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

6 comments:

  1. The best article which shows the hypocrisy of Obama and Bernard.

    http://www.wnd.com/2014/11/dershowitz-rips-obama-on-synagogue-slaughter/#eGdb8uvBdFvmZIPG.99
    DERSHOWITZ RIPS OBAMA ON SYNAGOGUE SLAUGHTER
    'Imagine if an Israeli soldier walked into a mosque and murdered 4 imams at prayer'
    By Alan Dershowitz
    11/19/14

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  2. Abbas and the entire Palestinian political and ideological leadership, which is 99% rejectionist. Mainstream Palestinian values are rejectionist. They want the Jews gone and they say it everyday. They brag about terrorizing and murdering Israelis.

    Just look how many streets the Palestinian Arabs have named for terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians.
    The Palestinians have run out of streets and are now naming park benches after terrorists

    The Palestinians have a GNP of terrorism and is banking on the left and Europeans to continually press Israel into the corner of capitulation.
    Look at the barbarian Palestinians how they glorify slaughtering Rabbi's praying and love when Arab terrorists murder 3 month old Jewish babies.
    Please go on this link to see for yourself. Israel is dealing with evil.
    http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=448

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  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSUEx1cKUlg
    Grand Mufti Haj Amin Al Husseini meets Hitler in 41

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  4. Israelis shocked how barbaric Palestinians are.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187582
    HAR NOF TERRORISM AND SLAUGHTER ‘BREAKS RECORDS FOR DEPRAVITY AND CRUELTY’
    By Tova Dvorin
    November 18, 2014

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  5. Over the past 21 years, we’ve seen what the Palestinians have done with the autonomy generously granted to them by Israel. They’ve slaughtered Israeli grandmothers and toddlers, pregnant women and elderly rabbis. They’ve set off their nail-studded, rat poison-laced bombs in shopping malls, disco’s, pizzeria’s, cafe’s and university cafeterias. These Terrorstinians turned school buses into blazing infernos, invaded home and shot mothers and children in their beds.
    These Palestinian Islamo Nazis murdered 3 month old Jewish babies like Chaya Braun by running her over with a car. They've slaughtered Rabbis praying and celebrate this by handing out candy.

    They’ve dragged 13-year-old boys to caves and stoned them to death. Those who don’t actually pull the triggers, detonate the bombs or do the stoning, celebrate the atrocities in the streets of Ramallah and Jenin, as they danced in those same streets when other Arabs crashed two planes into the World Trade Center.
    These Arab sadists even built an exhibition celebrating the Sbarros massacre. When do you think the Arabs will realize, that murdering Israeli pizza-eaters, dance-club people, school kids, teenagers and sleeping five-year-olds is barbaric. Do these Arabs have any humanity?
    It is becoming increasingly obvious, that the followers of Muhammed are not human beings

    ReplyDelete