Feb 15, 2020

Bat and Hyena

I watched part of a movie called “Inglorious bastards” which was supposed to be about an American unit of Jewish soldiers formed in WWII to kill Nazis (I think this is fictional); its commander wanted each member to collect 100 scalps of killed Nazis. I turned it off when it actually got that bloody/ gruesom (the “Bear Jew” soldier uses a bat to smash the skull of a German officer!). A settler in Hebron used a bat once to smash the skull of a Palestinian Child and the killer is free.  I do not like war movies anyway (wars are rackets and profit elites on both sides). I could not sleep thinking about this kind of violence. The shooting in the back even of unarmed protesters in Gaza or even unarmed civilians like children (John Pilger called it like shooting sitting ducks in a barrel) and so many others. 
It has always bothered me as to why so many Jews got brainwashed by Zionism to become so hateful and so self-focused that they do not even care that millions of us Palestinians are suffering: >100,000 killed, >800,000 injured, >7.5 million refugees and displaced people by a methodical process of ethnic cleansing to create a racist “Jewish state” that does not help Jews. Only by thinking of parallels and other scenarions (like South Africa under apartheid, the institution of slavery, and such) that I start to understand mentality of privileged/oppressers/colonialists. But I really need to also guard my heart and mind from notions of vengance and hate. I thought again about that movie and what prompts someone to make such horrible (really horror) movies glorifying murder/killing fellow human beings. I could not sleep thinking how horrible it would be for someone in the future made a similar film about say killing all Zionists! Ofcourse both the Nazi and Zionist regimes did (and in the case of the Z’s still do) horrible things. As did the British, French, & the US regimes (Hiroshima, Nagazaki, Dresden, Vietnam, Korea, Camobodia, South America etc). But we must really be very careful and such movie would be a horrible ideas in any of those cases. I will quote the poetry of my friend Ahlamn Shalhout: “I dream of a new earth in which the abused never become the abuser and the deceived never become the deceiver… May all broken hearts and wings be mended. May all the hearts beat as one. May all the dreams come true at the expense of none” Or as the late Faisal Hussaini had said: “Lord [we beseech you] to make the bloods that were shed [so far over 100,000 Palestinians, few thousand Israelis] become a light that shows us the way and not fuel for hatred and revenge”.

We get local and international visitors every day here (four delegations visited our institute just today). I tell them the same thing about action for human rights. Just like we humans did so to end slavery, for civil rights, for women right to vote, tpo end US and Western support for apartheid in soth Africa and the genocide in Vietnam, etc. Action is critical and we must never ever give up despite all that is bad around us. Wew feel bad for horrible things done to fellow human beings by fellow human beings (e.g. the massacres in Gaza by Israeli colonizers). We also feel bad for horrible things human beings do to other animals and plants. Just this week, the Environmental Quality Authority office in Hebron called me and brought is a murdered female hyena (strangled and dragged by a car). As we dissected the body (preparing a skin for our natural history museum), I found that she is pregnant and the baby at term (about to deliver). The post about this on the museum facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Palestine-Museum-of-Natural-History-1454309858180882/ ) reached 50,000, 21000 engaged, over 380 click like or mad etc, and over 100 shares and 120 comments. Many of us kept thinking about that cruelty. I could not sleep also that night. The next day we hear that a friend who helped in our tour in the UK died unexpectedly (Peter MacDonald).
 but then we planted trees and harvested vegetables/fruits and life goes on in occupied Palestine and our friends and us have lots of hope.
Stephanie of GIZ planting an olive tree - baby she carries will come visit one day

 Every day we see so many sad things…. But we also see so many great things: humans standing up for injustice, challenging tyranny, planting seeds (literally and figuratively).  Just in our own small sphere, we had great activities this week. We had workshops on biodiversity that attracted 70 people Tuesday and Wednesday. 

We talked about action for preserving nature and humans around Al-Makhrour valley (project funded by Darwin and National Geographic including benefit to 80 farmers in Walaja, Battir, Husan, and Beit Jala. We also had several meetings for starting an EU funded project for enhancing human diversity and biodiversity in our region. We had great visitors to our institute. We trained young people in doing studies of the environment. We ate food from our garden and much more. Keep the hope alive but act. For example let us all target these 112 companies working in (profiting from) occupied Palestinian lands- The UN Published the list and you can see it here:

Feb 5, 2020

بقاؤنا الجماعي

بقاؤنا الجماعي

كتبت كتابين عن النضال الفلسطيني (واثنان آخران جاهزان للنشر قريبًا)، وأبرزت من خلالهما محورية القضية الفلسطينية بالنسبة للسلام العالمي، وقد نشطت في الكفاح من أجل حقوق الإنسان والبيئة منذ ما يقرب من أربعة عقود. لم أكن أكثر قلقًا من الآن بشأن المستقبل. أنا هنا لا أتحدث فقط عن مستقبل 13 مليون فلسطيني (7.5 مليون لاجئ أو نازح) ولكن عن مستقبل البشرية ككل. واسمحوا لي بسرد تسعة أشياء فقط قد تثير التسائل:

1)      سيفوز ترامب بأغلبية ساحقة تمامًا مثل بوريس جونسون وأحزاب اليمين ستكتسب قوة في جميع الدول "الغربية" (لن أخوض في تفاصيل لماذا هذا هو الحال لكن المذكور أدناه يمكن أن يسرع هذا التوجه لأن الدعاية الاعلامية يمكن أن تستخدم في أوقات معينة لدعم أولئك الذين يَعدون الشعوب بتوفير "الأمن").

2)      اعتادت وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية أن تقضي ما بين 40 إلى 50٪ من وقتها في الترويج لإسرائيل، وتم توجيههم لمضاعفة جهودهم من أجل إسرائيل (معلومات داخلية من زميل في وزارة الخارجية). هذا يعني أن 80٪ من وقت سفراء الولايات المتحدة والمبعوثين وغيرها من الجهات الفاعلة في 204 دولة ومنطقة حول العالم ستعمل على تنفيذ اجندات صهيونية. وبالتالي لَيْ الذراع والتطبيع من قبل أوغندا والسودان وغيرهم. الخلاصة: المصلحة القومية الأمريكية تخسر، الاستعمار الإسرائيلي يفوز.

3)      يسيطر الصهاينة على ثروات وموارد كبيرة بما في ذلك معظم كبار الشركات العالمية الغربية ووسائل الإعلام الرئيسية في العالم مثل سي إن إن إمبراطورية فوكس  (Fox)،والتلفزيون الألماني الخاص وغير ذلك الكثير.

4)      إن الجسد السياسي الفلسطيني وقيادتنا لم تكن أبدًا أضعف أو غير مؤهلة أكثر من الآن. جميع الخبراء الرئيسيين مهمشين، فقط أولئك الذين يتعهدون بالولاء لمحمود عباس والذي يحيطه السحيجة "يأخذون دورهم". يبذل أفراد جهودًا بطولية لكن بالنظر إلى النقطة الثالثة، يصعب الوصول إلى جماهير واسعة باستثناء وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي والتي يراقبها الصهاينة عن كثب وينصبون الكثير من المصايد من خلالها. إضافة إلى ذلك فإن استخدام جماعات الضغط اللوبي لحمل الحكومات والمؤسسات على حظر انتقاد إسرائيل أو الصهيونية باعتبارهما "معاداة للسامية" في ازدياد. يأتي هذا في ظل العمل الخبيث لاسكات صوت العاملين من أجل حقوق الانسان.

5)      التفكير الصهيوني ينصب على المدى القصير بكيفية سرقة المزيد من الأراضي والموارد الطبيعية من الفلسطينيين الأصليين. سيطر الصهاينة بالفعل على معظم أراضي الفلسطينيين (الآن يقبع الفلسطينيون في 8٪ من أراضيهم التاريخية وهذه هي المناطق الحضرية القليلة التي تحتوي أقل من 1٪ من الموارد الطبيعية). لكن هذا ليس مستدامًا من الناحية الأخلاقية والقانونية والبيئية واللوجستية من عدة أوجه (انظر كتابي عن "مشاركة أرض كنعان"). الفلسطينيون لن يذهبوا إلى أي مكان حتى تذهب البشرية جمعاء (انظر أدناه)

6)       سيتسارع إفقار الفلسطينيين (كان الشعب الفلسطيني من أغنى شعوب العالم العربي قبل الصهيونية) . ستصبح كانتونات الضفة الغربية مثل كانتون غزة / غيتو / بانتوستان. لكن هذه فائدة قصيرة المدى لإسرائيل حيث يزيد الفقر من معدل الانجاب، وحيث أن قلة قليلة من الفلسطينيين يمكن أن يغادروا، في الوقت الذي يغادر فيه مئات الآلاف من الإسرائيليين إلى الخارج (300,000 الآن في ألمانيا) ، فإن الغالبية الفلسطينية في ظل الحكم الإسرائيلي سترتفع من 52 ٪ الآن إلى 65 ٪ بحلول عام 2048. المزيد من الإسرائيليين سيتحولون الى معاديين للصهيونية. علاوة على ذلك ، فإن البيئة في تدهور مستمر أساسا. احصائيات الصحة تشير الى زيادة في أمراض السكري والسرطان والعيوب الخلقية الخ.

7)      تغير المناخ يتسارع وله تأثير في جميع أنحاء العالم. لا حاجة لتوضيح المزيد هنا حيث شاهد وسمع الجميع عن الحرائق والدمار في منطقة الأمازون وإفريقيا وأستراليا.

8)       تم تغطية القليل من الأحداث حول سباق التسلح العالمي الذي تسارع خلال العشرين عامًا الماضية. ترسانة إسرائيل من الأسلحة النووية على الغواصات والصوامع في النقب، ترقية الولايات المتحدة لترسانتها النووية بأسلحة نووية أكثر قابلية للاستخدام. نحن الآن أقرب إلى تبادل نووي مدمر أكثر بكثير من أزمة الصواريخ الكوبية 1962 أو 1973 عندما تدخلت أمريكا لحماية اسرائيل . الأسلحة الكيميائية والبيولوجية يتم تطويرها واستخدامها أيضًا. لقد اعتقدت دول مثل إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة التي تنفق نسبة كبيرة من ناتجها المحلي الإجمالي على الأسلحة أنها يمكن أن تشق طريقها من خلال ذلك. لكن الفيزياء تخبرنا بأنه لكل فعل هناك رد فعل وأن دولًا مثل إيران والصين وروسيا وحتى اليمن والعراق وسوريا لن تتهاون أبدًا مع هيمنة الولايات المتحدة (التي تحتلها الآن إسرائيل أيضًا) على الشؤون العالمية. نحن نعيش في عالم خطير للغاية

9)      يتم طرح تقنية G5 دون فهم المخاطر الهائلة المرتبطة بها، وهذا أيضا سيشكل قضية أخرى للصراع بين الدول. سواء كان الفيروس التاجي الجديد عبارة عن اختراع بشري متعمد أم لا، فقد جاء في الوقت المناسب لإحباط مسيرة الصين أو على الأقل تأخير مسيرتها لتصبح أقوى اقتصاد على وجه الأرض. ولكن مع وجود 7.5 مليار شخص على وجه الأرض، فإن الأمر مجرد مسألة وقت قبل إطلاق فيروس لا يمكن إيقافه والصين وروسيا وايران ليسو السعوديو ويوغاندا.

يمكنني توسيع هذه القائمة بشكل كبير لكنكم ترون ما الذي يقلقني ويقلق ملايين الناس بشأن مستقبلنا الجماعي. عندما سألت في محاضرتين في سويسرا عن فرصنا في تجنب الكارثة، قلت ربما 20 ٪. لكنه يشير في نفس الوقت إلى الحاجة الملحة للعمل. لهذا السبب اتفقنا مع حركة تمرد انقراض (Extinction Rebellion) وبدأنا مجموعة "فلسطين من أجل الكوكب". اجتماعنا القادم هو السبت 22 فبراير.

مقال بالتأكيد يستحق (إعادة) القراءة من قبل الأستاذ الراحل. إدوارد سعيد عن الكرامة والنضال https://lithub.com/edward-said-on-the-death-of-american-activist-rachel-corrie/

وأخيرا اقتباس من هوارد زين  (Howard Zinn)
"أن أكون متفائلا في الأوقات السيئة ليس رومانسية وحماقة. إنه يقوم على حقيقة أن تاريخ البشرية هو تاريخ ليس فقط من القسوة ، ولكن أيضًا من التعاطف والتضحية والشجاعة والعمل الجماعي. ما نختار التأكيد عليه في هذا التاريخ المعقد سيحدد حياتنا. إذا رأينا الأسوأ فقط، فهذا يدمر قدرتنا على القيام بشيء ما. إذا تذكرنا تلك الأوقات والأماكن - وهناك الكثير منها - حيث تصرف الناس بشكل رائع، فهذا يعطينا الطاقة للعمل، وعلى الأقل القدرة على إرسال هذه العالم في اتجاه مختلف بدل الدمار. وإذا قمنا بالعمل بغض النظر عن الطرصغرة فلن ننتظر المستقبل المثالي حتى يحدث. المستقبل هو سلسلة لا حصر لها من الهدايا والإنجازات. العيش الآن كما نعتقد أن البشر يجب أن يعيشوا في تحد لكل ما هو سيء من حولنا، هو في حد ذاته انتصار رائع."

Our collective survival

I wrote two books on the Palestinian struggle (and two more are ready to publish soon), highlighted its centrality to world peace, and I have been active in the struggle for human rights and the environment nearly four decades. I have never become more worried than now about the future. Here I speak not just of the future of the 13 million Palestinians (7.5 million refugees or displaced) but the future of humanity as a whole. Let me just list eight things that makes you pose and wonder:

1-Trump will win with a landslide just like Boris Johnson and right wing parties gain strength in all “Western” countries (I won’t go into the details of why this is the casebut the below could even accelerate this trend as propaganda can be used in times of uncertaintly to propel those who promise “security”).

2-The US state department used to spend perhaps 40-50% of their time promoting Israel and they were instructed to  double their efforts for Israel (inside information from a colleague in the state department). That means perhaps 80% of the time of US embassadors amnd envois and CIA etc effors in the 204 countries and provinces will work to implement Zionist agendas. Hence the arm twisting and normalizations by Uganda, Sudan and many others. American national interest loses, Israeli colonialism wins.

3- The Zionists control of significant wealth and resources including much of the world mainstream media like CNN (Wolf Blizer used to be a Zionist hack before becoming a “reporter”) to Fox empire to German private TV and much more.

4-The Palestinian body politic and our leadership has never been weaker or more incompetent than now. All key experts are sidelined and only those who pledge allegiance to Mahmoud Abbas are “in play”. Individuals do heroic efforts but considering #3 it is difficult to reach wide audiences except via social media and Ziuonists pay many trolls on those. Further the use of lobbies to get governments and institutions to ban criticism of Israel or Zionism as “anti-semitism” is mushrooming. This is especially insidious as campus activism for human rights is being silenced.

5-The Zionists short term thinking is merely how to steel more land and natural resources from the native Palestinians. Zionists already took over most of the land (now Palestnians are squeezed into 8% of their historic land and this is the few urbanized areas with <1% of the natural resources). But this is not sustainable morally, legally, environmentally, and logistically in so many ways (see my book on Sharing the Land of Canaan). Palestinians are not going anywhere until the whole humanity goes (see below).

6. The impoverishment of the Palestinains (one of the richest in the Arab world before Zionism) will accelerate here. The West Bank cantons will become like the Gaza canton/ghetto/bantustan. But this is short term benefit for Israel. Poverty increases reproduction rate and since very few can leave while hundreds of thousands of Israelis are moving abroad (300,000 now in Germany) the Palestinain majority under Israeli rule will go from 52% now to 65% by 2048. Further many Israelis are either post-zionist or anti-zionist. Further the environment is really going down the drain. Health stats are already revealing increase in diabetes, cancer, congenital birth defects etc.

7. Climate change is accelerating and has an impact around the world. No need to elaborate on this as everyone has heard of the fires and destruction in the Amazon, Africa, and Australia.

8. Little covered are the arms race around the world that accelerated the last 20 years. Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons on submarines and silos in the Negev, US upgrade of its nuclear arsenal with more usable (they call them low yield) nuclear weapons and so on. We are closer now to a far more devastating nuclear exchange than the Cuban missile crisis. Chemical and biological weapons are also developed and used. The countries like Israel and the US that spend a significant percentage of their GDP on armaments thought they could get their way. But physics tells us that for every action there is a reaction and countries like Iran, China, Russia and even Yemen and Iraq and Syria will not put-up for ever with hegemony of the US (now also Israeli occupied territory) over global affairs. We live in a very, very dangerous world

9. The 5 G technology is being rolled out without understanding the huge risks associated with it. Never-the-less this is also another conflict issue between nations. Whether the new coronavirus was a deliberate human concoction or not it came at the right time to thwart or at least delay china’s march to become the strongest economy on earth. But with 7.5 billion people on earth it is only a matter of time before an unstoppable virus is unleashed.

I could expand this list significantly but you see what I and millions of people are worried about our collective future. When asked at two of my lectures in Switzerland about our chances of averting catastrophe, I said maybe 20%. 80% probability that we won’t make it is grim but it points to urgent need for action. That is why we agreed with extinction rebellion movement and we started a group Palestine Action for the Planet. Our next meeting is Saturday 22 February.

An article definitely worth (re)reading by the late prof. Edward Said on DIGNITY and the struggle for good causes:

Finally a quote by Howard Zinn
“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” Howard Zinn  

Sep 8, 2019

Shame on us

In one location only in Al-Makhrour, Israeli colonialists started a new colonial outpost, bulldozed home and restaurant (belonging to Ramzi) and burned a farmhouse (belonging to Munir Qaraqe’s family) to clear the area next to their planned colony (can be added to hundreds of others buildt on native land). At least here we can and do visit and help and show solidarity to victims. Most of us cannot go visit or help the families of the three Gaza teens murdered by the Zionist regime this week or the countless suffering families in Kashmir (thanks to India’s fascist government propped by Israel collaboration). Do we grieve & act as well as we can? This led me to think about issue of pride and shame. I arrive to the conclusion that the only pride and shame we should feel is about our own actions or lack thereof:

Shame on us
for silence on Palestine, Kashmir, Amazon, Bahamas, detention centers in US and much more
for letting our neighbor’s homes be demolished
for allowing fascist politicians to take over our countries
for merely paying lip service to our martyrs after they are killed
for saying prayers and then forgetting what they died for
Shame on us
for blaming the colonization for more than it is responsible for
for our own actions and lack of actions
for silence on the murder of Israa Gharib by her own family
..and many more beautiful girls for supposed “honor”
… no honor in brutal murder or in excusing it
Shame on us
for patriarchy and tribalism
for tossing trash into our streets
for not composting
for buying Israeli products while speaking of resistance
for tolerating corrupt leaders
for shaking hands with corrupt officials
for silence and for cajoling powers
Shame on us
for our self-imposed weakness and for lack of organizing
for not respecting law and order
for inactions and for apathy in the face of oppression
for believing in might instead of right
for letting down Basel Al-Araj, Bassam Aburahma
… and thousands more
Shame on us
for allowing Netanyahu to visit occupied Hebron
… leaving only a few young people challenging him
for letting self-appointed “leaders” attack Issa Amro and youth against settlements
for superstition and belief in a god who would save us
Shame on us
for “security coordination”
and for following orders
for accepting to be paid blood money to help the occupiers
for allowing a few bad apples spoil much of the population
for feeling helpless
and internalizing repression (mental colonization)
Shame on us
for lack of reading
for losing dignity
for ignoring
…our power to change
…our own history
….our rich canaanitic culture
…..our young minds
… suffering for so many people
Fellow human beings
…and the suffering of our planet
Home to fellow living things
Shame on us
for forgetting that Palestine was and is the country of beauty
…Of the Fertile Crescent
…Of the cradle of civilization
…Of successful resistance*
…Of miracles of rebirth
For forgetting that this planet earth is our only home
…home of good and bad
…home of Einstein and Ben Gurion
…Ibn Sina and Ibn Saud
…home of death and rebirth
…home our only home

Next poem on PRIDE!
*read my book “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment”

Palestinian Action for the Planet (PAP) second meeting 7 September 2019.
(Join us next meeting 3-5 PM Saturday 21 Sept at the museum palestinenature.org/visit )

Action points
1)  Environmental clubs in school: Committee (Mohammad N, Saad, Carla and Sara). Draft concept paper to be written collecting relevant data and ideas (e.g. from groups that did such work) then presented for ministry of Education also with potentially Rotary International
2)  Urban green space: Committee created (Sandy , Dr. Khaled and Najla). Look at existing situation and obstacles, design a program of action (e.g. greening more ceilings and walls, sidewalks, reserving space for green areas without buildings).  Then talk with ministry of local government and then with local authorities. Dr Khaled will contact the Hebron municipality.
3)  Media Committee (public relation)  to be created: Reena, Sameer, George R, Mazin. Festivals and conventions and conferences are good opportunities. EEC festival we will be there. Sandy will contact the organizers of the Beit Sahour Festival. In all conversations not only promote PAP but also promote that activities themselves are minimal waste generators/minimal impact on environment (e.g. culture festivals Drs. Khaled, Osama and Mazin will develop relations with the universities to engage students, staff, & faculty on environmental issue;  empowered activities like reducing waste, recycling etc.
4)      Begin working on regulations: Mazin will contact PENGON and eWASH suggesting them to take lead on this 

Jul 4, 2019


This morning I took a group of seven volunteers to watch the sunrise in the desert area near Mar Saba. The stillness and beauty of the area caused me to then sit down and write this blog which reflects my thoughts on a dramatically changing world but essentially an unchanged human nature and interactions and the therapy of good deeds. 

The nature of my work (95% of my 80 hour/week work is volunteer effort) since I returned from the US in 2008 to Palestine involves interactions with hundreds of people every week. There are children who come to the museum (palestinenature.org), university students, visiting international delegations, people on the street, farmers in marginalized villages, government officials, employees, international and local volunteers, and family and friends. The interactions increase every year because of the expansion of our network and activities.  I absorb silently those pieces of knowledge about people and their behaviors and it is fascinating always. However one could categorize them into negative and positive. Let me give negative examples first:

-Individuals who have an over-inflated ego who want to be in positions of more power for the sake of power
-Corrupt individuals (found in NGOs, government etc)
-Lazy people who sit around bemoaning their fate but doing little to change it
-Habitual liars
-Racists (e.g. many Zionists that keep sending me racist notes and articles)
-Individuals who come to you only when they need something and when you need them they quickly disappear
-Individuals who stab you in the back (because of jealousy or other)
-Fundamentalists who take their religion not as a mechanism to get spiritual, be kind etc but as a way to judge and punish the “other”

I could go on but I am sure my readers (especially those engaged in activism) know that list. But there is an even longer list of positives
-Individuals who give of themselves volunteering and helping (e.g. volunteers here at the museum).
-Individuals who take time to thank others for their good work
-Individuals who do their jobs with passion and gusto (when doing something they do it well)
-Educators who work with children and really make a difference in their lives
-Academics who care about their students and provide role models for critical thinking, questioning, civic engagement etc
-Researchers who add to our knowledge nin ways that serve sustainability of humans and natural ecosystems
-Those who engage in resistance sometimes at great cost to themselves and their families
-Poor and kind people who deeply know that sometimes a small gesture, a token gift (even a hand drawn card) makes a big difference
-Children who have an amazing mind to explore and learn.
-Students at the university who do not accept regurgitation of information but challenge and seek knowledge, critical thinking etc
-Women (and men) who have that beautiful nurturing spirit that creates ripple effect in society
-Activists who work hard to leave the world a better place.

Again I could go on. By listing the above, please do not understand that people are classified: behaviors are. Most (perhaps even all) people have a mix of activities some good and helpful to society and some destructive. Many people also change, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. But every day we do meet people who are overwhelming themselves with negative energy and some who exude 99.9% positive energy. Just the past 24 hours, I interacted in meaningful ways not just with a government official who sat around bossing people around and actually interfering with their work but with these positive people:

-A nurse who was going out of her way to help patients in overcrowded government facilities. She called older ladies mother and aunt!
-Omar who is a kind father of three trapped behind the wall (essentially a prisoner in his own home) who refused to give in to Israeli pressures to remove him and proudly showed me around a newly cultivated part of his farm (in Al-Walaja)
-A colleague who donated his book library to the museum
-Rotarian colleagues who had helped projects for women and children in Gaza and in Bethlehem
-Zohar joined me to go to deal with some bureaucracy and we got a chance to talk. She is a long term “Israeli” (I say human) volunteer who really cares about fellow human beings.
-Young international volunteers who come to work in the garden and wherever needed. Hard labor but idealistic people from seven countries who will not let us older people continue to destroy our plant.
-Gaza colleagues who survive against unimaginable odds.
-A friend who repeatedly refused privilege and money to maintain his principles and who always insists on paying for our dinners and desserts. He especially inspires young people.
-A colleague who came from abroad bringing us needed supplies that otherwise would be hard to pass by Israeli customs
-A Jewish man who takes time to try to explain to fellow Jews how Zionism is not the answer but is actually part of the problems facing Jews and the rest of humanity
-Staff at the museum who exhaust themselves, going beyond the call of duty to serve such as working with children here in the summer camp.
-Colleagues in the UK working hard to arrange a speaking tour for us
-A research building us an algal farm
-A volunteer building us a compost toilet
-My wife who while tired still goes around picking trash from streets and tending to others’ needs
-My mother who was so concerned that her garden tortoises were being stolen that she asked me to take the last remaining three (originally 11) to the museum where “they can have a better life)
Omar and Jessie
And this is just 24-30 hours! The real stresses and difficulties of living under occupation, and occasionally getting stabbed in the back are more than compensated for by the therapy of sunrises, good company and kindness. We have always had ying and yang, angels and devils on our shoulders! What we chose to emphasize and work with is what shapes our future and our legacy: the good wolf and bad wolf struggling inside us. The one that gets stronger is the one we feed. So let us all try to feed the good wolf inside and we keep the hope alive. And may we always enjoy simple things like flowers and friends and sunrises. 

This Week in Palestine magazine (best English language magazine covering Palestinian issues) just published  (July issue which is focusing on Green Palestine) two articles covering our work which are worth reading
Our study of Wadi Zarqa al-Ulwi protected area (a summary of an example project we did and do here)
A green oasis in invcreasingly urbanized Palestine: about our institute’s efforts in agriculture and natural landscapes

How we miss our friend Edward Said and his writings and activism for Palestine. May we all try to leave such a legacy.

Jun 23, 2019

Dead Horse

The cart before a dead horse

This is a letter I address publicly to Mahmoud Abbas and all Palestinian (and other) people

A while back I was invited to a meeting of Palestinian business and political leaders. One of the prominent speakers was a prominent member of the revolutionary council of Fatah. Wikepedia said he was accused of corruption repeatedly. The meeting was to address the financially precarious situation of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and ways to respond to the Bahrain conference. I heard much “political” posturing and useless talk including an interesting note that the politician said that the authority “cannot” prevent people from going to Bahrain (because then it could be said that the people did not attend because of pressure”. I commented: If our objection to the Bahrain conference is that it is trying to subvert Palestinian legitimate rights of return to their homes and lands and self-determination via “bribes” of economic improvement, then this is precisely what the Oslo agreements were about. If we disagree with that approach, then we should start by removing all the agreements of Oslo and its appendages like the Paris economic agreement that gave Israel responsibility to continue its economic profiting from the occupation. Someone asked what is your solution? I said go back to be a real Palestine Liberation Organization: Palestine is all of Palestine not 22% of it, Liberation is self-explanatory and it is for all 13.5 million of us Palestinians, and organization means more than one person we “pledge loyalties” to. The well-dressed politician came after the meeting to chastise me before he got into his fancy black Mercedes (which was left running all the time) with his body guards. Many of those attending came to tell me that they supported what I said (I told them they should have spoken out in public). Many are genuinely afraid but it is now an existential issue and we cannot remain silent. I told them more people are speaking out. The social media is a very strong tool in our hands.

The Bahrain conference concocted by racist Zionists Kushner/Greenblatt/Freedman uses exactly the same language as encoded in Oslo. You can compare for example the economic texts of Oslo II agreement signed in Paris (available here https://www.paltrade.org/upload/agreements/Paris%20Economic%20Protocol.pdf ) with the text of the Bahrain “Peace to prosperity” working documents (available here https://www.whitehouse.gov/peacetoprosperity/ ).

To be blunt: those who signed on to Oslo I and II and still follow them are no more or less than those who sign on to Bahrain I (yes, there will be Bahrain II). In public speeches they claimed it is somehow a different thing and now putting the cart (economy under occupation) in front of the horse (political solution of two states). Sorry, the cart had run over the horse and killed it back in 1993 (some say the beginnings was in 1974 and 1988). So it is time to get a new horse proverbial horse (A PLO reclaiming its charter of a secular democratic state), remove the trash that was accumulated in the cart and get a new beginning. It is thus not enough for us to protest things. It is time to take our own initiatives. It is time for a new PLO that reflects the will of the people and can then harness their amazing power. If anyone wants to know about the amazing power of the Palestinian people to get new horses, please read my book “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment.” In it I explain for example how the uprising of 1936 forced dissolutions of many factions, reshaped others, and created new ones. We must learn from our history the right lessons. The best lesson to learn is that it is never too late to admit mistakes and go back to the people. I do have real faith in the people. The self-declared leaders know in the deep recess of their calcified hearts these facts and know that risking positions and money is nothing compared to the certainty that if they stay the course, the end will be clear. We all die. The question is how do you want to be remembered? You have two models 1) Collaboration/selfishness: e.g. Marshal Philippe Pétain (head of the French Vichy regime 1940-1942) and Nguyễn Văn Thiệu (corrupt US puppet president of South Vietnam 1967-1975), or 2) enlightened leadership like Omar Al-Mukhtar and Che Guevera? The choice is yours/ours.

I Murder 200,000+ People… Every Day

رسالة علنية

العربة قبل الحصان الميت

رسالة علنية لمحمود عباس ولكل الشعب الفلسطيني

دُعيت لحضور اجتماع لرجال الأعمال والقادة السياسيين الفلسطينيين. كان أحد المتحدثين البارزين رجلاً من رجال السلطة وعضو المجلس الثوري لحركة فتح. قالت ويكيبيديا إنه متهم بالفساد مرارًا وتكرارًا. كان الاجتماع لمعالجة الوضع غير المستقر ماليا للسلطة الفلسطينية في رام الله وسبل الرد على مؤتمر البحرين. طُرحت المواقف "السياسية" والحديث غير المجدي بما في ذلك ملاحظة مثيرة للاهتمام مفادها أن السياسي قال "لا يمكن" للسلطة أن تمنع الناس من الذهاب إلى البحرين (لأنه يمكن بعد ذلك القول إن الناس لم يحضروا بسبب الضغط). إليكم ما قلته أنا: إذا كان اعتراضنا على مؤتمر البحرين هو محاولة تخريب حقوق الفلسطينيين المشروعة في العودة إلى ديارهم وأراضيهم وتقرير المصير عن طريق "رشاوى" من التحسن الاقتصادي ، فهذا بالتحديد ما وقع عليه في اتفاقيات أوسلو ، وإذا لم نوافق على هذا النهج ، فعلينا أن نبدأ بإزالة كل اتفاقيات أوسلو وملاحقها مثل اتفاق باريس الاقتصادي الذي أعطى إسرائيل مسؤولية مواصلة تحقيق أرباحها الاقتصادية من الاحتلال. قلت أن الحل يكمن في العودة إلى الشعب وتكوين منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية الحقيقية: فلسطين هي كل فلسطين وليس 22 ٪ منه ، التحرير واضح ولكل 13.5 مليون فلسطيني، ومنظمة تعني أكثر من شخص نبايعه. جاء السياسي بعد الاجتماع ليعاتبني قبل أن يركب سيارة المرسيدس السوداء الفاخرة (التي كانت مشغلة طوال الوقت) مع حراسه الشخصيين. جاء الكثير من الحاضرين ليخبروني أنهم أيدوا ما قلته (قلت لهم إنهم يجب أن يتحدثوا علانية). كثيرون خائفون حقًا لكنها الآن قضية وجودية ولا يمكننا التزام الصمت. قلت لهم المزيد من الناس يتحدثون علنا. وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي هي أداة قوية للغاية بين أيدينا.
يستخدم مؤتمر البحرين الذي يعقده الصهاينة العنصريون كوشنر / غرينبلات / فريدمان نفس اللغة المستخدمة في معاهدات أوسلو. يمكنك على سبيل المثال مقارنة جزء النصوص الاقتصادية المتكاملة من اتفاقية أوسلو 2 الموقعة في باريس هنا https://www.paltrade.org/upload/agreements/Paris%20Economic%20Protocol.pdf
    بنص وثائق البحرين "سلام إلى الازدهار" Peace to Prosperity  هنا https://www.whitehouse.gov/peacetoprosperity/
بالمناسبة كان يلفظ شارون كلمة  Peace ك Piss وتعني الشخاخ (على العرب) وprosperity شبيهة ب  prostitutionوتعني الدعارة

لكي لنكون صريحين: أولئك الذين قاموا بتوقيع أوسلو 1 و 2 وما زالوا يتبعونهم ليسوا أكثر أو أقل من أولئك الذين سيقومون بالتوقيع  على البحرين 1 (نعم ، سيكون هناك البحرين 2). في الخطب العامة يدعون أنها شيء مختلف إلى حد ما ووضع العربة (الاقتصاد) أمام الحصان (حل "الدولتين"). آسف لكن كانت العربة قد دهست الحصان وقتلته عام 1993 (يقول البعض إن بدايات السقوط كانت عامي 1974 و 1988). لذلك حان الوقت للحصول على حصان آخر (منظمة الحرير بديموقراطية واضحة وببرنامجها الأصلي لدولة ديموقراطية واحدة) وإزالة القمامة التي تراكمت في العربة والحصول على بداية جديدة. بالتالي لا يكفي أن نحتج على الأشياء. لقد حان الوقت لاتخاذ مبادراتنا. لقد حان الوقت لمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية الجديدة أن تتكون وتعكس إرادة الشعب ، ويمكن بعد ذلك تسخير قوتهم المذهلة. إذا أراد أي شخص أن يعرف عن القوة المذهلة للشعب الفلسطيني (بما فيها الحصول على خيول جديدة) فالرجاء قراءة كتابي "المقاومة الشعبية في فلسطين: تاريخ حافل من الأمل والتمكين". أوضح على سبيل المثال كيف أجبرت انتفاضة 1936 إنهاء العديد من الفصائل وإعادة تشكيل بعضها وخلق فصائل جديدة. يجب أن نتعلم من تاريخنا الدروس الصحيحة. أفضل درس لتعلمه هو أنه لم يفت الأوان بعد للاعتراف بالأخطاء والعودة إلى الشعب. لدي إيمان حقيقي في شعبنا. القادة يعرفون في أعماق قلوبهم المكلسة هذه الحقائق ويعرفون أن المخاطرة بالمراكز والأموال ليست شيئًا مقارنة باليقين بأنهم إذا بقوا على المسار فإن النهاية ستكون سيئة. أعلم أن ما أقوله قويا -- جميعا نموت ولكن ما إرثنا؟ السؤال هو كيف تريد أن يتذكرك التاريخ؟ لديك نموذجان 1) مثال الأنانية: على سبيل المثال المارشال فيليب بيتان (رئيس نظام فيشي الفرنسي 1940-1942) و نجوين فان ثيو (الرئيس الفاسد في فيتنام الجنوبية تحت الإحتلال الأمريكي)  في
  أو 2) القيادة المستنيرة مثل عمر المختار وتشي غيفارا؟
 الخيار لك / لنا

وللحديث تكملة
المواطن الفلسطيني مازن قمصية
ملاحظة: الرجاء توصيل هذا الكتاب لمحمود عباس