“. . .Do you sanction what’s being done In your names?. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

Selected News of the Day

Al-Malki: All countries can make a further contribution to peace

WAFA
September 20, 2019
Riyad Al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, said [in New York] that each country in the United Nations can make a further contribution to peace by supporting the Palestinian inalienable rights, including to self-determination.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Addressing the Security Council at its session on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, al-Malki said the world countries may contribute to peace not recognizing the illegal actions undertaken by Israel, by not rendering aid or assistance to illegal settlement activities, and by distinguishing between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙  He said, “Impunity is the greatest obstacle to peace as it allows the occupying power to reap benefits from its occupation instead of facing consequences, incentivizing illegal actions instead of ensuring compliance with the law. A state that feels it is above the law will be tempted to continue acting as an outlaw state.”   More . . . .

  • UN: Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and vandalism of property on the rise
    WAFA
    September 21, 2019
    Israeli settlers carried out eight attacks in the first two weeks of September that resulted in two Palestinian injuries and damage to property, amid preparations for the olive harvest season, bringing the total settler-related incidents so far this year to 233, including 52 that resulted in injuries to Palestinians, according to the latest report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory. In 2018, total settler-related incidents amounted to 280.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙  The report said in three separate incidents, settlers believed to be from Yitzhar settlement and its surrounding outposts raided the nearby villages of Madama, ‘Einabus and ‘Asira al Qibliya . . . .
    According to the report, so far this year, over 4,870 olive trees have been vandalized by settlers . . . .
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In addition to settler vandalism of Palestinian property, the Israeli authorities demolished a total of 23 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued permits, displacing 29 people, said OCHA in its report, bringing the total of demolished homes so far this year to 393, out of which 244 were in Area C and 148 in occupied Jerusalem and total of displace people 487, of whom 219 were in Jerusalem.  More . . . .
  • Settlers attack farmers near Ramallah, injure one
    WAFA
    September 20, 2019
    At least one farmer was injured today as Israeli settlers attacked several Palestinian farmers working in a farm near the village of Beitin, northeast of Ramallah in the West Bank, local sources said.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Abu Samra, a local activist, told WAFA that about 25 Jewish settlers protected by an Israeli army force broke into the farm, physically assaulted some of the farmers and injured one of them in the head.  More . . . .

Israeli Court Approves Use Of Palestinian Bodies As Bargaining Chips

Days of Palestine
September 20, 2019
A Palestinian family in the Jerusalem-area village of al-Eizariya has been unable to bury their 14-year-old son, who was killed by Israeli police last month . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israel is holding the remains of more than a dozen Palestinians recently killed during alleged and actual attacks on occupation forces and civilians.  ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This month, following a petition by several families whose relatives’ remains are being held by Israel, the country’s highest court rubber-stamped its approval of the policy. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The court ruled that Israel’s military has “the legal right to hold on to the bodies of slain terrorists  as leverage in future negotiations with Palestinians,” The Times of Israel reported. More . . . .

  • Palestinians preparing for their day in court against Israel
    Al Monitor – Palestine Pulse
    Ahmad Abu Amer
    September 20, 2019
    The Palestinian leadership moved on several fronts this month to implement its threats to redefine and limit relations with Israel. The PLO took steps toward taking Israel to court on a number of commerce- and labor-related issues and amending the Paris Economic Protocol, the agreement governing the economic relationship between the Palestinians and Israelis. The Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israel of violating the provisions of their arrangement.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In March, Palestinian President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had made the decision to resort to international arbitration against Israel. A source at the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Finance who requested anonymity told Al-Monitor that at the weekly ministerial meeting on Sept. 2, the government had asked Finance Minister Shukri Bishara to prepare cases to submit to the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The following day, Bishara announced that the leadership would ask the court to rule on 11 commercial and financial issues involving Israel and inquire separately into amending the Paris agreement. The file is expected to be officially presented to the court at the end of September.   More . . . .

Commentary

The end of the Netanyahu era doesn’t mean the end of the occupation

+972 Magazine
Haggai Matar |
September 18, 2019
As election results started pouring in Tuesday night, one could hear a sigh of relief – and even some cries of joy – among Israelis who identify with the center-left . . . . The Netanyahu era is coming to an end . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The occupation, however, is not going anywhere. Israeli military control over the day-to-day lives of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, the siege on Gaza, and the structural discrimination against hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in East Jerusalem are all here to stay. None of these three aforementioned groups were allowed to vote for the government that decides their fate.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

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. Available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . I was raised under an olive tree . . .” (Fouzi El-Azmar)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 August – 04 September 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
September 5, 2019
Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 1 Civilian killed and 93 others injured, including 33 children, a woman, 2 journalists, and a paramedic.
West Bank: 4 civilians injured, including a child and a human rights defender.
During 85 incursions into the West Bank: 91 civilians, including 8 children and 2 women, arrested
A Palestinian forced to self-demolish his house in the occupied East Jerusalem, while an under-construction mosque, a well and 2 agricultural rooms demolished in eastern Hebron.  Details . . . .

  • NGO: World’s worst tragic figures recorded in Gaza
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 5, 2019
    The blockaded Gaza Strip has marked the highest tragic humanitarian figures in the world, a humanitarian aid NGO said Thursday, Anadolu Agency reported. The Istanbul-based Gaza Aid Association held a conference dedicated to the Gaza Strip, and released its annual report on the humanitarian situation in the enclave.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The situation in the strip is “the worst over the years of siege,” said Abdul Majed al-Aloul, general manager of the association. It recorded tragic humanitarian figures that were “the highest in the world in the fields of unemployment with 52%, poverty 53% and water pollution 95% and the daily power outage rate that reached 75%,” he said.  More . . . .  
  • IOF Closes Main Road To West Bank Village Of Kifl Haris
    Days of Palestine
    September 5, 2019
    The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday morning closed the main entrance to Kifl Haris village, west of Salfit in the West Bank. According to local sources, the IOF closed off the main road to the town with the  swing barrier, which it had been placed last year in the area.  More . . . .   
  • Settlers Storm Madama Village, Attack Citizens
    Days Of Palestine – Nablus
    September 5, 2019
    Dozens of Palestinian citizens suffered from their exposure to tear gas in Madama village, south of Nablus, during clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Chief of the village Ihab al-Qut said that a horde of Jewish settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar in Nablus stormed the southern area of the village and clashed with local youths in the presence of soldiers who fired volleys of tear gas grenades.  More . . . .  
  • Video: Going to school under Israeli occupation
    The Electronic Intifada
    September 5, 2019
    Omar Hajajleh is a local school bus driver in the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja. Al-Walaja lies between the city of Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In 2015, Israel built its separation wall directly through Hajajleh’s land, cutting off his family home from the rest of the village. . .  Hajajleh found himself uniquely positioned to take local children to school as only he has access to the valley leading to it.   More . . . .

OPINION

How much are Palestinians paying for ‘peace’ with Israel?

Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse
By Entsar Abu Jahal
September 6, 2019
As he was delivering another $10 million to the Gaza Strip recently, Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi said Hamas and Israel have no interest in war and prefer peace and calm. He told Reuters that if citizens feel economically comfortable, they will no longer be haunted by the “ghost of war.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Emadi made these statements Aug. 24 after dropping off Qatari funds to Gaza. The money will be distributed to 100,000 poor families, with each receiving $100. This gift was just the most recent; Qatar has provided more than $1 billion in cash and relief projects to the Gaza Strip in recent years. For example, in October 2018, Qatar offered urgent humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip worth $150 million.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ But some Palestinians worry that all this money is a payoff in exchange for peace instead of protests as they seek to return to their homes in what is now Israel.  More . . . .

Why [US] ‘Moderates’ Don’t Have A Clue What To Do About Israel’s Settlements

Days of Palestine
September 6, 2019
Earlier this month, the High Planning Committee (HPC) of the Israeli Civil Administration authorised the construction of 2,304 new settlement units, just days after the approval of another 6,000 units in the occupied West Bank. These alarming developments are nothing if not predictable to those following recent events in the region, and the sordid course of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”. With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledging during Israel’s April General Election campaign to annex settlements; US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman giving an approving nod to such a move; the US defunding of UNRWA and unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; and with Senior US Advisor Jared Kushner declining to speak of a “two state solution”, the stage is almost set for the worst-case scenario. The inexorable march towards annexation is winding down to its last few strides.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In principle, liberals and centrists tend to oppose annexation, as it would sound the death knell for the two-state solution that they’ve always maintained optimistically is just around the corner. However, despite these developments, “moderates” in the US Democratic Party (and even some “progressives”) have rallied around a bipartisan resolution decrying the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement . . .   More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Abe Books.

“Do you remember your panic . . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

After setting fire to olive fields in West Bank village, Israeli settlers return to chop down trees

WAFA
September 5, 2019
Extremist Israeli settlers last night chopped down Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burin village, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, only days after they set fire to other trees in the same fields, reported Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He told WAFA that a number of settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar sneaked into the land in the village during the night and started to cut down the trees.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He pointed out that the settlers were riding motorcycles in the area, part of which has been seized by the settlers and planted with grape vines.  More . . . .

Switzerland should not bow to Israeli pressure to prevent war criminals’ prosecution, Euro-Med says

WAFA
September 5, 2019
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) today called on the Swiss federal parliament not to bow to Israeli pressure to suspend the Swiss criminal legislation authorizing the country’s courts to prosecute Israeli politicians and military figures involved in war crimes against Palestinians.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Euro-Med said in a statement that it views with a great concern the Israeli delegation’s visit to Switzerland, headed by Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz and accompanied by a legal team to pressure the authorities to suspend a criminal legislation allowing bringing lawsuits against Israeli commanders and soldiers involved in violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Switzerland was one of the first countries to include in its domestic legislation legal provisions allowing for the prosecution of major crimes perpetrators if they were not tried by the International Criminal Court.    More . . . .

MSF [Doctors without Borders]: Over 1,000 patients in Gaza suffering from ‘severe infections’ from gunshot wounds sustained in Great March of Return

Mondoweiss
Yumna Patel
September 4, 2019
In the year since the Great March of Return began, thousands of Palestinians, mostly young men, from the Gaza Strip have suffered life changing injuries at the hands of Israeli forces.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Now, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which has been treating hundreds of Gazans wounded during protests, says it is “dealing with immense challenges” when treating patients who were shot by the army.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙According to a new report released by MSF, more than 1,000 Palestinians who were shot by the Israeli army over the past year have developed  “severe bone infections” that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. More . . . .

The case of Mohammad El Halabi and the rabbit hole of Israeli “justice”

The Electronic Intifada
Amjad Ayman Yaghi
September 3, 2019
It’s been three years and there have been 119 court appearances. He has been separated from his family and lost his freedom. It’s been three years and there have been 119 court appearances. He has been separated from his family and lost his freedom . . . .   Mohammad El Halabi languishes in an Israeli prison, charged but not convicted, a Kafkaesque nightmare of the kind in which Israel – with its administrative detentions and separate laws for separate peoples – has become expert.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad was arrested on 15 June 2016 at the Erez checkpoint. He had been having meetings in Jerusalem at the offices of World Vision, a UK-headquartered global Christian charity for which he had worked some 10 years and whose Gaza program he had led since 2014.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israel accused Mohammad of channeling World Vision money to Hamas, the movement that won the 2006 parliamentary elections and faced down a Fatah insurrection in Gaza the year after to leave it in charge of the occupied Gaza Strip. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ World Vision undertook a “forensic audit” of its spending in Gaza, and came up with nothing. In a February 2017 statement, the charity said its review had “not generated any concerns about diversion of World Vision resources”. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Australian government undertook its own investigation and concurred. In April 2017, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) found no evidence to back up the Israeli charges. More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

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

“. . . they bring panic and terror they are utterly not-to-be-trusted . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

A Palestinian woman stands next to a house sprayed with graffiti reading in Hebrew: "revenge" and "hello from the prisoners of Zion", in the village of Beitillu, near Ramallah
A Palestinian woman stands next to a house sprayed with graffiti reading in Hebrew: “revenge” and “hello from the prisoners of Zion” in the village of Beitillu on December 22, 2015. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

(“So you dehumanise them and once you dehumanise a group of people there is no turning back. You dehumanise them just so you can say “no” at a checkpoint. But the next time you’re in a situation where you have to push them, it’ll be easy enough for you to push them. And then, when you have to shoot them, it’ll be easy enough for you to shoot them. After a few months, you lose all touch with humanity.”)

❶ ‘It’s okay to be racist in Israel’ (Interview with Sahar Vardi)
❷ Israeli settlers block off Nablus-area road

Background: “West Bank Settlers’ Terrorizing of Palestinians to Deter Israeli Government Law Enforcement.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian Lands Set Ablaze, Contaminated with Sewage by Extremist Yitzhar Settlers
❸ Undercover Israeli soldiers shoot dead Palestinian in Hebron
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Army Injures Two Palestinians Near Ramallah, Abducts One Near Jenin
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ‘IT’S  OKAY  TO  BE  RACIST  IN  ISRAEL’  (INTERVIEW  WITH  SAHAR  VARDI)    
Al Jazeera English  
Zena al-Tahhan
June 29, 2017.  Occupied East Jerusalem – This year, Israel’s 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories entered its 51st year.
___In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Israeli army is responsible for controlling the lives of more than three million Palestinians through hundreds of checkpoints, raids of villages and homes, trial of civilians in military courts, demolition of homes, suppression of protests, and the killing and injuring of civilians, to name a few.
___To sustain the occupation industry, Israel makes it mandatory by law for Israeli citizens . . . to enter the military at 18 . . .
___Yet, there are Israeli citizens who refuse to serve in the military for several reasons, including opposition to the army’s policies in the Palestinian territories it occupies.
___Sahar Vardi, 27, is one of such refusers . . .   MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  BLOCK  OFF  NABLUS-AREA  ROAD  
Ma’an News Agency 
June 29, 2017.   Hundreds of Israeli settlers reportedly blocked a road in the northern occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian media reported.
___According to official Palestinian news agency Wafa, between 500 and 600 Israelis escorted by Israeli army and police forces gathered on the main road linking the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Ramallah near the Zaatara military checkpoint in the Nablus district early on Thursday, blocking traffic in the area.
[. . . .]  While details about the incident remained unclear, the Zaatara checkpoint is located near at least half a dozen Israeli settlements, built in contravention of international law.
___One of these settlements, Yitzhar, is particularly known for its extremist residents who are notorious for carrying out attacks against Palestinians, as well as Israeli forces.   MORE . . .

vol40_issue3_2007
Zaatara checkpoint with separate lanes for settlers (left lane, yellow-plated cars) and non-Jews. (Photo by Anna Baltzer)

(Note: While this article was written six years ago, it reports the history of settler violence, and its discussion of the “gradual scale of escalation” has occurred.)

Nir, Ori. “WEST  BANK  SETTLERS’  TERRORIZING  OF  PALESTINIANS  TO  DETER  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT  LAW  ENFORCEMENT.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, vol. 44, no. 1/2, June 2011, pp. 277-289.
[. . . .] “Price Tag”. . .  is a set of violent tactics employed by national-religious Israeli settlers in the West Bank to deter Israeli law enforcement authorities from removing illegally-built structures from West Bank settlements. The tactics employed include attacks on Palestinians and their property, as well as attacks on Israeli military and police officers . . . . their ultimate goal is to deter Israeli leaders from implementing a possible future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that entails removing Israeli settlements from the West Bank.
___. . . a strategy that started as a reaction to a sense of powerlessness and ineptness morphed from an unpopular form of high-profile, anti-government resistance into a popular—and very effective—low-intensity anti-Palestinian terrorism campaign.
[. . . .] The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the West Bank has documented a total of 1,451 settlers’ attacks on Palestinians and their property since January 2006: physical attacks on Palestinians, attacks on vehicles, houses, schools and mosques, uprooting of trees, torching of fields, and more . . .
[. . . .] There are several reasons for Price Tag’s being a form of low-intensity terrorism:  Maintaining a high level of Israeli popular support: Extreme violence might alienate the Israeli public. . . .    Avoiding accountability: Israel’s “Judea and Samaria” police district, responsible for law enforcement in the settlements, is understaffed and under-equipped. . .  Most Price Tag incidents do not end up with indictments. . . .    Allowing room for escalation: Cumulative deterrence, the impact that the settlers are hoping to achieve through their Price Tag campaign, is best accomplished on a gradual scale of escalation.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) PALESTINIAN  LANDS  SET  ABLAZE,  CONTAMINATED  WITH  SEWAGE  BY  EXTREMIST  YITZHAR  SETTLERS   
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
June 29, 2017.   Israeli settlers reportedly started a fire near the Palestinian village of Burin. in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, on Wednesday afternoon.
___According to an Israeli army spokesperson, suspects coming from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar approached Burin on Wednesday afternoon, igniting a fire on lands near the village before fleeing the scene.
___The spokesperson added, according to Ma’an News Agency, that while the fire was extinguished by Israeli forces, no detentions were carried out at the scene, and the case was transferred to Israeli police.   MORE . . . 
❸ UNDERCOVER  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SHOOT  DEAD  PALESTINIAN  IN  HEBRON      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
June 29, 2017.   Undercover Israeli soldiers from the special units shot and killed late Wednesday a Palestinian in Hebron, according to Palestinian medical sources.
___Medics at Alia Hospital in Hebron said Iyad Gheith, 22, was shot dead in the upper part of the body.
___While Palestinians did not have any more details, Israeli reports said the unit was searching for weapons in Hebron when it came under fire.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ARMY  INJURES  TWO  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  RAMALLAH,  ABDUCTS  ONE  NEAR  JENIN 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 29, 2017.   Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier Thursday, the village of Bil’in, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and clashed with local youths, wounding two with rubber-coated steel bullets, and causing dozens of residents to suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation. The soldiers also abducted a Palestinian man near Jenin.
__Abdullah Abu Rahma, the media coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Bil’in, said the soldiers fired many gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets.   MORE . . .

“ENEMY,”   BY   YOUSEF   AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like snakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014)
Available from Barnes & Noble