“. . . The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning . . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

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Israeli bulldozers enter Khan al-Ahmar in advance of demolition. (Photo: Al Jazeera, Oct. 16, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

 PALESTINE  CINEMA  DAYS  PROMOTES  RESILIENCE  THROUGH  CINEMA          This year’s Palestine Cinema Days is focused on promoting Palestinian films and stories in the face of increasing pressure on Palestine and its people wherever they may be.    ___From the United States moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to cutting financial funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Palestinians have greatly suffered for seven decades since the start of the Israeli occupation.    ___Palestine Cinema Days brings to the Palestinian audience important stories of suffering, resilience and the human condition shared by us all.    ___The festival will open on October 17th with the screening of The Tower at the Ramallah Cultural Palace, with more than 60 films from Palestinian, Arab and international filmmakers.    More . . .
. . . . Related  What  it  takes  to  organize  a  film  screening  in  Gaza
|   AGREEMENT  SIGNED  FOR  BUILDING  LARGEST  INDUSTRIAL  CITY  IN  WEST  BANK     The Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) and the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority, represented by the Minister of Economy Abeer Odeh, signed on Tuesday the concession agreement for the development and operation of a multi-sector industrial area in Tarqumiya, in the south of the West Bank, a PIF statement said on Wednesday.    ___The Tarqumiya industrial city project is expected to be the largest among industrial cities and is planned to utilize a total area of 1542 dunums of lands in Tarqumiya and Beit Olla in the Hebron Governorate,  the largest part of which is located in areas designated as Area C, that is under full Israeli control. Cost is also estimated at about $160 million.    More . . .
|   ICC  PROSECUTOR  WARNS:  DEMOLISHING  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  A  ‘WAR  CRIME
Prosecutor of the International  Criminal  Court  Fatou Bensouda issued a stern warning to Israel officials on Wednesday, saying she will not “hesitate to take any appropriate action” should they demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar and forcibly transfer its residents.     ___Bensouda’s warning comes as Israeli authorities ramp up their attempts to destroy the village and remove its residents, who have lived in Khan al-Ahmar for over 40 years.     ___The ICC prosecutor also expressed concern about the continued violence at the Gaza-Israel border, several hours after a rocket fired from the Strip struck a home in the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva. In response, the Israeli Air Force struck 20 targets it said belonged to Hamas.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Everything  you  need  to  know  about  Khan  al-Ahmar

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   THE  US  MAINSTREAM  MEDIA  IS  IGNORING  THE  ISRAEL-SAUDI  ARABIA  DE  FACTO  ALLIANCE      Over the past week or so, Saudi Arabia has gotten more U.S. mainstream media coverage than at any time in decades. But conspicuously missing has been any reporting on the kingdom’s growing friendship with Israel — a de facto alliance that may help explain why Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman thought he could get away with ordering the murder of the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.    ___Madawi Al-Rasheed is a Saudi Arabian woman professor, presently at King’s College London, who has written or edited more than 13 books on her home nation. Particularly valuable is her recently edited (2018) collection about the kingdom’s new leadership, entitled Salman’s Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia.     ___In that book, she is clear about the growing Saudi rapprochement with Israel. She writes that the Crown Prince “has continued to clandestinely cooperate with Israel on security and economic matters”. . .   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

|   International Solidarity Movement:  ISRAELI  AND  INTERNATIONAL  ACTIVISTS  JOIN  GAZAN  PROTESTERS  IN  THE  GREAT  RETURN  MARCH       On the morning of October 10, 2018, ten activists from around the world delivered messages of support to the Great March of Return in the Eastern Gaza Strip via Skype, as a part of a ‘virtual rally’ entitled “Words Over Walls.”     ___The speakers hailed from countries as diverse as the US, UK, Brazil, South Africa and Norway. They included authors Mike Peled, Denny Cormier, Robert Martin, Mike Farah, and Peter Cohen and International Solidarity Movement volunteer Kristin Foss. Participants expressed their solidarity with the Marchers, their tactics and their goals. Musician and composer Mike Farah then sang an original song about the Palestinian’s Right of Return.     ___“All people of conscience, all people who have a heart, regardless of nationality or religion, must stand with the brave people of Gaza and support their demand to be free and to return to their land and homes in Palestine. The siege on Gaza must be broken and the prison walls that surround Gaza must come down. Palestine must be free,” said author Mike Peled.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms—
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
Stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
――Translated by Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

――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 University of Washington Press.

“. . . No longer am I some firm-rooted tree . . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

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Residential street in Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter with homes taken by Israelis. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

| PALESTINE  FILES  LAWSUIT  AGAINST  US  AT  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COURT  OF  JUSTICE
The State of Palestine has filed a lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial body of the United Nations, for violating international law by moving its embassy in Israel to the occupied city of Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Saturday.     ___Malki added in a statement that the case was based on Palestine’s membership in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries, specifically the Optional Protocol concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes.     More . . .

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Commercial street in Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

| 7  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  2  CHILDREN,  KILLED  IN  GAZA  PROTESTS 
Seven Palestinians, including two children, were shot and killed by Israeli forces during protests across the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday afternoon.   ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 7 Palestinians were killed identifying them as 14-year-old boy Muhammad Nayif al-Hum . . . 12-year-old Nasser Azmi Musbeh, and Muhammad Ali Anshashi, 18, both shot and killed in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip . . .  Spokesperson of the ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that some 506 Palestinians were injured during protests, 90 of whom were injured with live bullets, including 3 critical cases.   ___Thirty-five children were among the injuries, in addition to four paramedics and three journalists.    More . . .
Related . . .   Gaza  is  the  Israeli  arms  industry’s  testing  ground
Related . . .   World  Bank:  Gaza  economy  in  ‘free  fall’
| MINISTERIAL  MEETING  ON  UNRWA  RAISES  REMARKABLE  US$122  MILLION
On 27 September, the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Sweden, Turkey, Japan and Germany, as well as the High Representative and Vice-President of the European Union, hosted a Ministerial Meeting in New York, with the aim of mobilising financial and political support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).   ___The Ministerial Meeting raised a remarkable US$122 million, with Kuwait, the European Union, Germany, Norway, France, Belgium and Ireland announcing additional funding commitments. This meeting represented a crucial step in the efforts to overcome the Agency’s remaining shortfall of US$186 million and sustain UNRWA operations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| WHAT  WAS  WRONG  WITH  BOTH  UN  SPEECHES?
Samia Khoury
On Thursday,  September 27, 2018, both the Palestinian President Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the United Nations  General Assembly.  ___Every time I listen to speeches like those, I keep hoping against hope that something new or fresh might come up to uplift our morale and truly give us reason to look forward to better days.  Of course it was necessary for president Abbas to draw the attention of the assembly that the USA has not been  an honest broker to the peace process, because they turned a blind eye to the violations of Israel to all the agreements signed with Israel.  He  announced that the Palestinians are not willing to continue  committing themselves to agreements that Israel has not kept. . .   ___On the other hand, Mr. Netanyahu’s  main  emphasis,  before responding to some of the points that  Mr. Abbas referred to, was on Iran.   More . . .
| AL-AQSA  INTIFADA:  THE  REVOLUTION  IS  STILL  GOING  ON  18  YEARS  LATER  
These days coincide with the anniversary of the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, which marked a turning point in the Palestinian cause, changing many equations.    [. . . .] The spark of the intifada broke out 18 years ago, after the Israeli war criminal, the leader of the Likud Party at the time, Ariel Sharon, along with Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and tried to desecrate its yards and its symbolic place through their provocative actions.   ___The Palestinian people faced this provocation with courage with their bare chests, providing examples of sacrifice and dignity, as they always did to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause as a whole.     More . . .
| ISRAEL’S  RETREAT  FROM  DEMOCRACY  CREATING  WIDENING  DIVISION  WITH  AMERICAN  JEWS
Allan C. Brownfeld
Israel’s steady retreat from democracy, as dramatically manifested by the Knesset passing in July a new nation-state law—and its 51-year occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem—is widening the division between American Jews and the self-proclaimed “Jewish state.”   ___An opinion poll published in Israel in June shows a growing gap between Israelis and American Jews. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey found that 77 percent of Israelis approved of President Donald Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while only 34 percent of American Jews did. Eighty-five percent of Israelis supported the decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, upending decades of U.S. foreign policy and an international consensus that the city’s status should be decided through peace negotiations. Only 47 percent of American Jews supported the move.    ___The poll also found that 59 percent of American Jews favor the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, compared to only 44 percent of Israelis. The two communities also differ sharply on matters of religion and state, particularly on the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over religious affairs in Israel.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“EXHAUSTION  OVERTOOK  ME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I’ve suffered from fatigue since an early age,
And my body crumpled in the presence of sickness.
Probably, my body also fell apart.
No longer am I some firm-rooted tree,
branches mingling with the clear blue sky.
Maybe I have never been that way.
Every cell in my body was shaken.
You saw so many thorny questions grown into my skin.
You saw that my eyes hurt with tears,
and I couldn’t tell from which cascade those tears fell.

You saw clouds that appeared in the minds of my poems
heading back in disappointment toward the river;
the river reverted to its headwaters of first longing.
The sea is too salty. Meanwhile my thirst surprised me
by coming at the wrong time. My thirst was stubborn,
and I am not stubborn with anyone, except myself.

Suddenly, I wanted the world to turn into a desert
without a sun above it. Without memories of the trees
or the river or the distraught young women.
I want myself to be a dead body
smoking a rotten cigarette, watching the emptiness.
I want myself to be a line inside a neglected book,
a line upon which the dust eats and drinks.
—Trans. Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

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.  

“. . . Time has grown up on its own without me. . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

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Maher Karaje stands underneath a canopy of his wilted grape vines (Photo: MEE/Akram al-Wa’ra)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

EU:  ‘ISRAEL  MUST  COMPENSATE  FOR  DEMOLITION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR’
The European Parliament passed a resolution, on Thursday, warning that Israel’s decision to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, would constitute a grave violation of international law and threaten peace efforts with the Palestinians.    ___The European Parliament, in a 320 to 277 vote, passed a resolution against Israel that called for monetary compensation for financial losses should Khan al-Ahmar village be demolished.   ___The resolution stated that “the status quo in this area is of fundamental importance for the viability of the two-state solution and for the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state in the future.”   More . . . 
Related
. . . US  SENATOR  [DIANNE  FEINSTEIN]  URGES  ISRAEL  NOT  TO  DESTROY  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE

OVER  150  SCIENTISTS  AND  SCHOLARS  WORLDWIDE  URGE  SUPPORT  FOR  UNRWA
Scientists and scholars from around the world published a letter of support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Lancet, one of the foremost medical journals in the world, urging support for the Agency after the United States has decided to end its contribution to it.   ___In the letter published on Tuesday, 159 scientist and scholars described the crisis facing UNRWA as “unprecedented,” warning of “a ruinous multifaceted emergency” if no action is taken to the help the humanitarian agency.   More . . .
Related . . . OVER  140  WORLDWIDE  ARTISTS  BOYCOTT  EUROVISION  IN  ISRAEL
Related . . .  UNCTAD  REPORT  PROVES  THAT  ISRAEL  MAIN  OBSTACLE  TO  PALESTINIAN  DEVELOPMENT,  SAYS  MINISTER 

PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  MOURN  CROPS  LOST  TO  SETTLER  ATTACKS  IN  THIS  YEAR’S  GRAPE  HARVEST
Yumna Patel
Every year, in late August, Palestinians begin celebrating the grape harvest, a quintessential part of Palestinian life and heritage.    ___Grape vines can be found on nearly every street in Palestine — on apartment balconies in cramped refugee camps, to sprawling fields and courtyards in cities and villages.   [. . . .] This year’s harvest, for many farmers across the occupied West Bank, is bittersweet, marred by the violence of months past.   ___Between the months of May and July 7, according to documentation from NGO B’Tselem, more than 2,000 grape vines were cut down, directly affecting dozens of farmers and hundreds of their family members, amounting to material damages in the hundreds of thousands of shekels.   More . . .
Related . . .    ‘AGRICULTURAL  TERRORISM’:  PALESTINIAN  CROPS  FACE  DESTRUCTION  BY  ISRAELI  SETTLERS

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ABU  RUDEINAH:  US’  POSITIONS  “INTOXICATED”  US-PALESTINE  RELATIONS        Spokesperson for President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, condemned on Friday a statement made by US President Donald Trump’s top adviser Jared Kushner to New York Times, saying the recent positions of the United States administration “intoxicated” the Palestinian-US relations.   ___In a press statement, Abu Rudeinah said Kushner’s statement indicates that “[he] is unaware of the reality of the conflict, and is an attempt to mislead and falsify the history of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian sanctities.”   ___He continued, “Peace will only come through the two-state solution with East Jerusalem as capital of the State of Palestine, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the resolutions of the Arab summits.   More . . .
Related . . .  PALESTINIAN  LEADERS  PLAN  TO  FIGHT  US  PUNITIVE  MEASURES
Related . . .  HAMAS:  ISRAELI  AGGRESSIONS  AT  AQSA  DOVETAIL  TRUMP  ANTI-PALESTINE  DEAL
Related . . .  THE  MOST  DANGEROUS  JUDAIZATION  PROJECT  IN  OCCUPIED  JERUSALEM

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .  

THE  MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE  will be hosting our inaugural fundraising reception on Monday,  SEPTEMBER  24TH  at the historic Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C, and you’re invited! We hope you will be able to join us to support the opening of the MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE,  the first and only museum in the nation’s capital that will be dedicated to celebrating Palestinian culture, history and resilience.    Information . . .     Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms—
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
Stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
――Translated by Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

――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.

“. . . Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

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The Settler Colonial project, Jerusalem (Photo Harold Knight, 2008)

❶ Ashrawi: Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank amounts to war crimes

  • “Relations of Ruling in the Colonial Present: An Intersectional View of the Israeli Imaginary.” Canadian Journal of Sociology

❷ Analysis:  Rethinking Our Definition of Apartheid: Not Just a Political Regime
❸ How the EU mocks the victims of Israel’s crimes
❹ POETRY by Yousef El Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ASHRAWI:  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  ACTIVITY  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  AMOUNTS  TO  WAR  CRIMES
Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 20, 2017   Following announcements that Israel had advanced plans for nearly 3,000 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced the move as a “blatant disregard for the two-state solution.”
___The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee convened on Tuesday and Wednesday, and advanced plans for 2,615 housing units in illegal Israeli settlements.
___“In blatant disregard of the requirements for the two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability, Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism,” Ashrawi said.
___”Israel is deliberately working to enhance its extremist Jewish settler population and to superimpose ‘Greater Israel’ on all of historic Palestine. Undoubtedly, it is bent on annexing the entire city of Jerusalem, systematically wiping out the Palestinian presence and continuity on Palestinian soil, and destroying the territorial and demographic contiguity of the future Palestinian state.”   MORE . . .

Santos, Madalena.
“RELATIONS  OF  RULING  IN  THE  COLONIAL  PRESENT:  AN  INTERSECTIONAL  VIEW  OF  THE  ISRAELI  IMAGINARY.”
Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 38, no. 4, Oct. 2013, pp. 509-532.
Through the interweaving of Zionist myths of nation, identity, and security, Israel presents itself as the national homeland for all Jewish peoples — a land under constant threat of annihilation by Palestinians who are discursively constructed as demographic and security risks. Yet, the Zionist project of Eretz Israel (our land of Israel) is one of colonization which bases the survival and vitality of the state’s Jewish population on the removal and absence of the racialized Palestinian other. Israel has continued its settler colonial project in Palestine, with its distinct forms of occupation and apartheid, through state discourses and practices of separation, fragmentation, and violence . . .  this article offers a categorical framework that underlines the relationality between race, class, and gender that has been central to the structuring network of Zionist colonization from its initial stages to the colonial present.
___ [. . . .]  Zionism has been preoccupied with the question of ethno-demography and a desire to separate Jews in Palestine from the indigenous Arab population. Since Zionism set Israel out to be the Jewish nation for Jews regardless of where they resided and/or claimed citizenship at the time, there was a perceived need to make Jews the majority of the population . . .  To secure a land base for the Jewish population, the Zionist colonial project that established the state of Israel in May 1948, and which continues in the colonial present, involved the forced expulsion, exile, imprisonment, murder, massacre, and political assassination of Palestinians as well as the destruction of over 500 Palestinian towns and villages. Although implemented and performed by Zionist rule, these practices were facilitated through the laws and governance of Western colonialist forces.  FULL ARTICLE.

❷ ANALYSIS:   RETHINKING  OUR  DEFINITION  OF  APARTHEID:  NOT  JUST  A  POLITICAL  REGIME     
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Haidar Eid, Andy Clarno
Aug. 27, 2017  As Israel intensifies its settler-colonial project, apartheid has become an increasingly important framework for understanding and challenging Israeli rule in historic Palestine. Indeed, Nadia Hijab and Ingrid Jaradat Gassner make a convincing argument that apartheid is the most strategic framework of analysis. And in March 2017, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) released a powerful report documenting Israeli violations of international law and concluding that Israel has established an “apartheid regime” that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.
___Under international law, apartheid is a crime against humanity and states can be held accountable for their actions. However, international law has its limitations. One specific concern involves what is missing from the international legal definition of apartheid. Because the definition focuses solely on the political regime, it does not provide a strong basis for critiquing the economic aspects of apartheid.     MORE . . .
❸ HOW  THE  EU  MOCKS  THE  VICTIMS  OF  ISRAEL’S  CRIMES 
The Electronic Intifada   
Ali Abunimah
Oct. 18, 2017   [. . . .] And why not? Despite the UN Security Council declaring repeatedly – most recently in December – that all of Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law, Israel faces no consequences for its crimes.
___On Wednesday, the European Union put out a statement about Israel’s reinvigorated settlement drive, its forced expulsions of Palestinian Bedouins and its evictions of Palestinian families in Jerusalem.
___The statement does not clearly condemn Israel’s actions. Instead, it says the EU “has requested clarifications from Israeli authorities and conveyed the expectation that they reconsider these decisions, which are detrimental to ongoing efforts towards meaningful peace talks.”
___This is diplomatic speak for: we barely have the courage to even criticize you, let alone to take action.     MORE . . .

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  by YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA
I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms –
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
–– Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin.

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 and Noble.
About Yusef El Qedra

“. . . and the hell you trust does not exclude making shrines . . .” (Yousef El-Qedra)

shifa-hospital
Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza (Photo: BBC)

❶ Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian in Gaza Strip, injure 8 others
❷ Help ‘We Are Not Numbers’ break the isolation of Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ICRC: Still no news on Palestinians missing since 2014 Gaza war

  • Background: “The Vicious Cycle of Building and Destroying: The 2014 War on Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics

❸ Mushtaha: Gaza’s Hospitals Lack 30% of Laboratory Materials
❹ POETRY by Yousef El-Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  KILL  PALESTINIAN  IN  GAZA  STRIP,  INJURE  8  OTHERS      
Ma’an News Agency
June 9, 2017      Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian and injured at least six others in the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday after clashes broke out near the border between northern Gaza and Israel, while Israeli forces also injured two more Palestinians with live ammunition during clashes in central Gaza.
___Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians to the east of Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, when Israeli forces killed Aed Khamis Jumaa, 35, after shooting him in the head with live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___Six other Palestinians were also injured with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces and were rushed to Gaza’s Indonesian hospital to receive medical care, the ministry added.    MORE . . .

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Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (Photo: Haaretz/AP)

❷ HELP  ‘WE  ARE  NOT  NUMBERS’  BREAK  THE  ISOLATION  OF  GAZA
Mondoweiss
Pam Bailey
June 5, 2017    Today is the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of what now is called the Palestinian territories. This shameful milestone is being marked with a plethora of pundit commentary about Trump’s potential role, the continuing division among the Palestinian leadership and—in the background—the ever-expanding Israeli settlements. But in addition to almost no mention of Gaza, there are two basic, alarming truths that are missing: 1) Despite the defiant face they typically show the world, a collective depression is becoming so pervasive in Gaza that the spirit of resistance is struggling to survive, and 2) it’s not war and the threat of it that should bring us out onto the streets but the daily structural violence.            MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ICRC:  STILL  NO  NEWS  ON  PALESTINIANS  MISSING  SINCE  2014  GAZA  WAR
Ma’an News Agency 
June 10, 2017    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not received any answers from Israel regarding Palestinians who have been missing since the Israeli offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014, a Gaza-based spokeswoman for the group said on Saturday.
___The 51-day offensive in 2014 left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead, including at least 1,462 civilians, a third of whom were children, according to the United Nations. Human rights groups reported that numerous Palestinians went missing during the war. Some were later found, either alive or dead, although the fate of 19 others has remained unknown.
___Spokesperson for the ICRC in Gaza Suhair Zakkout said in a statement that the ICRC had made efforts since 2014 to try and find the location of the missing Palestinians; however, the organization has not received any responses from Israel.        MORE . . .  

Bouris, Dimitris. “The Vicious Cycle of Building and Destroying: The 2014 War on Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics, vol. 20, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 111-117.
[. . . .] While Palestinians in the West Bank were given some hope that building their institutions would lead to the establishment of a state, the same was not the case with the Palestinians living under Hamas’ rule in Gaza. Since 2008 Gaza has witnessed three wars; Operation Cast Lead (December 2008–January 2009), Operation Pillar of Defence (November 2012) and more recently Operation Protective Edge (July–August 2014). The reasons and proclaimed goals of all three wars were the same: on the one hand Israel wanted to ‘teach Hamas a lesson’ and to stop rocket fire into its territory. On the other hand, Hamas was seeking to achieve through violence what it could not obtain through negotiations – namely the lifting of Gaza’s blockade. The mistakes made by the international community were also the same: (a) exclusion of Hamas and local groups from the reconstruction process; (b) money and pledges for the reconstruction were channelled through the PA and an unelected government in the West Bank without any strong control and transparency mechanisms (due to the absence of a functioning PLC); (c) pouring vast amounts of money, hoping that by this they would cover their inability to stop the war before it started; (d) no meaningful pressure on Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza or willingness to hold Israel accountable for its destruction.      SOURCE . . .

❸ MUSHTAHA:  GAZA’S  HOSPITALS  LACK  30%  OF  LABORATORY  MATERIALS
The Palestine Chronicle
June 9, 2017      Director of the Department of Laboratories and Blood Banks in the General Administration of Gaza hospitals, Amid Mushtaha, said the Gaza hospitals suffer from a shortage of laboratory testing materials up to 30%, a percentage that is likely to increase.
___Mushtaha explained, “The large hospitals in particular suffer from a lack of sodium blood tests, which are conducted only for urgent cases in the vital sections such as intensive care, burns, surgeries, and nurseries.”
___He added that the crisis affected all laboratories and blood banks in hospitals . . .      MORE . . .

“ON  THE  MARGIN  OF  A  WHIRLWIND,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL-QEDRA    
(January 29, 2009**)
Resurrection is crawling . . .
The beginning is all about horses of cloud
circling God’s sky over Gaza City.
These clouds descend on the ancient shores of the people
while a woman of a volcano erupts
in song on the waterline of the lazy blue beach.
Windmills of butterflies are making the whole world
dance to the dream lost behind dieletric walls.
The wind embraces twilight on an igniting sea.
My cytoplasms formed from blood and misbegotten
human beings are arrayed on a rose-colored glass plate.
She alone holds the book of love and combs the trees’ hair.
Anxiety is sailing on the margin of a whirlwind
leading to a window inside the book.
The topic is war . . .

Resurrection is rising to its feet . . .
Horses of fire and steel kneaded the flesh of a youngster
fleeing Gaza.
His terrified brother stole his broken arm and planted it
under a tree,
whose tears bewail the destruction. This tree as the boy understands it
is a dedicated guard, whereas the cemetery is far away
and the hell you trust does not exclude making shrines.

Resurrection is scaling the ladders of dissonance,
enters the room of a young woman to burn an album;
the woman was hiding smiles for her children
who would emerge from hope and a love story
never completed.
For fire broke out inside her lover’s heart.
And he could not defeat two fires, so he surrendered to oblivion.
Except that he told how the fire coming from her window
merged with the fire coming from his balcony
where he was waiting for her.
—Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin
(** The Gaza War, also known as Operation Cast Lead, also known as the Gaza Massacre was a three-week armed conflict between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel that began on December 27, 2008 and ended on January 18, 2009.)
About Yousef el-Qedra 
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 and Noble.

“. . . stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument . . .” (Yousef el Qedra)

hospital
Palestinians stand atop the ruins of the headquarters of El Wafa rehabilitation hospital. (Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)

❶ Israeli forces detain 18 Palestinians in predawn military raids

  • Background: “Collusion as a Defense against Guilt: Further Notes on the West’s Relationship with Israel and the Palestinians.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❷ East Jerusalem parents denounce Israeli police’s assault of Palestinian school principal
. . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces fire at Gaza fishermen, spray pesticides on Palestinian crops
. . . . ❸ ― (ᴃ) The ‘silent’ war on Gaza’s hospitals
. . . . ❸ ― (c) Israeli forces demolish structures in Jordan Valley
❹ POETRY by Yousef el Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  18  PALESTINIANS  IN  PREDAWN  MILITARY  RAIDS
Al-Hourriah   
May 9, 2017
Israeli forces carried out predawn military raids across the occupied West Bank on Monday and detained at least 18 Palestinians, according to Palestinians and Israeli sources.
[. . . .] Israeli forces raided the southern West Bank CITY OF HEBRON and detained three Palestinians. . . .  three Palestinians . . .  in the TOWN OF TUQU east of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank. . . .    four Palestinians . . . from THE VILLAGE OF FARUN in the Tulkarem district, and two Palestinians . . .  from QALQILIYA, according to the Israeli army.     . . . . five Palestinians in OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM’S OLD CITY. . . .   FOUR PALESTINIAN MINORS from the Old City and the Shufaat refugee camp on Sunday night ___[. . . .] Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
___The United Nations recorded an average of 95 weekly raids in the occupied West Bank in 2016, and 78 weekly raids on average thus far in 2017. . . .      MORE . . .

. . .  I struggle to convey here the disturbing impact of being in Palestine, with Palestinians. In this disorientating experience, one is among people coping with rupture and fragmentation, a collectively felt yet denied history, an uncertain future within a collapsing geography.  Here every aspect of life is circumscribed by a military bureaucracy that works to destroy hope and thwart every ordinary human aspiration, overseen by an army whose operations are designed “to create a sense of persecution”.
___The visitor finds him or herself welcomed by individuals and families living in a society subject to the unrestrained whim of a dominant and hostile power, which degrades life through executive fiat: the arbitrariness of the checkpoints, the unpredictability of the evictions, house demolitions, NIGHT RAIDS, the re-designation of land as no longer one’s own, the violent incursions of settlers and THE ARREST AND DETENTION OF MINORS. . . . conversations . . . .  in which are expressed a confusing blend of pain and defiance, humor, frustration, anger, betrayal, pride, despair, determination, and sometimes optimism. Every Palestinian one meets, including those living inside Israel’s 1967 borders who have full Israeli citizenship, seems to struggle to make a life against the backdrop of a project in which they have no place, exposed to a process of cultural . . .  eradication. . . .
___[. . . .] Israel has come to play a key role in maintaining Western influence and presence in the Middle East, and for Western governments to overlook the failings and shortcomings of a key ally is hardly remarkable. Still, the level of impunity with which Israel acts, the reluctance of Western politicians and media outlets to name what is happening, to question the reasonableness of creating a “Jewish State” in Palestine, to provide historical context or to explore the ideological context of Israeli behavior is, I would suggest, unique.

  • Kemp, Martin. “Collusion as a Defense against Guilt: Further Notes on the West’s Relationship with Israel and the Palestinians.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, vol.12 no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 192-222.

❷ EAST  JERUSALEM  PARENTS  DENOUNCE  ISRAELI  POLICE’S  ASSAULT  OF  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOL  PRINCIPAL  
Ma’an News Agency    
May 8, 2017
JERUSALEM ― The union of parent committees in occupied East Jerusalem schools held a sit-in on Monday in solidarity with the principal of a preparatory school in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, who was hospitalized last week after Israeli police officers arbitrarily assaulted and detained him.
___ [. . . .] Israeli police were chasing a vehicle driven by a Palestinian in Beit Hanina on Thursday, and detained the young man in the Beit Hanina preparatory school’s yard.
___When school principal Hassan Ghneim came out to the yard to ask Israeli officers what was happening on the school premises, the officers started swearing at him, then violently assaulted him and held chains around his neck, causing Ghneim to fall to the ground and suffer a head injury . . . .
___Ghneim told Ma’an that he had come out after the Israeli officers hit a young student with their vehicle following the detention of the young Palestinian man, bruising the child.     MORE . . .

arrests
Israeli large-scale nighttime raid and search campaign throughout Jerusalem and West Bank, 2016-12-05 (Photo: Group 194)

❸― (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  FIRE  AT  GAZA  FISHERMEN,  SPRAY  PESTICIDES  ON  PALESTINIAN  CROPS 
Ma’an News Agency
May 9, 2017
GAZA CITY ―  Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, locals told Ma’an.     MORE . . . 
❸ ― (ᴃ) THE  ‘SILENT’  WAR  ON  GAZA’S  HOSPITALS    
+972 Magazine  
By Samer Badawi
May 7, 2017
At the height of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (2015), El Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital was the target of fierce attacks from Israeli positions along Gaza’s eastern border, just over a kilometer away.
___[. . . .]  now struggles to convey the impact of another danger—an ongoing electricity crisis that, according to the World Health Organization, could “leave thousands of people without access to life-saving health care.”    MORE . . .
❸ ― (C) ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
May 9, 2017
Israeli forces Tuesday demolished residential structures and animal barns in the village of al-Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley, local sources said.
___Othman Anouz, head of Al-Jiftlik community council, told WAFA that Israeli military bulldozers demolished two residential structures and other animal barns in the village. The structures are owned by local resident Najeh Kaabneh and his son Odeh.   MORE. . .

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  by YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms –
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
–– Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin.

  • 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 and Noble.

“. . . to demolish a man’s house is to tear his heart into little pieces . . . an extremely inhuman act . . .” (Irus Braverman)

demolition
Demolitions in Umm al-Kheir on Aug. 8, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israel poised to raze Bedouin village so Jews can take land

Background from Law & Social Inquiry

. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces demolishes Palestinian structures across West Bank, assault locals
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli occupation demolishes restaurant, pottery workshop in Nablus, residencies in Hebron
. . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Israeli forces demolish water pipelines under construction in northern West Bank
❷ Council: Palestinians in need of 30,000 housing units in Jerusalem
❸ POETRY by Yousef El Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  POISED  TO  RAZE  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  SO  JEWS  CAN  TAKE  LAND
The Electronic Intifada
Charlotte Silver
Aug. 8 2016
Israeli bulldozers are poised to raze the Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran in the Naqab (Negev) region in the south of the country.
___On 31 July, bulldozers began ploughing a trench around the village, encircling those homes Israel intends to demolish to make way for a Jewish community.
___The village lost its 13-year legal battle in May 2015, when a three-judge panel on Israel’s high court ruled that the government was authorized to demolish the village and displace its residents  [. . . .]
___Like about 40 other Bedouin villages home to 70,000 people in the Naqab, Umm al-Hiran is not recognized by Israeli authorities, leaving its 1,000 residents, who are Israeli citizens, without basic services or rights.     MORE . . .         RELATED. . .

From: Braverman, Irus. “Powers Of Illegality: House Demolitions And Resistance In East Jerusalem.” Law & Social Inquiry 32.2 (2007): 333-372

. . . . while Foucault’s analysis [of the spectacle of a public execution in DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH, 1979] depicts brutality as inflicted upon the human body, in the demolition instance this brutality is imposed upon the nonhuman body of the house. Significant as it may seem, this distinction between human and nonhuman bodies is rendered irrelevant by most of the Palestinian informants. The Palestinian community planner, for example, claimed that “a person whose house has been demolished, I don’t see any difference between him and a person whose only child is killed,” and a Palestinian defense lawyer told me: “to demolish a man’s house is to tear his heart into little pieces . . . the demolition is an . . . extremely inhuman act.”
___Clearly, most Palestinian informants not only themselves relate to their house as interchangeable with their body but also believe that Israel relates to it in a similar way. Accordingly, this is how a Palestinian Jerusalemite that has worked as a planner in the Jerusalem municipality for over thirty years described the situation: “they twist our hand behind our back until they hear a cry of pain: [then] the municipal officials smile with pleasure, and twist our hand even tighter in order to produce a louder cry. They take pleasure in the Palestinian pain more than in anything else.”
___But while the identification of the Palestinian body with the body of her house may establish one cause for its demolition, another explanation is also possible. Such an alternative explanation is provided by a Jewish Israeli defense lawyer who has been representing Palestinians from East Jerusalem for over twenty years. The lawyer suggests that the official Israeli discourse regards the Palestinians as “airplanes that are not even detected by the Israeli radar,” namely as invisible to Israeli administrators. Rather than choosing between these two seemingly conflicting interpretations, it is important to see their simultaneous existence: while the first interpretation embodies the Palestinian in this space by rendering her body opaque, the second interpretation disembodies her, making for a transparent Palestinian body.
___Instead of undermining each other, the bifurcated dialectic between these two bodily interpretations provides for their reciprocal reinforcement.

. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  STRUCTURES  ACROSS  WEST  BANK,  ASSAULT  LOCALS
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 9, 2016
Israeli authorities carried out multiple demolitions across the occupied West Bank on Tuesday morning, including residential structures funded by the European Union, in the midst of an unprecedented campaign targeting Palestinian homes, business, and agricultural structures under the pretext of lacking building permits which are nearly impossible to obtain.
___The demolitions — which included two business in Sabastiya, five homes in Umm al-Kheir, and two homes in al-Jiftlik — were immediately denounced by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in a statement released on Tuesday.
___“Israel is relentlessly destroying Palestinians’ homes and livelihoods in order to make way for more illegal settlements,” Hamdallah said.     MORE . . .

demolitions 2
Demolitions in Umm al-Kheir on Aug. 8, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  DEMOLISHES  RESTAURANT,  POTTERY  WORKSHOP  IN  NABLUS,  RESIDENCES  IN  HEBRON
Alray Palestine Media Agency
Aug. 9, 2016
The Israeli occupation forces demolished on Tuesday a restaurant and a pottery workshop in the village of Sebastia, north of Nablus, as well as residential structures in the village of Um al-Kheir near Hebron, local sources reported.
___Mayor of Sebastia municipality said that Israeli forces broke into the village and demolished a restaurant and a pottery workshop, both owned by two local Palestinian villagers, under the pretext of construction without permission.     MORE . . .
. . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  WATER  PIPELINES  UNDER  CONSTRUCTION  IN  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 8, 2016
Israeli forces reportedly destroyed large portions of a water pipeline under construction in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas on Monday.
___Arif Daraghmah, the head of the village council in the Jordan Valley and neighboring Bedouin communities, told Ma’an that Israeli forces accompanied by military vehicles and two bulldozers began the demolition process early on Monday morning on the pipeline, which he said targeted a pipeline funded by NGO Action Against Hunger that had been under construction for the past four months in order to provide water to residents of the area.
___Daraghmah added that the Israeli forces completely destroyed the four-kilometer water pipeline between the town of Tubas and the village of Yarza, and also destroyed and seized large parts of the nine-kilometer pipeline connecting Yarza to the village of al-Malih.
___He said Israeli forces were carrying out these demolitions in order to pressure Palestinian residents into leaving the area.     MORE . . .

demolitions 3
Demolitions in Umm al-Kheir on Aug. 8, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❷ COUNCIL:  PALESTINIANS  IN  NEED  OF  30,000  HOUSING  UNITS  IN  JERUSALEM
Al-Hourriah
Aug. 8, 2016
Jerusalem will be in need of 30,000 housing units, the Palestinian Housing Council said Monday.
___The council’s technical director in the occupied West Bank, Zuheir Ali, said, at a workshop held in al-Bireh under the title “Housing in Occupied Jerusalem: Facts and Challenges,” that the Palestinians have been facing difficulties in constructing new homes on at least 13% of east Jerusalem lands.
___Ali added that Israeli restrictive measures resulted in a sharp housing crisis and that Occupied Jerusalem is in need of 30,000 housing units, to the tune of around three billion dollars, until 2020.     MORE . . .  

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms—
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
Stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
―Translated by Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

Yousef El Qedra is a young poet and playwright living in Gaza. He has his BA degree in Arabic Literature from Azhar University, Gaza. Since 2006 he has worked as a project coordinator of theater and youth groups for the Cultural Free Thought Association in Gaza City. He has written several books and plays and published four volumes of poetry, translated into French and Spanish.
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 Amazon. demolitions 4

Demolitions in Umm al-Kheir on Aug. 8, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)



“. . . Then I found myself suspended in nothingness . . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

pyo1
The Palestine Youth Orchestra (Photo: Edward Said Conservatory of Music Homepage)

❶ Israeli forces demolish 12 homes in Qalandiya village, assault homeowners
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces demolish 4 structures in East Jerusalem’s Issawiya

  • background from Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal

❷ Uncovering the Lost Palestinian Villages Underneath Glitzy Tel Aviv
❸ Palestinian Orchestra spreads positive message with music
❹ POETRY by Yousef El Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  12  HOMES  IN  QALANDIYA  VILLAGE,  ASSAULT  HOMEOWNERS
Ma’an News Agency
July 26, 2016
Under the escort of Israeli forces, bulldozers entered the village of Qalandiya on the outskirts of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem late Monday evening, where they demolished 12 homes, according to locals.
___Israeli authorities destroyed the homes, which had previously been issued demolition notices, claiming they were too close to Israel’s separation wall and that they lacked the proper Israeli-issued licenses. . . .
___Israeli soldiers reportedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at locals, and assaulted residents of the homes before the demolitions.      MORE . . .   
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  4  STRUCTURES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM’S  ISSAWIYA
Ma’an News Agency
July 26, 2016
MORE . . .      RELATED . . .  

From Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal
There is a very strong argument that Zionist Israel has committed, and continues to commit, genocide against Palestine and the Palestinians in terms of Lemkin’s famous passage . . .
Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population which is allowed to remain, or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization of the area by the oppressor’s own nationals.   (Lemkin, R. Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: laws of occupation, analysis of government, proposals for redress. Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944.)
[. . . .]
Whilst the daily living reality for a Palestinian citizen of Israel inevitably differs from a Palestinian living in the West Bank, Gaza or the diaspora, the underlying techniques employed by the Israeli government are the same.. . . .  The intention of these policies was clearly stated by ARIEL SHARON IN AN INTERVIEW IN 1988:
_‘YOU DON’T SIMPLY BUNDLE PEOPLE ON TO TRUCKS AND DRIVE THEM AWAY. . . I PREFER TO ADVOCATE A POSITIVE POLICY. . . TO CREATE, IN EFFECT, A CONDITION THAT IN A POSITIVE WAY WILL INDUCE PEOPLE TO LEAVE.’
. . .  it is apparent to Palestinians in different contexts experiencing discriminatory policies intended to drive them away from their land that the ‘Nakba’ of 1948 did not end in that era and is an ongoing process.

  • Rashed, Haifa, Damien Short, and John Docker. “Nakba Memoricide: Genocide Studies And The Zionist/Israeli Genocide Of Palestine.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal 13.1 (2014): 1-23.    FULL ARTICLE.

❷ UNCOVERING  THE  LOST  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGES  UNDERNEATH  GLITZY  TEL  AVIV
The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU)
Mira Sucharov
July 19, 2016
Tel Aviv residents are often described as living in a “bubble,” because of their relative distance from the epicenter of conflict and occupation, and because, at least compared to Jerusalem, the zeitgeist of the city tends toward liberalism and open-mindedness.
___But despite all the talk about Tel Aviv’s insulated status, this “first Hebrew city” is very politically saturated — if you look underneath it. I’m thinking of the eight Palestinian villages whose traces, post-1948, are just barely visible beneath the bustling urban center that this place has become. What remains of these villages, whose remnants were absorbed by Tel Aviv’s municipality as the city expanded after the war, and what remains to be done?     MORE . . .  

la-fg-israel-palestinians-raid-home-demolished-20151116-001
A home lies in ruins after a raid by Israeli troops in the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah. (Photo: Alaa Badarneh / European Pressphoto Agency, November 15, 2016)

❸ PALESTINIAN  ORCHESTRA  SPREADS  POSITIVE  MESSAGE  WITH  MUSIC
Days of Palestine
July 25, 2016
Glasgow -A group of Palestinian young orchestrates are trying to travel around the world to spread a positive message about Palestinian with their orchestra.
___It is lunchtime on a sunny day in the Scottish city of Glasgow, and the general director of The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music is making a thoughtful observation about the aims of its Palestine Youth Orchestra (PYO).
___Suddenly, a ping-pong ball bounces across the table. Suhail Khoury barely bats an eyelid.
___“Having an orchestra can tell people that young Palestinians are like anyone else, despite their situation,” he says. “They like to play music, they like to have fun.”    MORE . . .    –   VIDEO . . . (Music begins 9:45)

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms—
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
Stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
―Translated by Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

Yousef El Qedra is a young poet and playwright living in Gaza. He has his BA degree in Arabic Literature from Azhar University, Gaza. Since 2006 he has worked as a project coordinator of theater and youth groups for the Cultural Free Thought Association in Gaza City. He has written several books and plays and published four volumes of poetry, translated into French and Spanish.
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 Amazon.

“. . . Time has grown up on its own without me . . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

Palestinian youths in Aida refugee camp list the names of the children killed in the Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip, on July 28, 2014. (Photo: Agence France Presse/Musa al-Shaer, File)
Palestinian youths in Aida refugee camp list the names of the children killed in the Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip, on July 28, 2014. (Photo: Agence France Presse/Musa al-Shaer, File)

❶ PMO: Israel acted ‘above the law’ in killing of Gazan children
❷ Israeli forces level lands in southeastern Gaza Strip
❸ Israel’s new political and military offensive
❹ Billionaire donor using British Council to combat Israel boycott
❺ Analysis: TOO  DANGEROUS  TO  PLAY:  THE  WEST  BANK  CHILDREN  SHOT  DEAD  BY  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS
❻ Poetry by Yousef El Qedra

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PMO:  ISRAEL  ACTED  ‘ABOVE  THE  LAW’  IN  KILLING  OF  GAZAN  CHILDREN
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 15, 2016
The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office on Tuesday slammed Israel for “acting above the law” and called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for the deaths of two children killed in an airstrike on Gaza last week. . . .
___Addressing the incident, Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communications and Media for Prime Minister Hamdallah said: “Israel continues to act above the law and murder children.”
___”Israeli leaders have blood on their hands, how do they justify the killing of innocent children?” Dajani said.     MORE . . .

ISRAELI  FORCES  LEVEL  LANDS  IN  SOUTHEASTERN  GAZA  STRIP
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
15 Mar. 2016
Israeli bulldozers on Tuesday entered the Palestinian side of the Gaza borderline under military protection near Khuzza village in the southeastern Gaza Strip.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that five bulldozers stormed an agricultural area east of Khuzza and leveled lands. No gunfire or injuries were reported.
___Israeli military forces routinely enter the Gaza Strip near the “buffer zone” which lies on the borderline between the besieged enclave and Israel.     MORE . . . 

ISRAEL’S  NEW  POLITICAL  AND  MILITARY  OFFENSIVE
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
14 Mar. 2016
A 6-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother were killed near the town of Beit Lahiya . . .  in their house at the time of the airstrike.
___The strike is part of a new Israeli political and military offensive against Palestinians that includes incursions into areas controlled by the Palestinian government, closing media outlets and negotiating with foreign governments to increase the international isolation of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
___On Friday, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, successfully urged the French President, Francois Hollande, to shut down Al Aqsa TV broadcasts on French satellite provider Eutelsat . . . .      MORE . . . 

BILLIONAIRE  DONOR  USING  BRITISH  COUNCIL  TO  COMBAT  ISRAEL  BOYCOTT
THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
Hilary Aked
14 Mar. 2016
New documents seen by The Electronic Intifada . . . show that the British Council has been quietly working to thwart the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in support of Palestinian rights.
___The revelations about the government-funded program come as the UK attempts to ban local government from boycotting companies complicit in Israeli human rights abuses.
___. . . Nathan Kirsh, a billionaire businessman profiting directly from Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank, is a donor to the British Council’s little-known anti-boycott project.
___The British Council is a quasi-governmental body which describes itself as making an important “contribution to UK soft power.” It gets approximately 20 percent of its funding from the UK Foreign Office.     MORE . . .

Luaiy al-Baw said his nephew Haitham who was shot in the back and killed by an Israeli soldier was more interested in animals and football than politics (Photo: Abed al-Qaisi)
Luaiy al-Baw said his nephew Haitham who was shot in the back and killed by an Israeli soldier was more interested in animals and football than politics (Photo: Abed al-Qaisi)

ANALYSIS:  TOO  DANGEROUS  TO  PLAY:  THE  WEST  BANK  CHILDREN  SHOT  DEAD  BY  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS
MIDDLE EAST EYE
Sheren Khalel
13 Mar. 2016
Parents in the occupied West Bank say they can no longer allow their children to play outside because of fears that they could be shot dead by Israeli forces.
___A report published this month by a children’s rights group said that 41 children had been shot dead during six months of upheaval in which Israeli forces have often responded with lethal force to scores of stabbing and shooting attacks by Palestinians.
___Nasreen al-Baw, the mother of 14-year-old Haitham al-Baw who was killed by Israeli soldiers on 5 February, told Middle East Eye that her son had died instantly after being shot in the back while playing on a hillside with his cousin and another teenager and his two new dogs.     MORE . . .

    “I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms—
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
Stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
―Translated by Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

Yousef El Qedra is a young poet and playwright living in Gaza. He has his BA degree in Arabic Literature from Azhar University, Gaza. Since 2006 he has worked as a project coordinator of theater and youth groups for the Cultural Free Thought Association in Gaza City. He has written several books and plays and published four volumes of poetry, translated into French and Spanish.
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 Amazon.
BDS FINAL LOGO_v5WEB_URL_side

Yousef el Qedra, “. .Time has grown up on its own without me. . ” [A special post of news analysis]

Israeli troops shower protesters with tear gas in Bethlehem on Wednesday - Photo by WAFA Israeli troops shower protesters with tear gas in Bethlehem on Wednesday - Photo by WAFA
Israeli troops shower protesters with tear gas in Bethlehem on Wednesday – Photo by WAFA

MONDOWEISS
ON  BRET  STEPHENS’  HATE  SPEECH
Dorgham Abusalim
Oct. 14, 201
For Israel and her allies it seems that panic mode is on, and Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, who somehow manages to pass himself for a psychologist in his latest column, is freaking out.
____His article “Palestine: The Psychotic Stage” bears the subtitle, “The truth about why Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust.” In typical desperate fashion of the pro-occupation ilk, Stephens manipulates the tragic deaths of Israelis reported over the past two weeks. Meanwhile, he conveniently pretends that Palestinians are immortal. They don’t die. Hence, not one mention of a Palestinian death is worth his words — never mind that one of the world’s strongest armed forces is flexing its muscles against them. The issue is not so much with reporting on who died. Stephens’ dangerous propagation in this regard is that a Jewish death is a tragic one and worth reporting, while a Palestinian death is just not worth it because a Palestinian is a psychotic blood thirsty terrorist. Stephens writes:

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

More. . .
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PALESTINE:  THE  PSYCHOTIC  STAGE
THE  TRUTH  ABOUT  WHY  PALESTINIANS  HAVE  BEEN  SEIZED  BY  THEIR  PRESENT  BLOOD  LUST.
Bret Stephens
Oct. 12, 2015
If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed as Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”
____Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. [. . . . .]
____The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized . . . Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves. [. . . . .]
____Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due.
____Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.
More . . .
OPENDEMOCRACY. FREE THINKING FOR THE WORLD
PALESTINIANS  MUST  NOT  FALL  INTO  THIS  TRAP,  AGAIN!
Sam Bahour
Oct. 14, 2015
To cover up its crimes, Israel needs to feed all the western stereotypes of Palestinians as violent and subhuman rather than hungry for freedom and equal rights.
____The lid on the powder keg of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, has been rattling for years now. Palestinians from all walks of life have lost their voices making the case that Israel’s right-wing government . . . is pursuing policies bound to lead to exactly what we are witnessing today, violence. [. . . . .]
____Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has built his entire political career on a platform of violence against Palestinians.. . . . Netanyahu prides himself on being the leader who stopped the peace process in its tracks. To make sure peace would never have a chance, he accelerated settlement building in the West Bank, attacked Gaza multiple times, demolished more Palestinian homes, arrested Palestinians, including minors, often without charges, and failed to bring to justice the Jewish settlers who recently burned alive a Palestinian family while they slept in their home.
____But why does Israel seemingly seek violence? The answer is elementary to anyone following this conflict: Israel has a single gamebook against the legitimate Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence, that of using their well-oiled military machine to squash any Palestinian who attempts to resist occupation. Israel since 1948 and 1967 has routinely used war and violence to seize more land, all the while pushing Palestinians to either turn violent or emigrate.
More. . .
CBS/AP
U.S.  CONDEMNS  PALESTINIAN  ATTACKS  AGAINST  ISRAELI  CIVILIANS
Oct. 13, 2015
Video of the CBS coverage. No mention of settler terrorism. No mention of the International treaty that gives the Palestinians sole right to administer Al-Aqsa mosque. Palestinians are “terrorists.” The Israelis are afraid to go out, to ride buses. No mention of the complete control of Palestinian society by Israel.
More. . .
+972 MAGAZINE
ISRAEL’S  SCAPEGOAT  PROBLEM
Talal Jabari
Israeli governments always found someone to blame for whatever violence came their way, and then they bombed them. This time around there’s nobody to blame. Except for that one thing.
Oct. 14, 2015
This current wave of “lone-wolf” attacks by Palestinians against Israelis poses a threat to the Israeli government unlike any other. Obviously I am not referring to the security risk they pose — after all, Israel has far more deaths and injuries from car accidents. Nor am I referring to the fear this onslaught of attacks may be causing Israelis. No, the real threat is that for the first time since the First Intifada, almost 30 years ago, the Israeli government has nobody to blame. [. . . . .]
____Clearly the Israelis haven’t found anyone to blame, but that’s only because they’re not looking in the right place. Here’s a short list of where they should be looking.
____Let’s start with the obvious. No Palestinian under 50 living in the West Bank, and to an extent the Gaza Strip, has known a day of freedom in his or her entire life. No freedom of movement, no freedom of worship, no sense of personal safety or stability.
More. . .

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA (June 22, 2009)
I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms―
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.
I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISREL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.
Available from Barnes and Noble.
Yousef el Qedra is a young poet and playwright living in Gaza, Palestine. He has a B.A. degree in Arabic literature from al Azhar University, Gaza. His poems have been published in local, national and international magazines, newspapers, and internet websites. More. . .