Posted by: Harold Knight | 02/28/2015

“. . . We look to the sky Squint our questions . . .” (Ibtisam Barakat)

Jerusalem, Damascus Gate

Jerusalem, Damascus Gate

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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.

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“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

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