“. . . We are here within ourselves . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

altar-mt-ebal
“. . . architectural remains show that [the Mount of Ebal] was a Canaanite altar of idolatry, offering sacrifices to the Canaanite Gods.” (Photo: R. Hawkins, Biblical Archaeological Society, June 24, 2018)
SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .      
| PALESTINIAN  SHOT,  KILLED  AFTER  JERUSALEM  STABBING  ATTACK
A Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem after carrying out a stabbing attack, predawn Thursday.   ___Witnesses told a Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces opened fire at a Palestinian youth identified as Majd Jamal Mteir, 25, at around 5:00 a.m., critically injuring him, in the al-Wad Street of the Old City of Jerusalem.   [. . . .] Mteir stabbed two Israeli police officers deployed in the al-Wad Street, a female police officer whose injury was reported as moderate and a policeman whose injury was reported as light.     More . . .
. . . . Related  BREAKING:  ISRAEL  IMPOSES  FULL  MILITARY  CLOSURE  ON  RAMALLAH
. . . . Related  2 Israelis [SETTLERS]  killed, 2 critically injured in shooting attack in Ramallah
. . . . Related  2 months later: Israel executes Palestinian attack suspect
. . . . Related  Ashrawi: Israeli field executions and organized terrorism require international action
. . . . Related  Clashes erupt as Israeli forces assault family of Palestinian attacker
|  ISRAELI  MINISTER  TOURS  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS:  ‘WE  ARE  HERE  TO  WIN’ 
Israeli minister Ofir Akunis toured Israeli settlements yesterday and “declared his support” for the annexation of the so-called Gush Etzion settlement “bloc” and “Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] in general”, reported right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva.    [. . . .] Akunis described the Gush Etzion settlement bloc as, “One of the foundations of our people dating back thousands of years, and anyone who disputes this right is wrong”.  He declared:  “As we have been forced to leave here in the past, we are here to win, and here thousands of families will raise their children for generations to come.”   More . . .
. . . . Related  Fanatic Israeli settlers break into Jerusalem’s Aqsa Mosque
THE  EXPLOITATION  OF  MYTHS  TO  EXPAND  JEWISH  SETTLEMENTS
At a large plot of land located east of the top of the Mount of Ebal in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, stone chains that do not hold any archaeological significance exist, yet they are used by Israeli settlers as a self-claimed sacred archaeological site.    ___Israeli settlers’ attempts to seize the site they claim to be the altar of Joshua Ben Nun reveal how far settlers can go about exploiting myths and using them in their ongoing battle to control Palestinian lands.    ___ . . . the Israeli archeologist Adam Zeratal. . . confirms that the existing architectural remains show that it was a Canaanite altar of idolatry, offering sacrifices to the Canaanite Gods.    ___“. . .  assumption that the altar belongs to Joshua Ben Nun contradicts the historical and archaeological facts that prove that Joshua Ben Nun is a myth and not a historical figure,” he says.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Hamas: Sale of Jerusalem real estate to Jews “a national crime”

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
. . . .
| 8  WAYS  ISRAEL  TAKES  PALESTINIAN  LAND  (VIDEO)
Institute for Middle East Understanding ( IMEU )
Settlements on stolen land. Evicting Palestinians. Military checkpoints. Free-fire zones. We break down the eight ways Israel takes over land to erase Palestinian life and solidify apartheid.    More .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|  PLAYGROUNDS  FOR  PALESTINE
Help Us Build Playgrounds For Palestine
We believe Palestinian children deserve to thrive. They deserve a creative outlet for their instinct to play. With your support, we can help Palestinian children thrive.  More . . .   Donate . . .         ..

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  ARE  HERE  NEAR  THERE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We are here near there, the tent has thirty doors.
We are here a place between the pebbles and the shadows.
. . . A place for a voice.  A place for freedom, or a place
For any place fallen off a mare, or scattered by a bell or the
. . . muezzin’s call.
We are here, and in a moment we’ll explode this siege, and in a
. . . moment we’ll free a cloud,
And travel within ourselves.  We are here near there thirty
. . . doors for the wind, thirty “was”,
Teaching you to see us, to know us, to listen to us, to feel our
. . . blood safely,
Teaching you our peace, We may love or may not love the road
. . . to Damascus, Mecca or Qairwan.
We are here within ourselves.  A sky for the month of August,
. . . a sea for the month of May and freedom for a horse.
We seek the sea only to retrieve from it the blue rings round
. . . the smoke.
We are here near there thirty shapes, thirty shadows for a
. . . star.

–From Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . our days of sacrifice have arrived; they shine, radiant. . .” (‘Abd Al-Raheem Mahmoud)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [JERUSALEM]
Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes in the Anata village in northeastern the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, on Tuesday evening.    ___Local witnesses told Ma’an that a large number of Israeli forces stormed the village escorting staff members from the Jerusalem Municipality and several bulldozers, and surrounded the neighborhood in which the two homes are located. [. . . .] . . .both of the demolished homes were built long before the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.  [. . . .] More . . .
IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  BEGIN  DEMOLITION  CAMPAIGN  IN  AL-WALAJA  [between  Jerusalem and Bethlehem]    More . . .
ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  189  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [Bethlehem]   More . . .

ISRAELI  HIGH  COURT  RULES  TO  DEMOLISH  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  COMMUNITY        The Israeli High Court gave on Wednesday the green light to the Israeli military to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem, paving the way for removing it, displacing its 180 residents and replacing it by a Jewish settlement.    ___According to Walid Assaf, head of the anti-wall, anti-settlement commission in the Palestinian Authority, the court gave the army one week to remove the village and said that its residents will not be allowed to return to it and live there again.   More . . .

US  AMBASSADOR:  JERUSALEM  MADE  ISRAEL’S  CAPITAL  ‘UNDER  GOD’S  DIRECTION’  3,000  YEARS  AGO
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has praised President Donald Trump’s administration for putting US-Israeli relations on “more solid [ground] than ever before”, reported the Jerusalem Post.   ___Speaking at a pre-Rosh Hashanah reception in his Herzliya residence, Friedman singled out for praise the US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.   ___“Now, the United States did not make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. That was done by King David some 3,000 years ago under God’s direction,” Friedman declared.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  IDEOLOGY  LEADS  TO  DESTRUCTION:  HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
Home demolitions that target the Arab population of East Jerusalem is an issue that deserves attention and further exposure, as it is often overlooked in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and ignored by the international community. While several key organizations within Israel are working hard to expose the unjust policies behind many of the demolitions of Arab homes, there is very little that civil society is actually able to achieve. In fact, driven by an ideological motive, the Israeli authorities have developed strategies to preserve the Jewish population’s demographic and geographic advantage over the Palestinians, thus protecting the interests and stability of the Jewish state. There is much to consider when analyzing this topic: the motivations and mechanisms used by the Israeli authorities to carry out home demolitions, the effects of such policies on the Palestinian population and the international community’s response.
Dimova, Nicoletta. “When Ideology Leads to Destruction: Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 15, no. 3, Sept. 2008, pp. 92-98.  (NOTE: this article is not yet available online but may be accessed through any EBSCO database.)

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  PRESENTS  THE  JERUSALEM  CONFERENCE,  HOUSTON,  TX    Featuring Rev. Jim Winkler, President of National Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon of Churches for Middle East Peace, Sojourners’ Founder and President Jim Wallis, and Bright Stars of Bethlehem President, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.  As part of the Room for Hope festival, The Jerusalem Conference is a one-day conference on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 that brings together scholars, ecumenical theologians, and peace-doers around the topic    Register . . .

PLAYGROUNDS  FOR  PALESTINE  ANNUAL  GALA          SATURDAY,  SEPTEMBER  22,  2018  |  5PM  –  9PM  | Bodek  Lounge  |  Houston  Hall  |  University  of  Pennsylvania  |  PHILADELPHIA      Tickets  .  .  .

“CALL  OF  THE  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
The slain motherland called for our struggle
and my heart leapt with joy.
I raced the winds, but did not boast.
Isn’t it my simple duty to redeem my country?
I carried my soul in my hands asking
any who feared death: do you hesitate
before the enemy?
Would you sit still when your country begs for your help?
Would you back away from facing the enemy?
If so, then go hide in your mother’s bedroom!
May your hesitation humiliate you!
The motherland needs mighty defenders
who meet aggression
but never complain;
true lions on the battlefield.

People of my country, our days of sacrifice have arrived;
they shine, radiant, across the hills of this holy land.
Redeemed by our young men too proud
to endure oppression,
what can we do but fight bravely
when the fire’s kindled?
March on, to the field! Pour fire
on the heads of the enemy everywhere.
Nothing’s humbler that a people who shun the fight
when their country calls for it.

Neighbors, brethren, arise from your sleep!
How can you sleep through this oppression?
Never stop even if the sky should grow dark.
Never retreat even if the sandstorms flare up behind you!
Don’t give up even if the world should face you
with weapons from every direction
unite, unite everywhere!
If Palestine should be lost while you still live,
I’ll say: our people have
abandoned the path.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye. From 
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  1992.