“. . . We wait for the promise of July And the joyous dance . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

IMG_3102 - Copy - CopyFrom the  WALL  MUSEUM  in Bethlehem.
(Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
PALESTINIANS  GEARING  UP  FOR  ANTI-OCCUPATION  PROTESTS  AT  GAZA  BORDER 
The Higher National Commission of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege has called on the Palestinian masses to take part in the large-scale protests set to be staged on Friday along Gaza’s borderlands.    ___The Higher Commission said in a statement that the peaceful protests make part of Palestinians’ struggle to liberate their land, lift the siege on Gaza, and thwart the US-drafted deal of the century.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel returns fishing boats, tools to Gaza
. . . . Related  Gaza hospitals overwhelmed by wounded in Israeli violence: Report
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22 – 28 November 2018)
CHRISTMAS  2018  PREPARATIONS  WELL  UNDERWAY  IN  BETHLEHEM:  “A  FEAST  OF  PEACE,  HOPE  AND  JUSTICE”
Preparations for Christmas 2018 are well underway according to the Press Conference held at the Bethlehem Peace Center today. With the world’s spotlight beaming down this December on the city – the birthplace of Jesus Christ – the municipality of Bethlehem announced that the theme of this Christmas is ‘Being and Existence’.    ___The mayor of Bethlehem, Anton Salman, explained that this Christmas is a time to show the world that the Palestinian people “are rooted in this land, just as the trees are”. The Palestinian people “are one community, regardless of different religions”, the mayor said, squelching any notion that the occupation had spread of the oppression of Palestinian Christians by its Muslim majority.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Bethlehem Prepares to Celebrate Christmas 2018
| ASHRAWI  URGES  EBU  NOT  TO  BROADCAST  EUROVISION  IN  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, called upon the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to respect the Palestinian people’s rights by not broadcasting any Eurovision Song Contest events in Israel’s illegal settlements.    ___Ashrawi said, in a statement, that giving Israel the privilege of hosting the 2019 Eurovision amounts to rewarding it for and helping it to conceal its decades-old military occupation and grave violations of Palestinian national and human rights.    [. . . . ] Last week, three Manchester, UK-based pro-Palestine groups called on European artists and performers to Boycott Eurovision 2019 hosted by Israel, while over 140 artists, including musicians, writers, actors, directors, novelists and poets had signed a letter calling for the event’s boycott.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Japan funds project to enhance water quality in West Bank town
. . . . Related  Palestinian Forum in Britain Organizes Largest Palestinian Festival in London
. . . . Related  Alray International Media Watch from Alray Palestinian Media Agency (Nov. 29, 2018)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ZIONISM:  CYCLES  OF  TRAUMA  AND  AGGRESSION  IN  THE  SERVICE  OF  SETTLER  COLONIALISM
By Yoav Litvin
The origins of Zionism are profoundly misunderstood by many. This is not coincidental and can be seen largely as the result of propaganda, which opportunistically and erroneously asserts that Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism.    ___In fact, Zionism gained traction among some Jews only in the late 19th  century in response to antisemitism and romantic European nationalist movements. Zionists syncretized many white supremacist, antisemitic, messianic and fascistic racialized dogmas and were thus overwhelmingly unpopular among most Jews, who viewed the ideals of the enlightenment–emancipation, equality and integration – as their target.    [. . . .] In response to antisemitism, Zionists embraced their fear and contempt of their abusers to produce defensive aggression, reinventing identity in a reactionary attempt to ensure survival and restore  pride. The reward of violence–power-quickly enticed Zionist leaders to morph what began as a defensive strategy into an offensive one that culminated with a settler colonialist vision of a homeland in Palestine at the expense of its Indigenous population, the existing Palestinian people.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli journalist lectures against ‘Zionist racism’ in Prague

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring,
in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

–From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.  Available from Palestine Online Store.
(“Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s Baghdad Home Destroyed; 
The End of an Era?”)

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

holy land 1 033
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 ― “Forget!” they say, but how can I? . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

Nakba march, Bethlehem, West Bank, 14.5.2013
Palestinians in Bethlehem commemorate the Nakba, May 14, 2013. (Photo: Activestills.org)

❶ Amara: The Nakba anniversary is a chance to renew the vow of resistance
❷ Annual ‘March of Return’ draws thousands of Palestinians to the Negev
❸ Israel locks down West Bank, Gaza for Nakba Day
❹ Palestinians on Nakba Day 2016 — Defiant, Undeterred and Organizing
❺ Opinion/Analysis: LESSONS  ON  THE  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  NAKBA
. . . . . ❺― (ᴀ) Sykes-Picot agreement [May 16, 1916] unravelling on its centenary
❻ How I explained the Nakba to my kids
. . . . . ❻ ― (ᴀ) The Making of Israel: Zionist settler colonialism in historic Palestine
❼ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ AMARA:  THE  NAKBA  ANNIVERSARY  IS  A  CHANCE  TO  RENEW  THE  VOW  OF  RESISTANCE
The Palestinian Information Center
May 14, 2016
Senior Hamas official Shaker Amara, from Jericho, has said that the 68th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) is a good chance to renew the vow to continue resisting the occupation until its removal from the Palestinian land.      MORE . . .  

❷ ANNUAL  ‘MARCH  OF  RETURN’  DRAWS  THOUSANDS  OF  PALESTINIANS  TO  THE  NEGEV
Ma’an News Agency
May 12, 2016
Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel participated in the annual “March of Return” on Thursday afternoon near Bedouin towns in the Negev (Naqab) in southern Israel, commemorating the 1948 Nakba, amid the conclusion of Israeli Independence Day celebrations.
___Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and held banners emblazoned with support for the right to return for Palestinian refugees abroad and Palestinians internally displaced from their villages in Israel, as they made their way across the Negev in the dry afternoon heat.       MORE . . .    

❸ ISRAEL  LOCKS  DOWN  WEST  BANK,  GAZA  FOR  NAKBA  DAY
Days of Palestine
May 12, 2016
Israeli occupation army has announced plans to totally seal off West Bank, besieged Gaza Strip during 68th Nakba Day, which anniversary on May 15.
___According to an Israeli army statement, all checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel will be sealed off to West Bank residents expect for “humanitarian” cases. MORE . . . 

130516_SHH_00-10
A Palestinian protester holds a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest ahead of Nakba day, in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah May 13, 2016. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/ APA Images)

❹ PALESTINIANS  ON  NAKBA  DAY  2016 —  DEFIANT,  UNDETERRED  AND  ORGANIZING
Mondoweiss
Nada Elia
May 13, 2016
Dima al-Wawi knows what she wants to be when she grows up:  “My dream is that when I grow up I can be a lawyer who can defend children who have been oppressed,” the twelve-year old said in an interview shortly after her release from a four-month sentence in an Israeli jail.
___Al-Wawi will likely be extremely busy:  at any time in the past few years, Israel has held anywhere from 400 to 700 children in its prison cells, where physical and psychological torture are routine, adding injury to the insult of being arrested strictly because one is Palestinian.       MORE . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis: LESSONS  ON  THE  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  NAKBA
Palestine Chronicle
Hani Al-Masri
May 13 2016
On the anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, I think it is appropriate to share what I consider some lessons to be learned from the Palestinian experience since the establishment of Israel on the land of historic Palestine.
___For a start, it is a lie to say that the Palestinian and Arab rejection of the UN Partition Plan contributed to the Nakba and led to Israel occupying 78 per cent of Mandatory Palestine; the UN allocated just over 50 per cent to the Zionist state. This excess has been shrugged off as a “mistake” but documents now in the public domain throw more light on this lie.      MORE . . .  

. . . . . ❺― (ᴀ) SYKES-PICOT  AGREEMENT  [MAY 19, 1916]  UNRAVELING  ON  ITS  CENTENARY
Middle East Eye
James Reinl
May 12, 2016
Centenarians are seldom in ruddy health.
___This is certainly true of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which celebrates its 100th birthday on Monday.
___The secret deal to divide the Ottoman Empire’s vast land mass into British and French zones of influence precipitated the borders of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and much else in the Middle East that exist – at least nominally – to the present day.      MORE . . .  

❻ HOW I EXPLAINED THE NAKBA TO MY KIDS
+972 Blog
Noam Rotem
May 11, 2016
Say Dad, what is independence?
___An independent person is a person who can do whatever they want. They are free and nobody makes decisions for them. When a state is independent, it means that no one tells it what to do and it can decide for itself what it deems to be good and bad.    MORE . . .  

. . . . . ❻ ― (ᴀ)  THE  MAKING  OF  ISRAEL:  ZIONIST  SETTLER  COLONIALISM  IN  HISTORIC  PALESTINE
Mondoweiss
May 13, 2016
This Sunday May 15 marks the 68th Nakba Day, an occasion of commemoration for the over 750,000 Palestinians that were forcibly displaced by Zionist militias between 1947 and 1950. For Palestinian communities, the violence of the Nakba started much earlier than 1948 and continues today. Our latest visual covers 143 years of Zionist settler colonialism.
Data from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics shows how European Zionists began . . . .
MORE . . .  

“TENT  #50  (SONG  OF  A  REFUGEE),”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
Tent #50, on the left, is my new world,
Shared with me by my memories:
Memories as verdant as the eyes of spring.
Memories like the eyes of a woman weeping,
And memories the color of milk and love!

Two doors has my tent, two doors like two wounds
One leads to the other tents, wrinkle-browed
Like clouds no longer able to weep;
And the second ― a rent in the ceiling, leading
To the skies,
Revealing the stars
Like refugees scattered,
And like them, naked.

Also the moon is trudging there
Downcast and weary as the UNRWA,
Yellow as if it were the UNRWA
Under a load of yellow cheese for the refugees.

Tent #50, on the left, that is my present.
But it is too cramped to contain a future!
And ― “Forget!” they say, but how can I?

Teach the night to forget to bring
Dreams showing me my village
And teach the wind to forget to carry to me
The aroma of apricots in my fields!
And teach the sky, too, to forget to rain.

Only then, I may forget my country.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He participated in founding the Land Movement in 1959. He left in 1966 and lived in Syria and Lebanon and later in New York City where he died in February, 1977.     More. . .

“. . . Have you noticed? You slip away with your dreams, your blood. . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

(Story in "Home Demolition" Page above.) In Umm Dirit, a 900 square meter fence was destroyed with the villagers' sheep inside. The fence was  on Palestinian land, a few meters from an Israeli settlement outpost.
(Story in “Home Demolition” Page above.) In Umm Dirit, a 900 square meter fence was destroyed with the villagers’ sheep inside. The fence was on Palestinian land, a few meters from an Israeli settlement outpost.

❶ From: PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
FATHER  OF  BURNT  TO  DEATH  TODDLER  ALI  SUCCUMBS  TO  WOUNDS  HE  SUSTAINED  IN  DUMA  CRIME
August 8, 2015
NABLUS― Critically injured Sa’ed Dawabsheh, Father of toddler Ali who was burnt to death during an Israeli settlers’ arson attack on two homes in Nablus’ Duma village last week, has succumbed to his critical wounds early Saturday.
____Security sources informed WAFA that Sa’ed, 33, who sustained three degree burns following the arson attack, died of his critical wounds, while receiving medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.
____On July 31, suspected Israeli settlers attacked two Palestinian homes with Molotov cocktails; they reportedly threw the bombs inside the bedroom window at dawn, giving the family no chance to escape. The attack claimed the life of 18-month Ali Dawabsheh, and left his Father, Sa’ed, mother, Riham, and 4-year-old brother, Ahmad, critically burnt and injured.
More. . .

❷ From: PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
FOLLOWING  DUMA  CRIME,  SETTLERS  ATTEMPT  TO  SET  FIRE  TO  ANOTHER  PALESTINIAN  HOME
August 8, 2015
NABLUS― Israeli settlers Saturday attempted to set fire to a Palestinian home belonging to a familyfrom al-Kaabneh tribe near the villages of Duma and al-Taybeh and adjacent to the Al-Mu’arrajat road leading to Jericho.
____Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in northern West Bank, told WAFA that a number of Israeli settlers threw Molotov cocktails toward the home of Palestinian local, Mahmoud al-Kaabneh, however, locals managed to fend their attack and control the fire. No injuries were reported.
____He said that the fire was difficult to put out as settlers have reportedly used a burning material that makes the flames grow larger when attempting to extinguish it.
____This failed attack came only a week after settlers Set fire to a home in Duma, Burning to death a toddler, and . . . his father. . .
More. . .

❸ From: The Palestinian Information Center
JEWISH  SETTLERS  ATTACK  CITIZENS  SOUTH  OF  JENIN
August 8, 2015
JENIN― A horde of Jewish settlers on Friday morning attacked Palestinian citizens in an area located between Arraba and Yabud towns, south of Jenin city.
More. . .

An Israeli Jewish settler shoots in the air as Palestinians protest against the Prawer Plan to resettle Israel’s Palestinian Bedouin minority from their villages in the Negev Desert, near the Israeli settlement of Bet El, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013.
An Israeli Jewish settler shoots in the air as Palestinians protest against the Prawer Plan to resettle Israel’s Palestinian Bedouin minority from their villages in the Negev Desert, near the Israeli settlement of Bet El, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013.

❹ From: +972 MAGAZINE
JAILING  PALESTINIANS  FOR  DECADES  WON’T  STOP  STONE  THROWING
Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man
Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man is a human rights lawyer specializing in international humanitarian law at the Michael Sfard Law Office in Tel Aviv.
August 7, 2015
[. . . .]
Last month the Knesset passed a bill amending Israel’s penal code, entrenching in the law more robust definitions that attach severe penalties for throwing stones at security personnel and their vehicles, as well as at civilians and their vehicles. Prior to this law there were two ways that stone throwers were criminally charged, neither of which was satisfactory to the legislators.
[. . . .]
Still, we do not need harsher penalties for stone throwing. There is no public benefit in jailing either Palestinian or Jewish stone throwers . . . .The only solution to this problem is equal law enforcement, halting the disproportionate use of force by the army and the police against demonstrators, ending the occupation, and alleviating the oppressive living conditions that cause despair among Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.
More. . .

❺ Opinion
From: PALESTINECHRONICLE
THE  MIDDLE  EAST:  BETWEEN  ARAB  DICTATORS  AND ZIONIST  RACIST  COLONIALISM
Hasan Afif El-Hasan, Ph.D.
August 8, 2015
Since the 1970s and beyond, when democratic ideas and institutions spread, power has been exercised on behalf of the people in most of the world’s nations. Democratization came about through actions initiated by the elite reformers, by the demands of political activists to adapt foreign models to solve local problems, and by social movements on behalf of excluded groups. The era of colonialism in Africa, India and East Asia ended, but Zionism, a new form of colonialism supported by the nineteenth century European colonial powers emerged in the Middle East.
____History has to be rewritten every generation because each new generation should ask new questions as it lives differently and learns from the mistakes that had been made. Only people in the Middle East today still re-live the same aspects of their predecessors’ experiences; they keep asking the same questions of the past generations and they are making the same mistakes. Things are going from bad to worse; the old tyrant rulers are replaced by new ones; old conflicts remained and new conflicts emerged.
More. . .

“STEPS,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
Have you noticed?
You cross the earth with your steps and your singing,
leaving for a faraway place
after years that have seemed as tired as the houses
but as free as the clouds
as the vehicles of the wind quit pounding the days
and you depart with them
as they shake the dust from their invisible bodies
and fling their bridles at words, shadows, and wooden benches.
Have you noticed?
You slip away with your dreams, your blood.
with horses, heights, water, sky,
cars, boats, and trains.
You’ve run away.
Have you noticed?
After all this
the earth is still wider than the ways of
your narrowing steps,
your short wings,
and your singing is barely complete.

From: Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.
Ibrahim Nasrallah, born 1954 in Amman, Jordan, in Wihdat refugee camp, is a Jordanian-Palestinian poet, novelist, professor, painter and photographer. He taught in Saudi Arabia for 2 years in the Al Qunfudhah region and worked as a journalist between 1978 and 1996. Nasrallah then returned to Jordan and worked at Dostur, Afaq and Hasad newspapers. He has published 14 books of poetry, 13 novels and two children’s books. In 2009 his novel The Time of White Horses was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Hundreds of Palestinians protest during a demonstration against the recent Israeli arson attack on the Dawabsha family, Duma, West Bank, August 1, 2015. Photo Ahmad Al-Bazz,
Hundreds of Palestinians protest during a demonstration against the recent Israeli arson attack on the Dawabsha family, Duma, West Bank, August 1, 2015. Photo Ahmad Al-Bazz,