by voting in favor of the five resolutions, the international community affirms its support of our national cause, despite the efforts made by the US administration in international forums to resist this.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  PM Hamdallah: The UN Should Recognize Palestine as A Full- Member State and Endorse President Abbas Peace Initiative
. . . . Related  Palestine  thwarts  efforts  by  US  to  question  its  membership  in  OPCW
. . . . Related  Hamas  politicos  make  rounds  internationally  to  gain  backing
|  ISRAEL  KILLS  345  PALESTINIANS  SINCE  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  ANNOUNCEMENT
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have killed 345 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital in October 2017, the Jerusalem Centre for Studies of Palestinian and Israeli Affairs revealed.    ___The body said 71 children and nine women were among the Palestinians killed, seven died in detention, 43 were killed in airstrikes and one – engineer Fadi Al-Batsh- was assassinated by the Israeli Mossad in Malaysia.    More . . .
. . . .  Related  28  Palestinians  injured  in  Gaza  border  protest

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| THIS  IS  HOW  TO  FIGHT  ISRAEL’S  JEWISH  NATION-STATE  LAW
By Said Zeedani
The Jewish Nation-State Law, a new law with the force of a constitutional amendment, enshrined Israel as the exclusive nation-state of the Jewish people, demoted the official status of the Arabic language, and gave the right of self-determination in Israel to Jews alone. Palestinian political leaders, Israeli opposition politicians, and dovish Jewish-American groups all lambasted the passage of the law earlier this year, with some saying the law amounted to apartheid and promoting Jewish supremacy.    [. . . .] a serious struggle . . . will need to take place both locally and internationally; it should be waged by civil society, in the legal system, and legislatively. There are many Israeli Jews, as well as many proponents of democracy and human rights worldwide, who are potential partners in such a struggle.    ___But the struggle must also acknowledge that Israel’s regime of racial superiority and discrimination, created in and sustained since 1948, will not end with the abolishment of the Jewish Nation-State Law.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“FIRST  VISIT  TO  THE  CAMP  D’HAISHA,  BETHLEHEM,”
BY  RABBI  RACHEL  BARENBLAT

There are no canvas tents.
The buildings don’t look
so bad, standard issue
developing-world
cement block structures

until I try to imagine
eleven thousand people
in one square kilometer
,
one in every minyan
an angry alumnus

of the Israeli jails.
What do I know
about settlers or rock-throwers,
one state, two state
impossibilities?

But our grandparents
didn’t escape the ghettos
of Europe’s worst era
only to create new ones
for somebody else.

When we depart
I’m saddened, troubled
but perfectly able
to order a cold beer
and make conversation.

The sorrow and the fury
dormant overnight
explode the next day.
Even Shabbat can’t soothe
my lacerated heart.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.
Rachel Barenblat was ordained a rabbi in January 2011 through the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the author of 4 chapbooks of poetry. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Texas Observer. She lives in western Massachusetts.

“. . . When the almond and the olive have turned to timber . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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THE VILLAGE OF BURIN. PHOTO BY SALMA A-DEB’I. B’Tselem Website, March 27,2018.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  NABLUS       Video footage showed how several Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, on Saturday, while they were harvesting olive harvest on Palestinians lands belonging to the residents of the Burin village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.    ___According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Givat Ronin settlement attacked two Palestinian farmers by throwing rocks at them and chased them out of their own lands.    ___The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported that “Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by.    More . . .
|  VIDEO:  AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS     The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees. This chance only came twice a year: two days in the spring to cultivate their land, and two days in the fall to harvest the olives.     ___When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli forces chase Palestinian herders out of grazing land
. . . . Related  Settlers chop off olive, grape trees near Bethlehem
. . . . Related  Settlers attack civilians in Hebron
. . . . Related  Israeli army destroys water pipeline in Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers And Settlers Uproot Trees In Silwan
. . . . Related  PHOTOS: Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in West Bank villages
. . . . Related  Israeli fanatics break into Aqsa Mosque
|  ISRAEL ORDERS IMMEDIATE HALT OF FUEL DELIVERIES TO GAZA    Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to besieged Gaza in response to what he claimed attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.    ___The announcement on Friday follows the killing  of  seven  Palestinians  by  Israeli  forces  during the ongoing March of Return protests.   ___”Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” the statement from Lieberman’s office read.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim 
From 
THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.

“. . . We continue to strengthen the Jewish settlement in the West Bank with actions, not words . . .” (Avigdor Lieberman)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

LIEBERMAN  TO  APPROVE  31  SETTLEMENT  HOUSING  UNITS  IN  HEBRON  CITY
The Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced on Thursday that he expects the Israeli government to approve the construction of 31 new illegal settlement housing units in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.    ___Lieberman announced his intention to have the Israeli government approve the construction of 31 news illegal settlement housing units, in Hebron City, on Sunday.     ___He posted a tweet on his official Twitter account that the illegal settlement plan includes new housing units, kindergartens and public parks.     ___”We continue to strengthen the Jewish settlement in the West Bank with actions, not words.”   More . . .
|  ISRAEL  DECLARES  TUBAS-AREA  VILLAGE  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE
Israeli forces declared the village of Khirbet al-Hadidiyeh in the northern Jordan Valley a closed military zone and sealed off several roads leading to the village, on Friday.    ___Local activist, Aaref Daraghmeh, said that Israeli forces sealed off entrance roads to Khirbet al-Hadidiyeh and prevented activists from reaching the area, where Israeli forces demolished Palestinian housing structures and steel structures used for housing sheep on Thursday.    ___Israeli forces declared the village a closed military zone . . .    More . . .
. . . . Related   Clashes  break  out  as  IOF  storms  Nablus  villages
. . . . Related   Illegal  Settlers  Attack  Palestinian  Cars  and  High  School  [Nablus  area]
|  283,000  UNEMPLOYED  INDIVIDUALS  IN  GAZA  STRIP 
Gaza unemployment has doubled since Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip 12 years ago, the General Federation of Palestinian Labor Unions said on Thursday.     ___It said that while unemployment rate has reached 27.2% before the blockade, it has now reached 50%, including 283,000 workers considered unemployed in 2018, which it described as “unprecedented.”     ___The poverty rate has reached 80%, which indicates critical deterioration in the standard of living and economic performance in the Gaza Strip, said the Federation, explaining that Gaza’s two million people have been living difficult and catastrophic conditions for over 12 years.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Thousands  of  Chronically  Ill  Gazans  Deprived  of  Medicine
. . . . Related   Weekly  Report  On  Israeli  Human  Rights  Violations  in  the  Occupied  Palestinian  Territory  (04  –  10  October  2018)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THE  AUDACITY  OF  UNCHECKED  POWER  IN  KHAN  AL-AHMAR 
An entire Palestinian village is facing destruction. What follows will dictate the fate of Palestinian communities all over the West Bank.
Hagai El-Ad
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s recent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post – designed to whitewash the war crime of the destruction of an entire Palestinian community in the occupied West Bank – is riddled with lies and distortions.    ___ The very premise he posits in his opening sentence is untrue. Lieberman writes of “a judicial ruling for the relocation of a small group of squatters from Khan al-Ahmar.” The High Court of Justice’s ruling, however, actually addressed demolition orders, not “relocation.”     More . . .
AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS
Yumna Patel
The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees.   [. . . .]  When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.   ___The 40 olive trees belonged to 78-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud al-Araj, who had been tending to the trees since he was a boy.    [. . . .]  “I have been cultivating these trees, this land, since I was a boy. We helped our families and tired ourselves on this land so we could provide for our children and the future generations,” he said. “We give everything we have to our land and to these trees, and then the settlers come and destroy it all.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. She has been a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. She has also been editor of the journal Awarq.
From 
A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014.
House of Poetry in Mafraq launches its fourth meeting in Amman
Under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, the House of Poetry – Mafraq – was opened four years ago on the initiative of the ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. In the presence of the chairman of the cultural authority in Sharjah Abdullah Al Owais with creative contributions by the poet Zuhair Abu Shaib. . .  
More . . .

“. . . In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Art-8bisCanaanite teacher from a school at the archaeological site Tell Balata
near Nablus asks for his salary in a letter dated to around 1400 BC
(Photo, This Week In Palestine, October 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  EMBRACING  THE  RIGHT  TO  EDUCATION:  A  STORY  OF  HOPE,  DETERMINATION,  AND  SUCCESS
It all started 25 years ago when Mr. Heikki Kokkala, a senior education specialist from Finland, and the late Mr. Khalil Mahshi, then director general of external relations at the Ministry of Education in Palestine, met at a UNESCO conference on education.   . . .  work had already started on developing the first-ever unified national curriculum which would replace the Jordanian and Egyptian curricula used in the West Bank and Gaza, respectively.    [. . . .] the Finnish government was looking for ways to support the newly established Palestinian Authority and decided to direct its support to the education sector.   ___Thus, Mr. Kokkala and Mr. Mahshi, with their many colleagues, began to design the first cooperation project between Finland and Palestine.   More . . .
|  SPREAD  THE  WORD:  PALESTINE  HAS  ONE  OF  THE  WORLD’S  HIGHEST  LITERACY  RATES
Palestine ranks among countries with the world’s highest literacy rates, with only 3.3 percent of Palestinians aged 15 and over in the West Bank and Gaza Strip unable to read, according to a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report released on [September 6, 2018].    ___The report . . .  shows that the illiteracy rate in Palestine has fallen by 10 percent over the past decade. This leaves Palestine with one of the lowest rates of illiteracy in the world . . .     [. . . .] The figures come despite the difficulties faced by thousands of Palestinian students to reach their schools in the West Bank, including having to cross Israeli military checkpoints or the separation wall that disconnects their hometowns from where they attend school.   More . . .

Dar al-Kalima 2017 graduation. Photo by Ben Gray / ELCJHL
Dar al-Kalima 2017 graduation. (Photo by Ben Gray / ELCJHL)

|  ISRAEL  TO  REMOVE  UNRWA  TO  ‘END  LIE  OF  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  PROBLEM’
Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, announced on Thursday that he plans to remove the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees from occupied East Jerusalem, which he accused of “operating illegally and promoting incitement against Israel.”  ___Following the announcement on Thursday, the Jerusalem Municipality confirmed that UN schools, which serve about 1,800 students enrolled, would be closed .   ___[. . . .] He claimed that these schools, clinics and sports centers were “illegal” and “operate without an Israeli license.”  . . . the decision . . . was triggered after the United States administration decided to end all funding to UNRWA.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ANCIENT  SCHOOLS  IN  PALESTINE
Early forms of writing emerged gradually from pictorial representations of nature and human activities, [. . .  including] early alphabets (such as the Proto-Canaanite script, Phoenician consonantal alphabet and Greek alphabet that also indicated vowels). The invention of writing necessitated the obvious need to learn it, and human history consequently witnessed the advent of a new profession: teaching. Palestine and Mesopotamia were among the early showplaces of this emerging skill . . .   ___Early sources include . . . a Canaanite teacher from a school at the archeological site Tell Balata near Nablus asks for his salary in a letter dated to around 1400 BC . . .     More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

|  JERUSALEM:  WHAT  MAKES  FOR  PEACE?  Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Conference in Houston
, Texas, on October 11.    Part of the week-long Room for Hope festival.
|  DAR  AL-KALIMA  UNIVERSITY.  BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  GROWS  HOPE  AND  HELPS  BUILD  A  FUTURE  FOR  COLLEGE  STUDENTS  IN  PALESTINE. 
In a country with limited natural resources, Palestine’s human resources are its most valuable capital. Dar Al-Kalima University, through a comprehensive system of human resource development that reflects Palestine’s emerging needs, equips its students with vital skills for the 21st century job market. Bright Stars of Bethlehem envisions that most of the country’s future artists, musicians, actors, journalists, IT professionals, film-makers and the leaders of tomorrow are alumni of the University.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  ROSES  AND  THE  DICTIONARY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

Be that as it may,
I must . . .
The poet must have a new toast
And new anthems.
Traversing a tunnel of incense
And pepper and ancient summer,
I carry the key to legends and ruined monuments of slaves.
I see history an old man
Tossing dice and gathering the stars.

Be that as it may,
I must refuse death
Even though my legends die.
In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry.
Did you realize before today, my love,
That a letter in the dictionary is dull?
How do they live, all these words?
How do they grow? How do they spread?
We still water them with the tears of memories
And metaphors and sugar.

Be that as it may,
I must reject roses that spring
From a dictionary or a diwan.
Roses grow on the arms of a peasant, on the fists of a laborer,
Roses grow over the wounds of a warrior,
And on the face of a rock.

From: THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY.  Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.  ―Available from Palestine Online Store.

“. . . We know you have abandoned us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Israeli settlers storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN  HOME  AS  PUNISHMENT
Israeli forces raided the family home of 17-year-old Khalil Youssef Ali Jabarin, on predawn Monday, in the southern occupied West Bank city of Yatta. . . .  thoroughly searched the house, destroyed the family’s belongings and damaged most of the furniture.    ___Jabarin had carried out a stabbing attack on Sunday near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion, in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, due to which one Israeli settler died and another sustained serious injuries.   ___Jabarain was shot and injured by Israeli forces and immediately detained.   More . . .
Related . . .    ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  19  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  MINORS

INJURIES  AMONG  PALESTINIANS  AS  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAID  JOSEPH’S  TOMB  IN  NABLUS
At least 10 Palestinians were injured on Monday during clashes with Israeli forces who were providing cover for extremist settlers during the latter’s raid of Joseph’s Tomb, to the east of the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank  . . .    More . . .
Related . . .   114  EXTREMIST  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  AQSA  MOSQUE
Related . . .   DOZENS  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BLOCK  MAIN  ROAD,  DAMAGE  VEHICLES

ASHRAWI  CONDEMNS  US  ADMINISTRATION’S  DECISION  TO  REVOKE  VISAS  OF  PLO  ENVOY  AND  HIS  FAMILY
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the Trump administration’s decision to revoke the visas of the family of Head of the PLO General Delegation to the U.S. as ‘being vindictive and cruel’.   ___On Tuesday, the U.S. administration informed staff at the PLO General Delegation Office in Washington D.C. of the guidelines for closing down the office.  [. . . .] On this most recent outrageous development, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “As if the announcement that the U.S. would close our office in Washington D.C. was not enough, this vindictive action by the Trump administration is spiteful. The U.S. has taken its attempts to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians to a new level.”   More . . .
Related . . .   US  CUTS  AID  TO  ‘PALESTINE-ISRAEL’  CONFLICT  RESOLUTION  PROGRAMS

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  SUPPORT  FOR  ISRAEL  MEANS  ABANDONING  UNIVERSAL  VALUES
Udi Aloni
On a recent trip to Germany, Jewish Israeli filmmaker Udi Aloni finds himself defending the Palestinians’ right to resist Israeli apartheid and occupation. Before pledging unconditional loyalty to Israel, he says, people should ask themselves what values they are helping promote.  [. . . .] ___In a time of weakness and confusion, in which the right wing appropriates our human rights discourse, political correctness and identity politics are crucial to refresh the stagnant left. How is it that crucial strategies become perversely transformed, only to be thrown back in our face as racist ideologies while the white-supremacist crowd applauds? And how can I stand up to these brutal attacks and not fall into them?  More . . .

ON  THIS  DAY:  THE  JERUSALEM  INTIFADA  (SEPT.  15,  2015)
Rebecca Stead
On 13 September 2015, the eve of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), a number of Jewish Israelis visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, entered Al-Haram Al-Sharif escorted by heavily armed Israeli soldiers. Palestinians gathered in the compound to protest the visits, since Israelis are prohibited from praying on the site under the status quo agreement. Israeli forces dispersed the protesters with violence, using tear gas and rubber bullets.  [. . . .] According to the UN’s OCHAoPt, “2015 recorded the highest number of casualties among West Bank Palestinians since 2005, when OCHA began documenting incidents”. Hundreds of Palestinians died from tear gas inhalation, rubber bullets and from live ammunition shot by Israeli forces. Thirty children were killed by Israeli forces and settlers, the highest number recorded since 2006.   ___Some commentators believe that this “third intifada” never really ended.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

UNRWA USA is an independent nonprofit that supports the humanitarian and human development work of the  UNITED  NATIONS  RELIEF  AND  WORKS  AGENCY  for Palestine Refugees through fundraising, education, and advocacy.  UNRWA USA aims to promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees. Due to the United States government’s recent decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis.  HELP FUND UNRWA’S WORK.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  FEAR  FOR  A  DREAM,”  by  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We fear for a dream: don’t believe our butterflies.
Believe our sacrifices if you like, believe the compass of a horse, our
. . . need for the north.
We have raised the beaks of our souls to you. Give us a grain of
. . . wheat, our dream. Give it, give it to us.
We have offered you the shores since our coming to the earth born of
. . . an idea or of the adultery of two waves on a rock in the sand.
Nothing. Nothing. We float on a foot of air. The air breaks up within
. . . ourselves.
We know you have abandoned us, built for us prisons and called them
. . . the paradise of oranges.
We go on dreaming. Oh, desired dream. We steal our days from those
. . . extolled by our myths.
We fear for you, we’re afraid of you. We are exposed together, you
. . . shouldn’t believe our wives’ patience.
They will weave two dresses, then sell the bones of the loved ones to
. . . buy a glass of milk for our children.
We fear for a dream, from him, from ourselves. We go on dreaming
. . . oh, dream of ours. Don’t believe our butterflies!

– – – From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  Bilingual  Anthology  of  Arabic  Poetry.
Trans. by Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 1984 & 2005.

 

“. . . my liberty/ I shall carve its name/while I resist. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . . 

EU  PLEDGES  CONTINUED  SUPPORT  TO  UNRWA
The European Union issued a statement on Saturday pledging that it will continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) after the United States administration’s “regrettable” decision to end all funding to the agency.    ___The EU issued a statement pledging continued support to UNRWA, which implies that the EU may increase funding to the agency if necessary, following the US decision to end funds and after UNRWA’s announcement that it currently faces a budget deficit of $270 million.   More . . .   Related . . . Germany  to  increase  UNRWA  funding  as  a  response  US  decision

ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BREAK  INTO  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGE,  HOLD  JEWISH  RITUALS 
A number of extremist Israeli settlers forced their way early Sunday into the village of Awarta, to the south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus and performed Jewish religious rituals, according to a local official.    ___Hisham Awad, head of village council, told WAFA that a number of settlers broke into the village after midnight under heavy Israeli army protection and performed rituals at a site they claim is holy to them.   More . . .

240  PALESTINIANS  WOUNDED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  AT  GAZA  PROTEST
At least 240 Palestinians were injured by live bullets or sustained suffocation from teargas inhalation on Friday as Israeli forces attacked the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.   ___A 10-year-old child and a volunteer paramedic were among the injured persons, the ministry added.   ___The Israeli forces started firing live bullets and rubber-coated steel rounds as thousands of protesters gathered along the border.    More . . .

ISRAEL  THREATENS  TO  USE  NUCLEAR  WEAPONS  TO  ‘WIPE  OUT’  ITS  ENEMIES
Standing next to a secretive Israeli atomic reactor earlier in the week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to “wipe out” his enemies. In a speech that many will see as the Jewish state breaking its long silence over the possession of nuclear weapons, the Likud leader warned that it has the means to destroy its enemies.      ___“Those who threaten to wipe us out put themselves in a similar danger, and in any event will not achieve their goal,” he said on Wednesday during a ceremony to rename the complex, near the desert town of Dimona. The site has long been suspected to be the location where Israel has been developing nuclear weapons.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

PALESTINIAN  CENTER  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS:  WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (16–  29  AUGUST  2018)        

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against Palestinian peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian civilians were killed, 239 civilians, including 52 children, 6 women, and 5 paramedics, were wounded; 10 of those wounded sustained serious injuries.
  • 14 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded and in the West Bank in addition to a foreign activist, who was wounded twice.
  • Israeli forces continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli forces continue collective punishment policy against Palestinians. A house belonging to Mohammed Dar Yusuf in Kuber village, north of Ramallah, was demolished.   More . . .

IRELAND:  US  CUT  IN  AID  TO  UNRWA  HEARTLESS  AND  DANGEROUS   
Ireland criticized the United States decision to stop all financial contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) saying this decision is heartless and dangerous.    ___”I believe this step is both heartless and dangerous, and will impact negatively on the Middle East region. And I have made my views on this absolutely clear in contacts with the US administration,” said the Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, on Saturday.    More . . .

“MY  LIBERTY,”  BY  FADWA TUQAN

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and in the field,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

—-From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.

“. . .what can I call this rug of soil. . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .

EGYPT  CONFIRMS  EFFORTS  TO  ACHIEVE  PALESTINIAN  UNITY
The Egyptian Presidency stressed that the country is keen to achieve Palestinian reconciliation and national unity.   ___Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s statement was made during a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, on Thursday.   ___According to spokesperson of the Egyptian Presidency, Bassam Radi, al-Sisi said that the Palestinian Authority must take over its responsibilities in the besieged Gaza Strip, pointing out that it would help revive the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.   More . . .

ISRAEL  KILLED  19  PALESTINIANS  IN  AUGUST,  REPORT  SAYS
Israeli occupation forces killed a total of 19 Palestinians, including four children, during August 2018, according to a report by Abdullah Horani Center of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).   The center said of those 19 Palestinians, 17 were killed by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border or in airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Another Palestinian was killed in the occupied West Bank and the last one was a Palestinian citizen of Israel.   More . . .    Related . . . ISRAELI FORCES OPEN FIRE NEAR GAZA RETURN CAMPS

ACTIVIST  SOUNDS  ALARM  OVER  SIMMERING  TERRORISM  BY  ISRAEL  SETTLER  GANGS        Extremist Israeli settlers have been raking through Palestinian lands in Nablus and Ramallah, paving the way for more attacks against Palestinians and their property, an activist has warned.   ___Ghassan Dughlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern occupied West Bank, said settler gangs have showed up on Palestinian land located between Yitzhar outpost, south of Nablus, and Shilo, north of Ramallah.   More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

HOW  ISRAEL  SPIES  ON  US  CITIZENS:  THE  TRUTHS  THAT  WON’T  BE  HEARD
Alain Gresh
An investigative documentary by Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera scheduled for broadcast earlier this year was expected to cause a sensation. Its four 50-minute episodes centred on the young and personable James Anthony Kleinfeld, British, Jewish, an Oxford graduate . . . – seemingly a natural fit for a western foreign ministry or a major thinktank.    ___The documentary showed Kleinfeld being enthusiastically recruited for his skills by The Israel Project (TIP), which defends Israel’s image in the media, and associating . . . [with] the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the powerful US lobbying group. . . .  ___Kleinfeld’s contacts told him they were spying on US citizens with the help of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, founded in 2006, which reports directly to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu . . .  ___At the end of Kleinfeld’s time at TIP, his boss there . . . wanted to hire “Tony” on a permanent basis . . .     ___Kleinfeld turned down the job. His qualifications were genuine, but he was, of course, an undercover reporter, sent by Al Jazeera to investigate the pro-Israel lobby.  More . . .

THIS  PALESTINIAN  LIFE:  UNCOVERING  THE  STORIES  OF  WOMEN  BEHIND  THE  WALL
Henriette Chacar

A mother in the West Bank struggles to explain to her child, on reaching a checkpoint, that no, they have not yet arrived at the zoo.   [This is one of] women’s stories featured on “Women Behind the Wall,” a new podcast which aims to “amplify minority perspectives in the Israel-Palestine conflict,” according to the project founder, Shadia Qubti. The show centers around the stories of Christian Palestinian women – a double minority group in terms of gender and religion – in an attempt to expose how the occupation impacts their lives.   ___According to Qubti, Palestinian society is very diverse and rich, but “in the media, we do not reach the average peoples’ stories.” She believes there is a humanizing power to storytelling, and “these moments, hopefully, will make the listener intrigued to understand more.”    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .    

Land of Canaan Foundation: Regenerative agriculture – what is it?  Regenerative farming goes beyond just organic agriculture. It naturally creates healthy soil which holds water and carbon better and will produce healthy crops at a higher yield.  More . . .   Donate . . .

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. She has been a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. She has also been editor of the journal Awarq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014.