Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Bloodied Keffiyeh Haiku

This Brave New World, CXXIX

a teen waves his bloodied keffiyeh becoming Flag

FYI: For many Palestinians, the keffiyeh symbolizes their yearning for freedom and serves a nod to their history. For some non-Palestinians, it's a show of solidarity. 

And The Guardian, Jan.9, 2023 (9 months before the Hamas attacks): Israel security minister bans Palestinian flag-flying in public: Itamar Ben-Gvir’s order follows series of punitive steps against Palestinians since Israel’s hardline government took office.

AddedThis Brave New World, CXXX

Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

nativity scene
Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus
amid tangled rubble

the sound of church bells
fades in the gathering dark
empty Manger Square

FYI: Manger Square is a city square in the center of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "In 1950, Bethlehem and the surrounding villages were 86 percent Christian. But by 2016, the Christian population dipped to just 12 percent, according Bethlehem mayor Vera Baboun."

The New Yorker, Nov.1 2023: The Gaza-ification of the West Bank: As the war in Gaza escalates, so, too, has the forcible displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank. Is Israel’s approach to the two regions linked?

An interview with Hagai El-Ad, an Israeli activist and the former executive director of the nonprofit organization B’Tselem, which works on human-rights issues in the occupied territories.

 Government of Canada, Dec. 15: 14 countries, in addition to the EU, call on Israel to take immediate and concrete steps to tackle record high settler violence in the West Bank.

And Haaretz, Dec. 24: "Christmas During Gaza War: Bethlehem Marks a Somber Holiday"

Bethlehem and the entire Holy Land are in a state of grief and deep sadness. There's no problem with attending Midnight Mass: There are no tickets, no stress and no worshippers.

Added: This Brave New World, CXXXI

a girl whispers
Santa, can you stop the war?
his finger to his lips

Note: Issa Kassisieh, Israel’s only certified Santa Claus, works for the Santa’s House of "Ho Ho Holy Land" in the Christian Quarter, East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967. 

For more, Haaretz, Dec. 24: "What This Jerusalem Santa Tells Kids When They Ask Him to Stop the Gaza War"

Reuters, Dec. 25: In Christmas Day message, pope decries Gaza's 'appalling harvest' of civilian deaths

I plead for an end to the military operations with their appalling harvest of innocent civilian victims, and call for a solution to the desperate humanitarian situation by an opening to the provision of humanitarian aid.

And Business Insider, Dec. 25The Pope prayed for peace in Gaza and called children devastated by war the 'little Jesuses of today'

Added: This Brave New World, CXXXII
written in response to Palestinian Pastor Munther Isaac's Christmas sermon:

In these last two months, the psalms of lament have become a precious companion to us. We cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Gaza? Why do you hide your face from Gaza?”

my God, my God
why have you forsaken me?
bloodied Jesus
trapped under Gaza rubble
in the Christmas cold

FYI: Democracy Now, Dec. 26: Watch Palestinian Pastor Deliver Powerful Christmas Sermon, “Christ in the Rubble”