“. . . settlers sucking the breath from your lungs . . .” (Susan Abulhawa)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAEL,  GAZA  CLOSE  TO  CEASEFIRE:  ISRAELI  SOURCE
Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are close to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, a report said Saturday, citing a high-level Israeli source.    ___According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, an unnamed senior political figure leaked that a deal was in the making between Israel and the Gazan administration to allow Qatar to provide the enclave with funds to pay its civil servants as well as fuel.    ___The source added that the Israeli side would audit the funds to ensure they were not being used for “terror activities”.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAEL-HAMAS  GAZA  DEAL  REPORTEDLY  INCLUDES  PARTIAL  LIFTING  OF  SIEGE,  END  OF  VIOLENCE  BY  YEAR’S  END
|   TEENAGE  GAZAN  DIES  OF  INJURIES  SUSTAINED  IN  2014  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE
A Palestinian 14-year-old boy died, on Saturday morning, of wounds he had sustained in an Israeli airstrike that targeted his family home in the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014.    ___The al-Wafaa Hospital for Rehabilitation and Specialized Surgery announced that Muhammad al-Rifi, 14, died of his injuries on Saturday morning.    ___The hospital pointed out that al-Rifi had sustained a critical injury in his cervical vertebrae, which left Muhammad Quadriplegic and on ventilators for four years.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  MILITARY  INTENSIFIES  CRACKDOWN  ON  TULKARM
Israeli forces on Saturday evening raided many homes and terrorized their residents in the city of Tulkarm, northern West Bank, in a step seen as a collective punishment measure against the city’s population, according to witnesses.    [. . . .] For almost a month, the city has been a target of almost daily raids and searches by the Israeli army under the pretext of pursuing Ashraf Na’alweh, 23, the main suspect in killing two Israeli settlers in the illegal Israel settlement of Barkan on October 7.    More . . .
|    RESEARCHER:  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  THREATENED  WITH  COLLAPSE
Fakhri Abu Diab, a Palestinian expert in Jerusalem affairs, on Thursday said that al-Aqsa Mosque and all of its facilities and walls are on the verge of collapse.    ___Abu Diab said that the Israeli authorities have prevented the restoration of al-Aqsa Mosque’s eastern wall after damage and change in the colors of its stones appeared lately.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THIS  IS  JUST  THE  BEGINNING’:  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  JERUSALEM  FEAR  MUNICIPALITY  TAKEOVER  OF  UNRWA
It was a typical Tuesday morning in the Shufat Refugee Camp in occupied East Jerusalem. . .    The camp’s residents were surprised to find 15 sanitation workers from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, escorted by Israeli border police and garbage trucks, picking up trash in the streets. Among them was Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.    [. . . . ] The cleanup, largely regarded by locals as a power play by Barkat, was publicized by the right-wing Mayor as the first step in his plans to “end the refugee lie” and shut down UNRWA operations in Jerusalem — plans which he announced earlier this month.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 
(Susan Abulhawa is deported from Israel for second time in three years.   More . . .)

“WALA,”  BY  SUSAN  ABULHAWA     

It’s 3 am
In the cattle cage
The line is long
A jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Clutched in your callused laborer’s hand
Your wife prepared your breakfast and lunch
She was up before you
And together you prayed a predawn salat
She kissed your face and said
Allah ma’ak ya habibi
Allah be with you, my love
You kiss the faces of your sleeping babies
You haven’t seen them awake in months
And you wonder
Has Walid’s voice begun to crack yet?
Have Wijdad’s hips begun to flare?
How big was Suraya’s smile when she came home
with her report card?
It’s 4 am
In the cattle cage
Still, you wait
The line before you is so long
And behind you now, it is longer
Few speak
You’re packed so damn tight
That you hold one another upright
You see your own fatigue
Reflected in the weariness etched on
The faces all around you
You look away
Pine for a smoke
But who the hell can afford that?
You stare at the graffiti beyond the
Iron bars holding you in
Written just for you
Written
By zionist settlers sucking the breath from your lungs
You understand the meaning
Of their English words
“Die Sand Niggers”
Sometimes
You pine for that, too.
It’s 5 am
In the cattle cage
The soldiers arrive
The line loosens
You take one step forward
Propelled by the weight of bodies
Behind you
Your jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Is crushed.
It never survives
It’s 7 am
In the cattle cage
Now is your turn
You produce your papers
Unfold and refold
Eyes down
Heart dow
Your shoes are down on their luck
But
You’re out of the line
Fifteen men before you were pulled aside
And you tried not to look
Not to hear the one begging
Don’t hit me
It’s 7:30 am
On the cattle busYou ride
The country they stole from you
Seeds outside your window
And you imagine
The man you would have been
The man you should have been
Out there
Riding the family steed
The thoroughbred mares your grandfather
Raised and nurtured and love
In a Palestine
Un-raped
Un-stolen
It’s 8 am
You get off the cattle bus
Your crushed jibneh sandwich
With cucumberIn a plastic bag
In one hand
Your eyes down
Heart down
You put your toolbox down to knock
On the zionist settler’s back door
Where the help goes
But
The zionist settler boss-man yells
Wala
Mish hon el yom!
Not there today
Boy!
And all you can do is thank Allah that your
Wife and your babies are not
There to hear them call you

From  MY  VOICE  SOUGHT  THE  WIND.   Available from Barnes and Noble.

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

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

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

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

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

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

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

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

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

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

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  ROSES  AND  THE  DICTIONARY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

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

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

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

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

“. . . under our skin A storm is being born. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

File picture shows Aeham al-Ahmad, a former resident of Damascus' Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, playing the piano in the street. (AFP/Rami Al-Sayed/File)
File picture shows Aeham al-Ahmad, a former resident of Damascus’ Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, playing the piano in the street. (AFP/Rami Al-Sayed/File)

(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

❶ Palestinian pianist from Yarmouk joins migrant tide
❷ J’lem mayor warns Palestinians in holy site clashes: ‘if they use violence we will hunt them’
❸ Israeli forces level land in Gaza border area
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Using Palestinians as a human shield against BDS
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israel’s high-stake game in Al-Aqsa and why Netanyahu may prevail
❻ Poetry by Mahmoud Darwish

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
HIS  PIANO  BURNED  BY  IS,  SYRIAN  [Palestinian From Yarmouk Refugee Camp]  MUSICIAN  JOINS  MIGRANT  TIDE
Sept. 20, 2015
Three years of siege, famine and bombing of his Damascus refugee camp didn’t kill celebrated musician Aeham al-Ahmad, but something died inside him the day jihadists burned his beloved piano in front of his eyes.
___It was then that Ahmad, whose music had brought consolation, even a bit of joy, to Yarmuk camp’s beleaguered residents, decided to join thousands of others and seek refuge in Europe.
___”They burned it in April, on my birthday. It was my most cherished possession,” Ahmad told AFP, which is following his odyssey online, step-by-step.
More . . .

❷ MONDOWEISS
J’LEM  MAYOR  WARNS  PALESTINIANS  IN  HOLY  SITE  CLASHES:  ‘IF  THEY  USE  VIOLENCE  WE  WILL  HUNT  THEM’
Allison Deger
Sept. 19, 2015
On Friday afternoon prayers one Palestinian was shot by Israeli forces, and two Israeli police were injured in clashes across Jerusalem, amid a week of upheaval centering around al-Aqsa Mosque. In preparation for a call from Hamas for a “day of rage,” Israeli police deployed 5,000 forces around Jerusalem and limited access to the Muslim holy sites by age. By evening Israel’s parliament approved drafting army reservists to street patrols, a signal of continuing strife.
____“If they use violence we will hunt them and we will increase measures,” Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat said yesterday. This followed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that police would begin using live-fire for crowd control in Jerusalem, “to make sure terrorists will not gain what they want to gain.”
____“Their strategic aim is to prevent religious freedom—when I say religious freedom I mean even the right of Jews to visit quietly,” Barkat said.
More. . .

A Palestinian woman shows rubber bullets reportedly used by Israeli police outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after clashes erupted on September 13, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
A Palestinian woman shows rubber bullets reportedly used by Israeli police outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after clashes erupted on September 13, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  LEVEL  LAND  IN  GAZA  BORDER  AREA
Sept. 21, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli military vehicles crossed the border fence into the northern Gaza Strip on Monday and leveled private Palestinian land, witnesses said.
____Locals told Ma’an that four military bulldozers entered a border area near Jabalia in the besieged enclave and leveled agricultural land.
More . . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis
+972 BLOG
USING  PALESTINIANS  AS  A  HUMAN  SHIELD  AGAINST  BDS
Rami Younis
Sept. 20, 2015
In response to the Reykjavik City Council’s — since reversed — decision to boycott Israeli goods until the occupation is ended, Israeli politician Yair Lapid wrote an open letter to the Icelandic people titled ‘The Hypocrisy of Boycott.’ In his oped, Lapid argued that Israel should not be boycotted because doing so would harm its Arab citizens. One of those citizens responds.
More . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL’S  HIGH-STAKE  GAME  IN  AL-AQSA  AND  WHY  NETANYAHU  MAY  PREVAIL
Ramzy Baroud
Sept. 21, 2015

Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist, author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story.

The State of Israel was established on the ruins of Palestine, based on a series of objectives that were initialed by letters from the Hebrew alphabet, the consequences of which continue to guide Israeli strategies to this day. The current violence against Palestinian worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem is a logical extension of the same Zionist ambition. [. . . .]
The fate of Jerusalem and its holy sites cannot be understood separately from the fate of Palestine. And the daily struggle of Palestinian Muslims and Christians in that City is a representation of the struggle of Palestinians everywhere.
____As West Jerusalem was conquered under ‘Plan Dalet,’ East Jerusalem, like the rest of the Occupied Territories was, along with other Palestinian regions, the target of another plan: The ‘Allon Plan.’
More. . .

“MY  HOMELAND,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
. . . . (Written from prison after the June, 1967, war)
My Homeland:
The chains have taught me
The fierceness of the eagle
And the tenderness of the optimist
I did not know
That under our skin
A storm is being born
And rivers are being wed.
They dimmed the light in my prison cell
But a radiant sun is beaming in my heart
They wrote my number on the wall
And a plain of wheat has grown
I carved your bloody picture with my teeth
And wrote a song for the dying night
I stabbed my defeat in the flesh of the dark
And stitched my fingers in the verse of light
While the conqueror stands on the roof of my home
He only conquered my cell
He only saw my glow
He only heard my chains
And if I am burnt on the cross of prayers
I shall become a saint―dressed in a uniform

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 Amazon.
About Mahmoud Darwish

Israeli military vehicles crossed the border fence into the northern Gaza Strip on Monday and leveled private Palestinian land, witnesses said. (Ma’an Images file photo)
Israeli military vehicles crossed the border fence into the northern Gaza Strip on Monday and leveled private Palestinian land, witnesses said. (Ma’an Images file photo)