“How long had you been away from the place you loved best?” – Naomi Shihab Nye


Palestinian territories stable after Trump plan, but for how long?

Feb 20 2020
A relative calm has returned to the West Bank after a brief outbreak of violence between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers on the outskirts of cities and contact points after US President Trump announced his so-called deal of the century for Israeli-Palestinian peace on Jan. 28.
– – – – Confrontations on the West Bank in early February went beyond Palestinians throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces to include deadly clashes involving gunfire, a car-ramming attack and resisting the demolition of a home. In Gaza, Palestinians launched more than 20 rockets and hundreds of incendiary balloons toward Israeli communities. In response, the Israeli army decided on Feb. 6 to send reinforcements to the border with Gaza and to the West Bank.
– – – – In a speech at the UN Security Council on Feb. 11, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said, “We will not resort to violence and terrorism, no matter the aggression against us. We believe in peace and fighting violence. We are ready to cooperate with any country to combat terrorism, and we will fight with peaceful popular resistance.”    More . . . .

‘We gave up on historic Palestine in exchange for nothing’

Bassem Tamimi, who has led popular protests in Nabi Saleh for more than a
decade, says the two-state solution is ‘no longer an option.’
Feb 19 2020
“We need to wake up and change our strategy, to unite our struggle,” says Bassem Tamimi, a veteran Palestinian activist and father of Ahed Tamimi, as he sits in his Nabi Saleh home in the occupied West Bank. Tamimi, who was born in 1967 and has only ever known military occupation, was jailed during the First Intifada and has been among the leaders of the village’s popular protests over the past decade. Now, however, he has given up on the two-state solution. “It’s no longer an option,” he says.
– – – – The Tamimi family, and their village, made global headlines in late 2017 when Ahed slapped an Israeli soldier who had entered her family courtyard during a Friday demonstration. Earlier that day, a soldier had shot a 15-year-old relative in the head. A few days later, soldiers arrested Ahed, then 16, from her home in the middle of the night. Her mother, Nariman, was arrested shortly after her daughter for filming the slapping incident. Both spent eight months in prison.    More . . . .

  • Israeli court approves demolition of homes of five Palestinian detainees
    Feb 20 2020
    The Israeli Supreme Court today gave the go-ahead to demolish the Ramallah-area family homes of five Palestinian detainees allegedly involved in the killing of a settler in late August 2019.
    – – – – Israeli media reported that the Israeli court unanimously approved the demolition despite multiple petitions filed by the prisoners’ families against the demolition.
    – – – – The court explained its approval by the need to “establish credible deterrence against attacks.” Israel commenced in January the trial of the five prisoners, who were detained in December purportedly for being responsible for the killing of an Israeli settler. . . .  More . . . .
  • IOF shoot Palestinian youth east of Khuza’a town
    Feb 20 2020
    Israeli soldiers shot, on Wednesday afternoon, a young Palestinian man east of Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
    – – – – Media sources said the soldiers shot the young man near the perimeter fence, inflicting moderate wounds before he was rushed to the European Hospital for treatment.
    – – – – The Israeli army claimed that sharpshooters of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad fired rounds at military vehicles and soldiers across the fence and that the soldiers fired back.    More. . . .
  • Dozens of Palestinians choke by IOF tear gas during clashes in West Bank
    Feb 19 2020
    Dozens of Palestinian citizens on Tuesday choked on tear gas fired by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during confrontations in Tulkarem and Ramallah in the West Bank.
    – – – – In Tulkarem, scores of Palestinians marched in protest at the US deal of the century, raised Palestine flags and burned car tires, local sources reported.
    – – – – The IOF attacked them with rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters. Dozens suffered breathing difficulties as a result of inhaling tear gas.    More . . . .


Searching for Lost Sons and Daughters: Statistics on Palestinians in the Diaspora
This Week In Palestine
Issue #262, Feb 2020
By: Ola Awad
Satistical data indicate that on the eve of the 1948 war, the population in Palestine had reached 2.1 million, 1.45 million of which were Palestinians. Varying estimates and divergent figures have been circulated by different sources regarding the number of Palestinian refugees displaced from their homes during this war. The Israeli occupation took over 774 Palestinian cities and villages, 531 of which were completely demolished, whereas the others were subjugated to the Israeli occupation and its regulations, eventually to be incorporated into the Israeli state. . . . The most modest estimates of Palestinian refugees counted around 736 thousand individuals, more than 50 percent of the Palestinian population. They were moved to refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the neighboring countries Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. . . .
. . . . At the beginning of the current century, PCBS took the initiative of listing Palestinians who live in the diaspora in order to build a database that may serve as the basis for efforts to bridge existing gaps between the Palestinian people in their homeland and in the diaspora in order to connect them. . . . This catalogue will be the tool by which data are collected and monitored, providing as well an agreed-upon list of indicators. The database will be updated whenever possible. Palestinian embassies and representative offices in places around the world where Palestinians live constitute the main source of data and serve as focal points and PCBS’ link to Palestinian diaspora communities.    More . . . .


“HELLO, PALESTINE” — Naomi Shihab Nye

Hello, Palestine
In the hours after you died,
all the pain went out of your face.
Whole governments relaxed in your jaw line.
How long had you been away
from the place you loved best?
Every minute was too much.
Each year’s bundle
of horror stories: more trees chopped,
homes demolished, people gone crazy.
You’d turn your face away from the screen.
At the end you spoke to your own blood
filtering through a machine:
We’ll get there again, friend.
When you died, your long frustration
zipped its case closed. Everyone in a body
is chosen for trouble and bliss.
At least nothing got amputated,
I said, and the nurses looked quizzical.
Well, if only you had seen his country.

From Transfer, by Naomi Shihab Nye, BOA editions, 2011.
Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . a crushed glass under the feet still shines. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

Items purchased in Hebron glass blowing shop. (Photo by Harold Knight – see ** below)


The Israeli army cancelled entry of dozens of trucks carrying goods into the besieged Gaza Strip, on late Monday, according to Palestinian official sources.    ____Sources confirmed that the Israeli side cancelled entry of dozens of trucks scheduled to arrive into Gaza on Tuesday; reasons of the cancellation were unknown.    ___It is noteworthy that in addition to these cancelled truckloads of goods, Qatari-funded fuel was also not allowed entry into Gaza for Gaza’s only power plant.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Egyptian  security  delegation  arrives  in  Gaza  to  complete  talks
|    IOF  DISMANTLE  SCHOOL  CARAVANS  NORTH  OF  TUBAS    On Tuesday morning, Israeli occupation forces dismantled caravans belonging to the school of the Late Marwan Majali, AKA “Tahadi (10)”, located in Khirbat “Ibiziq” area north of Tubas, northern West Bank.    ____The Director of Education Tubas Sa’ed Qabha told WAFA that the occupation dismantled two caravans as they detain the educational staff, ministry of education and students, while preventing students from entering the school.    More . . .
Plans to Judaize the Old City of Hebron are proceeding step by step amid international silence and the American support that encourages the occupation authorities to continue their policy. Following the Ibrahimi Mosque’s massacre, the occupation authorities divided the Mosque between the Palestinians and the settlers. More than one site inside the Ibrahimi Mosque can’t be accessed by Palestinian worshipers, while settlers are allowed to use the whole place at any time.     ____For years, plans have been made to link the settlement of Qiryat Arba with other settlement blocs surrounding the Old City through demolishing and removing the Palestinian buildings from the area for a comprehensive judaization of the area extending from the settlement of Kiryat Arba to the entire Old City and Tel Rumeida.   More . . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  shot  dead  in  al-Khalil  [HEBRON]  over  alleged  stabbing  attack
. . . . Related  Palestinian  official:  87%  of  BETHLEHEM  lands  under  Israeli  control
. . . . Related  NGO  warns  of  property  diversion  in  occupied  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Ariel  settlement  guards  obstruct  traffic  at  main  entrance  to  SALFIT
. . . . Related  Israel  Army  Rolls  Into  West  Bank  [QALQILIYA]  Cracks  Down  On  Civilians


The fundamental right to education is enshrined in international law. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to education”. . . . The challenges currently being faced by Palestinian universities mean that this universal right is being severely compromised in the occupied Palestinian territory.     ___As an occupying power, the state of Israel, is obligated to ensure that civilians under occupation are not denied their basic human rights. . .  which includes access to education.    [. . . .] Meanwhile, for decades, the education sector – schools as well as universities – has had to contend with Israel’s systematic obstruction of education, from enforced closures, campus raids, and the oppression of individual students and teachers. . .  According to Sam Bahour, a former board member of Birzeit University and co-founder Right to Enter Campaign . . . it’s important to see this assault on education as part of a broader picture of Israeli oppression of Palestinian lives and a determination to stifle the natural growth of a society.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

(** The glass pieces came from one of the few  Hebron  glass  blower  shops  still operating in 2008. The delicate pieces I purchased, like the one in Nye’s poem,  were broken in shipping. Nye’s poem commemorates the massacre of Muslim worshipers at Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron, 1994.)


Tip their mouths open to the sky.
Turquoise, amber,
the deep green with fluted handle,
pitcher the size of two thumbs,
tiny lip and graceful waist.

Here we place the smallest flower
which could have lived invisibly
in loose soil beside the road,
sprig of succulent rosemary,
bowing mint.

They grow deeper in the center of the table.

Here we entrust the small life,
thread, fragment, breath.
And it bends. It waits all day.
As the bread cools and the children
open their gray copybooks
to shape the letter that looks like
a chimney rising out of a house.

And what do the headlines say?

Nothing of the smaller petal
perfectly arranged inside the larger petal
or the way tinted glass filters light.
Men and boys, praying when they died,
fall out of their skins.
The whole alphabet of living,
heads and tails of words,
sentences, the way they said,
“Ya’Allah!” when astonished,
or “ya’ani” for “I mean”—
a crushed glass under the feet
still shines.

But the child of Hebron sleeps
with the thud of her brothers falling
and the long sorrow of the color red.

“. . . Soldiers stalk a pharmacy: big guns, little pills . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)


The Israeli Civil Administration ordered on Sunday the Bedouin residents of Khan al-Ahmar village, east of Jerusalem, to demolish their homes and to evacuate the area before the start of October.  ___According to local sources, staff members of the Israeli Civil Administration under the protection of Israeli forces stormed Khan al-Ahmar and handed evacuation notices to the residents, ordering them to demolish their homes and evacuate the village within the given timeframe.   ___Sources said that Israeli forces threatened the residents in case of non-implementation of the notices, the Israeli army would demolish the village.   More .

34  [U.S.]  SENATE  DEMOCRATS  URGE  TRUMP  TO  RESTORE  AID  TO  THE  PALESTINIANS     Lawmakers warn president’s ‘strategy of forcing PA to negotiating table by withholding humanitarian assistance from women and children is misguided and destined to backfire.’
Two-thirds of Democrats in the Senate and a third of the entire body signed a letter to US President Donald Trump urging him to reinstate assistance to the Palestinians. . .   ___“Eliminating funds for programs that provide clean water, food, education, and medical services for Palestinians will exacerbate poverty, fuel extremism, further reduce the chance of a future peace agreement and threaten Israel’s security,” said the letter sent Friday [. . . .] The letter was initiated by Sens. Chris Van Hollen, Diane Feinstein and Chris Coons.  JEWISH  SIGNATORIES  include Feinstein, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Brian Schatz.   More . . .

Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday morning prevented Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Sabri Saidam from entering Beit Iksa checkpoint to inspect the educational process in the town.   ___The Ministry of Education said in a press statement that the minister and his delegation . . . considering that this prohibition comes as part of a deliberate campaign against Minister Siddam and the educational leadership.    More .


Philip Weiss
For Jews 50 and older, there is only one collective memory. It was given to me when I was little, when my mother told me about the Jews hiding . . .   It did not matter that the actual memory was not my mother’s or mine. This had happened to us, the Jews. She’d been a girl when the news had broken in the U.S. The memory was fresh, and ours to carry.   [. . . .] I went to Warsaw. Actually seeing the scene of the boots and the scant memorials to its existence was disturbing; and when I got home I began reading Warsaw memoirs. [. . . .] One surprise of these memoirs was a simple one that probably should have been obvious. The remnant of Jews who survived the ghetto liquidation in 1942 and who undertook the noble doomed uprising in 1943 had an overriding motivation: They wanted revenge.   More . . .

On 4 September, a Spanish district court annulled a resolution to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The resolution had been put forward by the municipal council of Ayamonte, a small town situated on the border with Portugal, and advocated for a ban on any association with Israeli companies or organisations.    [. . . .]   So why the about-turn? One thread tying the above three cases together is ACOM, or Acción y Comunicación sobre Oriente Medio (Action and Communication on the Middle East). ACOM describes itself as a “non-denominational and independent organization that aims to reinforce the political relationship between Spain and Israel by working with governments, political parties, the media and civil society.” . . .  ACOM has been on the front line of Israel’s efforts to quash support for BDS, embroiling the Spanish courts in a tug of war in the process.   [. . . .] links with right-wing NGOs and the Israeli political elite have placed ACOM at the forefront of Israel’s anti-BDS war.   More . . .


FRIENDS  OF  SABEEL  NORTH  AMERICA    Prophetic  Action:  Christians  Convening  for  Palestine – September 27, 2018 to September 28, 2018
is a nonprofit, tax-exempt Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolent advocacy and education. Sabeel is an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians, who seek a just peace as defined by international law and existing United Nations resolutions. “Join us for Prophetic Action: Christians Convening for Palestine. . . in concert with this year’s US Campaign for Palestinian Rights conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prophetic Action will be one of the largest ecumenical gatherings of Christian leaders and activists for Palestinian rights.”  Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.
The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

—From Naomi Shihab Nye,  THE  RED  SUITCASE.  BOA Editions, Ltd. (1994).



“. . . the stars were named by people like us . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)


American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) recently launched a wastewater reuse project to conserve scarce drinking water in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.    ­­­___Anera said in a press release that the project is expected to be completed by May 2020 and that it will protect the water supply by facilitating the reuse of 240,000 cubic meters (63,401,292 gallons) of wastewater annually.   [. . . .] The project, funded by the Jim Pattison Foundation, the Vitol Foundation and the Ramallah Municipality, will also increase the amount of potable water available for human consumption and domestic use in Ramallah City by 300 cubic meters (79,251 gallons) per day.   More . . .

Israeli forces Thursday demolished a Palestinian home under construction in RANTIS VILLAGE, northwest of the central West Bank city of RAMALLAH, said local sources.    [. . . .]  Meanwhile, Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice to a Palestinian home in AL-WALAJA VILLAGE, northwest of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.   [. . . .]  Almost 88 percent of RANTIS and 97 percent of AL-WALAJA, mainly agricultural land, were classified as Area C, which falls under the full Israeli control and where Israel refuses to permit virtually any Palestinian construction, forcing many Palestinians to embark on construction without a permit to shelter their families.   ___Since its occupation in 1967, along with the rest of the West Bank, Israel has seized most of the lands belonging to both villages for the construction of settlements, bypass roads and the apartheid wall . . .   More . . .

TEEN  KILLED,  THREE  INJURED  BY  ISRAELI  GUNFIRE  IN  RAFAH      Israeli soldiers on Wednesday night killed a Palestinian teenager and wounded others as they were rallying in a border area to the east of Rafah in southern Gaza.   ___A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) said that the kid was critically injured in the head by Israeli gunfire and succumbed to his injury later.      More . . .


[ISRAEL]  TELLS  HIGH  COURT:  WE  CAN  ANNEX  THE  WEST  BANK,  INTERNATIONAL  LAW  BE  DAMNED      August 7th, the state’s private attorney Harel Arnon submitted a second brief [Hebrew] to the High Court of Justice in defense of the settlement “Regulation Law.” In it he argues that the Knesset is not bound by international law and has the right to apply its own laws outside of its borders and annex land, if it wishes.
Arnon argues:
“The mere application of a certain Israeli norm [law] to an anonymous place outside the state does not necessarily make that anonymous place part of Israel. The Knesset is not restricted from legislating extra-territorially anywhere in the world, including in the region, the Knesset can legislate in Judea and Samaria.”  The brief also argues


ANERA   American  Near  East  Refugee  Aid    For 50 years, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. We mobilize resources for immediate emergency relief and for sustainable, long-term health, education, and economic development.  Website . . .    50th Anniversary Dinner

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


Choose one word and say it over
and over, till it builds a fire inside your mouth.
Adhafera*, the one who holds out, Alphard*, solitary one,
the stars were named by people like us.
Each night they line up on the long path between worlds.
They nod and blink, no right or wrong
in their yellow eyes. Dirah*, little house,
unfold your walls and take us in.

My well went dry, my grandfather’s grapes
have stopped singing. I stir the coals,
my babies cry. How will I teach them
they belong to the stars?
They build forts of white stone and say, “This is mine.”
How will I teach them to love Mizar*, veil, cloak,
to know that behind it an ancient man
is fanning a flame?
He stirs the dark wind of our breath.
He says the veil will rise
till they see us shining, spreading like embers
on the blessed hills.

Well, I made that up. I’m not so sure about Mizar.
But I know we need to keep warm here on earth
And when your shawl is as thin as mine is, you tell stories.

–From Naomi Shihab Nye, RED SUITCASE,  1994.

*Adhafera, a third-magnitude star in the constellation of Leo, the lion
*Alphard, Heart of the Snake in constellation Hydra
*Dirah, Star–Seed or Branch. Symbolically called the Abused or Beaten One
*Mizar, With its fainter companion star Alcor a double star

“. . . Whole governments relaxed in your jaw line . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

❶ Palestine, China sign agreement on free trade

  • Background: “Perils of Parity: Palestine’s Permanent Transition.” Cornell International Law Journal

❷ Saudi Arabia pledges full support to Palestinian people
❸ Israeli settlers shot dead a Palestinian farmer in Nablus
❹ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Nov. 30, 2017 ― Palestine and China signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding on free trade between the two countries, during a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s office in Ramallah.
___Minister of National Economy, Abeer Odeh, and deputy Chinese Minister of Commerce, Wang Shouwen, signed the memorandum of understanding on free trade in the presence of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and China’s ambassador to Palestine, Chen Xingzhong.   MORE . . .   ..

Miller, Zinaida.
“Perils of Parity: Palestine’s Permanent Transition.”
Cornell International Law Journal,
vol. 47, no. 2, Spring2014, pp. 331-415.
[. . . .] The sense that international organizations and actors could and should involve themselves in conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction opened space for multilateral mediation as well as for direct international involvement in the structure and implementation of the Oslo regime. From the outset of the Accords, it was clear that only extraordinary financial and institutional support from foreign donors and international organizations could sustain the peace process: by October 1993, donors had already pledged billions in aid. By 2003, the World Bank remarked that donor disbursement to the West Bank and Gaza remains the highest sustained rate of per capita disbursements to an aid recipient in the world since the Second World War.” At the beginning of the Oslo process, funds were intended to bolster the peace process by building confidence that it would improve Palestinians’ lives by providing a “peace dividend,” supporting Palestinian economic development as a method for achieving autonomy and, eventually, independence. Neither peace nor independence materialized, however, and two decades later, international support aimed simply to maintain the status quo and prevent the collapse of the Authority rather than contribute to progressive change.
[. . . .] Events on the ground constantly affect the permutations of international assistance. Failed talks, concerns over corruption, Israeli settlement building, and Palestinian violence have all affected the provision of aid and the relationships between internationals and local elites. International contributions to the governance regime are partially contingent upon politics and immediate events, but they are simultaneously shaped by the experiences and expertise of those delivering aid. Over the decades of integral international assistance, ideas about the necessity of institutions, the links between development and peace, and the provision of international assistance in humanitarian catastrophes influenced donors and aid organizations. In addition, these ideas affect the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority—who today serve as co-governors of territory and population—and the parameters of Palestinian resistance.    FULL ARTICLE.

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Nov. 30, 2017 ― Manal Radwan, Saudi Arabia’s delegate at the United Nations, pledged on Thursday during a United Nations General Assembly meeting on the situation in the Near East and on the “question of Palestine” that her country will continue to support the Palestinian people in their cause for self-determination and statehood.
___Radwan reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s support “for the Palestinian people in their historic struggle for the realization of their inalienable rights, foremost of which is the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian State on all the Palestinian land occupied since 1967.”
___She condemned Israel, the occupying power, for its violations against the Palestinians people, including the killing of innocent civilians, illegal settlement construction and expansion, the theft of Palestinian land and the demolition of thousands of homes since the Palestinian exodus (Nakba) in 1948.  MORE . . .
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Nov. 30, 2017 ― A Palestinian farmer was shot dead by Israeli settlers while he was working in his land near the village of Qusra, south of Nablus in the West Bank.
___Israeli settlers reportedly opened fire at Mahmoud Zaal Odeh, in his forties, injuring him seriously. He was announced dead a few minutes later.
___This is not the first time a Palestinian is killed by illegal Israeli settlers. On May 18, an Israeli settler shot and killed a 23-year-old Palestinian during a protest in Huwwata, to the south of Nablus.
___In 2016 alone, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 107 settler attacks on Palestinians. . .    MORE . . .   ..

In the hours after you died,
all the pain went out of your face.
Whole governments relaxed
in your jaw line.
How long had you been away
from the place you loved best?
Every minute was too much.
Each year’s bundle of horror stories:
more trees chapped,
homes demolished,
people gone crazy.
You’d turn your face
away from the screen.
At the end you spoke
to your own blood
filtering through a machine:
We’ll get there again, friend.
When you died, your long frustration
zipped its case closed.
Everyone in a body is chosen
for trouble and bliss.
At least nothing got amputated, I said,
and the nurses looked quizzical.
Well, if only you had seen his country.

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.

“. . . There’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

A pediatric dialysis patient proudly displays the coloring she has done as part of the psycho-social care facilitated for children at Augusta Victoria Hospital’s Specialized Child Care Center. (Photo by K. Brown)

❶ Israeli police kill 16-year old Palestinian girl in Jerusalem
❷ PA says crisis resolved after East Jerusalem hospital turned patients away over debt
❸ April 2017: 2758 settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque (East Jerusalem)
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  Open Letter to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Our Report on Apartheid in Israel
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) How Israel’s violent birth destroyed Palestine
❺ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC  
May 8, 2017
On Sunday afternoon, Israeli police shot and killed a 16-year old Palestinian girl near the Damascus gate in Jerusalem.
___Although the Israeli police spokesperson claimed that the teen attempted to stab a security officer, that account has been disputed.
___The child has been identified as Fatima Afeef Abdul-Rahman Hajiji, 16, from Qarawat Bani Zeid village,  northwest of Ramallah, in the central part of the West Bank.   ___Eyewitnesses said Fatima was standing near the entrance of Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate), and was at least ten meters away from the near soldier or officer, and that one of the soldiers started shouting “knife, knife,” before five soldiers fired a barrage of bullets at the child.      MORE . . .

At least three soldiers with AK47s are needed to murder one teenage girl (Photo, Ma’an News, May 8, 2017)

Ma’an News Agency  
May 8, 2017
The Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Health Jawad Awwad announced on Sunday afternoon that an agreement had been reached with a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem after the medical facility had said earlier in the day that it would no longer accept new patients, owing to a “crisis level” financial situation due to excessive delays in payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA) amounting to some $41.78 million.
___After a meeting with Augusta Victor Hospital General Manager Walid Nammur and Director of Operations Atif Rimawi, Awwad said that the situation “had been resolved,” and that the hospital would resume accepting patients referred to by the ministry.
___The minister added in a statement that an agreement was reached on “all unresolved issues” in coordination with Palestinian Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara, and that “we will do our best to end the crises facing Jerusalem hospitals.”       MORE . . .  

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan   
May 3, 2017
Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for April 2017 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem as well as settlers’ assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque concurrently with the execution of multiple arrests, isolations and deportations from Al-Aqsa and the Old City of Jerusalem.
___The center said the number of settlers who broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque and the number of Jerusalemites isolated from Al-Aqsa and deported from the Old City of Jerusalem as well as arrests were the highest since the beginning of the years. MORE . .

The Nation
Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley
April 25, 2017
Republished in The Jerusalem Fund
Dear Madam Ambassador:
We were deeply disappointed by your response to our report, Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid, and particularly your dismissal of it as “anti-Israeli propaganda” within hours of its release. The UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) invited us to undertake a fully researched scholarly study. Its principal purpose was to ascertain whether Israeli policies and practices imposed on the Palestinian people fall within the scope of the international-law definition of apartheid. We did our best to conduct the study with the care and rigor that is morally incumbent in such an important undertaking, and of course we welcome constructive criticism of the report’s method or analysis (which we also sought from several eminent scholars before its release). So far we have not received any information identifying the flaws you have found in the report or how it may have failed to comply with scholarly standards of rigor.        MORE . . .
Al Jazeera English
Ramzy Baroud
May 1, 2017       Related article


“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.

The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

“. . . What shall expose the murderer, but our innocent bleeding.” (Mu’in Bseiso)

Palestinians gather in front of the Rafah crossing between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, Jan. 16, 2015. (AFP/Said Khatib, File)

❶ Hundreds of Palestinians return to Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah crossing
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, level lands in Gaza
❷ Hamas launches its new Political Document
❸ Christians Speak to Archbishop of Canterbury about Life in Gaza
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  What the West gets wrong on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
“. . . The Palestinians are not struggling for peace; they are struggling for freedom . . .”
❺ POETRY by Mu’in Bseiso (b. Gaza, 1930)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency   
May 7, 2017
GAZA (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing in one direction for the second consecutive day on Sunday, to allow Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side to return to the besieged Gaza Strip.
___Head of the media office at the Rafah crossing Wael Abu Omar said that 832 Palestinians were able to arrive to the Palestinian hall of the terminal during the first day of opening that lasted from 10 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.
___Abu Omar said that among the passengers was the body of a dead Palestinian that was allowed to return to Gaza to be buried.
___He added that Egyptian authorities also permitted the entry of trucks loaded with cement, paint, and cheese.      MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
May 7, 2017 
Israeli military vehicles staged a limited incursion into Palestinian lands east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, while Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of northern Gaza, causing no injuries.
___Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that five Israeli military bulldozers set off from Israel’s Kissufim military base and passed tens of meters beyond the border area, and proceeded to level lands.
___Separately, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coat of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.       MORE . . .

Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza    
May 2, 2017      PRESS RELEASE – HAMAS
The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, launched its Political Document “General Principles and Policies” on Monday at a press conference in the Qatari capital of Doha.      ___The document was announced at a press conference held by Hamas politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, with a number of leaders of the movement, in the presence of elite writers, media outlets and researchers.
___The 42 article document carries the essence of the Movement’s thought and political legacy for 30 years now.
___Hamas said in its document that it is an Islamic Palestinian national liberation movement aimed at liberating Palestine and confronting the Zionist project, indicating that Islam is a reference in its principles, objectives and means.     MORE . . .

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC    
May 6, 2017
Christian residents of the Gaza Strip recently spoke about their daily life to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, during a surprise visit to the coastal enclave.
___During his visit to the Gaza Strip, the Archbishop sat with leaders of the Christian community in Gaza, and listened to their life experience under the rule of the Islamic Palestinian movement Hamas.
___Philip Tarazi, one of the Gaza Christians who were selected to meet with the Archbishop Justin Welby, described the life in Gaza as “smooth.”     MORE . . .  

Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Suheil Dawani with members of Gaza’s Christian community at Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza City

+972 Blog  
Mitchell Plitnick
“. . . The Palestinians are not struggling for peace; they are struggling for freedom . . .”
May 5, 2017
On April 21, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinians must prove that they want peace. “I think the first test of peace is to say to them, ‘Hey, you want peace? Prove it,” Netanyahu told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
___This is very typical of Netanyahu’s statements on peace over the years. But perhaps it’s time to consider the issue too rarely discussed by those of us who work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The government’s actions aside, most Israelis do very much want peace. But on the Palestinian side, again setting aside the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders, peace is not at the top of the agenda.
___This is one of the biggest, most fundamental disconnects in the Western approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. THE PALESTINIANS ARE NOT STRUGGLING FOR PEACE; THEY ARE STRUGGLING FOR FREEDOM. That struggle may be against second-class citizenship for Palestinian citizens of Israel, the expansion of settlements and land confiscation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or the strangling siege in Gaza. But in all cases, it comes down to a struggle for freedom and a future where today’s Palestinians and future generations can forge their own future outside the yoke of Israel.     MORE . . .


Brother! If they should sharpen the sword on my neck,
I would not kneel, even if their whips lashed
my bloodied mouth
If dawn is so close to coming
I shall not retreat.
I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm!

Brother! If the executioner should drag me to the slaughterhouse
before your eyes to make you kneel,
so you might beg him to relent,
I’d call again, Brother! Raise your proud head
and watch as they murder me!
Witness my executioner, sword dripping with my blood!
What shall expose the murderer, but our innocent bleeding?

At night their guns kidnapped him from his trench.
The hero was flung into the cells’ darkness
where, like a banner fluttering above chains, he stayed.
The chains became flaming torches,
burning the ashes which coat our shining future.
Now the hero lives, his footsteps ringing triumphantly
within the closed walls of every prison.
–– Translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

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

“. . . easy to ignore, refute, blame, always blame, changing the story, inverting the facts . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

Demonstration in memory of the massacre in Kafr Qasim, Oct. 29, 2016. (Photo: Lior Paz, Ynet)

❶ Massacres, BDS, and more

  • Background:  “Nakba Memoricide: Genocide Studies And The Zionist/Israeli Genocide Of Palestine.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal.

❷ One almighty military order and 49 dead Palestinians
❸ One Hundred Years and Counting: Britain, Balfour, and the Cultural Repression of Palestinians
❹ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza 
Mazin Qumsiyeh
October 30, 2016
I just returned to Palestine from the Basque Country, a European country that is partly under French and partly under Spanish rule . . .  It was great to see the mountains and to see open roads without checkpoints . . .
___I return willingly to a jailed community under an apartheid system and daily assaults (home demolitions, displacement, judaization). It is exactly where we find ourselves most needed and most alive. The staff and volunteers at the Palestine Museum of Natural History – Bethlehem University have done an excellent job in my absence of one week. . . .       ___Now for some collected items related to human rights:
Today is the anniversary of Duwaima massacre (29 Octber 1948), one of over 40 massacres committed by the Zionist colonial forces to drive native Palestinians out of our country.      More . . .      Background    

  • Rashed, Haifa, Damien Short, and John Docker. “NAKBA MEMORICIDE: GENOCIDE STUDIES AND THE ZIONIST/ISRAELI GENOCIDE OF PALESTINE.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press) 13.1 (2014): 1-23.      Source.

Genocide Studies is haunted by an absence and a fear. The absence is of any sustained continuing discussion of Zionist Israel as a possible example of a nation founded on genocide . . . The fear is of becoming another victim of Zionist intimidation and retaliatory attacks if there were to be such discussion. In Foucault’s terms, Genocide Studies is uneasily aware that Zionism, as a worldwide movement with a vigilant scholarly and ideological wing, is a panopticon. Genocide Studies knows it is being watched and can be threatened with vilification at any moment, even in a preemptive gratuitous way. To fend off such attacks, it has chosen to be intellectually submissive; that is, to suppress a key (Socratic) foundation of intellectual life, to follow inquiry wherever it may lead. In particular, Genocide Studies is haunted by the fear that the historical analysis of settler colonialism, based on Raphaël Lemkin’s definitional linking of settler colonialism with genocide, may lead to recognition of Zionist Israel as a genocidal settler colonial state. The concept that the Zionist project is a settler-colonial one has been fundamental to Arab and Palestinian critical thought since the Nakba in 1948 and has been increasingly and more widely explored in recent years, even occasionally branching out of the academic arena and into the political.

+972 Magazine    
Sam Bahour
Oct. 29, 2016
If your Palestinian neighbors and friends seem slightly on edge today, please excuse them. October 29th brings back horrific memories to Palestinians everywhere, young and old. It was 60 years ago today that a scene of cold-blooded murder fell upon the hilltop village of Kafr Qasim, located in Israel about 20 km east of Tel Aviv near the Green Line. It was in Kafr Qasim on this day in 1956 where the Israeli military mowed down in cold blood 48 innocent civilians, one of them a pregnant woman, whose fetus is counted as the 49th victim. It was said that all of this was done in the service of the almighty Israeli “military order,” which no one dared to challenge.    More . . .    

Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network    
Aimee Shalan
Oct.26, 2016
If Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour passes over the perimeter of her home’s driveway in her village of Reineh in the Galilee, an alarm will sound at the British multinational security firm G4S and the Israeli authorities will be alerted. Israeli police arrested Tatour in the early hours of October 11, 2015 for her poem, “Qawem ya sha‘abi qawemhum” (Resist My People, Resist Them), which was posted to her YouTube account earlier that month. On November 2, Israel charged her with incitement to violence and support for a terrorist organization.
___In January, after three months in prison, Tatour was placed under house arrest near Tel Aviv, far from her village. After a lengthy struggle, the prosecution conceded in July that she could be held in her family’s home. . . . .Such British complicity in the cultural repression of Palestinians is not a recent phenomenon. One can argue that it has its roots in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which, by calling for the establishment of a nation for the Jewish people while all but disregarding the existence of the Palestinians inhabiting the land in question . . . .     More . . .  



Say it again, resist times ten.
Those who were not politicians,
who were going to school or tending the rooms,
shops, libraries, kitchens, mint sprigs drooping in a can,
changing diapers, wiping spittle from chins,
chopping onions, snipping cucumbers from a scratchy vine,
we would have done anything for you, Palestine.
But all we knew to do was talk, talk, to everyone who already agreed.
Sign petitions, phone representatives, write checks,
wear keffiyehs tied around our necks, demonstrate,
feel hopeful that President Obama might (in his vast intelligence)
really stand up for you — what else could we do?
Talk to those who didn’t already agree? But who were we?
“If they knew our stories, they wouldn’t do these things to us,”
my Palestinian grandmother said, when she was 100 years old,
after being tear-gassed in her own room by Israelis.
She wasn’t angry – we were.
Dareen, trapped in her house for using the word “Resist” – she was there
and we were everywhere else. Easy to punish her, Israel had
no trouble trapping, oppressing, squelching, giving another name.
Pressed down for so long, those without influence over weapons or borders,
easy to ignore, refute, blame, always blame, changing the story,
inverting the facts…and they DID know the story, Sitti,
because everyone told it, Dareen told it,
Mahmoud, Fadwa, Edward, Suheir, Anton, Sharif, Nathalie, Lisa, Lena,
Khaled, Salma, Raja, Fady, Aziz, everyone told it, kept telling it,
talking forever, but the checkpoint lines got longer, pressed,
the sad orchards smaller, looming wall more riveted with cries,
the way a nightmare compounds, spinning out swirls of
hallways, blockades, locked doors, prison cells…
the powerful kept saying, Give the oppressors more money,
they are a democracy,
and the sleeping person shouted from the nightmare, Wake up!
Just let me wake up!

From Jewish Voice For Peace

“. . . But this bullet had no innocence, did not wish anyone well . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

LisaGay Hamilton, 2005 Peabody Award. (Photo: Wikipedia) “I’m here because I’m concerned about the effects of war and blockade on the women [of Gaza].”
❶ Gaza power station to shut down due to lack of fuel supplies
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Egypt opens Rafah crossing one last day for return of Gaza Hajj pilgrims
. . . ❶― (ᴃ) Messina, Italy welcomes the Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG)
❷ Opinion/Analysis:  LisaGay Hamilton

  • Background from: International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

❸ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Sept. 22, 2016
The energy authority in the Gaza Strip has announced that the besieged coastal enclave’s sole power plant would stop running until next Tuesday due to fuel shortages, as Israel’s Karam Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing remained closed to fuel imports for the second consecutive day.
___In a statement issued on Thursday, the authority said that since the crossing was closed after it was breached by burglars early Wednesday morning, the power station would be out of service due to lack of fuel deliveries.       MORE . . .    
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 23, 2016
The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the besieged Gaza Strip opened on Friday for the last of four days on Friday to allow Palestinian worshipers returning from the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj to return to Gaza.
___Two groups of pilgrims were reportedly allowed to cross through on Thursday, with one group in at dawn and another in the evening.
___Egypt opened the crossing on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday to allow the retun of the pilgrims.          MORE . . .     
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
Sept. 22, 2016
This morning the community of Messina, Italy welcomed the participants on board Zaytouna-Oliva as they arrived following their voyage from Ajaccio, France. The sailing boat will soon leave Messina for its final destination, the shores of Gaza.
___Lucio Intruglio, the local organizer in Messina noted, “We have been waiting eagerly for our sisters to arrive and have a variety of activities to celebrate their mission.”       MORE . . .  

Lisagay Hamilton
Sept. 23, 2016
Sunday night, September 18, 2016. As my “industry” colleagues attend Emmy parties and dress for the red carpet, I stand on the chilly docks of Ajaccio, Corsica, in the wee hours of the morning awaiting the arrival of a small sailboat called the Zaytouna-Oliva.
[. . . .]  I’m here because I’m concerned about the effects of war and blockade on the women [of Gaza], as schools, hospitals, and homes have been periodically destroyed and sources of power and water compromised. I’m here because some 1.8 million Gazans are trapped in what is often described as a giant open-air prison.
[. . . .]   I’m afraid for myself and especially for the courageous women who will try to break through the blockade. But I’m more afraid of what might happen if we all stayed home, silent and complacent and posing for the paparazzi. Breaking the siege is not the same as freedom for Gaza, but it is a start.    MORE . . .  

  • Shehadeh, Said. “The 2014 War On Gaza: Engineering Trauma And Mass Torture To Break Palestinian Resilience.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.3 (2015): 278-294.   SOURCE. 

[. . . .]    Most of the post-war assessments focus predominantly on the enormous civilian death toll and injured persons, especially children, as well as the massive destruction to homes, factories, public (governmental) buildings and infrastructure. Indeed, the numbers speak for themselves: 1.8 million people, trapped in a small costal enclave of 365 square kilometers, mercilessly bombarded from the air, land and sea by the sixth strongest military in the world with no means of escape.
[. . . .]  These post-war statistics regarding the human and financial costs of the war on Gaza do not fully capture the scope and depth of human suffering inflicted.
[. . . .]   How then, can we explain the Israeli policy behind all these oppressive acts of physical and psychological aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza? The answer, I contend, is that it was a deliberate policy of torture executed on a massive scale against the entire population of Gaza, during the 50-day war. Torture, as defined by the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) is:
any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. 
[. . . .] 

Flames engulf the Gaza Strip power plant after it was hit by Israeli shelling, on July 29, 2014. (Photo: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

There is no stray bullet, sirs.
No bullet like a worried cat
crouching under a bush,
no half-hairless puppy bullet
dodging midnight streets.
The bullet could not be a pecan
plunking the tin roof,
not hardly, no fluff of pollen
on October’s breath,
no humble pebble at our feet.

So don’t gentle it, please.

We live among stray thoughts,
tasks abandoned midstream.
Our fickle hearts are fat
with stray devotions, we feel at home
among bits and pieces,
all the wandering ways of words.

But this bullet had no innocence, did not
wish anyone well, you can’t tell us otherwise
by naming it mildly, this bullet was never the friend
of life, should not be granted immunity
by soft saying—friendly fire, straying death-eye,
why have we given the wrong weight to what we do?

Mohammed, Mohammed, deserves the truth.
This bullet had no secret happy hopes,
it was not singing to itself with eyes closed
under the bridge.

Naomi Shihab Nye
From YOU  AND  YOURS,  by Naomi Shihab Nye (CBOA Editions, 2005).  Available from Barnes and Noble. 

“. . . There is no gazelle in today’s headline . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

A Gazelle walk
“Like as the gazelle desireth the waterbrooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God.” Psalm 42. See also: https://mesenescent.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/quemadmodum-desiderat-cervus-ad-fontes-aquarum/

❶ Analysis: How Israeli settlements stifle Palestine’s economy
❷ Palestinian shot dead in Nablus after alleged attempted attack
❸ UN Secretary-General Accuses Israel of ‘Breeding’ Palestinian Attacks
❹ The ‘neo-Palestinians’
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Why is Israel recruiting so many Jordanian workers?
❻ Poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Nur Arafeh, Samia al-Botmeh, Leila Farsakh
Dec. 16, 2015
Israel is marshaling pro-Israel forces in Europe as well as in the US against the European Union’s recently issued guidelines on labeling some of its settlement products, for fear that this will lead to stronger measures . . . .
___Israel sees the European Union’s recently issued guidelines on labeling some of its settlement products as the thin edge of the wedge. It fears this will open the door to stronger measures against its illegal settlement enterprise and is marshaling pro-Israel forces in Europe as well as in the United States.  More . . .
Dec. 17, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian near the Huwarra military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, Israeli media reported.
___Initial reports indicate that the Palestinian was shot dead after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at the checkpoint. No Israelis were injured during the incident.
___The deaths mark at least 123 Palestinians to be killed since violence escalated in the occupied Palestinian territory in October. More . . .
Dec. 16, 2015
This past Tuesday, in Jakarta, Indonesia, the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem was organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It was sponsored by the United Nations.
___In a statement delivered on his behalf to the Conference, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon said that the recent Palestinian attacks on Israelis are “bred from nearly five decades of Israeli occupation.”
___“It is the result of fear, humiliation, frustration and mistrust,” he said . . . .  More . . .

Palestinian youth carry the wounded during clashes with Israeli troops following an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, Oct. 4, 2015. (Photo by REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusin)

Ben Caspit
Dec. 16, 2015

The “new Palestinian,” or “neo-Palestinian,” is the name the Israeli security establishment has coined to refer to the generation of young Palestinians leading the current terror wave that Israel continues to find difficult to define, characterize and restrain some two and a half months after it began . . . . There is no infrastructure, no planning, no hierarchy, no leaders, no organizations and no intelligence.
___“This is something else entirely, something we have not completely identified,” admitted a higher-up in Israeli security speaking on condition of anonymity. “It is a social phenomenon, maybe even a mental one. It is the outcome of circumstances and deep processes that have come to fruition. . . .  More . . .
Adnan Abu Amer
Dec. 16, 2015
Many Palestinians are wondering why Israel is replacing Palestinian workers with ones from Jordan. None of the speculation seems positive
___In light of ongoing Palestinian armed operations against Israeli settlers, Israel has been taking punitive measures against Palestinians. When the violence began in October, Israel decreed that Palestinians could not travel to their workplaces inside Israel. It would not issue new work permits. On Oct. 4, Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz threatened to withdraw more than 100,000 work permits.
___However, the Israeli Security Agency (Shabak) opposed those government decisions and on Nov. 26 demanded that additional work permits be granted for Palestinians. The move was seen as one designed to keep Palestinian workers employed so they wouldn’t join unemployed Palestinians in their attacks against Israelis. More . . .


A gash of movement,
a spring of flight.

She saw them then
she did not see them.

The elegance of the gazelle
caught in her breath.

The next thing could have been weeping.

Rustic brown, a subtle spotted hue.

For years the Arab poets used “gazelle”
to signify grace,
but when faced with a meadow of leaping gazelle
there were no words.

Does one gazelle prefer another
of her kind?

They soared like history
above an empty page.

Nearby, giant tortoises
were kissing.

What else had we seen in our lives?
Nothing better than 19 varieties of gazelle
running free at the wildlife sanctuary. . .

“Don’t bother to go there,”
said a man at our hotel.
“It’s too far.”

But we were on a small sandy island,
nothing was far!

We had hiked among stony ruins
to the Tree of Life. ***
We had photographed a sign that said
KEEP TO THE PATH in English and Arabic.

Where is the path?
Please tell me.
Does a gazelle have a path?
Is the whole air the path of the gazelle?

The sun was a hot hand on our heads.

Human beings have voices―
what have they done for us?

There is no gazelle
in today’s headline.

The next thing could have been weeping. . .
Since when is a gazelle
wiser than people?

Gentle gazelle
dipping her head
into a pool of silver grass.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. 19  VARIETIES  OF  GAZELLE:  POEMS  OF  THE  MIDDLE  EAST. New York: Green Willow Books, 1994. Available from Barnes and Noble.
About Naomi Shihab Nye.
*** About the Tree of Life

Labourers disembark a Palestinians-only bus before crossing through Israel's Eyal checkpoint as they returns to the West Bank, near Qalqilya
Jordanian laborers disembark from a bus before crossing through Israel’s Eyal checkpoint as they return from work sites in Israel, near Qalqilya, March 4, 2013. (Photo by REUTERS/Baz Ratner)