Jun 2, 2011

Berlin wall

Wall in Bethlehem - Piece of "souvenir" Berlin wall that cost me 8 euros
(perhaps we need to start chipping to sell!)

I continue to be sad, shocked but also inspired by what I see and hear in my working tour in Germany. I remain cautiously optimistic because lessons of history, as sad as they are, provide an unmistakable map for the future.  Hitler (and Zionists) who aimed to leave Europe with no Jews have failed.  Here in Germany is the fastest growing Jewish population on earth and more than half of them come from Israel (the supposed haven of Jews).  Many of the activists for human rights here are ex-Israeli or ex-Zionist Jews. Gideon Levy explains in Haaretz this week how and why Israelis are getting foreign passports at unprecedented rates.

 As you examine the sites of former Nazi interrogation camps and as you look at pictures and read stories of the past, you are struck by the idiocy of humans who thought they could get away with treating fellow human beings with such indignities. There are enough resources for everyone on earth but greed and racism seem to dog our species and rear its ugly head here and there.  The folly and arrogance of power confronting indifference and subjecting fellow humans to such cruelty is beyond description in certain periods of our history.  In other periods, denial (of the Nakba or of the Jewish holocaust) can hurt the feelings of survivors.  No human can claim they are not impacted by these things.  But I as a Palestinian found the microcosm of this all too human history truly disturbing and resonating with our reality. 

Today, it was reported that the government of Israel is considering a new plan to move 30,000 Bedouins to concentration areas from their unrecognized villages in the Negev because of “environmental reasons”.  Seventy years ago, thousands of Roma (Gypsies) were also relocated to improve the environment.  Gypsies (Roma) are still treated bad in Germany and they are still around despite those early attempts to clear them out. 

Seven years ago, uprisings in the Jenin Refugee Camp and in Nablus old city (ghettos) were put down brutally, sixty years before, an uprising in Warsaw ghetto was put down.  Stories about Jewish collaborators with the Nazis bear uncanny resemblance to descriptions of Palestinian collaborators with Zionist plans (including stories of extortions, use of family members, use of medical or economic levers etc). 

Walls three meters high in Berlin are mostly gone but walls 8 meters high in Palestine still stand.  I bought a piece of the wall in Berlin.  I imagined that very soon, some Palestinians will be making a lot of money selling pieces of the Israeli apartheid wall. Dreams and memories and lessons and tears and hopes know no state boundaries and no national or religious boundaries.  I recalled the remarkable book by Jewish theologian Marc Ellis “Out of the Ashes” and his message that the lessons of horrors should be “never again to all humans” not “never again to my group.”  That is the lesson I hope will finally sink in to all of us.

We held a press conference about planned actions of bringing Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza in late June and bringing hundreds of peace activists to the rest of Palestine July 8-16 (sponsored by 30 Palestinian groups so far and supported by hundreds of organizations around the world, see PalestineJN.org).  The press conference was on the same day as the day that one year ago, Israeli navi commandos attacked humanitarian ships of the Gaza freedom Flotilla murdering 9 activists and injuring many.  All of us are inspired by the determination of the International civil society (people of all walks of life who act on their conscience) to keep working for peace with justice.  This determination stands in contrast with the collaboration of Western governments in supporting the last remaining apartheid colonial state.  As we see in the Tunisia, Egypt and the rest of the Arab world, we can safely bet on the power of the people.

Press Conference in Berlin May 31, 2011 (Gestrige Pressekonferenz mit Mazin):

Action in Palestine: A new colony has been put off on the land of Kufr Malek east of Ramallah. The villagers are planning the first in a series of protest this Friday  June,3 2011 at 12:30
Please come and lend your support. For more information contact: Majed Fahim 0599201411

Action especially for those in the USA: Call TIAA-CREF

International Women Peace Service seeks volunteer women for work in Palestine http://iwps.info/?page_id=380

Actions around the world: June 5th in front of Israeli embassies and consulates and at major apartheid barriers (borders, checkpoints etc).  For example Sunday there will be an event in Al-Walajah starting at 10 AM.

Remember we still seek volunteers and activists for Palestine.  Wilkommen

Mazin Qumsiyeh

1 comment:

  1. I do a lot of my work with at-risk youth, and it seems to be almost inevitable that those who are abused as children grow up to become abusers themselves.

    It is chilling to think that a similar pattern could operate at a national/cultural level, but the similarities you highlight between the Nazi's persecution of he Jews and the State of Israel's persecution of modern-day Palestinians are hard to ignore!

    Father Dave