. . . Sabra – sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war. . . (Mahmoud Darwish)

Selected News of the Day

OIC: Israeli Government Fully Responsible for Consequences of Colonial Policies

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
September 16, 2019
The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held fully responsible the Israeli government for the consequences of its colonial policies in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This came during the 16th extraordinary meeting of the OIC council of foreign ministers held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the “Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to annex territories in the Occupied West Bank.” ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The council proclaimed absolute rejection and vehemently condemned the Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to “apply Israeli sovereignty on all of the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea and settlements in the occupied West Bank”, describing it as a dangerous escalation, a further serious encroachment on the historical and legal rights of the Palestinian people, a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, the principles of international law and the relevant UN resolutions . . .   More . . . .

Palestinian FM discusses Israeli plans on Jordan Valley with Jordanian, Turkish counterparts

WAFA
September 16, 2019
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki met in Jeddah with his Jordanian and Turkish counterparts and discussed coordinating efforts to confront the declaration by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on annexing the occupied Jordan Valley and Israeli violations in Jerusalem and its Islamic holy places.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Malki told Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi that annexing the Jordan Valley will destroy any chance of having a just and comprehensive peace in the region and will be a threat to world peace and security. Safadi stressed Jordan’s strong position against Netanyahu’s plans, which it considers a blatant violation of international law and undermines the right of peoples in this region to live in peace.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The Malki-Safadi meeting took place on the side of a meeting for foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) member states, who also strongly condemned Israeli plans to annex any part of the occupied Palestinian territory.  More . . . .

Blackout expected in parts of West Bank as Israel’s electricity company starts power cut

WAFA
September 16, 2019
Several hours of blackout are expected to disrupt life in parts of the West Bank next Monday and Tuesday as the Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) intends to cut power supply to the Palestinian-owned Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), today said JDECO chairman of board and CEO Hisham Omari.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He said his company has received the third warning from the IEC informing it that it will start rationing or cutting electricity supply to some of the company’s concession areas . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Omari considered the IEC decision, supported by the Israeli government, as “collective punishment against the Palestinian people,” warning that if IEC goes on with its threat, it will have serious repercussions, particularly on hospitals, education, water supply, communications and many other vital areas.  More . . . .

Remembering the Sabra and Shatila massacre (Sep 16, 1982 – Sep 18, 1982)

For the Palestinians, the tragedy of Sabra and Shatila remains as a powerful reminder of their apparently endless cycle of displacement.
The Middle East Monitor
September 16, 2019
Thirty-seven years ago this week, one of the bloodiest chapters in Palestinian history unfolded in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Surrounded by Israeli forces from all sides, thousands of refugees, bereft of leadership and protection from the international community, were slaughtered during a two day killing spree in the Shatila refugee camp and the adjacent Sabra neighbourhood of Beirut by the Christian Phalangist militia, Israel’s paramilitary ally in Lebanon.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli forces, who had invaded Lebanon three months earlier, advanced into Beirut and surrounded the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila. A tenuous ceasefire agreement had already been brokered by the US. . .  UN Security Council Resolution 520 dated 17 September was passed unanimously and condemned “the recent Israeli incursions into Beirut in violation of the cease-fire agreements and of Security Council resolutions.” Israel ignored this resolution too.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Virtually sealed off from the outside world by Israeli tanks, hundreds of Phalangist fighters — a Christian militia group inspired by European fascists — were instructed by Israeli forces to clear out PLO members from the area. What unfolded over the following day and half horrified the world.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In the 38 hours that the Israelis allowed the Phalange militia to enter the refugee camp unhindered, the Palestinians bunkered in their makeshift shelters suffered unspeakable horrors. Israel’s proxy militiamen raped, tortured, mutilated and killed more than 3,000 Palestinian and Lebanese residents of Sabra and Shatila.  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

SABRA AND SHATILA BY MAHMOUD DARWISH
Sabra – a sleeping girl
The men left
War slept for two short nights,
Beirut obeyed and became the capital…
A long night
Observing the dreams in Sabra,
Sabra is sleeping.
Sabra – the remains of a dead body
She bid farewell to her horsemen and time
And surrendered to sleep out of tiredness.. and the Arabs who threw her behind them.
Sabra – and what the soldiers Departing from Galilee forgot
She doesn’t buy and sell anything but her silence
To buy flowers to put on her braided hair.
Sabra – sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war:
Why do you go?
And leave your wives in the middle of a hard night?
Why do you go?
And hang your night
Over the camp and the national anthem?
Sabra – covering her naked breasts with a farewell song
Counts her palms and gets it wrong
While she can’t find the arm:
How many times will you travel?
And for how long?
And for what dream?
If you return one day
for which exile shall you return,
which exile brought you back?
Sabra – tearing open her chest:
How many times
does the flower bloom?
How many times
will the revolution travel?
Sabra – afraid of the night. Puts it on her knees
covers it with her eyes’ mascara. Cries to distract it:
They left without saying
anything about their return
Withered and tended
from the rose’s flame!
Returned without returning
to the beginning of their journey
Age is like children
running away from a kiss.
No, I do not have an exile
To say: I have a home
God, oh time ..!
Sabra – sleeps. And the fascist’s knife wakes up
Sabra calls who she calls
All of this night is for me, and night is salt
the fascist cuts her breasts – the night reduced –
he then dances around his knife and licks it.
Singing an ode to a victory of the cedars,
And erases
Quietly .. Her flesh from her bones
and spreads her organs over the table
and the fascist continues dancing and laughs for the tilted eyes
and goes crazy for joy, Sabra is no longer a body:
He rides her as his instincts suggest, and his will manifests.
And steals a ring from her flesh and blood and goes back to his mirror
And be – Sea
And be – Land
And be – Clouds
And be – Blood
And be – Night
And be – Killing
And be – Saturday
and she be – Sabra.
Sabra – the intersection of two streets on a body
Sabra, the descent of a Spirit down a Stone
And Sabra – is no one
Sabra – is the identity of our time, forever.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Translated by Saad El Kurdi

Posted on the Blog Kadaitcha September 19, 2012 By Jinjirrie
You can listen to Mahmoud Darwish read this poem on tumbler.com.

“. . . All that I love of my absent country. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Selected News of the Day

Israeli military uproot trees, raze wells in northeastern West Bank

WAFA
September 12, 2019
Israeli military today uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed water wells in Um Kbeish area near Tammun town, south of Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank, said human rights activist.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Aref Daraghmeh confirmed that Israeli military arrived to Um Kbeish, where they uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed four water wells used for irrigation by local Palestinian farmers. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ . . . . under the pretext that the land constituted “State land.” The family filed a complaint and had a court hearing set for June 24. Ignoring this, Israel’s demolition took place on June 11. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Designating an area as a nature reserve may convey the impression that Israel wishes to protest the environment. In practice, however, Israeli has been using such designations for advancing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.  More . . . .

Netanyahu tells voters: If you don’t vote Likud, Arabs will ‘annihilate us all’

Mondoweiss
Yumna Patel
September 11, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming under fire again for anti-Arab comments made by his campaign, this time for a message on his official Facebook page telling voters “Arabs want to annihilate us all – women, children and men.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli media reported that upon accessing Netanyahu’s official page, viewers are greeted with an automated popup message in Hebrew with a message to voters, imploring them to “make sure” their friends and family vote Likud.   More . . . . 

Abbas: If Israel takes Palestinian land, all deals off

Al-Hourriah
September 11, 2019
If Israel annexes parts of the occupied West Bank, all agreements signed with Israel will end, warned the Palestinian president on Tuesday, reports the Agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “All agreements and their resulting obligations would end if the Israeli side annexes the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement, according to Palestine’s WAFA news agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Abbas’ remarks came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he would annex the Jordan Valley and a number of settlements if he wins next week’s election.   More . . . .

Israeli Army Launches Renewed Aerial Attack On Gaza

Days of Palestine
September 12, 2019
An Israeli warplane last night bombed a resistance site belonging to the Palestinian resistance in the north of the Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that a warplane fired at least three missiles at a resistance post in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, with no reported casualties.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ A spokesman for the Israeli occupation army claimed the air raid was in response to the launch of projectiles towards Israeli communities around the border with Gaza.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

I  DEFY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Talk about exile―I defy
silence my argument with chains
and a foolish prison cell
I defy

Turn plague and sadness against me
I remain defying

cut my wrist
with my bloody chest I defy
cut my leg
I mount the wound and walk
and with my violence I defy
with my forehead I defy
and with my teeth
and the teeth of songs―I defy

and kill me―I defy
I kill death
and come to you a defying God

All that I own of my father’s and grandfather’s
inheritance is to defy!

All that I understand from the
wind and the secrets of erased villages
and the songs of springs
on dying grass

a concealed sob
the roots of the tree
memorize it for me
a sob: To defy

All the eyes of children living within me
in bloody exile
All that I love of my absent country
in name and deed
a scream bruising me―to defy!
My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts and roses
so jail my piece of bread

I defy

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

“. . . You may take the last strip of my land. . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Anticipating Netanyahu’s visit, Israeli forces close down Hebron’s Old City

WAFA
September 4, 2019
Israeli forces today morning closed down Palestinian stores and ordered Palestinian students vacate their schools in Hebron’s Old City in anticipation of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Jamal Sa’afin, an activist with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, confirmed that Israeli forces tightened restrictions in Hebron’s old city, closing Palestinian stores along the area from al-Salaymeh to Tel Rumeida besides to Wadi al-Husayn and Jaber neighborhoods.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He added that soldier ordered Palestinian students out of their schools in the old city, including Qurtuba School purportedly in preparation for the visit.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Netanyahu is set to deliver a speech at the Ibrahimi Mosque, which Jews refer to as the Cave of the Patriarchs, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1919 al-Buraq Uprising. The city of Hebron, which houses the Ibrahimi Mosque, is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers who live in compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.  More . . . . 

  • Netanyahu’s ‘visit’ to Hebron will not change its fact as an Arab Palestinian city
    WAFA
    By Bilal Ghaith
    September 03, 2019
    Palestinian activists called for receiving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Hebron on Wednesday night with black flags on homes near the Ibrahimi mosque as observers, politicians and historians dismissed all allegations regarding the “visit” describing it as a provocation.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to Maarive newspaper, Netanyahu will take part in a ritual in the Jewish settlement in the city on the steps of the Ibrahimi Mosque where the Palestinians were massacred in 1994 that left dozens dead at the hands of an extremist named Baruch Goldstein. An official ceremony will be held at the site to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1929 al-Buraq uprising. These rituals will be held in the presence of Netanyahu, government ministers and Likud Knesset members, on his first official visit to Hebron in 13 years.   More . . . .

Palestinian refugee students must not be incidental to humanitarian endeavours

Al-Hourriah
Ramona Wadi
September 4, 2019
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Despite financial setbacks caused by political agendas and misconduct allegations, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) ensured that its schools opened on time for the new academic year. Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl described education as central to UNRWA’s mandate, yet the agency is not past attaching importance to symbolism and, despite its work, normalise the violence inherent in Israel’s settler-colonial project.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The opening of the new school year in Silwan, for example, publicised due to renovation works carried out during the summer recess, was lauded by Krähenbühl. “This return to school is also a symbol of preserving normalcy and a safe learning environment,” he remarked.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The safe learning environment rhetoric, favoured by international organisations, is replete with discrepancies, and can have severe repercussions. A joint statement published by UNICEF in January 2019 focuses on the impact of Israeli state and settler colonial violence as regards access to education and safety for Palestinian students. If there is still need for UN statements to remind us that children “should never be the target of violence and must not be exposed to any form of violence,” it stands to reason that Israel is not facing any deterrent to its destabilisation of Palestinian education.  More . . . .

West Bank village courts tourists with eggplant, stone terraces

Al-Monitor (Palestinian Pulse)
Ahmad Abu Amer
September 3, 2019
Locally grown eggplants have earned a significant place in the Palestinian cuisine, heritage and economy and is celebrated every summer in Battir, a historical village in the West Bank, 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) west of Bethlehem. Light purple, large or small but always fragrant, eggplants make up an essential part of the Palestinian kitchen from makdous, a pickled stuffed eggplant dish, to maqluba, a traditional dish with chicken, rice and eggplant.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The annual Battir Eggplant Festival, which took place on Aug. 17-19, is not just an occasion to celebrate the popular crop; it highlights just how this historical village — known for its 4,000 years of terraced cultivation of vines and olives — has suffered, first by plans of an Israeli separation barrier that could have been built right across the historical terraces, then under the restriction of movement and nearby Israeli settlers.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Battir, located on the Green Line, won the 2011 UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes. The site was recognized for aesthetic and symbolic value . . . .   In June 2014, the village was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger. The UN cultural body described the village as “a major Palestinian cultural landscape,” due to its complex and unique irrigation system.  More . . . .

Israel Confiscates Palestinian Lands To Expand Illegal Colonies In Bethlehem 

IMEMC News
September 4, 2019
The Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank, issued three orders for the illegal annexation of Palestinian lands in Beit Jala city, Teqoua’ and Rashayda towns, in Bethlehem governorate, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Hasan Breijiyya, the coordinator of the Wall and Colonization Commission in Bethlehem, said the first Israeli order targets Palestinian lands in Basin 2 of the al-Makhrour area Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem, and are owned by residents from Beit Jala and al-Khader.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Breijiyya added that Israel wants to confiscate lands in that area to expand colonialist bypass road #60, linking between occupied Jerusalem and Gush Etzion colony, south of Bethlehem, which effectively means annexing hundreds of Dunams of Palestinian agricultural lands.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The second order targets lands in the Rashayda village, east of Bethlehem, and aims at expanding Maali Amos illegal colony.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

I may―if you wish―lose my livelihood
I may sell my shirt and bed.
I may work as a stone cutter,
A street sweeper, a porter.
I may clean your stores
Or rummage your garbage for food.
I may lie down hungry,
O enemy of the sun,
But
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may take the last strip of my land,
Feed my youth to prison cells.
You may plunder my heritage.
|You may burn my books, my poems,
Or feed my flesh to the dogs.
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village.
O enemy of the sun,
But
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may put out the light in my eyes
You may deprive me of my mother’s kisses.
You may curse my father, my people.
You may distort my history.
You may deprive my children of a smile
And of life’s necessities.
You may fool my friends with a borrowed face.
You may build walls of hatred around me.
You may glue my eyes to humiliations,
O enemy of the sun,
But
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
O enemy of the sun
The decorations are raised at the port,
The ejaculations fill the air,
A glow in the hearts,
And in the horizon
A sail is seen
Challenging the wind
And the depths.
It is Ulysses
Returning home
From the sea of loss

It is the return of the sun,
Of my exiled ones
And for her sake, and his
I swear
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
Resist―and resist.

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

 

 

‘. . . Call it home for all the living. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Mosque, house demolished in south of West Bank

WAFA
September 2, 2019
The Israeli military authorities demolished today a mosque and a house in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to local sources.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli army units used a bulldozer to destroy al-Ummah mosque in Jabal Jouhar south of Hebron city. The demolition included a water well used by the mosque, reported the head of the Hebron Waqf department Jamal Abu Arram, who said that the demolition came as a surprise to them and without a prior warning.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Waqf officials described the demolition of the mosque as an aggression against Muslim holy places ˙ and a provocation, as well as a crime against the right of Muslims to worship.   More . . . .

MoE: School demolition threats will never break the will of resistance & education

Palestine News Network
September 2, 2019
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in a statement on Monday said that the ongoing Occupation violations against Palestinian educational institutions will not break the will of resistance education, pointing out that the policy of notifying schools of demolition and stopping schools’ construction and confiscating their properties will not discourage our determination from educating generations and raising children with national and humanitarian values.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This comes as IOF handed a demolition threat to Ibzeeq School “Tahaddi 10,” in Tubas, ordering the School to remove the fence surrounding it. This step comes in the context of systematic and continuous attacks against the school, which was previously demolished under false military pretexts. More . . . .

IOF arrest university lecturer from Ramallah

Palestine News Network
September 1, 2019
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday morning launched a raid and arrest campaign in the West Bank, where they arrested four Palestinians including a university lecturer.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The detainees included a media lecturer at Birzeit University, Widad Barghouti (mother of the two prisoners Qassam and Carmel Barghouti) from Kobar village north of Ramallah.  More . . . .  

Palestinians slam Netanyahu pledge to annex West Bank settlements

Aljazeera
September 2, 2019
Palestinian officials denounce Israel PM’s reiterated pledge to annex occupied West Bank settlements as ‘unacceptable’.
Palestinian officials have denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reiteration of a pledge to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, warning such a move would not lead to “any peace”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Netanyahu’s announcement on Sunday was a “continuation of attempts to create an unacceptable fait accompli”.   More . . .

  • Knesset speaker: Netanyahu’s West Bank vow not merely election rhetoric
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 2, 2019
    Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex West Bank settlements is not merely an election campaign promise, but a real plan.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Speaking to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Edelstein – a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party – claimed that the movement to annex West Bank territory has made significant gains in recent years.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “For about a decade we have longed for sovereignty,” Edelstein said, using the language preferred by the Israeli right for annexation, “and have made significant progress”.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “From a situation in which a minister who referred to the idea of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] was considered delusional, we have reached a position where Netanyahu’s statement is taken for granted and legitimate,” the long-time Likud lawmaker added.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“HOLY LANDERS,” by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas [USA]

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.

They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!

Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.

Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead,
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

From Before There Is Nowhere to Stand. Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press, 2012.

Those places are unrecognizable now disfigured by misery . . .” (Seema V. Atalla)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli forces to punitively demolish Palestinian houses in Hebron-district town

Israeli forces Tuesday overnight notified the families of three Palestinians of their apparent intention to demolish their houses in Beit Kahel town, northwest of Hebron.
· · · Security sources confirmed that an Israeli military force surrounded the houses of the families of Ahmad Aref Asafra and Mu’men Said Zuhur, currently held in Israeli detention, besides to the house of Mu’men’s grandfather, Attieh, dragged the occupants outside before taking measurements of the three houses. . . This came 18 days after the . . . killing of an off-duty Israeli soldier outside the settlement of Ofra on last Thursday.   More . . . .

•   Punitive House Demolitions, the Prohibition of Collective Punishment, and the
Supreme Court of Israel 
Penn State International Law Review: Vol. 21: No. 3, Article 4 (2003)
By Shane Darcy
Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention
. . . to which Israel is a signatory and to which it is bound as an Occupying Power, prohibits the destruction of property, ‘except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. Similarly, Article 23 of the 1907 Hague Regulations stipulates that it is ‘especially forbidden to “destroy or to seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” By the very fact that housing demolitions are carried out as a punitive measure would defeat any claim that such actions can be justified as being an absolute military necessityAvailable here

Israel Stops Construction of New School in Bedouin Village under Rightwing Pressure

Palestine Chronicle
August 26, 2019
The Israeli government has moved to stop construction of a school in an unrecognized Bedouin Palestinian village, after pressure from a notorious right-wing group, reported Haaretz. According to the report, a Finance Ministry department that enforces planning and building laws has issued the stop-work order for the high school at al-Zarnug in the Negev.  More . . . .

Netanyahu to expand Dolev settlement in reprisal for Friday’s attack

The Palestinian Information Center
August 27, 2019
Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to double the size of the illegal settlement of Dolev in the occupied West Bank in response to Friday’s bomb attack that killed one settler and injured two others.
· · · According to Israeli media sources, Netanyahu told his office director on Monday to prepare a plan for 300 housing units in Dolev settlement in order to submit it for approval to the regional planning and construction council.  More . . . .

PA slams US State Department for removing it from country list

The Middle East Monitor
August 27, 2019
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has slammed the US State Department for removing it from its online list of countries, saying the move constitutes yet more evidence of the US’ alignment with the Israeli right-wing.
· · · · Previously the State Department website featured the “Palestinian Territories” under its “Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs: Countries & Areas” web page, where it offered information about the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip.
· · · However, the newly-updated webpage now makes no mention of the occupied territories or Palestine, referring to Palestinians only once on the “Israel” subpage. This page reads: “The U.S. is committed to supporting the parties in efforts to reach a lasting, comprehensive peace agreement that offers a brighter future to both Israel and the Palestinians.”  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

COLD COMFORT — Seema V. Atalla

The lost places are easy to list:

My grandmother’s Haifa
where she wore her hair in waist-long braids,
gathered with her neighbors by the seaside to chat,
and at the tiny, crisp fish she loved, fried to perfection.

My father’s Nazareth
where he carried grain to the mill for his mother,
and listened to the blind man who sat outside the church
playing hymns on his flute.

My grandmother’s Jerusalem
where she planted banks of fragrant lavender,
taught kindergarten,
and rolled grape leaves for dinner, leaf by leaf.

My mother’s Ramallah
cool green peaceful place
where she and her sisters learned algebra and embroidery
among the sighing pines and rosy stone homes.

Those places are unrecognizable now
disfigured
by misery
riddled with desperation
choked with the nitty gritty grime of actuality.

Simpler to turn back to the long-cherished images.
The lost places seem quaint now,
perhaps a little faded . . .
we revisit them
the way we touch an old injury,
fingering the scar
over and over
finding comfort
in pressing the place
where it hurts.

From WE BEGIN HERE: POEMS FOR PALESTINE AND LEBANON, edited by Kamal Boullata and Kathy Engel (Interlink Press, 2007).

Palestinian-American Seema V. Atalla was born in New York, completed high school in Amman, Jordan, and now lives in Southern California where she teaches at Mt. San Antonio College. In 1992 she obtained an MA in Comparative Literature from UCLA. She is best-known for her translations of Arabic short stories and poems.

 

“Here we shall stay, sing our songs. . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Selected News of the Day

Israeli forces seal off main roads west of Ramallah following suspected attack

WAFA
August 23, 2019
Israeli forces today sealed off main roads leading to the western Ramallah district in the West Bank following a suspected attack that resulted in the killing of a settler, confirmed local sources.
· · · · Forces deployed heavily and blocked major roads leading to a cluster of Palestinian villages west of Ramallah, particularly the Wadi al-Dilb Road and Ein Ayyoub junction. They also blocked the roads leading to Kafr Ni’ma and Ras Karkar villages, where they ransacked several homes and stores.
· · · · Soldiers set up roadblocks at the northern entrance to Ramallah city and at Ein Siniya junction, north of Ramallah, inspecting Palestinian vehicles and inspecting the IDs of passengers. They also raided Beituniya and Ein Arik towns, west of Ramallah.
· · · · The closure is conducted as part of a manhunt for a Palestinian suspected of killing an Israeli settler and wounding two others in an attack at Ein Bunin natural spring near the illegal Israeli settlement of Dolev, near Ras Karkar village.  More . . . .

  • Al-Shoroq: The activist farmers resisting Israeli annexation in Beit Ummar. IMEMC News & Agencies. August 21, 2019. More . . . .
  • Jewish Settlers Rule the Roost in Israel, but at What Cost? The Palestine Chronicle. August 22, 2019. More . . . .   

Displacement In Gaza And Israel’s Demographic Obsession

Days of Palestine
August 22, 2019
The statements made by a senior Israeli political source, which is likely to be Prime Minister Netanyahu himself, published in Israeli media, including Haaretz on 20 August regarding Israel taking practical steps to displace Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, reminds us of what Israel calls the demographic threat. This involves ensuring a Jewish majority in the country, which has been a concern since the establishment of the Zionist colonial settlement project. Why displace Gazans? Why now? Is there a real possibility for its implementation?
· · · · Israel has used all forms of displacement, including ethnic cleansing, in order to reduce the number of Palestinians in Palestine as much as possible and achieve Zionism’s top goal, i.e. imposing a Jewish majority in Palestine, where its indigenous people have been living for many many years. This method on its own did not achieve the desired results, so Israel attracted tens of thousands of Arab and non-Arab Jews in order to successfully establish the state of Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948. However, the demographic danger continued to pose a threat to Israel after occupying and controlling the Palestinians in 1967.   More . . . .   

  • Living in fear of the bulldozers. Electronic Intifada, August 22, 2019. More . . . .

Israeli Police Kidnaps Seven Jerusalemites From Bab Al-Rahma

Two young girls and three children among the detainees
Days of Palestine
Aug 22 2019
The Israeli occupation police on Thursday afternoon kidnaped seven Palestinian citizens, including two young girls and three children, from the Bab al-Rahma prayer area of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
· · · According to eyewitnesses, police forces stormed the Bab al-Rahma area and rounded up Aqsa guard Bader al-Rajbi along with three children, two girls and one young man. More . . . .

Anti-Semitism’ vs. ‘Islamophobia’: How language creates hierarchies of discrimination and whitewashes bigotry

Mondoweiss
Timo Al-Farooq
August 22, 2019
From the ivory towers of academic knowledge production to the lowlands of cracker-barrel Stammtisch-culture, tactical language is omnipresent in everyday political discourse. . . . language manipulation is a key modus operandi for the powers that be in stifling critical thought and thus consolidating their grip on potentially subversive populaces.
· · · One such example of strategic linguistic flexibility, taken straight from our fiction-turned-fact and prophesy-fulfilled Orwellian times: someone who hates Jews is known as an “anti-Semite”, but someone who hates Muslims is merely an “Islamophobe”, a person afraid of Islam? . . . .
· · · · So my question is: why is an anti-Semite not called a “Semitophobe?” And an Islamophobe not an “anti-Muslim?” And what is that even supposed to mean, “afraid of Islam?” As if the heterogeneous beliefs of 1.8 billion people were a Freddy Krueger-like serial killer coming to murder you in your sleep. More . . . .

 Poem of the Day

“HERE WE SHALL STAY” by Tafiq Zayyad

In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain
like a wall upon your chest,
and in your throat
like a shard of glass,
a cactus thorn,
and in your eyes
a sandstorm.

***
We shall remain
a wall upon your chest,
clean dishes in your restaurants,
serve drinks in your bars,
sweep the floors of your kitchens
to snatch a bite for our children
from your blue fangs.

***
Here we shall stay,
sing our songs,
take to the angry streets,
fill prisons with dignity.

***
In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain,
guard the shade of the fig
and olive trees,
ferment rebellion in our children
as yeast in the dough.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND. ED. Joan Dobbie & Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press. 2002.

“. . . An Arab who has refused to sell his soul . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Sunrise over Nazareth (Photo: Harold Knight, November 9, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY   
| NETANYAHU:  EFFORTS  UNDER  FULL  SWING  TO  NORMALIZE  TIES  WITH  ARAB  WORLD    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening said Israeli relations with Arab countries have been increasingly normalized.    [. . . .] “What is happening at the moment is that we are in a process of normalization with the Arab world without progress in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians,” continued Netanyahu.    ___“Today we are going there without the Palestinians being involved and it is much stronger because it does not depend on their caprices. The Arab states are looking for links with the strong. Cultivating strengths gives us diplomatic power.”    More . . .
| ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  FAMILY  HOME  OF  PALESTINIAN  ATTACK  SUSPECT  IN  TULKAREM   Israeli bulldozers demolished the family home of Ashraf Naalwa, a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a shooting attack killing two Israelis in October and who was killed by Israeli forces during the past week, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, on predawn Monday.    ___Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided Naalwa’s family home in the Shweika village of Tulkarem, on predawn Monday, in preparation to demolish the building.   [. . . .] Dozens of Palestinians had gathered around Naalwa’s family home, since late Sunday, in an attempt to prevent the demolition.    More . . .         
~~ OVER  180  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  IN  LAST  FIVE  DAYS,  SAYS  PRISONERS  COMMISSION    The Israeli military detained 183 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the last five days while the number of those detained since the beginning of the month has reached 330, the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoners Commission said on Monday.    More . . .
|  AS  NAZARETH  PREPARES  FOR  CHRISTMAS,  ISRAELIS  SPRAY  PAINT  HATE  GRAFFITI  ON  WALLS    Extremist Jewish Israelis from the terror group “Price Tag” Monday spray-painted racist, offensive and anti-Arab slogans on the wall of a building in the Arab Christian city of Nazareth in northern Israel as the city prepares for Christmas, according to witnesses.    ___The slogans included terms such as “The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel”, and “death to Arabs”.  More . . .
~~  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  ON  WEST  BANK  ROADS,  INJURE  ONE    A Palestinian man was injured on Monday after he was attacked by Israeli settlers while driving near the southern West Bank town of Tuqa, to the east of the city of Bethlehem, Palestinian security sources said.    [. . . .] Israeli settlers have escalated their attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank by either throwing rocks at their cars as they drove on the roads or by attacking their villages while the army either watch or encourage them.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| ITALY’S  SALVINI  SAID  WHAT  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  CAN’T  SAY:  ‘SUPPORT  ISRAEL’
Ramona Wadi
It is no secret that the right wing has appropriated and manipulated the definition of “peace” in today’s poisonous political climate. Peace  is  now  synonymous  with  power, and little is being done to challenge this notion on a political level, to the point that one can speak of collusion between the right wing and the alleged peacebuilders.    ___Consider, for a moment, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s recent statement during a press conference on a visit to Israel: “Whoever wants peace, needs to support Israel.”    __Whatever happened to the right of people living under a brutal military occupation to seek their liberation by all possible means? We are, surely, entitled to a reasonable answer to this question.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

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

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

“. . . Lay him in the sun; his face caressed By the winds . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Muhammad Youssef Rabba Nakhleh. Murdered by Israeli Occupation Forces. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 14, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .      
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  YOUTH  IN  AL-BIREH
A Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli forces and six others injured in clashes with Israeli forces at the north entrance to Al-Bireh city in the occupied West Bank.  More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KILL  60-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN  BUSINESSMAN,  SMEAR  HIM  AS  TERRORIST 
Israeli forces shot and killed 60-year-old Palestinian business-owner Hamdan Al-Arda yesterday, during a raid of Al-Bireh, in the central West Bank.    ___Al-Arda was driving in his car when soldiers opened fire, killing him.    More . . .

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Hamdan Al-Arda. Killed by the Israeli army on December 13. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle via Twitter)

~~ IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  BLOWS  UP  ABU  HMEID  FAMILY  HOME  IN  RAMALLAH
The Israeli army blew up the home of the Abu Hmeid family, in the al-Amaari refugee camp  south of Ramallah City, in the central occupied West Bank, after surrounding it for more than 5 hours.    ___More than 56 Palestinians were injured during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers around the building, as dozens of activists and supporters had gathered for a vigil to prevent the demolition of the family’s building.    ___The Israeli court had given the army the green light to demolish the building as a form of collective punishment, as Israel accuses one of the family’s sons, Islam, of having killed an Israeli soldier during an Israeli raid to the refugee camp.    More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  NAVY  KIDNAPS  TWO  GAZAN  FISHERMEN
The Israeli occupation navy on Saturday morning kidnapped two Palestinian fishermen during their presence off the coast of Gaza City.    ___Chief of the fishermen Nizar Ayyash told Quds Press that the brothers, Mohamed and Atef Abu Riyala, were kidnapped after Israeli naval forces opened machinegun fire near their fishing boat, which was also confiscated.    ___Ayyash added that the fishermen were working within four nautical miles from the shore of Gaza City.    More . . .
| ‘DETENTION  IS  AN  INSTRUMENT  OF  ISRAEL’S  OPPRESSION’
In the dead of night, Israeli forces knocked on the door of Salah Hamouri’s apartment in Jerusalem, he told me. “When I opened the door they told me they were looking for me and began to search the house. . . for something; I don’t know what. Of course, they found nothing, but they took me away anyway.”    ___That was on 22 August 2017. Over a year later – thirteen months to be exact – Hamouri was finally released from administrative detention, a status Israel uses to imprison Palestinians indefinitely with neither charge nor trial.    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  TO  LEGALIZE  2,000  UNAUTHORIZED  SETTLER  HOUSES
Israel is to authorize thousands of settler houses built illegally in the occupied West Bank, according to Haaretz.    ___The Hebrew newspaper said that Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, in coordination with Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, had approved the use of a legal tactic that would allow the legalization of about 2,000 illegally-built Israeli houses throughout the West Bank.    ___This move followed an earlier announcement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlining a series of measures he would take in favor of the settlement activity in the West Bank.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  THIS  DOESN’T  END  WELL 
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
One of the most depressing things about Israel-Palestine is just how predictable and cyclical the violence can be. The almost-war in Gaza, the new wave of shooting, ramming, and stabbing attacks in the West Bank, the nightly Israeli army raids deep into Palestinian cities, the clashes that will soon become a regular feature of the coming months, the vigilante settler violence — it’s almost identical to the year before and the year before and the year before.    [. . . .] So where do we go from here? There are only two things we can be sure of these days. The first is that, tragically, there will be more violence, from both sides. The second is that change is not going to come from an Israeli government which sees the status quo as an acceptable reality.    More . . .
| ‘ISRAELIS  DON’T  WANT  TO  HEAR  WHAT  I  HAVE  TO  SAY’ 
___Over the past few months, Israeli authorities, along with radical settlers, have turned Guy Hirschfeld into a public enemy of sorts for his activism in the Jordan Valley. In an interview, Hirschfeld talks about building solidarity with Palestinians, why his brash style has turned him into a target, and whether things are getting worse for left-wing activists.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil. 

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.

“The earth is closing in on us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
. . .

| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  HANG  POSTERS  CALLING  FOR  KILLING  PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENT   
Israeli extreme Jewish groups hung posters of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Huwwara crossroads in southern Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday, calling for his assassination.    [. . . .] The posters read “supporter of terrorists” and called for killing (assassinating) the Palestinian President.    ___The incident comes as member of the Likud party at the Israeli Knesset, Oren Hazan, had called for imposing closure on the Ramallah and al-Bireh district until the suspect of an attack carried out in the Ofra illegal Israeli settlement, two days ago, is detained.    [. . . .] Israeli forces raided several institutions in Ramallah, including the Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News and Information Agency, allegedly searching for the suspect.    More. . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian journalists, officials protest Israeli army raid of WAFA news agency office  
. . . . Related  Palestinians kidnapped, civilian homes ransacked by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israel shoots dozens of Palestinians in the 19th maritime march in Gaza
. . . . Related  Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in Hebron
RAMALAWI:  THE  OCCUPATION  HAS  ISSUED  A  DECISION  RESTRICTING  VACCINE  IMPORTS  TO  PALESTINE
The Israeli occupation authorities issued a decree banning the Palestinian Ministry of Health from importing vaccines, starting from the beginning of the year 2019, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Asaad Ramlawi.    ___In an interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio station, Dr. Ramlawi said that the Israeli decree put the supply of vaccinations at risk; the Ministry of Health has resources for just two months of vaccine provision, after which there will be a serious problem if the issue is not resolved.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Mizan Center: Eight patients died due to Israeli travel restriction
| OMAN  ALLOWS  ISRAELI  PLANES  TO  USE  ITS  AIRSPACE    More . . .
. . . . Related  Qatari envoy says Gaza airport was proposed, Israel unresponsive
. . . . Related  Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel
. . . . Related  World Zionist Organization Used Israeli Public Funds to Finance Illegal Outpost
. . . . Related  [American] Evangelical Christian Groups Invested $65 Million to Jewish Settlements

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  WHY  IS  ISRAEL  FORGING  SECRET  TIES  WITH  SUDAN?
The past two months saw Israeli official visits to several Arab countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Qatar Oct. 26 and met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said to discuss the situation in the region. On the same day, Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev touched down in Abu Dhabi as part of the Israeli judo team participating in international competitions there. Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz arrived Nov. 4 in Muscat for an international conference on global transportation.    ___Moreover, Bahrain invited Nov. 25 Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen for a visit in April to attend a technology conference. On the same day, Chadian President Idriss Debby visited Israel, in a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries, while Chad is hoping to obtain Israeli-made weapons and security assistance as well as benefit from Israeli technologies.    ____Amid these Arab-Israeli developments, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Nov. 25 that Netanyahu’s next Arab visit will be Sudan, without specifying a date. The visit comes within the framework of efforts to create short air routes from Israel to South America via Sudan.    More . . .    

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  EARTH  IS  CLOSING  IN  ON  US,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

The earth is closing in on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
. . . . we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
. . . . and live again. I wish the earth was our mother
So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our
. . . . dreams to carry
As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us
. . . . in the last defense of the soul.
We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll
. . . . throw our children
Out of the windows of this last space. Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds
. . . .fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will
. . . . write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood
. . . . will plant its olive tree.

–From Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . With bloodied footsteps, Silence reigned in the city . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

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Shopping in The Old City’s Souq (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 11, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| ON  DAY  OF  SOLIDARITY  WITH  PALESTINE,  GOVERNMENT  CALLS  ON  WORLD  TO  END  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION   
Marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Thursday
, the Palestinian government called on the international community to work hard toward implementing international resolutions and law that demand an end to the Israeli occupation and enable the Palestinian people to regain all their legitimate rights.    ___Government spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud said in a statement on Thursday that the international community must go past remembrance of the Palestinian tragedy and move toward enabling the Palestinian people to establish their fully sovereign independent state on all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Haneyya [Hamas Political Bureau] calls on UN to protect Palestinians’ right to resistance
.  .  .  .  . Related  Russia Foreign Ministry invites Haneyya to Moscow
. . . . Related  Bill on boycott of Israeli settlement products passes first reading in Irish Senate
. . . . Related  Erekat applauds Chilean parliament for standing by Palestinian rights
|  NETANYAHU  AIMS  TO  COMPLETE  TOTAL  ANNEXATION  OF  JERUSALEM  FROM  PALESTINE
In light of the recent grave developments in Jerusalem and the Israeli occupation’s accelerated and egregious violations committed against the Palestinian people’s national and human rights in the occupied city, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said on Wednesday that “the reality and future of Jerusalem is a litmus test for the world.”    ___Ashrawi appealed to governments around the world and all members of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its illegal actions in occupied Jerusalem.    [. . . .] Israel has accelerated and intensified its efforts to entrench its colonial military occupation . . .   measures include Israel’s theft of Palestinian lands, the expansion of its illegal settlement enterprise, the arrest of Palestinian representatives and officials and the deliberate targeting of Palestinian ministries and institutions, the revocation the IDs and residency status of Palestinians, the demolition of commercial and residential Palestinian-owned properties and other structures, and the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, among other flagrant violations of international law and relevant conventions.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli police summons Palestinian Authority minister of Jerusalem Affairs
. . . . Related  Israeli demolition leaves Palestinian family homeless [East Jerusalem]
. . . . Related  Over 170 settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Israeli forces attack Palestinian students near Jerusalem university
| KUFFIYEHS  AND  TALLITS:  HOPE  IN  THE  OLD  CITY’S  SOUQ    
By Nissim Lebovits
The Old City’s Souq (open-air market) is an often-overwhelming collision of competing visuals. Its optical milieu is rooted in Jerusalem’s status as the meeting point of a wide range of cultures, as well as the market’s thousand-plus year history. One of the most jarring manifestations of this reality is the merchandise sold there; in shops across the souq, kuffiyehs hang next to tallits. The t-shirt vendors sell “Free Palestine” designs, and also “Guns’n ’Moses”. Food carts offer rugelach next to ka’ak, and postcards of the Dome of the Rock are for sale next to pictures of the Western Wall. Merchandise choices in the souk often seem so hyper political and contradictory as to cancel each other out.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
ISRAEL’S  DE  FACTO  ANNEXATION  OF  EAST  JERUSALEM  VIOLATES  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE’S  RIGHT  TO  SELF-DETERMINATION   In observation of the 2018 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Ambassador Idriss Jazairy appealed to the international community to express solidarity to the endeavours of the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination.    ___Ambassador Jazairy stated that Israel’s de facto annexation of East Jerusalem impedes the prospects of a two-state solution and hinders the realization of regional peace and security. The decision of several countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem, thus recognising the latter as the capital of Israel, contradicts the provisions set forth in the Arab Peace Initiative that calls for the normalization of relations between Arab states and Israel once the latter cedes, inter alia,its military occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“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

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, 2012Available from B&N.