“I heard the conqueror on the high roof under the naked sky. . .” Reja-e Busailah

NEWS FROM PALESTINE

Release of long-delayed UN settlement database significant step towards holding Israel accountable 

Feb. 12, 2020 / Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)
Palestinian civil society welcomes this long-awaited UN list of companies that are complicit in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, which constitutes a war crime under international law. We thank all human rights organizations that worked tirelessly for the release of such an important instrument of transparency and accountability. Upholding international law is the one appropriate response to attempts by authoritarian and far-right regimes, led by the Trump White House and Israel’s extremist government, to undermine human rights and the rule of law and enforce domination by the most powerful instead.  More . . .

  • Israel freezes ties with UN rights chief after release of settlement blacklist 
    FM Israel Katz says he ordered ‘exceptional and harsh measure’ in retaliation for Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s office promoting the anti-Israel boycott movement.  More . . . 

Trump Administration Nixes Funding for Palestinian Security Forces From 2021 Budget Plan

Feb 11, 2020/ Haaretz
The Trump administration excluded funding for the Palestinian Security Services in its budget request for the 2021 fiscal year, after 27 years of bipartisan support and Israeli backing.
However, the budget request does include $200 million for a “Diplomatic Progress Fund” that could be used to support the administration’s Mideast plan, unveiled two weeks ago. According to the State Department, some of that money could go toward an “agreement to resume security assistance in the West Bank.” But such an agreement would likely require the Palestinian Authority to accept the Trump plan.  More . . . 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION/ ACTION NOTICES

In Palestinian culture, the olive tree enjoys an almost sacred status

Feb. 9, 2020 / Al-Bushra, by Barbara Green  
Last year I wrote a Peace Parsha for Tu B’Shevat in which I asked: When did we go from being a people who plant trees to a people who cut them down?

I didn’t mean ordinary every-day Jews who go about their business without thinking much about trees. Or ordinary Jewish Israelis who have a long tradition of planting and caring for trees. The Torah commands us to refrain from picking fruit from trees until they are three years old. When we go to war against another people, we are commanded to leave fruit-bearing trees intact to ensure a source of food.  No, I’m talking about Israeli Jewish settlers in the West Bank — the occupied territories.  More . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

ALI OF LYDDA, by Reja-e Busailah

Before the conqueror shot him dead
from the top of our roof,
Ali had on his head,
as he walked homeward in the morning sun,
a tray made of straw, of circles,
none vicious though:
Each circle flowed into the next
from small to large to larger rounds:

The first bore the transformation
of the dream of wheat, its ears still close to the ground,
into loaves of exciting breath;
the second of a humble communion
of young and old breaking bread into lasting bond
under the sanctity of one roof;
the third of modest hopes
which rose and tossed like one vast field shedding green
in the wind and the ripening sun;
the fourth of a dream beyond,
half formed, half grasped —

After he shot Ali dead,
and the tray fell in manner undignified
and the bread tumbled and scattered on hot, hard stone
in shapes of heads rolling about a sanctuary,
I heard the conqueror on the high roof
under the naked sky,
I heard him snort,
I heard him clear his throat,
I heard him spit on the ground,
I heard him piss
through the eye of light.

In his ninety-first year, Reja-e Busailah looks back on growing up in a small Palestinian town in the 1930s until the turbulent upheaval of 1948, when over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes by the Israelis, and the author was forced to join the Death March from Lydda. Although blind since infancy, Busailah recalls with stunning detail a boyhood shaped by disability, education, family and friends, British soldiers and Zionist settlers. Poems of a Palestinian Boyhood is an extraordinary book: unapologetic, unflinching, raw and beautiful.

“The olive trees are dying of embarrassment. . . “ (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

Tent of Nations
Tent of Nations


(Please see
Palestine InSight for background of this posting. More importantly, please see Tent of Nations website!)

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015 11:01 PM, Ann Hafften wrote on behalf of the The North Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area of the ELCA:

Dear friends,
I am sorry to report that the Daoud Nassar events in Denton, Fort Worth and Dallas have been cancelled. It is necessary for Mr. Nassar to be on hand at the family farm right now and in the days to come. Bill Plitt, Executive Director of Friends of Tent of Nations North America, writes:

“As you know, the Nassar family has been fighting in the Israeli courts since 1991 to retain their ownership of the family’s land which was originally purchased and registered in 1916. The local authorities in the Gush Etzion Settlement area, in which the Tent of Nations is located, are now requiring the land be re-registered for the fourth time, and have placed new requirements on the family to provide additional evidence in their application. The deadline for doing so is April 21st.

“Continually shortened times allowed for response to these requirements are making it more difficult for Daoud to be away from the land, and the family is fearful that some kind of unforeseen action will be taken against the land, and think this is more likely if he is out of the country.

“As you know, life under the occupation is not only oppressive, but unpredictable for Palestinians. The rules often change on the spur of the moment. It’s amazing how resilient the Palestinian people have been under such circumstances. We hope you will continue to lift up the Nassar family and all Palestinians in your prayer and action.”

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to another opportunity to hear the witness of Tent of Nations in the NT-NL mission.
Easter blessings of joy!
Ann Hafften
Weatherford, Texas
tol-boys_photo

____________
“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.

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.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. Attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: “In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets”, edited by Robert Bonazzi, “Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry”, edited by Hayan Charara, and “Between Heaven and Texas”, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2010/06/demolishing-peace-in-palestine-tent-by-tent/
http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2010/06/demolishing-peace-in-palestine-tent-by-tent/

“. . . Don’t waste the tickets. . . ” Samīħ al-Qāsim – سميح القاسم

photo(2)-003
From
ei

Tuesday, 17 February 2015
ASHRAWI CONDEMNS ATTACKS AGAINST INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN EUROPE
PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, met with the newly appointed Head of Mission of the Netherlands Representative Office, Peter Mollema, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah and welcomed him to Palestine.
In the meeting, Dr. Ashrawi expressed her hope that the Dutch government would continue to play a positive role in the region and to adopt serious and concrete political initiatives to bring Israel to compliance with international law, to end the military occupation, and to establish the independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. She also called on the Dutch government to recognize Palestine without preconditions in the immediate future. (Full story.)

Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan Ashrawi

Monday, 16 February 2015
OCCUPATION THREATENS TO UPROOT 2000 TREES NORTH SALFIT
Israeli occupation authorities on Monday handed threats to uproot about 2000 trees and splings in Haaris village northwest Salfit, West Bank, claiming that the land was “state property.”
Researcher Khaled Ma’ali told PNN that occupation handed the threats to the LandLord Amin Daoud, telling him that the land was confiscated. The case has been transferred to the Beit El settlement court for judgement, pointing that the landlord had papers proving property of land. (Full story.)

From

palestine news networkSunday, 15 February 2015
20,000 PALESTINIAN HOMES ON ISRAELI DEMOLITION SHORTLIST
Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed that more than 20,000 Palestine homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities.
Ziad Hamouri, the center’s head, stated that the reason why these homes will be demolished is that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality in the occupied city of Jerusalem. Although, applications for such licences from Palestinians are rarely approved. (Full story.)

“Travel Tickets,” Samih al-Qasim

On the day you kill me
You’ll find in my pocket
Travel tickets
To peace,
To the fields and the rain,
To people’s conscience.
Don’t waste the tickets.

Samīħ al-Qāsim  سميح القاسم‎; (born 1939) is a Palestinian Druze whose Arabic poetry is well known throughout the Arab World. His poetry is influenced by two primary periods of his life: Before and after the Six-Day War. Al-Qasim has published several volumes and collections of poetry.