Stop being silent . להפסיק לשתוק

gaza n envelope

The center of the Gaza Strip and the Israeli “envelope”, showing the relative population densities. מרכז רצועת עזה והעוטף להמחשת הצפיפות

תרגום שלי לפוסט של בר חפץ שהופיע אתמול בפייסבוק, + המקור העברי, מיד אחרי האנגלית

My translation of a post in Hebrew by Bar Heffetz, which was shared yesterday on  Facebook by Sol Salbe, with the Hebrew original immediately following the English:


sewage heb

From today’s Facebookings


Of all my Facebooking moments today, the above I think pierced me the deepest (it’s from the 5th of the posts below), & so I’ve headlined the quote & memed a bit of the story

Richard Flantz shared Umar Al-Ghubari’s post.
42 mins ·

this a time a pic & a pithy paragraph by Umar Al-Ghubari, some of whose incisive writings in Hebrew exposing & analyzing the criminal Zionist occupation of Palestine I have been glad to be able to translate
“A pile of books near a pile of stones by a demolished house. One book, a civics textbook in Arabic for grade four, called ‘Our Neighbours and Us’, was in the pile. For real. I photographed it. The neighbours that destroyed the house kept the body of the deceased, who was killed by the neighbours a week ago, for the sake of neighbours who don’t want us as neighbours. Let the education ministry make up lies all it wants. The real school is reality. This time the name of the school is Umm al-Hiran.”
– Umar Al-Ghubari of Zochrot
(happy tp be able to share this English translation of his Arabic & Hebrew that I found in this post by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society)

Tamar Goldschmidt
5 hrs ·
A translation into English by Tal Haran

Tamar Goldschmidt:
On January 14, the boy Ahmad Shabir died. He did not die. He was murdered. By the Shabak (Israeli General Security Services).
I am translating the disturbing article written by Talal Al Nabih of the Palestine Communication Center in Gaza:

“Ahmad Shabir – the martyr who thwarted the Shabak.

Some justify it, necessarily, as ‘human’. But in Ahmad Shabir’s vocabulary this is totally negative, and he considers it treason, an assault on the dignity of life… ‘A life and death struggle’… This was the obsession that took over his mind for two years, and finally he decided. And chose to die standing.

‘Dad. come, I’ll sum this up. They have asked me to collaborate and I told them I’d rather die in Gaza and not sell them myself cheap, or harm any of my countrymen and homeland’. This is the essence of those 12 hours which 17-year old Ahmad Hassan Shabir spent in a holding cell of the Zionist Shabak, haggling – over receiving treatment and collaborating, or returning to Gaza to die.
Ahmad had foregone the surgery he was supposed to undergo in recent months, taking leave of life and leaving behind his story – ‘love of one’s homeland’, his dream – ‘healing hearts’ buried along with him, and he will from now on be named ‘martyr of the siege’.

Shabir’s story:
Young Shabir suffered congenital cardiac flaws. Throughout his life he traveled 40 times to receive medical treatment. However, for the past two years his attempts at such travel were refused by the Zionist authorities. Attempts to extort collaboration from him failed as Ahmad was determined, and preferred to return to Gaza untreated rather than becoming a traitor-collaborator.
The son’s position was repeated by his father. As the Israeli Occupation attempted to take advantage of the latter’s fatherly feelings, tempt and trick him. But all the authorities’ attempts failed as Hassan answered, ‘I refuse to sell my soul cheap and harm my own countrymen. Just as you are committed to what you call your country, so am I committed to my own state and homeland.’

About Ahmad’s illness and death, father Hassan Shabir told the Palestine Communication Center that his son suffered four congenital heart flaws, but had always been patient and hopeful to be cured. He lived his life in hope, travelling on occasion to hospitals inside Israel to get treatment.
The security check:
Apparently the first 17 years of Ahmad’s medical treatment were unhampered. However, for the past two years, 2015-2016, Ahmad and his family were fated to a via dolorosa of haggling with the Occupation authorities which made their life impossible.
The father explains: ‘the first time Ahmad and his mother were offered the possibility of medical treatment in return for collaboration by the Occupation authorities at the Bet Hanoun/Erez Checkpoint was on March 22, 2016. They refused but were still allowed to proceed.’
The father continues: ‘After their return, Ahmad and his mother traveled again on April 18, 2016 and the doctors set a date for cardiac catheterization surgery in September.
Again in Gaza, as the surgery date approached, they applied for permits to travel but were surprised to receive the Occupation authorities’ refusal, as they were now declared ‘denied entry’.
The security meeting:
On October 10, 2016 the parents came with their ill son to the Bet Hanoun Checkpoint after agreeing to meet with the Zionist Shabak, ‘which then began haggling in order to obtain security collaboration as the price for medical treatment’.
During this meeting, lasting from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., the Shabak agents destroyed Ahmad’s medication, while negotiating ‘collaboration’. He was interrogated about members of the ‘Palestinian resistance’, his neighbors and friends, says his mother.
The mother, in her forties, tells the Palestine Communication Center, tears in her eyes, that her son refused the tempting offers made by the Shabak official, leaving him for long hours alone and in an impossible state of mind, but her on was patient, entrusting his fate to God.
The mother says that the Shabak official summoned her as well and suggested she ‘collaborate’, but she persistently refused and told him: ‘I am a housewife, we have no interest in such matters. The only thing we care about is the medical treatment that Ahmad should receive, so that he can be cured and live like any other youngster in this world’.
She recalls her son’s dream, which he shared with her a few days before his death:
‘I hope to live another six months and complete my matriculation exams’. And she continues: ‘He dreamed of treating hearts (specializing in heart surgery), but after his final meeting with the Shabak, the gates closed and his health deteriorated, parting with this life on Friday, January 14, 2017, after praying at the mosque, reading the Cave Sura, speaking with us and helping me to hang some laundry to dry’.”


Aya Zinati: “We Are Not In The Same Boat. A Letter to Israeli Feminists”

[My translation / Hebrew original below / מקור בעברית בהמשך]

To Israeli feminists and activists I say clearly and emphatically: No, we’re not in the same boat, and we’re not partners in the same struggle.

Such partnership is not possible because we don’t undergo the same oppression. We can’t be partners because you (and to be fair, I’ll say the crushing majority of you) don’t acknowledge the injustice of the Nakba and the oppression of the occupation that began in 1948, continued in 1967, and to this day.

This injustice and this oppression cannot be separated from what we’re undergoing today. We were expelled, murdered and raped in 1948 and in 1967 and the vast majority of you denied and continue to deny this fact, and whenever we bring it up you choose to abandon the struggle. For this reason it’s important to make clear that we, the Palestinian women living within the borders of the State of Israel, and also the Palestinian women living in the West Bank, Gaza, and in the Palestinian diaspora, have been conducting a single (although changing and developing) feminist-national struggle for many years, from back in the days of the British occupation and even before that. We have struggled against the Zionist occupation since 48, and at the same time we have conducted a struggle against the patriarchy that dominates in most of the strata of our Palestinian society. We do not need beside us Israeli women who are willing to “support” us in a way that is partial, conditional, limited and stuttering. For how is it possible to champion values of feminism and equality, but not to acknowledge and not to be willing to speak about oppression and occupation? I need to note that a very few of you are indeed willing to speak about the occupation, and particularly about the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, but those voices dissolve under the majority of you who aren’t willing to speak about this at all. How can a settler-woman in a house and on land that she has stolen from another Palestinian woman and family expect us to sit at a table and speak about partnership and women’s rights? It’s impossible, period. A Palestinian woman who participates in such a discourse places herself from the outset in a weak and hypocritical position, and is perhaps unaware of the danger in such a discourse.

We are in two boats, and they’re essentially different. We, the Palestinian feminists, don’t need women who’ll preach morals to us, or tell us how we ought to conduct our struggle – just as you wouldn’t be willing to accept men who’ll tell you how to conduct your struggle. We know very well how to conduct ourselves, how to demand and obtain our rights, what to say and when! We know that our journey is very long and hard. It includes resistance to the occupation, resistance to the patriarchy, and resistance to women who think they’ll redeem us from oppression while they themselves take part in our oppression but don’t have the courage to acknowledge this. You want a shared and comfortable struggle, but we’re not comfortable at all with this equation, and in this struggle too we’ve decided to break the silence. We erred and were silent a lot, and there are those who are still silent, but the day will come when they too will reach the right conclusions. Once we thought that you’d take it in, that you’d understand, that you’d acknowledge, but to our regret nothing has changed, and to be truthful it isn’t worth the effort, when we find ourselves expressing and explaining our position again and again, and while every new Israeli women’s project that wants to work in partnership with us repeats your willingness to speak only on gender problems in society, your evasions of speaking in a truthful way about the price the occupation extorts from is, and your expectations that we’ll be willing to give up.


Palestinian women demonstrating outside the British High Commissioner’s HQ, 1929

The struggle being conducted by Palestinian women wasn’t born yesterday. Here are some historical facts you should know: the Palestinian feminist movement was born in 1893, when women demonstrated against the establishing of the first Zionist settlements in Palestine, on lands of Palestinian villages. Already at its outset this struggle was interwoven with the Palestinian national struggle. In 1904 the first Palestinian women’s NPO [non-profit organization] was formed. In 1910, Palestinian women in Jaffa set up an NPO for women’s empowerment, which among other things assisted women to study and to get an education. In 1917 women demonstrated against the Balfour Declaration. In the late 1920s many Palestinian women’s NFOs were formed. Some of these engaged in politics and in the Palestinian national project, others in health, education, economics, empowerment, and in advancing women on all levels. The first union of Palestinian women was formed in 1919, with the participation of women from many towns and villages, including Akka, Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, etc. The first congress of Palestinian women took place in in 1929, with hundreds of women taking part. Many important congresses like it have been held since then, and continue to do so. Women participated in the Palestinian revolution and took part significantly in the uprising and the resistance, were part of the Palestinian army until 1948, and Palestinian women fighters were killed in the course of the fighting beside those women who were killed in their homes, in mosques they were hiding in from the shelling and the shooting, or while they were fleeing with the intention of returning one day. Palestinian feminist history is too long to detail in a short post, and these are only several details from it.
– Does any of you know it? Has any of you invested time in learning about it?

Since 48 the movement has undergone many changes: the messages, the goals, and of course the women themselves, have changed, but we’re proud to be daughters of this strong and empowering movement. We are another generation, and a generation is lacking, because many are not with us physically. Our partners in the struggle live in refugee camps in Arab countries after being expelled in the Nakba, others were expelled to the West Bank or Gaza and live there, in addition to the Palestinians who were already living in the part of Palestine that was occupied in 67. We wish for the moment when all Palestinian women will be able to return to their homes, to their lands, to their homeland, we wish for the moment when we’ll be able to work together without any barriers or limitations. For this too is a right that has been stolen from us, and you choose to deny this. We, Palestinian women, the majority of us, will always be here, in order to say this.

And from here I wonder, and today in a loud and proud voice, how is it possible to talk about feminism and to refuse to talk about the occupation since 48? How is it possible to talk about feminism and not to talk about the Palestinian women who were raped in 48? How is it possible to refuse to hear about cases of sexual harassment by men of the Border Police undergone since always and to this day by women activists during demonstrations and during interrogations? How is it possible to be a feminist and to champion values of freedom and equality, and to represent Palestinian women as weak, and Israeli women as saviors and not as occupiers? How is it possible to dare to demand of the Palestinian women that they put aside their national and political pain, so as to sail with them on a phoney journey of liberty that perpetuates the occupation? You keep repeating “Why drag everything back to the Nakba?”, and we keep declaring “Every day is Nakba” – of brave, strong women, who will change society, but in a different boat than yours, a boat that we have built, and we know where it’s heading.

Aya Zinati is a Palestinian feminist activist, residing in Lod, and a leading figure in the struggle against violence towards women in that city and in Palestinian society within the 48 boundaries

Here is the FB post with the Hebrew original , as shared by Miri Barak, who wrote: “A clear and strong voice. Every day is Nakba”.

וכאן הפוסט עם המקור בעברית

No, I’m not an Arab / la, ana la 3arabi / لا، أنا لأ عربي / לא, אני לא ערבי


PITS [/IGNORANCE]: A photo by Massimo Berrati (Gaza, 2015), a poem in Hebrew by Tal Nitzan, an annotation in Hebrew from the editors of HaOketz, & my English translations of both

To enlarge click anywhere in the meme below.
pits meme

12 articles I’ve recently shared etc on Facebook

To read on in my longer intros to these articles, click “See more”; to read the articles, click on the picture or the headline,


POEMS / in English / from GAZA 1-4

Yesterday I started this Facebook page:

poemsgaza banner

In the “About” section I wrote: “Poems that moved me, but needed some editing, now published with the poet’s approval. I now also invite other poets in English in Gaza to submit poems here.”

& yesterday, too, I posted two poems, prefacing the first with this note: “I sometimes find poems in English from Gaza that I am moved by, yet feel they could do with some editing. So I do an edit, message the poet, & we may discuss it. This is what happened with this poem by the young Gazan poet Ahmed Miqdad, which I found shared by Abedalrahman Eldarawi, another young Gazan poet I became acquainted with & befriended through Tony Murphy’s fine Voice of Gaza project (see

Reading the poem also led me to google Shireen Essawi, & I recommend the following links:…/18959-al-issawi-living-……/human-rights-award-to-…/…/5412-shireen-al-essawi-…

miqdad shireen

The second poem was by Abedalrahman Eldarawi:

abed skies

& today I added two more by the same two young poets:

abed face2face

muqdad sea