“. . . My friend / You cannot ask me to leave . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

For months, Israel has tried to quell Gaza’s border protests through force. Now Israel is taking a different approach, easing a blockade and allowing millions of dollars in aid to flow into Gaza, the impoverished enclave controlled by Hamas, its bitter foe.    ___The aim of the change, in a plan mediated by Egypt and with money supplied by Qatar, is to provide much-needed relief for Gaza, restore calm on the Israeli side of the border and avert another war.    ___The clashes along Gaza’s border have caused misery on both sides: At least 170 Palestinians have been killed, and thousands of acres of Israeli farmland have been torched.    ___But the change in Israel’s approach presents risks for leaders on both sides, pressures that could doom even this limited warming of relations.    More . . .
One Palestinian was killed during the 33rd consecutive Friday of mass protests along the eastern perimeter of the occupied Gaza Strip.    [. . . .] Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza . . . said his faction was reaching “understandings” with Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to lift the blockade.    [. . . .] Qatari officials brought in $15 million in cash to Gaza in recent days, disbursing it to some 30,000 civil servants hired by Hamas since 2007 whose salaries hadn’t been paid in months. The money will also be used to create 10,000 jobs in Gaza, where unemployment is currently nearly 55 percent – believed to be among the highest rates in the world, if not the highest.    ___The Qatari funding is the first installation of a total of $90 million pledged by the Gulf country for Gaza to be paid over the following six months.    More . . .
|    ISRAEL’S  NEW  DECISION  TO  BAN  DEALING  WITH  LARGE  CASH  A  NEW  CHALLENGE  TO  THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY    In few weeks, the Israeli decision barring dealing with large cash in commercial transactions that exceed 11,000 Israeli shekels ($3000) will get into force, which may have big and immediate repercussions on the Palestinian economy.    [. . . .] The Israeli decision prohibits dealing with cash in commercial transactions. . .  replacing it with electronic means of payment . . .   [. . . .] With the weakness of modern means of payment in Palestine, in light of large daily transactions in Israeli currency, there is fear of large inflow of shekel into the Palestinian market, which already suffers from a large surplus of this currency.    More . . .
Palestinian people condemned several Hollywood starts who celebrated and raised millions of dollars to fund the Israeli army last week.    ___The Middle East Eye London-based news outlet reported that the gala was organized on November 1st, by Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, adding that Hollywood stars such as  Ashton  Kutcher,  Gerard  Butler  and  Andy  Garcia attended and celebrated the event.    [. . . .] The event was met with condemnation in Palestine and by Palestinians on social media.    ___One of the organizers of  “The Great March of Return,  which takes place every Friday at the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, Ahmad Abu Artema, told Middle East Eye that “The Israeli army will use these funds to buy more bullets and more bombs, only to kill more civilians.”    More . . .

The Council of Jerusalem Churches has achieved a new victory against the Israeli government, with an “unprecedented number of US churches condemn[ing] Israeli attempts to confiscate church lands,” a Council statement – a copy of which was sent to MEMO – said on Friday.     ___The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who heads the Council of Jerusalem Churches has toured the USA and EU countries to lobby against an Israeli law – known as the “Properties Bill” – which was recently advanced in the Knesset to target church property.    More . . .
By  Mary  Frances  Schjonberg,  Posted  Mar.  27,  2018
(Note: reposted to show the people of the US continue relationship with Gazans despite the actions of the US government)
Healing comes in many forms, and Al Ahli Arab Hospital’s medical ministry . . .  provide[s] the people of the Gaza Strip with an example of the love of Christ in action.    ___That example is set in an area whose Christian population is dwindling. Suhaila Tarazi, the hospital’s director general, estimates there are no more than 900 Christians among Gaza’s 2 million residents. Ten years ago, the number of Christians stood at 3,000 and the total population was around 1.5 million.    ___Tarazi told Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, United States. . . that the remaining Christians are “the living stones” of Gaza, and so too are institutions like Al Ahli Arab Hospital, which is one of more than 30 social service ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Abe Books.


“. . . Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ US freezes $125 million grant to UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Bennett slams reported Israeli call on US not to cut aid to Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) What would happen if Trump cuts UNRWA funding?

BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget (2017)

❷ Tzachi Hanegbi: Two-state solution is not dead
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Peace Now: Israel to approve more than 1,329 illegal settlement units
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians protest visit of Greek Orthodox patriarch accused of selling land to Israel
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The United States has frozen $125 million of its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
___Quoting three US officials, Reuters news agency reported that the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, informed the United Nations that it had frozen a $125 million grant that was due to be paid on 1st January.
___According to the three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, Trump’s administration is considering cutting $180 million from its aid payments to the UNRWA in an effort to pressure the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations with Israel.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  BENNETT  SLAMS  REPORTED  ISRAELI  CALL  ON  US  NOT  TO  CUT  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS:  Israeli officials call on US and all world countries to cut all aid to Palestinians.  
Days of Palestine
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Israeli Education Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, slammed reports on Friday reported Israeli call on US not to cut UN support for Palestinian refugees.
___Earlier this week, Donald Trump warned that his country would cut aid for Palestinians who he believes receive millions of US dollars without respecting America.
___According to Israeli Hadashot TV, though, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Foreign Minister, is opposed to any cut in such aid.
___ “UNRWA,” claims, Bennett, “is a terror-supporting organisation. Its very existence perpetuates the dire situation of Gaza’s population, who suffer under the rule of Hamas.” He insisted that the US decision to cut aid is the right choice.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  WHAT  WOULD  HAPPEN  IF  TRUMP  CUTS  UNRWA  FUNDING?
The Palestinian Information Center 
By Yara Hawari
Jan. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Information Center On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, delivered a rather ambiguous threat in response to a question on the maintenance of the US level of funding to the UN Palestinian refugee programme. She replied: “The president has said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding or stop funding until the Palestinians are agreeing (sic) to come back to the negotiating table.”
___President Trump himself tweeted the following threat to UNRWA: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
[. . . .] However, a total US funding cut would mean a serious reduction in services and the complete halt of many of the education and health programmes.
___In other words, schools and health clinics would close leaving hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees across the region without schooling, health care, jobs, making their situation even more dire.   MORE . . .  

  • BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget 
    The Jerusalem Post     
    By Michael Wilner
    Nov. 17, 2017 ― On Thursday Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation.
    ___Congress has resolved a budgeting dispute with the Trump administration by sourcing hundreds of millions of dollars in missile defense aid for Israel from its base budget– and not from a fund typically reserved for US wartime operations, as was initially proposed.
    ___The White House made clear over the summer that it was not opposed to adding hundreds of millions of dollars above its own budget for missile defense to Israel, but rather the vehicle for its delivery– an unprecedented use of dollars typically saved for US military readiness. Earlier this month, Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation, including $588 million over President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.     MORE . . . 

Al Jazeera English 
by Ali Younes
Jan. 6, 2018 ― An Israeli minister has said US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital does not signal the end of the two-state solution, with Israel willing to grant Palestinians their own independent state but with limited sovereignty.
___Tzachi Hanegbi, minister of regional cooperation, said Trump’s controversial decision on December 6 should not hinder Palestinian claims to have occupied East Jerusalem as their capital.
___”We claim that Jerusalem is our capital and should not be divided, but that’s only a claim, not a diktat,” Hanegbi, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Al Jazeera at his office in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
___Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict.     MORE . . .  
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee is expected to approve the promotion of at least 1,329 housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___In a statement released on Friday, Peace Now said that the committee published its agenda, and is expected to approve the new settlement units next Wednesday, January 10.
___According to the group, two-thirds of the 1,329 units (883 housing units) “will be located in isolated settlements that Israel would probably have to evacuate under any two-state agreement.”      MORE . . .   
Ma’an News Agency  
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Palestinian Christians from around the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel came out in harsh opposition on Saturday to a visit by Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
___Theophilos III, along with several other religious and political figures, were visiting Bethlehem as part of celebrations for Greek Orthodox Christmas Eve.
___Despite an intense presence of Palestinian security forces who attempted to open roads near Bethlehem’s Manger Square for the patriarch’s car, angry citizens swarmed around his procession, holding signs, Palestinian flags, and chanting slogans against Theophilus III.   MORE . . .  

Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Available from Amazon
About Samih Al-Qasim. Obituary, August 20, 2014.

“. . . I stood silenced For I had no address . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

❶ Israeli authorities deliver demolition notices to Palestinians in Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli bulldozers raze lands along Gaza border
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli settlement’s sewage destroys Palestinian agricultural land near Nablus

  • Background: “Powers Of Illegality: House Demolitions And Resistance In East Jerusalem.” Law & Social Inquiry.

❷ Group calls on PA to continue funding Jerusalem hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Are days numbered for Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox patriarch?
❸ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 23, 2017 ― Israeli forces on Sunday raided the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem and delivered several home demolition notices to Palestinian residents.     ___Wafa reported that staff from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality raided the neighborhood, under the protection of Israeli police forces, and delivered notices to a number of Palestinians informing them of the municipality’s intent to demolish their homes, under the pretext of construction without a permit.
[. . . .] According to United Nations documentation, 202 Palestinians were displaced and 116 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Oct. 9. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  RAZE  LANDS  ALONG  GAZA  BORDER      Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 24, 2017 ― Several Israeli bulldozers entered into the “buffer zone” in the central Gaza Strip, along the border with Israel, and leveled lands in the area on Tuesday morning.
___Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers entered dozens of meters into the Juhr al-Dik area and razed lands as drones flew overhead.
[. . . . ] military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip . . .  have long been a near-daily occurrence.
[. . . .] The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sector of the blockaded coastal enclave . . . MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Oct. 24, 2017 ― Sewage from the illegal Israeli settlement of Alon Moreh has destroyed rich agricultural land in the village of Deir al-Hatab, east of Nablus, a human rights activist said on Tuesday.
___Zakaria Sidr, head of the West Bank section in Rabbis for Human Rights organization, told WAFA that residents found out on Tuesday when they got to their land that settlers have been dumping their sewage at their land.   MORE . . . ..

Braverman, Irus.
Law & Social Inquiry 32.2 (2007): 333-372     . . . . while Foucault’s analysis [of the spectacle of a public execution in DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH, 1979] depicts brutality as inflicted upon the human body, in the demolition instance this brutality is imposed upon the nonhuman body of the house. Significant as it may seem, this distinction between human and nonhuman bodies is rendered irrelevant by most of the Palestinian informants. The Palestinian community planner, for example, claimed that “a person whose house has been demolished, I don’t see any difference between him and a person whose only child is killed,” and a Palestinian defense lawyer told me: “to demolish a man’s house is to tear his heart into little pieces . . . the demolition is an . . . extremely inhuman act.”
___Clearly, most Palestinian informants not only themselves relate to their house as interchangeable with their body but also believe that Israel relates to it in a similar way. Accordingly, this is how a Palestinian Jerusalemite that has worked as a planner in the Jerusalem municipality for over thirty years described the situation: “they twist our hand behind our back until they hear a cry of pain: [then] the municipal officials smile with pleasure, and twist our hand even tighter in order to produce a louder cry. They take pleasure in the Palestinian pain more than in anything else.”
___But while the identification of the Palestinian body with the body of her house may establish one cause for its demolition, another explanation is also possible. Such an alternative explanation is provided by a Jewish Israeli defense lawyer who has been representing Palestinians from East Jerusalem for over twenty years. The lawyer suggests that the official Israeli discourse regards the Palestinians as “airplanes that are not even detected by the Israeli radar,” namely as invisible to Israeli administrators. Rather than choosing between these two seemingly conflicting interpretations, it is important to see their simultaneous existence: while the first interpretation embodies the Palestinian in this space by rendering her body opaque, the second interpretation disembodies her, making for a transparent Palestinian body.
___Instead of undermining each other, the bifurcated dialectic between these two bodily interpretations provides for their reciprocal reinforcement.   SOURCE . . .

Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)  
Oct. 23, 2017 ― The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) on Monday expressed its deep concern that Augusta Victoria Hospital (al-Mutala’) in occupied Jerusalem stopped receiving the Gaza Strip patients referred for treatment due to accumulating debts owed by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___PCHR called upon the Palestinian Ministry of Health to pay off immediately the accumulating financial dues for al-Motala’ Hospital, warning that the Palestinian backboned organizations in occupied Jerusalem would collapse after the Palestinian Government withheld funds and payments of the financial dues at the time the Israeli authorities intensify its policies to create a Jewish majority in Jerusalem and paralyze and ruin the work of its institutions, which provide basic services to all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.   MORE . . .
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse) 
Ahmad Melhem
Oct. 23, 2017 ― The relationship between Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine and the Greek Orthodox community in the Palestinian territories and Jordan is closer than ever to escalating into all-out war. . . .
The patriarch is responsible for the management of all church endowments as stipulated by Jordanian Law no. 27 (1958). The church owns property in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and in Israel. Fed-up members of the Greek Orthodox community have organized in opposition to Theophilos in an attempt to remove him and encourage Jordanian and Palestinian authorities to withdraw their recognition of him.
___Haaretz reported on Oct. 13 that six dunams of land with dozens of businesses on it around the clock tower in Jaffa as well as 430 dunams in Caesarea, including large parts of the Caesarea National Park and Amphitheater and a Roman amphitheater, were sold to anonymous foreign companies.   MORE . . .

Hairs as short as my life is
And a mouth as sensuous as my dreams
And fire is her voice
And so is the music
Yet she wants me to rest
On an easy chair
And keep my thoughts clean.

Oh my dear hunter!
What you ask is much more
Than all that I can give . . .
For the angels are dead,
And I am not with them.

A wine was her perfume
Generous was her bed
But her hopes were stronger,
And the strongest of all:
She wanted my address.
She asked: “Where lives the ‘Prince’?”
Then, I stood silenced
For I had no address.
I am a man in transit,
Twenty years in transit
A man who was even deprived
The right of having an address.

Rashid Hussein  
See also  
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.

“. . . when we can run in the streets without anyone pronouncing us crazy . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims
❷ Greek Orthodox patriarch says Israeli court ruling on church property politically motivated

  • Background: “Surviving Jerusalem: Fifty Years of Neglect and Daily Suffering Just to Remain.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) EU calls on Israel to reconsider eviction of Shamasneh family in Sheikh Jarrah
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2017.   The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights office (OHCHR) expressed “deep concern” on Friday over the ever-deteriorating situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, three months after the electricity supply was severely cut by Israel at the behest of the PA.
___In May, the Fatah-led PA decided to slash funding for Israeli fuel to the coastal enclave, as Israeli authorities acceded to PA demands to dramatically reduce its electricity supply to Gaza, which was already reeling from lack of adequate access to electricity and fuel.
___The PA was accused of carrying out “collective punishment” on Palestinians living in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, which had already been embroiled in a dire electricity crisis that was only worsened by increasing punitive measures by Israel and the PA.
[. . . .] “This has a grave impact on the provision of essential health, water and sanitation services,” Shamdasani said, adding that the large-scale power cuts were a life-threatening risk for vulnerable residents of the coastal enclave. “Israel, the State of Palestine, and the authorities in Gaza are not meeting their obligations to promote and protect the rights of the residents of Gaza.”    MORE . . .
Al Jazeera English 
August 13, 2017.   Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, made headlines in June when she denounced what she claimed was a pattern of “anti-Israel” behaviour at the UN.
[. . . .] . . .analysts say there is little substance to her allegations that, in the words of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israel has been “the UN’s punching bag”.
[. . . .] While issues concerning Namibia, South Africa, Cape Verde, Vietnam, Laos and others have in one way or another been resolved, Erakat told Al Jazeera, “the only one that hasn’t is Palestine”.
___ In 2016, the UN Security Council’s activity [saw] just one resolution dealt with Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. It was the first in almost eight years.
[. . . .]  It is a different story, however, elsewhere within the UN, where Israel faces frequent condemnation for its actions through bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
[. . . .] “But this must be viewed in the context of the UN political organs as a whole,” [John Dugard, the UN’s former special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories] added. “The Security Council and Quartet on the Middle East [UN, European Union, United States and Russia] are notoriously pro-Israel and refuse to pay adequate attention to Palestinian issues.”     MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
August 13, 2017.   Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III said Sunday that a two-week old Israeli District Court ruling upholding a 99-year lease of church property in Jerusalem’s Old City to Jewish settler organizations is politically motivated.
___Theophilos said at a press conference in the Jordanian capital Amman that this legal battle, which has been going on for a decade, has resulted in an unjust decision that has ignored very clear legal evidence presented by the church, which made it clear that it was done in “bad faith, bribery and conspiracy” for the benefit of the group of settlers from Ateret Cohanim.
[. . . .] The Greek Orthodox patriarch said his church is going to appeal the District Court’s ruling, which he said will have a grave negative impact on Christian presence in the Holy Land, at the Israeli Supreme Court.   MORE . . .

Abu Ghoush, Amaal.
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
, vol. 21, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 6-11.
No one can imagine when first looking at Jerusalem, with the light rail, the clean paved roads, the old and new buildings, that just a few blocks away from the European-like main streets, there are Palestinian neighborhoods that look like slums, and not because the buildings are poorly constructed, on the contrary. More than 37% of Jerusalem s population are Palestinian residents who are living in East Jerusalem neighborhoods that lack basic services, adequate roads and safe sidewalks — when and if they exist.
___East Jerusalem, which is 70 square kilometers, compromises 56% of all Jerusalem, including the Old City. Palestinian Jerusalemites, or “Arabs,” according to the 2106 Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research statistical yearbook, make up 37.2% of Jerusalem residents. They live on just 13% of the land that was annexed in 1967. One-third of the annexed land, or about 34% of it, has been turned into Israeli settlements, while the rest is land Palestinian East Jerusalemites cannot develop because it is designated as an open space or a green area.
[. . . .]  East Jerusalemites see that Israeli settlements are built on their lands. The settlers receive better services and infrastructure by far, while it takes the Palestinians ages to get a permit to build one house to live in with their family or for their married children on land they own. And many times they try to get a permit and do not succeed. At the same time, huge settlements are built quickly. Infrastructure, roads and other services are provided — with long-time residents’ tax money — quickly and smoothly for settlers who just immigrated from outside.
[. . . .] Fifty years of neglect and no-planning has turned our Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem into places we do not approve of, but it has also turned us into people who are so worried about our survival and well-being that we no longer work together. We complain to one another about the situation, and we demand services and better conditions, but not in the right places nor in the right ways for our demands to be heard. We wait for the Jerusalem Municipality to solve our problems, knowing that it will not do anything unless it is forced to. . . .  Recently, with the support of Palestinian and international organizations, some neighborhoods have started working collectively to prepare plans which will eventually legalize their homes. But more importantly, they are beginning to understand that through pursuing the collective interest, individual interests are achieved as well and the impact will be stronger.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 13, 2017.   The European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed concern at the imminent threat of eviction by Israeli authorities of the Shamasneh family from their home in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
___In a statement Sunday, EU missions called on the Israeli authorities to reconsider the decision, saying, “The eviction, of carried out, would be the first in the area since 2009. Further settlement plans including evictions are being moved forward in Sheikh Jarrah.”
___The Shamasneh family is one of at least 180 households in East-Jerusalem, mainly in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, the Old City and Beit Safafa, facing the threat of eviction from their homes.   MORE . . .

When all the bids in the world flap their wings in unison
as one  body, when the waters of springs and mountain streams
gather in a dusty palm,
when a human being runs
and trees and the hidden future follow him,
when the world become simple
and I can climb onto a table in the office of the daily news
and speak of your love to the elegant shuttered windows,
to the good and bad paintings on the walls,
when I am able to freely place a gentle kiss
on your cheek in public,
when I am able to return with you after midnight
without a police patrol desecrating our bodies
in search of a confession,
when we can run in the streets
without anyone pronouncing us crazy,
when I am able to sing
and share a stranger’s umbrella
and when she in turn may share my loaf of bread,
when you are able to say I love you
without fear of death or imprisonment
and I can open a window in the morning
without being silenced by a bullet,
when I am able to grow older
and the trees are added to your attire
and we can count the drops of rain on each other’s faces
and sing and love free of weapons,
raids. Chronic fear, and disappearances –
another world will begin,
a new homeland will have been readied.
But for now we announce a new beginning with our death,
a new beginning of love.

About Ibrahim Nasrallah.
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble