Posted by: Harold Knight | 03/05/2015

PLEASE TRANSFER TO MY NEW BLOG

holy land 2 080THIS BLOG IS MOVING TO

https://palestineinsight.wordpress.com/

photo(1)-002IN ORDER TO PREVENT CONFUSION

BETWEEN THE PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION,

OPINION, NEWS, AND POETRY FROM PALESTINE

and my personal writing.

I have chosen a photo of the Palestinian desert for this post, first, because I love the desert whatever continent it is on (I took this picture in the summer of 2008).
But more importantly, this photo seems to me representative of the stunning beauty of Palestine
which not everyone can see. Yet. Isaiah 35:1:

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
   the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly,
   and rejoice with joy and singing.

Note: When I have completed the change to Palestine InSight, I will again take this blog up as a space for my personal writing.

Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury

Samia Khoury puts the Netanyahu/Boehner circus into proper perspective.
(About Samia Khoury)

In his speech to the American Congress today, the prime minister of Israel , Benjamin Netanyahu,  said: “ Alliance between the USA and Israel should be above Politics.”

Really Mr. Netanyahu!!!! It is all about politics. When the prime minister chose to address the American Congress two weeks before the Israeli elections, and when his main focus in the speech was Iran , and the negotiations going on between it and the USA , he is indeed making a political statement. The mere fact that the invitation to Mr. Netanyahu to address the congress was not coordinated with President Obama is again a political statement. It is ironic that the Prime Minister whose country could not have been established or could have survived without the support of the USA and its presidents, including Mr. Obama, finds it fit to barge into this  controversial scene and split the congress and the administration. (Entire post)
Fadwa Tuqan

Fadwa Tuqan

“The Deluge and the Tree,” by Fadwa Tuqan
When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge
of dark evil
onto the good green land
‘they’ gloated. The Western skies
reverberated with joyous accounts:
“The Tree has fallen!
The great trunk is smashed! The hurricane leaves no life in the Tree
Had the Tree really fallen?
Never! Not with our red streams flowing forever,
not while the wine of our thorn limbs
fed the thirsty roots,
Arab roots alive
tunneling deep, deep, into the land!
When the Tree rises up, the branches
shall flourish green and fresh in the sun
the laughter of the Tree shall leaf
beneath the sun
and birds shall return
Undoubtedly, the birds shall return.
The birds shall return.
(About Fadwa Tuqan)
Jerusalem, Damascus Gate

Jerusalem, Damascus Gate

photo.

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eiHOW EU-US TRADE DEAL COULD THWART “BOYCOTT ISRAEL” CAMPAIGN
Ryvka Barnard and John Hilary
19 February 2015
Two members of the US Congress have introduced a bill that would turn a giant trade deal between the EU and US into a devastating weapon against the people of Palestine and all those seeking justice alongside them. Together with the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that is currently under negotiation, the proposed bill would compel all 28 EU member states to crack down on European groups participating in the growing movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In order to combat the increasing isolation of Israel in global public opinion, European governments would effectively be turned into police agents for the US. (More. . .)

IMECOXFAM: GAZA RECONSTRUCTION COULD TAKE OVER A CENTURY TO COMPLETE
Friday February 27, 2015
British rights organization, Oxfam, stated that the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip may take more than 100 years, at the current rate, to complete essential building of homes, schools and health facilities unless the Israeli blockade is lifted. (More. . .)

ISRAELI ATTORNEY-GENERAL TO DECIDE ON CRIMINAL PROBE OF NETANYAHU
Saturday February 28, 2015
Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein will decide, on Sunday, whether or not to launch a criminal investigation into the various affairs regarding the spending at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence, after Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino announced, earlier this week, that there is room to open a formal examination against Netanyahu. (More. . .)

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palestine news networkJOINT STATEMENT BY 30 INTERNATIONAL AID AGENCIES: “WE MUST NOT FAIL IN GAZA”.
Thursday, 26 February 2015
Six months have passed since a ceasefire on 26 August 2014 ended over seven weeks of fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip. The limited progress in rebuilding the lives of those affected and tackling the root causes of the conflict have alarmed many UN agencies and international NGOs operating in Gaza.

The Israeli-imposed blockade continues, the political process, along with the economy, is paralyzed, and living conditions have worsened. Reconstruction and repairs to the tens of thousands of homes, hospitals, and schools damaged or destroyed in the fighting has been sadly slow.  (More. . .)

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TWIP-homepage-logo-betaTHE JERUSALEM BLUES: A PORTRAIT OF THE CITY
By: Ali Qleibo
Issue 202.5, February 015
I had arrived early for my daily walk with my friend Abed. I took a seat on the stairway leading to Damascus Gate and whiled away the time watching the hubbub below.

“You could not have chosen any better position from which to enjoy the city!” An aged man patronized me from under his long camel-hair overcoat, abayeh, as he dashed past me. I did not recognize the presumptuous voice. “In Amman, they crave to be in your position,” he added without stopping. Before I could identify him he had disappeared into the crowds entering the city gate. (More. . .)

Dr. Ali Qleibo is an anthropologist, author, and artist. A specialist in the social history of Jerusalem and Palestinian peasant culture, he is the author of Before the Mountains Disappear, Jerusalem in the Heart, and Surviving the Wall, an ethnographic chronicle of contemporary Palestinians and their roots in ancient Semitic civilisations. Dr.Qleibo lectures at Al-Quds University.

photo(2).

“CURFEW,” by Ibtisam Barakat

Our city is a cell
Children’s faces
Are replacing
Flower pots on
Window sills.
And we are waiting.

From our bars
Of boredom
We enter
A spit race
The one whose spit
Reaches farther
Is freer.

We look to the sky
Squint our questions.

We turn the sun
Into a kite
Hold it with a ray
Till it is torn up
Inside the horizon.

And the light is
Peeled off the ground
A page in a bedtime story
We do not understand.

Our questions remain
A yeast
Inside our chests,
Rising.

Ibtisam Barakat is a Palestinian-American writer, poet, and educator. She was born in Beit Hanina, near Jerusalem.
Barakat received her Bachelor’s degree from Bir Zeit University, near Ramallah in the West Bank. In 1986, she moved to New York City, where she interned with The Nation magazine. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Journalism and Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri.
Her childhood memoir, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood, about growing up under Israeli occupation following the 1967 Six-Day War, was published in 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and won numerous awards and honors, including the Middle East Council Best Literature Book Award, 2007.

Jerusalem Temple Mount

Jerusalem Temple Mount

(A blog linking to information about PALESTINE not available in mainstream media.
“Online Resources” above lists helpful sites. Works by Palestinian poets close all posts.)

Eleven-year-old Firas al-Shirafi plays the ganun

Eleven-year-old Firas al-Shirafi plays the ganun

eiLISTEN: ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD GAZA MUSICIAN PLAYS QANUN
Rami Almeghari
Gaza City
24 February 2015
Eleven-year-old Firas al-Shirafi has experienced three major offensives against Gaza during his short life. Last summer, he was confined to his home in the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City as it was too dangerous to venture outside. As Israel bombed and shelled buildings and infrastructure across the Strip, Firas did his best to replace the sounds of destruction with life-affirming tunes.

“The only shelter for me was my music,” said Firas, who plays the qanun, a traditional string instrument.

JASMINE FESTIVAL, MARCH 3-10, Ramallah, Jerusalem
The Jasmine Festival is an annual festival that has been primarily hosted in Ramallah since the spring of 2011, with concerts also held in several other Palestinian towns and cities such as Bethlehem, Nablus, Shafamer, Jerusalem and Hebron, as well as the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The Jasmine Music Festival highlights genres such as Jazz, Western Classical music, Contemporary Arabic music, Sufi and traditional music from India, and traditional and folkloric music from Palestine and the world, and as such is an integral part of the ESNCM mission to promote music in Palestinian society in its different genres and forms.

IMECABBAS, ARAB LEAGUE, DENOUNCE ISRAELI ATTACKS ON HOLY SITES
By Saed Bannoura
Friday February 27, 2015 13:33 – IMEMC News
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement denouncing the Israeli attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Palestine, and called for international protection. Arab League condemns latest assaults, demands protection to holy sites.

SOLDIERS INVADE TOWN NEAR SALFIT
Friday February 27, 2015 10:11
Several Israeli military vehicles invaded, on Friday at dawn, Kuful Hares town, east of the central West Bank city of Salfit, to accompany Israelis touring archaeological sites in the town. Dozens of Palestinians suffer effects of teargas inhalation in Bethlehem.

palestineTHE TRUTH ABOUT ROOT CAUSES OF TERRORISM
by Ramzy Baroud, February 26, 2015

Truly, US President Barack Obama’s recent call to address the root causes of violence, including that of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) and al-Qaeda was a step in the right direction, but still miles away from taking the least responsibility for the mayhem that has afflicted the Middle East since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Palestinian-American journalist, author, editor, Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) taught Mass Communication at Australia’s Curtin University of Technology, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle. Baroud’s work has been published in hundreds of newspapers and journals worldwide and his books “His books “Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion” and “The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle” have received international recognition. Baroud’s third book, “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, December 18, 2014) narrates the story of the life of his family, used as a representation of millions of Palestinians in Diaspora, starting in the early 1940’s until the present time.

WILL THEY BELIEVE, by Ghassan Zaqtan
Will the children forgive the generation
trampled by horses of war, exile and preparation for departure?
Will they think of us as we were:
ambushes in ravines
we’d shake our jealousy
and carve trees into the earth’s shirt
to sit under
we the factional fighters
who’d shoo the clouds of war out of their carriages
and peer around our eternal siege
or catch the dead
like sudden fruit fallen on a wasteland?
Will the children forgive what we were:
missile shepherds and masters of exile and chaotic celebration
whenever a neighboring war gestured to us
we’d rise
to set up in its braids a place
good for love and residence?
The bombing rarely took a rest
the missile launchers rarely returned unharmed
we rarely picked flowers for the dead or went on
with our lives
If only that summer had
given us a bit of time’s space
before our mad departure
Will they believe?

Born near Bethlehem, Palestinian poet, novelist, and editor Ghassan Zaqtan has lived in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Tunisia. A poet who writes primarily in Arabic, Zaqtan is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Early Morning (1980), Ordering Descriptions: Selected Poems (1998), and Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me (2012, translated by Fady Joudah); the novel Describing the Past (1995); and the play The Narrow Sea, which was honored at the 1994 Cairo Festival.

main-image

(A blog linking to information about PALESTINE not available in mainstream media.
“Online Resources” above lists helpful sites. Works by Palestinian poets close all posts.)

“EFFECT OF TRAUMA DUE TO WAR. . ."

“EFFECT OF TRAUMA DUE TO WAR. . .”

$1000 SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE
Interfaith Peace-Builders is offering two $1,000 Scholarships for students and young adults who travel on Interfaith Peace-Builders’ July/August 2015 Delegation. In addition to the two $1000 scholarships, anyone who applies will also be considered for smaller financial aid packages from IFPB, ranging from $250 – $500. Our delegations are the core of Interfaith Peace-Builders’ work. . . IFPB delegations expose participants to perspectives that are not readily available in North America. Meetings with diverse representatives of Palestinian and Israeli society focus particularly on those working nonviolently for a resolution to the conflict and an end to the occupation.

IFPB Delegation, August, 2013

IFPB Delegation, August, 2013

Delegates see the Wall, checkpoints, and demolished homes and learn how these and much more affect Palestinians.

Likewise, delegates hear from Israelis about the effects of the conflict on Israeli society. The experiential learning that the delegation fosters is intended to motivate action for change when delegates return.

haaretz

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ABUSING THE PALESTINIAN CORPSE
Controlling the water, electricity and taxes, Israel’s mob – IEC, Customs and the infrastructure ministry – shows the Palestinian Authority who’s the boss.
By Zvi Bar’el | Feb. 25, 2015
There is no closure on the West Bank: Citizens can go out in the streets, travel, spend time in Ramallah’s discotheques and renovate their homes. Paradise.

But just so they won’t forget where they came from, and where they’re going, Israel reminds them that their ship of fools is no more than a corpse tossed to the side of the road, with every passerby permitted to kick it or spit on it. (Full story)

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fmepWASHINGTON POST GIVES HUCKABEE A PLATFORM ON ISRAEL
Mitchell Plitnick
February 25, 2015
As a Jew, I would be absolutely appalled to read these sentences: “The Huckabeeans also heard from Muhammed Tamimi, national president of the Arab Organization of America, who explained to the group, according to

Huckabee, that there’s really no such thing as the ‘Jewish People.’ ‘The idea that they have a long history here, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,’ Huckabee said.”

In fact, what appeared in the front-page article of today’s Washington Post read, “The Huckabeeans also heard from Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, who explained to the group, according to Huckabee, that there’s really no such thing as the ‘Palestinians.’ ‘The idea that they have a long history, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,’ Huckabee said.”

Aside from mentioning that prospective GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and his group would not be visiting Ramallah or meeting with any Palestinians, there was no mention of the Palestinians in this piece at all. (Full Story)

THREE ACADEMIC JOURNAL ARTICLES ON CHILDREN IN PALESTINE

Giacaman, Rita, et al. “MENTAL HEALTH, SOCIAL DISTRESS AND POLITICAL OPPRESSION: THE CASE OF THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY.” Global Public Health 6.5 (2011): 547-559.
Rita Giacaman, Yoke Rabaia, Viet Nguyen-Gillham, Rajaie Batniji, Raija-Leena Punamaki, and Derek Summerfield

This paper presents a brief history of Palestinian mental health care, a discussion of the current status of mental health and

health services in the occupied Palestinian territory, and a critique of the biomedical Western-led discourse as it relates to the mental health needs of Palestinians. Medicalising distress and providing psychological therapies for Palestinians offer little in the way of alleviating the underlying causes of ongoing collective trauma. This paper emphasises the importance of separating clinical responses to mental illness from the public health response to mass political violation and distress. . . Recognising social suffering as a public mental health issue requires a shift in the emphasis from narrow medical indicators, injury and illness to the lack of human security and human rights violations experienced by ordinary Palestinians. . . [and requires] development of a sustainable system of public mental health services, in combination with advocacy for human rights and the restoration of political, historical and moral justice. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] (Full Article)

Abdelziz Thabet, “EFFECT OF TRAUMA DUE TO WAR ON DISSOCIATIVE SYMPTOMS AND RESILIENCE AMONG PALESTINIAN ADOLESCENTS IN THE GAZA STRIP.” The Arab Journal of Psychiatry (2014) Vol. 25 No. 2

As well as the obvious physical damage, Israel’s attacks will leave a severe psychological mark on Gaza’s

EFFECT OF TRAUMA DUE TO WAR

EFFECT OF TRAUMA DUE TO WAR

surviving children. Three months after the last period of bombing ended, in January 2009, Abdelziz Thabet, a child psychiatrist at Al-Quds University in the Gaza Strip, studied the effects of the bombing on Palestinian children.

The (2008) Gaza war lasted three weeks and saw 1100 Palestinians and 13 Israelis . Of the 358 teenagers Thabet studied, 30 per cent were left with full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder. Most other teenagers presented some PTSD symptoms, and only 12 per cent had no symptoms. The study was published in the May issue of the Arab Journal of Psychiatry, just a month before the 2014 campaign began. (Full article)

Al-Krenawi, Alean, and John R. Graham. “THE IMPACT OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE ON PSYCHOSOCIAL FUNCTIONING OF INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES: THE CASE OF PALESTINIAN ADOLESCENTS.”Child & Adolescent Mental Health 17.1 (2012): 14-22.

The impact of political violence on the psychosocial functioning of adolescents and their families was compared for surveyed populations from two regions of Palestine. Method: A randomly-selected sample of 971 adolescents (521 from the West Bank and 450 from the Gaza Strip regions, 42% male/57% female) completed scales measuring traumatic event, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), peer relations, mental health, aggression, and family functioning. Results: (1) West Bank participants reported a significantly higher level of exposure to political violence and significantly more aggression, mental health symptoms, problems in family and social functioning; (2) Participants exposed to greater political violence reported higher levels of depression, hostility, paranoid ideation, and PTSD; (3) Economic status and level of parental education were related to reduced levels of mental health symptoms and greater family functioning; (4) There were gendered differences. Conclusions: The study provides a starting point to begin to compare the experiences and outcomes between Palestinian adolescents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and a basis for considering implications for service delivery and policy makers concerned with the wellbeing of Palestinian communities. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]  (Full article)

MIMESI, by Fady Joudah

My daughter
wouldn’t hurt a spider
That had nested
Between her bicycle handles
For two weeks
She waited
Until it left of its own accord

If you tear down the web I said
It will simply know
This isn’t a place to call home
And you’d get to go biking

She said that’s how others
Become refugees isn’t it?

From Alight. Copyright © 2013 by Fady Joudah
Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American poet and physician. He is the 2007 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition for his collection of poems The Earth in the Attic. He was born January 1, 1971 (age 44), Austin, TX.

(A blog linking to information about PALESTINE not available in mainstream media.
“Online Resources” above lists helpful sites. Works by Palestinian poets close all posts.)

Saleh Abu Shamsiya, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy playing in the snow

Saleh Abu Shamsiya, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy playing in the snow

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Opinion
U.S. TAX MONEY HELPS KEEP PALESTINIANS IN OPEN-AIR PRISON
Madeline Buthod • St. Louis
February 21, 2015

Regarding the Washington Post article “Israel’s Netanyahu spent $24,000 on takeout” (Feb. 18):

It reported that his exorbitant spending on personal affairs violates ethical standards and could potentially raise criminal issues. While spending tax dollars on takeout food should raise concerns, I’d like to argue that the occupation of the West Bank and mass murder of thousands of Gazans should raise much higher red flags about ethical violations.

I recently spent two weeks in Israel/Palestine as an Interfaith Peace-Builder delegate. During my visit, I met farmers whose orchard had been bulldozed by Israeli authorities. I met other farmers who were separated from their land by an electrified fence. I met people who had family members shot at, arrested or killed for nonviolently trying to keep the separation wall from being built on their farm. (Full letter)

amp header.600American Muslims for Palestine
US AID TO ISRAEL – 2015 FACT SHEET

Total American aid to Israel since 1949 exceeds $121 billion (in non-inflation-adjusted dollars).

In 2007, President George Bush and Israel entered into a 10-year Memoradum of Understanding that would give Israel $30 billion in Foreign Military Assitance.

At the completion of this 10-year-plan in 2018, the U.S. will have given Israel $30 billion in unconditional military aid. The United States awards this grant in one lump sum, unlike other foreign recipients, which receive their payments in installments. Israel uses the interest it earns on this amount to pay down its debt to the United States, valued at $455 million in January 2013. In his March 2013 visit to Israel, President Barack Obama pledged to continue multi-year aid packages to Israel through 2028. (Full report)

cpt-001Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine
WHOSE TOWNS ARE ALLOWED TO GROW? DEMOLITIONS IN IDHNA AND THE BAQA’A VALLEY

by Member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine
January 21, 2015

DEMOLITION IN IDHNA
Last week Christian Peacemaker Team members drove out of Hebron with our Palestinian partner organizations the Land Research Centre and Al-Haq. Our purpose of driving through the rocky hills with their terraced farms was to see the results of more Israeli demolitions that happened just before the recent big storm. While our destination was only thirteen kilometres as the crow flies – it was much longer, because we needed to navigate around the complex settler road system, and of course Palestinians aren’t allowed on them all.

We arrived in the town of Idhna, a village that that has existed since the Bronze Age. The Green Line (1949 armistice line) lies just a kilometre away, and from the village you can see the Israeli ‘security fence’ cutting across the Palestinian farmland. (Full report)

IMECInternational Middle East Media Center
10-YEAR-OLD BOY ATTACKED AND ARRESTED FOR PLAYING IN THE SNOW

Monday February 23, 2015

On the afternoon of the 21st of February Saleh Abu Shamsiya, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy, was attacked by settler youth in the Al-Khalil (Hebron) neighborhood of Tel Rumeida. (Full account)

ISRAEL BEGINS CUTTING OFF ELECTRICITY TO WEST BANK
Monday February 23, 2015
Israel’s Electric Corporation announced, Monday, that it will begin limiting the supply of electricity to a number of cities in the West Bank beginning from 2.00 p.m. today. (Full account)
_________
The Middle East Magazine

TROUBLED WATERS
Kerry Hutchinson,
February 2014

While statistics can be produced to manipulate whatever ‘fact’ the proposer wishes to establish as a ground truth, nature is oblivious to such human data manipulations – her truths are immutable. The man-made ‘truths’ over water in the Occupied Territories vary depending on whose statistics you believe. One set of figures show the Palestinians have adequate water supplies, whereas others indicate they are being denied access to even the most basic water needs. The reality involves vast disparity, widespread mismanagement and overall indifference from those in a position to instigate change.

Clearly, each side is stealing water from the other. Israeli settlers assault Palestinian farmers and fence off access to Palestinian water sources, or turn them into ‘tourist attractions’, before denying access to Arabs on so called ‘security grounds’. Palestinians syphon off what they can, at personal risk, to circumvent the draconian restrictions imposed upon them. However, what remains undeniable is that while water is freely available to fill the swimming pools of some, it remains off-limits to others to drink or cultivate crops. (Full article, available from Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine; an organization of the Liberal Democrat Party of the UK.)

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“REVENGE,” by Taha Muhammad Ali (1931-2011)
translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi and Gabriel Levin. 21 December 2006.

At times … I wish
I could meet in a duel
the man who killed my father
and razed our home,
expelling me
into
a narrow country.
And if he killed me,
I’d rest at last,
and if I were ready—
I would take my revenge!
*
But if it came to light,
when my rival appeared,
that he had a mother
waiting for him,
or a father who’d put
his right hand over
the heart’s place in his chest
whenever his son was late
even by just a quarter-hour
for a meeting they’d set—
then I would not kill him,
even if I could.
*
Likewise … I
would not murder him
if it were soon made clear
that he had a brother or sisters
who loved him and constantly longed to see him.
Or if he had a wife to greet him
and children who
couldn’t bear his absence
and whom his gifts would thrill.
Or if he had
friends or companions,
neighbours he knew
or allies from prison
or a hospital room,
or classmates from his school …
asking about him
and sending him regards.
*
But if he turned
out to be on his own—
cut off like a branch from a tree—
without a mother or father,
with neither a brother nor sister,
wifeless, without a child,
and without kin or neighbours or friends,
colleagues or companions,
then I’d add not a thing to his pain
within that aloneness—
not the torment of death,
and not the sorrow of passing away.
Instead I’d be content
to ignore him when I passed him by
on the street—as I
convinced myself
that paying him no attention
in itself was a kind of revenge.

“Revenge” was initially published by TWO LINES: World Writing in Translation, along with a short introduction to the poet and the poem by Peter Cole. The poem was read by Taha Muhammad Ali and Peter Cole at the 11th Dodge Poetry Festival in Stanhope, New Jersey. Taha Muhammad Ali lived in Nazareth. When he was not reading and writing poetry, he ran a souvenir shop. Peter Cole is a poet, translator and editor, and has been visiting professor at Wesleyan University and Middlebury College. He lives in Jerusalem. This poem is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews) and can be accessed at http://www.commongroundnews.org.

Mandate Era postcard of Nazareth

Mandate Era postcard of Nazareth

(A blog linking to information about PALESTINE not available in mainstream media.
“Online Resources” above lists helpful sites. Works by Palestinian poets close all posts.)

haaretz.

NETANYAHU’S REAL VICTIM? THE AMERICAN JEWISH ESTABLISHMENT
A new, GOP-centered Jewish alliance powered by Sheldon Adelson is gradually taking its place.
By Peter Beinart,  February 11, 2015

Who are Benjamin Netanyahu’s American victims? Not Barack Obama. Despite Bibi’s best efforts, he’s still in office, and

Casino Billionaire, Patron-at-large

Casino Billionaire, Patron-at-large

retains the affections of most American Jews. Not the left-wing activists who oppose a Jewish state within any borders: Bibi’s settlement mania has been a bonanza for them. “We’ve got to give credit to. . .
. . . Bibi’s longtime patron, Sheldon Adelson. If the old American Jewish establishment tries to combine support for Israeli policy with domestic tolerance, the new American Jewish establishment is nakedly Islamophobic. Adelson, for instance, is on record as saying that “the Muslims…want to kill all Jews.” The ZOA sponsors talks by anti-Muslim bigot Pamela Geller.
(Full article)

fmepTHE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL AT A CROSSROADS - Report/Resource
February 19, 2015
Today, the U.S-Israel bilateral relationship stands at a crossroads.
Increasingly the national interests of the two countries – and in particular its current leaders — are diverging. While the latest crisis is focused on the nuclear talks with Iran, on no issue does this divide have greater long-term implications for U.S. interests in the region than the creation of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. For the United States, this is an imperative; for the current Israeli government it is not.
(Full story)

new yorkerLetter from Jerusalem
“THE ONE-STATE REALITY.” ISRAEL’S CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENT SPEAKS UP FOR CIVILITY, AND PAYS A PRICE
By David Remnick, November 17, 2014
Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, the new President of Israel, is ardently opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. He is instead a proponent of Greater Israel, one Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. He professes to be mystified that anyone should object to the continued construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank: “It can’t be ‘occupied territory’ if the land is your own.”
. . . since Rivlin was elected President, in June, he has become Israel’s most unlikely moralist. Rivlin. . . has emerged as the most prominent critic of racist rhetoric, jingoism, fundamentalism, and sectarian violence, the highest-ranking advocate among Jewish Israelis for the civil rights of the Palestinians both in Israel and in the occupied territories. Last month, he told an academic conference in Jerusalem, “It is time to honestly admit that Israel is sick, and it is our duty to treat this illness.” (Full story)

eiISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER ON FACEBOOK: PALESTINIAN PRISONERS SHOULD BE EXECUTED
Patrick Strickland, Thursday 02/19/2015
Israel’s hardline right-wing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman plans to introduce a bill into the country’s parliament, the Knesset, which would implement the death penalty for Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli lockup. (Full story)

PALESTINIANS FIGHT BACK AGAINST ISRAEL’S LAWLESSNESS.wrmeaorgbannerlogo7
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (2015).
By Rachelle Marshall
For nearly 70 years, Palestinians under Israeli occupation have endured expulsion from their homes, theft of their land, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, humiliation and devastating bombing attacks with remarkable forbearance. Since taking office in 2005 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has tested that forbearance to the limit. But as recent events suggest, their patience may be exhausted.

With an Israeli government openly opposed to an independent Palestinian state, the massacre of 2,200 Gazans in Operation Protective Edge, the burning to death by Israelis of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, and thousands more Jewish settlers scheduled to move into Arab East Jerusalem, angry Palestinians took action using the only means they had—stone throwing and knife attacks. Netanyahu’s response was a pledge to “use an iron fist” against the mostly teenage protesters.

Between July and early November, 800 young Palestinians were arrested, scores of them under 18. Police didn’t hesitate to shoot children. Among the victims were Fatima Panjabi, 11, and her 4-year-old cousin Ahmad. Another child, Saleh Mahmoud, 11, was blinded in one eye when he was shot in the face. Bahaa Mousa Bader, 13, Orwah Abdel Hammad, 14, and 15-year-old Mohamed Sinokrot were killed by police bullets. The slain children were among the 53 Palestinians. . .
(Full story)

monitorCOULD OFFICIAL’S DEATH MEAN THE END OF PALESTINIAN SECURITY TIES WITH ISRAEL?
By Christa Case Bryant, December 10, 2014
Jerusalem — “If anyone asks about the Palestinian Gandhi, he is dead.”
That’s how one Palestinian on Twitter summed up the events of Wednesday, in which Ziad Abu

Ziad Abu Ein, the late Palestinian Ghandi

Ziad Abu Ein, the late Palestinian Ghandi

Ein, a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official and a fiery leader of protests against Israeli settlement activity, died shortly after a clash with Israeli soldiers at a West Bank demonstration. (Full story)

“RAMALLAH,” by Bei Dao, 1949

in Ramallah
the ancients play chess in the starry sky
the endgame flickers
a bird locked in a clock
jumps out to tell the time

in Ramallah
the sun climbs over the wall like an old man
and goes through the market
throwing mirror light on
a rusted copper plate”=

in Ramallah
gods drink water from earthen jars
a bow asks a string for directions
a boy sets out to inherit the ocean
from the edge of the sky

in Ramallah
seeds sown along the high noon
death blossoms outside my window
resisting, the tree takes on a hurricane’s
violent original shape

On August 2, 1949, Zhao Zhenkai was born in Beijing. His pseudonym Bei Dao literally means “North Island,” and was suggested by a friend as a reference to the poet’s provenance from Northern China as well as his typical solitude. . . At the request of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, he traveled to Palestine as part of a delegation for the International Parliament of Writers.

Posted by: Harold Knight | 02/19/2015

Worthy of a post of its own

PERKINS PRESENTS INAUGURAL “PERSON OF FAITH” AWARD AND 2015 SEALS LAITY AWARD
February 17, 2015

DALLAS (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, announces the selection of Hind Jarrah as inaugural recipient of its Person of Faith Award, and Kay Prothro Yeager as recipient of the 2015 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award. Both awards will be presented at a 12:00 p.m. luncheon Saturday, March 7, 2015, during the three-day Perkins Theological School for the Laity.

Dr. Hind Jarrah

Dr. Hind Jarrah

The Perkins School of Theology Person of Faith Award was created in 2015 to recognize a woman, man, or young person who – through their own religious institution or the wider interfaith community – is making a significant contribution as a peacemaker or reconciler. The award is open to persons of all religious traditions. . .

Hind Jarrah, first recipient of the new Perkins School of Theology Person of Faith Award, is executive director of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, a non-profit, educational, philanthropic, outreach and social service organization dedicated to empowering Muslim women and their families.

regular for every postFrom:
ei
YOUNG DANCER JAILED BY ISRAEL FOR TAKING PART IN PROTEST

By Charlotte Kates. Beirut. 13 February 2015

Lina Khattab, 18, is in her first year of media studies at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank. An accomplished dancer, she is a member of the renowned troupe El-Funoun.

She was arrested by the Israeli military on 13 December as she joined fellow university students in a march to Israel’s Ofer prison, which holds Palestinian political prisoners.

El-Funoun has produced a video of scenes from her arrest spliced with some of her performances with the troupe, which specializes in the traditional Palestinian dance dabke.

Khattab has now been imprisoned for nearly two months and brought before the military court at Ofer nine times. Her last hearing on 25 January was a closed session; no family or observers were allowed to enter the military court. (Full story.)

Follow-up story from
mondoweiss
.

ISRAEL SENTENCES PALESTINIAN TEEN LINA KHATTAB TO 6 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PROTESTING
By Ben Norton, February 18, 2015

_________________________________________
From:
haaretz

AMERICAN JEWS, SPEAK OUT AGAINST NETANYAHU’S POLICIES
Benjy Cannon
Feb. 18, 2015
The Israeli prime minister and the majority of U.S. Jews fundamentally disagree on key issues. The time has come for American Jewish institutions to address this tension.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech before Congress – organized behind President Obama’s back – has uncharacteristically split the Jewish communal establishment. Yet the controversy over the speech exposes a tension that has been brewing below the surface for years. The fact is that when it comes to politics, values and the key issues that will decide Israel’s future, Netanyahu and the majority of American Jews fundamentally disagree. The time has come for American Jewish institutions to accept and address that important tension.

The speech, and Netanyahu’s intransigent refusal to back down from it, have created a firestorm of criticism, coming from such mainstream Jewish leaders as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League and Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism.  (Full story.)
________________________

From:
palestine

ISIS AND ISRAEL: ALLIES AGAINST A PALESTINIAN STATE
Sep 10 2014
By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

An image speaks a thousand words – and that is presumably what Israel’s supporters hoped for with their latest ad in the New York Times.

Two photographs are presented side by side. One, titled ISIS, is the now-iconic image of a kneeling James Foley. . . awaiting his terrible fate. The other, titled Hamas, is a scene from Gaza, where a similarly masked killer stands over two victims. . .

A headline stating “This is the face of radical Islam” tries, like the images, to equate the two organizations. . . Netanyahu’s depiction of Hamas and ISIS, or Islamic State, as “branches of the same poisonous tree” is a travesty of the truth.

ISIS militants burning Palestinian flag.

ISIS militants burning Palestinian flag.

The two have entirely different – in fact, opposed – political projects. ISIS wants to return to a supposed era of pure Islamic rule, the caliphate, when all Muslims were subject to God’s laws . . . the implication is that ISIS ultimately seeks world domination.

Hamas’s goals are decidedly more modest. It was born and continues as a national liberation movement, seeking to create a Palestinian state. Its members may disagree on that state’s territorial limits but even the most ambitious expect no more than the historic borders of a Palestine that existed a few decades ago. (Full story.)

__________________________________________

“A NIGHT UNLIKE OTHERS,” by Mourid Barghouti
His finger almost touches the bell,
the door, unbelievably slowly,
opens.
He enters.
He goes to his bedroom.
Here they are:
his picture next to his little bed,
his schoolbag, in the dark,
awake.
He sees himself sleeping
between two dreams, two flags.
He knocks on the doors of all the rooms
– he almost knocks. But he does not.
They all wake up:
“He’s back!
By God, he’s back!” they shout,
but their clamour makes no sound.
They stretch their arms to hug Mohammed
but do not reach his shoulders.

He wants to ask them all
how they are doing
under the night shelling;
he cannot find his voice.
They too say things
but find no voice.
He draws nearer, they draw nearer,
he passes through them, they pass through him,
they remain shadows
and never meet.
They wanted to ask him if he’d had his supper,
if he was warm enough over there, in the earth,
if the doctors could take the bullet and the fear
out of his heart.
Was he still scared?
Had he solved the two arithmetic problems
in order not to disappoint his teacher
the following day?
Had he . . . ?
He, too, simply wanted to say:
I’ve come to see you
to make sure you’re alright.
He said:
Dad will, as usual, forget to take his hypertension pill.
I came to remind him as I usually do.
He said:
my pillow is here, not there.
They said.
He said.
Without a voice.
The doorbell never rang,
the visitor was not in his little bed,
they had not seen him.
The following morning neighbours whispered:
it was all a delusion.
His schoolbag was here
marked by the bullet holes,
and his stained notebooks.
Those who came to give their condolences
had never left his mother.
Moreover, how could a dead child
come back, like this, to his family,
walking, calmly, under the shelling
of such a very long night?

مريد البرغوثي‎, Murīd al-Barghūti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest separated from his wife, the Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour. They have been together in the West Bank since they were allowed to return together in 1996. Their son, Tamim Al Barghouti, born in Egypt in 1977, is himself an important Palestinian poet.

photo(2)-003
From
ei

Tuesday, 17 February 2015
ASHRAWI CONDEMNS ATTACKS AGAINST INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN EUROPE
PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, met with the newly appointed Head of Mission of the Netherlands Representative Office, Peter Mollema, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah and welcomed him to Palestine.
In the meeting, Dr. Ashrawi expressed her hope that the Dutch government would continue to play a positive role in the region and to adopt serious and concrete political initiatives to bring Israel to compliance with international law, to end the military occupation, and to establish the independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. She also called on the Dutch government to recognize Palestine without preconditions in the immediate future. (Full story.)

Hanan Ashrawi

Hanan Ashrawi

Monday, 16 February 2015
OCCUPATION THREATENS TO UPROOT 2000 TREES NORTH SALFIT
Israeli occupation authorities on Monday handed threats to uproot about 2000 trees and splings in Haaris village northwest Salfit, West Bank, claiming that the land was “state property.”
Researcher Khaled Ma’ali told PNN that occupation handed the threats to the LandLord Amin Daoud, telling him that the land was confiscated. The case has been transferred to the Beit El settlement court for judgement, pointing that the landlord had papers proving property of land. (Full story.)

From

palestine news networkSunday, 15 February 2015
20,000 PALESTINIAN HOMES ON ISRAELI DEMOLITION SHORTLIST
Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed that more than 20,000 Palestine homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities.
Ziad Hamouri, the center’s head, stated that the reason why these homes will be demolished is that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality in the occupied city of Jerusalem. Although, applications for such licences from Palestinians are rarely approved. (Full story.)

“Travel Tickets,” Samih al-Qasim

On the day you kill me
You’ll find in my pocket
Travel tickets
To peace,
To the fields and the rain,
To people’s conscience.
Don’t waste the tickets.

Samīħ al-Qāsim  سميح القاسم‎; (born 1939) is a Palestinian Druze whose Arabic poetry is well known throughout the Arab World. His poetry is influenced by two primary periods of his life: Before and after the Six-Day War. Al-Qasim has published several volumes and collections of poetry.

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