Mar 1, 2015

Destroying history

The kingdom of "Saudi Arabia" is going to behead a man for "apostancy" (renouncing his belief in Islam and the Quran) while welcoming Egyptian Al-Sisi whose security forces are torturing people to death in Egypt for being supportive of an Islamic political system more moderate than that of that Kingdom! Meanwhile the Egyptian kangaroo courts are declaring resistance movements outside of Egypt who have little to do with Egypt to be terrorist organizations. Sisi is also helping Israel enforce a siege on 1.6 million Palestinians (now that is terrorism). The Jewish State in Israel and the Levant (JSIL) in the name of ancient mythologies is using colonial settlers to kill natives, ethnically cleanse them, and torch churches and mosques with impunity. Meanwhile their progeny ISIL loots and destroys priceless human heritage going back thousands of years. It started in 2003 when US invaded Iraq and its soldiers sacked Baghdad. US soldiers were instructed to go and protect the ministries of oil and internal security but allowed pillaging 15,000 priceless archaeological artifacts from Baghdad. At that time I wrote warning that the plan was to break-up Iraq by encouraging sectarianism (until then unknown and people living harmoniously for hundreds of years). 

Ashurian and Babylonian and Sumerian cultures were perhaps more civilized than our current "civilization" (based on monotheistic "religions" or on secular traditions). It is no wonder the remannts of those are being destroyed in Iraq in favor of the new idols (Netanyahu and Zionism). The congress of the strongest military power on earth (the USA) funds regimes that commit Nazi-like atrocities around the world. Israel gets the lion share of this (several billion annually). Netanyahu will try to justify genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and others. Republicans and some democrats will listen to Netanyahu call for yet another war for Israel. Zionists pushed for the catastrophic war on Iraq and Syria (Mesopotamia) and now are pushing for an even more catastrophic war on Iran (ancient Persia). Persian history and archaeology maybe destroyed like they are now doing for Mesopotamian history. Many of the bible myths are taken from ancient Mesopotamian and Persian stories recounted >1000 years before they were taken by the writers of the Bible/Torah (the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Abraham and Sara, Moses and an "exodus"). Perhaps the selective historiography while destroying records of earlier periods of human history is useful to those who want to use their religious narrative to rule. But it seems also useful for those secular people who want to advance hegemonic racist ideas. But it is not just history but the fragile environment that is targeted (see below on Red-Dead canal).

Perhaps the Obama administration is starting to see this and maybe that is why they declassified a document showing how the US helped Israel skirt International obligations and develop nuclear weapons (see below). Maybe that is a first and I hope that more documents would be released that show how previous administrations hurt US interests to help the Israeli lobbyists get their way (from hiding the Israeli deliberate attack on the USS liberty to selling US technologies to US enemies to the Iran-Israel-Contra affair etc).

Hypocrisies and atrocities go on daily in this "Middle East" thanks to all the weapons pouring in from countries that claim they want peace. The USA is the largest weapon exporter in the world and most of it comes here. Here is a novel idea if we want peace here: A total arms embargo on shipments of weapons to all countries in the Middle East (Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and others). Spending one percent of that money on human needs instead of on promoting killing would go a long way to reclaim our humanity. Here in ocupied Palestine, we are trying on a small scale to resist. From the Friday demonstrations in several village (this was tenth anniversary of the demonstration in Bilin) to trying to open Shuhada Street in Hebron (closed to punish Palestinians after a Jewish racist settler massacred dozens of Muslims at the Ibrahimi mosque) to daily sumud stories (we are planting hundreds of trees weekly) to education and research....Life goes on.

Note: Please write to object to the environmentally devastating project to link the Red Sea to the Dead Sea (supposedly to save the Dead Sea) whose first $800 million stage was launched last week. The Dead Sea was shrinking because of the Israeli diversion of the waters of teh Jordan valley starting in the 1950s, a catastrophic project. The onlty way to fix that is to return the flow of the Jordan river to its pre-Zionist plan. The envisioned project will destroy the coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba and will devastate the fragile ecosystem of Wadi Araba. http://electronicintifada.net/content/how-historic-israel-jordan-water-deal-leaves-palestinians-high-and-dry/13139

US Helped Israel With H-bomb - 1980s Report Declassified
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40986.htm

This opinion piece in the NY Times explains the importance of the work we do in the Palestine Museum of Natural History (Palesinenature.org). Libraries of Life: "... These collections are particularly critical in today’s era of rapid ecological and climate change, providing a unique and vitally important glimpse into ecological conditions of the past...." http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/opinion/libraries-of-life.html?_r=0

Banksy’s Grim Tour of Gaza: Watch a Mini Documentary by the Shadowy Street Artist http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/25/banksy-s-grim-tour-of-gaza-watch-a-mini-documentary-by-the-shadowy-street-artist.html

Remarkable: How two Palestinian Americans plan to PIVOT the world
http://mondoweiss.net/2015/02/working-pivot

Feb 13, 2015

Greek Tragedies

Life rolls on not in any monotony but in the crazy waves of ups and downs and scenarios reminiscent of ancient Greek tragedies.  We take the punches, resist the evil acts of some, act to help where we can, accept the things we cannot change and try to change those we can.  That is life.  This week we lost several friends and neighbors (Advocate Judeh Shahwan, Professor Naseer Aruri,  Human Rights activist Kayla Mueller, Ihab Rishmawi) and we mourned atrocities committed in the US, Syria and Iraq .  The racist Zionist Debbie Schlussel wrote that she has no sympathy for our friend Kayla for being "anti-American" (actually anti-Zionist control of American Foreign policy) and called  Kayla other names so obscene to be mentioned here.  A brief on Naseer Aruri just to show you the quality of the many we mourn (all of them are candles in the darkness and remain so even after death; truly inspirational): http://www1.umassd.edu/communications/articles/showarticles.cfm?a_key=3553

We were not surprised that the highest court in the apartheid regime rejected the well-documented evidence of the murder of Rachel Corrie and accepted the fascist soldier's version that it was an "accident." Western media ignored this travesty of justice. Time for the international criminal court.  In other news in the last few days, a hate-filled criminal terrorist killed three young Muslim students in North Carolina.  That is where I lived and worked for six years and knew intimately the Muslim and Arab community and I recognized many of the faces of the mourners at the funeral videos.  After significant protest, Mr. Obama made a brief statement but it was not even close to his statement about the Paris killings.  The media was even more hypocritical either ignoring the story or calling the executions as a parking altercation! (yes I know it is unbelievable).  See these videos about this incidence

We find the mainstream media so distorted, so biased; they are either run by Zionist racists or afraid of backlash from Zionist racists if they tell the truth.  Otherwise how does one explain the discrepancy of extensive almost round-the-clock coverage by American media of the hate crimes committed in Paris but little or no coverage of the crime in North Carolina.  What little coverage they did was distorted claiming the guy killed those three innocent young Muslims because of a "parking space" issue!  How else can we see that a story like the French police catching a Jewish Zionist who was spray painting cars of Jews as a false flag operation to increase emigration of French Jews to Palestine (transformed to the Jewish state of Israel). Why coverage mentioning this is in some obscure website not on mainstream media?  Here is a report mentioning this: http://www.f169bbs.com/bbs/news/86206-france-police-catch-73-year-old-jew-spray-painting-the-word-jew-on-20-cars#axzz3Rdh6Lytv
But here is the Times of Israel interested in getting Jews to migrate out of France telling us the police arrested the guy but not saying he is Jewish and that Israel expects 10,000 Jewish French to come join the land thieves: http://www.timesofisrael.com/suspect-arrested-for-anti-semitic-graffiti-in-paris/

Such hypocrisy, such lies and countless false flag operations (billions spent on psy-ops to brainwash common people), and such evil forces are all around us.  But then again I think of goodness.  I think of those who organized vigils in Bethlehem and other towns for victims like the Jordanian pilot. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/jordan-kaseasbeh-palestine-hamas-ondemnation.html#

I think of 14-year-old Malak (english Angel) Alkhatib.  She is a true angel who was incarcerated in Israeli gulags (fascist prisons).  She was finally released and the video of her reunion with family and supporters is touching.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6PkQ8x8uRE

Feb 10, 2015

On Politics and a Request: What is going on in the world today is serious transformation and transfiguration of power relationships from a unipolar to a multipolar world and from power centered in the north to that centered in the southern hemisphere.  The height of power of the unipolar world was in 1989-1991. Since then, things have been changing and unless we establish a world based on justice and human rights, the US/Israel axis will lose big.  Let me again remind you that our choices are 1) a livable world based on justice and human rights, 2) a dead-end world based on might is right, 3) there is no other choice.  The Israeli leadership of Netanyahu tried to reassert Israel’s “might is right” impunity by attacking a group of Hizbollah fighters deep inside Syrian territory (Israel also illegally occupies the Syrian Golan heights).  Ten days later and on January 28,
Hizbollah resistance struck back at Israeli soldiers inside the illegally occupied Shebaa Farms (Lebanese territory occupied by Israel illegally since 1967).  This operation buried the notion that Israel can attack anywhere and everywhere with impunity. 

In other world news, an employee of a US subsidiary of Israeli defense company Elbit Systems was apparently killed (“suicide” by falling off of his hotel room) in Saudi Arabia. His family says it has to do with the complicated business of Israeli weapons being sold to Saudi Arabia!  That country had a shake-up recently with the new king even more allied with Israel and the US and he removed a number of officials who were “only” 90-95% pro-Israel.  We also had more Snowden leaks about US and Israeli “intelligence” cooperation including in extrajudicial
assassination of Imad Mughniyeh and also Iranian scientists. The Jewish State of Israel in the Levant (JSIL) apparently also convinced US intelligence to identify Palestinian resistance (that presumably includes everything from Hamas to nonviolent popular committees in Nebi Saleh etc.), Hizbollah, Iran, and Syria as joint enemies (hay perhaps that should give us a hint!).  But then again even Egypt today is more pro-Israel than ever before (an Egyptian court ruled that Hamas military wing is a terrorist organization and Egyptian government enforces the Israeli siege on Gaza that is killing civilians every week).  And the US government budget of nearly $4 trillion will add $0.5 trillion to the exploding US national debt which will ensure the US gets bankrupt soon (unless they devalue the
dollar and thus default on much of this obligation).  The US will soon become a third world power and Zionists are already looking to move on to China and India (as they did when they moved from Britain to the USA).
Huge changes are unfolding here in Palestine, the epicenter of much of the conflict in Western Asia and North Africa. Zionists push their luck by pressuring the moderates within the PLO who were always ready to have a two-state solution. The two-state solution was never alive but if it was then it was also killed by the Israeli settlement enterprise (650,000 Jewish settlers now live in the Palestinian areas of the West Bank).  The upcoming Israeli elections are of “who is most fascist”.  Zionists are intent on pushing further by stealing more natural resources, stealing Palestinian taxes, daily killing civilians, and even using their hegemony in the US to get judges there to rule to give them money for being victims of “terrorism”.  Of course, the real victims of terror (millions of Palestinians) are not allowed to get any compensation.  The Oslo process tied the hands of Palestinian officials. Some want to change now and when there is a will, there is a way. But what would YOU advise us Palestinian leaders to do? I am genuinely curious as to how many of my readers have constructive advice based on what they know of geostrategic structures, capabilities etc. I will keep your advice confidential (unless you tell me otherwise) but summarize all responses received (I suspect >100) and share them with receptive Palestinian authority
figures.

Thank you to those of you who responded to volunteer your time and in some cases your money for the Palestine Museum of Natural History (palestinenature.org).  The museum is important to present young people with alternatives to violence and a new way of looking at themselves and their environment (empowerment and nature conservation). Things are moving along: a beautiful garden is flourishing, animals are happy in natural settings, research is expanding, we were nominated for an
environmental award and for membership in several exclusive professional societies, our database is growing, students are here learning every day, and much more.  But we could still use your help, so do contact the museum via info at palestinenature.org

A new initiative to encourage young Palestinians in Gaza to write (I am proud to be part of this as a mentor).  You can also support it
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/we-are-not-numbers--2/x/8477661

Zionist tour for Muslim-Americans sparks anger in Palestine
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=754587
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/190211#.VL4oBEeUfHU

Dec 15, 2014

Veritasphobia

Veritasphobia (fear of truth)
By Mazin Qumsiyeh

Fear is an emotional state produced in human beings and other animals to watch for real or anticipated dangers. An animal that reacts to danger or even potential danger and escapes lives and reproduces. Selection favored such mechanisms to be hightened in situations of danger of predation, of starvation of accidental death and so on. But an animal that is exceptionally fearful is also disadvantaged because it can avoid going out to find food or a better shelter or a mate. Fear is a double edged sword; useful in moderation especially when accompanied by logical thinking based on real phenomena and harmful in certain situations. Psychologists call the latter phenomenon of excessive fear as phobia. Phobia can lead to extreme behaviors or to hiding in ourselves and not taking any risks (risk taking is needed for progress). There are actually hundreds of named phobias ranging from Ablutophobia (irrational fear of washing or bathing) to Zoophobia (fear of animals). All humans are afraid of something or another but perhaps a significant proportion of humans are suffering from pathological phobias that impair or result in self damage or damage to others.I wrote in my 2004 book "Sharing the Land of Canaan" about role of fear in political discourse:

Begin quote
Fear is the most powerful tool ever used by governments.  Fear caused good Germans to support the Nazis in 1934 and surrender their liberties for supposed protection from "terrorism" and domination by the communists who some capitalists believed at the time to be dominated by "Jewish elements."   It causes many good Jews to support Israeli atrocities and it caused good Americans, Canadians and British today to support limiting civil liberties, engaging in profiling and other acts that are of undemocratic nature.  Fear is the most potent political propaganda because it destroys all rational capacity for logical thought.

While invading other countries, the Nazi government always argued they were defending Germany from others and not fighting a war of aggression.  They often claimed that they were "invited" by allies or fighting "defensive" wars.  The Blitzkrieg by Israel on Arab countries in 1967 was also thought of as a "defensive war" and "preemptive" in nature.  Many Americans also were duped to think that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not an aggression but rather an action taken in self-defense.  Even though American troops have bombed over 30 countries since 1946 and American troops and "advisers" are now stationed in over 140 countries, many still believe that we are defending "our freedom." Yet, not one Iraqi, Korean, Nicaraguan, Vietnamese, Dominican, Grenadan, Panamanian, or Lebanese troops has ever set foot on United States soil.  In each case, fear spread by those in power led the population of the aggressor nations to accept the absurd propaganda of their governments and to acquiesce in the victimization of other people.

The esteemed psychologist Dr. William Sargant argued that governments use fear to create temporary impaired judgment and heightened individual and mass suggestibility creating a "herd instinct" most noticeable during times of conflict (William Sargant, Battle of the Mind: a Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing, Cambridge: Malor Books, 1957, 255 pp.).  A good example of this psychological effect is the public sentiments in the crisis atmosphere following the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.  It is now well documented how the administration in Washington used this atmosphere of fear to promote its own agenda of hegemony and control ranging from the so-called PATRIOT act to the invasion of Iraq.
End quote

But upon further reflections in the past 11 years since I wrote TAT, I now think fear is not only a tool of the politicians but that politicians are the worst victims of a particular kind of phobia. Most of them know the truth but are deathly afraid of it and so choose the path of lies. I believe the main reason is that they worry that acknowledging truth can be a first step to working to correct things and this could jeopardize the status quo which includes their position, their wealth, their popularity or some other thing that they cherish (other than their conscience which is suppressed). Zionist politicians are paranoid when it comes to the truth of Zionist history of racism of ethnic cleansing and of massive violation of Palestinian human rights. They are afraid of the truth that Zionism based on lies is unsustainable and that coexist ace and equality are possible.  Many Palestinian politicians are paranoid when it comes to the truth of their own corruption, nepotism, collusion with Zionism (see Oslo accords) and hidden racist thoughts about the other. Hamas politicians are deathly afraid of Fatah politicians and vice versa.  

But this is also true of us common lay people. Phobias suppress our strong desire to shout out the truth, to challenge injustice, to speak our minds fully, to be rebellious, to not worry about being ridiculed. Ironically in our heart of hearts, mind of minds we know that all excellence emerges from defeating this phobia of the truth. The list of >530 phobias compiled and listed at phobialist.com misses that one so shall we call it veritasphobia or VP for short (Veritas is latin for truth)! Acknowledging the truth that it is possible to let go of our egos, try new things, and love others seems a Utopian dream. But those who suffer from VP also ignore history. After all, it was those who conquered their VP who shaped all positive events in human history from ending slavery to women rights, to civil rights, to human rights. History of progressive humanity is a history of conquering VP by few dedicated individuals. 

20th century "heroes" like Helen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, Nelson Mandela, Ghassan Kanafani, Rosa Parks, and thousands of others others follow those who in earlier centuries were called "prophets". They are common people who shed their VP and thus achieved remarkable things. I actually think those who do not do that, are also afraid of proving themselves wrong: i.e. that if they shed their VP, they could accomplish more in their lives than they ever dreamed possible.  They are afraid that embarking on a risky road more afraid of potential success than of potential failure! But that is why most people (including most politicians) live mediocre lives risking little and achieving little. [note: I do not consider getting wealth as achieving much unless it is totally dedicated to serving people].

Where are the 21st century heroes and prophets who overcame their Veritasphobia? I did cite some of those from Palestine in my 2012 book "Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment". But looking for those is only inspiring and they are a minority and we need more of them. Each of us (our politicians included) can and should look in the mirror and say "what about me?" 

Nov 25, 2014

Days of science


We are in the midst of the “Days of Science Festival” in Palestine (in 18 cities). In Bethlehem District, it is inspiring to watch hundreds of school children learn basics of questioning and basics of knowledge acquisition. Students just need opportunities to learn not to be lectured to. Unfortunately education is taking a back seat among Israelis and Palestinians to the ongoing daily distorted realities of the governments. For example 43% of the Palestinian authority budget goes to security (for Israel as subcontractors of occupation). Israel spent $8 billion just on the expansion and annexation apartheid wall to steal more Palestinian land. The Oslo and Paris accords ensured expansion of corruption to unprecedented levels (both in NGOs and government level).  Glittery buildings and fancy SUVs and hotels ensure the rich in Ramallah and Tel Aviv know little and care less about the marginalized in our society. Thus 25% of Israeli children and >50% of Palestinian children live below the poverty line. Otherwise good people (Palestinian and Israeli) now spend their days begging for aid from Europeans and Americans and writing progress reports and filling in text and pictures on imaginary “development activities”. The Palestinian authority figures and Israeli leaders play games and meet with “dignitaries” in 5-star hotels hoping they could delay the inevitable collapse of the corrupt system they created. Perhaps they think that one more year of the status quo means one more year to accumulate wealth of the hapless people. Meanwhile, the Zionist Knesset passes a racist “basic” law that consecrates Israel as the state of “the Jewish people” (Jewish national anthem, laws based on Jewish mythology etc). I do not know why people complain about the “Islamic State” when Israel has similar racist laws that set it up as a “Jewish state”.  

Insightful letter from US President Thomas Jefferson to Mordecai Noah,  May 28, 1818: “I thank you for the Discourse on the consecration of the Synagogue in your city, with which you have been pleased to favor me. I have read it with pleasure and instruction, having learnt from it some valuable facts in Jewish history which I did not know before. Your sect by its sufferings has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal spirit of religious intolerance inherent in every sect, disclaimed by all while feeble, and practiced by all when in power. Our laws have applied the only antidote to this vice, protecting our religious, as they do our civil rights, by putting all on an equal footing. But more remains to be done, for although we are free by the law, we are not so in practice."

Colonization activities here in Palestine go unchecked: Jerusalem is being mutated to a Jewish city and its natives removed, and the common people suffer horridly (house demolitions, killing, jailing, ethnic cleansing etc). The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. International law and human rights are not relevant to the racist Zionist “might makes right.” Yet, we do not have the luxury of despair and we must redouble our efforts even in the spheres we can work. That is why we teach students at our universities. That is why over 30 volunteers are working hard every day on the science festival in the Palestine Museum of Natural History (at Bethlehem University). Changing behavior is critical to build the human resources needed to reshape the future. We believe we can make our own future and write our own history. The challenges we face are both external and internal and the internal challenges are far more pressing. We must end the mental colonization before we end the physical one.

I end with a message from a South African who participated in work with the World Council of Churches in Palestine: “Dr Mazin: your article today reads like a discourse from our apartheid South African history. It takes me back to my own childhood & growing up, the displacement of communities, creation of what they called homelands, alienation of family & friends. Tensions flaring, arrests, loved ones leaving the country of their birth, some to never be seen again. Violent killings or imprisonment of those who resisted. All this in the name of religion & the entitlement of one over another. It was legitimized by many countries around the world. That was why I couldn't just walk away in 2004 when I volunteered to heed the call of the Palestinian religious leaders via EAPPI & stayed for 2 years. I later realised why. It was something I knew, grew up with could relate to & also knew it would not, could not last forever. Unfortunately the world is so slow to react to this gross injustice, the same as with apartheid or the holocaust, or ebola, or South Sudan & so I can go on. Evil can only prevail when good man do nothing. My comrade never get tired with what you are doing, this too shall end. Aluta continua!!! In SA we also have another slogan : Amandla - Awethu!!! (Power to the people). Stay strong, I was born under Apartheid & lived & worked to see its end.”

I may add that like with South Africa, help of the international community must be directed at ending apartheid not at making conditions of imprisonment (colonization) a bit more tolerable to the native people. Hence I say encourage BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) and encourage real resistance to the apartheid state of Israel. Try to avoid those who claim they are resisting in order to get a few more donor dollars! Try to put your effort (and money) in a direction that produces measurable impact in that direction.

To see pictures of our activities in the science festival and more, look for our facebook page under Palestine Museum of Natural History. Also come visit us anytime.

The battle for Jerusalem 

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor (Bethlehem University) and director PMNH
Bethlehem, Occupied Palestine

Sep 5, 2014

Gaza Ground Zero

[First a correction/apology: Last week I broadcast information I received erroneously from Twitter: It was not David but his brother Richard Attenborough who died. Many of you wrote to correct me (over 200 messages), so in a way this error showed that people read and check and that is good].

According to the United Nations, the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, in its latest assault on the people of Gaza, the occupation forces killed 2170 and injured 10900 human beings (about 80% of them civilians, >519 children killed, 2114 children injured).

Israel was using the media distraction it created with slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza (while shouting “hamas, hamas”) to hide the intensification of its ethnic cleansing policies in the occupied West Bank. For example, Israel announced one of the largest expropriation ordesr of Palestinian lands to expand its illegal Gush Etzion complex of colonies. 3799 dunums of land (1000 acres) are to be taken from the villagers of Husan, Nahhalin, and Wadi Fukin.

The latest “ceasefire” arrangement between the resistance factions and Israel are closer to resistance demands than Israeli demands. A majority of Israeli citizens supported the genocide in Gaza and they wanted even more mayhem. Polls also reveal that many do not buy their government propaganda that the Israeli military won. But in wars there are no winners but only losers and worse losers. Gaza was devastated because the Israeli military was unable to find or attack resistance forces and vented its frustration on civilians. But politicians have a ways of twisting things to their advantage. Even Mahmoud Abbas joined the fray to adopt the Israeli myth that the ceasefire agreed to in the end was the same as the ceasefire offered in the beginning. But Israel has just violated the cease fire by attacking fisherman off the coast of Gaza. Alas, we are in for a long struggle and I urge people to intensify the BDS movement against the apartheid regime of Israel. I get interviewed a lot and speak to visiting internationals regularly. The Palestinian cause is one of the most just causes in history. What we need o do is change ourselves first and move towards more actions (especially by us Palestinians but also by global activists).

Drones have been flying over Bethlehem i n the past few dauys. A prelude to Gazafication of our ghetto? Drones are a core part of Israel's military occupation and ethnic cleansing strategy. Londoners have been doing great actions including taking over the roof of a British drone supplier. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/06/uav-factory-protest-drones-palestinian-gaza
Australian copycat action, also targeting Elbit: Palestine protesters occupy roof of Port Melbourne factory http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/palestine-protesters-occupy-roof-of-port-melbourne-factory-20140815-104dl4.html
For more actions from the London group http://londonpalestineaction.tumblr.com/

Powerful virtual tour of Gaza ground zero. (click to go through panoramic views from different locations) http://www.kolor.com/virtual-tours/20140818-kolor-lewis-whyld/#s=pano116

"Civil resistance and conflict transformation: Transitions from armed to nonviolent struggle“ has just been released! I have a chapter in it on Palestine struggle (colonial anti-colonial and tactics of the resistance) http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138019423/

ARIJ reports and maps (in Arabic and Hebrew) of the recent orders affecting villagers (Nahhalin, Husan, Wadi Fukin, AlKhader): http://www.poica.org/details.php?Article=6868

A Common Dreams investigation has discovered thousands of anti-Semitic comments over the past two years were posted by proxies who support Israel. One included posting comments by a screen name, "JewishProgressive," whose purpose was to draw attention to and denounce the anti-Semitic comments that HE had written under many other screen names. One proxy commentator posted inflammatory comments under sixty names and a host of identities/ Black, White and Jewish!!! http://www.commondreams.org/hambaconeggs

Schlars at Risk Network: Occupation attack on Palestinian Universities (another reason to boycott) http://monitoring.academicfreedom.info/reports/2014-06-22-birzeit-university-arab-american-university-al-quds-university-palestine

Aug 25, 2014

A meaningful life?

We lost three good and famous people this week: Holocaust survivor and humanist Hajo Meyer, Environmentalist broadcaster David Attenborough, and Palestinian Poet Samih AlQasim. I first met Hajo (born 1924 and died 23 August 2014) over 10 years ago and communicated with him frequently via email. And he wrote me 7 years ago when I wrote about the transfer agreement signed between Nazi Germany and the Zionist leaders "Are you aware that besides the Ha'avarah agreement the terrorist and murderer Avraham Stern had written to the Nazis on January 11th 1941 to fight with his Irgun forces together with the Nazis against the British! That is, I think, still stronger stuff." Here is Hajo as I remember him speaking his mind
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSlFR541Uoo

David Attenborough deep and resonating voice narrating spectacular nature videos impacted many of us. These videos will have a special place in our nascent Palestine Museum of Natural History. I especially liked his series "Wonderful World" on BBC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8WHKRzkCOY

We also lost a great Palestinian poet Samih Al-Qasem this week. He was born from a Druze family in 1939 but considered his own date of birth as 1948 because that is when he said he awoke to what was happening to our people. He had a great career contributing words to many now famous Palestinian national songs like this one in Arabic followed by the English translation

منتصب القامة أمشي
مرفوع الهامة أمشي
في كفي غصن زيتون
وعلى كتفي نعشي
وأنا أمشي

Standing upright i walk
Elevated forehead I walk
In my palm a bunch of olives
and on my shoulder my own coffin
and I walk

Here is another poignant poem
تذاكر سفر
وعندما أٌقتَل في يومٍ من الأيام
سيَعثُر القاتل في جيبي
على تذاكِرِ السفر:
واحدة الى السلام
واحدة الى الحقول والمطر
واحدة
الى ضمائر البشر
ارجوك الّا تُهمِل التذاكر
يا قاتلي العزيز
ارجوك ان تسافر

The day I'm killed,
my killer, rifling through my pockets,
will find travel tickets:
One to peace,
one to the fields and the rain,
and one
to the conscience of humankind.
Dear killer of mine, I beg you:
Do not waste the tickets.
Take them, use them.
I beg you to travel.

We also lost many other good people including a mother (Tasnim Isam Judeh) and her four Children in the ongoing Israeli genocidal campaign against Palestinians in Gaza. These simple people trying to live in
the world's largest open air prison are equally important to remember, to mourn, and to celebrate their lives. I most grieve for children lost who could have had so much future potential. Yet, while we lost good people this week we also gained much and are enriched by life. As David Attenborough reminds us life goes on in all its glory and beauty and death and regrowth. For example Gaza displaced residents in temporary shelters delivered dozens of babies and even held weddings. And some friends here and in Gaza are bringing art, music, culture, beauty to this otherwise mad world. Friends whose homes are demolished promise to rebuild and those injured are heeling. Life goes on in all its pluses and minuses. We have so far studied over 40 species of butterflies in Bethlehem University! We adopted a stray dog at the museum and planted seeds (literal and metaphysical). We note that all life is exquisitely beautiful as it blossoms. Without change and growth and interacting with our environment, we have stagnation. We must all be part of this in a positive way adding to building and wonder and growth. Hence activism and growth are the epitome of living a meaningful life exemplified by those who left us. When it is our time to go, will we have lived this meaningful life?

Please support advertisements against apartheid www.adsagainstapartheid.com

Over 200 Israelis living in the US wrote this letter to Jewish community leaders. Worth reading
http://israelisforasustainablefuture.com/

Holocaust survivors speak out: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.612072

Miko Peled tells it like it is on Gaza https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HHQIzaZoCfI

Visit us in occupied Bethlehem, Palestine