“. . . Does a shiver pass through the houses?. . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

The Palestinian village of Biram, Israel, 29.12.2012
Ruins of the Palestinian village of Biram, today declared as a national park open to the Israeli public, December 29, 2012. Residents of the village were forced out by the Israeli army in 1949. (Photo: Oren Ziv ActiveStills, Aug. 15, 2014)

❶ Israel Demolishes Two Homes in Jerusalem
❷ Journeys ‘Home’ – Internally displaced Palestinians and the Nakba villages
❸ First Onslaught on Beit Daras Village – An Eyewitness Account
❹ Nakba Day attests to the power of our grandparents’ stories
❺ Opinion/Analysis: EVERYTHING  ISRAEL  DOES  IS  PART  OF  A  PLAN,  NOT  A  FORCED  ‘RESPONSE’  TO  ‘TERRORISM’
❻ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra (with a few words of analysis)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  TWO  HOMES  IN  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 17, 2016
Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished two Palestinian-owned homes in Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood in Jerusalem, under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to local sources.
___The sources said that Israeli troops accompanied by heavy machinery broke into Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood in the early morning, before they proceeded to demolish the two homes.      MORE . . .

JOURNEYS  ‘HOME’ – INTERNALLY  DISPLACED  PALESTINIANS  AND  THE  NAKBA 
VILLAGES
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
May 15, 2016
With yet another Nakba Day now upon us, another twelve months has passed in which many more Palestinian refugees have passed away without realising their inalienable rights. . . . time has finally caught up with them. Most of them may never even have seen the village which they know, or knew, was ‘home’.
___There are also however a tiny minority within the approximately 8 million displaced Palestinians for whom regular ‘visits’ to their places of origin, and in some cases even their original houses, has become part of their lives in exile.      MORE . . .

 

wadi
Palestinians hurl stones during clashes with Israeli police in East Jerusalem’s WADI AL-JOUZ neighborhood (Photo credit:REUTERS)

❸ FIRST  ONSLAUGHT  ON  BEIT  DARAS  VILLAGE – AN  EYEWITNESS  ACCOUNT
Palestine Chronicle
Ahmad Al-Haaj – Gaza
May 14 2016
This extract is part of a book titled Palestine 1948/1949: Willful Savage Displacement: A Personal Experience
___Two days later, during the evening, a foreign Jewish Settler force from Bir tibia attacked, without any provocation, the village of Beit Daras, presumably to commit a savage massacre which would imitiate that carried out in Deir Yassin.
___Contrary to the people of the Deir Yasin village the inhabitants of this village and neighboring villages anticipated such an attack. They were defended themselves ardently.
MORE . . .  

 

❹ NAKBA  DAY  ATTESTS  TO  THE  POWER  OF  OUR  GRANDPARENTS’  STORIES
+972 Magazine Blog
Amjad Iraqi
May 16, 2016
My maternal grandfather was born in 1929. Although Alzheimer’s disease eroded his memory during the later years of his life, he had a surprising knack for recalling his experiences growing up in Haifa under the British mandate of Palestine. . . .
___ Like all Palestinians of his generation, my grandfather lost that world in 1948 [. . . .]
___Nakba Day is therefore not just about mourning the pain of 1948. It is about celebrating the power passed on to us by our grandparents, whose stories helped to revive a society when their homeland was almost nothing but a memory.       MORE . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis: EVERYTHING  ISRAEL  DOES  IS  PART  OF  A  PLAN,  NOT  A  FORCED  ‘RESPONSE’  TO  ‘TERRORISM’
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Ibrahim Hewitt
May 15, 2016
On the 68th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe), when the Zionist State of Israel was created on Palestinian land, it is worth reflecting on the propaganda that the world has been fed ever since. Arguably the most pervasive is the perennial claim that Israel only ever “responds” to Palestinian “terrorism” every time it sends its tanks, jets and drones over the border into the Gaza Strip, or its troops into the West Bank and East Jerusalem to destroy Palestinian homes and lives.
___Let’s put aside for one moment the fact that the Palestinians have a legal right – some would say obligation – to resist Israel’s brutal military occupation of their land with all means at their disposal. Their legitimate resistance is neither “terrorism” nor mindless violence; it is focused and with a clear purpose in mind: the liberation of Palestine.
MORE . . .    

“THE  CITY,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM J ABRA

III.
I heard the street whimper itself to sleep,
I saw the houses pile bones
upon bones;
I saw their inhabitants, hunted by dreams
raise their empty hands and cry:
‘If only the storms would cease to rage!’
Would storms not lift the shadow
and rid them of ghosts
that the sap might flow from their roots
and fill the branches with buds and flowers?
I have often mocked the shadows and danced
seen the fog encircle the sun at noon
and sung and danced anew.
I’ve often sat in a sidewalk café
looking at moving lips
which mark the events of nothing.
Though I know the face hides a spirit
which may at any time break into passion
I see only faces constrained
like the sea on a pale, meandering afternoon.
This one coughs and that one says:
Let me smoke another cigarette
to kill time.
Or would anyone else like to converse
about his spirit, that house of shadows,
the house of the sun, that wavers
between the longing called lust, and the longing called hunger and unrest?
They say to me: Get along,
clear the road!
We have glorious
cities to build
from clay that crumbles
from inflamed eyes
and feet that split.
A hundred died yesterday,
a hundred will die today
and tomorrow, another hundred
to build alleys from the muscles of eyes and the skin of feet.
Beyond the roads are sky-wide valleys
and the wind-strewn flowers
of thousands of trees.
But they warn me:
there are only dark roads in the valleys;
and the trees, aren’t they clouded
like our houses and all within?
The breath of noon is a dusty gale
that sweeps the leaves of colour.

Is nothing left to me but the scream
in the circle of a night
I wounded,
and each blind lantern
has wounded . . . .
Will I sink in our well and perish
if every day lips fall on my body
like hammers
and skulls lurk under my bread?
―Does a shiver pass through the houses?
In the pursuit of sleep the city cries
and moans.
― (Spring, 1958)

Parts I and IV
Part II  

About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

From: WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.
Jabra’s poetry is as much about the social/moral situation of Palestinian cities as it is about their conflagration at the hands of the Israelis. He spoke to that duality in 1980 as “. . . a meaning akin to love and sacrifice, a meaning that has often been lost on the critics of new Arabic poetry, but not on the poets themselves. For them, love and sacrifice shall bring fertility to the land, though they may both come in lightning and thunder that rend the temple’s veil.” Quoted by Issa J. Boullata in Critical Perspectives on Modern Arabic Literature, 1980.

“. . . we leave a kiss for those who left with neither luggage nor papers for their passage. . .” (Abdel Rahim Al-Sheikh)

Ali Shaaban stands outside his home, which is under threat of demolition. (PHOTO J. COOK)
Ali Shaaban stands outside his home, which is under threat of demolition. (PHOTO J. COOK)

❶ from WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
CONFERENCE: THE ISRAEL LOBBY. IS IT GOOD FOR THE US? IS IT GOOD FOR ISRAEL?
Washington, DC – April 10, 2015 at the National Press Club

This unprecedented gathering will focus on the Israel lobby in America. How big is it? How fast has it grown? How interconnected are the organizations and individuals? How much revenue does it raise and where does the money go? What are the common objectives of the lobby? What laws apply to lobbying to benefit a foreign government and are they vigorously enforced? Do coordinated campaign contributions cause American policymakers to act more on behalf of Israel than the United States? What fallacies underlie the assertions that U.S. and Israeli interests are the same? What are the Israel lobby’s public and private, short-and-medium-term policy objectives? And what can Americans who do not believe pro-Israel slogans, activities and policy objectives do?
(More. . .)

❷ from WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
THE NAKBA CONTINUES: ONLY PALESTINIAN VILLAGE REMAINING IN CENTRAL ISRAEL THREATENED WITH DEMOLITION
By Jonathan Cook
May, 2015, pp. 14-15
According to Israel’s official records, the 600 inhabitants of Dahmash village live a single building—one that no longer exists. The villagers’ story may sound like the basis for a sinister fairy tale, but their plight is all too real.
_ For decades officials have refused to recognize the village’s 70 actual homes, trapped between the towns of Ramle and Lod, and only 20 minutes’ drive from Tel Aviv, Israel’s most vibrant city.
_ Arafat Ismail, the village’s leader, said that while industrial parks, shopping malls and estates of luxury villas had sprung up all around them, Dahmash’s residents had been treated like “illegal squatters.”
(More. . .)

❸ from +972
LIVING ALONGSIDE ONE OTHER ISN’T NECESSARILY COEXISTENCE
A mixed Jewish-Arab couple is discouraged from applying to live in what many look to as a model for coexistence in Israel-Palestine.
By Orna Akad (translated by Ofer Neiman)
April 9, 2015
No, this is not a new book which I have just published, nor is it a new play. This is my life with Fouad, which has given me a few minutes of fame.
_ The furor last summer over the marriage of Mahmoud and Morel led me to my virtual photo album, in order to publish a family photo. I wanted to show that it’s both possible and desirable to live differently. . .
(More. . .)

❹ from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
67 YEARS LATER, DEIR YASSIN STILL BLEEDING WOUND FOR PALESTINIANS
Ma’an News Agency
April 9, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinians on Thursday marked the 67th anniversary of the massacre of more than 100 Palestinian civilians by Zionist forces at the village of Deir Yassin.
_ “The Deir Yassin massacre was a turning point in the history of the people of Palestine, and it continues to serve as a necessary reminder of Israel’s ongoing policies of displacement, dispossession and dehumanization, and its willful erasure of the Palestinian narrative and human presence in historical Palestine,” senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.
(More. . . )

❺ from THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
STANDING FIRM AMID THE RUINS: BLIND BROTHERS FIGHT FOR JUSTICE IN JERUSALEM
By Dr. Bill Dienst
April 10, 2015
Wadi Joz neighbourhood (immediately Northeast of the Old City of Jerusalem) – Nureddin Amro and his brother Sharif Amro are humble men. Both were born with retinitis pigmentosa, a congenital (genetic) condition, which has left them blind since birth. They are both married, Nureddin has three young children, Sharif has four; all of the children are under 14. They all live with their 79 year old grandmother in a home just south of the main road which connects Hebrew University on Mount Scopus (Palestinian land which was confiscated by Israel in 1967) with West Jerusalem. This road is bisected diagonally by another road which connects the center of Wadi Joz to the upper Kidron Valley. For millennia, this has been the main road connecting the community of Wadi Joz, the Mount of Olives and other communities to the Northeast with the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Christian sites in the Old City and the Garden of Gesthamine. The Amro brothers live in the first house immediately on the southeast corner of this intersection. At 5:30 am on March 31, 2015, their home became ground zero in the latest efforts to Judaize the land
(More. . .)

“SINGLE ADDRESS FOR THE POST,” BY ABDEL RAHIM AL-SHEIKH

On my way to them, I pass Him by,
(as, on his way, God passes me by)
for as we go our separate ways
we see no one but those on high.

The beds are allotted before the violet dawn.
The back and endless night is spent alone
and then the cataclysm comes

that will seed them from the borders of Palestine
the Great Thorn.
They are the only roses that grow.

From where they stalk the edge of paradise
the first paradise.

From where the children use thorns
to draw maps of this paradise.

From this spot.

We raise in the sky a glorying arc
the first milestone to Mecca

and we leave a kiss for those who left
with neither luggage nor papers for their passage.

This is the way the journey will always be.
They leave their bags for the postman to deliver

He takes them from the hands
of those who follow

And those who follow leave their packages
as the first ones do.

It’s hard for the post to make it to paradise.
There is no address
neither here nor there.
—translated by Rachel McCrum

Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh is from Jerusalem. He teaches philosophy, history, and creative writing at Bir Zeit University and the Qattan Center in Ramallah, and is the author of many literary and academic books.

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

Nureed Amro and his son Mohammed in front of their destroyed home. (Bill Dienst, Palestine Chronicle)
Nureed Amro and his son Mohammed in front of their destroyed home. (Bill Dienst, Palestine Chronicle)