“. . . buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

6f7de8c92380ec76f78bf24ae11d1854❶ Balfour and Britain’s broken promise
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ugly Truths Behind Balfour and Beersheba
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestine FM responds to Theresa May’s pride in Balfour Declaration

  • Background: “National Narratives and the Oslo Peace Process: How Peacebuilding Paradigms Address Conflicts over History.” Nations & Nationalism.

❷ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fishermen, raze lands in Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Video: Israeli settlers attack Palestinians harvesting olives near Nablus
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BALFOUR  AND  BRITAIN’S  BROKEN  PROMISE 
Mondoweiss     
Tim Llewellyn
Oct. 26, 2017 ― If the British Conservative Government of Teresa May represented the views of the people of Britain rather than the preferences of the state of Israel on the disastrous outcome for the Palestinian Arabs of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, she would not be planning to celebrate this 100th anniversary with Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister.
[. . . .] As it is, her November 2 tete a tete with Mr. Netanyahu, Lord Rothschild and Lord Balfour, a descendant of Arthur J. Balfour who had no direct descendants, and a subsequent November 9, rally organized by Christian Zionists at the cavernous Albert Hall, in London’s Hyde Park, which Britain’s leader and Zionist and Israeli notables will also attend, are being pre-empted and countered by a host of events throughout the British Isles. These are not only highly critical of Britain’s disastrous legacy in its former Mandated Territory, but urge it to recognize Palestine as a state and work practically to grant the Palestinian Arabs their freedom and self-determination.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) UGLY  TRUTHS  BEHIND  BALFOUR  AND  BEERSHEBA
The Palestinian Information Center
Oct. 27, 2017 ― Within a month two events will be celebrated that have a left a deep imprint on the ‘western’ consciousness. The most significant is the Balfour Declaration, a piece of paper whose destructive consequences the people of the Middle East have had to live with every day since it was signed on November 2, 1917.
[. . . .] [Lord Balfour, Foreign Secretary of England] regarded the rights and aspirations of the ‘Arabs’ as inconsequential compared to those of the Jews. More than 90 per cent of the population of Palestine in 1917, the Palestinian Arabs, Muslim and Christian, were described in his declaration as ‘existing non-Jewish communities.’
[. . . .] The Palestine Balfour wanted to turn into a Jewish ‘national home’ had a Palestinian population of about 600,000 and a Jewish population, composed mostly of recently arrived European settlers, of eight to ten per cent of that number.
[. . . .] On October 31, two days before Balfour issued his pernicious declaration, Australian cavalrymen had broken through Ottoman defences at Beersheba (Bir Saba’) . . . The centenary will be celebrated this year by visiting contingents of Australians and New Zealanders.   MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ)  PALESTINE  FM  RESPONDS  TO  THERESA  MAY’S  PRIDE  IN  BALFOUR  DECLARATION
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Oct. 26, 2017 ― Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Riyad al-Malki on Thursday said that The Palestinian side is following with great caution and deep concern the statements of British Prime Minister Teresa Mae, in which she declared her country’s pride in the establishment of the Israeli occupying state, and its insistence on commemorating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.
___Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday that the British official’s position reflected the British government’s persistence and indifference to the crime committed 100 years ago, and reflects a challenge by Britain to Palestine and the international community.     MORE . . .

Khoury, Nadim.
“NATIONAL NARRATIVES AND THE OSLO PEACE PROCESS: HOW PEACEBUILDING PARADIGMS ADDRESS CONFLICTS OVER HISTORY.”
Nations & Nationalism,
vol. 22, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 465-483.
(Nadim Khoury―Department of Philosophy, University of Tromsø―The Arctic University of Norway)
This article focuses on the effects of the Oslo Peace Process on the Israeli and Palestinian national narratives. It is widely acknowledged that history represents a barrier to long-term peace between Israelis and Palestinians. . . .  Given the danger these national narratives pose, one would expect that the architects of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process would have paid close attention to them. If they are part of the problem, then they should be part of the solution. Scholars argue, however, that the agreements that make up the Israeli–Palestinian peace process have largely ignored the matter. And indeed, there was no mention of narratives in the 1993 Declaration of Principles.
[. . . .] The Palestinian master narrative is structured as the opposite of the Zionist one. Rather than ethnic and religious continuity, however, it is a story of continuous presence on the land. Palestinians are and have always been the inhabitants of historical Palestine. The Palestinian narrative strongly emphasizes the period starting with the Arab conquest, but it encompasses many other historical layers that include the Canaanites, the Philistines, and even the Israelites. British imperialism and Zionism disrupted this continuity, first in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, and then in 1948 with the creation of the state of Israel. The latter is commemorated as the Nakba . . . [which] operates as a founding moment in the Palestinian national story, followed by the Naksa, ‘the setback’ of the 1967 war that caused more displacement and the loss of all of historical Palestine . . .
___While both [Palestinian and Israeli] narratives appear as opposite mirror images, the conflict over narratives that divide Israelis and Palestinians are not symmetrical and should not be examined as such. History, as the saying goes, is written by the victor, and since 1948, Israel has been the victor. As a result, it established its narrative at the expense of the Palestinian narrative, by, for example, physically destroying, repopulating, and renaming many Palestinian towns or outlawing Palestinian commemorative practices. This asymmetry is reinforced by the fact that, for decades, the Palestinians lacked the proper institutions (state, museums, and archives) to promote their narrative. This situation changed when Palestinians were given an official right to narrate their story with the Oslo Peace Process. As this article will show, however, this did not address the asymmetry between the two parties.    SOURCE.

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  ON  PALESTINIAN  FISHERMEN,  RAZE  LANDS  IN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 27, 2017 ― Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fisherman off the coast of northern Gaza on Friday, while several Israeli bulldozers entered into the southern part of the coastal enclave and razed lands in the area.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers entered the “buffer zone” inside the Gaza border fence with Israel, and leveled lands in eastern Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip.
___Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. No injuries were reported.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) VIDEO:  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  HARVESTING  OLIVES  NEAR  NABLUS
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 26, 2017 ―  Israeli settlers reportedly attacked Palestinians who were harvesting olives in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, injuring three Palestinians, including one woman.
___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Itamar settlement assaulted Palestinians picking olives in the Ras Hazem area in Deir al-Hatab village.
___Daghlas added that Israeli settlers threw rocks and sharp objects and physically assaulted the Palestinians as they were working on their land.   MORE . . .

“THE  WANDERING  REED,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Of what benefit is it, if man were to gain the whole world
But lose the green almond in his father’s orchard?
Of what benefit is it, if man
Were to drink coffee in Paris
But none in his mother’s house?
Of what benefit is it, if man were to tour the whole world
But lose the flowers on the hills of his native land?
He gains nothing but deadly silence
Within the hearts of the living.

You look through the mirror of lands not your own
And see your exiled face;
You recognize your face
Despite the deadly dust of travel
From Jaffa, to Lydda, to Haifa,
Through the Mediterranean to exile;
You recognize your face
And try to deny that face!
Your worship your own face
Even though exile has obliterated its features;
The hangman of the twentieth century assumes the countenance
Of the eternal face!
You close your eyes
To worship your face in the darkness of this century.
You deny . . . you worship,
You deny . . . you worship,
And the God of truth cries to your face:
“He who denies his face
Is renounced by all the birds of paradise in this universe,
And those whom silence has turned mute
Will never be heard by the roses of the field
He who kills the nightingale of his dreams
Will be buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living.”
You open your eyes
And see the face of your country in the mirror of exile.

The deadly silence in the hearts of the living
Strips away the skin of your face
It cuts and dries your flesh.
Then hangs what remains on poles
Under the forgotten sun of the West.

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.
Remembering Fouzi El-Asmar.

“. . . the day The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

events-six-day-war-5-1061967-captures-arabs-abu-tor-district-east-BB5Y94-001
Six Day War, June 6, 1967, captured Palestinians, Abu Tor district, East Jerusalem (Alamy Stock Photo)

❶ 50 years: Israeli occupation longest in modern history
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PLO: 50 years of Israeli occupation is a shame for the international system
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestine in Motion: Where does the story begin?
❷ Israeli forces destroy [char]coal factories in Yabad
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) IOF kidnap Palestinian youths in overnight raids
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinian cars damaged in new price tag attack
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) Palestinian TV presenter injured by stun grenade during violent raid into Issawiya
❸ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

Occupation

❶ 50  YEARS:  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  LONGEST  IN  MODERN  HISTORY   
Al Jazeera English 
Zena Tahhan
June 5, 2017
Palestinians are marking 50 years since the 1967 occupation of their remaining lands this week.  
Fifty years ago this week, the state of Israel shocked the world when it seized the remaining Palestinian territories . . .  as well as the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, in a matter of six days.
___In a war with Egypt, Jordan and Syria, known as the 1967 War, or the June War, Israel delivered what came to be known as the “Naksa”, meaning setback or defeat, to the armies of the neighbouring Arab countries, and to the Palestinians who lost all what remained of their homeland.
[. . . .]  In 1967, Israel absorbed the whole of historic Palestine, as well as additional territory from Egypt and Syria. By the end of the war, Israel had expelled another 430,000 Palestinians from their homes . . .
[. . . .]  Between June 25-27, Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem and various parts of the West Bank, declaring them part of the state of Israel, in a move never recognised by the international community.
___The rest of the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, housing some 5.1 million Palestinians, remain under Israeli military control under the pretext of security.      MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  PLO:  50  YEARS  OF  ISRAELI   OCCUPATION  IS  A  SHAME  FOR  THE  INTERNATIONAL  SYSTEM   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA        
June 5, 2017
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Monday that 50 years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is a shame for the international system.
___Israel attacked Jordan, Egypt and Syria on June 5, 1967 occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Sinai from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria.
___While Israel has returned the Sinai to Egypt following the signing of a peace agreement between them, it still holds on to the rest of the occupied territories in defiance of international resolutions that have called on it to withdraw from these territories.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PALESTINE  IN  MOTION:  WHERE  DOES  THE  STORY  BEGIN? 
Al Jazeera English
June 5, 2017
Stories of loss, love, trauma, hope, and ultimately, of what it means to be Palestinian.   From exile to resistance: The day my life changed forever. The deeply personal and revealing stories of ordinary people who survived massacres, displacement and military occupation.   From Honduras to New Zealand: What does it mean to be a Palestinian today?  Young Palestinians across the world reflect on their identity, life under occupation, exile and future aspirations.      MORE . . .

LIFE UNDER OCCUPATION

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DESTROY  [CHAR]COAL  FACTORIES  IN  YABAD 
Palestine News Network – PNN       
June 4, 2017
The Israeli occupation bulldozers on Sunday knocked down five coal factories in Jenin’s southwestern town of Yabad, leaving hundreds of Palestinians unemployed.
___The Israeli forces destroyed five factories to manufacture coal and seized hundreds of tons of wood, worth tens of thousands of shekels.
___According to local sources, Israeli military vehicles, escorted by a bulldozer, cordoned off Palestinian lands in Yabad and knocked down coal structures and equipment.   MORE . . .

Mideast-Israel-Palest_Horo-9
Palestinian laborers work at the site of a charcoal factory, in the West Bank town of Yabad, near Jenin. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)  IOF  KIDNAP  PALESTINIAN  YOUTHS  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAIDS
Palestine News Network – PNN
June 5, 2017
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday kidnapped several Palestinian citizens from their homes in different areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem.
___Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the IOF stormed Asira ash-Shamaliya town, north of Nablus, and kidnapped two brothers after ransacking their family home.
[. . . .] Six other Palestinian young men were kidnapped from their homes in IOF raids in different areas of east Jerusalem . . .      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) PALESTINIAN  CARS  DAMAGED  IN  NEW  PRICE  TAG  ATTACK 
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
June 5, 2017
A number of Palestinian cars had their tires slashed and racist graffiti was painted on others in two different places in occupied Jerusalem on Monday morning.
___The incident is considered the most recent in a string of “Price Tag” attacks committed by right wing settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories.   [Note: In “Price tag” attacks settlers demonstrate to Palestinians the “price” of resistance]  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ)  PALESTINIAN  TV  PRESENTER  INJURED  BY  STUN  GRENADE  DURING  VIOLENT  RAID  INTO  ISSAWIYA  
Ma’an News Agency        
June 5, 2017
A Palestinian woman was injured by shrapnel from a stun grenade after getting caught clashes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Sunday night while she was filming for a local TV show.
___Local activist Muhammad Abu al-Hummus told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed Issawiya minutes before Iftar time — when Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan eat their first meal after a day of fasting — sparking clashes with local Palestinians in a number of areas in the neighborhood.
___Israeli border police officers indiscriminately fired live ammunition, stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas canisters throughout the community, Abu al-Hummus said.
___Layali Eid, a reporter and TV presenter for local media outlet the al-Quds Educational TV channel, happened to be in the area interviewing locals about their experiences during Ramadan for a seasonal TV show.        MORE . . .         RELATED . . .

“MY SAD CITY,” BY FADWA TUQAN
(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967**)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gagging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri

** (While the military occupation of Jerusalem took place on June 6, the Israelis did not declare the actual annexation until June 27.)
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 B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

“. . .causes of the chronic vulnerability of young Palestinians to political violence. . .” (Lord Norman Warner)

soldier child
Israeli soldier “arresting” a Palestinian child. (Photo published WAFA, June 5, 2016; no attribution)

❶ Israeli Military Courts Issue Actual Imprisonment Sentences against Palestinian Minor Detainees
. . . ― (ᴀ) Military Court Watch progress report
. . . ― (ᴃ) Palestine’s forgotten children
. . . ― (c) Palestinian families appeal for release of bodies of 8 slain sons
❷ 3 Israelis evacuated from Aqsa as thousands celebrate ‘Jerusalem Day’ in Old City
❸ Palestinians rally in Gaza to mark 49 years of occupation
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  KHIRBET  TANA:  THE  PROCESS  OF  DESTROYING  PALESTINE
❺ POETRY by Hanan Ashrawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  MILITARY  COURTS  ISSUE  ACTUAL  IMPRISONMENT  SENTENCES  AGAINST  PALESTINIAN  MINOR  DETAINEES
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 5, 2016
Israeli military courts Monday issued actual imprisonment sentences and imposed fines against a number of Palestinian minor detainees incarcerated in the Israeli jail of Ofer, during the month of May, 2016, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___A PPS lawyer reported on Detainees representatives in Ofer prison, Abdel-Fatah Dawleh, as saying that the number of minor detainees who received actual imprisonment sentences, varying between three and 30 months, reached 48 in May alone.      MORE . . .
. . . ― (ᴀ) MILITARY  COURT  WATCH PROGRESS REPORT (with link to statistics)
. . . ― (ᴃ) PALESTINE’S  FORGOTTEN  CHILDREN
Open Democracy
Lord Norman Warner
June 3, 2016
Next year will mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration as well as the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. With no sign of an active peace process between the parties, here in Britain we have a historic responsibility to seriously challenge the Israeli government’s conduct in the West Bank and Gaza. On a recent visit to the West Bank, I saw powerfully for myself the need for better legal protection for young Palestinians. Without this I fear that we will engender an entire lost generation of forgotten Palestinian children.      MORE . . .  
. . . ― (c) PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  APPEAL  FOR  RELEASE  OF  BODIES  OF  8  SLAIN  SONS
The Palestinian Information Center
June 5, 2016
An appeal was filed to the Israeli Supreme Court to push for the release of the bodies of eight slain Palestinian youths, lawyer Muhammad Alyan said Sunday. The Israeli court is expected to set a time limit for the police to release the bodies of the eight Palestinians.  MORE . . .  

A lack of political will in the oPt clearly was the single most important reason for the failure of child protection organisations to take more concerted and consistent action to deal with the causes of systematic harm to Palestinian children. . . . Governmental and intergovernmental donors, UN agencies, INGOs, and even, to varying degrees, local NGOs act in a manner that contradicts their own understanding of the real causes of the chronic vulnerability of young Palestinians to political violence. As the following quote from a Palestinian academic suggests, this understanding rarely is shared publicly but is readily voiced informally:
It’s a political protection. I mean everyone knows this, even donors. I never met a donor who doesn’t know this. But they are constrained. All of them would talk off the record. They all are constrained. They all understand the imbalance of power that is the source of all the problems . . . but they have their jobs, they work within their mandates.
[. . . . ]
While discussions about child protection continue at the global level, a fresh approach is urgently needed in the oPt. . . .  these children would demand greater consistency between global norms and the reality of action on the ground. However, if agencies are inherently incapable of responding to such aspirations then serious discussion about their continued role is needed. It is clear from the statistics on, inter alia, arrest, death, detention . . . . that the approach pursued by UN and international organisations has failed to accord proper protection to Palestinian children, in spite of the huge resources expended on meeting that stated aim over decades.

  • Hart, Jason, and Claudia Lo Forte. “Mandated To Fail? Humanitarian Agencies and the Protection of Palestinian Children.” Disasters 37.4 (2013): 627-645. [Available Online – or through EBSCO]
yooungest-prisoner
Youngest Palestinian child prisoner, Shadi Farah, 12. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle; Khabirni)

3  ISRAELIS  EVACUATED  FROM  AQSA  AS  THOUSANDS  CELEBRATE  ‘JERUSALEM  DAY’  IN  OLD  CITY
Ma’an News Agency
June 5, 2016
An Israeli court denied on Sunday a petition to bar the “Jerusalem Day” march from passing through the Muslim Quarter in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, just as 208 right-wing Israelis entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and thousands more gathered around the Western Wall to begin celebrations.
___The director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma’an that 208 settlers entered Al-Aqsa through the Moroccan gate under heavy protection by Israeli police and special forces.     MORE . . .            RELATED . . .

❸ PALESTINIANS RALLY IN GAZA TO MARK 49 YEARS OF OCCUPATION
Ma’an News Agency
June 4, 2016
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip commemorated on Saturday the anniversary of the 1967 Israeli invasion and occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, and the Golan Heights that began on June 5, a day that Palestinians refer to as the Naksa, meaning setback.
___Demonstrators at the Naksa Day rally waved Palestinian flags as they marched from the Unknown Soldier square in central Gaza City to the UNRWA headquarters, condemning Israel for its continued crimes against Palestinians.
___Hamas leader Ismail Radwan called for achieving national reconciliation in accordance with the Cairo agreement     MORE . . .  

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  KHIRBET  TANA:  THE  PROCESS  OF  DESTROYING  PALESTINE
The Jerusalem Fund
Lucian Dieterman
June 5, 2016
Incidents of Israeli settler violence are provided in the daily reports published by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department. Among the nearly constant settler violations against the Palestinian Muslims worshipping at Al Aqsa mosque, on May 18, there was an entry of Israeli settlers raiding a Palestinian village named Khirbet Tana [. . . .]
___HERE  IN  LIES  THE  CORE  ISSUE  AT  STAKE:  PALESTINIAN  EXISTENCE [emphasis added]. Through the destruction of small Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank, and continued illegal settlement construction, Israel continues the goals of the Nakba: to deny Palestinian existence and erase an entire people. This is clearly ethnic cleansing.      MORE . . .   

“FROM THE DIARY OF AN ALMOST-FOUR-YEAR-OLD,” BY HANAN ASHRAWI

Tomorrow, the bandages
will come off. I wonder
will I see half an orange,
half an apple, half my
mother’s face
with my one remaining eye?
I did not see the bullet
but felt its pain
exploding in my head.
His image did not
vanish, the soldier
with a big gun, unsteady
hands, and a look in
his eyes
I could not understand.

If I can see him so clearly
with my eyes closed,
it could be that inside our heads
we each have one spare set
of eyes
to make up for the ones we lose.

Next month, on my birthday,
I’ll have a brand new glass eye,
maybe things will look round
and fat in the middle —
I’ve gazed through all my marbles,
they made the world look strange.

I hear a nine-month-old
has also lost an eye,
I wonder if my soldier
shot her too—a soldier
looking for little girls who
look him in the eye—
I’m old enough, almost four,
I’ve seen enough of life,
but she’s just a baby
who didn’t know any better.

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

“. . . I shall carve the sun’s beckonings and the moon’s whisperings. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Bethlehem olive wood carver
Bethlehem olive wood carver

❶ From AL MONITOR
BEDOUIN FACE EXPULSION AS ISRAEL BUILDS GREATER JERUSALEM
Aziza Nofal
June 4, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — For years, Umm Mohamad, from the Abu Nawar Bedouin compound north of occupied Jerusalem, has been trying to find a house for her son Walid so he can get married and settle in the area where she lives. Her efforts have not paid off, though, as the Israeli occupation forces refuse to allow them to build a new house, not even a tent.
____The house Umm Mohamad and her sons are hoping to get is only a tent, but the plan is far-fetched as Israel is trying to expel them from their land to another location that was built to accommodate Bedouin and other communities. . . . [The family is] part of the 700 Bedouin living in the area facing the Ma’ale Adumim settlement — the largest in the West Bank. . .
____Israel issued a May 14 decision to expel the population to a region in the north of Al-Eizariya numbering 46 settlements of Bedouin groups from the highlands of Jerusalem.
(More. . .)

❷ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
SOLDIERS ATTACK PROTESTERS MARKING THE 48TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NAKSA, IN HEBRON
Bassam Shweiki
June 06, 2015
Israeli soldiers attacked, Saturday, Palestinian protesters as they were commemorating the 1967 occupation of the full area of historic Palestine by the Israeli military. The demonstrators tried to reach the Bayt Al-Barakah (i.e. House of Blessing) in front of Arroub Refugees Camp, a building which was built on land belonging to the Palestinian town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.
____The land in question was recently threatened to be confiscated by the Israeli occupation authorities to establish a new settlement. Following the threat, the Israeli military declared the area as a military closed area.
____Dozens of activists participated in this demonstration, which was called for by the Hebron Defense Committee. . .
(More. . .)

❸ From MONDOWEISS +972
12 PALESTINIAN MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ARE IN ISRAELI PRISON
Noam Rotem
June 6, 2015
An Israeli military court decided last week to continue detaining Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian parliament, who has been imprisoned by Israel for the past two months. Jarrar was first arrested and put in administrative detention, which in effect meant that she could be held indefinitely without being charged or seeing trial. However, in the wake of a global campaign for her release, the state decided to release her from administrative detention and put her on trial.
____Jarrar is not the only member of the Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), to be held by Israel. Israel is currently imprisoning 12 other Palestinians parliamentarians, who were elected in the last democratic elections to take place in the Palestinian Authority in 2006. Some are in administrative detention, which in the eyes of the international community makes them political prisoners. . .
(More. . .)

Palestinian Bedouins shift through their family's belongings after their shacks and tents were destroyed by Israeli army bulldozers
Palestinian Bedouins shift through their family’s belongings after their shacks and tents were destroyed by Israeli army bulldozers

❹ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
REPORT: 850 THOUSAND PALESTINIANS ARRESTED SINCE 1967
June 5, 2015
Data from the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees show that Israel has arrested more than 850 thousand Palestinians since 1967, consisting 20 percent of the Palestinian people.
____The commission expressed deep concerns over “the escalated Israeli daily arrests and violations that mainly target the Palestinian society.”
____Daily arrest policy is a main feature of Israeli occupation, the statement said, pointing out that more than ten arrests are daily reported in occupied Palestine.
____Since 1967, 206 Palestinians have died in Israeli jails, including 71 prisoners were tortured to death. . .
(More. . .)

❺ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
UN CONFIDENTIAL REPORT: ISRAEL VIOLATED CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
June 6, 2015
A confidential UN document obtained by Reuters on Friday reported an alarming number of child victims in the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza. The document was prepared by UN agencies for submission to the UN special envoy for children in armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, as she prepares a draft of the annual list of violators of children’s rights.
____The 22-page confidential document reportedly uses strong language in its condemnation of violations of children’s rights during the attacks on Gaza. It specifies what it said were unlawful deaths and injuries caused by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in its attacks on schools and hospitals.
____2100 Palestinians, mostly civilians and around 540 children, were killed during the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza. 371 of the children killed were 12 years old or younger.
(More. . .)

“THE OLIVE TREE,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
Because I do not knit wool,
Because I am always hunted
And my home is always raided,
Because I cannot buy a piece of paper,
I shall carve all what I see
And all my secrets
On the homeyard olive tree.

I shall carve my story and the scenes of my tragedy;
I shall carve my sorrows
In the orange grove and on the tombs of the dead;
I shall carve all the bitterness I taste
(Until my tongue is sweetened by days to come).
I shall carve the serial number
Of every piece of land,
The spot of my village on the map.
The destroyed houses,
My uprooted trees,
All the crushed wild blooms

I shall care the names
Of all the connoisseurs of torture,
The names of their prisons,
The trade-mark of their chains,
The archives of the jailors
And their maledictions.
I shall carve:
“Fafr Qassem, I will never forget you,
And your memory, Deir Yassin will never face.”
I shall also carve;
“After all our trials and pains
We have finally reached
The heights of intense tragedy.”

I shall carve the sun’s beckonings
And the moon’s whisperings
And what a skylark recalls
At a deserted well.

For the sake of remembrance,
I shall continue to carve,
On the homeyard olive tree,
All the scenes of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From the beginning
Till the end.
—translation by Sulafa Hijjawi and Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri

About Fafr Qassem
About Deir Yassin

From: A Lover from Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.

Tawfiq Zyyad (7 May 1929 – 5 July 1994) was a Palestinian politician well known for his “poetry of protest”. Born in the Galilee, Zyyad studied literature in USSR. He was elected mayor of Nazareth, a victory that “surprised and alarmed” Israelis. Elected to the Knesset 1973, Zyyad was active in pressuring the Israeli government to change its policies towards Palestinians both in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. A report he co-authored. . .
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Illegal settlement, Ma'ale Adumim (Jerusalem)
Illegal settlement, Ma’ale Adumim (Jerusalem)