سميح القاسم

Don’t honour me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm!

Don’t glorify me by giving my name to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
in my name
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honour!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name!

Tell my mother-
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine,
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy….

Samih Al Qasim, He Whispered Before He Took His Final Breaths

(Translated from Arabic by Nazih Kassis)

Samih Al Qasim, a Palestinian Druze poet, passed away today after battling cancer for years.

(via globalwarmist)

Note: We occupy the moral high ground merely by being under occupation, and we climb higher by resisting that occupation. Period.
Belal Dabour, doctor at Al Shifa Hospital
Enemy of the sun, I will not compromise my principles and until the last pulse in my veins I shall resist!
Samih al Qasim

THE BDS movement presents Israel with its worst nightmare: a nonviolent movement, basing itself on the principle of equality and international law, that can bring together activists in the streets, at workplaces and on college campuses.

Israel can no longer afford to ignore its BDS critics, but whenever it tries to answer them, it inevitably ends up having to explain how the “Middle East’s only democracy” is based on an apartheid logic that would shame all but the most intransigent racists.

The growing movement in solidarity with Palestine is finding form in many ways. In countries around the world, for example, activists will again participate in Israeli Apartheid Week in March.

Many BDS campaigns are local, which gives them the capacity to touch people where they live, work, study and eat. At George Mason University, to take one instance, student activists organized a walkout during a graduation speech by Shari Arison, a billionaire Israeli businesswoman who profits from Israeli apartheid. They also succeeded in getting food services to provide alternatives to hummus made by Sabra, a brand with ties to the Israeli military.

There are also many opportunities to forge ties with other social justice causes, especially since the tactics of boycotts and divestment are familiar from many other struggles in history—the U.S. civil rights movement comes to mind.

It was precisely when the South Africa regime could no longer defend its legitimacy that it was clear that apartheid’s days were numbered. The BDS movement is hastening the arrival of those same days for Palestinians, eager to live as equal citizens in their indigenous land.

Who’s Afraid of BDS?

For all those who weren’t aware last night, UCLA (the most applied to academic institution in the world) hosted a 12-hour “dialogue” about divestment that hosted hundreds of speakers, not excluding Sarah, someone who I’m immensely honored to call a dear friend and a sister in Islam.

Unfortunately, UCLA, like other universitites, choose against divesting from five corporations who directly benefit from the continued erosion and demolishment of Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank. However, as this article quotes, BDS (which stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions- against trangressors of Palestinian livelihood) has grown tremendously in both popularity and support. What was once regarded as an insular movement has transformed into a global phenomenon with many powerful institutions choosing to withdraw both financial and political assistance from Israeli apartheid.

Five years ago, even having a bill like presented to constituents at UCLA wouldn’t have been thought possible and though the final vote didn’t provide the moral resolution, the tides of normalization are indeed changing and swinging in the favor of justice. If not this year, there will be another with even more mobility and awareness about the state of dire injustices that plague the apparatus of Israeli settler colonialism.

This is only the beginning and those who have rallied, given speeches and have been subjected to threats, harassment, slurs and hate speech (expected, but vile nonetheless) for standing on the right side of history should not take this as a loss, nor should they feel deterred by their noble efforts in any shape.

(via maarnayeri)

Marcel Khalife by Mido Seifeddine


Marcel Khalife by Mido Seifeddine


A series of mash-ups by Basel Elmaqosui, pairing classic works by the masters with scenes from the street.

Mr. Elmaqosui inserted “The Card Players” by Cézanne into a photograph of men playing cards on a blanket in one of the United Nations schools that have sheltered thousands of displaced residents for weeks. He put Picasso’s “Child With a Dove” next to an actual dove — or perhaps a white pigeon — perched on one of the only walls that remain standing in the destroyed village of Khuza’a, in front of a Palestinian flag. Beside a Beit Hanoun neighborhood reduced to rubble, the figure in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” howls. 

“Many of these drawings are related to our reality. They happened before in the world. It’s like they are happening again now.” He said.

See the article “ Artists’ Work Rises From the Destruction of the Israel-Gaza Conflict ” about his work in the New York times . 


"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." 
| James Baldwin


"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."

| James Baldwin

I heard you in the other room asking your mother, Mama am I a Palestinian?’ When she answered ‘Yes’ a heavy silence fell on the whole house. It was as if something hanging over our heads had fallen, it’s noise exploding, then - silence. Afterwards…I heard you crying. I could not move. There was something bigger than my awareness being born in the other room through your bewildered sobbing. It was as if a blessed scalpel was cutting up your chest and putting there the heart that belongs to you…I was unable to move to see what was happening in the other room. I knew, however, that a distant homeland was being born again: hills, olive groves, dead people, torn banners and folded ones, all cutting their way into a future of flesh and blood and being born in the heart of another child…Do you believe that man grows? No, he is born suddenly - a word, a moment, penetrates his heart to a new throb. One scene can hurl him down from the ceiling of childhood onto the ruggedness of the road.
Ghassan Kanafani
Since 9/11, pro-Israel lobbying groups have created a veritable industry of shuttling police chiefs from major US cities to Israel to ‘learn’ from the ‘best.’ these missions function as important marketing opportunities for Israel’s ‘security’ industry as well as to shore up ideological support for, and identification with, Israel among US elites. In 2010, the Jewish United Fund, in cooperation with the Israeli government and Israel’s notoriously abusive Shin Bet secret police, sponsored a high-level delegation of Chicago law enforcement officials to Israel, where they were treated to an ‘intensive seminar’ on ‘intelligence-led policing techniques and responses to critical events.’ Among the sites they visited were occupied East Jerusalem and ‘checkpoints for people, vehicles and cargo.’ Israel’s oppressive and internationally condemned occupation regime was being openly touted as a model for Chicago, a city that Michelle Alexander identifies as already one if the worst places to see the devastating effects of racial segregation, militarized policing, and mass incarceration. The trip was the second of its kind; between the two delegations, commanders of every major division of the Chicago police had been to Israel, including Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence, Bureau of Investigative Services, Organized Crime Division, Mobile Strike Force, SWAT, and the city’s Office of Emergency Management. The Chicago Police Department ‘is today more effective operationally and tactically as a result of these two trips and the enduring partnership with our Israeli institutional and individual counterparts,’ said department chief of staff Michael Masters.
Ali Abunimah