A personal note: I was unable to rouse myself to post here yesterday (or to complete many of my regular activities) because of the distressing events in the American body politic since Friday evening. I will resume with a regular posting this afternoon.
However, I want to express my gratitude to Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor and (volunteer) Director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University, for his writing on his blog yesterday that helped me think through exactly why the events in the US and our president’s reaction to them were so devastating to me (and many other Americans).
I am also grateful that I recalled Mahmoud Darwish’s poem on “hope” to give a word of clarity in this bizarre time.
(You may check back here later today for my regular posting.)
Thank you, Harold Knight
“ON HOPE,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a baker in Algeria
In order to sing with the revolutionaries
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a shepherd in the Yemen
To sing for the uprising of the age
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a waiter in Havana
To sing for the victory of the poor
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a stone carrier in Aswan
To sing for the rocks
The Nile will not pour into the Volga
The Congo and Jordan Rivers
Will not serve the Euphrates
Each river has its own Our land is not barren Each land has its own rebirth Each dawn has a date with revolution.
❶ . ‘Young lives taken too soon’: activists dedicate memorial to Tamir Rice in Aida Refugee Camp
Background: “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies
❷ . 2016 Christmas Message: Holiday message from PMNH-BU
❸ . Jerusalem resident forced to demolish own home
❹ . POETRY by Mourid Barghouti ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ‘YOUNG LIVES TAKEN TOO SOON’: ACTIVISTS DEDICATE MEMORIAL TO TAMIR RICE IN AIDA REFUGEE CAMP Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 3, 2016
In the span of one year, a 12- and a 13-year-old boy were shot and killed by armed authorities — one in the occupied West Bank, and one in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
___Their names were Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13, and Tamir Rice, 12, and on Friday, a memorial was unveiled in their honor in the Aida refugee camp — where Ubeidallah was born, raised, and killed — near the southern occupied West bank city of Bethlehem. __Tamir, an African-American child, was shot by local Ohio police on Nov. 22, 2014 while playing alone with his toy gun in a park in Cleveland.
[. . . .] ___Almost one year later, on Oct. 5, 2015, Abd al-Rahman was shot in the chest by Israeli forces as he walked home from school during clashes in the Aida refugee camp. ___Neither the American police officers nor the Israeli soldiers who killed Rice and Ubeidallah were indicted for killing the boys.
[. . . .] “We are dedicating this memorial in honor of two young lives which have been snuffed out unjustly,” said Reverend Graylan Hagler, who came with members of his congregation from Washington D.C. to dedicate the memorial inside the Aida playground, built by the NGO Playgrounds for Palestine. More . . .
McEvoy-Levy, Siobhan. “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies 12.3 (2014): 312-326. SOURCE.
(Siobhan McEvoy-Levy is Assoc. Prof, and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN)
The use of the term ‘waithood’ to describe a distinct experience of young people who are stuck in their transitions to adulthood has emerged quite recently in the international development literature. Researchers with a focus on the Middle East and Africa have noted that both the structural violence of economic exclusion and the direct violence of war make it very difficult for young people to become adults in traditional terms and they may become trapped in a prolonged or even permanent state of social, cultural and economic limbo. The terms ‘a generation in waiting’, ‘involuntary waithood’ and ‘wait adulthood’ have been coined to explain such thwarted youth transitions.
[. . . .] Alongside the focus on waithood, scholars of international relations, peace and development have also recognized children (though not youth) as a vulnerable moving (and movable) mass. Rather than being trapped in a state of youth-hood, children in conflict zones are forced to grow up too soon while circulating within and across state borders.
[. . . .] Every young Palestinian interviewed in the West Bank described their main challenge as simply ‘the Occupation’. Supporting a ‘waithood’ thesis, university students were concerned about how the political situation would affect their employment, future relationships and family. For example, a female student states that her main worry was for her transition to adulthood: Huma (aged 23): “I fear can’t have a job, can’t make my life. Everybody wants to have stability, make a family and go to their work. So if I don’t do these things I will become hopeless.” Several young people identified their own lack of mobility, on the one hand, and a loss of friends and family to emigration, on the other, as key challenges.
[. . . .] Hamdi, who is male, uses an image of ‘the Palestinian child’ to make a quite complex political point. Male children are propelled into taking a stand, taking on older youth and adult roles, by occupying space, literally, in front of a tank, to reverse the stuckness imposed by the occupation. That role in itself is a reversal of normal childhood development and another way of being stuck. While the image is one of movement through uprising, arguably Hamdi himself remains ideologically stuck in a first Intifada narrative. He admitted feelings of guilt about not doing more himself to resist the occupation, and like many of the participants believed there would be a third Intifada. Much like Alena, Hamdi is partially performing a role in reproducing the Palestinian master narrative, a pattern repeated among the Israeli interviewees where the reality of stuckness is also betrayed by the rhetoric of mobilization. [. . . .]
❷ . 2016 CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM PMNH-BU
Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH)
Dec. 2, 2016
The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University wish you a great holiday season and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year. May 2017 be a year of progress towards peace and sustainability for our planet. More . . .
❸ . JERUSALEM RESIDENT FORCED TO DEMOLISH OWN HOME Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 3, 2016
A Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was forced Saturday to demolish his own home after the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem warned him that unless he does it himself, it will demolish it and force him to pay exorbitant amount of money in costs.
___Said Abbasi, the home owner, told WAFA that he was forced to demolish the building that houses his and his brother’s homes under the pretext it was built without a license. ___He said a total of 12 members of the Abbasi family, mostly children, were displacedas a result of the demolition of the two 300-square-meter homes. More . . .
“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.
On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.
Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.
On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.
A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
❶ As firefighters try to control wildfires, Israeli troops abduct 23 Palestinians for ‘arson’
Background: “Forest fires across Palestine (aka ‘Israel’).” Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights Newsletter.
. . . ❶ ― (a) Army Abducts Eight Palestinians In The West Bank
. . . ❶ ― (b) Israeli Army Abducts Five Palestinians Near Jenin
❷ . No fires or inciting politicians can destroy our shared society
❸ . Deported from Palestine: Why Israel fears journalists
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ AS FIREFIGHTERS TRY TO CONTROL WILDFIRES, ISRAELI TROOPS ABDUCT 23 PALESTINIANS FOR ‘ARSON’ IMEMC News
Nov. 27, 2016
Despite a total lack of evidence of any human cause of the wildfires that have burned in Israel for nearly a week, Israeli troops have detained 23 Palestinians. This follows a statement Thursday by Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who claimed “only someone who this land does not belong to would be capable of setting fire to it”.
___By this statement, he pointed blame at Palestinians, who have continuously lived on the land and had connection to it for thousands of years prior to the displacement of hundreds of thousands when Israel was created on their land in 1948. More . . .
FOREST FIRES ACROSS PALESTINE (AKA “ISRAEL”). Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights Newsletter, Fri, Nov 25, 2016. Professor Mazin Qumsiyehteaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research.
Over 200 forest fires are raging in Palestine (now renamed the Jewish State of Israel including its occupied Palestinian territories). Many countries are helping put out the fires including four teams of Palestinian firefighters (no body helped Gaza when it was being fire-bombed by white phosphorous). But the fascist racist government of “Israel” blamed the Palestinians for the fires! Even some decent Israelis pointed out that fires are raging across Western Asia (aka the “Middle East”). Here is a map
put out by one Israeli websiteof location of fires across the region including in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.
___Perhaps coincidentally or otherwise, right after war criminal Netanyahu blamed Palestinians, new fires erupted near Palestinian communities. If you really want to know who is to blame for the damage, it is clearly Zionism as I wrote in many articles and books before. In 1901 at the World Zionist Congress and despite objections of conscientious Jews, a Jewish National Fund (Keren Keyemet Li’Israel, or KKL) was establish to further “Jewish colonization” (the term they used) of Palestine. One of the tasks was to raise money and they used the gimmick of collecting money for trees. Indeed they did plant trees but it was unfortunately the highly flammable European pine tree. After 1948-1949 when some 500 Palestinian villages and towns were depopulated, their lands (cultivated with figs, almonds, olives and other trees) were razed to the ground and again resinous and inflammable pine trees were planted. The same happened after 1967 when more Palestinian villages were demolished and their village lands planted with the same European pines, one of those villages s the biblical Imwas (see photos before and after here).
. . . ❶ ― (B) ARMY ABDUCTS EIGHT PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK IMEMC News
Nov. 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight and at dawn Sunday, at least eight Palestinians, including former political prisoners, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported. More . . .
. . . ❶ ― (C) ISRAELI ARMY ABDUCTS FIVE PALESTINIANS NEAR JENIN IMEMC News
Nov. 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday evening, five Palestinians, including a child, from Barta’a town, isolated behind the Annexation Wall, southwest of Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. More . . .
❷ . NO FIRES OR INCITING POLITICIANS CAN DESTROY OUR SHARED SOCIETY +972 Magazine
Nov. 26, 2016
The wildfire that struck Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam left our Jewish-Arab village more resilient than ever before. We invite Israel’s politicians to learn from us on how to heal our society’s wounds. More . . .
❸ . DEPORTED FROM PALESTINE: WHY ISRAEL FEARS JOURNALISTS Al Jazeera Eoin Wilson reflects on Israel’s policy of deporting foreign witnesses to the Israeli occupation.
Nov. 27, 2016 As Israel tightens its grip on Palestinians and their international supporters, a growing number of activists, researchers and journalists have been denied accessby the Israeli authorities. Among them is Eoin Wilson, an Irish-Scottish freelance journalist, earlier this month refused entry and banned for 10 years.
It is early November 2016, and we are at the Allenby crossing, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This crossing, also known as the King Hussein Bridge, is the only crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, and is controlled entirely by Israel. Palestinian baggage handlers pass by in orange high-vis vests. Like Palestinians who work on the construction of settlements and the Wall, they seem like prisoners employed by the prison.
[. . . .] After several more hours of waiting, we are finally handed a letter confirming our denial of entry, and told that we are banned for 10 years. Among the reasons cited for my denial were “public order considerations”. When independent journalism is considered a threat to a society’s “public order”, profound questions must be asked about the values and principles of that society. More . . .
❶ 3rd day of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza after Hamas accused of firing mortar rounds
❷ Palestine Museum of Natural History: Nature and People prosper
❸ Why some Palestinians aren’t optimistic about Israel’s decision to ease residency restrictions
❹ Israeli academic elite’s complicity in oppression
❺ Opinion/Analysis: FIGHT ANTI-PALESTINIANISM AS WE WOULD ANTI-SEMITISM
❻ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ❶ 3RD DAY OF ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES IN GAZA AFTER HAMAS ACCUSED OF FIRING MORTAR ROUNDS Ma’an News Agency
May 6, 2016
Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip continued Friday morning for the third consecutive day, with the Israeli army accusing Hamas of launching mortar rounds near the border area.
___Witnesses told Ma’an Israeli warplanes targeted open areas east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, with no injuries reported.
___At dawn, Israeli forces also fired three shells at eastern Rafah, with no injuries reported, witnesses said. MORE . . .
❷ PALESTINE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: NATURE AND PEOPLE PROSPER
May 4, 2016
Using largely volunteer efforts and local donations, Palestine Museum of Natural History(PMNH)and its Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability(PIBS) of Bethlehem University have a mission focused on research, education, and conservation of our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible empowered human interactions with all components of our environment. Our motto is RESPECT (first for ourselves, then others, then the environment). VIDEO . . .
❸ WHY SOME PALESTINIANS AREN’T OPTIMISTIC ABOUT ISRAEL’S DECISION TO EASE RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
April 29, 2016
Israel will issue identification cards indicating permanent residency status to 2,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem and the West Bank who meet certain criteria. The cards will allow Palestinian families to reunite, some for the first time in 13 years.
___ However, there are complications, many involving the Israeli Nationality Law of 2003, which is still in effect. The law prevents family reunification when one spouse is a resident of an Israeli city and the other is a Palestinian from the West Bank or Jerusalem and can only visit by obtaining temporary Israeli permits. MORE . . .
❹ ISRAELI ACADEMIC ELITE’S COMPLICITY IN OPPRESSION Alternative Information Center – AIC
Professor Nati Linial, from the computer science department of Hebrew University, recently received the prestigious Rothschild Prize. In his award ceremony speech at the Knesset, Linial chose to speak about fascism, rather than scientific topics. The choice to engage with political reality is commendable, but the speaker’s disregard of more fundamental political topics is worthy of a critical review.
___Fascism . . . threatens the wellbeing of many good people. It is most appropriate to speak of this in the Knesset. It is doubtful, however, that fascism is the fundamental driving force . . . . The State of Israel relies on a central, government-controlled military force to attain its political goals. For nearly seventy years, these goals have been determined on the basis of fundamentally racist positions . . . . MORE . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis: FIGHT ANTI-PALESTINIANISM AS WE WOULD ANTI-SEMITISM +972 Blog
April 16, 2016
By “anti-Palestinianism” I understand prejudice against Palestinian Arabs based on perceived negative qualities of Palestinian cultural or natural identity. Views such as “Palestinian Arab culture is a culture of death and martyrdom,” “Palestinian Arabs hate Jews because of incitement,” “Palestinian labor is inferior” are examples of this prejudice. Attempts to justify these prejudices are inevitably based on selective data, generalization, and bias.
___ By “anti-Semitism,” I understand prejudice against Jews based on perceived negative qualities of Jewish cultural, natural, or religious identity. MORE . . .
“TENTS,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH
There are tents of blood and terror in the dust pitched there to make a myth of the sky. There are tents of wind in our blood that take us everywhere though we appear motionless, so the lime in the lore of the mejana and a smell from the sea surround us. The singer has multiplied in us. The Imam has multiplied in us. The broadcaster has multiplied in us. Talk has multiplied in us. Departure and the medallions of war multiply and fragment our bodies with victory! And we are still here, fifty years old―steeped in killing― and on our own.