“. . . being caught―between the ugliest and the finest . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

IMG_3198 - Copy
(Illegal Israeli Gush Etzion Settlement above
Tent of Nations near Nahalin Village, Bethlehem Governate.
Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

ARAB  JOINT  LIST  DEMANDS  EU  TO  CONDEMN  ISRAEL  FOR  ‘NATIONALITY  LAW’     
Arab members of the Israeli Knesset, of the Joint Arab List, demanded that the European Union should condemn Israel as a result of approving the controversial “Nationality Law.”   ___A number of Arab MK’s will be leaving to Brussels . . .   ___MK Jamal Zahalka, leader of the Balad political party, said “We are going to Brussels to ask Europe remain faithful to its principles regarding the rights of minorities and human rights . . . They have declared war on us and on our rights through the Nationality Law. We have the right to defend ourselves by using the international community as well.”   More . . .

PALESTINIAN  FOREIGN  MINISTRY  CALLS  FOR  COOPERATION  TO  DOCUMENT  SETTLER  VIOLATIONS
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called for holding a meeting soon with all official and non-official institutions to protect the rights of Palestinian citizens against Israeli settler violations.    ___It aims to speed up the registration and documentation of each violation to file a lawsuit against Israel as an occupying power . . .   ___“It is no longer sufficient to issue statements condemning these violations because they are not deterring the occupation authorities from stopping their repressive and arbitrary measures,” the ministry said in a statement.    More . . .
Related . . . Extremist  Settlers  Assaulted  Four  Palestinians  In  Nablus    

IOF  KIDNAPS  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  CAMPAIGNS
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday arrested 10 Palestinian citizens in raid campaigns launched in the West Bank and Jerusalem.   ___Israeli occupation army said in a statement Monday morning that six of the detained Palestinians are involved in popular resistance attacks against Israeli targets.   ___The statement noted that the IOF soldiers were able to seize a weapon in a Palestinian house in Tulkarem and confiscate thousands of shekels in Qalqilya that are used to fund resistance operations.   More . . .
Related . . . 6 Gaza  Fishermen  Arrested  By  Israeli  Navy  At  Nightfall
Related . . . IOFF  Kidnapped  Two  Youths  From  Badou  Village,  Occupied  Jerusalem
Related . . . Injuries  And  Arrests,  And  Demolishing  A  Commercial  Establishment  In  Silwan

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

‘IF  UNRWA  LEAVES,  WE  WON’T  SURVIVE’  —  REFUGEES  BRACE  FOR  HARD  TIMES  AS  US  ENDS  AID   
Yumna Patel 
On Saturday morning [Sept. 1], millions of Palestinian refugees woke up to the news that UNRWA . . .   was one step closer to the brink of collapse.      . . . 5 million Palestinian refugees — the descendants of those who were forcibly expelled from their homes when Israel was created in 1948 — [. . . .] Nagham Al-Jaf, 43, originally from Iraqi Kurdistan, has lived in Aida camp for the better part of 25 years. Her husband is the child of refugees from the Jerusalem-area village of Deir Aban.    [. . . .] “If UNRWA leaves its hands from the camp, and from the schools, we won’t be able to survive, not at all,” al-Jaf said.   More . . .

TOP  ACADEMICS  AND  SCIENTISTS  OPPOSE  CONFERENCE  IN  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT
[. . . .] In an open letter published in the Guardian this weekend, 15 of the world’s top academics and science professionals wrote that holding a three-day science convention [at Ariel University] in West Bank would be an outright violation of international law.    ___”We are writing to express our view that Ariel University in the occupied West Bank is the wrong venue for a conference on cosmology and particle physics . . . .    Human Rights Watch has noted that Ariel’s ‘development is inseparable from a history of continuous dispossession of Palestinians from their land and restrictions on their freedom of movement.’”   More . . .

AMERICAN  MUSICIAN  SHLOHMO  CANCELS  ISRAEL  CONCERT   
American electronic musician Shlohmo took it to social media to announce that he will not be going to Israel to participate in the Meteor Festival, citing Israel’s human rights atrocities as a reason.     [. . . .] “Sorry to the fans I’m letting down and to the festival staff but supporting the oppressed thru my absence is more important to me especially after the government’s recent human rights atrocities,” he wrote.   ___“I had said no to playing there for years and the only reason I could find to say yes was if I were to donate my fee to Gaza relief. But after much dialogue I found it to be a more important statement to say no all together . . . .    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

AMERICAN  NEAR  EAST  REFUGEE  AID  (ANERA)
2018 50th Anniversary Dinner: Where Hope Finds A Way
Come take a journey through five decades of ANERA’s work in Palestine and Lebanon. Together, we’ll also lay the foundation for delivering future impactful programs and building better lives so hope finds its way.   More . . .

“THE  UGLIEST  OF  WORDS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
Foreigner?
The fiercest of French traits:
Etrangé?*
The cruelest of German blows:
Ausländer?*
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
Oivim.*
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
Kuffar.*
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What?
What should I do?
–Trans. by Nazih Kassis

 *Etrangé: Stranger
*Ausländer: 
Outlander/Foreigner
*Oivim: 
Enemies
*Kuffar: 
Infidels

From Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.) 

 

“. . . concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

They relate noble narratives about Israeli nationalist victory, valor, and self-defense. They ground such moments of supposed “liberation” in a grand teleology in which the end is the redemption of the Jewish people in their land . . .  Jewish settlers today carve violent inroads . . .  in their quest to resurrect the City of King David. (Thomas Abowd)

IMG_3198
Gush Etzion settlement towering over the Palestinian Nassar Family Farm near Bethlehem. The Nassars have owned the farm for 100 years. It is an educational center, the Tent of Nations (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ Israel: State of denial

Background: Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Wasfi Kabaha’s Arrest Silencing ‘voice of resistance’ in the West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) NGO coalition slams Israel over Judaization of Jerusalem curricula
❸ Lieberman: Our government is the best for settlement enterprise
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) West Bank witnesses unprecedented expansion in settlement building
❹ Whose “Ethnic Cleansing?” Israel’s Appropriation of the Palestinian Narrative
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL:  STATE  OF  DENIAL
+972 Blog
June 10, 2017          Military occupation is a rare phenomenon in today’s world. A half-century-long occupation, like Israel’s control of Palestinian territories captured in 1967, is even rarer. Grappling seriously with its dynamics and consequences is made even more difficult by the fact that in the past half century, Israel has constructed not only settlements but also a three-story denial palace. Israel is now an official residence of occupation denialism. The most compelling demonstration of the grotesque nature of this denial palace is that each of its floors is located in a different imaginary time zone.   MORE . . .

  • The following is from the same article as yesterday’s post. This passage presents Abowd’s second major argument.

Abowd, Thomas.”RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ‘ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE’.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
THE  WEAPONIZATION  OF  MYTH:  Efforts to appropriate Palestinian land and resources for exclusive Jewish use continue. But consistent with other colonial states, these practices have interacted dialectically with concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history. A range of mythical assertions, often deploying essentialist notions of peoples and places, have been projected to justify acts of dispossession. In the case of Israel, the Bible and the supposed celestial designs for lands and peoples it supposedly prescribes have been integral to Israeli conquest. These ideological ploys resemble what I refer to as the “weaponization of myth” and, as Barthes (1957) writes, it is myth that “evaporates history”. For Israel, the task of evaporating Palestinian pasts in Palestine has been a hefty one but a necessary one.   SOURCE . . .   

 ❷ WASFI  KABAHA’S  ARREST  SILENCING  ‘VOICE OF RESISTANCE’  IN  THE  WEST  BANK 
The Palestinian Information Center    
June 14, 2017   Wasfi Kabaha was talking to his friends and followers on social media when the Israeli occupation forces knocked at his house by the dawn of Monday, 12 June 2017 to inform him of his arrest, while his followers on Facebook were still busy discussing the issues raised by him. After a while, some commented that Kabaha was arrested a while ago, as part of an ongoing Israeli attempt to silence the voice of resistance in the West Bank.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) NGO  COALITION  SLAMS  ISRAEL  OVER  JUDAIZATION  OF  JERUSALEM  CURRICULA
The Palestinian Information Center 
May 31, 2017   The Jerusalemite Non-Governmental Coalition condemned Israel’s approval of a five-year plan to Judaize academic curricula at Palestinian schools across Occupied Jerusalem.
___Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin submitted a plan to force schools in Occupied Jerusalem to teach an Israeli curriculum as opposed to the Palestinian school curriculum.
___The aim is to improve the quality of life and the environment for Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and to strengthen the integration of east Jerusalem residents into Israeli society and economy, thus boosting the economic and social resilience of the city, claimed Bennett.   MORE . . .
❸ LIEBERMAN:  OUR  GOVERNMENT  IS  THE  BEST  FOR  SETTLEMENT  ENTERPRISE
Palestine News Network – PNN   
June 11, 2017   The right wing Israeli Minister of Army, Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday announced that 3,651 settlement units in the West Bank were approved last week, adding that the number of units slated for construction is at its highest since 1992.     ___Lieberman added  says number of settler homes approved for construction within the the first half 2017 are at their highest since 1992.     [. . . .] “There isn’t and there hasn’t been a better government to take care of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samara and to develop it,” he said.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) WEST  BANK  WITNESSES  UNPRECEDENTED  EXPANSION  IN  SETTLEMENT  BUILDING    
Palestine Information Center      
June 17, 2017   The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement said on Saturday that the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has witnessed since the beginning of 2017 an unprecedented settlement building . . .
___The Office explained in its weekly report that Lieberman stated that the number of permits issued for the settlement construction in the West Bank during the first half of 2017 is the highest since 1992.   MORE . . .
❹ WHOSE  “ETHNIC CLEANSING?”  ISRAEL’S  APPROPRIATION  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  NARRATIVE 
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Dina Matar
March 26, 2017   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently claimed in a video posted on his Facebook page that the Palestinian demand to dismantle illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) constitutes an act of “ethnic cleansing” against Israeli Jewish settlers. The term . . .  has also been used by many scholars as well as in public discourse to refer to Zionist practices against the Palestinian population in the lead-up to and during the Nakba of 1948. These practices include the destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of approximately 730,000 Palestinians from their homes.   MORE . . .

‘IDENTITY   CARD,”   BY   MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Record!
I am an Arab
And my identity card is number fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth is coming after a summer
Will you be angry?

Record!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks.
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Record!
I am an Arab
without a name – without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots –
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew
My father –
descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather –
was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
And my house –
is like a watchman’s hut
made of branches and cane
This is my status
Does it satisfy you?
I have a name but no title!

Record!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards
of my ancestors
And the land
which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left us with those rocks
So will the State take them
as it has been said?

Therefore!
Record on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware –
Beware –
Of my hunger
And my anger
–– Trans. Naseer Aururi
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 Kurt Gippert Bookseller.
About Mahmoud Darwish
RELATED . . .

“. . . this purgatory Of sorrow In the Holy Land. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

1-DEMOLITION
Palestinian homes demolished in Beit Sahour by Israeli Occupation Forces, January 31, 2006. (Photo: The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem)

❶ Israeli Military Vows Collective Punishment against Bethlehem Village
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Collective Punishment [Geneva Conventions]
❷ Netanyahu, Lieberman discuss death penalty for Palestinian prisoners
❸ Nakba without end: Memories of shattered Palestinian communities in Syria
❹ Hundreds of academics call for boycott of genocide conference in Israel
❺ Opinion/Analysis: SOWING  STEADFASTNESS,  HARVESTING  HOPE
❻ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  MILITARY  VOWS  COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  AGAINST  BETHLEHEM  VILLAGE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 23, 2016
The Israeli military last night threatened to consider collective punishments against the Palestinian residents of al-Khader, a village located south of Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Witnesses told WAFA that Israeli troops distributed sheets warning the entire village about potential collective punishments, IN CASE LOCAL YOUTHS CONTINUE TO ATTACK WITH STONES ISRAELI VEHICLES passing outside the village.      MORE . . .  
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  [GENEVA  CONVENTIONS]
Crimes of War
Daoud Kuttab
For 14 years, George Qumsieh [built a home] in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour. . . . [In February 1981] Israeli soldiers arrived at the home [near Bethlehem] to arrest their youngest son, Walid, age 15. The army accused Walid of having thrown stones . . . .
___The following day . . .  Members of an Israeli engineering brigade placed the explosives and blew up the Qumsieh stone house. . . .
___Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishments are a war crime.
MORE . . .
RELATED (UN REPORT OF QUMSIEH INCIDENT)  

❷ NETANYAHU,  LIEBERMAN  DISCUSS  DEATH  PENALTY  FOR  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS
Middle East Monitor
May 23, 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of Yisrael Beitenu Avigdor Lieberman are nearing a deal to execute Palestinians involved in fighting the occupation, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported yesterday.
___Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that Israelis who carry out deadly attacks against Palestinians would not be subject to this law because the law would only be enforced by military trials, settlers and Israeli nationals are tried in civil courts.
___If this happened, tens of Palestinians could be sentenced to death. . . .     MORE . . .
BACKGROUND . . .   

❸ NAKBA  WITHOUT  END:  MEMORIES  OF  SHATTERED  PALESTINIAN COMMUNITIES  IN  SYRIA
Middle East Eye
Tom Rollins
May 17, 2016
On 15 May 2011, thousands of Palestinian refugees from Syria are marching towards Syria’s long, quiet border with Israel. Even though the protests are not as big as the organisers promised, it is both a symbolic and physical statement [. . . .]
___Palestinian-Syrian displacement, memory and loss is not history, it is happening right now. In recent weeks and months, Yarmouk camp, the beating-heart of the Palestinian-Syrian diaspora, has seen some of its fiercest clashes . . . .      MORE . . .

❹ HUNDREDS  OF  ACADEMICS  CALL  FOR  BOYCOTT  OF  GENOCIDE  CONFERENCE  IN  ISRAEL
Palestine News Network
May 23, 2016
In a letter to the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS), 270 academics from 19 countries have called for the cancellation of the 5th Global Conference on Genocide taking place on 26-29 June at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
___The letter sent to the organizers of the conference on the 3rd of May points at the hypocrisy of having the conference in Israel at a time when Israel’s actions are “increasingly being viewed through lenses of ethnic cleansing and genocide linked to settler colonialism”. The signatories call on scholars and professionals to boycott the conference should it go ahead.      MORE . . .

daoud nassar
Daoud Nassar stands near a lone fig tree, the only tree remaining standing after Israeli authorities bulldozed his family’s grove of some 1,500 fruit trees near the West Bank village of Nahalin, June 3, 2014. (Photo: Activetills.org)

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  SOWING  STEADFASTNESS,  HARVESTING  HOPE
The Electronic Intifada
Claire Thomas
May 19, 2016
The view from Daoud Nassar’s farm southwest of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank is very different from what it was when he was a child.
___Pointing to the five Israeli settlements that surround the farm, he asked, “People come from outside and they can build houses and here I’m not allowed to build one house.”
___Daoud’s family has farmed and lived on their 100 acres of land ever since his grandfather purchased it a hundred years ago this month. The Nassars marked the centennial with a week of celebrations.      MORE . . . 

“PSALMS OF THE PALESTINIANS,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

From here
From this purgatory
Of sorrow
In the Holy Land
The orphaned birds beseech
Mankind
From here
From Jenin
From Old Jerusalem
Alleluia.

Once
A Gaza tune of yearning
Played
Once
The sad refrain
Kindled tragedy
In refugee tents
Once
In Jerusalem
The little ones chanted
We shall return
We shall return
Alleluia.

The birds nest on our roof
The sparrow flies
In the horizon
And in exile
Under the hot sun
In the wind
Hearts―eyes
Implored:
God of glory
Return us
Our trial
Has gone on too long!
Alleluia―Alleluia

And then it happened
The metallic eagles swept down
They did not bring the sons of Zion
To Zion
Not the remaining crowds
They did not bring
Pious psalms
To the wailing wall
God of Glory!
What did they bring?
Do not ask me
For in my voice a pagan flame
Burns
And listen O God of Glory
Listen to the outcry of a dispossessed people
We have been tested long enough
We have carried the weight of centuries
Long enough
―Why aren’t you convinced?―
Our days of trial have been too long
So
Return us―Return us
Alleluia―Alleluia―Alleluia.

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.
Interview with
Samih al-Qasim (August 20, 2014)

“. . . How has this village become a whore?. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

tulkarem
Israeli forces maintained a complete closure Thursday of the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 10, 2015)

❶ Tulkarem completely sealed as Israeli forces search for gunman
❷ US nonprofits ‘donate over $220 million’ to West Bank settlements
❸ ‘I am a mother amongst hundreds, we are all worried about our children’: The systemic incarceration of Palestinian children
❹ Soldiers Kill a Palestinian in Hebron
❺ Opinion/Analysis: TRUMP  IS  NO  MORE  RACIST  THAN  MAINSTREAM  ISRAELI  POLICY
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
TULKAREM  COMPLETELY  SEALED  AS  ISRAELI  FORCES  SEARCH  FOR  GUNMAN
Dec. 10, 2015
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces maintained a complete closure Thursday of the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem in the search for a gunman who injured a former member of a Jewish terror group and his wife, locals said.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces on Wednesday night raided Tulkarem and surrounding areas directly after the shooting, closing entrances leading into the city with cement blocks.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
US  NONPROFITS  ‘DONATE  OVER  $220  MILLION’  TO  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS
Dec. 9, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Over $220 million has been given in tax-exempted US funds to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank over the last five years, according to an investigative report by Israeli news site Haaretz this week.
___Haaretz published the findings after analyzing thousands of documents from filed taxes as well as official papers from dozens of US and Israeli nonprofit organizations, several of which were directly involved with raising money to support settlements.
[. . . . ]
Through its designation of such organizations as nonprofits, the daily said, the US government is “incentivizing and indirectly supporting the Israeli settlement movement.”
More . . .
MONDOWEISS
‘I  AM  A  MOTHER  AMONGST  HUNDREDS,  WE  ARE  ALL  WORRIED  ABOUT  OUR  CHILDREN’:  THE  SYSTEMIC  INCARCERATION  OF  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
Reem Abd Ulhamid
Dec. 9, 2015
Palestinian children’s rights of survival, protection, education, health and development have been dramatically violated by Israel since the first Intifada. Palestinian children stand defenseless against Israeli policies that target them as potential “terrorists” and continue to justify and legalize a system in which child imprisonment and persecution is enforced under the umbrella of defeating “terrorism”.
___For Israel, throwing stones is a serious security offense, and one of the most common accusations leading to the arrest of Palestinian children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The number of arrested Palestinian children has been escalating for the past two months.
More . . .

IMG_3241 - Copy
Members of SABEEL JERUSALEM WITNESS VISIT near barricade and IDF surveillance tower American contributor to Israeli settlements, Brooklyn-based nonprofit Hebron Fund, transferred $5.7 million to the illegal Jewish settlement in Hebron between 2009 and 2014. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS  KILL  A  PALESTINIAN  IN  HEBRON
Dec. 09, 2015
Israeli soldiers killed, Wednesday, a young Palestinian man in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after an alleged stabbing attack targeting an Israeli soldier and a settler. The slain Palestinian’s cousin was killed, near the Ibrahimi Mosque, Monday.
___Medical sources said the Palestinian has been identified as Yosri Zakariyya Miswada, 21; he was shot in the Shuhada Street, in Hebron city.
[. . . . ]
___It is worth mentioning that, ON MONDAY, ISRAELI SOLDIERS KILLED YOSRI’S COUSIN, Ehab Fathi Miswada, near the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron.
More . . .
Related . . . Hebron: Another Palestinian Killed Under Stabbing Pretext
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
TRUMP  IS  NO  MORE  RACIST  THAN  MAINSTREAM  ISRAELI  POLICY
Mairav Zonszein
Dec. 9, 2015
Israeli politicians are joining the global pushback against Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim racism. But guess what other country bans Muslim immigration?
More . . .

“PSALM  OF  ISAIAH’S  GRANDCHILDREN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

We are Isaiah’s grandchildren
calling out to him now,
calling out to his kind face,
our dreams trembling, behind crimson tears!
We are Isaiah’s grandchildren―
and we call to him now―crying in anger:
Isaiah who has slept for ages!
How has this village become a whore?
Its silver has been debased.
They’ve treated it with disdain,
mixing the wine of its people with water.
Why don’t you tell them of the widows’ claims?
O Isaiah of the struggle―
Hallelujah!
The messengers of peace here weep
for the bitterness and the malice,
after the pretenders to right,
the enemies of culture,
severed the heads of the peaceful!
O sad Isaiah!
Rise up now, and cry through a village
that’s falling upon the slope of peril:
“May God show you the error of your ways!
Why, after seventy years, have you resorted to trade
with merchants from every kingdom?
Rise now and cry out through Tel Aviv:
“A thousand woes on those
who do not seek the Lord. And go to Egypt
bearing the wooden boards
of the Orient’s cross!”
O beloved Isaiah!
That revelation comes from Tayma,*
From the lands of the Arabs: People!
Bring out the water to the refugees,
provide the long-hungry with bread,
bandage the wounds of those who have fled,
escaping the edge of the sword.
O brave Isaiah!
Rise up now so that
Palestine’s children will be able to play
without fearing the vipers’ fangs,
so two lambs might feel safe
in the lions’ jungle.
Hallelujah!
Then justice will reign among the nations
without the annihilation of right,
without silencing any tongue.
O Isaiah of the struggle!
The swords will be turned into plowshares
and the people’s spears be molded
into scythes, and then―
no nation will raise a sword to fight!
Little people know not war,
nor what bloodshed is.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God of glory!
Our fight has been long,
and we were slaughtered and slaughtered in turn,
and have she our blood for ages.
God of glory!
We were tried for long, and rested. . .
Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah!

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

IMG_3195
The Palestinian village (left) near the Tent of Nations, surrounded by 5 illegal Israeli/Jewish settlements. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015) http://www.tentofnations.org/

 

“. . . Prison did not turn him into a desert . . .” (Ahmad Dahbur, 1982)

IMG_3198

Israel’s War of Construction. Illegal (by international law) Jewish settlement surrounding the TENT OF NATIONS – White building, center of photo. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

❶ Soldiers Kidnap Eight Palestinians in the West Bank
❷ PCHR Weekly Report: 9 Palestinians Killed, 112 Wounded By Israeli Soldiers & Settlers this Week
❸ Statistics – Palestinian ‘security’ prisoners [children] in Israeli detention
❹ Analysis: ISRAEL’S  WAR  OF  CONSTRUCTION
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  GHETTTOIZATION  OF  ISRAEL’S  ‘MIXED  CITIES’
❻ Poetry by Ahmad Dahbur
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  EIGHT  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
Dec. 06, 2015
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Sunday at dawn and on Saturday evening, eight Palestinians in Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.
___On Sunday at dawn, dozens of soldiers invaded Kafr Dan village, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, searched several homes and kidnapped two Palestinians identified as Maher Tahseen ‘Aabed, 39, and Mohammad Mustafa ‘Aabed, 29.
___The army invaded their homes after smashing the front doors, and ransacked the properties causing excessive damage.
More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  12  PALESTINIANS  ACROSS  THE  WEST BANK
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
PCHR  WEEKLY  REPORT:  9  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  112  WOUNDED  BY  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  &  SETTLERS  THIS  WEEK
Dec. 06, 2015
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 26 Nov. – 02 Dec. 2015, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. 9 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and a young woman, were killed in the West Bank. One of them was killed by Israeli settlers.
More . . .
MILITARY COURT WATCH (MONITORING THE TREATMENT OF CHILDREN IN DETENTION)
STATISTICS –  PALESTINIAN  ‘SECURITY’  PRISONERS  IN  ISRAELI  DETENTION
[. . . . ]
The above figures relate only to individuals classified by the IPS as “security prisoners”. An additional number of Palestinians from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza are held in IPS detention as “criminal prisoners”. Criminal offences include entering Israel without a permit, frequently in the search for work. The approximate number of Palestinians held as “criminal prisoners” amounts to an additional 40 percent (adults) and 15 percent (children) on top of the numbers held as “security prisoners”.
More . . .
Related . . . (IN  PICTURES)  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  ARRESTS  400  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN

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The ghettoization of the “Mixed City.” Apartheid Wall surrounding Shufat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
ISRAEL’S  WAR  OF  CONSTRUCTION
By: Ariel Sophia Bardi
November 2015
The documentary-propaganda film Homecoming was released just one year after the events of the Nakba, during which anywhere from 400 to 600 Palestinian villages were destroyed by Israeli forces. “On the home front, it’s a war of construction. A quiet war,” intones the 1949 film, made by the United Israel Appeal to drum up foreign financial contributions to the fledgling state.
[. . . . ]
After the violent demolitions of 1947–1948, a quieter war took place across the country, with a rush of new developments literally cementing the transformation of Palestine into the new Jewish state. Israel’s so-called “war of construction” came with better amenities –
[. . . . ]
Much like Israel’s earliest compounds, today’s settlements in the West Bank continue to lay siege on Palestinian lands, maintaining a state of persistent conflict. Built atop the peaks of the hilly terrain, these surveillance fortresses visually dominate the valleys. They mime the practices of early Zionist expansion, making today’s settlers heirs to the state’s early builders.
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
THE  GHETTTOIZATION  OF  ISRAEL’S ‘ MIXED  CITIES’
Daniel Monterescu
Dec. 5, 2015
In the aftermath of Jaffa’s conquest in 1948, Moshe Erem, director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Minority Affairs and Tel-Aviv City Council member, wrote to minister of minority affairs Bechor Shalom-Shitrit:

. . . . a barbed wire that will separate the Arab neighborhood and the Jewish housing projects. This arrangement will immediately give ‘Ajami the form of a ghetto, closed and segregated. It is hard to come to terms with such a notion, which invokes associations of horror.’ (IDF Archives, August 11, 1948, 1860/1950-1)

[. . . . ]
The term “mixed towns” [‘arim me’oravot in Hebrew and mudum mukhtalata in Arabic] can be deceiving. From its early days, the State of Israel labored over the separation of the Jewish and Arab populations, seeking to group the latter in confined urban spaces.
More . . . 

“THE  PRISON,”  BY  AHMAD  DAHBUR  (Ahmed  Dahbour)
(To Abu Faris. . . who has been there)

Prison teaches that the heart is a desert,
That light is a desert.
It curses the fire and the land of the commandos.
Prison teaches that water is a chameleon,
That the landscape is a snake,
That echo is treacherous, and the wind an enemy.
Prison teaches that the guide’s sight grows dim,
And that the homeland departs.
Prison is a black kingdom in the sand;
Prison is a sword guarding the eyelids;
Prison . . . not the homeland!
So how, my beloved homeland, will the beloved ones survive?

Here we are, no complaints and no regrets,
We never say: an aimless wandering!
Blood gushes forth from the depths of our love.
Prison assaults but does not hit the mark;
Our wounds hit back,
Reaching out like water . . . like the wilderness,
Promising the light with a new light.
From deep within us, signaling twice!
Our cub child,
And the fire of salvation.
We see it, yes we do.
We are not dreaming,
We almost step into his joyous landscape
We almost do.
This is the moment of travail in our difficult labor,
We hug the newborn―
He who springs from our very ecstasy,
Whose kicks we feel in our guts,
Who teaches the hungry what he knows
And declares in words well understood:
Revolution, revolution . . . till life.

The inmate has not lost his features in the sand,
Prison did not turn him into a desert.
From his hunger, water and vegetation sprang.
When silence wounds him,
He can break it with a sigh,
But he endures.
His testimony:
Near death, there were exhaustion and fatigue,
His executioner pressing him to promise
A word . . . a groan, or to divulge his secret,
But all in vain.
His countenance was radiating in the sand
Like an oasis,
For prison had not turned him into a desert.

About Ahmad Dahbur. And here.
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY.  Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store. 

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The open-air prison of Palestine. Apartheid Wall along highway between Bethlehem and Beit Jala. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 8, 2015)

 

“The olive trees are dying of embarrassment. . . “ (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

Tent of Nations
Tent of Nations


(Please see
Palestine InSight for background of this posting. More importantly, please see Tent of Nations website!)

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015 11:01 PM, Ann Hafften wrote on behalf of the The North Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area of the ELCA:

Dear friends,
I am sorry to report that the Daoud Nassar events in Denton, Fort Worth and Dallas have been cancelled. It is necessary for Mr. Nassar to be on hand at the family farm right now and in the days to come. Bill Plitt, Executive Director of Friends of Tent of Nations North America, writes:

“As you know, the Nassar family has been fighting in the Israeli courts since 1991 to retain their ownership of the family’s land which was originally purchased and registered in 1916. The local authorities in the Gush Etzion Settlement area, in which the Tent of Nations is located, are now requiring the land be re-registered for the fourth time, and have placed new requirements on the family to provide additional evidence in their application. The deadline for doing so is April 21st.

“Continually shortened times allowed for response to these requirements are making it more difficult for Daoud to be away from the land, and the family is fearful that some kind of unforeseen action will be taken against the land, and think this is more likely if he is out of the country.

“As you know, life under the occupation is not only oppressive, but unpredictable for Palestinians. The rules often change on the spur of the moment. It’s amazing how resilient the Palestinian people have been under such circumstances. We hope you will continue to lift up the Nassar family and all Palestinians in your prayer and action.”

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to another opportunity to hear the witness of Tent of Nations in the NT-NL mission.
Easter blessings of joy!
Ann Hafften
Weatherford, Texas
tol-boys_photo

____________
“Holy Landers,” by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.

Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead,
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. Attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: “In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets”, edited by Robert Bonazzi, “Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry”, edited by Hayan Charara, and “Between Heaven and Texas”, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2010/06/demolishing-peace-in-palestine-tent-by-tent/
http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2010/06/demolishing-peace-in-palestine-tent-by-tent/

“. . . there’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

The Wall and Olive Trees near Bethlehem
The Wall and Olive Trees near Bethlehem

TWO SPEAKERS AND A POET

Thursday, April 16, 7:00 P.M.
DR. ROBERT ASHMORE, JR.
Northaven United Methodist Church
11211 Preston Road, Dallas

Sunday, April 19, 10:30 A.M.
DR. ROBERT ASHMORE, JR.
Dallas Hall
Southern Methodist University

Sunday, April 19, 6:30 P.M.
DAOUD NASSER
Trinity Lutheran Church
3621 Tulsa Way, Fort Worth

Tuesday April 21, 7:00 P.M.
DAOUD NASSER
Bethany Lutheran Church, Nelson Hall
10101 Walnut Hill, Dallas

DAOUD NASSER WILL SHARE THE MESSAGE OF TENT OF NATIONS.
daoud-nassar_72dpi

Mr. Nasser is from Bethlehem and a member of Christmas Lutheran Church there. He is a leader in the Tent of Nations organization

Tent of Nations seeks to prepare young people in Palestine to make positive contributions to their society through the values of understanding and peaceful coexistence. The organic farm where the education and work camps take place is under threat of confiscation by the Israeli military. It is about 33 miles southwest of Bethlehem.

The Nassar family land is located in the fertile hill country 9 KM southwest of Bethlehem in the West Bank, in an area totally controlled by Israel per the Oslo Agreement of 1993.
In fulfillment of his father’s dream to establish an institute for the building of peace and coexistence on the family land, Daoud Nassar, grandson of Daher Nassar who purchased the land in 1916, established The Tent of Nations. Tent of Nations has established projects to develop and protect the land and to make the land a center for people from different countries to come together and build bridges of trust and hope.

In May 2014, the Israeli military bulldozed 1,500 productive fruit trees growing on the Nasser farm. Daoud Nasser will explain the challenges facing his family’s farming efforts from the military and surrounding Israeli settlements. (More. . . )

Daoud Nasser’s presentation is part of the NT-NL Mission’s participation in the ELCA strategy: Peace Not Walls: Stand for Justice in the Holy Land.

DR. ROBERT ASHMORE, JR., WILL SPEAK ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS AND ETHICS OF THE PALESTINIAN/ISRAELI SITUATION.
robert ashmore-001
Dr. Ashmore is professor emeritus of philosophy and former director of the center for ethics studies at Marquette University He serves on the national advisory board of Middle East Policy Council, and is a member of both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

He is a native of Dallas.

As director of Marquette’s Center for Ethics Studies, Ashmore received two successive grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Active since 1982 on human rights issues relating to the Middle East conflicts, Ashmore has made many trips the West Bank and Gaza, and Israel. He serves on the national advisory board of Middle East Policy Council, and is a member of both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Dr. Ashmore also serves on the boards of the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University, and the Wisconsin Chapter of American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).

Dr. Ashmore’s publications include a chapter titled “State Terrorism and Its Sponsors” in Philosophical Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, edited by Tomis Kapitan (M.E. Sharpe, 1997); “Israel and South Africa: A Natural Alliance,” The Link, Oct. 1988, Vo. 21, No. 4; “The Crusades Then and Now,” The Link, July 2002, Vo. 35, No. 3; “Palestinian Universities Under Israeli Occupation—A Human Rights Analysis,” American Arab Affairs, Spring 1986, No. 16; “Nonviolence as an Intifada Strategy,” American Arab Affairs, Spring 1990, No. 32.

Dr. Ashmore’s presentations are sponsored by
Northaven United Methodist Church 2015 Speaker Series: Faith Voices on Justice
The Dallas Area Christian Progressive Alliance
Embrey Human Rights Program Southern Methodist University

“JERUSALEM,” BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.
The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

naomi_shihab_nyeNaomi Shihab Nye was born on March 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Palestinian father and an American mother. During her high school years, she lived in Ramallah in Palestine, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received her BA in English and world religions from Trinity University.

Nye is the author of numerous books of poems, including Transfer (BOA Editions, 2011); You and Yours (BOA Editions, 2005), which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award; 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (Greenwillow Books, 2002), a collection of new and selected poems about the Middle East; Fuel (BOA Editions, 1998); Red Suitcase (BOA Editions, 1994); and Hugging the Jukebox (Far Corner Books, 1982).