“. . . I’d rather a grapevine be planted (in my name) . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Jakarta, 14 Jul 2014, demonstration in support of Gazans. (Photo: Rifat Iqbal @rifat00009)
Jakarta, 14 Jul. 2014, demonstration in support of Gazans. (Photo: Rifat Iqbal @rifat00009)

❶ Palestinian companies protest Israeli decision to ban their products
❷ What’s behind Israel’s call for ‘economic peace’?
❸ PLO’s Ashrawi meets with US officials in DC visit
❹ Israel is holding sixteen Palestinian journalists behind bars
❺ Opinion/Analysis: SEND  THEM  TO  GAZA,  ISRAEL’S  PENAL  COLONY
. . . . . ❺― (ᴀ) Israel denies entry to Indonesia’s foreign minister visiting Palestine
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIAN  COMPANIES  PROTEST  ISRAELI  DECISION  TO  BAN  THEIR  PRODUCTS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 13, 2016
Israeli troops used tear gas to suppress a march held by five Palestinian food production companies on Sunday near the Israeli Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank.
___The companies protested by parking their trucks near the prison, after Israeli authorities banned their products from entering Jerusalem and Israel. . . .
___Israel informed the companies on Wednesday that their products were banned from entering Jerusalem through the Beitunia commercial crossing.      MORE . . . 
WHAT’S  BEHIND  ISRAEL’S  CALL  FOR  ‘ECONOMIC  PEACE’?
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
Uri Savir
6 Mar. 2015
Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the Israeli military chief of staff, gave the Israeli Cabinet a periodic security briefing Feb. 21. According to press reports, Eizenkot expressed concern over the deteriorating political situation within the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the continuation, for six months by now, of almost daily terror attacks by individual Palestinians. He recommended to the Cabinet that the economic situation in the West Bank be ameliorated, primarily by allowing a greater number of Palestinians to work in Israel.      MORE . . .  
PLO’S  ASHRAWI  MEETS  WITH  US  OFFICIALS  IN  DC  VISIT
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 12, 2016
Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi conducted a series of meetings this week in Washington, D.C., to discuss the latest political developments in the occupied Palestinian territory and the escalation of Israeli violations of international law, a PLO press release said on Saturday.
___In a meeting with US officials working on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ashrawi called for the United States to support an initiative to organize an international peace conference launched by the French foreign ministry in January.
___She provided a briefing on the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip . . . .     MORE . . . 
ISRAEL  IS  HOLDING  SIXTEEN  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALISTS  BEHIND  BARS
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
12 Mar. 2016
Sixteen Palestinian journalists are currently being detained by the Israeli occupation authorities, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club has revealed.
___In a statement to Anadolu, the organisation said that the Israelis arrested Farouq Aliyat, the director of Palestine Today TV . . .  The correspondent of Al-Fajr Al-Jadid TV, Sami Al-Sa’e, was arrested. . . .
___ According to the prisoners’ group, nine journalists are serving prison terms inside Israel, three are being held without charge or trial under administrative detention and four, including Aliyat, are still being detained on remand.      MORE . . .  

Palestinians in Gaza read books as they stage a demonstration called 'Gaza reads' against Israeli violations in West Bank and Jerusalem, on 3 March, 2016 (Photo: Middle East Eye―AA).
Palestinians in Gaza read books as they stage a demonstration called ‘Gaza reads’ against Israeli violations in West Bank and Jerusalem, on 3 March, 2016 (Photo: Middle East Eye―AA).

OPINION/ANALYSIS:  SEND  THEM  TO  GAZA,  ISRAEL’S  PENAL  COLONY
MIDDLE EAST EYE
Gideon Levy
8 Mar. 2016
By deporting Palestinians to Gaza, Israel would officially be admitting, for the first time, that the besieged Strip is a prison, the largest in the world.
___An hour’s drive from Tel Aviv: a ghetto. Possibly the largest ghetto in the world, with about two million people. The latest figures from Gisha, Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement (an Israeli NGO): Gaza unemployment is at 43 percent; 70 percent of Gazans need humanitarian assistance; 57 percent live in the shadow of food insecurity.      MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❺― (ᴀ) ISRAEL  DENIES  ENTRY  TO  INDONESIA’S  FOREIGN  MINISTER  VISITING  PALESTINE
THE NEW ARAB
13 Mar. 2016
The Israeli authorities have denied entry to Indonesia’s foreign minister, who was scheduled to visit the occupied Palestinian territories. . . .
___”The Israeli occupation authorities prevented today morning the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia Ms. Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi and her delegation from entering Palestinian territories,” said a statement by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Sunday.
___The Indonesian official was set to make an official visit to Ramallah . . . .
___ Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian struggle for nationhood and has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel.      MORE . . .

“HE WHISPERED BEFORE HE TOOK HIS FINAL BREATHS,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
Don’t honor me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm.

Don’t glorify me by giving my name
to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
(in my name)
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honor!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name.

Tell my mother―
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy.

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Amazon
Samih Al-Qasim
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“. . . a land watered with the blood of the murdered . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

park-canada-sign-Tania
Park Canada donor recognition sight [sic]. (Photo: Tania Susskind.)
❶ PA criticizes Israeli bill calling to ban Muslim call to prayer
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Palestinian rights group warns of ‘real escalation’ of situation in Israeli prisons
. . . . . ❶―(ᴃ) More than 7,700 Palestinians inside Israeli jails
❷ Israeli troops raid orphan aid center in Beit Ummar
❸ Indonesian FM: Stop Israeli oppression of Palestine
❹ IOF kidnap 19 Palestinians including 6 children, West Bank & Jerusalem
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  IS  MARTIN  LUTHER  KING’S  NAME  DOING  IN  THE  RUINS  OF  A  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGE?
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PA  CRITICIZES  ISRAELI  BILL  CALLING  TO  BAN  MUSLIM  CALL  TO  PRAYER
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
7 Mar. 2016
The Palestinian Authority (PA) yesterday criticized an Israeli bill calling to ban the Muslim call to prayer, Quds Press reported.
___The information ministry considered the bill, which was discussed yesterday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, a “violation of all borders, aggression on the sanctity of God’s houses, harming Muslims’ feelings and violation of the simplest of religious freedoms.”      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) PALESTINIAN  RIGHTS  GROUP  WARNS  OF  ‘REAL  ESCALATION’  OF  SITUATION  IN  ISRAELI  PRISONS
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
7 Mar. 2016
The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has warned that the state of tension in various Israeli prisons is likely to significantly escalate as a result of violations against prisoners.
___The group said in a statement released on Sunday that prisoners belonging to Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine had been on hunger strike for one day to protest sanctions imposed on them and as a “warning step”.     MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―(B)  MORE  THAN  7,700  PALESTINIANS  INSIDE  ISRAELI  JAILS
DAYS OF PALESTINE
Mar 6, 2016
More than 7,700 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israeli occupation authorities, Military Court Watch (MCW) reported on Sunday.
___According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 January 2016, there were 7,766 Palestinians, from the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
___MCW said that 423 Palestinian children are included in this number.      MORE . . .
ISRAELI  TROOPS  RAID  ORPHAN  AID  CENTER  IN  BEIT  UMMAR
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
7 Mar. 2016
Dozens of Palestinians suffered from severe tear gas inhalation on Monday after Israeli troops raided an aid organization serving orphans in the southern occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar, seizing equipment and assaulting staff.
___Activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that “Israeli troops seized files from the institution, three computer devices, and stormed the institution before they tied up the guard, Kareem Ikhalyel, in a room.”      MORE . . .

minaret
The Dome of the Rock and the minaret of the Women’s Mosque at sunset, East Jerusalem (Photo: Stefano Baldini)

INDONESIAN  FM:  STOP  ISRAELI  OPPRESSION  OF  PALESTINE
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
7 Mar. 2016
The Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi has called for halting Israeli oppression of Palestine and its people on Sunday before the fifth extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Palestine in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
___“Israel’s intransigence towards Palestine and Jerusalem continues along with its occupation of the Palestinian territories which is illegal. Your support will lay the foundations for stability and peace in Palestine,” Marsudi said.     MORE . . .
IOF  KIDNAP  19  PALESTINIANS  INCLUDING  6  CHILDREN,  WEST  BANK  &  JERUSALEM
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday morning have kidnapped 19 Palestinians, six of them children under the age of 15.
___The Palestinian prisoners’ club stated that IOF kidnapped five Palestinians from the East Jerusalem area, four of them aged between 13-15 years.     MORE . . . 
Opinion/Analysis
WHAT  IS  MARTIN  LUTHER  KING’S  NAME  DOING  IN  THE  RUINS  OF  A  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGE?
+972 MAGAZINE
Umar Al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz)
6 Mar. 2016
Martin Luther King’s name appears on the donors wall of Ayalon Canada Park in the Latrun area, which Israel conquered in 1967 before it carried out an ethnic cleansing of the area. The site of the donors wall includes many stone panels on walls that were erected on the ruins of the Palestinian village Imwas, which Israel flattened in 1967. Imwas is identified with Roman-Byzantine town Emmaus-Nicopolis.      MORE . . .

(Blogger’s Note: This poem was written around the time of the 1967 War when Israel conquered the territories of Palestine that were not included in the 1948 “Partition.” It is an imaginary conversation between the poet and a black sailor from America “a ship of the Dollar”. The poet’s words are italicized and the sailor’s in quotes. The similarities of their situations in 1967 are obvious. The similarities have again become obvious with the racist and pro-Israel rhetoric of the US Presidential campaign.)

“IN  ENEMY  LINES,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Yesterday, he stopped me in the street, asked about a bar
Where he could pass the evening.
He was a black sailor,
A deck-hand in a ship of the Dollar,
We talked, and I liked him
Would you like a drink, friend?
At a secluded table in the noisy café
My friend drank heedlessly
This black man wanted to forget
Why? From what depths does this man spring?
Tell me of your life in America the free,
Of the white man’s school, of his church, and his hotel
Speak to me of the fluorescent signs:
no dogs, Jews, or Negros allowed!

“Oh, leave me alone for Satan’s sake
Is there a woman around? Before dawn
We’ll be sailing and leaving this port!”

Very well! Tell me of the black fire
Have you heard of a hunted lion?
Of the forests becoming ashes in the night
Of a field planted with martyrs
Of a people grown in a land
Watered with the blood of the murdered
Of a sun born pregnant with bread, dreams, and freedom?
Have you heard of Africa?

“I hear, I hear, the rolls of the Simbas’ drums
I see a black beauty
Writhing like an angry fire
In a dance of bloodied love.”
Very well! Speak to me of Cuba.
What do you know of a people that are
No longer a crucified Christ.
“Cuba? If I had a guitar tonight
If I sing a song
A curtain would move and reveal
A sensuous body in the window.
Waitress!
Damn you, my glass is empty.
And my senses are still clear, and the entertainer
What silenced his tunes?”

Yesterday he stopped me in the street
Searching for a bar
This morning the news told of
A white American who died,
As his lips quivered with a cry:
Down with the words
Written in blood, in anguish,
Down with the shame of man
Raised by the Fascists waving mud-stained banners
Those words that say:
No dogs, Jews, or Negroes allowed. 

About Samih Al-Qasim
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.
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