“. . . my sense of self carries the burden of bearing a hyphenated identity: Palestinian-American . . .” (Lina Abdul-Samad)

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Medical Delegation to Gaza March 14- 15, 2013, Dr. Mustafa Yassin, senior orthopedist, Dr. Abdallah and patient (Photo: PHR, Flickr)

❶ Israel bans 5 year-old Palestinian boy from visiting father in prison
❷ Is Israel banning entry of Gaza cancer patients?

  • Background:  “Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)Mobilities: ID Cards In Palestine/Israel.” Geopolitics

❸ Palestinian passport tells suffering of Diaspora story

  • Background: “Traveling As A Palestinian.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

❹ To Be a Child of the Palestinian Diaspora: A Conversation
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 30, 2016
Israeli authorities have banned 5-year-old Ibrahim from visiting his father, Palestinian Muhammad Ahmad Abd al-Fatah Abu Fanunah, in prison, Abu Fanunah’s wife said to Voice of Prisoners (Sawt al-Asra) radio on Sunday.
___Umm Mahmoud told the radio station that she has also been banned from visiting her husband ever since he was detained on Oct. 22, 2015, calling the Israeli policy of preventing family visits a means to pressure Palestinian prisoners.
___Abu Fanunah, a 51-year-old father of nine from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, has been detained by Israel seven times over the years and spent a total of 10 years in Israeli custody, Umm Mahmoud said, adding that Abu Fanunah was currently being held in administrative detention — internment without trial or charges.       More . . .

Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Shlomi Eldar
Oct. 26, 2016
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) claims Israel has “dramatically toughened” its policy on granting permits to sick Palestinians needing life-saving treatment in Israeli hospitals, among them many cancer patients. This, despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays in full for every patient referred by its Health Ministry for care in Israel.
___Over the past few years, he said, Palestinians have submitted annually about 1,300 requests for entry permits to Israel to benefit from life-saving treatments in Israeli hospitals. According to PHR’s data, during these past years, more than 10% of the requests were turned down on grounds of being a security threat. But in the past few months, the organization has detected a surge in the number of rejections. Absent a medical alternative in the West Bank, and even more so in the Gaza Strip, denying Palestinians medical treatment in an Israeli hospital is effectively a death sentence.      More . . .

  • Background article (cited here Sep. 29, 2016).  Tawil-Souri, Helga. “Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)Mobilities: ID Cards In Palestine/Israel.” Geopolitics 17.1 (2012): 153-176    Source

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency     
Oct. 30, 2016
The Palestinian passport is a clear sign of being Palestinian whether the Palestinians stick to their own identity, costumes and traditions or whether they try to create a new identity that follows the drama of the modern western identity.
___As a matter of fact, the Palestinian passport will join the Palestinians in their travel trips around the world, even whilst living in the diaspora.
___The story begins here
___What is your real nationality? I’m of Palestinian origin displaced from the occupied Palestinian territories in 1967 and lived the rest of my life as a refugee in Gaza.    More. . .

  • Aljamal, Yousef M. “TRAVELING  AS  A  PALESTINIAN.” BIOGRAPHY:  AN INTERDISCIPLINARY  QUARTERLY 37.2 (2014): 664-679.   Full article.

Most countries around the world, including Arab countries, deal with Palestinian passport holders with suspicion. Palestinians travelling to other countries are guilty until we prove otherwise. Every time we travel, Palestinians have to prepare a load of documents that demonstrate our “strong ties to our country.” Many Palestinians make fun of the words written on our passports that declare “this travel document/passport is of a great value.”
___In February 2013, I applied to get a visa to conduct a speaking tour in Aotearoa [Maori for New Zealand], the land of the long white cloud. Thanks to the help of my friends there, I just barely managed to find out where to apply for this document. Two weeks passed, and I had received conflicting information. [. . . .]    
After contacting Immigration in Wellington, I was finally told to apply to Dubai, one destination among the many others I had been directed towards—but this time, I’d been told officially.
___I got the sponsorship and the visa application forms filled out. I sent them to New Zealand Immigration Dubai with my Palestinian Authority passport. All went well. Weeks later, I got an email from NZI Dubai which read “Your visa application has been declined because you didn’t meet certain conditions.” I was told my application included “no evidence of strong ties to get back to my country, no clear itinerary, no financial support, no previous record of travel,” and I was also informed that the fact that I live in a war zone makes me a likely asylum seeker. “You can still apply again,” the officer wrote to me
[. . . .] 
Also by Yousef M. Aljamal“HOW  ISRAEL’S  SIEGE  ON  GAZA  KILLED  MY  SISTER.”

This Week In Palestine 
Lina Abdul-Samad
October, 2016
“You don’t look American.”
___True, with rich olive skin, dark forest bows and almond-shaped eyes, I talk with my hands like my forefathers. I devour maklouba, am obsessed with waraq dawali, and my search for Mackintosh’s sweet delights at home is always a game of hide-and-seek.  I look and act the part, but my tongue is the traitor . . . I strive to replace my American tongue, aiming to master the lushness of my “true” language, the rich sounds and deep, often multiple levels of meaning that are unique to the language I would be speaking if I had never left the country. And as my tongue carries the burden of two very distinct languages, my sense of self carries the burden of bearing a hyphenated identity: Palestinian-American. I make sure that Palestinian comes first because that’s who I truly am, who I was supposed to be.    [Lina Abdul-Samad is a fourth-year student at Birzeit University, majoring in nutrition and dietetics. When she is not daydreaming, she posts writings on her blog called Lina’s Thoughts and Words.]       More . . .

Photo: Alray-Palestinian Media Agency Oct. 30, 2016


“. . . It is my right to behold the sun . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

bilal❶ 10 Palestinian prisoners join mass hunger strike in solidarity with Bilal Kayid
❷ The terror of the children
❸ POETRY by Fouzi el-Asmar

Background from New Zealand International Review

Background from Public Health Ethics

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 31, 2016
Ten new Palestinian prisoners on Sunday joined a mass open hunger strike in solidarity with prisoner Bilal Kayid, according to Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair, a day after reports emerged that Kayid’s health had deteriorated sharply after almost 50 days without food.
___Qaraqe told the Palestinian Wafa News Agency that ten prisoners from Israel’s Ramon prison joined the open strike, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Saadat, who was reportedly moved to solitary confinement after joining the strike, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.
___Kayid, a member of the PFLP, Palestine’s most popular left-wing political faction, has been on hunger strike for 47 days in protest of being placed in administrative detention — Israel’s controversial policy of internment without charge or trial under undisclosed evidence — on the day he was scheduled to be released after completing a 14-and-a-half-year prison sentence.      MORE . . .    

Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
Reprinted from El Pais (English)
Mario Vargas Llosa
July 25, 2016
[. . . .] The operations designed to induce panic are generally carried out at night by masked soldiers who first throw grenades into homes accompanied by shouting, with the aim of frightening families – above all, the children. These raids come out of the blue and are carefully orchestrated. The teenager or child who has been betrayed by an informer is blindfolded and handcuffed. The young suspects are then taken away in a truck, usually on the floor of the truck with the soldiers’ feet on top of them and the odd kick to keep them scared.
___In the interrogation room, they are left tied up on the floor for five to 10 hours. This helps to lower their morale and frighten them further. The subsequent interrogation follows a pattern; they are advised to admit to throwing stones, which will get them no more than two or three months behind bars. Otherwise, they will have to wait seven or eight months for their case to go to trial, which could means a worse sentence.       MORE . . .    

From New Zealand International Review
On 17 April 2012, Palestine Prisoners Day, more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike to protest against unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention and bad prison conditions. Reported Richard Falk, ‘I am appalled by the continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons and I urge the Government of Israel to respect its international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners.’
[. . . .]
___Since the 1967 war, an estimated 40 per cent of the Palestinian male population in the occupied territory has been in detention in Israeli jails. Israel makes widespread use of arbitrary detention; no charges, no trials. Some prisoners are held this way for years, just by renewing the arbitrary detention.
___Twenty-seven Palestinian parliamentarians and two ministers are being held. Human rights activists, taking part in nonviolent protests against the wall as it is expanded, are targeted.
___Political prisoners are held in Israel jails, against the Geneva Convention. Dostoevsky said you should judge a country by examining its prisons.  Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.   SOURCE 

From Public Health Ethics
The present article focuses on the case of the 2012 hunger-strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. We analyze the ethical dilemma involved in the way the Israeli medical community reacted to these hunger-strikes and the question of force feeding within the context of the fundamental dual-loyalty structure inherent in the Israeli Prison Services—system. We argue that the liberal perspective that focuses the discussion on the dilemma between the principle of individual autonomy and the sanctity of life tends to be oblivious to the asymmetrical relation of power that characterizes the prison system and to the socio-political context in which hunger-strikes take place. Emphasizing hunger-strikes as political acts implies that health practitioners’ conducts cannot be analyzed only through the prism of clinical medical ethics. It requires a public health ethics’ approach, an approach that understands health in the context of the complex relationship between society, state, organizations, communities and individuals. The authors are both academics and volunteers in Physicians for Human Rights—Israel thus our analysis is based both on sociological and public health ethics principles and on the continuous work and advocacy for the right to health of prisoners. Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes In Israeli Prisons: Beyond The Dual-Loyalty Dilemma In Medical Practice And Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics 7.3 (2014): 229-238.     SOURCE 

“THE WAY,” by Fouzi El-Asmar

I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

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

“. . . the shedding of blood cleanses nothing. . .” (Aftab Yusuf Shaikh)

The press conference announcing the launch of a new Arab-speaking station, Palestine 48, in Nazareth on Wednesday, June 17 2015. (Screen capture: Ynet)
The press conference announcing the launch of a new Arab-speaking station, Palestine 48, in Nazareth on Wednesday, June 17 2015. (Screen capture: Ynet)

June 18, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as the Communication Minister, has instructed the head of the Communications Ministry, to begin shutting down a new Palestinian TV station, funded by the Palestinian Authority, in Israel.
____The official launch of the new TV was scheduled for today, Thursday, and all official preparations were concluded Wednesday for the historic launch of the new Palestine 48 TV Station. . . .
Al-Hasan said the Netanyahu decision to shut down the new TV station was illegal, and that the TV Channel will pursue all legal means to counter the move. . . .
____Netanyahu gave the order to Director General Shlomo Filber, just a few hours after a press conference was held during the inauguration of the Palestine 48 Arabic-language Channel. . . .
____Netanyahu’s main argument was that the new TV “receives funding from the Palestinian Authority, which is considered a foreign entity in Israel”.
(More. . .)

June 17, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas rejected any unilateral dissolution of the Palestinian unity government on Wednesday, hours before Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was expected to meet President Mahmoud Abbas to present his government’s resignation and discuss the formation of a new government.
____The rejection comes as senior Fatah officials reported Tuesday night that Abbas announced during a Fatah council meeting that the government would be dissolved and entirely reformed.
____”Hamas rejects any one-sided change in the government without the agreement of all parties,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.
(More. . .)

From +972 MAGAZINE
Israel’s Foreign Ministry is going after Israeli human rights and anti-occupation activists overseas. Doing so will only make things worse for Israel.
Ilan Baruch
June 16, 2015
It’s been less than a month since Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely instructed Israeli embassies abroad to explain to the nations of the world that the land of Israel is ours in its entirety. Global hostility toward Israel, she insisted, does not stem from the occupation or settlements.
____Now, we have learned that she instructed the Israeli embassy in Switzerland to attempt to cancel a “Breaking the Silence” exhibition in Zurich. The exhibition presents soldiers’ testimonies on their experiences during their military service regarding the daily reality in the occupied territories.
(More. . .)

June 18, 2015
Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Thursday at dawn, two Palestinians in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped two brothers in an invasion into Beta town, south of the city.
____Media sources in Nablus said several military vehicles, a number of settlers’ buses, and a military bulldozer, invaded the Eastern Area in Nablus, leading to clashes with local Palestinian youths.
____Medical sources said resident Eyad Ma’in Kalbouna, 23, was shot with a live round in his left leg, while Mohammad Ghassan Hashshash, 24, from the Balata refugee camp, was shot with two live rounds in the chest and thigh.
(More. . .)

Al-Wafah Hospital, Gaza
Al-Wafah Hospital, Gaza

June 16, 2015
A report compiled by the organisation Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said that during 2014 Israel refused half of the applications made by residents to leave Gaza for medical treatment. Two of those who talked to PHR about the refusal of their applications died during the year.
____“The results point to the abuse of the Palestinian population”.
____The report revealed PHR’s findings that approximately half (47.5%) of the applications for permits to leave Gaza were denied by the Israeli border control. . . . in many cases applicants were seeking potentially life-saving treatment.
____PHR found that during the year, 246 requests from ill Palestinians were denied or postponed by Israeli authorities. All applicants had obtained the appropriate travel documents and knew of the obligation to pay medical fees
(More. . .)

If this city were a woman,
She must have earned a bad name by now,
For the number of swords unsheathed,
For the cauldrons of blood shed,
For the haunting silence that rings in wombs,
For the innocent childhoods weeded,

But, No!
This is a city, and a holy one!
Holy for whom? The ones who heap
unholiness on it.

O children of Abraham!
You are not pagans or witches,
You must remember very sharply,
That the shedding of blood cleanses nothing,
And nothing cleanses the shedding of blood,

Man remembers the Promises of God,
But very casually forgets
The Promise God took from him.

About Aftab Yusuf Shaikh
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, 2012.

Old City from the Mount of the Olives.
Old City from the Mount of the Olives. “Holy for whom? The ones who heap
unholiness on it.”